How to Sell Merchandise in Japan
One thing that I've noticed about selling goods in Japan is that they
have a standard of products that is not matched by many countries across the globe.
The reason why I believe this is because there was a man by the name of Edwards Deming after WWII that came an
consulted the major corporations in Japan to compete with the world market after the war.
Dr. Deming taught the Japanese market that they must raise their standards of their products and services. Not
only to raise the standards immediately, but to continue to improve their products on a consistent basis.
Every year Japan gives an award to the company that demonstrates the most improvement - the Deming Award.
If you think that you are going to sell cheap and under-par items to Japan to make a profit, I think you may
need to reevaluate. Japan is looking for one thing, and that is mostly to improve on what they already have.
Top quality products are part of Japan's national identity. The markets in
Japan are very strict and analyze just about every detail of the merchandise that you are hoping to sell to the
buyers there. It is not that they are overly cautious or even that they care to win the award.
They believe wholeheartedly that they have a duty to the customers of their company. If you are trying to sell
to a Japanese company in bulk (B2B), than you should remember a few things to increase your chances to selling online.
The Japan market love to deal with people that they have dealt with before. This means that you have a little
bit of business-relation homework to do. You need to see who the company (that you want to do business with) has
already done business with.
They believe in the old-fashioned buddy system where if a friend tells you that you are good, than you are good.
If you know of a major Japanese buyer that you know would love your products, if only you could get in, then you
need to play 'stalker' for a bit.
See who they do business with and then befriend their friends.
This isn't hard to do at all. All you need to do is contact them and ask
them for clients that they have worked with in the past. It's not a secret that they are going to keep from
you. This is how you get in.
You mirror the quality of the companies that they have worked with and you do the same thing, but even better.
Remember, they are always about constant and never-ending improvement.
Find out who they buy from and do it better than them. After you have found the companies in your niche that the
Japanese buyers have done business with, make it appear that you have a higher quality of product.
I don't mean "appear," but to present yourself in a manner that your merchandise is expanding in
their region and you understand that they work with "so and so".
On the other hand, if you are not in the arena of big business bulk (BBB), and you just want to penetrate the
Japanese market on a lower scale, you need to get into the stores that are small.
This is a mentality that the Japanese markets have though, it is to expand and not to sell
merchandise. The way that they believe they can expand is to increase the quality of their
You are going to have to convince these markets that you are expanding yourself, in your own country, and that
you are in alignment with what they do and that is why you contacted them. They will see the point, and they will
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