Finding Asian Wholesale Partners With a US Presence
By: Skip McGrath
One challenge for many small to medium online sellers is finding Asian supply partners who can work with sellers in smaller quantities. Mega sellers have no problem ordering merchandise by the container load –but small to medium sellers need to work in case or pallet-sized lots. The other challenge small to medium sellers face is the delay in shipping goods from Asia and the lack of knowledge that many of them have when it comes to importing.
The solution to this is actually very simple. It turns out there are thousands of Asian manufacturers who either work with exclusive importers, or who have set up their own warehouse operations in the United States. Most of them are located on the West Coast in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. These dealers house their goods in the US for almost instant shipment and they frequently work in smaller quantities such as case lots. A few of them even drop ship individual products.
I now work with several of these firms and I found all of them by attending large wholesale trade shows here in the US. My favorite is the ASD/AMD Trade show that is held twice yearly in Las Vegas –always in early March and early August. The last time I attended I saw literally hundreds of manufacturers from China and other Asian countries. They represented a wide range of goods from clothing, jewelry and accessories, to technology, tools and housewares. I was able to handle the goods to determine the quality, discuss pricing and shipping and do what is probably the most important thing you can do, which establishes a personal relationship. Today I have strong relationships with almost a dozen companies I do business with that I have all met via these large wholesale trade shows. Two of the suppliers even drop ship for me from their warehouse in the Los Angeles area.