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...