“If you spend 3 minutes in a shop in Yiwu market, one year will be finished”, this is an old saying that you may heard of many times.
In fact, after putting up 15,000 more shops inside the new building – building 4 & 5, and a huge new raw material market around 2010. This saying needs updated. But now seems no one cares about it. Or maybe another saying can describe the variety of products here – “an ocean of commodities”
“This is huge!” “I never thought of such things exits” These words are out of Yiwu market first time visitors.
If you want to know the exact numbers of how many products are available in Yiwu, well, you will never get an accurate number.
Take shawls for example, there are about 1,400 shops only for shawls & scarf. Within one shop, there are at least hundreds of thousands of different products. You can imagine how many different shawls are there. Of course, these shawls cannot sell exact same shawls, otherwise, they can’t survive.
To classify these products, they mainly go to:
- Fashion accessories for women and men: fashion jewelry, bags, scarf&shawls, hats&caps, gloves, belts, cosmetics and beauty accessories…
- For kids & students: toys, sports, stationary.
- For party and events.
- Electronics & office supplies.
- Home, kitchen, outdoor & travel.
- Promotion, dispaly and package of above items.
- Parts, accessories, raw materials, tools, machinery for above products.
Or we say, the products you see in most supermarkets, dollar stores, online stores, home stores, even concept stores are available in Yiwu market. Most of them are small.
Site/Link to Order Online?
Unfortunately, there is NO such website available, simply because the market here is huge and products are numerous, they’re updating fast.
For many small items, they update very fast. There are new designs come out at every week. And also because of lack of certain materials at certain time, some products have to be taken down from the website.
The most important is: not enough right people to put all these products online. And, the shops here have customers walk into their shop every day. The visitors inside their shop are definitely on the top priority.
If you really need some sources for references, you can browse this website – www. yiwugou.com
But don’t take everything for sure. Many products can look very different in reality from how they look online.
Once, one of our customers spent one hour in the market locating a cell phone case which she saw before on yiwugou.com. After she finally found that shop, she realized she wasted her precious time. The cell phone case looks very different from the picture.
“I’m not going to order this” she said.
Yiwu has established its fame for cheap prices in last 30 years. Even today, you can still find many products here are wholesaling at a 1/5, even 1/10 of its retail price at your local store.
But thing are changing now. Yiwu is not THAT cheap anymore!
First, labor cost:
Labor cost by increased by 10-20% averagely in China factories in last 10 years.
Second, lack of labor:
“How can this happen? China is a largest labor pool in the world”. Yes, China is still the largest labor pool in the world, but the younger generations are not willing to work in a factory anymore.
They want to be “white-collar” They want more “decent” and “clean” job. They want more fun. They want to be more valued. This is very much unlike their parents who just want to earn enough money to build a house and support their kids to finish college.
In Yiwu human resources market, there is a huge demand for skillful factories. Yet, the supply is very limited.
Third, land, power supply, inflation…
China government is taking a very harsh approach to force the factories consuming less power, esp. electricity.
The government wants factories upgrade their production line to meet certain environmental requirements. But most factories are too slow in reaction, so government simply cut off power supply for all factories in some areas.
With the price strategy, Yiwu cheap products obtained a big market share in the world. At the same time, Yiwu also got a bad reputation for poor quality. Copies, imitations made it even worse…
But now, as Yiwu cannot keep supplying cheap products for mass production, the factories have to change. Either change or die. Now for some products like small home decor items, Christmas items, socks… Yiwu already changed the bad reputation. Some big suppliers are going out to advertise more. Start partnership with world top organizations like NBA. Produce for global top brands.