How to source products from China
Published by Abbi in Amazon, Ecommerce, Products
China is currently one of the worlds biggest economies and it's only set to become bigger. This is helped by their high rate of manufacturing products for good prices, making it the perfect place to start looking when you are trying to find a supplier for your products. Below are some tips on how to find a great supplier in China.
This is a rule that applies to any supplier, but giving them the respect of cultivating a relationship instead of just looking for the cheapest deal will almost always be beneficial in the long run. However, this is especially true when making deals in the China due to the culture surrounding business transactions.
Rather than seeing it as just a transaction, put in the effort to build a relationship by investing time into it and making it personal. One way of doing this is by meeting in a face to face.
As well, it is almost always possible to make a deal with a business to get a better rate if you promise to use them as your sole supplier. This will not only get you a cheaper price but will also assure the quality of your products is consistent. You will also avoid the stress out of having to search for new suppliers.
Choosing your supplier
Make sure you do a lot of research before deciding on a supplier. It may take a lot of time but it will be worth it in the long run. Alibaba is the classic place to start due to its sheer size and accessibility. Finding quality suppliers on there means digging around and sending quite a few request emails; make sure you have some filters on like Gold Suppliers that will help you weed out the spam. When doing this make sure you find out everything you can about the product so there will be no surprises at a later date - something important to check is the minimum quantity order as it may be way higher than you are willing to go.
Email about 15-20 suppliers and find a few that match your specifications and price points the best. Once you've narrowed it down to 3-4 send them a request for some samples as this will give you both an idea of the product and also what it is like doing business with them.
Another option is Global Sources. Although not quite as big as Alibaba, each company has been vetted to meet certain standards so you can be sure the quality is good. Trade shows are also an excellent option if you're looking to find something face to face - either by going to trade shows in China or local ones that represent Chinese businesses.
Remember never go with your first offer. Within business in China it is expected for you to haggle to find a good deal that suits both of you. This doesn't mean you need to come to a final price straight away and this is important to remember when setting your starting price. In China negotiating is an ongoing process so it is advisable to set a price on your first order and then see if you can re-negotiate a better deal on your next orders. For instance, you may be ordering a higher volume at a later date etc. It is also quite likely in China that you will be talking directly to the factory owner meaning any challenges will be resolved more easily than if it was through a sales rep.
One thing to remember is not to start your haggling price too low as it could make it seem like you do not value the supplier of their product giving the company a bad impression of you. You should find out what a reasonable price point is whilst researching companies and seeing the averages there.
As stated above, make sure you find out everything you can about the specifications of the product in advance and have it in writing. That way if anything is not how it should be you can refer back to the written agreement as proof. Keeping your suppliers accountable throughout the whole process will make sure they keep everything up to standards.
If you get pre production samples it will also allow you to identify any potential faults before the supplier manufactures the whole bunch, therefore making it easier to correct any mistake. This can also be beneficial as you will not have sent your full payment yet, meaning the supplier is much more inclined to take corrective action.
Using these simple markers when finding and choosing suppliers will help you find the best products to sell on, and at such an affordable price it will mean you are making the biggest profit margins possible.