Consumer Electronics Update

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average U.S. household spent $1,179 in the past year on consumer electronics products, including common household items like laptops, telephones and TVs, but also MP3 players, GPS automotive electronics, camcorders, digital cameras, and much more. Continuous technological advances, an array of everyday electronic equipment, and a plethora of accompanying accessories and related services make consumer electronics a lucrative market. Consumer electronics businessman and President of Mobile Net, Avi Yroshalmiane, explains, “Consumer electronics is a growing market and prices are coming down, making products widely available to all consumers.” It’s all about finding a niche in the growing market.

Wholesale Suppliers Find Niche in Consumer Electronics Industry

Although a full service telecommunications provider, Mobile Net has found its niche in the consumer electronics (CE) market as a prepaid solutions provider. The company is a source for independent retailers such as cell phone and electronic stores, gift shops, as well as kiosks, to purchase prepaid products and services for instant resale to customers, offering the most popular and needed prepaid products available on the market today. Mobile Net’s most popular prepaid offering is PINless international calling, with the promise of no hidden fees, no contract and compatibility with any cell phone.

Among Mobile Net’s other international calling services is its international SIM card. This prepaid or postpaid Global GSM SIM Card, with Data GRPS/WAP capabilities and low international rates, works in over 150 countries. The service allows travelers to reduce their mobile phone bills to a fraction of their current roaming charges. Mobile Net SIM is perfect for business travelers, family vacations, and students abroad. But the most attractive commissions in the industry come from Mobile Net’s Point of Sale and Activation (POSA) airtime refills service, known as Mobile TopUps, in which your POSA system can generate refills and prepaid PINs without the need to order and stock traditional plastic cards.

Although Mobile Net’s prepaid products and services for instant resale range from $5 to $60 wholesale, a retailer can join Mobile Net’s Agent program at $0 signup, with $0 monthly fees or quotas, and no long-term exclusive contracts. As Yroshalmiane explains, “This program enables any retailer to be a one-stop vendor with little hassle, as our system allows store owners to have access to all products and services without having to carry any inventory.” A telecommunication web based POSA allows retailers to offer PINless prepaid international calling plans, calling card PINs, wireless refills for 50 plus carriers, walk-in bill pay, JOLT Mobile GSM pay as you go activation, and more. Yroshalmiane confirms Mobile Net’s niche in today’s CE market, saying, “Consumer electronics continue to grow, especially for prepaid consumers with no credit or low income. I see an increase of 20 percent in the next three years in sales of electronic goods and the services that support those goods.”

Reynaldo Romero, owner of Rey’s outlet, forecasts much the same, saying simply, “The consumer electronics market is really hot, with new items constantly expanding the market every month. Everybody is developing a new gadget, copying that gadget, and purchasing that gadget.” Beginning in 2002, servicing primarily flea markets, Rey’s Outlet has expanded its product lines, finding a niche in supplying the latest CE trends. With 15 hot product lines and a $100 minimum order, Rey’s outlet now provides independent retailers such as electronic stores and kiosks with top selling products like the “Tablet,” similar to the iPad but selling for hundreds less. “We wholesale them at only $75 each, and at retail they’re going for anywhere from $140 to $150,” Romero says.

The company also has an extensive line of other wanted electronics, including mini laptops, cameras, as well as the next generation of mini speakers offered for $8 wholesale, with a suggested retail price of $25. Romero’s stronghold in the market is his proactive searching of what is up and coming. In fact, Romero says, “I get lots of requests for merchandise, and if I don’t have it, I’ll go and track it down for my customers. I go to China and other places in the world to find new items.” Being a trend seller, Romero is already preparing for the summer craze surrounding sunglasses paired with a video camera or MP3 player.

As consumers add to their collection of CE gadgets, the need to accessorize these electronic items has opened the market to a multitude of suppliers offering protective skins, earbuds, and USB plugs, among other combinable, attachable, and interchangeable CE accessories. For instance, Section 8, a worldwide distributor of high performance in-ear buds and studio quality headphones, has found its niche in licensed earbud and headphone accessories. The company offers retailers three product lines: a rubberized, impulse-buy earbud line for $5 wholesale, a high performance metal earbud, $10 wholesale, and headphones at a higher price point of $25 wholesale. According to Adam Gemal, vice president of Section 8, “Retailers can expect to make keystone or more, as Section 8’s rubberized line is more than doubled in price with a suggested retail between $9.99 and $14.99.” Although there is no minimum order size, Gemal encourages retailers to invest in a customized display with 24 earphones and a promise of free shipping.

Section 8’s strength in the CE market, however, is its ability to target a large demographic due to its variety of licensed earbud designs. With 50 plus artist licenses signed and closed, Section 8 tested the market with a hard launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011. The artist themed earbuds were a hit, and a great gift for every music listener. Personalized gift giving is simple, whether the recipient is a KISS fan, or a listener of The Who or Def Leppard. Even Elvis fans can accessorize with earbuds for all eras of the King’s reign, with images from the 50s, 60s and 70s. The iconic name of Michael Jackson is soon to be added to Section 8’s artist inspired earbud and headphone lines as well. Gemal says, “It’s a great pleasure to introduce licensed earbuds and headphones from Live Nation, and with the association of music artists and headphones being a natural one, Section 8 expects much success developing sales with the hundreds of millions of fans of the music of our license roster.”

Section 8 provides consumers with a complete musical experience developing new packaging concepts, which include artist biographies, top singles and more, as well as contests to win concert tickets, CDs, backstage tour passes, etc. Gemal admits, “The consumer electronics market is doing well, and with the sales of iPods, MP3 players and smartphones increasing, people will look to us to help them accessorize, and why not personalize with the logo or image of your favorite artist?”

Much like Section 8, Reiko Wireless has invested 10 years in developing a niche in the CE market via its CE accessories product lines. Although a supplier of iPod accessories, phone chargers, cell phone charms, and more, Reiko wireless has primarily positioned itself as a wholesaler of softskin and hardshell cell phone protection. The Nielsen Company reports that as of December 2010, 31 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners have a smartphone, and forecasts that number will increase to 43 percent by 2015. With the increase in purchase of these highly intelligent, and more importantly, highly priced cell phones, consumers are looking to ensure their safety. Supplying hardshell and softskin cases between $0.75 and $3.50 wholesale to independent gift shops, convenience stores, discount stores and kiosks, Reiko Wireless provides any independent retailer with the opportunity to make a profit on the growing smartphone trend, with suggested retail prices between $10 and $20.

Although protection is the main point behind the sale of Reiko Wireless’ cases, decoration has also become a selling point for protective covers, and explains the popularity in higher-end diamond design covers, sold at $10 wholesale. It’s the extensive sales of these designer cases, admits Reiko Wireless’ Sales Account Manager, Ling Liu, that has the company designing heavy duty cases for different phones, similar to the already offered designer cases. “The new cases will be available by the end of the year,” Liu confirms. She goes on to say, “The consumer electronics growth in smartphones and PDAs has really been great for us and our business.”

Unilution’s niche for unique consumer electronic products is great for its business. A wholesale supplier of standard CE gadgets such as digital cameras, MP3 players and USB flash drives, Unilution also offers a more innovative side to the consumer electronics market. The company carries such unique finds as a scrolling LED bridge, a bedbug UV exterminator within a handheld vacuum cleaner, and a new air revitalizer. Most of Unilution’s CE products retail for about twice wholesale price, such as its 4Gig DVR, or penshape camera offered for $20 and up wholesale and retailing for $40 to $50. The company’s CEO, Fai Yeung, expects Unilution’s air revitalizer to be its top seller at $12.50 wholesale, with a suggested retail price of $25 to $30.

Starting five years ago, it has been Yeung’s goal to bring some of the newest and most innovative products to market, including the vacuum cleaner that utilizes UV rays to kill dust mites and bed bugs. According to Yeung, “With such a huge consumer electronics market, I make time to go to a tradeshow at least twice a year. The goal is to immerse myself and find new products that will make my product line interesting compared to others.” Yeung makes sales by offering both unique items and following leading trends.

Such is the tactic used by GS Mobile, as it stocks and sells CE products with popular features, without the brand name and at discounted prices. According to Hezi Gavra, owner of GS Mobile, “When we saw the PC Tablet, which has the same features of the iPad for hundreds less, we started stocking it,” Available in three different versions, the PC Tablet runs on the Android operating system and offers everything the iPad does, including WiFi, Internet access, Skype, word processing and a built-in camera. “The units wholesale for about $90,” Gavra says. “They retail for anywhere from $170 to $250.” The company also has remote keyboards and cases for the PC Tablet.

GS Mobile also carries notebook computers loaded with features, and available at deeply discounted prices. “The notebooks wholesale for only $80, and retailers are selling them for $130 and up,” Gavra says. No minimum orders are required, and a 48 hour shipping time allows storeowners to receive what they need within days. First time customers get free shipping, and discount pricing is available on volume orders. The CE market has brought success to Gavra and his independent electronics, gas station, convenience, and kiosk retailers. Gavra explains, “The consumer electronics market is growing all the time. There is always a new gigabit offer, additional features, 3G, then 4G. Find what is in the now, offer it at discounted prices, and you’ve found your niche in the market.”

These suppliers may not be among the recently announced 2011 class of inductees into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame by the Consumer Electronics Association; however, much like those inducted company founders and inventors who passionately move technology forward, and marketers and retailers who bring products to consumers, these suppliers have immersed themselves and have made a name for themselves in the CE market. Finding a niche, whether it be through expansive services, customized accessories, innovative offerings, or hot products at discounted prices, each company has positioned itself for a future in the ever evolving and growing consumer electronics world.

For more information:
Mobile Net USA
700 S Flower St. #420
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Toll Free: 800-818-9000
Fax: 888-876-1588

Rey’s Outlet
710 West 35th St.
Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Tel.: 561-951-1431

Section 8
1 Industrial Way West
Building D Ste. F
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Tel.: 732-885-0713

Reiko Wireless
1218 Flushing Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11237
Tel.: 212-213-1102
Fax: 212-213-1157

Unilution Inc.
1005 Union Hill Rd. Ste. 12
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Tel.: 678-339-0010

GS Mobile USA
5051 S. State Road 7, Unit 505
Davie, FL 33314
Tel.: 954-581-9211
Fax: 954-581-9212