Online sellers in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. may not have Amazon Chinese New Year sales on their holiday radar.
But with the last census reporting that over 3.3 million Chinese-American adults live in the U.S., another 1.5 million Chinese residents live in Canada, and 250,000 more live in the U.K., Amazon Chinese New Year sales can be very significant outside of China.
And if you do sell on Amazon China, where demand for holiday products will be soaring, you'll be in even better shape, although there are also countless Chinese consumers who purchase billions from foreign retailers.
Focusing on Amazon Chinese New Year sales could be a total game-changer for your Q1 revenue. In order to capitalize, you’ll need to know what products are typically sold for Chinese New Year (CNY) on Amazon.
And, if you source directly from China, you’ll also need to understand how Chinese New Year affects overseas shipping times. Many non-Chinese sellers have felt the frustration of Chinese New Year stalling their shipments from on-time arrival.
Thankfully, we’re here to help.
We’ve done research on Amazon Chinese New Year so you don’t have to. Read on to learn how to make Amazon Chinese New Year sales a major part of your Q1 gameplan.
Chinese New Year falls on February 16th, 2018, but it affects much more than one day
The Chinese calendar is very different from the one we use, which causes Chinese New Year to fall on a different day each year (at least according to our calendar). But the holiday affects much more than just that single day.
That’s because some people start celebrating one week early, while others start the revelry up to three weeks prior. On top of that, the massive Chinese Spring Festival travel rush can affect shipments abroad for up to 40 days because so many workers throughout China take vacations around this time.
The travel rush typically begins 15 days before Chinese New Year and ends 25 days after, severely affecting shipping. It’s by far the biggest holiday in China, with Chinese workers usually taking looooong breaks from work during this time.
That means you must place shipment orders to China well in advance of Chinese New Year.
Companies have also been known to close up shop days before they’re expected, so the earlier you order, the better. You may also want to have a backup supplier ready just in case something happens with your Chinese supplier(s).
And, if worse comes to worst and you get shut out of sourcing for several weeks, all isn’t lost. Use the slowdown to plan your strategy for the rest of the year. For example:
• Test out new pricing strategies
• Do product research, and
• Trial new seller tools that can make your life easier
And, despite the ups and downs, realize that you’re still quite fortunate to be running your own Amazon business.
Popular Amazon Chinese New Year products
Like any holiday, Chinese New Year has specific products associated with it. Here are a few items you’ll want to consider adding to your inventory:
Red gift envelopes
During Chinese New Year, it’s best to be a kid. That’s because your elders typically give you money as a gift inside these festive red envelopes. Bet on these essential paper goods being super popular leading up to CNY.
Dragons are a strongly positive symbol in Chinese culture, so they’re in high demand during CNY. People decorate their homes with paper mache dragon artwork and wall-hangings. Others go as far as dressing up in multi-person dragon costumes.
Consider sourcing several dragon-themed products to hedge against certain items being less popular than others.
In Chinese culture, paper lanterns are a symbol of artistic expression and are typical Chinese New Year decorations. The come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and may come adorned with Chinese letters and symbols (like dragons).
In addition to dragons and lanterns, there are plenty of other traditional Chinese New Year decorations you can source. Just look at the gong centerpiece pictured above.
Check out these listings for more ideas on decorations to source for Amazon Chinese New Year.
Yes, it’s tough to compete against Amazon for the Buy Box when selling new books.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to source some kids books for Chinese New Year.
That’s because Amazon may not sell many of these niche reads, so the Buy Box could be easier to win. Also, while these books are only in demand once each year, they’ll likely remain relevant and sellable in future years.
So, if you don’t sell out this year, you’ll still can when the holiday comes around next year.
Other categories to target for Amazon Chinese New Year
Beyond the above items, sellers should also source clothing/fashion, travel accessories, and cosmetics, as demand increases for these during CNY.
Many people will be meeting up with friends and family, and they’ll want to look (and feel) their best. That’s why so many Chinese New Year revelers will be buying new outfits and beauty products during this time. Not to mention that lots of these people will also be traveling for the festivities.
Consider expanding into these categories if you don’t already sell in them. And if you currently source products like these, you may want to stock up extra for the holiday.
Amazon Chinese New Year: the bottom line
As you can see, Chinese New Year presents Amazon sellers with an incredible opportunity to boost Q1 sales. If you understand how Chinese shippers/suppliers are affected by the holiday, you’ll be able to plan ahead and succeed.
After branching into new categories for Chinese New Year, you might decide to continue sourcing in these categories year-round.
And, if you don’t sell all your Chinese New Year-specific products this year, you can always hold onto them for next year.
Of course, you should analyze your storage costs before you hold onto inventory for that long.
And, if you’re left holding onto an enormous amount of Chinese New Year products, consider using a price-matching strategy to liquidate them. (And, learn from your experience by sourcing less of those products for CNY next year.)
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