Another year has gone by and iCubeMart has seen much improvement and has also done many events. Events like the many sales and promotions such as the Christmas Sale, Black Friday Sale, Halloween Sale, and Anniversary Sale. But we also went out to several competitions to meet and interact with our customers. This would always be an interesting experience because emailing back and forth is just not the same as physically conversing with someone. Our customer's opinion is very important to us because we know our customers are the only reason why we are doing what we are doing. So we wanted to give back to our customers not only by creating sales (other shops do that as well), but we also went out to China to meet many of the name-brand cubing companies so that we can connect the cubing community with the companies. These companies included DaYan, ShengShou, MF8, LanLan, Cube4You, Type C, etc. You can read the article about that trip in our Events page.
Though this year is over, we will not forget the many successes and accomplishments that were achieved. We will learn from these successes and we will further improve iCubeMart with it. With more customers, members, and products, we are definitely growing up in a positive way. Though we are merely 2 years old, we have established a strong position in the community. In 2013, we plan to become a better shop not only by providing amazing sales that you have come to know and love, but we also plan to do events that are more unique. Also, we are going to adopt a more aggressive attitude towards sponsoring WCA competitions for the cubing community. We will further connect with our customers so that we could understand them better and therefore provide a better service to them. This is our goal for next year because at the end it's all about the customers. So we want to thank all of you who has ever ordered from us or even just watched our videos. We hope you will continue to remain loyal to us and support us on our mission to improve. We will always owe our success to you. Happy New Year!
Jeffrey Wang, iCubeMart Owner
We flew to Shantou (the world's largest toy producing city in the world) to see the owners of ShengShou, LingAo, and LanLan. We were led around the city by the commercial and administration officers who are in charge of the manufacturers in the province. We first met with the owner of ShengShou who was a guy that really knew what he was doing. He showed us how he made his products including the designing process, the tweaking process, and the testing process. He is planning to come out with pyraminx and megaminx. I was extremely interested because he explained the different features of the pyraminx (the puzzle that they're going to come out with soon). I even got to take a prototype home. His method to creating a great puzzle is thinking the design through thoroughly and then getting all the other company's puzzles to see what their flaws were. We got to see how it was like to design a puzzle too. After that awesome visit, we went over to LingAo who explained how he did his magics and how he got the idea of doing magics. We asked him if he ever modified the magics since the beginning to now and what makes the magics so great. He said he did change it by making the plastic pieces thinner. This way it was less stiff and faster. That's why it was so great too . . . because it was thin and fast. The next day, we ate lunch with the owners of LanLan. They were a very kind couple that showed great hospitality. We spent almost half a day with them, discussing topics and eating lunch. We shared our experiences with each other and our thoughts on cubing. Hopefully, there would be some sort of future events we both could do together.
The next day we flew to Shanghai and went over see the owner of Cube4You. It was really cool to see their stock and the quantity of each item they held. We got to see them working on the cubes, which consisted of assembling and packaging at impossibly high speeds. We even had a chance to go to his house where he showed us more of his cubes. I think this shows that he trusts us and sees us not only as business but also as friends. With him, we mostly talked about his products but it was time well spent. Two days later, we flew to Beijing to discuss things with Zhuang Haiyan. He broke the blind 3x3 record multiple times and modified the Alpha V to create a very successful Haiyan's Memory cube. We talked about our company to him and he told us many things, one being: he's not competing anymore. He's a guy that has great, complicated plans that I have no doubt are going to be successful. It was just great to see what a world record holder in person.
At the end, we felt like our trip was a huge success in every way. We were able to finally meet majority of the owners of the well-known cube brands, we were able to create stronger relationships, and we were able to discuss the cubing communities many concerns to them. They were able to express their feelings so that we could let you guys know how they were like. Bottom line is, we just made the connection between the cubers and the owners a little closer.
We first met up with the co-owner of DaYan for lunch at Guangzhou. Then we all went together to meet up with the owner of WitEden and MF8. We discussed our goals for the future and our feelings for the current market and which direction we think speedcubing is going. The person who was in charge of DaYan's product sales and marketing was a very kind lady who was always very cooperative with us. She made all of our DaYan events possible. The owner of WitEden had a strong personality which of course meant that he was very out-speaking. But unlike the others, the MF8 owner never spoke much but always seemed to be thinking and listening. He reminded me of one of those typical quiet geniuses. Not only did they talk to us, but they also talked to each other. It was very interesting to watch and listen to three owners discussing speedcubes and their past experiences. It felt like such an honor to be in such an awesome position. They each told us what it was like to run their companies and it was definitely something worth listening to.
After that, we had dinner with the owner of CubeTwist. He was extremely nice and most importantly, showed very business-like manners. He had a very professional air around him which we definitely appreciated. It was a pleasure to meet him and talk about our stores over some nice dishes. Our time with him was unfortunately very short and we had plans later that night so we had to visit his warehouse the next day. CubeTwist has two offices. There is a bigger one and a smaller one. The smaller one happened to be the one in Guangzhou. But it was very big nonetheless. An employee met us with great hospitality and showed us around. They stocked hundreds of items, and most of them we never even seen before. We stayed in the warehouse for quite a while looking for products we could stock. Fortunately, we found many products in which we are sure you would like! After that visit, we felt like our stock was seriously nothing compared to CubeTwist's.
On our last day in GuangZhou, we met Mr. Gan - in charge of sales for Alpha (his picture is on the back of the Alpha boxes). The 3x3 record in China was held by him three years in a row. He talked to us about the history of Alpha and also their current situation. He was really professional looking and definitely had manners. We plan to support each other in the future and after a pleasant conversation, we both ran out of time and went on with our business.
Stick around for Part Three . . .
iCubeMart had a very important goal this summer, and that's to meet the owners of the well-known cube brands. Though they are located all around China in different provinces, we went ahead to achieve it. During these meetings, we did many things. We made sure to take popular questions that our customers asks us to them so that they could explain things more accurately. We also had conversations about their products and their goals. It was great because we had only heard their voices before and so seeing them was a whole other thing. Everybody's personalities were very distinct and different, which made meeting them that much more interesting. At the end of the trip, I felt like we had accomplished our goal and learned a lot. We found out what each company's philosophy is and talked about many topics. One thing we all agreed on was how the market's prices are going uncontrollably bad. So everyone is trying to find a way to control the price better. Another thing we talked about is trying to find opportunities to work together so that we can host more events for you guys. The bottom line is, we had fun and we had a learning experience. So just be ready for a lot of new products and hopefully a better iCubeMart.