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  • #991327
    Importoz
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    Hi there

    I’d like to start a party supplies business. I would like to purchase bulk amounts of party products, plates, cups, hats etc, however I’d prefer not to buy in small packs of 8, I’d like a carton of 100, for example. I’ve been on Alibaba, however as I’m starting out, I am unable to purchase large quantities, of 1000 or more. I’d also like majority of the themes to be Disney? Can someone please steer me in the right direction? I think I need to find a company who produce these products, and liaise with them directly, but how??

    #1180959
    Johny
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    The only option you have is to look at local wholesalers of these types of products. ie. Those that authorized and have already imported them.

    Any manufacturer on Alibaba of branded products like Disney will not-

    – sell you the quantities you are looking for and
    – sell them to you anyway because as they are required to have had audits completed for that company to manufacture their products, you also need to be an authorised buyer of those products.

    Anybody on Alibaba / Aliexpress offering Disney products and is willing to sell them to you without asking to see your authorization to buy the products is almost guaranteed to be selling fake stuff.

    #1180960
    Importoz
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    Hi Johny

    Thankyou for your reply.

    Do you know how I can become an authorised buyer of these products? Does this mean I need a license from Disney?

    #1180961
    Johny
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    To import (real) Disney products from a manufacturer, they need to have completed an audit to make the goods and you need to be authorized by Disney to import them. But as I said, these manufacturers will not deal in the quantities you are looking for.

    I would think there would already be several Australian importers who import Disney products. I do know that different importers may only be allowed to import certain products. For example I have dealt with a company that can import ceramic stuff like coffee mugs but not other things. And I would be pretty sure the “party supplies” range is already being done.

    I would also be pretty sure they aren’t going to be interested in someone buying what is essentially a few products to become an importer, although happy to be proven wrong. Part of that is protecting their existing partners.

    That leaves two other options.

    1. Buying from overseas wholesalers. I have no idea what restrictions there are on importing ready made products from an OS wholesaler (that would be akin to parallel trading), and you would need to find out. But I am almost completely sure you will not find a legitimate wholesaler of these on Alibaba / Aliexpress.

    2. Buying from an Australian based wholesaler who can and has already imported the goods.

    #1180962
    MichaelDigital
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    Just as a point, why does it have to be Disney? – I’m certain there are many manufacturers of fairy tale, kids themed party goods out there – but a simple Google search for Disney themed party goods reveals you can purchase bulk amounts from eBay – and I don’t believe you need any kind of special license to sell this stuff – there is always someone who will quote the big bad rule book at you but starting out and building a local party supplies biz is not going to put any copyright noses out of joint – take a look on eBay to commence. Alibaba is a fantastic resource, don’t be put off by narrow minded xenophobes – it is largely O.K you just have to make sure to use escrow – and pick gold medal businesses -best of luck to you.

    #1180963
    Johny
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    xenophobes

    WOW! That’s a big grown up people word.

    Care to explain what it means and how it relates to my comments?

    If you want to make it personal I’ll be glad to oblige by pulling the rest of your comments to pieces, and why it may be better that you don’t offer advice if you have no idea of what you are talking about.

    #1180964
    LucasArthur
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    Hi ImportOz

    Gotta say this post appears to have taken a turn for the worst, even though all answers are related to the OP’s question with some great advice provided by forum regular. Little bit dumb founded to be honest.

    OP queries getting party goods from alibaba and wanting to deal with companies that produce said goods being Disney. Mind you, i can understand OP wanting to use Disney products as you get immediate credibility and affiliation of brands as well as having kids that say “i want i want” when they see said items.. Inbuilt tag along marketing, sweet :)

    If i can provide some advice, not sure how weighty it is, although i would follow Johny’s comments and understand that the quantities you are talking about will be very difficult to acquire products from licensed manufacturers. Many reasons for this, primarily will be volume although main reason is that you do not hold the LICENSE to sell this product. Companies in each respective trade zone pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, just to have the right to manufacture (after exhaustive testing etc etc and approvals required by Disney eg).

    To answer your question about how to become licensed, ouch, deep pockets is the answer for this one.. Its a license to print money and needs a print factory printing money to start. Dont be disheartened as you may just be asking the wrong question, maybe as Johny says you just need top locate a local wholesaler of these items. Yes the margins will be less and your profit will diminish, although you are also not investing MILLIONS into becoming a license holder which, realistically, is near impossible to achieve fora start up as such.

    The post by Michael adds some variables about buying from eBay etc and looking at different branding other than Disney, although if you are after appeal and want brand recognition i certainly understand you asking for Disney items :) What kid, or adult for that matter, wouldnt want a Buzz Light Year Party :)

    You could certainly, potentially, find an unscrupulous Gold Level seller on alibaba selling dodgy non official Disney products and that may suit your purpose. Although highly unlikely for the quantities you are discussing, and this is from moi who has a little hands on importing experience and backed by Johnys extensive sourcing expertise.ANd please note, just because a company is GOLD LEVEL on alibaba, do not trust them implicitly – Due diligence is paramount..

    Back to what inspired this reply, i am truly curious if the term ‘xenophobe’ was being used for Johny.. Personally, i would deem that quite a derogatory statement and considering his replies were on point to the OP’s question, unsure why this word would be used and phrased as it was…

    Anyways OP, sounds like a little out of the box thinking may be required to obtain items locally to keep it cost effective and practical initially, well until you make your first millions that is :D

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1180965
    MichaelDigital
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    Let me clarify my use of the term ‘xenophobes’ – I was not in fact directing it at anyone specifically – it has been my experience that there is a lot fear mongering being applied to AliBaba – in many forums and places about the web – and much of it is completely unfounded, of course ‘due diligence’ is essential for any marketplace – eBay & Amazon included – so I was referring to this more than anything – people may take offence at lots of things, but we still live in a free society and free speech is one of those rights I choose to exercise – and no offence was intended.
    https://www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/Home/display.jsp?contentId=dcp_home_help_licensee_requirements_en&forPrint=false&language=en&preview=false&imageShow=0&pressRoom=US&translationOf=null&region=0&ccPK=null
    This link may be of use to the OP to investigate Disney licensing

    #1180966
    LucasArthur
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    MichaelDigital, post: 211271 wrote:
    Let me clarify my use of the term ‘xenophobes’ – I was not in fact directing it at anyone specifically – it has been my experience that there is a lot fear mongering being applied to AliBaba – in many forums and places about the web – and much of it is completely unfounded, of course ‘due diligence’ is essential for any marketplace – eBay & Amazon included – so I was referring to this more than anything – people may take offence at lots of things, but we still live in a free society and free speech is one of those rights I choose to exercise – and no offence was intended.
    https://www.disneyconsumerproducts.com/Home/display.jsp?contentId=dcp_home_help_licensee_requirements_en&forPrint=false&language=en&preview=false&imageShow=0&pressRoom=US&translationOf=null&region=0&ccPK=null
    This link may be of use to the OP to investigate Disney licensing

    Ok, honestly, i am just a little bewildered.

    Free speech is awesome, as long as its relevant, and not saying yours isnt just i have seen in many forums and in many places it being used inappropriately and irrelevantly to a topic which wipes out all merit of the person trying to exhibit said free speech.

    Your Disney link is great, it outlines how difficult it can be to become a licensee.. Well, on the surface it shows what needs to be upheld but i reckon there would be many many other hurdles imposed to obtain these sorts of licenses such as MOQ’s. sales amounts, marketing revenues and the likes.

    Be well and speak soon
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1180967
    Importoz
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    Johny, Michael and Jason – thankyou for taking the time to reply.

    I’m a little disheartened. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I guess I need to do more research. I really hope I can figure this out.

    I’d better get googling.

    I very grateful for all your advise, thankyou :-)

    #1180968
    Johny
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    Importoz guy,

    If you are looking to start a business you can’t afford to get disheartened at every instance there appears to be a roadblock. Noone would ever start a business if that were the case and everyone goes through the same things you are at some point.

    In my mind it all comes down to research, research, research. Asking questions is good, but so is spending the time to look at all the possibilities.

    But let me try and clear up some of the ambiguity for you. Having read through my comments and those of others I am also getting a little confused about what has and hasn’t been said.

    1. Major companies such as Disney, or any other well known brands you can think of, have agreements with the factories that manufacture their products. Those manufacturers cannot just sell those branded products to anyone off the street. So anyone selling branded products such as Disney characters on sites such as ebay are NOT the manufacturer. If you go to a site like Alibaba, you will find manufacturers offering Disney products and other brands as well. If they are legitimate manufacturers of those products they will be able to provide evidence they are authorized to make the characters they are allowed to make (generally a completed audit of their factory). They are able to make and sell those products to those that are authorized to buy them. If they do sell them to people without that authorization, then what they are selling are as good as fakes because they are selling outside the agreed terms they have with the licence owner of the products.

    2. If, for example, a wholesaler in Australia has the authorization to buy from the manufacturer, they can then onsell those goods to whomever they like. The buyer of those products does not have to have any form of agreement. As an example, the company that we have dealt with is allowed to have ceramic Disney products made, we arranged for them to be made and they imported them to Australia. They (as the wholesaler) then onsold them to their various customers (retailers).

    3. It is quite likely there could be wholesalers flogging lots of branded products on ebay both within Australia and overseas. You may well find a wholesaler overseas and that is a possible option. You don’t need a license to buy that stuff, but you do need to understand how parallel trading works because there may be questions asked at customs when the goods arrive.(We are talking wholesale amounts, not individual amounts.) This could be an option for you because an overseas wholesaler may be able to offer better pricing than you would get from an Australian one.

    4. With few exceptions, small companies buying small quantities of product just don’t get the chance to become authorized buyers. Look at it this way, everyone selling a few items on ebay or wherever would be wanting to be one and there is just no way it is viable.

    5. Let me be more clear about this aspect. Alibaba / Aliexpress predominantly offer products from suppliers in mainland China. Alibaba is generally an OK company, but they deserve a good kick up the backside when it comes to allowing fakes on their website. You WILL NOT get real branded products in wholesale lots from suppliers in mainland China. And the reason for that is simple. Even if the products are made there, if they are then sold there, they are liable for a wide range of taxes and charges which makes them more expensive than many other places. So for example, an iphone made in China sells there for more than it does in the US and it is the same with all western branded products.

    6. Alibaba gold membership is NOT an “earned” status, it is a paid for membership. You get it if you pay for it with only cursory checks being done to confirm a company may be real. It does nothing to guarantee the quality of the manufacturer/supplier. Being a gold member does not stop companies from selling fake stuff. Look around anywhere you like and see what comments you can find about Alibaba gold membership.

    7. I have read the “free speech” defence, But still have no idea how making a criticism of a company makes one a xenophobe. Using big words comes with the responsibility of knowing what they mean. Sounds like someone has allodoxaphobia. ( I can use them too – Who knows what that one is without looking it up?)

    Importoz guy, every other small business is in your shoes. You are competing against much larger guys who are well established and have better buying power than you do. So part of the solution is not only looking at your pricing, but what you can do that makes you different or better to deal with.

    Hope that clarifies a few things.

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