We connected years ago in the community as the Cross Border Summit was coming and have been so supportive of what we do here at Global From Asia. Today’s show we have Kornilia Lampropoulou from Forest Shipping.
I feel like it’s a topic we should be covering, China and USA trade War. What’s going on?
Before we talk about the trade war – tell us how many sellers Forest Shipping is working with. As I know it is a lot – I ask so that we get the validation that you have good data and insights on what is happening.
Topics Covered in this Episode
When did it start to “happen”
I saw a tweet from Donald Trump in mid May, that seemed like the “Beginning” to me of all this chat. Many people felt it was over in end of last year / early this year – but this tweet seemed to have re-opened the can of worms? Something about a deadline in the deal and China wasn’t doing as they said?
What were sellers saying?
Did your company get flooded with emails asking how to react to this?
You work with both Chinese and International sellers - any differences?
Did you notice a different tone / strategy / worry from Chinese Amazon FBA sellers and those overseas?
How have people been responding?
What has been changing in the industry, I know this is only a few weeks into it now.
Any new plans for your company due to this?
It must be a bit nerve racking for your logistics and FBA prep company as you are heavily invested and entrenched with the USA and China trade and Amazon FBA business – any plan B?
What are your tips for sellers listening?
Find a factory outside of China? Increase price? Pass prices to Amazon customers? Push the factory’s price down / make them share with the price increase?
A bit about Forest Shipping
Thanks for sharing these insights Kornilia! Also thanks Forest Shipping for supporting the Global From Asia show as a GFA partner member. I know many listeners use your service, but for those who aren’t familiar, can you share a bit about what you provide and how people can work with you.
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Trump’s tweet on the May 2019 trade war update
√ Forest Shipping Website
√ Forest Shipping review on GFA Reviews
√ The Australian seller podcast, Chris Thomas
√ Survey – How China/USA Trade War is Affecting Business Owners
Episode Length 01:03:02
Thanks Kornilia! Thanks for the insight, I picked up some insights too. It’s been a fascinating conversation so we’ll see how this all develops.
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Episode 256 of Global From Asia. I feel like it’s a topic we should be covering, China and USA trade War. What’s going on? Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where a daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight-up actionable advice. And now your host Michael Michelini.
[00:00:26] I hope everybody’s having a super Tuesday. It’s the beginning of June, June 4th. I won’t get into some of the history of June 4th. We are talking about the hot topic China and USA trade war which is a, one that’s been filling my inbox and social media accounts for a few weeks now. Most of May, I think. We’ll talk about the interview. But it’s been a lot of stuff happening about this topic, getting many people in our little world here of cross-border trade and e-commerce and business and Asia and
[00:01:08] Even the show name, Global From Asia. I mean, there’s been a lot at, a lot at stake lately. I mean, I guess it keeps things interesting. Hopefully people haven’t lost too much sleep if we joke about that a little bit in the interview. And today I’m, I think this one is going to be a very popular show.
[00:01:24] We’re going to be also launching a survey today on the podcast, on the blog. I want to hear from you. I’ve been talking to amazing people in Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Frederick of China Importal, talk to Chris Davey FBA for you, talking to people all over this space and wechat groups and private messages and member calls at VIP, GFAVIP and all this stuff and.
[00:01:53] I want to try to make an industry report may be some kind of a white paper data research. So if you want to be part of this report and you want to also have your voice heard and get that report in return if you so choose to get that report. We’re doing some research here at Global From Asia. You can check out some of the insights.
[00:02:15] I’ve been hearing already from the trade war and you can fill out your survey as well, it’s a cool, little poll which is fun. So there’s two different ways you can engage and interact globalfromasia.com/tradewarsurvey. All one word. No dashes, no underscores on that fun stuff. Just trade war survey or check it out on a show note linked. We’re going to do our job here.
[00:02:40] I feel like it’s part of my job as a blogger, podcaster, reporter, journalist, dude with a camera on his neck, sometimes do video blogs. But we have our team and I would really love to hear your feedback, if you are affected by this US trade War – US and China Trade War. I think it has an effect on everybody,
[00:03:02] You know, if anybody from, of course, factories in China. We have for shipping today Kornilia, of course, shipping companies, sellers, importers, brands and even the end consumer in America. You know, my Mom and Dad buying off Amazon. I don’t know. I mean, I think they mostly buy at Walmart, but for everybody buying products in America, I think you’re going to be feeling it.
[00:03:28] I think Christmas is going to be a little bit more expensive for the gifts this year. I think, no matter what. But if you want to give me your insights definitely take us up on that offer. I will have it rolling for a couple of weeks, maybe until mid-June, and then I’ll be digging into data with our team and.
[00:03:45] they can do some kind of an industry report of the findings. So, the more insights we get the better. globalfromasia.com/ trade show, trade war, excuse me, trade war survey. We have trade shows too. Get a lot of different things going on in this world of the cross-border business. So I want to get into the show and then I’ll do the blah blah blah at the end.
[00:04:10] I’ll also get some more insights of what’s happening. And I’m doing this all before my kids home from, come home from school. We are getting the studio rocking and rolling here. Let’s tune in. Kornilia, the head of international business development from one of our partners and sponsors of our many things here at Global From Asia, Forest shipping.
[00:04:31] We had the founder on the show as well, Forest Zhang. Same name as the business and the previous episode we’ll link it up on the show notes. Kornilia and I have a discussion about this whole trade war and I think she’s a great guest to have. She gives some insights to deal with Chinese sellers as well as international sellers.
[00:04:50] they ship from U, their, 80% of their Market, is Chinese goods to US markets. So they must deal with a lot of, I mean a lot, over thousands of clients. It’s a lot of increase everyday. So of course, support this, support our sponsor. Definitely check them out. But with this show is very insightful, very helpful.
[00:05:12] We want to add a value. Educate. I got some insights too about differences of how the Chinese sellers in the US market versus International sellers into the US market are dealing with this differently. And, how their, how their businesses strategy is different, which is also fascinating. That, and then at the end we keep it the value going. She got some great tips at the end and, and ways that you can calculate this. So, I definitely think you’ll enjoy this one episode.
[00:05:41] 256 of Global From Asia. Globalfromasia.com/episode256 for the show notes as well as the photo of our guests and transcriptions. We try to get transcription as the show’s live. All of that and more at the blog. But let’s tune in the interview and then after some of my blah blah blah, thanks.
[00:06:00] Let’s do it. Trade war or no trade war there will be International payments and goremit.HK, our loyal sponsor here at the Global From Asia podcast is there to help you make payments from your Hong Kong bank to other parts in Asia. Of course, into China for your manufacturing or your office or operating costs or freelancer costs Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand like me, and other places.
[00:06:29] We really appreciate them sponsoring. It’s free, of course, to create an account to go through the KYC, know your customer process and you only pay fees when you exchange your money when making a cross-border payment. And, rates are very competitive, definitely better than PayPal and others. We would love you to look at them and check them out.
[00:06:50] www.goremit.HK. Tell them GFA sent you. Thank you. Okay. Thank you everybody for tuning into another Global From Asia podcast. We have, there’s been a lot of recent events the last couple of weeks and I’m excited for also finally, get her on the show. We’ve known each other in a community first, quite some time. Kornilia from Forest Shipping and a great business connector and helpful to many sellers and business people in Shenzhen and South China.
[00:07:24] So thanks for coming on Kornilia. Hello, Mike, and everyone who’s listening to us. I am Kornilia Lampropoulou. I know it’s a big name, huh? Yeah, I don’t think I can…it’s best you say, say it. So it’s great. And, I am the head of the International Department of Forest Shipping International company here in Shenzhen.
[00:07:48] So I’ve been living and working in China the past five years. In e-commerce and Amazon shipping and this field and I feel really excited to join your podcast Mike. I hope I can offer some you know, useful insights of the latest and hottest topic about the US-China trade war. Yeah, before we start dashing, I would like to thank you for inviting me. Since I have met you. until now I still believe the same first thing, you know. You’re a real Pro who really loves what he’s doing and this is something you know, which is really rare to see in our days.
[00:08:26] Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, I think we connected. You know, this is what’s great about doing these events like the Crossborder Summit which will, our fourth annual is coming up and I think it was the first or second time that you’ve been very supportive to come and, yeah. We met through the events and, and it’s great.
[00:08:44] You’re also very helpful too and, and thank you and Forest Shipping for being one of our preferred partners, and supporting the show and the community here. So I also thank you back, so. Thank you. Sure. So, yeah, like you said. And I’ve been chin-, where the trade war, is this really hot topic and I think we both been talking to some different journalists and media and everybody’s been asking.
[00:09:10] So yeah, I think it’s still a hot topic even a couple weeks in, since this has been really picking up. But, I think it’s great to have you, and your experience, come because like here in Shenzhen, you’re dealing with all these sellers from China to the overseas for Amazon and different e-commerce platforms.
[00:09:30] So maybe first you could give us some data, some insights about, Maybe how, what kind of clients, you know, what kind of people you would typically deal with so that, what we know, you know, you’re dealing with sellers a lot ,as US market primarily. Or, or maybe some insights about what kind of. I think the numbers speak from their self.
[00:09:54] It’s always about a number. So for the last quarter, our company’s clients reached the number of 1130 both Chinese and overseas. I need to mention here that the approximate number of the daily incoming inquiries that our Overseas Department received are around 40 to 50 as a number, if that helps.
[00:10:18] Okay. We are talking for the overseas clients from US, India, Europe, wherever all around the world. Okay. Now of course, I think the most interesting number is the percentage of those shipments which actually leave from China head to the, the US market. So well, this number is huge and this close to 80% out of all our total. We have clients all over the world.
[00:10:52] We also have clients here in China, but I think the most important number and part is to say that the 80%, this 80% means that wherever you are all around the world, you’re shipping from China to US and that’s a really big number. Yes huge. It’s huge. It’s a well, get in to somebody, hopefully, you know, everybody gets through this.
[00:11:21] Okay, we’ll talk about some of the good and maybe the pros and the cons. But yeah, like just another point for, for listeners to make sure that they understand that a lot of times especially when I talked, we both talked to some different reporters. And, people think it’s like US Sellers and Chinese sellers, but
[00:11:38] there are sellers all around the world that maybe. Australia there, just because they live in Australia. There’s a friend of mine Chris Thomas that has a podcast there, The Australian Seller, definitely check it out. It’s a good one. But you know, but they don’t just sell in Australia. They sell in the US and they buy from China.
[00:11:53] So I mean anybody, anywhere can buy from China and sell to the US. So I think a lot of times people ask like, how’s it going to affect US sellers. It’s not really, it’s maybe people selling in the US which could be a Chinese-based seller, selling in the US Amazon market or anywhere in the US
[00:12:09] Really. So yeah, I think that’s a good point. So but like you said 80% of your, your clients are selling, importing into the US, and selling in the US market, which is… We have many clients also from India that they sell, you know into the US market. So no, doesn’t have to do where you’re actually based but it has to do more where you source your products from and where you send them, where you ship them.
[00:12:41] Yeah. Yes, so this trade war, I can’t remember when it first started. I feel like I feel like at least in my mind, there’s a couple different milestones. But, I think at least for this late, latest craze of talk about it, was a tweet. At least, I think it was a tweet or something, in like around mid-May.
[00:13:00] Where then Donald Trump says, you know, China is not going, seems to be willing to do what I think they said that they were going to do and we’re going to stand firm and make it 25 percent increase from 10 percent. 25 percent, something like this. I don’t know, if that’s maybe what you remember or, or how you’ve seen this, this unfold. I maybe wrong.
[00:13:23] So actually the story started at the beginning of 2018. The year Cyrus policy was introduced in six core stages throughout the year, but I think I shall not go deeper into this as many back and forth talks had been going on during that time and I’m afraid that I will create more confusion than clarity to our listeners.
[00:13:46] Sure. So over the course of 2018, the trans regulations alleviate import tariffs on nearly, just listen, the number two hundred eighty billion dollars of US Imports with rates ranging between 10 and 50 percent. In response, China hit back with tariffs. Being around 16% on a number close to 120 billion dollars of US exports. Following the US
[00:14:24] Into its first event of large-scale tariff protection. So we haven’t seen similar case of protection. It’s this, this you know, this size. Since the Great Depression, you know since the 1930s. Well. And of course questions raising, you know, about the future of international trade. So now we go back to what you said because you were right most ,most of the people they saw that actually the whole thing started in the middle of May.
[00:14:58] But if we go back exactly one month ago, it was on 13th of April. We had the private discussion. There was a private discussion in between, between Chinese and US official Representatives. Hmm. So at that time the whole scenario changed again, and it took back, you know our hopes that this endless trade nightmare would have finally reached an agreement.
[00:15:25] And then after five days of these boom it was when you actually saw the Trump’s Twitter announcement on The raise of the US tariffs. So what happened? Of course, there is a background, I guess. Sure. From the USA, China was a key issue that was going back on its former promises and they actually the US side said that they had basically reduced the 138 agreement into 103 pages leaving many arrangements out of it.
[00:16:04] So now from China from the China side, at least it was revealed by the press that US were, was constantly adding more and new demands during the negotiation at its latest. But there is no official reply from Beijing on this. Now, you’re asking me, I think we all wait to see what is going on. You know, what is going to happen?
[00:16:30] How this conflict is going to end and how this is going to change. So that we know so far about the international trade, you know trade scenery. And, I have the sense we will soon hear from, about it this July that coming July which, which is taking place in Japan, the G20 Summit. So that’s the whole story.
[00:16:59] Okay. Thanks for the background. That’s possible. Yeah, I know. I appreciate it. I mean, I think we got the background. I think the interesting part is you know, what you’ve been hearing, you know, you’re on, on the ground in, you know, Shenzhen. You’re working, you know, with the international markets and to come, sure, you know. I’ve been to your office a few times and there’s I’m sure there’s probably here, your team asking you or your management team, huh?
[00:17:27] Can you? Running a course is always tricky to expose client information, but maybe generally what was maybe some of the email or people freaking out. I mean, I know a lot of people, I saw in different Community groups was I don’t even know how much it’s going to my tax, my import duties going to change like I think everybody is really just scared of the unknown.
[00:17:46] I mean what we’re kind of some of the things that were coming into the, to the company. You would expect that. Actually the company will get flooded with emails or messages right? I wouldn’t say that to be honest. Not at all. I think internet, you know, that’s the whole job. There are few. Of course, we have to, we had two regular clients of ours that they resist and you know, they wanted to get more, to get to know more of what we have heard explaining the situation and what we anticipate.
[00:18:31] You know mostly to be aware of how this is going to affect or whether has impact on their you know, shipping costs, on their duties and likely to you know to get prepared. So, so far everything run smoothly. I have to say with no big changes on, you know on the daily set. For some of a shipping’s customers, of course, and the those are, you know, the smaller Amazon sellers, the smaller size Amazon sellers that they currently hesitate to see and the reason is that the with some of them that I have already had a discussion with them.
[00:19:14] They wait for the trade war outcomes and you know, I guess this makes, you know, totally sense. Mmm, actually, I wonder the dates. I think I swear I read something like if it’s already on the sea, it wouldn’t be affected but things leaving the port. I don’t know when things take effect. I guess it obviously depends as political.
[00:19:38] Do things happen so fast, I mean usually politics and government’s slow right or it is these things take effect, you know. When do the things constantly change? I mean, I don’t know it wouldn’t take a long time or to take effect. Probably yes, probably not. Unfortunately, I cannot reply to this, you know to these questions, you know and be certain that when. Yeah, sure. So, I cannot say yes.
[00:20:09] It’s going to be a. I think that they do not even know when they will actually start. You know, the effect of this. I cannot. I cannot say also. You think that’s what everybody’s and then I guess some, I some people don’t even know how to even understand. I know people saying, is there a list? How do I know? Mike, you know, there’s a, I think it’s HTS, HTC harmonized tariff codes.
[00:20:34] Yeah, I think people want to know like how much is my product gonna go off. That’s my first and the most important advice. It’s like everyone gets panic like, oh my God, I’m going to pay crazy duties and so on but the first thing that all, you know, all Amazon sellers or all those and you know, the they ship from China to the US, the first.
[00:20:58] In that they have to do is to check their HTS their HTS code. So this code is a six digit code. Should I explain you better was that, it’s like, it’s the, it’s the ID of your product in China. We have different ID. When we ship to US, we have different ID. When we ship to France we have different ID and so on.
[00:21:26] So let’s say this is the ID of your product. So when you’re going to import into the US, at the Customs clearance, they’re going to check the ID of your product. So, this is going to give you the whole idea about your duties, how much you’re going to pay. So for this one, it would be good either to check with your supplier.
[00:21:56] For example, you talk with your supplier and they’re going to guide you. So if the suppliers cannot, then you will probably need to go to the official side of the US Customs that they give you a better, you know, overview of which should be the best HTS, HTS code. They used both of both of these words to give the best ID and know exactly how much you’re going to pay for duties.
[00:22:30] I don’t know it exactly make sense, but you need first check your HS code, your US HS code. To all our listeners and to all those that they want to ship from China to US. Agreed. Yeah, we’ll link it up on the show notes some, some of these resources but, but yeah, basically I think because it depends on the not exact, been talking about 10% 25% but I think it also depends on like, you know, we can call HS, HTS, the Tariff code. So, it’s unfortunately, kind of depends on the product category.
[00:23:06] It’s not like I think there’s might be. Some, some basic, some people, some are more affected than others and. So yeah, I definitely think anybody listening. At least for now, you know, it’s like there are there are three stages that they say that they’re going to follow regarding the the HS code. Those three rounds.
[00:23:29] Let’s say in a series of tariff announcements have been already announced. But we need to continue to check the status of our HTS code, you know to stay updated on each round of announcements. Yep, I’d agree, agree in yeah, I think that’s part of the job of a seller and yeah, like talks in a factory or maybe talk to her logistics company or look up online there. to talk with our customs, US forwarder, example us, we always talk to our
[00:24:04] Customs agents and ask them for this
[00:24:13] product. What do you think is the more suitable, we’re good, you know such as another option. But again, you know, it’s not on us it has to do with the US Customs if they decide that they want to name your product, give another idea. Yeah. There’s not exactly anything you can do. Go ahead. I mean there’s others I didn’t put it in an interview, but you know, some people are like, oh can I just send it to Hong Kong first and then send it to US, say it’s made in Hong Kong. And, I’m sure
[00:24:45] You guys got that question or. I guess just to make sure people understand that that doesn’t work unless you want. I don’t think Forest Shipping would do it. But maybe some, some really small companies would lie. It’s basically lying on paperwork of where the origin of the product is. So, yeah, I don’t think any Logistics provider Freight forwarder Customs
[00:25:08] Agent would want to facilitate a seller to basically forged documents on the origin of the of the of the goods. That’s basically, you know, from where to where, you know, but yeah, I’m sure people have probably asked you guys that. Some people are asking over here that too. I’m also curious. I don’t know, maybe if you have the answer or not, but you like you think you guys are one of the more unique.
[00:25:34] Companies that deals with both the Chinese seller or community and the western or International seller Community. Is there any differences you would say from the response or the questions or the or any other insights? You mean about how they actually said. I guess, you know, you said there wasn’t many many questions, but I guess I’m just wondering if you think if a Chinese based seller to the US
[00:26:02] Versus like International seller to the US is responding differently or taking this differently, you know. They both do treated equally because they’re both like you said selling in the US, importing to the US, their taxes on this Customs would be the same but I just wonder just in general if there’s any insights.
[00:26:20] Maybe are they planning something different? I think like for example, just give maybe some more insights. Some people think that International seller might be a little bit more at an advantage maybe because they have, their English might be better and they could talk to a factory outside of China more easily than a Chinese seller that might have to find a factory outside of China for certain sources.
[00:26:47] Does that make sense? Or you know, I think the Chinese sellers don’t ever plan to buy and sell non-chinese manufactured goods, whereas an international foreign seller might be more open to sourcing outside of China. I think that’s kind of what, yeah, I’m thinking. I will tell you first of all, you know, almost all the raw materials are still made in China and they come from China.
[00:27:17] So actually if you even go and search outside of China to sort your products, for example, again, those countries they need to use those factories. They need to use raw materials that come from China. So that means that Chinese sellers, I believe that they are you know, they’re going to hesitate to, you know, change their, their local suppliers. But also the international sellers I will tell you one thing which for me it’s, it makes a difference on the whole story.
[00:27:55] So, we work both with Chinese and international sellers. And there are differences. But I think that they all drive from the same factors, the world competition. I will come to your, to your question. So, Chinese sellers are more competitive than westerns. And this is something that many of us who live as expats in China can distinguish and understand of what I mean by that.
[00:28:28] Definitely. So Chinese sellers are born and raised to face the competition as a daily challenge and that everything and everyone, you know is, is consumable. In simple word, Chinese sellers are not afraid of the competition and they deal well with, with the risk when they have to take it. So for instance, if, if we have Foreigner rival who moves on price war, Chinese sellers’ response will probably be like, great.
[00:29:04] I love to play that game. Do you think the same key factor, you know Chinese sellers are kind of obsessed with the competition research. So they will spend time and money to learn as much as possible, you know, about the rivals, in order to either penetrate into the same Market with an existing product but by offering better pricing and more or other added features, so Chinese sellers study a lot in.
[00:29:36] The market, their competition and how they make this research. This is where the big difference is, not just stable. Whereas Western sellers, you know, even though they know that they have to deal with the competition. They focus more on establishing their own brand and they sell their products by building trust with their consumers.
[00:30:04] But from the Chinese sides, sellers play, you know prefer to play otherwise so that they spend more time and money on finding the list of the product with the least competition at each category. So I’m saying this because I’m trying to explain that Chinese are very competitive. And, they do not feel reluctant you know to to the risk or the changes that they will come. Even though they live in a very, you know, stable place, the very stable Market, you know in China.
[00:30:43] Government protects, you know, many things. I will not. Yeah. Emphasize more on that. But I want, But I want to say that the Chinese sellers because of all these they seem to be more optimistic and more confident that everything will end up, you know into a win-win situation where as overseas.
[00:31:06] they seem to be very anxious. Because those that they, keep contacting us, they’re mostly, you know, overseas and not Chinese. Interesting. That’s what, is the story behind the competition, you know because I think this has to do with the mentality and you know and the… I like it. I mean, this is really amazing insight.
[00:31:28] It’s true. I mean, I definitely agree about the Chinese. They are not afraid of competition and they always welcome it and maybe it’s, it’s true. I mean, we’re Western sellers. I mean, it’s true, we’re more in the Branding and more… yes, true. I think also just generally sensitive, sensitive. I mean, I’m definitely a sensitive person.
[00:31:48] I mean, I’m not saying all westerners are, but I think it’s also a true kind of statement where Chinese are very like, I’m just going to do, do it no matter what. And, this is not going to phase me. I’m going to keep pushing forward. That’s going on my normal plan. Whereas like, a western seller might be like more stressed out because of these news and focuses on this, in this news, but it’s interesting insights to hear.
[00:32:14] And so have you, of course, to be, some juicy news like, I give you some more insights. I’ve talked a lot of people about this. So like one example is, I just put it in credit, I mean, he also has a show, Frederick from China Importal. He was talking me in in wechat and he said it’s not so easy for people to move out of China.
[00:32:38] Like you said Kornelia and he says, you know, if if they were to try to move especially if it’s some very unique product with molds and their infrastructure. If the prices gets too high where the market won’t bear the increased price they’ll just have to go out of business. You know, how many change their product, you know, like they just can’t, they can’t just go to Vietnam or to, can’t just go to like another country and just make it you know, like it was a little bit.
[00:33:05] Scary so I don’t know if anybody has thrown in the towel or say they’re going to sell or cancel their business or any. Maybe some Western sellers, you say are more emotional. Maybe they’re just getting frustrated with all the, it already. It’s you know, it’s very, it’s true. I mean Amazon has, has, never was easy, but it’s definitely not as easy as it used to be and is to get more difficult.
[00:33:26] So, I don’t know if anybody’s thrown in the towel or if you have any interesting stories about how maybe people are reacting to this or you know. I know earlier I asked you to and you said there’s not much not much news, but I don’t know if there’s any, any kind of story you know. I know what you mean.
[00:33:42] So I think Amazon sellers are used somehow to the, you know, ever-changing Amazon landscape. So I think that Amazon sellers, you know, they have the ability to adapt. Because you know, it’s, everything that Amazon throws on their way during you know during their, during their business with, with Amazon. Those I believe that they’re you know serious Amazon sellers, but I mean with serious, like they really believe in their product.
[00:34:17] They have really invest in, you know, time and money for what they believe is good. And also that they have their, you know, their loyal, I would say consumers that you know, they keep buying their products. Or they see that, you know still at the market. This product is important to be existed or even makes a difference. Well, let’s just say, you know that I think Amazon sellers right now.
[00:34:44] They’re just trying like all the rest, you know. You know they’re just trying to to realize how this is going to affect them. So no drama, so far. Hopefully we will not have drama because you know, this thing happens. This kind of happened. But we need to be realistic this dispute over duties might take a year or two or more to resolve, you know and true and this might be our new reality at least for now.
[00:35:19] That’s why I’m saying we need to realize that this is going to affect every pillar of you know, the retail industry and you could say that this will somehow modify the supply chain world as we know it until now. So it is a storm and will slowly pass. Just need to find our new standards and adjust to them in order to move on.
[00:35:45] Yeah, I have been thinking as you were answering and I, we had a mini series here at Global From Asia E-Commerce Gladiator. And I, I like, you know, I picked the name and I think like I think sellers are like the Gladiators in the arena of the modern day, you know world. I mean like you said right there like.
[00:36:04] Stuck. I mean I mostly you know, and it to, I mean we’re kind of like somewhat stuck in the middle of the US and China war. And then we’re stuck in Jeff Bezos world of the fees and then the storage, you know, there’s sometimes there’s long-term storage fees and there’s increased fees and there’s like ads and there’s competitor.
[00:36:22] Yeah. I mean, it’s, you’re in this Arena and you’re just battling all these huge giants that you don’t have too much control of. And, you as a seller have to kind of navigate and Survive and Thrive and, and of course many are doing really well. I think it’s true like maybe practice meditation or maybe this also something about China or Asia is the Zen Zen, you know, calm your mind and just focus on executing rather than worrying about things around you.
[00:36:53] Yeah, so I guess Forest Shipping too, you know, is there any internal discussions and Management’s… are you guys you know, worried or is this something that is high, or may, have you seen any effects as shipping, has inquiries dropped as people, as you know, it’s really early still but I mean, I guess just kind of, how are you as a business reacting to this or is it.. As a company, so far we have no
[00:37:22] particular plans to be honest, you know, Plan B. Not many things have changed so far for us and I don’t know if they’re going to change and I will explain you the reason because we are we have built over the years a very strong and reliable network of Partners and agents worldwide, which has enabled us to offer our shipping and Logistics services to our.
[00:37:52] our clients as they experience them until now. So, it’s not like we are based and we’re shipping only from China to the US. But we can ship all over Asia and this is what we also do. But of course the sellers are not that many. Those that they source from other countries outside China. There are not that many but still we offer this service.
[00:38:20] So. Okay. Since we offer International shipping, you know, it’s okay for us, you know. Of course, if this is going on, we need to, to see how this is going to affect. And, I believe that we will be able to see that within the next quarter to get you know, a whole overview of whether our sales have dropped or what is going on with the volume. It would have also.
[00:38:49] decrease on the shipment volumes. Yeah, sure sure about that. But I think it is more like the smaller sized companies that their business based on the exclusive model, you know and takes shipping from China to US. Maybe those will you know, they will have to face some serious difficulties to you know to adjust.
[00:39:17] Got it. Okay, that’s good to know. Actually, I I didn’t know they’d be so you can do shipping from like Southeast Asia to you know US it’s not just from China. So that’s good for me to even know for we’ve used, because we use your services too. Because, I’m even looking. I mean I’m even talking to factories. Remind me tomorrow I make a call. I’ll call in to explain you everything ya need to get on the sales.
[00:39:44] But so that’s good. So then listeners can also get the help from you for if they do get lucky and find. Maybe not lucky, but diversify to have, you know. Sometimes you can find the same product. I my, I also have products that I can find if there’s somewhat commodity in Southeast Asia as well as in China.
[00:40:03] So sometimes maybe it never hurts just like we always advise people here on the show to not just be purely dependent on Amazon. Trying to get on like shopping carts or Shopify or you know Etsy or, or even eBay or other channels is just, like. You should also try to have multi supplier even inside China. Should try to have multiple factories inside China, but if you can also have factories, you know, outside. But it definitely adds to the complexity definitely has a complexity. It depends, it depends you know,
[00:40:33] if you’re a private little seller, it’s like, you know, if you’re a private label seller like, you know, you spend so much time to manage to negotiate with your tiny supplier. You start building the product as exactly you wanted. You know, and now you’re thinking probably I should find another supplier.
[00:40:56] Maybe those that they are not, you know private label sellers. Maybe for them, it would be easier if they want to you know go global or search for other countries that they could source their products. But for those that they are private labels, I think I don’t know how flexible this will be for them to to move out of China.
[00:41:19] True. Yeah, definitely be hard. So. So, we’ll see how the, definitely how this all develops and I guess we’re getting towards the end. It’s been a fascinating conversation Kornilia. Thanks for the insight. I picked up some insights too. And, let’s just make sure listeners know about, about Forest Shipping. Of course you help with FBA shipments from China to the US. But also as I learned today Southeast Asia or other parts of Asia to International markets. Do you want to maybe share a little bit more about what you can offer. Yeah, thanks for giving me the chance to speak a little bit about Forest Shipping so actually Forest Shipping International
[00:42:02] Company has a history on e-commerce and specifically FBA Amazon shipping industry more than nine years now. So many people ask how this name came up, Forest. Yeah sure and I think we know but our listeners don’t know this. So I would like to reply to this question. So needless to say that Forest is the founder’s actual name.
[00:42:29] Who is the real nature adorer. So the company despite its constant growth always tries to offer not only cost and time efficient shipping, you know solutions but also sustainable to our environment. That’s why I really wanted to mention that because people ask me why Forest. So with warehouses in every corner in the greater China and now in Los Angeles being the first …loader and being awarded.
[00:42:59] In China for the FBA Amazon consolidations that we do and not only has enabled Forest Shipping to become and I feel very proud about that but to become an official. Yes, it’s big. It’s really great. Official approved member of the service provider network of Amazon family program. So after long time we managed to meet all this program requirements.
[00:43:29] That Amazon was asking from us and right now all our Amazon sellers. They are also able to find us through the Amazon platform. So our services cover all FBA Amazon and e-commerce needs worldwide. We offer international shipping, international returns, which is another big topic, International returns.
[00:43:53] Warehousing, FBA preparation, FBA photography services, inspection if you want liquidation, like liquidation in the US and more. So I think for all of us that you know, they want to learn more about the company, they can just you know, just visit our website www.forestshipping.com to get more information about us.
[00:44:20] Sure, and of course as always we try our best to link all these resources and of course your site, on the show notes for today’s episode. And, it’s been, it’s been great. Really, is there any? I think we covered quite a bit. Is there any parting words or I think I think we did it quite a bit. I think I would like to give few advices before.
[00:44:40] Oh, well, I would say Amazon sellers. The first thing is do not panic. The second thing is just check your HTS code and keep updating that searching if something has changed. You can talk with your freight forwarder about it. You can talk with your supplier. You can search all you know, an official website of the US Customs
[00:45:08] The third thing is, if you really want to stay and source from China, you need to renegotiate with your suppliers. So, if you are satisfied with your supplier, this is the first thing that you should do. You should, you know, if you have built already trusting relationship with your supplier, I think you will be able to meet halfway.
[00:45:32] And because of what is going on, you should not, you know, sacrifice your product quality or the services. But just try to maintain your minds and somehow and you know, we recalculate your budget like you did the first time that you started, you know, decided that you want to start your own Amazon business.
[00:45:56] And probably you can scale back operation operational costs. You need to be prepared. The next thing is probably the probably that you’re going to pay extra taxes because of this whole story. But also if you want because there are also these options doesn’t have to do whether I’m based in China, but you can take a look outside of China like Vietnam or India.
[00:46:25] I would even say Mexico if you want like a quick solution. But the main thing is that if you really want to keep the quality that you have. Those other markets like, you know, India or Vietnam. Good or bad and unfortunately, they have not developed a technology that China has okay, and China has experienced a long time with the international trade.
[00:46:57] Okay. So before you decided, you know to sacrifice your your product you need to be prepared that if you’re going to change and go to another Market probably you’re going to face the same first problem that you had with China long time ago. Sure. So that’s done. I think this is the most important thing that even if you choose to have a product, you know US
[00:47:24] Made. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the raw materials, they come from US. Again, they come from China. A vast majority of raw materials come from China so somehow this is going to affect the general prices. And of course do not focus only on the US right? I think Mike we also need to mention that like but.
[00:47:50] That is a good point. Yeah. You’re right. Amazon Australia right now, it’s almost one year, is less than one year actually. And there, there is, find a room for new sellers or you know, Amazon India, which is really fast growing again. We need to think also other options. It’s not the end of the world.
[00:48:16] We are flexible. I think all of us and especially the Amazon sellers, so that’s my advice. Yeah, I guess it’s true. I was focusing on the supplier side, but there’s also change to the market side or diversify and I think the best business like, you know is a diversified business right whether you’re going to own the company for long term or whether you’re.
[00:48:43] Going to even sell it to, I mean, showing that you have multiple mark-, you know multiple options for our first many different channels, you know markets. I think of course is going to be more complex. Of course, you got to be ready to manage multiple markets and inventories. But this definitely going to make it more long-term, valuable and stronger for your for your growing businesses.
[00:49:06] So thanks again Kornilia. Those are great and glad we got to add in that and. So we add more even more value to this great episode. Thank you Mike. Thank you for inviting me and to, thanks all you know, all the listeners. I hope I offer some insights, you know to to them and you know, just use the best for them and for the business at least with them. Good luck and you know, calm down and stay Amazon Seller.
[00:49:37] Yeah. Just stay in the game. I think. There’s always going to be speed bumps and everybody’s dealing with this. I mean nobody’s able to get you know it’s going to be the same for everybody so you know, just we all have to just adapt to it. The most important part is staying in the game. Exactly.
[00:49:56] Exactly. I’ll be honest Crossborder Summit in Guangzhou, China has got me a little bit nervous. This US trade War stuff. Who knows what’s going to happen? But I think people will be there for the trade show season. I would love to meet you unless the political climate gets so bad that Americans are banned from China.
[00:50:14] I will be there and we will have some amazing speakers I’ve been talking to been on the phone with amazing speakers in our industry, for quite some time already. Was literally just in Guangzhou confirming the venue. We’re working on this already for months and it’s a bit of weeks away. Early bird tickets are not yet open to the general public. It’s only for VIP members right now. Check out the website, support the show, www.crossbordersummit.com. Thank you so much for your consideration. Thank you so much Kornilia for sharing.
[00:50:52] She’s an amazing woman that’s in Shenzhen five years working with e-commerce logistics, sellers. So it’s amazing insights. We will actually also have to be having her on a live webinar. Probably in July. The best way to get updated about more amazing stuff here. Global From Asia, of course, we’re trying to announce things here on the podcast.
[00:51:15] But email is is I’m a little bit less shy to to promote stuff in our email. So if you’re a subscriber to our e-mail list, you’ll get some various insights usually once a week or so. If it’s your first time on the email list, you’ll probably go through a mini email ecourse check it out. It’s usually top on the homepage globalfromasia.com and you can grab that email.
[00:51:39] Subscription and get up to dated for these webinars and other amazing things we try to do here at best we can at Global From Asia. Now for my blah blah blah. Well, I mean, I actually learned some things. So thanks Kornilia. The some of the things I’m thinking is I think that’s definitely true. I mean Chinese sellers to the US market.
[00:52:01] I have to feel like I have to be so clear, foreign sellers, international sellers to the US market. You know the difference is maybe it’s the Art of War book or maybe it’s the culture, or the mindset, the meditation. I’ve been I’ve been meditating for five years now, four, at least four. 2014, I think I started so getting on close to five years.
[00:52:24] It was. But meditation and this whole Asia way of thinking, you know, mindset, clarity, calmness, management, you know, Holistic thinking, you know, I think you can think about that. I know a lot of times I’ve talked to sellers overseas in the US. You know, when there’s a new Chinese seller coming into their their Niche their Market, they’re pretty ruthless and I hate to say, and I don’t want to make it seem like Us Versus Them, foreign versus not, you know, Chinese or blah blah.
[00:52:56] Chinese sellers are competitive and what, I mean, that’s why some of my friends that are Chinese are sellers on FBA, are afraid of the Chinese Taobao seller getting onto EBay. They’re like, don’t teach Chinese, domestic Chinese sellers, about Amazon. They’re going to compete with me because it’s not like they’re trying to attack or kill in or beat or destroyed foreign sellers.
[00:53:22] They are trying to beat everybody and you know, the Chinese business mentality is, Winner takes all, you know. Whatever it takes to it’s just business strictly business. You know, it’s not it’s not personal. I just am here to make as much money and get as big as possible and grow my sales as much as possible.
[00:53:42] I will do almost whatever it takes to win and you know. You might have your opinion about that. I might have my opinion about that. But it’s not they’re, it’s not like Chinese settlers attacking Western sellers. It’s really they’re attacking themselves. So I know that we have some Chinese sellers that listen to this show and I think that they would be agreeing with me.
[00:54:04] So it’s it’s just a mindset in there. They’re not freaking out about this trade war. They’re just going about their business as normal and they know that whenever the industry changes they’re going to just be very methodical, strategic, data-oriented, spreadsheet-looking, conversion, optimization-looking people.
[00:54:22] Whereas true like, I specially me. I’m not a data-driven person. I’m a, emo- emotional driven, and I know that. Probably not proud of me to say that, you know and I’ve been improving on that. I’m not as emotional driven, but I think that that’s maybe a western seller’s mindset more than Asian or Chinese seller’s mindset.
[00:54:42] We are more emotional creatures, you know, I my wife even told me like the monkey mind, you know, the westerners, you know, a lot of times Chinese say that have 3,000 years of history and that the westerners are, I don’t know if you know, but why Guo Ren is the Chinese Mandarin meaning of foreigners.
[00:55:01] It means outside. Why it’s outside country people, outside country people. So idea is everybody in the world came from China. So we are the less developed people in the world because we were not as developed as Chinese. I don’t want, I hope I’m not offending anybody. I’m probably offending my own cortical people as foreigners, but that the Chinese feel like they have more because of this.
[00:55:33] more cultural experience and mindset. White people or foreign people are more like monkeys, less-developed. Chinese are more calm-minded, more Zen. Hope I’m not offending to you about this is, hey man. This is this is a show. This is what’s cool about podcast. I don’t have to get some politically approved, you know PC approval.
[00:55:53] I’m just putting it out there like it is and I think if you’re listening still at this blah blah blah, you can keep listening, but that’s just the way it is and I mean, I’ve been trying to be more Zen. I may be more Asian. Maybe I’ve been in China and Asia and Thailand too long. My wife’s deep into Buddhism now and she did help me meditate a bit when I first met her to be very honest with you.
[00:56:13] I was much more emotional then. But I think that’s what makes maybe westerners are foreigners more creative more unique. We’re, we’re not trying to be calm-minded. We’re not trying to be standardized and data-driven and process like, you know, we’re more artistic. I think generally of course I’m talking very broadly here.
[00:56:33] Obviously, there’s artistic Chinese people and there’s a mathematical foreigners or non Chinese people. But I’m just getting back to this whole trade war. I think it’s true Chinese sellers are not as afraid. They’re not going to be like changing their business, giving up, changing their whole strategy, finding new suppliers.
[00:56:50] Just because of this one month of debate between US and China political parties. So I think that should be something you should learn from you should also just focus on your data know your HS code or your HTS code harmonized tariff system and and just keep on focusing on that. And focus on your data, but focus on the business, you know, we can’t control this US trade war with China, especially Donald Trump bombing.
[00:57:19] We can have our different opinions about them. He’s probably not the most. How do I say smooth person. But he is, mean shaking things up. That’s for sure. And we never know what the next tweet will be from his Twitter account and we can’t worry about that and everybody’s dealing with the same cards.
[00:57:38] You can’t cheat the system or we can’t forge documents and say it’s made in Hong Kong or made somewhere else, if it’s made in China. There might, we’ve talked about this on previous episode. You could maybe ship it to Mexico and do a certain amount of manufacturing on it. Maybe to get onto the enough-to-be-made-in- Mexico. Maybe this is a little bit tricky and pretty advanced. And probably expensive, and probably only if you’re a big enough seller or big enough product business to even consider doing something like that.
[00:58:07] He’s got to focus on. And the last one, I learned actually today of Kornilia, I thought of, realize it’s true. Why are we focusing just on the US market especially here at Global From Asia, as the words show. You can run a global business here. If you have a business maybe in Hong Kong, Singapore other parts of Asia and you’re living somewhere anywhere in the world, really you can buy your goods from China and send it to somewhere that doesn’t have huge tariff code.
[00:58:35] Processing fees and all that stuff. So maybe you should look to diversify to other markets besides the US. Obviously, it’s the big, biggest I believe still and it’s of course, especially for me. I’m an American. I know my market well, but we should consider other, other markets and diversification. We said it on the show.
[00:58:59] You know, I mean Amazon is a channel. It’s not a business. You’re an Amazon Seller doesn’t mean you’re only an Amazon Seller. You should be looking to multi-channel. You should be building a brand you should be building a long-term value. You shouldn’t be nervous. If your account gets shut down.
[00:59:13] You shouldn’t be nervous. If this markets prices go up. If you are building a long-term brand that people like and listening to your mark-,mMarket listen to your customer, you know, being better than your competitors quality product. You know, I got slammed with some one star reviews on the Moka pot at the last couple weeks been very painful and maybe it’s a competitor or maybe it’s really a customer, there’ve been similar Trends.
[00:59:42] But you just improve your product, you improve your listing, you improve the, make the photo even more clear of what exactly features it has. You know, how many cups of coffee does it exactly make? What size cup is it? Is an expresso cup or is it a jug of coffee. How many cups does it make? Update your photos, update your text make your, your listing as quality as possible.
[01:00:07] Your product as quality as possible and that is really the goal of a product-based business. Whether it’s a product or service, mean you’re say, CEO is customer-employee-owner. Customers, you know, I think there’s back and forth about customers first or employees first. You need a good team to deliver a good product or service to your customer. But you know and then owner, owners may be raising money, but your job is to keep your customers happy, your team happy and your owner is happy which is making more sales and more money.
[01:00:45] So yeah, I mean we can’t control these I think in life, especially if you want to be really stressed in life. If you try to think about things and stress about things you cannot control. I don’t think you can talk to the Chinese or US president and change this, his or their mind. So you just got to realize everybody else is dealing with those same stressful things. And like Kornilia says the Chinese sellers are just doing business as usual and they’ll adapt. But I do think western or International sellers might have an advantage if it really does get horrible.
[01:01:19] You know, I think an international seller will have an easier time finding a Vietnam Factory or finding another Factory outside of China. Whereas I think it might be a little bit harder for a Chinese seller to be able to source outside. Of course, anybody can source anywhere and you can just send a buyer request. But it won’t, I don’t think it’s a straightforward, it’ll you know. They’re just so used to buying from Chinese suppliers and talking in Chinese.
[01:01:43] So it’ll be a totally different world, but that world is probably years and years or decades away. We will see and we will keep it up here again, make sure I’m plugging that survey. I love to have your input on our Global From Asia Trade War survey, globalfromasia.com/tradewarsurvey all one word and fill it out.
[01:02:05] If you’d like you know, option not, no requirement to leave your name or email. But if you do leave your email, we will send you that results in some kind of a pretty PDF and maybe make more of these white papers or research or surveys. I mean, I think that’s something, as our traffic and Community has grown. We can tap into this community and talking to people at different media outlets, and they want to hear this stuff. And, by you letting us know we can we can know more what you’re concerned about.
[01:02:36] Maybe it could even turn into more podcast shows and and events like cross-border Summit. So, thank you so much. Have a great day. Thanks for listening. That’s it. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at www.globalfromasia.com. That’s www.globalfromasia.com.
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