Your First Import-Export Deal

In recent issues of The Carefree Entrepreneur, I’ve recommended you look seriously at starting an online-based import-export business.

First-time entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses do really well in this niche. It’s a simple business model. You buy low (products manufactured overseas, usually in China) and sell at huge markups to customers in the U.S.

You can get started without much upfront investment. And, you don’t need any experience in import-export or even any type of business.

It’s possible due to easy-to-use online services, including one website that links business people like you with thousands of manufacturers. It’s called Alibaba.com. And, all its members — 25 million and counting — are ready to do business. You can find manufacturer listings for everything from clothing to kids’ toys to electronics. Pretty much every consumer product you can think of is covered.

With drop-shipping arrangements, you don’t even have to worry about storing inventory. An order from your online storefront goes directly from the factory to your customer’s front door.

You can read more about Alibaba.com in my article The Best Way to Buy Low and Sell High.

Then, check out this essay from Marc Charles, the creator of the China Wholesale Trader program: Profiting from Hot Online Trends. In this article, Marc gives step-by-step instructions for finding what products are “hot” right now online. These are the products you’ll want to sell in your own online import-export business. And it’s easy, too. You’ll use many of the same websites you use to do your own online shopping.

Today, we’re going to take the next step. We’ll go through the process of picking one of those hot products. Then, we’ll find a manufacturer on Alibaba.com.

Making Your First Deal

After researching all the top-selling products online per the steps in Marc’s essay, I found several products that had good numbers: remote control helicopters, mp3 players, GPS navigation systems, and fleece jackets.

I picked fleece jackets — a perfect product for this time of year. (Tip: Keep seasonal trends in mind when picking a product to sell online.)

So, now I’ve picked my “hot” product. My next step is to go over to Alibaba.com to check out suppliers.

A quick search showed there were more than 16,000 listed. That means they are very competitive on price. They want to do business with you.

The wholesale price was between $5 and $20. Based on current prices here in the U.S., you could double or triple that when you sell them.

I chose a men’s fleece jacket from Fuzhou Golden Sunshinetex Garment Co. Ltd., located in Fujian, China.

My next step is to contact the supplier via email (or a phone call) to get more information. In the case of Fuzhou Golden Sunshinetex Garment Co. Ltd., the contact is Susan Li. All the company information and contact info is provided on the Alibaba website, including website, phone number, email, and physical address.

There are no language barriers — English is the language of business. They are looking to do business with Westerners. That’s why their main contact uses an English name.

Now you try it.

  1. Pick a “hot” product using the steps in Marc Charles’ essay. You’ll be reviewing the bestselling products on sites like eBay, Amazon, and Google Product Search.
  2. Then, check out the manufacturers on Alibaba.com. Get familiar with the wholesale prices they offer, the different features, and other details.

The next step is to negotiate with the supplier. Your goal is to get the lowest wholesale price so you can increase your profits when you sell the product online.

In a future essay, we will cover this topic and help you get the best deals. We’ll also cover how to go about selling online once you’ve identified “hot” products and secured a supplier overseas.

Here’s a sneak peek …

There are hundreds of ways to sell online. But, it’s probably best to start on sites like eBay or Amazon Marketplace. Listing your products with one or more of these marketplaces gives you a ready-made Web presence without having to set up your own website.

Of course, if you’re ready to get started now, you have that option. With Marc Charles’ program, China Wholesale Trader, you’ll get everything you need to know as a first-time entrepreneur to get involved in the growing import-export market.

With China Wholesale Trader, you get the contacts and the knowledge you need to run your business — from negotiating with suppliers overseas to marketing your products back home.

For a limited time only, Marc’s program is available at just $179 — that’s $100 off the regular price.

Get all the details on Marc’s program and claim your discount here.

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Published: December 30, 2011

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