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Purchasing at Yiwu market

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 posts
3 reviews
Purchasing at Yiwu market

I am planning to visit Yiwu market to purchase small goods for an online business. I was going to allow 3 days to spend there.Has anyone been there recently who could suggest if that timing is suitable. As we want to look around for 2 days first would it be a good idea just to employ someone to help after we have chosen the items of interest? Is it easy to find trustworthy assistants, or is it possible to manage without one? I don't speak Chinese.

Many thanks for any advice.

166 replies to this topic
San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
14,508 posts
63 reviews
1. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

1- Yes, you need an agent, what happen when you place orders? who will inspect, consolidate, ship and export for you?

2- Standard commission is 5%, which includes going to market to translate and order with/for you, and handle export and payments.

3- 3 days is about right, 1 day to see and in shock, 2nd day to filter out 99.9% of things you want on the 1st day. 3 day to settle on what you really want to order.

4- Important to note Yiwu goods are 3rd world standard cheap Dollar Store stuff, 99.99% are not suitable for US, EU or AU markets. Most buyers are from Middle East, India, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa. Most items will not pass safety tests if required, such as very high lead contents in jewelry.

5- No refund, no return, no guarantee, you may not get what you ordered. All promises are just hot air. Important to have agent inspect all shipments.

6- Don't order unless and until you are very sure, vendors turn very ugly and nasty when you want to reduce or cancel orders, including openly scream/insult at buyers, sit-in for hours or days at agent office or your hotel to argue or fight openly. Think of it as the wild west style of trading.

Have fun. There are treasure to be found, if you know how.

Vancouver, Canada
14 posts
2. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

how can i find out which items, will pass safety tests and standards, such as led lights or metal decoration pieces?

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
14,508 posts
63 reviews
3. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

You can ask the wholesale shops if they have safety test reports, but eventually you will give up asking for it, because very few if any have been tested. But you never know, maybe some categories are different. You can contract your own tests by sending products to the test labs, not that expensive, but there is whole set of processes and cost associate with that. Most Yiwu wholesale shops are very small 5'x10' shops. Or you can focus on items which do not require safety tests in your home markets, prices are dirt cheap, but you need to know what you are doing.

Yiwu markets are absolutely huge, modern buildings go on for miles. The surrounding regions are also covered with factories. It is said there are 3,000 foreign trading companies in Yiwu, that is one China city I see the most fancy cars, Porches, BMW, Bentley, MBs everywhere. Amazing and unbelievable, such a small city in the middle of nowhere and most people never heard of it.

Best Western Ocean hotel is a good quality hotel located in the wholesale market, 2 minutes walk to wholesale centers.

Yiwu, China
1 post
4. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

Great ! you can find a soho man or soho girl

that will be better

5. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

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1 post
6. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

Did you ever make it to the market. If so how did the experience turn out?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

Yes I did make it to Yiwu and it was very successful. I had done quite a bit of research and had some idea how big it was but my daughter couldn't believe it! We were lucky enough to be given the name of an agent who was a friend of a friend of a friend, but worked out really well. He insisted on staying with us all the time and I thought that would be uncomfortable but it was the best idea. He then organised everything for us, including checking all items against photos before he sent them. I believe it is quite common to receive different goods. We didn't have 3 full days and it was barely long enough but we managed, thanks to Andy. We would have wasted heaps of time if we were on our own. Yiwu is certainly a backwater but I wouldn't hesitate to return if I needed different goods. I have already reordered via Andy with no problems. Let me know if you want any more details.

Level Contributor
4 posts
14 reviews
8. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

Did your agent Andy work for an Australian company? We are looking for an agent to work with but don't know how to go about it?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
9 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

He is a self-employed agent in Yiwu, and deals with people from various countries. His wife works for a company in China where a friend of mine had a connection, hence the recommendation. I also didn't know where to start and was on the verge of having to trust an agent from the market, even though I was not keen to do that. I was very lucky to have been given this contact and would be happy to pass on his details if you are going to Yiwu.

Edmonton, Canada
1 post
1 review
10. Re: Purchasing at Yiwu market

HI,

I'm planning a trip to Yuwu and would be interested in contacting your Agent Andy.

Could you pls pass on his contact details?

Edited: January 10, 2015, 11:41 pm
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