Posts tagged international trade
Well, hisashiburi desu! (it has been a while in Japanese)
I have had a very busy e-commerce 2011. The economy has taken a bashing but online things are still hotting up! The world is our oyster online with the expansion of social commerce and like many sellers looking out to Europe and beyond is the key to success.
This year as been the year for international expansion for my sellers and myself. Most of my eBay clients are moving into France, Germany and the USA as a minimum. Most are going much further.
To stay ahead of the game as always, I am looking into the Asian markets. Strong currency in these countries suddenly makes buying stuff from Europe side cheap and boy is it TRENDY!
While I was in Japan (business and volunteering) I saw that the union jack was EVERYWHERE on clothing, accessories in shops and on the people walking past. It was very surreal.
Language is no longer a barrier. Improvements in translation engines have made things easier.
For a year or two I have bought from Rakuten and Yahoo Auctions Japan (though a shopping service) and each time it gets a bit easier. For instance Japanese sellers are more interested in international trade, probably due to economic conditions in their own countries and better support networks.
So as my clients are expanding in to Europe, Australia and America in the next few years, I will get ready for the expansion east by building relationships, language skills, cultural/business skills and finding sensible solutions.
Oh yeah, and prepare for Widshops…oh yes….eBay design mark deux….
and a picture from my volunteering in Ishinomaki!
Fixing a shrine gate in Onasaki
Onasaki – Rebuilding houses, reflooring, clearing out garbage and putting a shrine gate back up.
Place was completely flooded – government is not restoring electricity and water.
On the way in we passed the shrine at Okawa Elementary School, the team had worked on the clearance of the area so stopped to pay resepect and see the progress – it was completely destroyed, killing 75 of 108 students and 10 of 13 teachers and staff. The teachers and students were evacuating from the school and were swept away by the tsunami while crossing a nearby river bridge.
You could see the part of the bridge ripped out by the tsunami still in the river.
Sourcing from china has been quite big for a while, but mostly larger corporate companies deal with that kind of thing. But how about the small business e-tailer?
eBay is still in my mind a bargain marketplace, market forces and recession have pushed prices down and forced sellers to throw a wider net to get suppliers. Sourcing from China can give you the prices you need and also bespoke products that would cost the earth to manufacture locally.
A good source of information for Chinese suppliers is http://www.chinafactorybase.com
Qualifying suppliers is another thing, the wholesaleforums has this post on the subject.
When importing products start slowly and build up your trade relationships with suppliers. I have imported Gothic Lolita clothing, synthetic hair and latex from china with no real problems but I had one key rule.
Don’t invest more than you can risk loosing with a new supplier.
I also asked for paid samples and they were happy to send them.
Always check that the products are sold within the safety regulations of the country you plan to sell them from and also hire a third party company to QC your first shipment to verify your suppliers quality control procedures.
Check this article out also about dealing with Chinese Suppliers
Had any good or bad experiences with importing from China? Any nuances that would be lost on us brits that are the norm in china?