rhymes with "ouch!" (wouch) wrote in entrepreneurs,
rhymes with "ouch!"

Furniture/home stuff import business

My family (back in Asia) are looking into exporting furniture/home accessories into the US. They have sourced the artisans/factories in Asia and there will be locals handling the QC/pricing/etc over there. What is needed on this end of the pond is a wholesale buyer (Costco/Target/Pier One...) and research on designs/trends.

My background is professional services, so I have no experience in the wholesale or export/import...in fact not in anything that has to do with tangible goods.

Has anybody dealt with furniture people or have a forum/resources they can recommend? What about events to check out (especially in the West Coast)? How do I contact buyers in this industry?

Before I leave, I wish you all good revenue in Q4!
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i don't have any useful information or knowledge about wholesale of furniture. but i do have a few friends who work at exporting/importing companies. i'll ask around and see if they have any information. are you looking to find out exactly how the exporting/importing process works for furniture? also have you thought of renting out a space/showroom, and housing/selling the furniture there instead of selling to Costco or Target? just an idea. not sure if that's possible.

do keep us updated about what happens! would love to see what kind of furniture styles you have as i'm looking for some nice decor pieces. :)
Sorry to hijack. :) I just thought I would leave you a quick note... I just started my own import business working with artisans in various international locations on a fair trade basis. Since I'm so new at this I would love any kind of advice on importing (the laws, shipping, etc). I'm starting with very little money to begin with and shipping everything so far via the post office (the one in Niger has me worried!)

Do you think any of your friends in this field would be interested in chatting with me?

thanks! :)
I definitely can ask for you. One of my friends have been in the company she's currently with for about 6 months.

What exactly do you import? Furniture as well? And are you looking to find an importing/exporting service to handle courier and transportation of your product?

You can email me at paripasu@gmail.com, and I'll forward the information to my friend.
Thanks for the reply!

The pieces will be from Java and Bali: we plan to focus on more contemporary/modern designs rather than traditional/ethnic pieces. Price range would be mid-market to affordable luxury. No bargain or high-end stuff.

1. Export/import: I would love guidance on how to set up the receiving side here (i.e. permits, customs, accounting). Flexible shipment options are especially important to us. Depending on the buyer, we might be shipping everything from small metal/fragile pieces to heavy wood. Our people in Indonesia are quite savvy with their end of the deal so I'm not sweating that part.

2. I guess my main concern would be to find and communicate with buyers. We plan to have a physical warehouse for shipping and receiving. The showroom may be onsite at the warehouse or at the local design ghetto. No retails planned ever, but outlet/online sale were considered.
I will forward your inquiry re: export/import to my friend. You can also email her at 2craftnsew at gmail dot com. I believe she would be able to provide you with information regarding receiving, and if not, she would at least be able to forward you to a person who can.
For those of you still wondering, this is what my friend relayed to me regarding importing/exporting:

If the person is planning to be shipping containers worth of stuff yearly and thinking that he'll have a constant flow of shipment then he should contact a ocean freight shipping company. They sign annual contracts between the company and the shipper and the price varies depending what type of commodity he's planning to ship. He can request rates to see if the shipping is good for him. The market for rates varies, but are pretty similar in price.

If he's just starting out and he doesn't know too much about the customs and such, he can still work with a ocean freight company, but may have a forwarder or broker as their middle man to set things up for them. (ie paper work, customs etc). They can use people like... FedEx, Expeditors, Palapina etc. He could call around to see how much their prices are.. (I'm not sure since I only deal with the ocean freight part). If he is still interested in the ocean freight part, you could have him contact me to talk to one of my sales reps.

Hope this helps!