In spite of its tremendous profit potential, many online retailers shy away from importing inventory. You may have ruled out this product sourcing method as overly complicated or problematic. But by writing it off all together, you miss out on some amazing deals and innovative products that you won’t find any other way.
A Novel Strategy
According to Peter Zapf, of SmartChinaSourcing.com and GlobalSources.com, it was for this very reason that his company created their sister web site, GlobalSourcesDirect.com, which essentially acts as an overseas wholesaler. They buy and warehouse large volumes of product directly from numerous Chinese manufacturers, and place them on their web site. You can purchase those products in much smaller quantities, and have them shipped directly to your home, office, or warehouse. Explains Zapf, “We wanted to eliminate the complexities and the red tape that keep new resellers from experiencing the benefits of importing. This site makes beginning simple – we take care of all the details.”
Removing the Fear Factor
The bottom line is that you can enter the world of international sourcing without dealing with the more difficult aspects:
* Large minimum orders. You can place an order as small as a single carton, which greatly reduces your investment risk.
* Long lead times. Many overseas manufacturers don’t source the materials to make your products until you actually place an order, so it may take thirty to ninety days just for the manufacturing. Here, however, the products are already made and ready to ship, greatly reducing your lead time.
* Quality control. You don’t have to hire a third party to conduct an independent inspection of your products prior to shipment. When merchandise arrives at their Hong Kong warehouse, the team at Global Sources Direct will examine it before they ever place it on their site. And if by some chance, your products should arrive in an unsatisfactory condition, they’ll also handle the replacement or refund.
* Intellectual property rights. All products are reviewed ahead of time, to ensure that there are no IP violations and that all necessary certifications and permissions are in place, which saves you the trouble.
* Negotiation. You’re not communicating directly with the manufacturer, so negotiation, cultural and language barriers are never an issue.
* Payment. You can pay with PayPal or credit card, just like any other shopping web site, so you don’t have to worry about international currency rates or how to get your payment to your supplier.
* International clearance. You don’t have to track down logistical providers and negotiate delivery rates, or deal with Customs regulations. The company has the shipping power to negotiate better international rates than you could as an individual retailer, and they’ll make sure that you’re in compliance with Customs.
The idea behind the site is to make importing as easy and painless as possible, allowing you to get a feel for the process and test out internationally manufactured products. Advises Zapf, “Importing can seem incredibly intimidating, but we remove the fear factor. We let you try it out and get your feet wet. As you build confidence, you can graduate to working directly with overseas manufacturers and suppliers. It’s well worth putting forth that effort and getting started, because you have such a fantastic opportunity for high returns.”