3 Simple Import Tips You Should Never Forget


Importing from Asia offers plenty of potential and profits. However if you conduct no research and dive straight in, chances are you will not be successful. This article will provide a few import tips to look out for.

Article Highlights

  • Deciding on your niche.
  • Thinking about logistics
  • Avoid counterfeits

Companies and individuals profit from importing in two ways: arranging with a manufacturer abroad to produce your own design or importing pre-made products to sell domestically.

Import Tip #1: Find Your Niche

If you are based in a cold country, there would be little use in importing sun cream. Alternatively, importing a product that would be highly sought after may not be a great idea, as the demand may already be met by established companies who can beat you in terms of margins. Finding this middle ground may be difficult, but if you are able to successfully identify a gap in the market, you are well placed to finding a suitable product to import from Asia.

Import Tip #2: Follow These General Rules of Thumb

  1. Avoid are counterfeits are trademark infringing products. You don’t want to invite any unwanted legal problems. You should also think about logistics.
  2. Large and Heavy Objects Should have a Large Revenue/Cost Multiple. Large and heavy objects eat up your profits on freight, as it can be costly to ship from Asia. On the other hand, small objects which are light are more suitable, as you should save on shipping fees per a unit, just ensure the mark up is worthwhile.
  3. Avoid Big Box Competition and E-Commerce Sites. If big box retailers are selling the same product, it is unlikely you can compete. If you are planning on selling online, trying to compete with power sellers on Ebay will also end well. Remember, the best method is to be the main seller for a specific niche, which should ensure you avoid competing directly with too much competition.

Import Tip #3: Find the product

Now comes finding the product itself. In an ideal world, you should book a trip out to one of the trade fairs, especially one of the popular ones in China. This will grant you the first look at some of upcoming products which may give you a first mover advantage. However, the feasibility of this is not quite realistic for a lot of budding importers.

Our best advice for this stage is to keep your ear close to the ground. This includes keeping eyes on what competitors may be selling. However, it also means paying attention to the latest trends, and identifying what is becoming popular before it hits the mainstream. If you read about it in the newspaper, chances are, the ship has sailed in terms of making a profit.

Potentially, you could discover a great product by looking at highly ranked items in other territories. Amazon DE may be seeing strong sales in item X which has not been brought over to your local area yet. Alternatively, you may want to network with suppliers through sites such as Alibaba or DHgate. This may enable you to get access to a wider range of products than advertised, letting you be one of the few in a position to bring a new product to market.

Overall however, there is no guaranteed way of finding the perfect product. At times it is more luck than skill, especially when you are starting out. Over time and through many trials and errors, you will gain experience and learn what works for you. Hopefully this article will have given you a strong idea of what lines of thinking needs to be taken to start you on your journey of finding that perfect import.