You Don’t Have to Come Home Empty Handed from your First China Buying Trip
I can imagine some entrepreneurs consider an initial exploratory visit to China as a pleasure trip, mixed with some business. The trip can be treated as sunk costs in starting a business, an investment in the learning process or par for the course. If however, you want to make the most out of your initial foray into China, it may surprise you that it is possible, to bring home a shipment for your first batch of goods! The best option to pursue if you intend to accomplish this, is to visit the wholesale markets.
Here are some of the frequent questions that I receive from clients about a wholesale buying trip:
Why buy from wholesale markets, and not factories?
This depends on what products you buy and how many you buy. I still remember saving one client $350,000 with the purchase of only two 40 foot container loads of products. It may look cheaper to buy from factories, but my experience tells me that you can go to wholesalers and still manage to get big discounts. There are ways you can get massive discounts without having to deal with the MOQs or minimum quantity orders, that factories require. Wholesale markets give you more flexibility in import quantities.
Where are the best places to visit?
It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different locations in China specialise in different products. It is like going to Napa Valley for wine and Detroit Michigan for cars. The usual places I would recommend are, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Yiwu. Prepare your colleagues, family and friends for a 5 day absence. I normally recommend a five day and four night stay. Each of these areas have their own specialties. Make sure you know where to go for which products you want.
How is the quality of the goods that you can find in the wholesale markets?
At the wholesale markets, you are able to touch and see the actual product that runs in the suppliers’ factories. What you see is what you get. You should however understand that this does not mean that you no longer have to inspect the goods before shipment. The best way to do this is to have a trusted team that can do the inspection for you.
There is so much more I can tell you even on this just one aspect of importing from China, but I will just reserve it for later articles. I hope though that I have changed the your belief that your first trip to China, will most likely end up more of an adventure rather than a business trip.
Happy wholesale shopping!