Import From China Business

2010-2014  Copyright

A practical guide for starting a small business

Return from How to Sell Products to Importing Business

Return from How to Sell Products to Home Page

How to Sell Products - Overview

How to Sell Products is a question that needs to be answered early in the planning phase for your import from China business.  All import businesses are required to sell products for a profit in order to survive.  How you actually go about selling the product differs depending  your objectives.  Ever since President Nixon of the United States formalized the trade relationship with China in 1972, American Importers have begun to explore creative ways to sell imported goods from China.  Many of these selling methods have been used by importers all over the world while some methods such as the use of the Internet are more popular in the U.S.

How to Sell Products

12 Ways to Sell Imported Products

  1. Sell Wholesale to Retailers
    Selling your imported product to retailers can be a viable option if the product is in high demand or has high margin.  Otherwise, the need to generate sales leads, to travel and to make sales presentations to retailers make selling a single product inefficient.  This method is sometimes better suited to selling an entire product line.
  2. Sell to Distributors
    You could sell your product in bulk to distributors who already have an established customer base.  They usually have a specific geographic or industry coverage.  This approach can get your product distributed quickly.  The down side is that you'll need to provide more margin than selling the product direct to retailers yourself.
  3. Sell to Manufacturers
    This is applicable if you have an imported product that can be used as raw materials by manufacturers of other products.  Many small manufacturers do not have the time or money to travel abroad to look for quality imported parts for their manufactured goods.  This selling channel can be a great opportunity.
  4. Sell Direct to Consumers Using Direct Mail
    You will need to find a product that meets the demand for a clearly defined market.  You will then be required to create direct mail pieces which target the potential buyers.  The advantage is that you don't need to have a physical store location to accomplish this selling method.

5.  Sell to Wholesalers Using Direct Mail
If you can successfully sell direct to wholesalers without having to go through a distributor, you may end up keeping more of your profits. Some products are more likely to be sold through direct mail than others.  Simple products with benefits that can be easily demonstrated using pictures and words fit this type of selling.  Similar to selling to consumers using direct mail, you will need to develop a rich database of potential wholesale customers.

6.  Sell Using Catalogs
In this method, you can find an existing catalog and try to get listed or you can create your own catalog.  Creating your own catalog makes senses only if you have a product line or multiple products to sell.  The key to catalog sales is to obtain a rich database of potential buyers for your imported products.  The customer list could be created based on income, geography, sex, age, and or lifestyle.

7.  Sell Imported Goods on eBay
Millions of small businesses have started on the ebay.   As an importer, there are a number of interesting options available to you.  If you have already found your import source of goods, then list your unique or interesting product on ebay.  Ebay has upwards of 66 million visitors who could potentially be exposed to your product.

Ebay could also be your potential supply of imported products.  You can check ebay's 30+ international country sites.  You could end up finding the product that you want to sell in your home country.  You'll need to establish a relationship and buy the products as a wholesaler.

8.  Sell Imported Goods in your own Stores
If you have an existing store location, adding an imported product to gain extra sales and profit is a natural progression.  Stick with products that you are familiar with and are consistent with other products that you are already selling in the store.  If you do not already have a store, you can open one to sell your imported goods. However, beware that you are going to take on two major tasks at the same time: opening a store and importing products from China.  While this is possible, the time and effort may be over whelming for some import entrepreneurs.

9.  Use the Internet as a Store Front
Ever since the invention of the Internet, millions of business owners have used a web page as their store front.  The cost of having an Internet store is negligible compared to the option of having an actual physical store front location.  Even if you already have a physical store, you can also add an Internet store to generate additional revenue.  The challenge to any web initiative is to generate traffic for your web site.  Many Internet store owners have seen their retail site lost in the Internet space because they simply put their store up but they have never done anything to generate Internet traffic.

10. Sell on Home Shopping Television Network Shows
These types of television shows are always looking for unique and interesting products to increase their viewership.  You typically need to offer a special price for the show and be ready with a steady supply.   If you run out of product during the show, you have wasted your time and the television network’s time.  The challenge to getting on a Shopping Show is that the television studio and producers are consistently bombarded with individuals like yourself who wants to get on the show.  So you'll need to be persistent.

11. Sell Through the "Tupperware Party" Concept
Many import entrepreneurs have started by inviting family and friends and friends of friends to a party to unveil their products.  This type of selling is non-threatening because you are selling to people who you already know.  It's a selling concept that has been proven by companies such as Mary Kay, Tupperware and others. The key to success is to constantly have a list of individuals to invite to your show and tell parties.

12.Sell Through Flea Markets
Depending on the type of your imported product, this may be a good fit.  As a start, you can sell the product yourself at your local flea market.  As you grow, you can establish relationships with other merchants around the country to sell your imported product or products at flea markets for a profit.

After you have successfully found a source for your import product, deciding how to sell your product is critical.  Take the time to analyze this step to ensure that your import from China business is successful.


Real Experiences!

Steve K., Import to Greece

“I am looking for a distributor in China to help me import goods to Greece. Thanks for all the information in pointing me in the right direction.“