If I Build It, Will They Come?

Hello, KoreaBridge!

     I'm doing a bit of market research to see if there's enough interest to start a vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbs, sports nutrition, diet, energy, health, and beauty products business in Busan that could also ship to anywhere in South Korea.  


     I see lots of healthy, active people when I'm out and about.  If you're anything like me, you want to improve your daily nutrition, maximize your energy, and be reasonably healthy.  Perhaps you're also like me and you've had a really difficult time finding worthwhile products here in Korea.  It seems there are two options:

     1) you buy things from the U.S. or your respective country of choice and wait a long time and pay duty fees, or

     2) you ask a Korean friend to help you order products on webpages that are all in Korean.  

     Before I make the investment and do the leg work of building a website and ordering product to have on hand, I was wondering if the good people of Koreabridge would do me a favor and let me know how interested or not interested they are.  

  • Would you prefer products you could buy on hand, or would you prefer to order online and have them shipped directly to your home?  Both?  
  • Are you more interested in performance supplements for running, strength training and body      building, or do products that help you get slim and stay slim sound more appealing?  
  • Energy drinks and bars?  
  • General wellness supplements like multi-vitamins, omega-3s, ProBiotics, joint health, etc, sleep aid, etc?  


I look forward to reading what everyone thinks!  

Be well!

Re: If I Build It, Will They Come?

That's a cool site.  I'd never seen or heard of it before.  Is it widely used?

I wish I could answer with a simple yes, but with that many products and that many companies represented, the answer is a bit more involved.  

Depending on what you get, the items will either be cheaper, similar in price, or slightly more expensive.  The major difference between what I would like to do and iHerb is that my store would only carry Informed Choice product.  http://www.informed-choice.org/

The FDA doesn't demand that health and wellness retailers go through the rigors of earning the Informed Choice label.  So much of what we use has lots of garbage in it that does more harm than good.  That Informed Choice label guarantees the customer that there are no harmful or banned substances in the item they are about to use.  I know some people don't really care about harmful substances, but my belief is that most of the people who would be interested in what I'm trying to do put a lot of effort and intentionality into making sure that what goes into their bodies is clean and wholesome.

The second big difference (besides the questionable appearance of the website.  I would be hesitant to use a website that seemed so quickly thrown together.  I'm pretty paranoid about credit card abuse and identity theft.  To be fair, the checkout procedure seems more legit than the initial layout.) is that iHerb diversifies too much.  I'm not into that.  Some people are, and I understand their reasoning, but I'd rather have a few top notch products, endorsed by top medical practioners and athletes, than dozens of brands and products from those brands.  If I trust the brand, the science behind what they do, and the reason that they got in the business in the first place, I will use their products.  Using multiple brands means (if I'm being intelligent and responsible) I have to research not one but several companies.  That's a lot of work.  It's doable and I've done it, but my time is important to me.  I'm sure most people feel the same way.

To be honest, I've used several of the products found on that site and they are pretty good.  They aren't Informed Choice and they aren't perfect, but they helped me get on the right track toward achieving my goals.  Also, while we're being honest, the people responsible for iHerb are far more adventurous than I am.  I only want to provide nutritionals and services to people in South Korea.  I'm really impressed that they ship to so many countries.  I think I do my best work when there is focus and clarity.  For me that means one brand, one country, and really just Busan to begin with unless/until people elsewhere show interest.  

Thank you for referring me to that website!  If my project doesn't get off the ground, I'll have one more place to refer people to.  


Be well.^^

Re: If I Build It, Will They Come?

You would have a very difficult time providing better, more diverse, and inexpensive products than those provided by iherb.  Simply put, they beat you to the punch, and they pack a mighty big one.

Re: If I Build It, Will They Come?


Did you read my previous comment? :)

My product is quantifiably higher quality, focus over diversity is the goal, and the prices are mostly the same or cheaper.  But you're right in saying they "beat me to the punch."  I'm thankful that you showed me there is something available already.  Probably the reason 134 people have viewed this thread and only you have responded.  

Thanks for the laugh, friend.  I wish you and iHerb the best.  Sincerely.