Yiwu is a world famous small commodity market, where many people have found their "dream of getting rich".
For cross-border e-commerce sellers, this is also an important "base" second only to Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Many sellers regard Yiwu as the "first stop" to enter the cross-border market.
LazadaSeller Ethan's office is right hereLiuqing District 8, Beiyuan Street, is very close to the airport and the cargo gathering place of Lazada.
In the office with an area of more than 100 square meters, dozens of rows of containers are piled with goods destined for Southeast Asia.
two thousand and nineteenIn, Ethan rented this office with two rooms and one hall in Yiwu with 50000 yuan, together with three partners, to enter cross-border e-commerce.
The first product was a spring toy that was popular in Tiktok at that time. The products that were supposed to be popular were unexpectedly neglected in overseas markets, and the inventory of this spring toy has been piling up.
two thousand and nineteenAt the end of the year, I couldn't stand the loneliness of only dozens of orders every day, and the three partners left one after another. Ethan became a lone ranger.
However, the departure of companions is not the most fatal problem. Ethan has persevered, but the price of his persistence is that he can't get enough money to spend, and his financial situation is becoming increasingly difficult.
"When I was most embarrassed, I went to the noodle shop to choose the cheapest plain noodles,It only cost 10 yuan, but I swiped 4 bank cards to complete the payment。”
In order to save a little money, Ethan has cut down almost all outsourcing projects that can be done by themselves, including collecting goods and packaging.
However, you can accept the gifts of fate as much as you can suffer.
During the six months of personal selection, shopping, and packaging, Ethan found out the dress taste of Southeast Asian women, and developed popular hair bands, pins, sunglasses and other products one by one.
two thousand and twenty-oneDuring the Double 11 Festival, Ethan's store sold nearly 10000 pieces of jewelry,Monthly GMV exceeds 150000 US dollars (about 950000 yuan)At the beginning, the small shop that produced dozens of orders every day maintained an average order volume of about 1500 today.
(The picture is Ethan, 25 years old. Source: Lazada Southeast Asia E-commerce)
Similar to Ethan, Yiming is also a small jewelry product. However, Yiming mainly focuses on the European and American markets and was the first e-commerce platform in the United States.
two thousand and nineteenIn, Yiming officially entered the cross-border e-commerce industry. Due to insufficient startup funds, Yiming found a small jewelry factory in Yiwu to pick up goods on 1688.
Unfortunately, the epidemic in early 2020 caused Yiming to run out of goods for a while. When the supply chain can be continued, the single quantity has been unable to rise. To make matters worse, in June of the same year, due to the slow shipment of the cooperative factory, it was impossible to urge them to go their separate ways.
However, a series of blows did not make Yiming give up.
sevenIn January, Yiming made up his mind to solve the supply chain problem by himself and develop towards branding.
Due to the experience of "on-site tracking", Yiming is familiar with the production and processing process of small accessories. With limited funds, Yiming has opened a small factory.
It is easy to see from Ethan and Yiming that many cross-border e-commerce sellers choose to start in Yiwu, largely because of the supply chain advantages here, especially the ubiquitous small commodity workshops.
Some factory owners, even here, have developed into big brands of a certain platform.
For example, Qickitout, the underpants brand on Sumitong.
(The picture shows Qickitout stores)
two thousand and fourteenIn, the Qickitout brand was located in Liucun, Qingyan, YiwuIt was born in a house with two bedrooms and one living room.The boss, Jin Yao, is a native of Yiwu. After two years of foreign trade in sex products, he made the first barrel of money.
In those two years, the overseas leggings brand Black Milk launched leggings with the elements of Pac Man, Tetris, Star Wars, etc., which became popular on Instagram and gained more than 1 million fans. However, domestic sellers are not aware of the business opportunity of "colored pants". Most of them still sell leggings in solid colors.
Aiming at this market, Jin Yao made a decisive bet to sell "flower pants" through quick selling.
At that time, 80% of the leggings worn by women all over the country were from Yiwu, which had a good supply chain foundation. However, no factory has mastered the core printing technology.
Jin Yao had to go to Guangdong and buy the printing machine, so he rented a small workshop in Yiwu and began to produce printing leggings.
However, the patterned leggings were sold out at the beginning after quick selling. At the beginning, the monthly sales volume wasTens of thousands of dollars,Within two years, the monthly sales rose toHundreds of thousands of dollars.
Jin Yao, who made a lot of money, also bought a whole office building near the downtown of Yiwu.
two thousand and seventeenIn, Qickitout officially became the first place in the category of instant selling underpants, and became the "dragon head".
However, successful sellers have found their own direction and perseverance in Yiwu,Some sellers lost their way in Yiwu.
Liu Yin is one of them.
two thousand and eighteenIn, Liu Yin rented a single apartment in Yiwu with unlimited vision for the cross-border e-commerce industry, opening his own Amazon road.
Liu Yin's English is not good, and the product description depends on the help of translation software.
However, the small factories throughout Yiwu have made it very convenient for Liu Yin to choose products. The product trend changed slightly, and Liu Yin could always find the factory with supply at the first time.
After three years of hard work, Liu Yin was able to go out every month6-7An order of ten thousand dollars.
However, problems also arise.
Businessmen always have a keen sense of smell. Every time Liu Yin finds a popular product and sells it for less than a month, the platform is full of competitors, and Liu Yin has to be involved in endless price wars.
"Now the customer price of all products is very lowsix point nine nineUSD,I feel very tired. "
According to Liu Yin, the unit prices of $3.99 and $4.99 are the norm in his shop. Tired of the price implosion, Liu Yin has planned to give up the "small dilapidated houses" rented in Yiwu and prepare to continue to develop in Shenzhen next year.
Liu Yin chose to leave mainly for the sake of long-term development.
Lin Hua's departure was more dominated by temporary emotions.
two thousand and eighteenIn July 2001, after graduating from school, Lin Hua went directly to work in a cross-border e-commerce company in Yiwu. This is two and a half years.
As an Amazon operator, Lin Hua's initial salary was only 4000 yuan, but he was steadfast and willing to bear hardships and study. After two and a half years, his basic salary rose to 10000 yuan.
However, since April 2021, Amazon has banned sellers on a large scale, and Linhua has also been affected. In order to ensure profits, the company had to lay off its operating personnel.
After being laid off, three of Lin Hua's close friends chose to leave Yiwu for Hangzhou.
Lin Hua was a little sad in the bottom of his heart, and also had the idea of leaving Yiwu to Hangzhou for development.
Yiwu's supply chain capabilities and relatively cheap costs are certainly attractive to cross-border e-commerce sellers. But its own series of problems also deeply perplex sellers.
❑ 100000 pieces in 24 hours "the same style as the champion"
Yiwu's supply chain capability is beyond doubt.
In the field of small commodity manufacturing, Yiwu has the highest speed in the world. There are more than 150 local professional villages and towns.
two thousand and twenty-oneAt the Tokyo Olympic Games in, Yang Qian became popular overnight, and her yellow duck hair card also became a hot search product. However, the factory in Yiwu can produce 100000 pieces of "champion same style" within 24 hours after Yang Qian won the championship, which shows its strong supply chain capacity.
Such a strong supply chain capability is what Yiwu is valued and relied on by cross-border e-commerce sellers.
But conversely,It is precisely because its supply chain reaction speed is too fast, which also enables many sellers to,We have to "abandon" Yiwu.
Li Ming, an Amazon seller, reported to the Blue Ocean Yiguan website domain news that it is difficult to make an influential brand in Yiwu.
"Yiwu's industrial chain is really awesome! There has been a saying in the industry:There is no source of goods in Yiwu! This is good and bad.”
According to Li Ming, the rapid response of Yiwu's supply chain has greatly increased the difficulty of product development.
two thousand and nineteenIn, Li Ming developed a small blockbuster based on years of experience. It took half a year to open the mold, change the model and test it. To Li Ming's surprise, his blockbuster was sold less than two months ago, and a large number of competitors began to appear on Amazon. Many products were more than 90% similar to his blockbuster in appearance.
Li Ming knows that this is an unchangeable situation,In Yiwu, as long as one product sells well,The next day, the whole village was producing this product.
It is too difficult to create our own patented products in Yiwu.
QickitoutI have encountered similar things.
two thousand and seventeenIn, Qickitout used printed underpants to make its own quick selling platform,The signboards of "3D printing" were put up soon,The small workshops in Yiwu have a keen sense of smell and never miss any chance to make a fortune.
In the same year, Qickitout was forced into a very serious price war.
Some small workshops can make a style that can compress the cost of workmanship and fabric to the extreme, which is 2-3 dollars lower than Qickitout.
"One day, I saw a pair of regular printed leggings on Quick Connect, which were priced between $2-3. At that time, my first reaction was impossible."
According to Zhao Bixiang, an operator of Qickitout Express, a pair of Qickitout leggings costs about $3, and the price is often around $6.
In order to find out the reason, Zhao Bixiang placed an order, and found that the quality was not a bit inferior to Qickitout.
(The picture shows the product price of Qickitout on AliExpress)
Since they dare not reduce the quality of fabrics at will, Qickitout can only spread the cost by accelerating the production speed. But then the problem came.
The acceleration of production still brings about a series of product quality problems, such as poor wiring and substandard thread ends. This series of problems has brought a lot of negative comments to Qickitout.
Thanks to Jin Yao's hard work on quality, Qickitout's reputation was saved and the trust of regular customers was regained again.
Lu Lan's experience is even more unacceptable.
As a product developer with design skills, Lu Lan will put some of her design drafts on the Internet from time to time to ask netizens for modification opinions.
However, when he finished a design drawing of the car hook, wanted to go to the factory to open the mold and apply for a patent, he found that some factories in Yiwu were already producing similar products, and the function remained at the level of one or two drafts before his final draft.
"At that time, I was very confused because I improved the product very quickly. The previous version of the final version had just been released online for less than two days, and some people had already produced real products."
Lu Lan also admitted that it was inappropriate for him to put the design draft online, but he did not expect the local factory in Yiwu to respond so quickly.
"In addition to admiration, I also feel very cold. Here, the survival soil for independent development and innovation is very poor."
Behind the developed productivity and efficient market response speed, the Matthew effect of cross-border e-commerce enterprises in Yiwu is more and more obvious.
High quality enterprises have huge energy in forming scale and brand, while small and medium-sized sellers are "imitating" and "following the trend". It is more difficult for them to independently develop explosive products and create brands.
❑ Can you change without leaving?
Faced with the "replication" capability of Yiwu's supply chain, most enterprises can think of moving their factories to other places and their headquarters to Hangzhou and Shenzhen after reaching a certain level.
However, some sellers believe that this is a temporary solution rather than a permanent solution.
"The cross-border e-commerce industry has greatly weakened the regional influence on the market. You can escape from Yiwu, but as long as you do cross-border, you can never escape from the network."
Allen, a senior Amazon seller, believes that the supply chain around Yiwu is very complete, the logistics is also developed, and the infrastructure is perfect. Compared with Hangzhou, Yiwu has natural advantages.
Although Shenzhen also has these advantages, its costs are much higher than those of Yiwu. Whether for enterprises or individuals, there is no need to "escape" in order to develop in Yiwu.
"There is no escape. This is also a problem that an enterprise must face if it wants to develop."
How do you do it?
AllenIt is believed that each enterprise has its own route and development plan.
The following suggestions are for reference only:
● Deeply develop a technology
Although Yiwu and its surrounding factories have fast reaction speed and high production efficiency, they are limited to products with low technical content. Most factories do not have some difficult technologies in the industry.
Therefore, further study in a certain product field can better build a moat.
● Improve product iteration speed
No matter how powerful a factory is, it takes time to imitate and produce. When the other party imitates version 1.0, I have transformed the product to version 2.0, so I am not afraid of the other party's imitation.
The "Yiwu dilemma" is actually reflected in every cross-border person. How to get out of it? It is a common test for sellers who are still rolling in the price volume. (Article/Chen Jianbin of Blue Ocean Yiguan, a cross-border e-commerce website)