The Shanghai Venture

The idea came to me when I was sitting in class and thinking about how I’m going to generate revenue in my current situation. My professor was speaking about creating as much contact between you and your customer base as soon as possible so you don’t spend your time creating a product/service no one wants and having a rude awakening when you take it to the market. When I was in Shanghai a few weeks prior, I had gone to a market place and purchased a few beautiful scarves and leather wallets/purses. The items were beautifully made and the people I gifted them too were extremely happy I had brought them such beautiful gifts. So I have a product, beautiful Pashminas and leather goods. Another thing I realized at the market place was the power of bartering. Our tour guide had explained to us that we should always try to get the price of any item we buy at the market to at least 30% of its initial stated price so I had decided to try and outdo that amount. I did not fail. Some of my purchases were as low as 8% of the originally stated price. So I have my buy low strategy. Its certainly not sophisticated. But when’s the last time you got someone to give you a 92% discount? I decided I’ll try bringing a sample amount and selling it in the U.S.  I was sitting in class contemplating how I can make this happen when I realized that I now have something I did not have before, free time. Why not just go get it myself? Thanks to the many travel sites out there, I got a round trip ticket to China and hotel accommodations for less than $1500. On spring break, I’ll be off to Shanghai to buy a curated sample of the items I plan on selling here and bring them back. I plan on putting my professor’s advice to practice and creating as much contact between me and my desired market as soon as possible. My main outlets for these markets will be social media, local pop-up shops and personal orders of which I’ve collected a few thus far. If I succeed, I will make a decent amount of profit which I can put back into this venture after replenishing my savings. So I booked the ticket and reserved a hotel. I got back in touch with the tour guide we had in Shanghai and explained my plan to her. She seems interested.

Most people are looking at me like I’m crazy. You left a cushy management job to sell Pashminas and leather goods on Instagram? Uh Yeah. I’ve worked in regular 9-5 jobs since I was legally able. While the stability of this kind of income is comforting, I’ve come to realize that I cannot build wealth by doing that alone. No matter how disciplined of a spender I become, frugality will only complete one part of the equation. The idea is to live beneath my means, increase my revenue and invest wisely. Acting on my business ideas is the only thing I haven’t tried thus far. So now, while I have time, and I’m in between jobs, I will try this out and see where it leads me. Here goes!

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