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Importing Products To Sell on eBay

More and more eBay sellers are discovering how to import products from China and other Asian countries. Importing is one of those things that looks a little scary, but it can be done safely if you learn the simple steps and line up the resources you need before you begin. Here is a great article to help you get started from my friend Chris Malta, founder of WorldWideBrands OneSource.

Made In China: How to Source Products Directly from Asia

By: Chris Malta & Robin Cowie

Sooner or later, your home retail business will likely reach a point where youíll 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 youíre 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 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 Kongóthe Global Sources China Sourcing Fair (www.ChinaSourcingFair.com). Explains Zapf, "Itís 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.

(Note from Skip: These shows are held throughout the year. Just go to the Global Sources web site for a list of shows and dates.)

Target Potential Suppliers

When you start walking the show floor, youíll need to gauge which suppliers have products youíre interested in sourcing. Youíre likely to find several suppliers with similar products and you can, and should, talk to all of them. Itís 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 youíve sorted through the suppliers and determined who you can work with, then itís 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

Donít 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 showís website, 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."

BIOGRAPHY: Chris Malta and Robin Cowie of WorldwideBrands.com are the Writers and Hosts of The Entrepreneur Magazine EBiz and Product Sourcing Radio Shows. Click Here for more info on WorldWideBrands OneSource.

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