During my services to the local sellers, most of them imported their products from overseas, mainly from China. We had developed methods suitable to compete with China Direct Sellers price advantage strategy.
However, I always had this uneasy feeling of below 2 risks.
a) What is the risk for the future when more China Seller place their stock in bonded warehouse thru DFTZ or other service provider? Delivery from a bonded warehouse will be much faster from the seller.
b) What if China Seller engages local experts like us to compete with the Local sellers by emphasizing on fulfilling customer needs and branding?
Base on this risk analysis, Should I now fly to China to sell KK services to China Manufacturers and Product Owners? I had friends there as I worked with Huawei previously.
But for me, it just doesn't seem right for me to compete with my friends in Malaysia which supported and encourage me all this while!
Thus finally I made this decision.
It is not going to be easy, but I want to challenge the China Giant.
I say again Let Them Come! With such competition, we can become stronger.
Then why just limit ourselves by competing in Local Market. Why not in the International Cross-Border Markets? Is it without local advantages, we will lose out to China Products?
I don't believe that. I want to challenge this.
If China seller is coming to compete with China product, let's Compete with them with MALAYSIA PRODUCTS & SERVICES! (unfinished and raw product can come from China can lah hahaha)
Thus began my journey in Meca community and Malaysia eCommerce Industry, going around mixing and networking, asking people for ideas and solutions humbly.
One day, Bryan Ong from eBay call. eBay will like to come Ipoh if we organize it.
So we just did it. Our 1st June with eBay. It's a great opportunity to introduce Cross-Border eCommerce to Ipoh and Perak. It was a great milestone for KK, as our brand exposure improved a lot.
But then, how many business and people in Ipoh had become Cross-Border seller thru KK? I will be frank, very little. Some friend of mine did join eBay and there were many challenges.
By the way, we provide free of charge support for this early adopters. We couldn't claim any credit as there are so many questions unanswered. For them to allocate time for us is already a kind gesture from them. Thank you very much, guys.
Quite a number of people asked how much I charged eBay for that event.
Also Zero. & I am happy for it!
In fact in my opinion, for eBay to come support the Ipoh and Perak eCommerce Industry, we should pay them back. Same for my friends, Adrian from ecInsider & webShaper, Carol from MDEC and Mr. Ng from LWE which came to support when I ask.
How can we charge when they know that conversion from the event for them will be very limited? This is similar for the guests which attend the event when there are still many questions unanswered.
Thus after the 1st of June, we continue our journey in finding KK new purposes. In the progress, I will like to thank my friends such as Ang from ATKC which joined eBay upon invitation. At one time, I lost my cool on the progress and said something mean, but Ang still patiently work with us. Thank you, Ang.
In this journey, I discovered a strange phenomenon, Those who did CrossBorder successfully, don't really look into Malaysia local marketplaces like Shopee & Lazada. They claimed that it is too small. Those who are successful in Shopee & Lazada, don't really look into Western Market thru eBay or other Marketplace. They claimed that it is too hard and too complex.
Why can't we be great in both, Local and Cross-Border?
Is it possible that we can help Malaysia Product Manufacturer, Owner & Sellers to be great in both local and cross-border marketplace?
I want to make it possible.
Thus I had no choice but to excuse KK from providing services to Oversea Product Sellers. Don't worry, if you are selling China or Imported Products, you are still my friend. Any issues you can ask, I will my best to answer. Sharing ideas and knowledge is no issue. However I like to provide my services and work closely with Malaysia Product & Services.
We started engaging with local stakeholders who has similar interest to us. Of course, eBay Malaysia and Bryan Ong are one of the major stakeholders who carry similar views on Malaysia Products.
Thus when Bryan suggested we try to work together for a eBay channel partner program, I just took it. It is not confirm yet and without details or commitment from Bryan nor eBay.
I had never look back and almost every week, I travel from Ipoh to KL to make it happen.
We work on issues we faced in the 1st Event.
After the 1st event, new sellers wanted to join. However, we can only send step by step written instruction and it is inefficient and confusing. Then eBay HQ website mostly cater for International sellers.
Thus finally, eBay Malaysia had rolled out the first Video on step by step registration. It is actually very simple. Remember to sign up your account under www.ebay.com.my to enjoyed eBay Malaysia support.
Then you need to link to your eBay account to a Paypal account. If you do not have any Paypal account, please sign up for PayPal and link with a credit card to complete your eBay seller registration processes.
eBay Malaysia also started their first Malaysia and SEA seller center to provide more relevant information to Malaysia sellers. I will talk more about the content in the seller center in future blogs, but feel free to go and look at the many useful information there!
In the previous event, we can't answer questions about eTrade details. Thus we work very hard to connect to Matrade. Finally, we are very thankful that we are able to connect to Matrade, and become their eAggregator for eBay under eTRADE Program. Now we can help Malaysia business to claim the the RM 5k Incentive when selling on eBay if you meet eTRADE requirement.
However in order to be successful in cross-border eCommerce is not just about eBay, Matrade and KK. We need other important stakeholders support as well. There are many but we identify that 3PL and Foreign Exchange is the major stakeholder in first stage of eCommerce Business.
We are trying our best to engage them and combine our efforts in adding value to Malaysia eCommerce Industry.
The other internal challenge is KK sustainability in this Cross Border eCommerce. We had kept trying to achieve our goals, and basically spending limited funds we have each month. We know that free of charge services cannot be available forever. We somehow had to find someone which are willing to support us as well!
What's our next immediate plan? It is to improve from the last event,
Thus in 5th December, this will be going to be our second event with eBay. This time it is different. We plan to bring confirmed solutions to the event for the participants from the service provider.
But in this event, we will be trying something daring.
First, we will ask the target audience to try to do one thing first before coming to this event to enjoy extra benefit.
Sign up eBay Seller Account First to enjoy benefit.
Really although we wanted to provide our humble services, yet it has to be two-way effort and communications. So we hope to encourage the audience to take their on step forward first. How hard is it to follow step by step video instruction?
Then this time we are going to ask for minimal fee as:
A) We hope that all who had signed up come at the end. If there is no commitment, it is easy for the participant not to come when there are other matters at the same time.
B) We want to avoid this event turn out to be a PR show to just get numbers or great photo. We want to focus on convincing the right audience who are willing to commit to come.
Of course, it is not fair if the commitment is just from the participants.
Thus we are trying very hard to get further support from other service provider to the cost of the event also and the follow up activities. However it is a challenge balancing different requirement and needs as each business had their own justification to be made to support this event.
Will people come? I don't know. Will the service provider support? I don't know
But I know this event cannot be just a 'feel good' show for ourselves. We need to find the people with the same path with us in this event.
And sometimes you just got to do what you think is right. There is no guarantee in life.
In the end, Our purpose is to help built Malaysia eCommerce Industry. Somehow in doing that, we need to find a sustainable funding to continue executing our plans towards this mission.