What should I import to New Zealand for resale?
August 8, 2009 1:26 AM   Subscribe

What should I import to New Zealand for resale? I'm looking for ideas of products that I could buy in bulk, ship to NZ, and resell for a modest profit.

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/ is great, but a little frustrating because I'll often see products there or elsewhere that I'd love to buy, but can't because only shipping one is too expensive or they don't ship overseas (Amazon only send things like books and dvds overseas.)

At the same time I'd like to try making a little extra money on the side by finding a few products that aren't available in NZ, and resell them with a 10-20% profit I'll be happy. Manufacturers/sellers are (hopefully) more likely to ship overseas for a bulk order.

NZ is a long way from anywhere, so shipping costs a lot, so I'm particularly looking for products that are small and light. My preferred price-range would be about US$40-100, though outside of that would be interesting to know about too. Theres lots of cool unique products from the US, but from anywhere else is also of interest.

If you don't have any specific products in mind, are there any other lists/blogs/stores/etc like Cool Tools that I should look at for ideas?
posted by redzarf to Work & Money (7 answers total)
I assume we're talking about online retail and you were already thinking about an ecommerce setup.

What is online retail like for sex toys in NZ? You need a wholesale account with a manufacturer, which is usually just a "sign up online for access" thing. The mainstream ones are Doc Johnson, Topco etc but I'd try to find a wholesaler who did more boutique items from better quality manufacturers. Women are key buyers in this market and there is a lot of product differentiation.

You'd have to check the import regs for NZ but the advantage is that these wholesalers are usually used to doing worldwide shipping, the goods are light, the markup is outrageous, and you only need a range of 15 - 20 items to open a reasonable store.

The disadvantage is that you can't take PayPal because these are classed as adult transactions.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:54 AM on August 8, 2009

here are some things in random order:

1. Beer - Esp. from microbreweries.
2. Food - Unusual snacks, candy and drinks
3. Specific import technology - e.g. region 2/1/3 DVD players.
4. Unusual/niche movies/shows - (DVDs of)
posted by gadha at 5:12 AM on August 8, 2009

This is totally off the top of my head: there are a lot of spinners, weavers in NZ, so supplies/equipment for them?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:17 AM on August 8, 2009

Cars from Japan
posted by KokuRyu at 1:26 PM on August 8, 2009

Crafting stuff, art supplies, computer peripherals and parts (such as RAM -- that stuff is light as a feather and expensive overseas) ... I guess it depends a lot on what your interests are. You'll do a lot selecting products (and selling them) if you're a discerning buyer.
posted by zpousman at 2:06 PM on August 8, 2009

What is online retail like for sex toys in NZ?

Pretty good actually, I don't see a hole in the market there.

Cars from Japan

Um, we already get pretty much all our cars from Japan. The OP asked for products not available here rather than those that are ubiquitous.

I agree that niche products would work. Find a hobby or sport that's underserved and fill that niche. For example my boyfriend loves a certain brand of soccer boots (Umbros possibly?) that are no longer sold in shoe stores so instead he knows a guy who brings in a container load each year and buys them from him. If it's something you're interested in (like the tools blog you linked) then even better, you're more likely to know what's cool, what's missing here, and to enjoy the whole process.

Quite a lot of people already do this via trademe. Musical instruments and bedroom furniture are two things off the top of my head that I've seen direct importer stores for on trademe and there are plenty of other things around. There's a system in place over there for setting up a store front and I think they'll tell you what you need for GST etc (if not an account can do it easily enough), it seems like a painfree way to get started. So maybe take a look through there for ideas, see what other people are (and are not!) doing and what sells.
posted by shelleycat at 3:41 PM on August 8, 2009

1. Beer - Esp. from microbreweries.

Beer from where? NZ is already well-supplied with microbreweries. Maybe something from Germany/Austria would fly, American beer is considered a joke here. Also there are legal implications if you want to sell booze.

2. Food - Unusual snacks, candy and drinks

Might work if you could source stuff from a country where there was a significant local expat community, otherwise I don't think so.
3. Specific import technology - e.g. region 2/1/3 DVD players.

All DVD payers here are region-free. The market for region-specific players is zero.

4. Unusual/niche movies/shows - (DVDs of)

Would only work if you can source stuff significantly cheaper [or more esoteric] than the usual online places. Amazon delivers stuff in less than a week.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 7:11 PM on August 9, 2009

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