Yiwu market is the largest small commodity wholesale market in the world. It is famous for low price and notorious for crap quality in the past. Visitors are still confused about how to purchase in this “huge” Yiwu market
Here is one example: G is from Singapore, who represents a large company and plans to source some products in Yiwu. Before she came, she thought that Yiwu market is something like a fair or trade exhibition. She can easily import directly from sellers there. But she was greatly disappointed to found out that 95% of suppliers in the market are not ready to export directly. They don’t have export licenses, don’t know anything about FOB price, and most of them even can’t speak English!
How YiWu market works?
Factories (or agents) have their booths set up inside the market. They sell the products they produce/ represent. Usually a booth has two persons. One is “boss”, the other is “assistant”. In most cases, the “boss” is the factory owner’s wife, daughter, or close relatives, someone the factory owner can completely trust. The “assistant” is usually a girl they employed, who can speak a little English and knows how to use a computer.
“Boss” usually can’t speak English and only knows a little about foreign trade. Their job is to keep everything under control. And the “shop assistant” is usually a high school or college graduate, who doesn’t have much knowledge about foreign trade .
The shops here try their best to display as many products as possible and sell them. To export directly to oversea buyers is not something they’re happy to do, or able to do. So here comes the question: How to purchase in Yiwu market?
In most cases, you have to employ anYiwu agent to assist you with all the sourcing activities. They can arrange your visit, accompany you to the market to browse, then collect orders, do inspection, and finally ship out your products.
Agents usually charge a commission from 1% – 5% of your total purchase value, according to what you buy and how much you buy. >>Yiwu Sourcing Commission
The advantages of employing agents :
Obviously, an agent can make things much easier for you. Sourcing in Yiwu without an agent is almost an “Impossible Mission”. You have no warehouse to collect your goods, no one do inspection, and no title to ship out your containers.
And agents can also help you get cheaper prices sometimes. Agents always have business relationship with suppliers. They buy a lot from suppliers and suppliers are also willing to offer a discount because agents help them sell.
The disadvantages of employing agents :
This only occurs when you employ a “bad” agent. You may find almost every agent’s website promises MIRACLES. In fact, the reality is quite different. Most agents are inexperienced, incapable, have little connections with suppliers, have no warehouses, tell lies, make mistakes, create additional costs, waste time, and choose slow cheap container lines….
(I’ll try to write another article about how to select a good agent according to my humble experiences later.)
Come to Yiwu for a visit if possible
Personally, I would recommend each buyer have a visit in?Yiwu to see products by themselves. This is crucial to their business success.
Firstly, buyers know their market much better than agents. They can select the right products at a right price. If they purchase goods with agents, there can be lots of mis-communications and time waste. And buyers can also discover new opportunities. Agents just don’t have the buyer’s eyes. I don’t think agents can show all the opportunities of this huge market by emails, phones talks and live chat.
Secondly, buyers can know the fact at some extent. They can access to information like price and new arrivals. They can explain exactly what they want and show the agents/factories how to do in the future. They can also make quicker decisions.
Thirdly, information online or you get from somewhere else usually turn to be junks. You spend lots of time and energy, but get no positive results in the end.
Above is just a quick overview of how to purchase in Yiwu market. Of course, you can set up your own buying office and even register your own business if your business already developed to a certain level. I’ll put on more information about how to purchase in Yiwu later.