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Building materials from china?

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by TMNT, 9th Mar, 2016.

  1. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    Im looking at a few business ideas of building materials from china.

    Obviously just an idea at this stage however, im as chinese as lemon chicken.

    I do have a few chinese friends but they have as much idea as me.

    Whats the best way to sourceing them without getting ripped off or even getting a remotely decent price. I know there is a local price and a foreigner price

    So far ive got

    Fly there and negotiate (too expensive, hard)
    Sites like alibaba (maybe)
    Get a third party sourcer (maybe, wouldnt know where to start)
    Marry a chinese person (not a chance)
     
  2. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    Be careful, especially since it looks like you are new to importing.

    Some building materials you import in Australia need to be compliant with AS/NZ safety regulations. If they are not and this causes an issue down the track, you as the importer will not only be liable but you can incur a significant penalty. Regardless of whether the safety regulation applies to what you are looking at importing, you need to think long term and make sure the products you will be selling will be quality products that have been tested and proved, else you could end up in trouble. Imagine if your product was responsible for an accident due to a quality issue. I would look at a product liability cover if you decide to go down that route.

    Also, bear in mind you - as the imported - are considered the manufacturer and all liabilities regarding the product fall on your shoulders. Just something to bear in mind when you think about which products you want to import.
     
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  3. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Best way to start is shoot off a few emails through Ali baba to get an idea on price and go from there. You've pretty much got zero negotiating power at this stage because you're a nobody. Even then you have to be doing big volume of the same product to get a discount and even then only expect 2-3% off.
     
  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Read up about the Infinity cable fiasco. The importer is facing serious jail time. Quality control in China is unreliable.
    Marg
     
  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't that cable sold through Masters?
     
  6. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Apparently several outlets.
    Marg
     
  7. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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  8. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    Yes, you have to be very careful what you import, the responsibility and liability lies with you.
    I wonder about the buildings in Melbourne that caught fire because of some poor quality imported cladding.

    This is the hidden potential killer in Australian buildings

    Nothing wrong with importing, but you gotta know what you're doing and make sure your product stacks up.
     
  9. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    If you were the importer of that cladding material, you would be in serious serious **** right now! :confused:
     
  10. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This is my advice and only an opinion.

    The building materials market is enormous, too overwhelming if new to the game.
    I'd start off by researching and specialising a niche market and focus heavily on a single category of products.
    Spend lots of time only on your selected target category where you can find value in the market place and dominate that particular category.
    This way, you can be known as a specialist and import very few product lines in large quantity, keeping it simple.
    However, there has to be demand and profit potential in your chosen category.
    Depending on the product, purchasing price can vary considerably, so sourcing certain suppliers and negotiating plays a big part.
    Just spend the time to find that particular market with potential and you'll be on your way.
    You can always expand later when you get up and running.

    Just remember, buying is the easy part.
    You've still got to have skills, or access to skills to sell the stuff.
     
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  11. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    I have clients who have investigated similar things.

    Unless the product has gone through the process and has been demonstrated to meet or exceed the relevant AS and has documentation to prove it, don't do it.

    Managed to steer a client away from purchasing a 15k granny flat from Ali baba that would have opened up a world of pain for them.
     
  12. Wandercro

    Wandercro Well-Known Member

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    I would really suggest going to a trade fair. I know you said this is a costly exercise, but it is the best. Alibaba is great, but you don't know who your dealing with. It could be a back yard type business. It really depends on what it is your looking at importing. If it's a structural type of products I would really be careful. If it's tiles, tapes, light fitting and that type of products, it would be an easier starting point, i.e., less regulation.

    I'm a licensed customs broker. Once your ready to start importing PM me and I can give you more detailed advise on duty / GST, import regulations etc etc.
     
  13. Angel13

    Angel13 Well-Known Member

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    Call Belinda Coker from Bellouco.com

    Mob: 0421 649 655

    She is an o/s manufacturing consultant based here in Australia. She can help with sourcing, quality control during production o/s and even distribution. She's done it herself for her multi million dollar brand and now helps other people with getting their goods manufactured in Asia.

    Listen to this podcast interview with Belinda to find out more about what she does.
    49. Founder of Envirosax Belinda Coker talks celebrities, global business and product licensing - The Mumpreneur Show

    Good luck and let us know how you go.
     
  14. Suzie

    Suzie New Member

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    Hi All,

    Firstly when importing from China you need to know about the product your wanting to bring into the country. Specifications and Certifications required here in Australia are very important.This is No1. Mistake.
    Most times Chinese manufacturers are not specialized in producing your product. You may need to source from another country.
    Building materials here in Australia need to be certified and compliant. Very important.

    Another problem we face here in Australia is the installation of these materials. So you need to spend time researching your product, manufacturer and verifying their credentials.

    Suzie Fakhri
     
  15. Yifu Wang

    Yifu Wang New Member

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    It depends on what type of construction materials you are seeking. Actually l got a very good friend whose family business is manufacturing those materials in China and their security door is the no1 brand in Chinese market. However, they only do light staff like shower rooms, doors, locks, floors, curtains, mirrors and handles. If you guys have interests in those supplies, feel free to ask me since currently l'm helping him to find clients here in Aussie.
    About Alibaba, the truth is that most suppliers on it are small manufactures who got no certifications at all and the quality of their products could be a problem. For example, products of my friends' business may have done SGS tests or other tests for their product quality so that their goods would be able to export to foreign countries(Different country has different standards). But before you ask for further information, you need to tell us what type of materials and the amount of it you need.
     
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  16. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    I have done this before from china (when I build a couple of houses in Melbourne) and I have networks in Asia (as relos are in the importing/exporting business). (though I would prob just use Aussie sourced products for warranty)

    you need to know what kind of materials you will need and how to negotiate.

    For like simple stuff like tiles, floorboards (they are much cheaper) in china, but the question is the volume (if you only have one house - there is minimal gains). if you ask me - for a cookie cutter kitchen say you needed 10 kitchens 2Pac painted soft close (and not L shaped) you could probably get it for 2K each (with lots of drawers etc) compared to 8K kitchen comparable. The question is the time and effort as they won't necessarily rectify mistakes. and sometimes you will something not exactly in place correctly. (you need to work around it)

    For stuff that that requires certification (otherwise if it is under a permit, you are not gonna get the building surveyor to sign off on it). For e.g. windows it needs to be certified to AS standards. Certain labs only do this which are NATA certified. Make sure you call the lab or email them to ensure it is real (coz Chinese might just rubber stamped it without actually doing the test). you do not want to be in a situation where someone smashes and injures himself glass wise and then they find out it ain't certified to Australian Standards. Insurance also won't cover it as it would have been considered an illegal install.


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  17. jako

    jako Member

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    Yifu I have been brining many items from china for the past 4 years including cabinets stone tops sanitary ware all wells watermarked and whenever we have had the odd mistake on cabinet doors for example I have taken photo's and the manufacturer we use has dhl express them to us with no fuss at all,however we always visited the factories prior to doing any business and asked them for any references of other companies in perth they have supplied any companies that say they do supply here but will not give us a point of reference we do not do any business with them and I drive a hard deal with all of the suppliers.
     
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  18. Yifu Wang

    Yifu Wang New Member

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    Yeah l can pretty much understand your confusion about this since this is a very culture issue. Those large suppliers l know in China are all very rich people----as long as he is a large supplier. Most of their products go to the Chinese local market and that is an amount that is many times larger than the demand here in Aussie. This is maybe the reason why you may feel they are not paying enough attention to you since exporting is just one selection for them. Unlike business in Aussie, they tend to do business more on one's personal security and reputation. For example, there is actually no point for you asking about references of who they have supplied before. It would be a better choice for you to ask for some sample goods(that won't cost you money) and you check whether the quality makes you happy yourself. Both sides are looking for long term cooperation----since the opportunity costs for both sides are large. It could be expensive for them to distribute goods here, and its expensive for you to visit the factory.
    So if you really want a long-term supplier, you do need to take some risk to have a first try. haha and by the way are you still looking for suppliers?
     
  19. jako

    jako Member

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    Its very important that you ask for references,anybody can send samples and yes I always get them to send samples and they pay the DHL a well and once again any companies that will not pay DHL we dont use them its as simple as that,if they want our business they have to show willing and I am always looking for suppliers but we don't go through agents we do all the negotiations ourselves.
     
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  20. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    This is going to be a lot easier now.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...x/news-story/435d785471cffce8c2ca31560f2f1545

    Just saw something on Foxtel real estate channel about there already being a huge display centre in Greenacre, Sydney by Lesso Home.
    It's a Chinese company bringing materials direct to our market, and will later compete with the likes of Bunnings in the building and home improvements markets.
    They plan to open direct to public in Auburn next year.

    They have plenty of this type of set up in China, so for them to bring it here and meet all regs, this takes the guesswork out of whether products will comply to local standards.
    This will be a big win.
     
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