The Grace Karin team was founded in 2008 and are dedicated to offering high-quality women’s fashion apparel with the principle of ‘simple and stylish’. They strive to provide each customer with well fitted tailoring and a stylish collocation that emphasizes details, which helps to bring a comfortable and refined lifestyle.
The brand name, ‘Grace Karin’ has an inherently English forename but with a touch of elegance coming from the Gaelic Irish surname. It evokes a sense of Britishness and class… a brand that you can trust.
The brand’s hope is that every woman wearing Grace Karin will have a young mindset that can transcend ages. Their style focuses on modern, elegant and simple clothes which are not only suitable for daily use but also for party and work. Building a modern and exquisite image is their aim for customers.
Their photography is top notch and definitely shows their garments at their best. Snagging the fabulous Jessica Kellgren-Fozard to do a YouTube spot hasn’t done Grace Karin any harm either. No one is quite as believable as Jessica to add a touch of British class and present the brand at it’s best.
Whilst Grace Karin have a Shopify website, their clear preference is for customers to purchase on Amazon and they have links to all five Amazon EU sites (UK, DE, FR, IT, ES) as well as Amazon’s US and Japanese marketplace on their website. This is because products are then Fulfilled by Amazon and under Amazon Prime are eligible for free shipping and other Prime benefits such as fast delivery.
It’s only when you dig a little deeper that you may discover that Grace Karin is just a front for a Chinese Amazon merchant. They’re not unusual in having branded themselves in a western fashion and are using Amazon FBA to enable them to fulfil orders around the world.
Perhaps the most surprising thing of all with Grace Karin is that not all of their products even carry their own label. There’s a pretty good chance that having purchased a Grace Karin garment that when it arrives it will be a totally different brand.
There is no attempt to hide the identity of the seller on Amazon, their business information reveals them to be Shenzhen Feimier Garments Co Ltd based in China. They have a UK VAT number again registered to Shenzhen Feimier Garments Co Ltd but this time with a UK address… although they don’t really have UK offices, many hundreds of businesses have used the Manchester holding address that they use.
The lesson for UK sellers is that competition on Amazon is stepping up it’s game and none more so than Chinese sellers. Amazon have started to introduce their own fashion brands, the best known of which is Amazon Find. The only way for sellers to compete over a longer term is to manufacture their own products and set up their own brand. There is of course still money to be made in trading existing brands, but with ever increasing competition as soon as a second merchant has the same products winning the buy box comes down to service (largely irrelevant if you use Amazon FBA) and price.
Setting up a brand may seem prohibitively expensive, but in reality it’s not that difficult. Most Chinese manufacturers will be happy to stitch your brand label into their products and then it’s a case of creating a logo, registering a trademark and starting to sell. More sophisticated operations will involve either designing your own products or getting manufacturers to tweak existing generic garments that they produce to make them unique to you.
Grace Karin is a valuable case study into how to present a successful brand on Amazon sites around the world. They are certainly not unique and we chose to write about them after stumbling upon their listings at random. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Chinese retailers on Amazon UK are operating similar brands presented to give a reassuringly western look and feel. In this aspect of Amazon trading, Chinese merchants are year’s ahead of many UK merchants and are showing the future strategy that will ultimately lead to success. If Grace Karin can do it why can’t you?