下面是我截取的对供应商有参考价值的信息，希望对大家有所启发。Most of you probably don’t know this, but one of the very first profitable businesses I ran was an importing company. From the age of 13 til the age of 16, I imported a whole bunch of random stuff and sold it on various websites. It was really difficult when I was getting started, partially due to my lack of experience, and partially due to the fact that there was nobody there to help me.
My friend Devan Earle is thinking about getting into the import arbitrage business and mentioned it to me last night.
Our conversation got so in depth that I decided to turn it into a blog post.
Knowing What to Avoid and the Basics
You have to understand going into this business that it is a risky one. Dealing with Asian businesses is very, very different than dealing with American ones. If you go into this not knowing that there is a lot of risk involved, you will probably end up with $1,000 worth of iPhone 2 knockoffs in your garage, or $1,000 worth of nothing at all…
That being said – if you are careful, understand what you’re doing, and know what to avoid, you can make a KILLING with a relatively small amount of work.
Things not to do
- Don’t buy in bulk from a factory until you have their samples in your hands and youLOVE them.
- Don’t let any supplier convince you they can’t ship single samples, they are trying to scam you.
- Don’t pay with any other method but PayPal for the first 6 months with your supplier. This eliminates a ton of risk.
- Don’t buy from a company that won’t accept PayPal. What it really means is that they had a PayPal, and it was shut down due to complaints.
- Don’t buy counterfeit crap. Not that there isn’t money to be made there, it is just a bad business to build.
- Don’t buy a lot of inventory in the beginning. I started off buying 1-5 units at a time until I built up the money to reinvest into inventory.
- Don’t give these suppliers your personal email. The email will be effectively nuked and unusable for years, trust me…IMPORTANT – Don’t use your personal email for this stuff, as it will be spammed into oblivion for years! Asia is not quite as serious about their emails as we are
Where and how to find suppliers
Your best friend in the importing business is AliBaba. I have used it for every single product I have ever imported. I use it for my own businesses, I use it for clients, and I know a ton of people that use it. It is an awesome resource.
Don’t fall into the traps of Doba, WorldWideBrand, Volusion, or whatever other scam solutions are out there to find suppliers. I made the mistake of trying all of these when I first got started, and just ended up wasting hundreds of dollars for little to no value. Just stay away from these, trust me.
With AliBaba, you will be looking at only Gold members. I don’t care how awesome of a deal you get from a non-gold member, or how many factory certifications they have, youDON’T buy from non-gold members. Just following this rule will help you to avoid 98% of the scams and bad suppliers. Any other certifications or whatever are just icing on the cake.
You really want to find a supplier that will do cheap samples, offers PayPal payments (even at an increased rate, use PayPal), and seems to respond to your communications quickly and effectively.
Don’t be afraid to haggle and engaging in some price warring, they are much more used to that in China. It isn’t uncommon to see an item start at $200 and be sold for $20 in a Chinese tourist market. I could write a whole post on price negotiation, but the main thing with this is you have to low-ball your first counter offer to anchor the price possibility window at a lower level. You should get by fine with that.
*Note on Minimum Order Quantities* – I had a lot of people mention to me that the MOQ posted by many manufacturers is extremely high, so I figured I would paste my response here -
The minimum order they list is generally not concrete, and is most of the time their average or desired order size. There is no way to know for sure without messaging the suppliers directly, which is why I go for 15-30 initially.
In my experience, Chinese factories will go through many hoops to work with you on order sizes, unless they are a MASSIVE factory that only ships via sea. If they use normal air shipping at all, they shouldnt mind sending out even a single item via air (which is what they do with samples anyways).
换个角度看世界 受教了 呵呵呵