5 REVOLUTIONARY STEPS TO HELP SOURCE QUALITY PRODUCTS FROM CHINA- LIKE A PRO.
Number 3 Is Often Overlooked…
So, you have already figured out exactly what you plan to sell on Amazon. Now it’s time to source the product and get the ball rolling on your store. These 5 amazing steps cover everything you need to know when it comes to finding the right supplier, negotiating your terms, and handing over payment.
Pay extra attention to step number 3, as this one is often overlooked. And trust us, it’s a costly oversight!
Choose A Website
If you are looking for the most cost-effective solution, then China is your answer. Sure, there are options in the US and Europe too, and we will share these with you. But our focus is on China, as we want to get you the most bang for your buck.
It’s important to note that China is the world’s second largest economy PLUS the largest manufacturer… they know what they are doing and they do it well (and cheap).
So, what are the advantages of shopping in China?
China = cheap
Firstly, and most importantly, the price. You pay less and you get more, increasing your profit margin when it comes to onselling your product.
China = Choice
They also have plenty of options available when it comes to size, colour, type, etc. This means you will have no problem finding the product you are after and matching your specific requirements.
China = No MOQ
When you first set up your Amazon store, you may be looking to start small. After all, by testing the market you’ll get an idea of how popular your product is. The great thing about China is that most products don’t come with a minimum order quantity (MOQ). No forking out the big bucks on stock that you haven’t yet tested on the market. Instead, you can go at your own pace.
Of course, it’s important to look at the disadvantages as well. The biggest concerns most people have is the lack of quality control. By ordering a sample (which we discuss below), you can carry out quality control for yourself.
Did you know? Alibaba.com has Trade Assurance Policies in place to address the standards, and protect the buyer during the manufacturing process, even offering a refund if the service level agreement put in place isn’t met.
Another concern is that finding a supplier, negotiating terms, producing the item and then shipping, all takes time. This time needs to be factored into it all.
But if you want our opinion – it’s totally worth it. Just wait until those profits start rolling in and you’ll agree!
The choice is up to you… China, US, or Europe? Decide where you want to source your product from, and we will walk you through our top choices.
Let’s start off with China – have we already mentioned this is our favourite option? There are two main websites that warrant a solo mention: Alibaba and AliExpress.
Website #1: https://www.alibaba.com/
We’re sure you’ve heard of this one before – they are one of the world’s largest suppliers for online commerce. In fact, they handle more business than any other ecommerce company.
You’ll find that most people selling on Amazon are sourcing their products from Alibaba. Why? Because they have a high number of suppliers offering good quality products at cheap prices. With more than 40 major categories to choose from, featuring hundreds of millions of products, you have a high chance of finding what you are after.
Hint: Alibaba is the website our team uses to get the high profits on our Amazon products.
Website #2: https://www.aliexpress.com/
Many people make the mistake of thinking that AliExpress and Alibaba are the same thing. This is the place you go if you are looking for small quantities, just be prepared to pay a little extra for them.
Our advice? If you are unable to source your product from Alibaba then this should be your next point of call. But only once the first option is exhausted.
There are also more, less well-known, websites you might be interested in considering:
Website #3: https://www.made-in-china.com
Website #4: http://www.globalsources.com/
Website #5: https://www.dhgate.com
Website #1: www.zentrada.eu
Website #2: www.koleimports.com
Website #3: www.closeoutfortune.dollardays.com
Website #4: www.alltimetrading.com
Website #5: www.mxwholesale.co.uk
Finding Your Supplier
So now is the time to get researching. Go find your product on one of the these websites, and take a look at all the different manufacturers you have to choose from.
For this example, let’s take a look at Alibaba.
The process is simple. Type your product into the search bar, for example, ‘Nail polish’. Now, make sure you change the selection box to ‘Suppliers’ before hitting the search button. This will show you all the different suppliers who offer your product, rather than different products from the same suppliers.
There Are Two Types Of Suppliers On Alibaba:
As their title suggests, these are the companies that actually manufacture their own products. For this reason, their price will be lower than trading companies, but they will also have a smaller selection of products. When it comes to quality, you will find they can be hit and miss. Not to mention communication can be a bit of a challenge, as agents that work for factories often don’t speak great English and are less accommodating to your requests.
Unlike manufacturers, trading companies don’t manufacture their products. This means their prices are higher, but they have a much larger selection of goods to choose from, as they tend to be affiliated with a number of different manufacturers, offering you more choice. The quality is also likely to be much better. Communication is easier as agents have good English, which makes them much easier to work with.
So, how do you tell which is which?
These companies won’t actually specify which one they are on Alibaba, but it isn’t too hard to work out:
- Product variety: as mentioned, trading companies often have much more product variety on offer.
- Company name: trading companies often have much more catchy names. Their focus is on attracting customers from overseas, so they choose their name for marketing reasons. Manufacturers on the other hand are more focused on making the product.
- Location: pop their address into Google maps. If they are located in a densely populated area, such as Shanghai or Shenzen, they are unlikely to be a manufacturing company.
- Website: if their website is in English, looks good and easy-to-use, they are likely the trading company and not the manufacturer.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide which one you would prefer to deal with, but there are ways to determine who is who.
Key tip: don’t just find the first supplier to offer your product and go with them. This stage is all about doing your research and shopping around. You should come away with a good few options.
The next step is all about narrowing down your options and finding the best fit for your needs.
Don’t Forget The Sample
The unsung hero. The neglected step of the process. The game changer.If there is one thing you take away from this article: order that sample. Even better: order multiple samples.
So, you have chosen a website and now have a number of different suppliers to choose between. They all offer your product for a great price (leaving you with a nice profit margin). So what next? Who do you choose.
This is where a product sample comes in.
We have all seen the memes splashed across social media: where a product is purchased and the person received it and it looks NOTHING like what was pictured. Don’t let this be you, and don’t let this be your store.
Word of mouth is important when it comes to an online business, so a subpar product won’t get you far. You want to know EXACTLY what you are selling onto your customers and make sure it meets your quality control requirements.
Samples are free, but many people get turned off by the hefty shipping fee. Trust us, you’ll be losing a lot more money if the product doesn’t meet your quality control standards, so just bite the bullet and pay the fees. £50-100 is not uncommon to get a sample into your hands.
Even better? Invest in a few samples from a number of different manufacturers. This is the best way to test out the quality and choose a supplier to go with. And don’t worry – these samples won’t go to waste. Send them off to photographers, online influencers or designers and get some product and lifestyle images that you can use.
Negotiate, Negotiate And Negotiate Some More
Communicating on a site such as Alibaba can be a little daunting at first. But don’t worry, give it time and it’ll be second nature to you.
You have already shopped around for your product on Alibaba, and you have even received a few product samples. By now you should have a couple of preferred suppliers at the top of your list.
The next step is all about negotiation.
Try to keep all communication on the Alibaba messaging system. Why? Just so everything is in the same place and documented properly. This makes it easier to find, and in the rare event of a disagreement, easier to refer back to.
Knowing the prices from different suppliers, you can work out a ball park figure for your product and use this to negotiate with your preferred suppliers. This step takes time, but it is well and truly worth the wait, so don’t rush it.
Here Are Some Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of Your Negotiations:
- Sell yourself: suppliers are all about big orders and repeat business. Let them know why you are worth investing (and lowering the price) for. If you have past sales, share it with them. If not, tell them your goals for the first few months in business. Offer a sales projection plan based on research.
- Talk to multiple suppliers: this way, you can let each of them know you are getting quotes from others and put the pressure on for them to give you their best price.
- Don’t accept first offer: no-one is going to lay their best offer straight up, so never accept this first one. Counter offer, selling yourself as mentioned above, and let them get back to you.
- Think outside the box: if they won’t budge on price, consider other ways you can save. Think along the lines of better warrant, cheaper down payment, faster shipping and so on.
The Proven Way to Pay
Finally, it all comes down to $$
You want to know how you can make that payment and ensure you are protected in the process. The answer: TransferWise.
This is the cheapest and safest payment method offered on Alibaba. Use wire transfer (T/T) using TransferWise to send the money through the Alibaba Trade Assurance system. Using Trade Assurance grants you buyer protection.
There are plenty of benefits to this method as well. International payment are often much less complex.
- Sign up
- Pay in your local currency
- Enter supplier’s details
- Supplier receives money in their local currency
The supplier doesn’t need to sign up anywhere, so the process is hassle-free for them. Plus, it’s accepted everywhere.
DIVE IN AND GIVE IT A GO…
It may seem a daunting at first, but once you get started with these solid steps, you will find yourself set up in no time.