The first time I went back to visit our warehouse in Yiwu, Andy brought me on a train ride from Shenzhen to Hangzhou. I was sitting next to the window staring at the hazy sky. The smog was so thick it never dissipated for the sun to shine through for the entire 8 hours ride. It was not the same blue sky that I saw when I was in China 26 years ago before immigrating to the US. “How do people live in this climate?” I remembered asking Andy. “What else can they do?” he said, “Real estate developers are replacing all the forest to put in million dollar condos; factories are churning out billions of products every year which leaves tons of excess hazardous waste in China’s environment. The government is taking measures in an effort to clean up the environment, but between keeping your factory from bankruptcy and sacrificing the environment, it’s a losing battle.”
The next day after I toured our Yiwu headquarter, Andy brought me on a tour to the famous Yiwu International Trade Center. This trade center is UNBELIEVABLY GINORMOUS! Yiwu is literally built around this trade center. The trade center have five “districts” that spans across the entire city. Each building has several floors and each floor have thousands of vendors in little stalls selling only variations of ONE product. For example, there were vendors that only sell zippers, zippers in different colors, length, material, teeth, slider, and pull-tab. You will find ten different vendors also selling the same kinds of zippers on the same floor and the only advantage they have over each other is the cost and the speed at which they can grab the first potential buyer that passed by.
“Why did you decide to become a supplier for dropshippers?” I interviewed Andy as we walked down the hallway with millions of products passing by my peripherals. “Well, first, there’s the need,” he said, “Second, China has the advantage as a manufacturing nation in providing competitive prices. We are able to provide products at prices that other countries can’t beat. The rest of the world is well aware of China’s advantage, and there’s huge demand for millions of Chinese factories to supply products.” “However, the products manufactured does not always find the right buyer. So as a dropshipping supplier, CJ can provide a platform where the buyer’s needs matches up with the supplier’s product. For example, if a supplier produced 10,000 finger widgets, Buyer 1 might only be able to sell 6,000 of them. If the supplier does not find another buyer for the rest of the 4,000 pcs, these toys will go to the trash and it will be a loss for the supplier, a waste of resources, no economic benefits, and a burden to China’s environment. “With CJ’s platform, we are able to consolidate all these products that were otherwise deemed as “excess inventory”, and introduce them to buyers who can sell them. Maybe we meet Buyer 2 who can sell 1,000 pcs and Buyer 3 who can sell the remaining 3,000 pcs. Consolidating resources and then distributing them to satisfy the buyer’s demand will eliminate what was once excess inventory. This is a business that creates a win-win situation for all parties involved.” I had to agree. Andy was right. I’ve lived in the States for too long and became used to stereotypes that “Made in China” products were poorly made. When something that I purchased broke or happened to look cheaply made, without even looking at the origin, the first thought that came into my mind was: this must be made in China! This type of selective bias confirmation only intensifies my experience, however, setting foot in Yiwu’s trade center reminds me that my experience is not always the same as reality. Think about iPhones, which are held as one of the beacons of consumer electronic quality, they were all made in China! That trip back to Yiwu was eye-opening. It reminded me to show respect and gratitude for countries are providing gadgets and products that only they can made at the price that western countries are willing to pay. Because if we were to factor in the environmental cost of manufacture for those products, and there is a local option to product the same items, buyers would probably pass out after they see the price! All the dropshippers are outsourcing the manufacturing and fulfillment process to other countries, because they are well aware that manufacturing is the activity that produce the lowest profit margin. If the cost to produce was $1, manufacturers are only able to sell it for $2, because the price of raw materials and labor are very transparent. Dropshippers, on the other hand, can purchase the product for $2 from the manufacturers, and then use their creative advertising skills to craft an ad copy that can sell the same product for $49.99. Manufacturers and factories in China struggles daily just to survive under these low profit margins. Hoping they gain an advantage by having amble supply of certain products, factories can’t help but to produce excess inventory which worsen the already devastating environment. So when retailers are pushing for low prices, manufacturers have to cut corners on the quality in order to make profit, retailers are consequentially killing their own market.
Personally, I never believed in price wars because they are never sustainable. The internet, dropshipping, YouTube, Uber, Cjdropshipping, these technologies, retail methods and companies all have one thing in common, their existence benefits all parties involve, that’s why the society and the market gravitates towards them. I would like to thank all our dropshippers who used CJDropshipping’s platform for sourcing and fulfillment service. By giving us the opportunity to serve you, you are giving us the opportunity to make our platform a better tool for matching your dropshipping needs with quality products in China, and hence reducing the outflow of excess inventory that damages our planet. I am fully aware that our platform is far from being perfect, but we are determined to provide the best dropshipping fulfillment experience through our platform. Each problem that we face on our journey gives us an opportunity to grow one more step closer to our goal. Thank you all for your support and we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I don’t know if any of have seen those stalls in the Yiwu International Trade City, but take a look at this video that Andy and his wife Lynn filmed back in 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaE18PEiLg&t=91s . I once read a book call “Junkyard Planet” by Adam Minter who gave the readers unmatched access to and insight on the waste industry. He traces the export of America's garbage and the massive profits that China and other rising nations earn from it. Very interest book which I highly recommend if you want to take a break from scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=junkyard+planet