What items would you most like to see in an Import Store?

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Mrs Stroppy
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Re: What items would you most like to see in an Import Store

Post by Mrs Stroppy » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:50 pm

Can you get bamboo socks here?
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Pizzalover
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Re: What items would you most like to see in an Import Store

Post by Pizzalover » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:35 pm

OD,
what is your target clientele. I had a chat with a restaurant owner and he told me he gets all his Italian stuff from Aroi Italy in Thailand, paying, for instance, 55 USD for 1 KG of good Italian coffee. His cheese consumption is also high.

If you think about it, it would be nice to cut out the Thai middleman and offer the same product at easy 30% less in Cambodia. I figure there are enough restaurants who are looking for better suppliers - I was told supplier and expire cheese is a real problem.

Once you have those restaurant owners on board you might consider offering the same products with some markup in retail.

Many of us travel, so small size and expensive stuff is not necessarily a good idea.

Carrying a few bottles of good olive oil, however, is a problem. So good olive at a reasonable price will be a seller as well.

What about legumes? Good red lentils are difficult to come by. Similar to the Spaghetti situation. Most of the Pakistani lentils are simply junk. This is stuff delivered in 50-100 kgs sacks. It keeps well and is a good staple for selling.

Some spices might be also a good idea as is quality tea like ASSAM. Buy in in boxes, not packed and have a variety. You repack into 100 to 500 gr packs on demand. Like in a good tea shop. THis is no US merchandise however.

Flour: High quality Durum wheat flour as a high turnover in the Pizza shops and bakeries. Surprisingly good wheat bread is available in SHV. Reason? They use the same in pizza and thus it is available.

Coffee: Very good in Laos, Thailand, Phils, and all around but not here. Cheap good coffee (100% Arabica) is a problem. I dont understand why. If you can provide high quality beans at low prices, I am sure coffee shops and especially restaurants will jump on it.

In sum, I think if you like to get into the food sector you might consider supplying small business as a whole-seller with select durable quality items. This basis is solid provides turn-over at comparably little work input. Once you have a good foundation, you can expand.

I think BM Hanno works for a hotel/restaurant and he will probably know all the details.
OrangeDragon
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Re: What items would you most like to see in an Import Store

Post by OrangeDragon » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:07 pm

The food sector is a real pain in the ass... and pretty expensive without some "connections" to cut the costs for you. and, on top of that any product produced domestically (even at shitty quality) means you have to get permission (bribe) from the associated ministry and will pay even more in import duties. a nightmare to untangle, and then topped even more with the risk of spoilage in transit or sitting in customs with some guy there demanding a bribe for too long.

we may move into the food sector at a later date, once the non-food starts getting some revenue and we establish our "contacts" in all of the right places at the port. but for now focusing on sort of being a little like home top, but with a wider range and slightly different line so it's not direct competition. we'll also be offering delivery service anywhere in cambodia, cost depending on product, location, etc. all done online with credit card, paypal, wing or direct domestic wire transfer. upside of me being in the US will be being able to set up a proper merchant account for credit card payments on it.

I WAS going to wait until I was coming back, and come back with it all... however I now think I may send it well ahead of me (like 3-4 months from when I get there) and let the wife set up shop on my behalf.

My predictions: first things to go, Lazyboy recliners and Weber grills/accessories. Especially after I've seen what people were prepared to pay to get a grill shipped in from Australia. I'll easily be able to beat that cost. Ours will likely be around $350 for a 22" kettle... where in Aus they're $250, and then you have the shipping cost to here on top of it for another $200.
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