Importing from any country used to be much more difficult than it is now.
Buying directly from China was pretty much impossible for normal business people (let alone consumers) up to about five years ago.
Now there are more and more people profiting from Chinese sources in every sort of business, and they're not all huge bulk buyers like Wal-Mart.
In fact, the great opportunities for you importing from China exist in covering the product areas that are NOT already owned by larger players.
That's the BIG mistake a lot of people make:
Don't think you can start importing from China and beat the prices of Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, or Amazon.
They're already importing from China in huge quantities! They are buying in quantities which mean they have gone beyond simply getting good discounts: they are actually in full control of their suppliers and the prices.
And that's not to mention their massive logistics systems, marketing power, and customer service strength.
Of course you can't compete with them.
A lot of people think about importing a product, look at that product in the big stores and compare their first price quote from China... and the direct China price is already more expensive!
I've seen many people give up at this stage.
I'm going to talk more later in this mini-course about how to import products that will sell, and not fall at the first hurdle!
Here is just one hint about a better way to approach the China import opportunity:
Every day there are thousands of auctions listed on EBay for "MP3 Player"-- it's a hot category-- but my count today of the first 300 auctions showed only about 30 different models being sold.
Wal-Mart in the USA sells 130 different MP3 Players.
Dixons (the largest electronics chain store in the UK) sells 50 different MP3 Players.
Searching on www.made-in-china.com for Chinese MP3 Players will give you a choice from over 4000 MP3 Player products.
A large proportion of these products are totally new designs and unavailable (so far) in Western markets.
Can you see what I'm getting at here...?
There is no single, secret key to success in China importing, but there are certainly things to avoid.
I will warn you about some common pitfalls later. I'm also going to talk in later parts of this mini-course about product research and how to deal with suppliers successfully, but for now I hope you can hold on to the idea that importing from China doesn't mean simply copying the people who are already bringing you your made-in-china clothes, computers, and furniture. It means using the China source in a smart way.