Chapter 3 – Finding and Selecting Products to Import

This eBook assumes that your company is a small or medium size importer with an established customer base in your home country, or a company wanting to start their own importing business but is lacking the experience to do so.

There is usually no better reason for starting an import business or increasing your import volume than to improve your company’s overall profit margin.

The China Opportunity

China is fast becoming a production superpower, manufacturing a hefty portion of the world’s consumer products. Because the Chinese economy is in its growth period, the cost of manufacturing remains very low compared to elsewhere in the world.

This presents a fantastic opportunity to you as a seller. By sourcing your merchandise directly from China, you are able to get extremely low prices per unit and turn them around for a good profit in your own country.

You need to spend substantial time evaluating your home market for suitable products that are in demand, or will soon be in demand, and customers who will eagerly buy them. By simply following the same buying strategy your competitors are pursuing, you will only end up importing too many “Me Too” products.

China manufactures millions of different products. Many of which you probably have never even seen in your home country. Delivering the right product at the right time will have a much healthier effect on your profit margin than importing “Me Too” products. 

Therefore, by all means, avoid selecting products that are already being imported by large buying organizations like retail chain stores, department stores, or specialized importers with their own distribution channels. It will prove too difficult for you to compete with their buying power and their own fully staffed buying offices in China.

Timing is Everything

Since it will take months for your products to reach your warehouse, a forward thinking strategy is essential to avoid piling up goods that once they arrive nobody wants any longer.

Spotting emerging trends can be very time consuming, if you do not know where to start. There is a nice software program available that makes your work much easier and saves you a lot of time. The program is called “Trend Cockpit.” You can download it from the internet using the following link:

This program is amazing because it allows you to use a cockpit to log on to trendsetters like Amazon, eBay, Google, YouTube, and many more. Altogether, there are 34 different web sites that trend cockpit monitors. It is a big program at 200MB but it is worth downloading. Included in the download, you will receive a 45 minute video explaining in detail how to use the program and where to find the latest trends.

Trendy products allow you to make a lot of profit when you are among the first to import them to your country. The challenge is to move quickly to have the goods manufactured, delivered, and sold before the trend ends.

The Fast Pace of Change

Today the market changes fast. The days are gone that you could sell the same products for several years. Today, the typical trend lasts about 8 months, maybe a little longer for a strong trend. This is another reason you need to visit Chinese suppliers frequently or you will miss out on new developments. Successful importers always know in advance what is in the pipeline and who other than the manufactures can tell you.

Just selecting trendy products is not good enough. The quality of the product is as important as selecting the right product to import. You should never ever import products, if you have any doubts about their or the supplier’s quality.

If you keep this in mind, you will naturally have to deal with fewer major quality problems and issues.

The best initial profit means nothing if you have quality problems later and are forced to compensate your customers for their losses. To sum it all up, you must be sure that you do not only find the right products but also find the best suppliers in China to manufacture for you.

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