• Selling on Yangmatou (YMatou) in China: The Definitive Guide

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    China’s E-commerce market has become highly competitive as companies like Alibaba, NetEase, and Tencent, try to grasp as many market shares as possible.

    Still, you have a number of smaller Chinese websites that primarily focus on cross border E-Commerce and see great success in pre-purchasing products directly from overseas. Two of these companies are Yangmatou and Vipshop.

    Yangmatou is similar to Vipshop as it primarily focuses on a handful of product types, catering a small customer segment. Selling on these kind of websites can be lucrative as setup fees and running costs are generally lower compared to other platforms.

    In this article, I explain about what Yangmatou is, what kind of products they sell, how you can become a merchant, and more.

    What is Yangmatou?

    Yangmatou (洋码头) started out in 2009 and is a comparably small cross border E-Commerce website. It’s not strange, as you’ll find a limited amount of product types listed.

    Yet, this doesn’t necessarily need to be bad. For example, Yangmatou proudly claims that the entry requirements are lower compared to other websites, at the same time, setup and running costs are significantly cheaper.

    As we both know, Chinese consumers crave for foreign products. Therefore, Yangmatou has a similar business model to VIP International and put much focus on bringing in new brands from overseas.

    Having 11 bonded warehouses in different countries, they pre-purchase products and add a markup. In this way, you don’t need to manage marketing, customer support, claims & refund.

    Yangmatou focuses on foreign products and discounted sales

    In the past years, Yangmatou has expanded much overseas and currently have offices in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, for example.

    They put more effort in providing long product descriptions and always includes country flags, showing the country of origin. This is to clearly show that products are foreign and authentic.

    Another interesting thing with Yangmatou is that you have the option to buy products from regular listings, but also from a section that’s solely dedicated for discounted products. Again, this is similar to the way Vipshop works.

    Still, the discounts don’t go as deep as Vipshop’s, that sometimes reaches up to 90%, but range between 30-50%.

    As explained in my separate article about selling on Vipshop, the flash-sale market is highly underdeveloped in China and have plenty of room for expansion.

    What kind of products are sold on Yangmatou?

    As you can see on Yangmatou’s website, there’s a narrow product range with mom & baby products, cosmetics, nutrition products, accessories, beauty products, and apparel.

    yangmatou-ymatou

    Hence, if you plan to sell wine, books, olive oil, electronics, or similar, then this website is probably not for you.

    Instead, marketplaces like Kaola and JD Worldwide should be of interest.

    Yangmatou market share

    I usually don’t talk about general E-Commerce, when selling products online from within China, but primarily focus on cross border sales.

    This means that you have a company registered outside of China and keep your products in a China based bonded warehouse or a Hong Kong fulfilment center.

    When it comes to cross border sales, Yangmatou claims around 6% of the market shares, which is not bad, looking at how competitive the Chinese E-Commerce market is.

    As mentioned, the product range is also narrow, as the company mainly targets young female buyers. This is not the case with Tmall Global and JD Worldwide, for example, that have significantly more product types on display.

    I often recommend cross border sellers to not stare blindly on Tmall and JD, as there are many other options available, offering lower entry requirements and operating costs. Yangmatou is a good example.

    Can Yangmatou help me with fulfilment and shipping?

    Yangmatou can help you with warehousing and shipping as they have outsourced their fulfilment services to xLobo Express, an American based logistics company.

    yangmatou-fulfilment

    Yangmatou currently has a dozen of logistics centers in the US, Australia, Europe, and Asia, where xLobo manages deliveries and customs clearance, on the behalf of sellers.

    Other companies working with xLobo include Tmall Global, JD, Suning, and more.

    Can I resell other companies’ products on Yangmatou?

    Yes, you have no particular issues to resell other companies’ products, as long as you have a seller permit, or a certificate of resale.

    If you have specific questions related to the products you plan to resell, I recommend you to contact Yangmatou directly.

    How can I start selling on Yangmatou?

    In comparison to Tmall, it’s easier to get started on Yangmatou.

    One of the basic requirements is to have a competitive brand in the cosmetic, apparel, or beauty industry, and with a proven sales record.

    Keep in mind that selling into China is not that easy and you should try to maximize sales in your home market, before taking on the Chinese one.

    If you want to become a seller on Yangmatou, the application process goes like follows:

    • You send an inquiry online with information about your company. After, Yangmatou makes a sales estimation and an assessment, whether you’re suitable to sell on the marketplace
    • If you pass the first step, you’re practically ready to go and Yangmatou will start a formal registration of your company
    • After a couple of days, you sign an a contract with Yangmatou to formalize the setup
    • You’re now a merchant and can open your store and start publishing products

    The application should be sent to: seller@ymatou.com and biz@ymatou.com.

    How much does it cost to sell on Yangmatou?

    Even if Yangmatou pre-purchases products, you need to pay up-front fees and running fees in order to list your products on the website:

    • Deposit: USD 1,500 (normally USD 10,000 – 25,000 for other marketplaces)
    • Commission: Negotiable (normally 2-10% for other marketplaces)
    • Membership fee: Negotiable (normally between USD 1,000 – 5,000 per year for other marketplaces)

    You should contact Yangmatou for individually quoted prices and an individual assessment.

    Summary

    Yangmatou is a cross border E-Commerce marketplace that focuses on a narrow range of products, mostly dedicated to young female buyers. The main product categories include mom & baby products, apparel, accessories, beauty products, and cosmetics.

    One of the advantages of working with Yangmatou is that they offer significantly lower setup fees and operating fees compared to Tmall and JD, for example. By handling the sourcing in products’ countries of origin, they can assure customers that products are authentic.

    By pre-purchasing products, Yangmatou will take care of much work related to marketing, customer service, refund & claims. It’s not easy to handle these items on your own, in case you’re new to the Chinese market

    If you want to apply to become a seller on Yangmatou, you should visit the website and send an inquiry for an initial assessment. The process is straightforward and can be managed within a couple of weeks time.

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