Ask The Expert: Tim Brown on Importing from China

Tim Brown Smiling

This Q&A has now ended. It’s been fantastic with many great questions, and really detailed and helpful answers. You can read it all here, and if you have any further questions please start a new discussion to ask them.

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I’m really excited to launch our first Ask The Expert discussion today in the Web Retailer forum!

Our expert is Tim Brown, CEO at 360 Degree Supply Chain Solutions based in Guangdong, China.

The discussion will close on Friday 18th July at 12 noon (GMT). Get your questions in as soon as you can to give Tim time to respond and ask follow up questions if necessary. Don’t leave it to the last moment to post – you might be disappointed!

Go to the discussion now Ask The Expert: Importing from China or read on for more about Tim’s background.

About Tim Brown

A native of New Zealand, Tim has worked for Groupon Australia’s Goods division and also ran his own ventures including fashion design and manufacturing from China, and product import and export. At 360 DSC Tim runs a complete supply chain service helping medium-sized sellers worldwide buy from Chinese manufacturers.

Tim started his career in law and public policy. After completing a law degree he worked for the government as part of a negotiations team focused on ownership of the foreshore and seabed in New Zealand. Tim also worked in a government-funded economic development agency as project manager before consulting privately.

Tim left New Zealand in search of new challenges and moved to Australia. (For those who think Australia and New Zealand are close neighbours, even their closest points are a thousand miles apart!) He took a sales job with Groupon Australia and he did the first product (as opposed to service) deals from China, which were sold into Australia and New Zealand. After six months in the role Tim saw a new opportunity and moved his life to China to become a supplier to group-buying and “daily deal” sites globally.

Tim’s experience as a supplier started with a small online store in Australia called Goodz, and through the site sold direct to customers and also supplied products for sale on larger discount sales sites.

“I never imported any products, I kept the stocks in China, using drop ship methods and the postal service to ship them from there to customers.”

The business grew quickly and Tim needed more support:

“Being in China meant I could meet the right people, large suppliers, that had not tapped into the right markets but had the right foundation to do so. It was tough, but I had some amazing experiences such as with the people at EMS China that gave me warehouse space and a team to help me with picking and packing, and the Alibaba team that has always supported and assisted me with finding the right suppliers and connections.”

In 2011 Tim met his current business partners, a small team (by Chinese standards) with 50 employees, a warehouse, website and the beginnings of a complete supply chain to support offshore medium-sized sellers globally. After negotiations and through recognition that the two groups could work really well together, Tim joined forces formally with this team and now they operate together as a total supply chain solution for Chinese products.

“We are now shipping big volumes globally, and working in true partnerships to develop our business through the development of our partners’ businesses.”

Tim now spends 1-2 weeks in China every 2 months, and is a shareholder and partner in the business of 360 Degree Supply China Solutions Ltd and associated companies.

Join the Discussion!

Tim has generously agreed to answer your questions on importing from China, all this week in the Web Retailer forum.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to get some expert advice, so don’t hold back – head over to the discussion in the forum and post your question right now!

Go to the discussion now: Ask The Expert: Importing from China

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