Home – New Forums Logistics Online Business, stock imported from China, sales internationally.

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  • #978301
    meze
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    Hi all!

    I have recently started a predominantly online business after sourcing a supplier in China for clothing, and designing and creating my own label.

    It is very very small quantities, and each customer can chose either a custom option where I help them design their own dress or they choose from my collection..

    I am based in Queensland, my stock comes from China, is it possible for me to make online sales internationally to places like UK and USA (from my online shop), I would then receive my stock from China and post internationally… do I become an exporter then? But not selling Australian made goods?

    Do I have to be registered, how does UK or USA come into the equation? (bearing in mind it is speciality orders, in small quantities).

    I trade as a sole trader and have an ABN etc. I will make well under $75,000/yr.

    Thanks so much, I hope you understand what I am asking!!
    Cheers

    #1106036
    Ashman
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    • Total posts: 78
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    meze, post: 117722 wrote:
    I am based in Queensland, my stock comes from China, is it possible for me to make online sales internationally to places like UK and USA (from my online shop), I would then receive my stock from China and post internationally… do I become an exporter then? But not selling Australian made goods?

    Do I have to be registered, how does UK or USA come into the equation? (bearing in mind it is speciality orders, in small quantities).

    You do not have to do anything in addition as an exporter. Your website will obviously have to be setup to recognise countries other than Australia.

    To post your items to countries like the UK & USA you just need to complete a customs declaration and present it at the post office when paying for your postage. It’s very simple.

    #1106037
    JacquiPryor
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    Do I have to be registered, how does UK or USA come into the equation? (bearing in mind it is speciality orders, in small quantities).

    In addition to setting up your company/business in Australia, where you are based, when you plan to create a label and then export those ‘branded’ goods into other countries, you should also be considering whether your chosen ‘brand’ will likely breach the rights of any trademark registration in Australia, as well as your chosen international countries and when possible seek to protect the brand in your chosen territories.

    It’s possible that a name is available and ‘safe’ to use in Australia but then you find out that someone else has registered a trademark in the UK for example and can stop you using that name in that country. To ensure consistency in the branding, I would encourage searches to be conducted:

    Australian Search
    USA Search
    UK Search

    Bear in mind when conducting trademark searches, infringement can occur by using a ‘confusingly similar’ name to something that’s already registered not just an identical name. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

    All the best with it :)

    #1106038
    meze
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Thank you both!
    Yes the branding, that is a very valid point!!

    You mention I need to setup my website to recognise other countries… I have a wordpress website with ventraip just .com not .com.au.. as my website was made before I had my ABN.

    What do I need to do additionally to make it recognise other countries? Do you mean for the ecommerce side of things in the online ‘shop’?

    Thanks again

    #1106039
    meze
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Jacqui, you are so knowledgeable, can I quiz you again?

    So the single word I use to brand my clothing (my label) appears in the American list… what now?

    thanks!

    #1106040
    victorng
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    • Total posts: 626
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    Now you retain Jacqui and get her to have a proper look at it :)

    There’s a number of further enquiries – is it live or dead, does it cover the same or related or similar goods and services, etc.

    BTW, I encourage businesses who manufacture in China to secure trade mark protection over there. It’s a very interesting jurisdiction – it operates on a first to file basis rather than first to use, a rights holder can stop infringing exports (see what I mean here), trademark squatting is a very popular sport and brand owners wanting to sell in China need to protect not just their brand but also the Chinese version of their brand…

    Cheers,
    Victor

    #1106041
    JacquiPryor
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    • Total posts: 2,344
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    Hi Meze,

    Firstly – if you have found the trademark on the USA database:
    a) Does it also cover ‘clothing’ or goods you think to be similar to clothing?
    b) Is it still a ‘live’ trademark? (Have a look to see if it has a registration number or just a serial number, and, whether it says it’s been abandoned anywhere…

    Or – c) – if that’s all too confusing, shoot me an email ([email protected]) or a P.M – let me know what the single word name is and I’ll check it out for you and let you know my thoughts and your options etc… (No charge for this).

    #1106042
    JacquiPryor
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    haha… seems Victor and I were typing and submitting our posts at the same time just then :)

    #1106043
    Ashman
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    • Total posts: 78
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    meze, post: 117840 wrote:
    Thank you both!
    Yes the branding, that is a very valid point!!

    You mention I need to setup my website to recognise other countries… I have a wordpress website with ventraip just .com not .com.au.. as my website was made before I had my ABN.

    What do I need to do additionally to make it recognise other countries? Do you mean for the ecommerce side of things in the online ‘shop’?

    Thanks again

    To start with I would suggest to register a .com.au domain name as the .com would be difficult to rank in Australia via the search engines. I am assumming that Australia will be your main market and USA & UK would be secondary. Australian business = .com.au !! Do not register a domain name with a (-) hyphen and make sure your domain name describes your business using your keywords (that might take some research).

    Wordpress is a content management system originally setup for blog websites. IMO I would not use wordpress as it is limited in terms of development options compared to a CMS like Drupal with the Ubercart shopping cart system. The cart module in Drupal has the option for international shipping addresses and other international shipping options.

    If you want anymore advice just PM me.

    #1106044
    inxpress111
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    • Total posts: 49
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    Just a suggestion – you don’t need to import the goods into Australia and then export them to another country – unless you have to make adjustments here in Australia you are just adding additional costs. You are able to control your shipments, costs and documentation from Australia.

    If you need any more information on this side of things I would be more than happy to assist you.

    #1106045
    King
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    If you get the items sent to AU and then send to USA customer, you have to charge GST as well.

    There is the option of direct sending, but this raises the issue of quality control.

    Overall its quite messy and costly, and one reason why I stopped doing that model about 12 years ago.

    #1106046
    MatthewKeath
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    Ashman, post: 117882 wrote:
    To start with I would suggest to register a .com.au domain name as the .com would be difficult to rank in Australia via the search engines. I am assumming that Australia will be your main market and USA & UK would be secondary. Australian business = .com.au !! Do not register a domain name with a (-) hyphen and make sure your domain name describes your business using your keywords (that might take some research).

    Wordpress is a content management system originally setup for blog websites. IMO I would not use wordpress as it is limited in terms of development options compared to a CMS like Drupal with the Ubercart shopping cart system. The cart module in Drupal has the option for international shipping addresses and other international shipping options.

    If you want anymore advice just PM me.Are you suggesting You need to develop a site using Drupal is the only way to ship internationally? Drupal? Seriously?

    That’s bad advice, and if anyone else is reading this thread, don’t suddenly think you have to use Drupal.

    #1106047
    SavvySME
    Member
    • Total posts: 201
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    I agree, Drupal isn’t your only option.

    Some of the most powerful shopping carts, that a lot of the big players use is Magento. However that would be overkill for your site.

    What I normally use is open-cart which is a light version of the above – again wordpress is probably not a good idea if your business is e-commerce based. Some people do do it, but you will most likely need a change in platform as you expand. Opencart websites work better than wordpress because there is extensive reporting, tax options, currency options and even the ability to create coupon codes and loyalty programs built into the system.

    You would want to use an open source platform regardless because you’d want to be able to pass it through multiple developers and have ever expanding options to add on to your website (open source platforms usually have an active developer community the develop extra functionality that can be added on)

    With regards to shipping internationally, the best and most cost effective way is to hire your own agent there who will receive stock from your manufacturer, pack it for you according to your specifications and post it straight to your customer in the US. Finding a good one may be hard and you may need to actually go over to China to visit them and set them up and train them. It’s a bit of an investment but if you are really seriously about doing it, its the way to go. Otherwise you can hire an agent in UK and USA, maybe even a part time one that you can negotiate on a per order basis and have your orders sent from China to there.

    Best of luck on your business, I’ve always had a soft spot for fashion ;)

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy Huang

    #1106048
    meze
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
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    JacquiPryor, post: 117858 wrote:
    Hi Meze,

    Firstly – if you have found the trademark on the USA database:
    a) Does it also cover ‘clothing’ or goods you think to be similar to clothing?
    b) Is it still a ‘live’ trademark? (Have a look to see if it has a registration number or just a serial number, and, whether it says it’s been abandoned anywhere…

    Or – c) – if that’s all too confusing, shoot me an email ([email protected]) or a P.M – let me know what the single word name is and I’ll check it out for you and let you know my thoughts and your options etc… (No charge for this).

    Hi Jacqui,
    Have emailed you!
    Thanks so much,
    Mia.

    #1106049
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
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    Hi Mia – just got your email so will look over and be in touch shortly :)

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