September 21, 2013
Goodbye Stone, Back on the bus and on our way to Yiwu. Yiwu is a city known for commodity trade and is still very developing. As we were driving through the city I was amazed to see how many 30 story residential apartment complex buildings were being built. After lunch at the hotel we went for a factory tour of the Mengna Group which is a sock production facility. I was pretty shocked to see so many employees working on a Saturday and we were told that this is because the factory is running 24/7. It was very cool to watch the socks be produced and then get shot out of the machine after just minutes; a completely automated process. After the tour we had a lecturer who has a big position in the Communist Party explain the Yiwu economy. She spoke no English, the room was 85 degrees, and Mulcahy came to the rescue by cutting her off after an hour. She had only covered 60 slides out of 100, we were all very thankful.
After her lecture we were free for the day and we decided to go explore the city. A bunch of the girls set out and we had a lovely dinner at a delicious Mediterranean restaurant. We relaxed at dinner for a while and then went towards the night market. The night market was like no market I have ever seen: food, nail stations, tattoo stations, clothes, shoes, belts, bags, bubble tea, food, literally everything. I spoiled myself a little bit and bought a dress and pair of shoes for myself, I was very excited. We stayed at the night market for a couple of hours and then went back to the hotel to meet the boys on the rooftop to sing to Cole for his 21st birthday. Mulcahy and the boys conspired to pour beer all over his head so I was sure to move out of the way when 12am hit.
September 22, 2013
After breakfast we checked out of the Yiwu Hotel and went to the commodity market. I had no idea a place like this existed. I was in shock when I realized that almost everything I have ever bought was probably marked up 700-900%. We saw everything from treadmills, hair appliances, Christmas decorations, plants, and so much more. We only went to two out of five warehouses and we were responsible for completing a group project during this time. We had to find a product, barging the carton price down, find out shipping pricing, delivery time, quantities, and then do research on through what medium we would sell this product in the American market and create a pro forma to recognize what the wholesale price would be, the retail price and what our profit would be from this venture. We shopped around for hours but we finally agreed that we chose to buy Christmas decorations. We were buying a sleeve of ten ornaments for $0.49 with shipping, we would sell them wholesale to School Holiday Fairs for $4.99 and based on our research, our recommended retail price is $11.99; giving us a 918% margin. I really loved this project because it was extremely challenging, especially communicating, bargaining and getting very specific details in between two languages. On the bus ride home we worked on our presentation for the class and my group was very excited about our idea!