Made In China: How To Source Products Directly From Asia
Sooner or later, your home retail business will likely reach a point where you’ll need to buy product directly from the manufacturer in order to get the best price. To go all the way up the supply chain may mean buying directly from Chinese manufacturers. If you’re like most eBiz owners, you may feel very uncertain about the prospect. The idea of trying to locate China suppliers willing to deal in smaller quantities, fly across the world to meet with them, and make buying arrangements with them, probably seems completely overwhelming. Upcoming Trade Shows According to Peter Zapf, Vice President of eCommerce Services for http://GlobalSources.com, one of the best ways to locate genuine manufacturers who will work with you is to attend a China trade show.
His company is hosting one such show from April 12-15, 2007 in Hong Kong—the Global Sources China Sourcing Fair (http://www.ChinaSourcingFair.com). Explains Zapf, “It’s an excellent opportunity to meet hundreds of direct manufacturers of consumer electronics, digital entertainment, computers, WiFi and VoIP Products, Security and much more.” Global Sources also runs shows in April for Fashion Accessories, Swimwear, Gifts and Home Products.
Target Potential Suppliers When you start walking the show floor, you’ll need to gauge which suppliers have products you’re interested in sourcing. You’re likely to find several suppliers with similar products and you can, and should, talk to all of them. It’s important to ask questions: • What are their minimums? • What kind of lead time do they require before they ship products? • What packaging options do they offer? • Can items be customized for your eBiz? Once you’ve sorted through the suppliers and determined who you can work with, then it’s time to start the process of getting quotes and finding a freight forwarder or customs broker to help you get the products stateside. You may even want to talk to a few before you make the trip to China. Understanding Importing In addition to meeting with suppliers, Global Sources China Sourcing Fairs also give you the chance to learn how to source product from China and Asia via a free conference program. Explains Zapf, “Getting started is often the most challenging aspect of importing, and these conference sessions can help you get moving in the right direction.” He especially recommends the seminar “Buying from China: What New Buyers Need to Know” for first-time importers. Easy Entry Don’t let the idea of flying halfway across the world intimidate you: Hong Kong is a world-class city, easily accessible from anywhere by plane. Most everyone speaks English, and you can find all the food and amenities you need. You can get show details, watch video from past shows, ask questions, and even pre-register to attend at the show’s website, http://www.
ChinaSourcingFair.com. Encourages Zapf, “The best way to begin supplier relationships is face-to-face. For those who are not quite ready to schedule two weeks in mainland China for meetings with suppliers, these trade shows are a great solution.
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