Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby headhonchoII » 09 Apr 2009, 12:07

I think here you are hitting on a point, as I have also seen many things sold in small packages or satchets for inviduals and to save cost (Japanese influence). This kind of stuff sells well in discount stores.

Basically I'm the type of person that couldn't sell handbags (or anything really) if I'm not that interested in them, guess I'm not a born businessperson. Unfortunately my wife is unusual as she is not so interested in handbags either or I'd suggest she could try this as it's probably a good idea.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Fox » 09 Apr 2009, 12:58

It's just a suggestion. I know a guy who sells knives. The principle is the same. Hard to get books would work well too or exotic maps, Chinese snuff bottles, stones or stone jewelry.
"When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her." Wilde

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"a man's position here is not ruled so much by what he can earn as by what he can owe and still remain at large." Letters of a Shanghai Griffin

"It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby headhonchoII » 09 Apr 2009, 17:53

This kind of stuff could be popular
http://www.taiwanbio.com/pu7.htm
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And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Buttercup » 09 Apr 2009, 18:25

As a western woman, living in the west, with disposable income (so I'm speaking from my perspective, not saying it definitely won't work!), I'd say bags are a waste of time. Taiwanese fashions are very different: those big, shiny, bright coloured things are only popular with kids and Chinese imports are ten a penny; the ones in Taiwan come from China anyway and the big shops are already selling them. Middle class, older than 25-ish women don't buy the cheap 'fashion' stuff or the expensive stuff; they go for good quality leather stuff, in darker colours. As for expensive one, Parisians come to London to buy Chanel, Louis Vuitton and high end stuff from london, right now, because of the exchange rate and low travel costs.

Also, selling such stuff online ignores the psychology of shopping. Women buy the nice new bag on impulse: the want to see it and touch it. Only certain demographics do that in the UK (we aren't as used to being online as in Taiwan).

About the bath salts, what makes them different from Lush, Body Shop, etc? Well, the Body Shop's out of the equation; people only shop there for gift sets. It's not a 'young' thing, so it's on its way out. They also sold to L'Oreal and really priced up. They don't have that 'home made' ethic any more. Lush took over that.

Lush bath stuff isn't bad. Smells good, but will always appeal to certain groups. It's a little bit teenaged, and not very sophisticated.

I had a box of Taiwanese bath salts, with 12 different sachets, each purporting to be from diferrent hot springs in Taiwan. Whether they were or not is anyone's guess: could have been ShabuShabu dish residue for all I knew. Each was a different colour and fragrance and some were 'tingly' like some hot springs. One was fragranced with Yangming Shan sakura blossom. OK, so they didn't change my life or anything, but they were nice.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Fox » 09 Apr 2009, 21:26

I don't want to rain on your parade, but besides airline tickets clothing, accessories and shoes are the most popular items sold on the Internet. They are on par with electronic goods.
"When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her." Wilde

"I don't know where the sun beams end and the star light begins. It's all a mystery." Flaming Lips

"a man's position here is not ruled so much by what he can earn as by what he can owe and still remain at large." Letters of a Shanghai Griffin

"It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Buttercup » 09 Apr 2009, 21:53

Fox wrote:I don't want to rain on your parade,


Eh? My parade? I'm afraid I do not understand. :bow:

Fox wrote:but besides airline tickets clothing, accessories and shoes are the most popular items sold on the Internet. They are on par with electronic goods.


Not in Britain. A tiny proportion of clothes etc that are sold in Britain, are sold online. The ones that are are sold through eBay, etc, not small specialist sites.

Designed for Taiwanese/east Asian markets-sold clothes/accessories, imported from China and sold and shipped to the other side of the world by a small operator are likely to be able to compete with western firms who commission western designs from China, buy in bulk and sell very cheaply.

I can buy 'Taiwanese' stuff such as bags, shoes, etc as cheaply or even cheaper in the UK as I can in Taipei. It's Primark junk instead of nightmarket junk. Taiwan is simply not famous for fashion design or quality, and it isn't that cheap. What's the angle and where's the money to be made?

It would be better to try and think of some kind of niche produst that is not available. Food, tea, herbal medicine, all the kind of stuff that Taiwanese and HongKong and Chinese people use and anything that can be bought cheeply in China and sold here is already here.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby headhonchoII » 09 Apr 2009, 22:08

I think you both have it right. It is true that womens accessories and clothes have massive online potential in western countries with increased broadband access and these recessionary times. But it is also true that any generic cheap stuff is already on sale from China.The point is to find something unique and something of better quality from Taiwan. I work in the medical industry and certainly know candidates that I could possibly work with in future, however it can be quite a complex and regulated business. You mentioned knives and it is true that Taiwan's metal industry is very high quality and reasonably priced. Teas, herbal drinks, etc..there are some interesting ideas and combinations from Taiwan that would not be seen so much in China. It would come down to marketing. Whether a western consumer would be any more favorably inclined to a 'Taiwanese' product rather than a 'Chinese' product is up to debate. I would like to source stuff from Taiwan in the event I leave as I have attachments to the country and I would get some satisfaction from that from many angles rather than selling something from China per se. My wife would also have more chance to visit her homeland also. Plus I believe Taiwanese generally make very good suppliers, a lot of stuff here is top notch and very reasonably priced (I really like Taiwan's fair price/ good quality way of doing business, it's going to come back into fashion big time all over the world) and I can check everything myself or through my wife or friends.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby hypermegaglobal » 10 Apr 2009, 00:43

Mosquito zapper with CE marking for 6,90 € inkl. VAT: http://www.pearl.de/a-PE3829-5408.shtml
I looked into importing and selling these online years ago, glad I didn't pursue this plan.

I was just looking for a folding bike for myself, many of the expensive frames are made in Taiwan (e.g. Mezzo, Birdy) and you lucky guys actually living in Taiwan have a much broader choice at lower prices (Giant, for example, doesn't sell the Halfway RS outside Taiwan). For a moment I thought about having someone in Taiwan ship me a bike, but it seems there are significant EU customs duties. Have a look at Downtube bike's bulletin board, they are a small company importing folding bikes from China to the U.S. (their expansion to Europe seems to have failed, though).

The basic problem is, if you find an innovative product and have some success importing it, some of the big companies will notice and flood your market. If they don't, then hundreds of small importers selling through amazon and ebay will. Of course, you could try to build a strong brand or create a business model which cannot easily be imitated easily.

BTW, the only two business partners / friends I know whom I don't hear complaining about the economy are working in niche segments of the medical sector. Apparently the regulations in their areas effectively protect them from potential competitors and aging Western societies fill them with confidence.

Buttercup's bath salts idea could be turned into one of these "individually configured products" which seem to be all the rage now, some sort of "mymuesli" with different bath salt components. This should at least get you a lot of free publicity.

Omniloquacious' binlang kiosk has been done somewhere in the U.S. (can't find the link now), but they were selling coffee and staffed their drive-through with Western women who babbled about becoming models (though they were definitely not model material).

With the current state of the economy, I'd look into "off the grid" and survival items like solar chargers, solar cookers, appartment farming accessories... ;)
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Buttercup » 10 Apr 2009, 00:46

'My muesli'? I just fell off my chair laughing that people could be that precious about themselves! Individualised cereal! I'm going to tell my gran about that one! :lol:

About mosquito zappers:

Loretta wrote:If some student gets his penis zapped while, ahem, dicking about ...


Doesn't work.

Would we be able to import mosquitoes too?
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Before you lovingly craft your PM, make like any writer and consider your audience. With all the information at your disposal, is there any possibility that the recipient will open it? Would your time be better employed?
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Re: Any ideas on unique/interesting TW products for westerners?

Postby Fox » 10 Apr 2009, 01:41

I don't want to rain on your parade


Sorry. That was a silly thing to say.
"When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her." Wilde

"I don't know where the sun beams end and the star light begins. It's all a mystery." Flaming Lips

"a man's position here is not ruled so much by what he can earn as by what he can owe and still remain at large." Letters of a Shanghai Griffin

"It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." George Carlin

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.
redbubble
http://www.planetediting.com
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