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You’ve probably noticed that so many products seem to have a “made in China” sticker on them these days. But you likely haven’t made money off this fact yet. It turns out there are some enterprising people who have, though, as they’ve started importing products from China so they can sell them online. If you’re curious about how this works—and how it can make you a lot of money without too much hassle—here’s what you need to know about this method of getting rich selling online.

online retailers

How It Works

We all know e-commerce is extremely popular and is still growing. In fact, online retail sales around the world grew by 20 percent in one year, going from $1.9 trillion to about $2.3 trillion in 2015 alone. So setting up an e-commerce website to sell products seems like a safe bet. But in order to be profitable, you have to get the products from the right country—meaning you should buy from a country that offers low-priced items you can mark up and resell in the U.S. for much more. That’s why many people who get rich selling online import from China.

Choose the Right Products to Sell

Before you import from China, you need to decide which products you’re going to sell on your site. If you want to be as profitable as possible, you need to get products that will actually sell, which means people need or want them and are willing to buy them online. Some of the most popular products coming out of China are in the following categories: home and garden, clothing, shoes and personal lifestyle, information technology, and media and entertainment. Whether you decide to sell clothes, furniture, personal electronics, or other desirable products, just make sure you choose items that are inexpensive for you to buy so you can turn a profit when you resell them.

Develop Relationships with Your Vendors

Once you decide what to import from China, it’s time to determine who to buy from. Be careful when choosing vendors in China. You need to pick vendors you can depend on to supply you with quality products at a good price. Otherwise, you risk running out of the products you wish to sell, or you might suddenly face long delays when it comes to receiving your products—which is a problem if your customers already made the purchase. And if the items are not good quality, you’ll face complaints from customers, which could cause your profits to dip. This is why many experts who sell online recommend meeting the vendors you’ll be working with, which means you might consider taking a trip to China before choosing who to buy from. This can create the mutual trust you need for success in your business as you import from China.

Consider the Chinese Tariffs Before You Buy

One detail to consider before you start selling online is how the tariffs on Chinese products will affect your business. In the summer of 2018, the Trump Administration imposed tariffs on hundreds of items that the US imports from China. The tariffs are at 10 percent as of 2018, but they’ll rise to 25 percent in 2019. This means you’ll have to pay 25 percent more on certain items. At first, the tariffs mainly only affected the manufacturing industry, since they focused mostly on raw materials. But now more products have been added to the list, meaning the tariffs could affect the ecommerce field.

There’s no telling how long the Chinese tariffs will remain in place, so for now, you should factor them in to your business plan. This means looking at the list of items that are affected, and then considering if you can still turn a profit despite paying 25 percent more than usual. If you think people would still buy your products if you increased the price on them, you could try that. If not—and if it’s clear you won’t be able to make a profit anymore with the tariffs—it may be wise to find other countries you can source your items from. For example, you might need to look at the Philippines, India, or Vietnam instead, at least while the tariffs are in place.

After you choose the products you’ll sell online and sign contracts with one or more vendors, it’s time to get the right business insurance. Having a policy just for online retailers will protect you in case customers ever threaten you with legal action when a problem arises. Considering how much a lawsuit could eat into your profits, you need the peace of mind business insurance will bring you as you set up your e-commerce website.

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