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Mike
06-06-2004, 07:15 AM
Hi all,

For all those who have ecommerce sites, how did you find your supplier? I'm looking to start an ecommerce site pretty soon, but am having trouble finding a supplier for the products I am looking at.

I've done a few searches but all of the results seem to be a bit spammy :)

Cheers,
Mike

Chris
06-06-2004, 11:58 AM
Finding suppliers was the most difficult thing. I spent 6 months or so researching.

paul
06-06-2004, 12:52 PM
These days most manufactured goods are imported. I saw a suggestion on another forum that you buy a plane ticket to China and attend a trade show(s). I would guess the biggest problem would be requrements to buy in huge quantities. Has anyone ever looked into it?

incka
06-06-2004, 01:10 PM
I've looked into things, and I am planning to sell some very-top-end wooden furniture online as a joint venture between Incka, Niche Timbers & Myers.

I also would eventually want to do one on my own, but finding a good product to sell is very hard.

If you are planning to sell general products bought in the UK their is an independent traders directory that is published once a month.

The New Guy
06-06-2004, 01:41 PM
I have a similiar question however I am not looking to purchase stock, and then ship from home. I basically just want to give the sales information to a factory outlet which would ship the products, and I would get a commission. What should I be looking for?

Chris
06-06-2004, 04:39 PM
http://www.alibaba.com/

paul
06-06-2004, 08:20 PM
That's a link that will keep me entertained for a while :)

mobilebadboy
06-06-2004, 08:31 PM
Just hope there aren't 40 thieves.

Mike
06-06-2004, 11:34 PM
Can't get onto that site at the moment, I'll try it later...

Peter T Davis
06-07-2004, 10:19 AM
It's not loading for me either. :|

chromate
06-07-2004, 04:08 PM
For all those who have ecommerce sites, how did you find your supplier? I'm looking to start an ecommerce site pretty soon, but am having trouble finding a supplier for the products I am looking at.

It's really hard. I've been researching several different product types for a while now. I've found that most suppliers are unwilling to even release wholesale price lists unless you're an established company already trading in similar goods. This makes planning extremely hard. Obviously, without prices it's impossible to work out what the profit margins will be etc.

I've found a few cooperative suppliers just by doing searches like "brandname wholesale supplier" etc.

Using sites like alibaba to import from the east is not always as cheap as it may seem at first. In the UK you will have to pay VAT on all imports and then import duty on all goods imported from outside the EU. Import duty ranges from about 4%-15% on average. The paper work can get extremely complicated and you'll most likely need an accountant to make sure the right money is going to the right places and at the right times. There are large fines and penalties if you screw up.

paul
06-07-2004, 04:47 PM
However, the fact remains that, at least in the USA, the majority of goods are imported from China. So, at least for the big boys, it pays to deal with the hassles. It can't be more complicated than regular expressions :)

Somewhere in China there must be guys sitting around trying to figure out how to get their products into UK/USA markets.

Seems like there might be quite a market for an alibaba type site targeted at small sellers/producers.

Chris
06-07-2004, 07:31 PM
It's really hard. I've been researching several different product types for a while now. I've found that most suppliers are unwilling to even release wholesale price lists unless you're an established company already trading in similar goods. This makes planning extremely hard. Obviously, without prices it's impossible to work out what the profit margins will be etc.


They're stingy with their pricelists for retailer protection. If consumers knew the wholesale price of something it gives them bargaining advantages. It is also useful for competing manufacturers to know.

As for import taxes... you really shouldn't have to pay those if the goods are meant for resale, atleast in the US. Goods bought for resale are exempt from taxes.

chromate
06-08-2004, 02:58 AM
As for import taxes... you really shouldn't have to pay those if the goods are meant for resale, atleast in the US. Goods bought for resale are exempt from taxes.

As I understand it, unfortunately in the UK, you do have to pay import duty even if the goods are for resale. However, this is only the case if the goods come from outside the European Union. This is obviously to encourage trading within Europe where possible.

Blue Cat Buxton
06-08-2004, 05:11 AM
Heres a uk based article....

http://www.easytorecall.com/importing_goods_from_abroad.htm

It might be a bit out of date, but the links in it may be useful.

Xander
10-19-2004, 12:45 PM
If you are doing enough trading it pays to register for VAT. In the UK you have to register for it if your turnover exceeds 59k for two years running, but can still register if it doesn't. If you are registered for VAT you can claim it back if you resell the product.

EDIT: Its not turnover, but rather value of stock in hand.

chromate
10-19-2004, 02:04 PM
Xander, sounds like you know what you're talking about. Welcome! :) Are you running any ecommerce stores or anything?

I thought by current law, if your turnover is going to exceed the threshold, even in the first year, then you need to register before this happens, so you can charge VAT on any further invoices?

As far as importing / exporting, and from my limited understanding, you still have to pay VAT and duty on imports from outside the EU and you don't get the duty back. You only get back the difference between your input VAT and your output VAT.

Xander
10-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Chromate: Thanks for the welcome. I'm talking from a theoretical perspective as I haven't dealt with VAT myself. There are various things that you can claim VAT back for that don't get resold, but I'm not sure how it works with importing. I assume you pay a customs fee but the VAT or part of it can be claimed back.