Nearly every time I mention the words “China” & “Branded Products” together, it’s a warning about how you CANNOT buy branded products from China.
You know exactly what I’m talking about – all those websites with their too good to be true “buy one get one free” deals on all the top products and brands, such as:
Electronics – Apple, Samsung, Intel, Sony etc.
Clothing and Footwear – Nike, Adidas, Puma etc.
Designer Clothing and Accessories – Armani, Gucci, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana etc.
And many more!
Sites such as these are everywhere online, preying on newbies who don’t know any better (I still get emails every week from people who have lost a lot of money by falling for these scams).
BUT all my warnings about branded products from China have created a bit of confusion that I want to clear up today.
When I talk about buying branded products from China, I am referring to Western brands (plus some Asian electronics companies of course) – big consumer brands whose products you will find on Amazon and your local high street.
But what about actual CHINESE brands?
That is a question I have been hearing more and more of lately and really that’s not a surprise – after all China is a huge market now and many companies who were previously unknown outside of their domestic market are themselves turning into big international brands.
This has created a big opportunity for more savvy business people who know how to deal with Chinese sellers and Alibaba! But that brings us back to the earlier question – can you actually source genuine products of these Chinese brands from Alibaba?
And the answer is YES! In many cases these products can actually be very profitable with excellent margins as the prices are set for the domestic market and are therefore very attractive when converting to European pricing.
Of course the usual rules still apply and people with high buying power, who are able to order in large quantities (getting the lowest possible prices) and ship via sea freight will make the most money.
So what kind of Chinese brands should you be looking for? After all there are literally thousands out there so how do you know where to start?
The best advice I can give you here is to search for niches/markets that are dominated by Chinese brands. You want them to be the market leaders, rather than the smaller players copying what the big boys are doing. Here are a few good examples so you can see what I mean:
Kangertech, Aspire, Innokin – three world leading brands in the electronic cigarettes market.
Bluesky – a hugely popular brand for nail/gel polishes.
Konad – a world leader in nail art stamping products (they are a Korean company but the principle stays the same).
These are just a few examples, but there are countless other companies out there who will be perfect for this idea – you just need to do proper research! As always if you have a good knowledge of a smaller niche (so no, liking video games doesn’t qualify!) then you are perfectly placed to uncover some hidden Chinese brands.
Okay, so once you’ve pinpointed a few potential products/brands – what next?
Well it’s actually surprisingly easy to find the genuine Alibaba profile for these companies (yes the brand/manufacturer themselves will have a profile on Alibaba, which makes your job so much easier) – all you have to do is search Google for “brand name + Alibaba” and what you’re looking for is usually the very first result!
Another hugely simple and effective option is to just contact them directly via their main website. Unlike if you emailed Western brands directly, as long as you present yourself professionally and politely (take a look at this post if that’s something you struggle with: How To Deal With Alibaba Suppliers) then you will almost always get a response from these Chinese companies.
Of course they won’t always be willing to deal with you directly, and may instead pass you on to their distributor, but that is fine as well.
Now, this should really go without saying, but you CAN still get fakes when sourcing products from these big Chinese brands as their items are copied, just the same as Apple’s and Nike’s. So you have to do your usual due diligence and carefully verify who you’re dealing with.
I have already written extensive guides on this topic, so there really is no excuse to get caught out here. Just read over these carefully and ask me any questions you have (BEFORE ordering) and you will save yourself a lot of headache and money!
And while we’re on the subject of following procedure and doing things properly when importing products from China, I want to point out that the same rules still apply re: margin and profitability.
This isn’t a get rich quick scheme (give up now if you’re searching for that) and you still need to do proper market research and calculations before you place any orders. You cannot just assume that because it’s a Chinese brand that not everyone has heard you’re going to make a killing selling their products on eBay with no effort! That is not how this whole importing business works and the competition is still strong, even if it is less than with well-known, Western brands.
Buying power and selling channels are still as important as ever and someone ordering 10,000 units to sell on their own website will nearly always make more profit (per item) than someone ordering 100 units to stick on eBay.
I know these are all things that you are, hopefully, well aware of but I still wanted to remind you nonetheless.
Long time blog readers and owners of my Easy Auction Business course won’t be surprised by my next piece of advice, which is… OEM!
Very few people take advantage of the OEM capabilities of Chinese brands, even though it’s still a terrific way to create your own unique product (even if only the packaging and logo are different) which is probably the best way to make real profit online.
In fact placing an OEM order with a larger, more established company actually offers a lot of benefits over using a smaller factory as you can really take advantage of their experience and expertise.
OEM is always one of my favourite methods for selling on eBay, so check out this detailed post I did if you want to find out more and learn about all the different possibilities available to you when you modify existing products:
To sum up today’s post, dealing directly with big Chinese brands, who are market leaders within their own niche, can present a lot of opportunities that most sellers are completely unaware of.
Best of all, sourcing from these companies negates two of the biggest risks importers face when ordering from China – scams and quality control.
Scams – as long as you ensure you are dealing with the right company, then it’s hugely unlikely (practically impossible even) that you’re going to be scammed. These are million dollar brands (in some cases billion dollar!) so they are not out to scam people online!
Quality control – as mentioned, you are looking to deal with market leading companies, who often produce better quality products than any Western brand, so this means you are in safe hands when it comes to quality.
Overall, I highly recommend you seriously research and consider this opportunity. Do some calculations and if everything looks good – take action! Don’t look back on this in a year’s time and regret that you didn’t do anything.
I’ll see you on Friday for this week’s Q&A (no.46!).
All the best,