Finding great products to import and sell is one of the major keys to running a successful business. In this article, we’ll discuss strategies for finding product ideas before importing from China.
If you’re planning to jump into the import-export business, then prepare to face many difficulties and decisions that could significantly alter the course of your business’ success.
The sort of product you want to import into a certain country is one of the most important elements that you have to consider before getting into the whole import-export business.
While there are many import opportunities that you can consider for your business, not all of them will be suitable for your company or the market you want to penetrate. Taking time to research is a must if you want to find the best products to import.
Over time, you’ll be able to develop a certain trading instinct and get used to the process of researching before deciding to import a product.
Usually, business owners choose a product to sell depending on what they think is profitable and their personal preference. Those are two good aspects to consider, but it shouldn’t be just the basis of your import decisions.
Observe diligently the demand for the products that you plan to sell on a certain country and decide which products will most likely sell better than the others.
You also shouldn’t rely too much on your personal preference when it comes to choosing a product to import. What you like might not necessarily be the in-demand product in your country.
Why Are Niches Important?
One of the most common mistakes that importers do is start the import process by immediately looking for products.
Why is this wrong?
While looking for products is one of the most important steps in the import process, it should always start with finding your niche.
You should first determine the niche that you want to sell into before proceeding to look for products.
In case you need more reasons as to why it’s important to pick a niche for your business, we’ve listed some more below:
- You’ll be able to become an expert immediately if you stick to one niche at a time
- You’ll easily identify more product opportunities
- You’ll have a clear understanding of who your customers are and what they are exactly looking for.
- You’ll be able to upsell quickly.
- Finding manufacturers is easier.
When you focus on one niche at a time, you’ll be knowledgeable and easily become an expert in this industry. This means you’ll be able to find more amazing business opportunities for your products.
How to Find the Right Products to Sell
If you want your products to sell, it needs to have a competitive advantage.
There are two ways to make your products more desirable on the market. First is by offering your products at a lower cost than your competitors. The second is by differentiating your product.
What does this mean?
You have to make your products better than the competition–either perceived or real.
The good news is that it is not as hard as it sounds. Here are some of the best ways to make it possible.
1. Choose a market that’s most apt for you
Start by deciding which country you’d like to trade in. Each country around the world has a different need.
What’s good and relevant to other countries might not be good for all. Consider the climate, geographical position, culture, and lifestyle in the region that you’re planning to market your product.
It’s always a great idea to familiarize yourself with other imported products that sold at that place effectively. Before making your choice, check out the many statistics and news articles at the area and use that as a reference.
As a rookie importer, sticking to fundamental commodities such as food and clothing is always safer. When you want to create an import-export business, these are always excellent starting points.
They are safe enough to ensure that in the process of importing goods, you don’t waste cash.
Later on, you can expect to develop your business’s success and identify new ways to reach your target population.
2. Study your country’s local demand
You need to get to know the goods and products that are most demand in the country you want to sell at. To collect more data or even research the market online, you can speak to local people.
Make sure to study the latest trends; however, as demand for a particular product may reduce or rise from year to year. If you notice that a certain item has been in demand for several years, the odds are that by importing that item, you can also be successful.
And this is generally the case with fundamental products like food or other commodities.
The type of market you want to tap into or reach with your imported product is another thing to consider
Looking at a country’s export item list will assist you quickly to see what they may not need.
Importing something that is being exported would be a waste of time because the chances are that if the country can export a product, it will also be able to supply enough for local demand.
Just imagine importing cocoa into Ivory Coast, which is one of the world’s largest cocoa manufacturers. Your products wouldn’t sell!
3. Stay Online and Read/Join Forums
Most of the process of exporting and importing begins and remains online. There is no way to prevent the virtual environment when you want to create such a business. This is because you will find all of your prospective partners and customers online.
Based on this concept, you should consider staying active on the forums and speaking to exporters from around the globe to discover the best import-export products.
You will be able to remain informed when it comes to trends and prospective products that you can invest in by joining certain trading groups on Facebook or Reddit.
In order to grow your import-export company, you must find websites that will send you weekly newsletters with tips & advice.
Being active online also implies having a high-quality website and staying in touch with your old and new clients.
4. Find an exporter to work with
Sometimes it should not be entirely up to you to decide on the best item to import into a certain country. You may want to discuss your choices with an exporter partner.
Working with your exporter as a team will boost your likelihood of progress and benefit both of your businesses as well.
You need to find an exporter partner as soon as possible if you don’t have one yet. Your exporter can be the same for different imports depending on the types of goods and products that you want to sell.
Moreover, if you manage to keep the same exporter, you may also profit from some discounts if you both have a good working relationship.
But where exactly can you find a trustworthy exporter?
The solution is also in the online community. All exporters on various websites and forums are looking for importers like you.
This is more of a reason to be active online and not to neglect this aspect of your import-export business. Sometimes on official websites, like the websites of various authorities, you will uncover the biggest and best exporters.
To meet fresh prospective partners in your field of operation, you can attend in various global exhibitions or conferences.
5. Get to know the documentation and local standards
As a part of your product research, you have to get familiar with the formalities and paperwork that are implied in the process.
Apart from being informed on the difference between legal and illegal products, you also need to be conscious of certain standards that need to be considered when importing unique products such as tobacco or alcohol.
Some of these products may come with limitations in quantity supply or some tax you need to cover to finish the import process. It’s better to decide to seal your shipment after knowing these components rather than being taken by surprise.
Until you don’t know well enough the norms of the type of product you’re looking into importing, it’s not right to start the import process.
6. Contact the trade development offices of international embassies
Staying in touch with foreign embassies is always a good idea when you’re in a company form of import-export.
But if you’re interested in finding unique and new products to import, remain in contact with the trade development offices and be the first to find the greatest possibilities ahead of other business owners.
The embassies can provide you with lists of suppliers who would like to develop a business with you and break into a fresh market. A good import-export process involves many beneficiaries, which is why you should find it simple to recognize shareholders in the matter.
What’s more, once you’ve developed excellent connections at major international embassies, you’ll discover that it’s much simpler to entertain varying deals and even discover products you’ve never regarded before, based on the kinds of offers you’ll receive.
Make sure you honor as many formal invitations as you can and create a professional portfolio to impress your prospective clients or customers.
It is also important to note that sometimes, the search for the best item to import does not begin with the search for products but with the search for exporters, suppliers and the search for the best deals.
You can sell almost anything you want at the best cost if you are a successful seller and an experienced marketer. So never deny a future chance, particularly if you get an excellent offer from the manufacturer.
Best Places to Find Product Ideas
Finding ideas for products to sell is one essential step in your business journey.
But how do you know which products or manufacturers are right for you?
Here we’ll take you through different ways to find product ideas for your business. These are the best places or websites to get started:
We’re confident that at least one of these resources will connect you with a reliable, good quality manufacturer.
Local Trade Shows
Trade shows are exhibitions (also known as trade fairs) where businesses and suppliers display their products and services in an effort to attract fresh clients.
They are an excellent place to meet face-to-face the suppliers and view their products personally. This can give you more trust and peace of mind than emailing a faceless foreign business back-and-forth.
Sellers can ask questions at trade shows and have the suppliers answer them while looking them in the eye. Talking to an exporter personally regarding their products will give you a clear idea of whether it’s desirable to sell for your target market.
Before the existence of the internet, the primary way that manufacturers and suppliers built relationships and did business was through trade shows.
Today, trade shows continue to be an excellent way for sellers to meet manufacturers, see their products and promote enduring business relationships.
You are more likely to meet local suppliers by visiting local trade shows, which can be useful in terms of logistics and shipping.
All over the globe, however, there are internationally known trade shows that are frequently conducted, including in China, the worldwide manufacturing hub.
Trade shows in China
China is the biggest manufacturer in the world. It’s also where online sellers look for products to import.
If you’re planning for a trip to China to meet suppliers and see products in person, you’ll have plenty of excellent trade exhibitions to choose from.
Some of the major trade fairs are Guangzhou’s Canton Fair, Zhejiang’s Yiwu Commodities Fair, and Shanghai’s East China Import and Export Commodity Fair.
Online Trade Sites
With an estimated 279 million active buyers and 8.5 million active suppliers, Alibaba.com is the world’s largest provider directory. Whatever your niche or product is, you can almost be sure to find it here.
Search for your product and phrases in the search bar to locate sellers and goods.
This enables you to search for best-selling products, experienced suppliers, view their trading records, see some of their main clients, and other background data.
Alibaba owns Aliexpress.com, but it was designed to serve another market. You won’t discover as many producers on AliExpress, but the plus side is that if you start with limited capital, you can place lower orders, which makes it a great choice.
To discover manufacturers and excellent products to sell, you will need to do a bit more digging on AliExpress. Contacting sellers and seeing if they can produce your product for you will be necessary.
The nice thing about AliExpress is that before you settle on the one you want to have produced, you can purchase one of many separate products in your niche. Another way to guarantee that you deal with credible providers is by “seller rating” sorting listings.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
For manufacturers, traders, and service providers based in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the go-to global marketing arm.
For a wide spectrum of products, from auto parts and accessories to electronics, jewelry, textiles, and toys, it is a lesser-known supplier and manufacturer directory. However, contacting sellers through here is very easy.
There is even a message box pop-up to send the supplier an email directly.
Just verify that the provider is verified and has a third-party reference before contacting them about the possibility of producing your item.
What’s more, contact with China sourcing agents can also get your more products idea, the professional agents have handled kinds of products sourcing, they know what is popular and what is hot sale.
We hope that this article was able to provide you with a nice starting point to find a niche to build your business around. Finding products to develop can take a huge quantity of time for this whole process.
Overall, the basis for a successful import-export company is to find quality niches and products. Do you have you any further concerns or questions about discovering a niche or product? If yes, feel free to leave them in the comments’ section below.
Import from China actually is not a simple task. If you are working with a sourcing agent like me, then you’re already way ahead of the game. But what if you’re one of the 99% of small business owners or Amazon sellers who are not familiar with importing from China. I want to share my sourcing expertise with you to help you grow business.