Are you planning to go to the Canton Fair in October? With the holidays right around the corner, you may hope that the Canton Fair will give you the opportunity to meet suppliers for your online store in time to private label them before Black Friday. That won’t happen, for these 5 reasons.
Before you spend money going to China, make sure it is a right fit and you will see results going. If you are planning on going on your own, get educated in what to expect and how to do business in China, especially the logistics of getting your products to and from.
Do not rely on the manufacturers, or you may not like that outcome. If you are planning on going with a group, pick wisely and go with those who have years of experience – not years of experience in selling online, but instead years of experience doing business in China and specifically at the Canton fair.
Private Label University has attended the fair since the 1980s and has even exhibited at the fair. We provide one-on-one private mentoring with a guide who speaks Mandarin by your side at all times. That’s the type of experience you need when you attend the fair, especially if you choose to attend in October.
Amazon and online selling knowledge will not get you much success with finding the right suppliers at the fair. Suppliers are looking for established businesses that they can grow with, businesses that understand international business and exporting/importing. The Chinese manufacturers want to produce quality products for you as long as you buy and continue to buy. They, like you, are looking for a win-win relationship, so understanding international business and trade is the key, not Amazon or online selling knowledge. This is why our offices in China, our April training classes, and our native-speaking guides are such important aspects to your success at the fair.
The Canton Fair was created for the retailer, not online seller. If you want to access to the latest products available to private labelers, you won’t find many at the Canton Fair in October, but rather in April. The October fair exhibits current products, while the new products aren’t released until the April fair. Even though the new products have not been released yet, retailers are more concerned on continuing to build the relationships they have with their supplier and re-order already existing products for their stores.
Remember, retailers are purchasing one year or more in advance for their store, while most online seller are not. And physical stores can prepare that far in advance as most have their own warehouse facilities, unlike most online FBA sellers. So, the October Fair is still a great time for brick-and-mortar stores to go. In fact, we’ve attended the fair and helped physical stores find success in the Canton Fair since the 80’s.
You will spend more time and money from October through March with very little to show for it. If you attend the Canton Fair in October, you’ll come home just in time for all your new contacts to go on their holiday breaks (Thanksgiving through all the Chinese holidays that continue into March), which will slow down the relationship building process, thus wasting time. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to turn everything around in time, which means you will be missing out on making holiday sales.
You will never be able to private label a product in time for the biggest money making season of the year. If you attend the Canton Fair in October, you won’t have time to communicate with manufacturers, perfect your branding and build stronger relationships without the communication interruptions of all the USA and Chinese holidays, which usually last November through March.
With our downloadable Chinese holiday calendar below, you’ll see that the bulk of the time between your return from China and the holidays will be spent simply waiting. These delays mean you won’t realistically be able to private label a product in the 90-120 days it often takes. Instead, you’ll find your wait times nearly doubled, with products ready to go in April or later. If you must wait that long, you might as well join our April trip to China instead.
We’ve had decades of experience with hundreds of trips to the Canton Fair and we’re here to help you find your own success. If you do want to attend the Canton Fair for your online store, please consider joining us in April. You can find all the information you need here.