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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.
     
  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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    How about the spontaneous shattering shower screens and pool glass fences from China?
     
  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.
     
  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 Active 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 Active 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.