It was an ordinary day, 10th May 2021. As usual, we received some inquiries from our website. Yes, you are right. Today I am gonna talk about one of them, a sweet honest client. Till now, we’ve successfully helped her load 2 containers, one 20ft & one 40ft. She bought not only toys, but also many other kinds of products from Yiwu Wholesale Market.
Now let’s see her story with our company. Continue reading and use the links below to jump to a specific section.
1. First Contact with The Client
1.1 Background of the Client
Rosa (I use an alias for the protection of privacy) has started the toy business since 1990s with her family. After years of development, their brand has been well-known in the toy area of Trinidad. Nowadays, they have expanded to 5 big toy stores which are located in the major shopping malls of Trinidad.
1.2 Things were not going well when first communication.
Actually I knew nothing about her background until I saw her website. Before that, I was totally in a lost. She did send some product pictures for me to source. But unfortunately, I was unable to find any same products or even similar products on the Internet. So I went to Yiwu wholesale market for sourcing. However, sadly, I still failed to find the products she want.
Finally, I decided to give up this client cause I thought I was incapable of helping her. Because of the sourcing struggle, I hadn’t been in touch with her for one week. But to be polite, I advised her a quotation list with the products completely different from what she sent. Surprisingly, she replied and was happy that I contacted her again.
Then she sent more items for me to source. Undoubtedly, the item styles were same as what she sent before. That means, I was still unable to find them. But I decided to continue this business and changed my mind to just recommend similar toys.
So I began to source in Yiwu wholesale market again and figured out 5 more quotation lists. Surprisingly again, she reached out to me and asked my progress. It was from then that I knew she should be a true buyer.
1.3 Turn the corner.
Regretfully, though I spent lots of time making out many price lists, the toys inside were not what she want. I was a bit disappointed and felt a pity for my hard work. Nevertheless, she advised me more item pictures to source and explained more about what she really need. So I let my bad mood go and started to source in a different way.
She was looking for a wide range of toy categories. It’s impracticable to put all toys into Excel sheets. And things would be easier if I take photos and videos of the products that she might be interested in Yiwu wholesale market. In this way, she can select items directly through voice or video calls. The later facts had also proven that this mode worked.
2. Purchase Demand of The Client
On further communication, I got to know that she wanted to buy not only toys, but also other products in completely different categories, such as papers, instruments, bags, digital products, etc.
Because she was planning to open a new store for household products. Therefore, we were doing rounds after rounds of sourcing in different districts of Yiwu wholesale market. The entire process lasted a month.
3. The Challenges Client Faced
There are some issues she was facing before meeting our company,
3.1 The Effect of COVID-19
Under the influence of COVID-19, she was not able to fly to China and purchase directly in Yiwu wholesale market. Before COVID-19, she came to Yiwu every year and ordered lots of items from the market. It can be proven that she shared some name cards of the shop suppliers that she got before and these cards helped.
3.2 Don’t have Stable Buying Agent in Yiwu
She had been working with a Shantou company in the past 20 years. However, this company can only export Shantou toys. For yiwu goods, they have to find a Yiwu agent for her. The problem was that they changed the agent every year, which was greatly upsetting Rosa. So she determined to find one stable Yiwu agent by herself. Fortunately, she approached us.
3.3 Too Slow Progress Made By Her Existing Agent
This year, the Shantou company did recommend an agent for her. Rosa was complaining that the agent had only made very little progress about the sourcing since they connected. I believe the agent was facing the same problems that I had in the beginning. The difference is that I was moving much more quickly and successfully help her source right products in Yiwu wholesale market.
3.4 Small Quantity Need For Each Item Style
Due to the crazily increasing ocean shipping fee, the import costs of the client are also rising sharply. What she was trying to do is cutting the quantity of each item to place more product categories in the container. I can totally understand her requirements cause current shipping fee is almost 5 times the previous charge.
Another obstacle is the market demand of her country. As we all know, Trinidad is a small country with only about 1.5 million population, which even smaller than a Chinese county. So their market would be limited. Moreover, with the strong impact of COVID-19, people’s buying power is becoming weaker and some business are even closed down.
4. The Difficulties Our Company Met
4.1 Too Wide Range of Product Categories
Rough statistics, there were more than 200 item styles and 30+ product categories in the two containers. Moreover, the products were sourced from 50+ suppliers at the quantity of 1-2 CTNS each style. Now you could imagine how big the workload would be. Even if I select 1 right supplier from only 3 optional suppliers, and I check at least 10+ suppliers every day, it would take me half month to finish all the sourcing affairs.
Besides sourcing, it also takes me lots of time on making product info lists. Every 3-5 days, we finished one round sourcing, I would have to spent one day to put all selected items into one list and advised Rosa to do order confirmation cause she would remove some items that we selected in the shops.
This could be a big problem because at that time I had much other work in hand. I was not able to ask coworker’s help cause they were very busy too.
4.2 Small Quantity for Each Item
If you have ever bought from Yiwu wholesale market, you may know the suppliers inside do not welcome small orders at all. Some of them would show bad attitude and some would complain a lot. So it’s was always an unhappy thing everytime I placed a small order…
4.3 Heavy Workload of Quality Checking
Another problem caused by small quantity is the greatly increased workload of quality checking. Almost every carton in the container needed to be unpacked to check in order to ensure every item in good condition. After unpacking, some packaging cannot return to its original states, which may result in damage during transportation.
5. How Did We Help Solve the Client’s Problems?
5.1 Fast Response
Once receipt of the product pictures from Rosa, I would make a quick plan about where & when to source and how to speed the process in an efficient way. The plan would be advised to Rosa on the same day she sent the pictures. In this way, she would know how to organize her schedule.
And here, I have to express my admiration for the amazing diligence of Rosa. In order to make the purchase more efficient, she kept living at China time for around one month. That means, she was always awake in my daytime. That’s why we can make video calls at right time and confirm the right products timely.
5.2 30+ Detailed Excel Sheets Offered
To sum up, we made about 10 rounds sourcing and I at least advised 30 price lists to Rosa. Everytime we finished one round sourcing, I would sort out all the info we confirmed in the Yiwu wholesale market. It would take me lots of time to figure out one list cause I need to put 50+ products info together at one time. Among that, inserting pictures into the sheet took the most time.
Rosa would make the second selection based on my list and only keep some items. So I needed to remove some items and updated the info. When the entire sourcing process finished, I would integrate all the lists we confirmed before into one list. This list would be advised Rosa for final order confirmation.
5.3 Help Negotiate the MOQ
Normally, due to the time limit, we can only confirm the interested styles in the shops. For the buying quantity and styles, Rosa would write down on the lists. Then I would negotiate the quantity with the suppliers one by one. Though it’s a time-consuming procedure, I would try best to persuade suppliers to lower their MOQ so as to help decrease the import costs of Rosa.
5.4 Free Warehousing Provided
Considering Rosa was buying stock products whose leading time is very short, we provided the warehouse for her goods storage before shipping. We started to collect goods this June, the first & second container were respectively shipped in the end of July and the early Sep. So in total 4 month warehousing, although it affected our other goods moving, we didn’t charge any costs from Rosa.
5.5 Arrange Reliable Shipping Forwarder
Rosa had her own forwarder for the shipping matters. However, since we were doing EXW terms, her forwarder was incapable of dealing Yiwu containers for some reasons. After 2 weeks discussion, we decided to switch to FOB terms and let another Yiwu local forwarder to proceed.
Therefore, I recommend one experienced forwarder that our company had been co-operating. Without any issues arisen, we delivered all the goods successfully.
6. What The Client Say About Us?
Rosa left a favourable comment through the email. And in the phone, she also expressed her thanks for my hard work of sourcing. She had ever been Yiwu wholesale market before and absolutely knew that it could be very tired to keep walking during the day without any rest.
With the last container shipped out from Shantou this month, Rosa put an end to her procurement this year. Currently we are talking about next year Projects. She is expanding the product categories so she would have more purchase plans in Yiwu in 2022.
Rosa also recommended me to help her sister sourcing items in Yiwu. Thus, I believe we have established the long-term cooperation. Looking forward to our meeting next year.