Starting an internet business: what to sell, how much, etc.

I am at the beginning stages of starting an internet business and I am debating with my wife whether or not to sell home products or exercise equipment. I live in Los Angeles. Prices? Catalogs? Etc…How can you help?

ANSWER:

There are so many products made in China under the categories of Home Products and Exercise Equipment that may be of interest to your market’s buyers. Finding a list of products is the easy part, picking the right single product is the hard part.

I think the first important step should be for you to decide the exact products you feel would sell well via your specific network. If you start asking random suppliers and agents to introduce their product, you will probably get a lot of interest, but only some of the products will be a good fit for your market and most likely you may loose focus.

So do things the other way around. First pick your target product, then contact suppliers of that specific product and that product only. Trade shows are an excellent way to meet potential factories to represent, but you can also use websites like www.GlobalSources.com that now has a virtual trade show to generate a list of products and begin to approach suppliers asking for prices and catalogs.

Now some words of caution.

Find a supplier you feel comfortable with. If you sense they are not trustworthy during your initial discussions, then move on to another supplier.

Do your due diligence. Get some references. Speak to their buyers in other countries to get a feel for what it is like to work with this factory.

One way to verify is to visit the factory on a regular basis to keep an eye on what product is shipping where. Hire an agent to represent you if you don’t get to China often.

To summarize, I highly suggest you first focus on picking a specific product. Second, start looking for suppliers you feel are honest and with a good reputation. Third, even if they appear honest, you still need to get a good contract in place after doing your due diligence. Finally, always keep a close eye on what is happening around the factory and realize that placing the PO is the beginning not the end of the project management process. Pray for the best, plan for the worst!

 

Wishing you successful China Sourcing!

Best Regards,
Mike Bellamy

Director, www.PSSchina.com

Board Member, www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org
Author, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing”

 

Reference Links:

Global Sources Virtual Trade Show for Home Products

Providers of Due Diligence, Supplier Audits and general sourcing support can be found here.

 

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