A Little Bit About My Business Journey This Far

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It’s been 12 years since i dropped out of vocational school, just a full circle of Chinese zodiac signs – 12 animals complete a circle.

with no expertise and working experience, i can only work from the bottom. went to find a job working as a warehouse keeper, and taking orders from the warehouse to the shop for customers had been my daily routine, and 5 months later, i was promoted to work as a salesman at the shop.

that was 2012 when Taobao, the E-commerce platform, was just starting to boom. so this guy, his surname is Hu and we called him Mr. Hu, everyday, he would have a list of orders in his hand and getting items from a bunch of different stores at the market, and he would consolidate all the items at our shop, and i would help him put them in boxes and sealed them up because he ordered stuff from us too.

one day he uses the computer at our shop and open his taobao store, that’s when i realized how profitable his business was. and i quit my job and started my own business the next year.

i opened a taobao store selling phone cases for two years and things were not as easy as i thought, i made some money in the first year but the second year was just getting by. i struggled a little bit until my mom said their products were quite popular, quite a lot young guy like me buying them and flipped them online, so that’s when it hit me, so i gave it a try. and by the way, my parents were selling wholesales phone accessories at a counter at one of these electronics accessories markets in HQB, so that’s why.

at the very beginning, i was just cold reaching out to these Taobao stores, i hit them up by chat, telling them what i got and prices, i also sent samples sometimes, and they bought from my Taobao shop, almost a year later, i paid a membership fee to become a supplier on 1688, and that’s where i had huge success and made the first bucket of money in my life.

the second year, i invited two of my best friends back home to join my business, we worked together and had a lot of fun partnering during the period, and most importantly, we all made money. 4 year later, i made a bold decision to expand the business to the overseas market, not even knowing how to ship an order internationally and with mininum english, i paid a membership fee of 30 thousands to become a supplier on alibaba, which is the equivalent of 1688, only that it caters to domestic buyers.

at first, i thought the way that alibaba wholesale channel operates and how to run the store should be more or less the same as 1688, but i leanred it the hard way that it’s totally different. and at the same time, my partners branched out to beauty category and acted as a subsidiary to the company that us three hold shares in. they had little success at first but then the market changed super fast, more and more competition and everyone was slashing down prices to get customers, leading to razor thin margins.

then a lof of things happened within next two years with covid and lockdowns and stuff, and we finally decided to go our separate ways, i had three employees in my international business deparment at the time and just barely got by, so i held up for another year after we went separate then i finally decided to lay off all employees and closed down the office, and i provided them severance pay so they can transition to a new job.

i continued to work on my alibaba, spent half year in Dongguang at a CNC shop which my friend owns, learnt about CNC manufacturing and at the same time i started this blog sharing what i do and what i know as well as my past experiences. there hasn’t been many updates on this website cause i have been busy with my alibaba business.

as the saying gose, every cloud has a silver lining. just last year, i received the first 40 Ft container of a phone holder order from a Korean client, shout out to him. and then a serveral big orders from a variety of countries. it’s the first year ever after i became a supplier on alibaba, i can finally make enough money from it to cover overheads and be profitable.

this year, i will allocate a bit more time to my blog and social media like tiktok, instagram, and still running my alibaba business cause that’s my only income source right now. i hope you guys enjoy my contents and even if it just inspires you a little bit, that will make my day, much love, peace!

About James

Founder of Gatherdeep.com, bootstrap business owner with 8 years experience in manufacturing and sourcing consumer eletronics products

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