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  • salem
    replied
    Hey, just wanted to add a tip. In Japan, especially in the country side, many bathrooms don't have toilet paper either. So if you go, rather than bring a whole roll of tp, bring the small, disposable tissue packs. They fit much easier and don't unravel.

    Leave a comment:


  • pearl5
    replied
    Zhuji Weather
    Shaoxing is the closest location to Zhuji.
    http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?we...ns=wc:CHXX0117

    Leave a comment:


  • pearl5
    replied
    there are 4 toilets in shaoxiahu pearl market.Toilet paper is a must take, most of public toilets do not supply paper in china.That maybe one of the worse things in your zhuji trip.

    Leave a comment:


  • pearl5
    replied
    I will add more info about shaoxiahu pearl market.

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  • jshepherd
    replied
    It seeems clear enough to me! It is great to see an informative non-advertorial post come from Zhuji.
    Welcome to Pearl-Guide.

    Leave a comment:


  • pearl5
    replied
    Welcome to Zhuji, JBLOGGS.
    jshepherd's suggestion is soawesome! that is very good travling guide.
    I am from Zhuji, China.I would like to give you some more explain about jshepherd's guide.
    1. What is the best way to carry your money in china?...I will be going with around $20k. Do you change all to the local currency, go with dollars (cash) or travellers cheque?
    yes, just as jshepherd said, skip the cheques. few chinese like payment of cheque.If you don't like carry too much money, negotiation with your suppliers, they should agree to accept your term of leave deposit.
    Dollars is ok
    BTW,Credit Card is not supported in the market.
    2. In Zhuji, do you also bargain at the factories? Are the factories close to the market?
    Yes, Most of foreign customers are bargain with us.factories are inside and outside of shanxiahu pearl market.old pearl market is too small to hold too much factories.the CP&J is still under construction.There are several big pearl companies, Shanxiahu Pearl Group(also called Qianzu Pearls,mainly pearl jewelry with sterling silver ),Ruans Pearls,Pearls of angel, Jiali Pearls,Sanshui Pearls(focus on loose beads).Their major revenue are from their HONGKONG branches.You can find branches in pearl market.It is hard to say how much Competitiveness they have compare to middle or little size factories.
    BTW,I'd like to talk more about hotel. Hailiang Hotel is a professional choice.New comer can not find it.You can order it online.(CTRIP.COM is bigest travling service website in China.)You can search Hailiang Hotel in Zhuji City.I attch two link about hailiang Hotel.
    http://www.hailianghotel.com/china/room3.htm
    http://www.hailianghotel.com/china/room2.htm
    We also arrange our customers live in Zhenyue Hotel where sit in Zhuji city.It is 3 star rating hotel too.
    jshepherd's route is good. First from Shanghai to Hangzhou by train then take taxi to Zhuji.You will take 2 hours to Hangzhou then 1 hour and a half to Zhuji. Remeber, Pearl market close in 17:00 and open in 8:30. I trnaslate a Train time table to you.Hope it can give you a bit help.I can not past it on the forum,please click here.

    3. What is the best way to ship...via FEDEX? or via shipping agents (where can I find them in Zhuji)?
    Don't worry about the shipping.Your suppliers will arrange shipping good. There have several Shipping agents and Fedex, TNT branches around pearl market.Remember to Reminded your supplier sending tracking number. Don't let your supplier ship with big packages,sometimes there will be custom problems in your end.Don't worry,it is rare and easy to resolve.

    4. Which is better.....shopping at the factories or at the market?
    It doesn't sames have too much different.Almost every merchant in the market has his nwn factory. Because here is Zhuji, the original source of China freshwater pearl. Some factories are outside the market,some even don't put a mark on their factory's building.

    Zhuji Shanxiahu Pearl Market

    Sorry for my poor english, hope I could express clearly.
    Last edited by pearl5; 06-05-2007, 03:16 AM.

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  • Raisondetre
    replied
    BTW, when is CP&J going to be completed? I probably wouldn't go have a look, but sometimes in moments of weaknesses I tend to venture to the smaller Chinese cities just for fun before realizing I really need the comforts of a modern city. I love exploring China.

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  • JBLOGGS
    replied
    Hi guys, Thank you so much for all the information. It is certainly very much appreciated. I will absolutely take your advice on everything.

    Regards,

    Joe.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raisondetre
    replied
    I still do my "circuit" twice a year for clothes, accessories, shoes and yes, household items wholesale in China. The savings pay for the trips themselves and I get away from my job. After my little business flopped I think I've learnt a hard lesson. Much more wary than I used to be. Haven't finished reading your book but it only serves to reinforce good old common sense - people need to be critical when starting up. I'm no good with gut feelings so it's critical analysis and rationalization after rationalization until I feel that almost nothing can go wrong before I do anything now. Business is exciting, but the pain of losing out financially is simply unbearable to me at present. I'll probably stick to my day job before I try again, and most probably only online with a small inventory just for interest.

    I do think freshies are the best for entry level small businesses in the pearl business. With the improvement in quality and the mass market target, you probably won't lose much if you get decent quality. People can tell the difference. I'd be wary of getting into the higher end goods until you build up credibility. PP didn't mushroom overnight.

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  • jshepherd
    replied
    Wow Raison d'?tre! You really have been studying up! Everything she said about the akoya, freshwater, Tahitian and South Sea is spot on.

    Yes, you can get it all in Hong Kong. This is a much safer way to go, for the most part. This is where the large majority of US wholesalers get their Chinese pearls. This includes nearly all the sellers at the Tucson and Vegas shows, and beading stores around the country. Very few of them actually venture into China. This may change after the CP&J project is finished, however. There are several reasons why this is. First and foremost is because dealing in Hong Kong is easy. Business is conducted there much like it is conducted in the Western world. This is not to say you will never get taken. I got hit very hard by a company once in Hong Kong, but for the most part, it is safe.
    *see my note at the bottom of this thread!

    Tahitian and South Sea pearls can be sourced in Hong Kong as well. This is actually a very good place to get them. You can get them in Japan as well, in the Kobe area. Prices are very similar for matched strands and pairs. There is not a lot of difference in that realm. Your cost will depend completely on how much you intend to spend. For strands of Tahitians, they are all priced in this range for anything of good color, luster, and light spotting - but only if you are buying a substantial amount. If you are looking for 1 or 2 strands, forget about it. You will get price marked, and that will be very similar to US average wholesale. Approximately double what you see on that page.

    Discounts work like this from one big Tahitian and South Sea wholesaler that I won't mention publicly due to the nature of this post. The marked price is their wholesale price. If you buy one or two strands, this is what you pay. If you pass them at the show, see some pearls you like, this is what you pay. The next step down is 25%. You have to be a pretty big buyer to get to that level. The next step is down to 45%. If you get this you are a good, long-term customer. The final "typical" discount is 50%. You are then considered a major customer.
    There is, however, one final discount that only a select few are privy to. This is a 62% discount that is a "close out only" discount. New goods are coming in, so move out the old. You may also got this discount by purchasing entire lots - or a specific production run. But you have to be able to move several hundred strands. We did this with Golden South Sea baroques last year, and it worked quite well. This is a great way to purchase, but it is not consistent. When it is available, the price is very close to production - what it would cost me, for example, to make the strands or buy the loose lots personally.

    So basically what I am trying to say is that it does not necessarily matter who you buy from, it matters most "how" you buy, and how much you are ready to spend. With the aforementioned company you will not likely go below 25% until you have made several decent purchases - and decent is anywhere between $50-$100k.

    Freshwater are the best, easiest game to start with. If you are starting small, you would best be suited to stay in Hong Kong. But if your heart is really set on Zhuji, do yourself a favor and sit down for a few solid days with this Website. There are about 12000 posts, as of today, so there is a lot of reading. But I cannot imagine a better way of getting prepared for that type of trip.

    With akoya, be very, very, very careful. I would strongly suggest staying away until you are very knowledgeable about them. You must be able to gauge nacre depth, compare luster, and know the seller's tricks. You also need to be able to distinguish high grade pearls from over processed pearls - very difficult to do. The akoya business is probably the most difficult, and that is why so few people do it successfully. Most sellers blindly place their faith in a Japanese factory, overpay for the quality they receive, then overcharge based on a "product of Japan" label that means nothing related to actual origin.

    *This is the company that "ripped me off" in Hong Kong. Not for a huge amount of money, but 5 years ago it really felt like it. They took me for about $15,000, and they are still in business. If you see "Pierre", run!

    Name: Infinity Jewelry Company Limited
    Address: Suite A, 13/F,
    Eastern Flower Centre,
    22-24 Cameron Road,
    Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    Tel: 23670418
    Fax: 852-23669148
    E-Mail: pierre@infinityjew.com
    Web: www(dot)infinityjew(dot)com

    Pierre,
    I think we may finally be even...

    Leave a comment:


  • Raisondetre
    replied
    I'm just wondering what scale of business it is that you do. For an entry level business, the costs associated with carrying a full inventory might be prohibitory at present. It is nearly always cheaper to get things at source, but there is a catch. You can get it only in huge quantities. Otherwise it's rarely worth the effort. Jeremy sources straight from farms and cuts out the middleman. Golden South Seas are produced in Indonesia and the Phillipines, white SSs in Australia (Broome predominantly), Tahitians in Tahiti, you get the picture. There are also more obscure sources for the exotics like the one Carolyn Ehret carries - she travels all around the world and sells unique pieces at high prices in order to cover the costs. Of course, her prices would still be cheaper than full retail for exotics.

    You don't seem to have a target market in mind - are you doing niche or mass market? Should you be just concentrating on one particular line? You also have to note China doesn't produce big Akoyas with much success. If you want a full-line of Akoyas you will need to source in Japan as well, which Jeremy also does. You will get a potpourri of everything - HK is an international pearl hub but there won't be much in terms of savings unless you are running out of regular stock in an established business and am trying to keep customers happy. It's not the best for a long-term solution.

    I think most of the vendors here will also sell you hanks - Jeremy mentioned that in another thread. It might be more cost-effective for you to go that way until you have tested the market.

    If you do want to go China/HK isn't a bad idea, but I don't think you really need to go all the way to Zhuji for small quantities. It really is in the middle of nowhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • JBLOGGS
    replied
    Hello, Thanks for your reply. I don't intend getting Tahitian and S/S pearls from china. I am trying to put together a plan of how I can get what I need and in order to do this, I need to know where the products are. China trip is definitely for freshwater and if possible, Akoya. Thereafter, I can set out for the other stuff.

    Regards,

    Joe.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raisondetre
    replied
    I'm just wondering why you're so bent on getting SS and Tahitians in China - you are unlikely to get a good deal even wholesale. Zhuji is for freshwater, Guangxi Beihai and the area is for Akoya. There is a wholesale pearl market in Liwan Plaza in Guangzhou which has both Akoya and freshies, but if you're going to get stuff that won't give you a good deal you might as well skip Zhuji altogether and go to just Guangzhou and HK which are more accessible. It's just not worth making the trip on train from Guangzhou to the middle of Zhejiang with a calculator if you are going to get ripped off in other places, thereby negating the savings. You will almost definitely get ripped off for SS and Tahitians - imported materials are very expensive in China.

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  • JBLOGGS
    replied
    Thanks a lot Jeremy.

    2 more question for you:

    1. Where exactly can I get Akoya Pearls, Tahitian Pearls & South Sea Pearls either in China, HK or wherever for wholesale or near wholesale price?

    2. Where can I get 14Kt & 18kt Gold findings/Clasps here or abroad?

    Regards,

    Joe.
    Last edited by JBLOGGS; 06-02-2007, 09:25 PM.

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  • jshepherd
    replied
    Calculator is a language everyone understands there

    If you can get there on your own, you will do fine from that point. It would definitely save you hassle and time to have someone with you that knew the language or route. Otherwise you are going to be playing sign language and calculator with the taxi driver. If you look for someone, just be sure they are not connected to the pearl sellers of Zhuji or you just paid at least 10% extra for their effort.

    Another idea may be to map your entire trip out in English, build a sort of bullet point list, get it translated, and travel by pointing.

    Leave a comment:

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