I import incense and related items from Vietnam and China. I have some time and resources, so I am here to network with others and learn more about importing and exporting. I have establihed contacts in Vietnam, China, and Thailand. I am looking to establish contacts in shipping and customs brokerage.
Just a quick thought:
I certainly am far from a programmer, and dont have alot of time to learn it either. And I am a small time marketer, so I dont have alot of money to pay a developer. So I took the real easy way out - with SHOPIFY. It`s a "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET" answer to an online store. It goes something like this: Pick a design, now add a product description, now upload a picture, now put it in a category and price it! And PRESTO you are done! And it has a good enough shopping cart linked to PAYPAL. I built a website with about 70 products in about 4 hours.
I dont have to pay hosting fees, or software costs, or monthly shopping cart fees, or developers costs. What I DO have to pay is 10% of every sale. I was happy with this for starters. I already had a domain so i just put a link on my domain www.ethingsworldwide.com to my catalog: http://ethingsworldwide.myshopify.com. You can check it out yourself at www.shopify.com.
It is by far not the greatest, and I will definitely go to something better in the future. But for starters, its great for me. And for my matching brochures, I just downloaded the design of the website into my WP software!
Thanks for listening!
Nice to see someone else asking the same questions I am interested in knowing. I have been importing from Vietnam for some time now, in very small quantities, using the USPS, but its very expensive, and for ocean shipments, it takes over 3 months. My other complication is that I am in Montana - not alot of Ports here!
In the process of trying to find other options, I ran across this place. I don`t necessarily recommend them or not, but their online quote system gave me a great overview of just how many different costs are involved.
Good luck, and I will be hoping more people help out here.
Today I made my second pass through this forum. And not only is it all a great idea, but everytime I read more, I get a few more suggestions or plans of attack, or ideas, for my own direction.
I`d sure like to be part of this. I`ve recently joined several "business" communities, and this one is by far the best for focus and direction. I am excited to read these posts now everyday and sit back, learn, contribute, and take action when that time comes.
My education is from the school of hard knocks. Most recently my background is in market research, and I consider my expertise to be getting on the phone and getting things done - gathering information and formulating results.
I`m anxious to see who wins the election of point man (or woman) and watch things really take off from there, and help it along as best I can