This is the story of why I think small traders serve an important purpose through the YuEmBoss movement and the other PNG Consumer Electronics traders on social media. I also give my top 5 tips to Papua New Guineans playing this trading game.
I’ve been on the hunt for Electronic Scales to help me to sell to vanilla bean buyers around PNG after I had received a few requests. In the last Vanilla Boom in the early 2000s there had been no shortage of these electronic scales around specialist shops and the like. This time around, it seems that no one wanted to pay attention to this dire need again.
Anyway, after securing a great deal from my suppliers, I decided to do a bit of a market survey to find comparable prices to benchmark against. In Lae, I decided to try out Brian Bell’s Trade Electrical and TE (PNG) before checking out Farmset, Electrical Wholesalers, and Agmark.
Brian Bell Trade Electrical did not have the scales so I checked out the Homecentre, conveniently named The Plaza. They had some quirky-cheap looking kitchen scales priced between K57.00 – K123.00 (est USD16 – USD35). A descent price but not for the scales I am trading. I am retailing something a bit more industrious and not so quirky-cheap looking.
So I decided to check TE (PNG) and was grateful to find out that they had scales on hand. Ranging from 5kg to 30kg Electronic Scales and branded as Wedderburn I appreciated that they were reliable. But that satisfaction with finding a comparable product quickly turned to a bitter taste of injustice when I found out the price of the scales.
TE (PNG) were retailing the scales of the same description I was sourcing for a price above K3000.00 for each unit. Aided by a quick google search and some mental math I couldn’t help feeling that something was incredibly wrong. It wasn’t TE (PNG)’s fault, the currency conversion put the price under K2,000.00 and their markup was around 35%-40%, a realistic amount for a company holding that type of slow moving stock.
Below is a summary of my mental math for it.
You have probably figured out, I am not going to try selling at this price at all. My sources are not as costly and my markup and sales methodology are such that even at a 40% markup, I would not be blowing the cap of a tenth of that TE (PNG) prices.
My goal, like most Papua New Guineans getting into this trading scene, is to bring justice to the price markets and disrupting overpriced products.
My top 5 advice to other Papua New Guineans getting into trading consumer electronics game:
- Talk to a lot of people about their needs.
- Do it with a definite purpose (mine is to bring justice to established retail prices).
- Satisfy a need and not a hunch.
- Do your math and understand currency exchange.
- Watch the larger market trends.