Big City Life.

My little brother Leo visited me recently for a month and he just flew back home to the UK last weekend.

It was great having him over as he kicked off his summer break from university and it gave me a chance to have a little down time and do a few touristy things while exploring my surroundings properly. Continue reading

Product Samples & Quality Control

This has got to be perhaps the biggest crux of importing from China. Ensuring that the goods you buy are up to the market standards you require. On paper it sounds easy but in practice it’s a little more complicated. I guess this is why goods from China and Asia as a whole seem to get a bit of a bad reputation. Continue reading

Your Questions – Part 1

I get a lot of great emails from you guys and i really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with me. Here is a small selection of some questions i have been asked that i think will appeal to other readers of my blog. I am in a very fortunate position here and i want to help others i meet on this journey with any knowledge I can share. Please do get in touch, it would be great to connect with you, share stories and maybe do some business along the way. Continue reading

Factory Quality Control Visit

Since moving here my “job role” has adapted vastly to suit my environment. I did originally move here with the idea of sourcing product for my own business to sell back in the UK. This has since developed somewhat and I have also started to source directly for others thanks to people getting in touch through this blog. Continue reading

Canton Trade Fair – Phase 1

I have wanted to visit Canton Fair for about 4 years now, I was put off by two things in the past that had I known what I know now, would not have been an issue. Number one being getting a visa and number two being getting from Hong Kong airport to the Fair. I almost came here to the Fair in 2008 and I was trying to organise the trip through a Chinese agent. Continue reading

Another one bites the dust.

So I am now onto my third iPhone since being in china. Thank god this time I backed up all my contacts and information from that phone onto my iPad via iCloud. A really useful and life saving piece of software that remotely syncs all data on your apple devices backing them all up whenever you are connected to a WiFi network. Continue reading

Foot out, flat out.

When I used to race mountain bikes we used this term to describe you riding at full tilt, fast paced into a corner leaning the bike in as you teeter a foot out to keep balance, dust cloud kicking out from the back wheel. These past few weeks have been akin to those happy Sunday’s racing down a hillside, I have definitely been foot out flat out and feel just as alive now as I did then. Continue reading

The Little Big Plan

I have half thought things through here, i have some key logistics in place, everything is going to be ok….

I have spent the last 2 years trading in bankrupt stock, machinery and assets. Before this I was importing high-end bikes from Taiwan, Germany and the US. This has been a cool thing to do and I have met some interesting people and travelled all over the world. Good times. I guess most importantly I have had a crash education in business and hopefully have learnt important lessons, some of which came at a cost.

I have kept a skeleton business in place in the UK – namely two warehouses, one in the north of england and one in the south, along with two colleagues. The idea being that I send samples back to the uk very regularly for them to test the market with. I will be using a 5 day air courier service to get them back to the uk asap so my guys can check them out and see what the sales look like. Those that look to be hot items will then get containerised back in bulk. It’s a simple plan but in my experience if you make something simple enough it might just work.

This loose infrastructure should hopefully allow me to test a wide variety of items in the UK market quickly and know which lines are worth risking some funds on. In the past I have visited trade shows and then ordered in bulk once back in the UK, this does not always work and it also means that more often than not you’re not the only person who had that idea. Sometimes a product will have a very limited shelf life where its super popular and in demand for a month or two before the whole of eBay is clearing them out. I guess software such as terapeak might not help this? My idea is to move quick on products like these and I see this method as the most secure way of doing so.

10 day countdown

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As I sit here in my home office – that I only just decorated and moved a PC into a few days ago, I wonder if my last minute spontaneous “It’s new year I need to make a change” idea was a good one.

In ten days I’m moving from Darlington, North East England to Shenzhen in China to see if I can build a new business.

I guess we all have something we think we will do one day but never do, I suppose I don’t want the never do aspect to bug me anymore.

I have been importing and selling online since about 2003. I owned and ran a successful business importing from Taiwan, Germany and the USA until about 3 years ago when the market changed.

I have been toying with a few things since then but I have been putting off making any real life changing moves perhaps because I’m human and that’s what we tend to do.

So this is my grassroots documentation of a young man looking to make money in China, you can follow my steps over a cup of coffee while you too may sit there deliberating some changes.

Oh, I hope you like my new logo…… YMC4Life :)