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  • #990656
    1911naomi
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    Hi i am wanting to start an online business selling kids product i will import fro china,
    I have done a lot of reading into setting up an online business and have some samples being sent to me.
    I want to see if there is anything i have missed as it seems all so complex:)
    Also if there are any other online baby stores or anyone what imports products from China that could give me some advice, allow me to ask some questions i would much appreciate this.

    I want to see if this order of how to proceed is spot on too

    -Business plan (simple one)
    -Marketing plan (simple one)
    -Register a business name (cheaper and easier then a company at this stage?)
    -I already have an ABN from way back
    -Create a logo or get one designed
    -start creating a website as may take a little time
    -Get samples and select products and then order products
    -Organise packaging
    -Organise insurance
    -Start selling

    Seems tricky organising packaging – and also hard to start up on importing when Minimum orders are say 500 items a product per colour and I will need at least 4 colours for customers to choose from so thats so it will seem i will need 500×4 colours x 4 different products so a lot, wish minimum quantities where less at least just the first order to see if it takes off:)

    #1178014
    MissSassy
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    All of the above and more – The more research you do before getting started the better.

    All the items listed are essentially a business plan – don’t forget a budget too as this is the area which can ultimately make or break your dream.

    **MODERATED**

    #1178015
    Craig.Smith
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    I wouldn’t under estimate the online marketing plan. If you are an online store essentially your sales funnel i.e. how people will find you is absolutely critical. Of course once you have people on your website, it will need to be optimised to convert those customers.

    #1178016
    Past-Member
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    Hi, you haven’t said what age the product is for. There are special requirements for 36 months and under. See govt page https://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/974860

    #1178017
    1911naomi
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    KarenC, post: 207365 wrote:
    Hi, you haven’t said what age the product is for. There are special requirements for 36 months and under. See govt page https://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/974860

    I really really appreciate you brining this to my attention. I have however called the australian safety standards to check and also they put me through to another area to re confirm there are no specific safety standards for these products. So exciting!!!!! hopefully the samples are what I’m hoping them to be

    #1178018
    EdmundPelgen
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Wow where to begin. Having done this with my wife in the children’s shoes space it’s been interesting to see how the market has changed.

    My biggest piece of advice is to NOT simply buy generic product and sell it but rather create your own brand and have that made in China.

    A brand you control will not get devalued when others buy the same generic product from China and dump it on ebay for a third of your price.

    My wife was once the exclusive distributor of a brand of children’s shoes called Little Blue Lamb. Unfortunately, the manufacturer got greedy and happily sold product under the counter to some local Chinese retailers who dumped the product onto ebay. What once was a $60 product can now be bought on ebay for less than $15.

    At some point you will need to go to China to meet and eyeball suppliers. Unfortunately there are many who are in it for the quick sale with no intention of developing a long term relationship. You can only build trust with them and filter out the turds by going there.

    The last bit of advice is get educated about seo and online marketing. Don’t build a monster site on Magento as you will be tied to ongoing development costs. A platform like BigCommerce will be perfect.

    Be aware that for e-commerce sites to do well in Google, they need to have comprehensive product descriptions so the pages are considered “quality” and unique. Stay away from copying other generic descriptions.

    Think about ongoing link building and pr to get links to your site. The best links come from media and blogs who are writing about your “story” which is why having a brand is important.

    Those up and coming new kid on the block stories are so common.

    I don’t have any solutions re the min order quantity issue. My wife was the chief negotiator there. My only advice is that most of your sales will come from just a few colour/size combinations which is a PITA so I suggest going small with size and color range initially.

    Good luck,

    Edmund

    #1178019
    1911naomi
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    Thanks so much for sharing all this with me

    My products is a generic product made in china but i haven’t seen this product in australia.

    My concern is if i was to create my own mould as such then the start up costs would jump up a lot? Ideally i have $6k to put in to start so the less costs the better.

    I was concerned however at people liking what i have and selling it themselves, such as approaching a store and they importing the items itself.
    But this could happen with everything really?

    When people started selling your wives items for less on ebay was she becoming successful?

    How do you control a brand/item?

    What did you wife do once item was sold on ebay?

    At this stage i have the wholesaler off alibaba. I spoke to a lot of wholesalers (online) and this company get back to me within hours each time i contact them as oppose to days or other wholesalers prefer not to do business with me once they find out I’m a start up business.

    The wholesaler i chose have the products I’m after to and i have received samples.

    Before going to china and meeting them do you have to go off gut instinct and how efficient the company is.

    I don’t know much about websites besides what I’ve been reading into now but I’m thinking of using shoptify to create a website but getting a logo professionally created for around the $160 mark.

    I have always wanted to start an online business but always sceptical that it will fail as so many small businesses do but now I’ve found a product i am passionate about and proud to provide and sell.

    I have negotiated Min Order Quantity but i guess all i can do is ask and they can say now:) Once they give you a quote do you negotiate or is that generally the cost. I will ask them once i finalise what I’m after but just curious on others experience.
    What does you wife do now
    Again thanks

    #1178020
    EdmundPelgen
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    Hi Naomi,

    OK:

    In terms of keeping start up costs you can definitely start with the generic stuff to get sales happening and keep costs low.

    That being said we did not have to go though the process of getting custom moulds for soles (shoes) – we simply chose from the many soles they had and had our brand printed on the sole insert and the packaging.

    If your product is good and relatively new nothing you do will stop people eventually finding the supplier and trying to have a go themselves which is why building your own brand is critical. How else do these newcomers get sales unless they undercut you?

    Once the manufacturer started selling to ebay sellers we simply stopped buying their brand and pushed out own brand. Simple as that.

    By that time we had solid rankings in Google that were generating good traffic.

    In terms of the website, Shopify or Big Commerce are good robust options to go to market. alternatively you could use Woocommerce.

    For visibility in Google you are going to need to get two things right.

    1) Your onsite optimisations so Google knows what your pages are all about. At the risk of being a little “pitchy” I sell a training product called Instant Google Visibility which is all about optimising your website. You can read more about it here: https://www.facebook.com/OnlineKickstart/posts/706882502743055

    2) The second thing you’re going to need is links. Start with making sure the business is listed in all of the quality local directories,not the dodgy ones..that will get you started and give you some time to start getting press or working out other ways to get quality links to your website.

    Good luck – Ecommerce is challenging but rewarding.

    Ed

    #1178021
    alliedib
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    • Total posts: 453
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    1911naomi, post: 207286 wrote:
    Hi i am wanting to start an online business selling kids product i will import fro china,

    I want to see if this order of how to proceed is spot on too

    -Business plan (simple one)
    -Marketing plan (simple one)
    -Register a business name (cheaper and easier then a company at this stage?)
    -I already have an ABN from way back
    -Create a logo or get one designed
    -start creating a website as may take a little time
    -Get samples and select products and then order products
    -Organise packaging
    -Organise insurance
    -Start selling

    Hi Naomi,

    From the looks of it you are receiving some really good information here.

    Regarding my line of expertise – I would probably suggest you probably put the insurance up a lot higher (I would think up as high as 2nd to Business plan). The reason being is that Public & Products Liability for imported childrens products is not necessarily easy to obtain – certainly it is something that a lot of insurers don’t want to be involved in (especially direct insurers that deal with the general public only) and with every insurer offering a different level of cover it is something that you want to get right.

    I would suggest contacting an insurance broker to start the process so that you at least have an idea of the cost (and the availability) – you don’t want to leave the insurance to the last minute and find out that the policy is going to cost you a fortune or (even worse) you cannot get cover and you have a garage full of stock that you are now personally liable for… forewarned being forearmed and all that…

    I have handled my fair share of insurance for imported childrens products previously (clothing / swimming aids / bibs / play equipment to name a few) so I am more than happy to have a chat to you about it if you like.

    Good luck with it!

    Regards,

    Mark

    #1178022
    1911naomi
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    • Total posts: 124
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    Thanks,

    For others with online businesses did you have insurance when you were just testing the waters or later on once first lot of products sold.

    Only as people i know don’t have insurance and id love not to have it to minimise start up costs however i worked in a bank so have “insurance insurance insurance” drummed into me.
    So wondering what everyone did.

    Mark- i will give you a call (i have an insurance broker i use for other things but no harm in 2 quotes)

    alliedib, post: 207524 wrote:
    Hi Naomi,

    From the looks of it you are receiving some really good information here.

    Regarding my line of expertise – I would probably suggest you probably put the insurance up a lot higher (I would think up as high as 2nd to Business plan). The reason being is that Public & Products Liability for imported childrens products is not necessarily easy to obtain – certainly it is something that a lot of insurers don’t want to be involved in (especially direct insurers that deal with the general public only) and with every insurer offering a different level of cover it is something that you want to get right.

    I would suggest contacting an insurance broker to start the process so that you at least have an idea of the cost (and the availability) – you don’t want to leave the insurance to the last minute and find out that the policy is going to cost you a fortune or (even worse) you cannot get cover and you have a garage full of stock that you are now personally liable for… forewarned being forearmed and all that…

    I have handled my fair share of insurance for imported childrens products previously (clothing / swimming aids / bibs / play equipment to name a few) so I am more than happy to have a chat to you about it if you like.

    Good luck with it!

    Regards,

    Mark

    #1178023
    alliedib
    Member
    • Total posts: 453
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    1911naomi, post: 207528 wrote:
    For others with online businesses did you have insurance when you were just testing the waters or later on once first lot of products sold.

    Only as people i know don’t have insurance and id love not to have it to minimise start up costs however i worked in a bank so have “insurance insurance insurance” drummed into me.
    So wondering what everyone did.

    No worries Naomi – the market for this type of cover will be quite limited but I am always happy to help a fellow soloist…

    I know an awful lot of startups that chose not to have insurance before they got ‘bigger’ and whilst this may be ok for some, for most product based businesses its generally a false economy… unfortunately you can’t predict if/when an incident will occur (could be day 1, could be day X, could be (hopefully) never) and with your target market there is always an exacerbated chance of this happening (as I can now appreciate having a 10month old…)

    without getting into the whole ‘insurance v no insurance’ debate I guess its a matter of what risk people are willing to take – if you are able to cover any liabilities yourself, then no insurance is needed. If not, you transfer the risk away to an insurer… but thats a whole different topic lol.

    Regards,

    Mark

    #1178024
    1911naomi
    Member
    • Total posts: 124
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    Hi Mark,

    FYI I called you earlier and left a message with my number.
    If you get a chance to call me within in the hour that would be great as my little one is currently napping:)
    However you may be busy so call when when you get a chance
    Just don’t know how ti private message on this forum.
    Thanks
    Naomi

    alliedib, post: 207524 wrote:
    Hi Naomi,

    From the looks of it you are receiving some really good information here.

    Regarding my line of expertise – I would probably suggest you probably put the insurance up a lot higher (I would think up as high as 2nd to Business plan). The reason being is that Public & Products Liability for imported childrens products is not necessarily easy to obtain – certainly it is something that a lot of insurers don’t want to be involved in (especially direct insurers that deal with the general public only) and with every insurer offering a different level of cover it is something that you want to get right.

    I would suggest contacting an insurance broker to start the process so that you at least have an idea of the cost (and the availability) – you don’t want to leave the insurance to the last minute and find out that the policy is going to cost you a fortune or (even worse) you cannot get cover and you have a garage full of stock that you are now personally liable for… forewarned being forearmed and all that…

    I have handled my fair share of insurance for imported childrens products previously (clothing / swimming aids / bibs / play equipment to name a few) so I am more than happy to have a chat to you about it if you like.

    Good luck with it!

    Regards,

    Mark

    #1178025
    IncredibleCo
    Member
    • Total posts: 406
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    EdmundPelgen, post: 207477 wrote:
    Wow where to begin. Having done this with my wife in the children’s shoes space it’s been interesting to see how the market has changed.

    My biggest piece of advice is to NOT simply buy generic product and sell it but rather create your own brand and have that made in China.

    A brand you control will not get devalued when others buy the same generic product from China and dump it on ebay for a third of your price.

    My wife was once the exclusive distributor of a brand of children’s shoes called Little Blue Lamb. Unfortunately, the manufacturer got greedy and happily sold product under the counter to some local Chinese retailers who dumped the product onto ebay. What once was a $60 product can now be bought on ebay for less than $15.

    At some point you will need to go to China to meet and eyeball suppliers. Unfortunately there are many who are in it for the quick sale with no intention of developing a long term relationship. You can only build trust with them and filter out the turds by going there.

    The last bit of advice is get educated about seo and online marketing. Don’t build a monster site on Magento as you will be tied to ongoing development costs. A platform like BigCommerce will be perfect.

    Be aware that for e-commerce sites to do well in Google, they need to have comprehensive product descriptions so the pages are considered “quality” and unique. Stay away from copying other generic descriptions.

    Think about ongoing link building and pr to get links to your site. The best links come from media and blogs who are writing about your “story” which is why having a brand is important.

    Those up and coming new kid on the block stories are so common.

    I don’t have any solutions re the min order quantity issue. My wife was the chief negotiator there. My only advice is that most of your sales will come from just a few colour/size combinations which is a PITA so I suggest going small with size and color range initially.

    Good luck,

    Edmund

    This is quality solid advice you don’t often see here. Two thumbs up!

    #1178027
    Pab23q
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    EdmundPelgen, post: 207477 wrote:
    Wow where to begin. Having done this with my wife in the children’s shoes space it’s been interesting to see how the market has changed.

    My biggest piece of advice is to NOT simply buy generic product and sell it but rather create your own brand and have that made in China.

    A brand you control will not get devalued when others buy the same generic product from China and dump it on ebay for a third of your price.

    My wife was once the exclusive distributor of a brand of children’s shoes called Little Blue Lamb. Unfortunately, the manufacturer got greedy and happily sold product under the counter to some local Chinese retailers who dumped the product onto ebay. What once was a $60 product can now be bought on ebay for less than $15.

    At some point you will need to go to China to meet and eyeball suppliers. Unfortunately there are many who are in it for the quick sale with no intention of developing a long term relationship. You can only build trust with them and filter out the turds by going there.

    The last bit of advice is get educated about seo and online marketing. Don’t build a monster site on Magento as you will be tied to ongoing development costs. A platform like BigCommerce will be perfect.

    Be aware that for e-commerce sites to do well in Google, they need to have comprehensive product descriptions so the pages are considered “quality” and unique. Stay away from copying other generic descriptions.

    Think about ongoing link building and pr to get links to your site. The best links come from media and blogs who are writing about your “story” which is why having a brand is important.

    Those up and coming new kid on the block stories are so common.

    I don’t have any solutions re the min order quantity issue. My wife was the chief negotiator there. My only advice is that most of your sales will come from just a few colour/size combinations which is a PITA so I suggest going small with size and color range initially.

    Good luck,

    Edmund

    Hi Edmund,

    I just wanted to say a big thanks for this advice. This is a big eye opener when trying to start an online business from nothing.

    I have a background in IT, so the tech side of things is pretty straight forward. Finding a supplier I can trust and build a relationship with is where I am struggling. The other day I told my wife that I may need to one day fly to China to source one out!

    Just like Naomi, I want to get involved in the kids market but going through all the suppliers in Alibaba – a lot of them want a minimum of 500 per item. My goal is to have an online business with around 50 products to start off with, and financially it seems impossible if I have to order 50 x 500 items! When I start contacting them I think I am going to go with this approach:

    “If I spend X amount of money with your business can I get 100 x Product A/B/C/D/E instead of 500 x one product”

    I have never owned my own business so I am hoping I can negotiate these sorts of terms.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I would love to bounce ideas with you guys.

    Thanks,
    Pablo

    #1178028
    1911naomi
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    • Total posts: 124
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    Initially the supplier said 1000 MOQ per product per colour but i got them down to 300 MOQ per product per colour.

    So i have ordred 1200 sets – 300 per colour – 4 colours

    So i think they are generally negotiable, you can always talk to a heap of suppliers before you come to one that agrees to negotiate.

    Im lucky that i don’t have a huge variety that i need to start with

    This is all new to me too but if i can help with anything let me know

    Pab23q, post: 208897 wrote:
    Hi Edmund,

    I just wanted to say a big thanks for this advice. This is a big eye opener when trying to start an online business from nothing.

    I have a background in IT, so the tech side of things is pretty straight forward. Finding a supplier I can trust and build a relationship with is where I am struggling. The other day I told my wife that I may need to one day fly to China to source one out!

    Just like Naomi, I want to get involved in the kids market but going through all the suppliers in Alibaba – a lot of them want a minimum of 500 per item. My goal is to have an online business with around 50 products to start off with, and financially it seems impossible if I have to order 50 x 500 items! When I start contacting them I think I am going to go with this approach:

    “If I spend X amount of money with your business can I get 100 x Product A/B/C/D/E instead of 500 x one product”

    I have never owned my own business so I am hoping I can negotiate these sorts of terms.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Feel free to contact me with any questions. I would love to bounce ideas with you guys.

    Thanks,
    Pablo

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