For better or worse, B2B sites such as Faire have changed the way some retailers buy. You may have recently heard about another entry into this wholesale marketplace – an Asian B2B company called Peeba. Launched in Hong Kong in June, 2020, Peeba is now publicizing their platform internationally. However their website states that for the time being, Peeba is only available to retailers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Japan, Korea and other APAC (Asia-Pacific) regions. 

This means that even though you may have come across Peeba as a possible source for new merchandise, it is not actually available to retailers in the U.S. The push to become more global is undoubtedly an effort to recruit vendors from other countries, because the more vendors, the more attractive the platform.

Until Peeba becomes international, you might consider a strategy used by some American shops: they procure goods or supplies by purchasing directly from China’s huge  According to Magenest, “Alibaba is the world’s largest B2B eCommerce platform and the world’s most valuable company. Currently, Over 100 million products are sold in 40 different categories on Alibaba’s platform, which is available in 200 countries.”  In addition to Alibaba, the same group operates AliExpress. AliExpress is consumer-based and allows for smaller purchases.

There are several potential drawbacks you should be aware of: freight cost can be considerable on orders coming from China, and there may be a long lead time.  The most important factor is that you may have little recourse if the quality and condition of the products do not live up to your standards.

Retailers are constantly trying to build margins by finding good buys, and to attract customers by stocking unique products.  Importing directly from the Asia-Pacific region may or may not help you do this – as the Latin phrase says, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder