Advice For NEWBIES from a Newbie. + A New Strategy that just might be "it"

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  • Karma:
14 Aug 10 09:51:31 am

I apologize for the length of this post but I am hoping to be able to contribute something to the newer community here for something to think about. So please read on if you are looking for new ideas or wanting to share your thoughts with me on this topic.

I am also looking for feedback and opinions from others to share successful ideas for online selling.


First off I am a fairly new member to Salehoo I joined earlier this year. Like everyone else I was looking for ways to sell products online by dropshipping, wholesale, liquidation, etc etc. I am a realist though I am not in this to try and get rich quick or expect instant results by any means. I will just put that out there right off the bat.

I have by no means made a million dollars yet with Salehoo but definitely the things I have learned from here especially the forums have made me so far over $5000 net in the last 3-4mos. Well worth the price of admission. But it hasn't been easy and it has taken a ton of research and hard work. Finding profitable markets online is very difficult and so far I have mainly made my profits from purchasing wholesale products and selling them at lower than retail prices. I have sold them here in local markets as well as online at sites like Ebay, Ebid, Craigslist etc.

Like some others here I have done lots of research on finding good wholesalers and suppliers and have had my challenges. Most of the advice I have seen online has been to source products from China (of course) at wholesale prices to sell to the big North American Markets Canada and the USA.

To be honest I started out like many others dealing with replica branded merchandise. I saw all the various items everyone wants at unbelievable deals, it was so tempting. You guys all know what I'm talking about the designer clothing and replica jerseys etc etc. I dove in and gave it a shot and to be honest made some good money with them. People were happy purchasing these items at great bargains and these really were the top items I was selling. Nothing else like toys, novelty items, tools, (all unbranded items also from China but coming at great low prices) none of these things would sell.

Alas I had to stop selling the replica items. Every single one of my listings on Ebay were removed and flagged and my account was suspended. Even though many people still get away with selling replica items online, it just can not be sustained and really SHOULD NOT BE DONE AT ALL. I admit I'm a culprit too but we all learn our lessons and I'm sure a few other newbies here have fallen into this trap as well.

Eventually after getting my account up and running again, I began just selling products that I could source from China at dirt cheap prices. Sales have been slow and minimal profits since then.

So many of the articles and information online was telling me not to stop to pursue it and to continue to find good suppliers at good prices and sell items for profits. I find this does not work that well anymore because of the amount of current competition online in almost every single major industry that there is. Almost every single hot Niche market is already flooded with online sellers. How can it be possible for a newbie to gain any kind of market share? Even if you do get some sales the big guys catch on to it fast and undercut you.

I have found it INCREDIBLY difficult to make profits online dropshipping anything with any sort of consistency. There is too much competition out there and not enough market left for us New Guys to get in on it.


What I now throw in for debate is whether or not this method is even worth the effort anymore? With so much competition from almost every good Niche market, there's just not that much "pie" left over.

How about an alternative? What I am now getting into is no longer trying to satisfy the North American markets at all but rather to focus on satisfying the needs of the EMERGING markets in China and India. Why should we keep trying to find Niche markets for the populations of 300-350 million in Canada and the US? We all know that the american market is almost completely saturated. Same with Canada. Me being in the Vancouver area trust me I have tried catering to both countries here. Of course there is still ways to make money in some areas but none of the ones that I can find good suppliers and make a profit on.

What we all can not deny is that the populations of China and India combined are now over the 2 Billion mark. By shifting the focus to providing goods and services to this market I think it could be a profitable idea. I know I know alot of these people are living below the poverty line, where's the profits in that right?


There is no denying the fact that India and China will be the world's new superpowers. They have the population, they will have the money, they will all require goods and services. While many of the people live below the poverty line in these countries, there is a massive emergence of a middle class in this region. Even if you think even only 20% of the current populations there can currently be classified as "middle class" that means a market base of more than 400 Million! And that number will only rise in the next 5-10 years.

Companies like McDonalds, Starbucks, MGM Mirage, Las Vegas Sands are all examples of companies that now make as much or more in the Asian markets than they do in America. Stock prices for these companies have been SOARING even amidst the stock markets slumps not because of how well they are doing in America, but because of how well they are doing in China. Places like Maccau are now bigger profit makers to these casino giants than their casinos in Las Vegas. This is a fact.

Many other larger corporations have been moving or adding headquarters and major offices in China. They all recognize these areas as large growth potential. So why don't we follow them?


Why don't we start to focus on supplying these people with what they want and need. Mind you this is not going to be easy. You will find that ALMOST everything is made or manufactured in China or even India. These people can get SO many things at such low prices most people don't even think about trying this way. I challenge you to look around all the various items in your household you will seen what I'm talking about.

What I've found though is that there will always be a market of people who will want what they CANT HAVE or CANT FIND locally. There will always be niche markets of people who will be searching for items that ARE NOT or CAN NOT be made in China. For example if someone was looking for Fresh BC Salmon, where would you find it? In China? Nope. Maple syrup? Original Native Art? Various other wood and steel products.

Ok these are not the greatest examples but what I'm trying to say is something like this. When I want to eat authentic Indian food I don't want my chef to be from Italy. I want it directly from the source. When I want authentic mexican food I don't go looking for it in Germany. I will look for suppliers in Mexico.

If someone from China or India is searching for something American or Canadian where do they go? I'll tell you there is not many places at all. If they wanted to find authentic Canadian Roots Gear or maybe Surfboards from California or Beef from Alberta, where would they look locally? And online?

And while there are plenty of these sites already on the web, very few places cater to these specific buyers. The trick obviously is to find some hot Niche markets just like always. But also to not only find what products and services these people want and need but also designing your stores to cater to and market to these new emerging markets.

I also see that many sites are only enabled to be viewed in English and only accept payments in USD. Why not enable our websites to be fully viewed in different languages like Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin etc to make them ULTRA USER FRIENDLY for people from these markets. The key is to make it very simple and easy for buyers to purchase North American goods for export.

What I've been doing so far has been trying to search the Wanted sections in Craiglist China and India and also research what the top things Canada and USA export to places like China and India. I'm also planning to take some more trips to the International section of the Vancouver International Airport so that I can see first hand what people from these markets are buying as souvenirs from shops that are right inside the airport to take home from Canada.

So far I've found the most popular stores in the Airport on the International side are the Roots clothing stores, pre-packaged salmon and other seafoods, native american arts and crafts, various Canadian and American branded ciggarettes and alchohol, and many different kinds of local engraved wooden items. Also the usual souvenir keychains, tshirts, pens and this year Vancouver 2010 Olympic items and clothing especially have been very hot.

The most important thing is that this method is not saturated and this is the key. Why battle with all the people catering to the North American and even European markets when you can try a new different angle and find out what these markets want and need. Let's find and discuss things that are good Niche markets for people in these countries for goods that are found, made or manufactured here in North America.

-Must be items that are not easily available in countries like China and India specifically.
-Must be items that can easily be shipped or dropshipped worldwide.
-Must be profitable.

Any thoughts or Ideas are most welcome! I will continue to post updates and contribute to the forum regarding my future progress in this New Method because I have learned alot from these forums and find them very useful.

Thanks for reading.


Site Admin
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  • Karma:
17 Aug 10 04:09:49 am
Hi brownbandit25,

I just want to let you know that just because no one has reacted doesn't mean your post is not appreciated. =) Thank you so much for being so generous to share with us your revolutionary insights! It made me start to rethink my business plan and consider what you have just suggested.

Do keep us updated. And a good post deserves a profile picture. :)



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  • Karma:
17 Aug 10 05:14:07 am
Hello Irene,

I appreciate the feedback and very happy to hear you have started to think about your business plan.

That's all I ask is just to keep this information in mind and apply it and do your own research. If you feel this is a good idea, try it out and pass along any sucess stories for all of us to share!

I will keep updating and posting and hopefully as a community here we can together acheive our individual goals for our business.

Best Wishes,


Free Member
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  • Karma:
17 Aug 10 11:37:24 am
Now that's really thinking outside the square!

Difficult I can do right away. Impossible takes a little longer

Site Admin
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  • Karma:
11 Nov 10 10:35:05 pm
Well worth the (long) read, Brownbandit25 :)

Good realizations and great outlook! Also, it's really nice knowing that you value your SaleHoo membership.



Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited

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  • Karma:
11 Nov 10 10:45:19 pm
These are great ideas -- they will take a lot of work to implement, but I personally believe that the export side of the import/export business is largely overlooked by many Americans.

Was just reading a very interesting study of some market data and forerunner companies in India and around the world, Link hidden: Login to view. Some very stimulating ideas there to go along with the data.


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna

Site Admin
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  • Karma:
11 Nov 10 11:27:54 pm
Very informative link Frank, thanks for sharing it :)

The world of online business and suppliers is forever evolving into something better everyday - we just have to be sure that we remain open and receptive to the new ideas around us!



Customer Support Manager
SaleHoo Group Limited

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  • Karma:
13 Dec 11 10:35:36 pm
This is a very eye opening post. Thanks for the good ideas. Iam a newbie myself so it helps a big deal.

Free Member
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  • Karma:
25 Jan 14 06:13:52 pm
Thanks for this post. I'm a newbie and really appreciate yoyr idea. It make me open my own website.

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  • Karma:
26 Jan 14 04:30:24 am
Thanks for the great post. I have always been thinking to target market outside North America and Europe.
But I always end up worrying about 3 things/issues:
1) Shipping: It is not easy to ship to these countries because they don't have a good and reliable delivery (home address), you will end up sending it to B.O box of a person they know ( I am not talking about China and India) although this issue exist.

2) Translating 100s of items description from English to whatever language accurately and professionally. This can be done, but it will cost time and money.

3)Currency conversion, laws, tax, etc about these countries (I am talking about over 15 countries)

If I found solution to this issues, I will be good.

Site Admin
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  • Karma:
26 Jan 14 10:27:48 pm
Hi Ed,

In relation to your concerns

1. Shipping issues as you have outlined are very easy to over come, just make certain conditions applicable for purchasing in countries where you
have those sorts of concerns.

2. You can of course translate, but these days it's quite simple to have a page translated online by the viewer themselves. So a minor concern I
would say at worst really, but should be a major issue.

Tax laws on other countries can be a pain, but once more, just make it quite clear that your pricing does is no way include taxes or any costs born from customs duties in your listings so buyers are aware that is their own responsibility to take car of.

Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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