I have a friend who imports vinyl products and has built a big business out of it, although he now finds local manufacturers are giving him some stiff competition.This is one reason I recommend that would-be importers consider countries other than China. Government labor regulations there are increasing costs and as a result many Chinese companies are moving offshore!
Does that sound familiar? It is part of the cycle of chasing low labor costs. Japan was once the cheap source, then Korea, then Taiwan, then mainland China, and now Chinese companies are setting up in lower cost Asian and African countries.
I am a retired importer but I still maintain my contacts. One of my long time contacts in China reports that his factories are now compelled to provide ever increasing perks to employees as well as higher wages and shorter hours. He says his labor costs have risen 40% in the past 3 years.
As evidence of this changing scene, a number of US companies are now returning their manufacturing to the US.
So where does this leave people looking for cheap products to resell? Well there are still plenty of them available in China.
Those looking to source products there should be aware that many factories turn out two quality standards of the same product. One is made to meet a price demand and the other is made to meet a quality demand. The interesting thing is that the price difference is often very small.
I have directed many people to other countries where they have been able to obtain better quality at the same price as in China, or sometimes they have bought similar quality but at a lower price.
Sourcing from China is easy, although many people get burnt for that very reason. They think it is so easy that they can be careless about sourcing. They treat it as casually as buying from their local store and they blindly accept everything they read on B2B sourcing sites.
Sourcing from other countries will require greater expertise, but many people have learned how to do it. Those who do begin sourcing in other countries may well be one step ahead of the competition in a few years time.