Should you go to the Canton Fair as a Amazon Private Label Seller?

 Learn what you need to know about the Canton Fair and if you should go as an Amazon Seller.   I went recently and not only had a great time but was able to find several products.  The trip is not for everyone, but as an Amazon Private label seller you should understand what the fair is about.

Hi. My name is Mark Adams and welcome to the Privatel Label Report. This is a podcast where I invite you into my office and we talk about Private Label selling on Amazon. Pull up a chair. Let’s get started.

Welcome today’s podcast, we’re going to talk today of whether you should go to the Canton Fair or not. Before we get started, I want to thank you, whether you’re listening on iTunes or you’re watching on YouTube on on my website.

I did a webinar recently about going to the Canton Fair. I had the good fortune recently to attend the fair. It’s the first time I had gone but what an incredible experience that was. Just going to China, all of the excitement, seeing all the different products, pretty amazing in what it was.

Since I’ve come back and talked a little about it, I’ve actually done a webinar, I’ve gone into great detail on [link 00:00:48] but I wanted to try and address maybe some of the more pertinent questions people have about should you go to the Canton Fair if you’re an Amazon seller?

Like all things, it depends. What the Canton Fair is is really it’s in Canton, which is Guangzhou, is the Chinese word, whiccanton-fair-headh it is the world’s largest wholesale product fair. Product expo if you will. It’s like a big convention and trade center. Just to give you a little bit of pointed numbers on what it is, there were over 20,000 different vendors there.

Many of us have been to trade shows with our own here in the United States, but the thing about the show, it is just huge beyond comprehension. I probably have been to gosh, I don’t know, 30, 40 different trade fairs, shows in my buying career, buying items, but I have never been to one like this.

There are so many products there. There is one floor where they had literally over 500 vendors of people selling just clocks. Then there’s toys, there’s every kinds of products and then there’s three phases. You multiply that times 3, you got over 60,000 vendors in one place who will sell private-label products for you.

Really, the question I want to try and address today is if you are interested in being an Amazon seller, should you go to the fair? My whole thought is is as I was walking through, I couldn’t help but think, “If you can’t find $100,000+ business here, you probably ought to just go back and get a job. This business is not for you.”

I made a joke a little bit a couple of times, it’s almost like I felt like I was in 1849 here in the United States, and it was at Sutter’s Mill where we had the first gold rush. There’s gold there, you got to bend over, you got to pick it up, you got to find it, you got to work for it, but of course it’s there.

I felt like literally, every aisle almost had some kind of gold in it because you see every product that you could evercanton fair imagine and then you see some that you could’ve never imagined. You’re walking through really, kind of a little bit in awe.

The thing about should you go, yeah, I think you should if you’re serious about your business. It’s not for everybody.If you’re just starting out and you’re getting all of your products from Alibaba where everybody else is, it’s probably fine. You should probably stick with that and get up and running a little bit

I think by the time you put the time and effort and money and investment into going to China, I think you should be a little bit farther along the path than being brand new, that is unless you’re brand new and you really want to leapfrog everybody and bypass the same type of items that everybody else can find on Alibaba.

Again, if you go in with a little bit of a budget, again, not a place for a limited budget. If you go in and with the anticipation that you’re going to find an entire brand of products to sell on Amazon and other, it’s there and everything else is there.

One of the things to realize going in is that they’re not 100-piece minimums here, your minimums are going to be a little bit higher. You need to be prepared for that as well. Again, not for a low budget entry-level type of scenario

The other thing I think is a very valuable way to be able to do this is you’re able to truly establish that relationship with the buyer. If the buyer knows that you’ve flown halfway around the world to stand there and talk to them, they know you’re a serious buyer.

Because of that, they’re going to give you better treatment, you’re going to get to know who they are face to face, that relationship that is so important, you’re going to be able to rely on that and depend on that and use that going forward.

The other thing I found when I was there is that I felt I was getting probably somewhere in the neighborhood of about 30% less in pricing than I would if I were negotiating with them on Alibaba. The pricing is advantageous all on its own, plus, the other thing is that most of these suppliers I found are willing to do some things from a custom standpoint.

As we all know, sometimes you’d see a product on Amazon and one person gets it and then six other people will get it, find out who the supplier is, and go and have it created. If you go here, you will find that most of these suppliers will actually create custom items for you, which again is going to separate you from your other sellers and literally have a higher barrier entry from other competition.

If you’re truly serious about doing this, the only thing I found that was hard, it’s a long trip. Hence, you need to be prepared for the jet lag as a killer. However, it’s exciting because you’re also sitting there [as a person 00:05:08] thinking I’m melatonin-clipart-4977161_f248in China. I never in my wildest life thought I would ever, wildest dreams in my life, though I would end up in China. It’s really one of those click your heels together, Toto we’re not in Kansas moments anymore.

You’re sitting there, and you’re going through all these products, and I was very fortunate. As I was walking through the fair, I found four different products, four new products, that basically I found my first one in ten minutes or found the booth in ten minutes and then started working and talking with them after that.

There is anything and everything there to do. I really wanted, I’ve done a lot of webinar and I’ll see if I put it in the notes here below, whether it’s on iTunes or whether you’re watching on YouTube or you’re on my website. If you want to go into a whole lot of detail, I go into some funny stories and some different things that happened to me while I was there.

You can watch that webinar if you like but I really want to do a shorter version so you know what going to Canton was like, whether it was for you or not and specifically really trying and suggest if you’re at a certain stage, which you [got to know 00:06:07], again if you’re brand new, it’s still okay to go, it’s not all that expensive to go. The flights and the food and the hotels are very, very low in price compared what we would pay in the Western world, however it’s a good way to jump start and leapfrog everybody else who’s sitting there worried about dealing with Alibaba.

If you’re an experienced seller and you’ve mastered the Alibaba type of finding products process, this is your next step too. You can take your business as far as you want to go. I don’t know how you could get to those higher levels if you don’t do something or go to Canton Fair or something like this.

Anyway, that’s the nickel tour of, hopefully, that will give you a little bit of information on what the Canton Fair is and who should go. On a side note, I had such a great time and was it profitable for me as an Amazon seller. I’m actually going back on this next fair. Actually, they had two fairs, one in April and then one in October.

I’m actually taking a group of people over in October to where literally what we’re going to do is we’re going to have a day of coaching and teaching where we’re all going to get together, we’re going to help each other build our Amazon businesses, we’re going to talk and have some theories, some strategy but also trying to address each person’s issues within the group, within their business so we can help them grow.

We’re actually going to do something that’s a little bit unique too. We’re going to go out to some of the showrooms that are there in Canton of people who are non-exhibiting at the fair. I think that’s going to be a way, a different way to find products as well.

We’re going to get on a bus and go to one building that’s got over five-hundred vendors in it and walk through that as well. We’re going to do some guided tours, some different things through the tour itself. If that’s something that you have any interest in going, take a look at, you’ll see a link pop up here on the screen or if you’re listening it will be If you have any interest in going on that trip, just go ahead and do that. Read that and go from there.

With that said, I hope that’s a little bit of information that gives you a little bit better insight on going to Canton and whether you should or not. As always, thanks for listening. See you next time.


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Mark Scott Adams is a serial entrepreneur who has started, built and sold six businesses.  He has sold millions of dollars of physical products on and offline over the last two decades.  He is currently a speaker, author and successful Amazon Seller.  To take his free amazon sellers training click here.   To Get his free product checklist list click here

1 Comment

  • Abba

    February 10, 2016

    Hi Mark,
    I found you on You Tube and i would like to take some courses and go to china with you next april 2016… please send me some cordinate on how to joint your clesses first so i can have some skills first…

    Thank you.