The manufacturing process for a product and bringing it to the market can be simple, smooth, and buttery. But it is not until you realize that it’s not so easy to find a genuine and reliable supplier for our products that we start stressing. It can leave us annoyed, frustrated, and in a panicking situation. While it may be absolutely difficult to find suppliers, has it ever crossed your mind that what if you could source products to be sold on Amazon?
That’s precisely what we are going to cover in today’s article. In China, some companies serve as agents providing amazing Amazon FBA prep services. Today, we bring you the ultimate Amazon sourcing guide so that you can brief yourself with the best ways to find authentic manufacturers, the best product sourcing modes, dropshipping techniques, and ways to deal like a pro in the Chinese market. Let’s go!
Product & Niche Market Research
The first step when you are wanting to source products is selecting a niche for your products and carrying out in-depth product and niche market research. Whenever you’re sourcing the products, make sure you have a decided niche market for your product. Your product should have a market for it to be in demand.
Beginners often make the mistake of not researching well about the product and its viable market that they need to work with. As a business owner, you should not only decide your product, but also manage to research the market, the trustworthy manufacturers that could help in sourcing, and the industry that can give you good value for your decided product.
While carrying out the research, you should focus on things like: product availability and accessibility, the market that it provides, its value in the national and global market, the overhead expenses that you’ve to bear for the product, etc. This research would enable you to find the best way to source your products and services that benefits you and the consumers.
Once you’ve decided, now you can hop on to the big question: how to source products for amazon? Let’s see how.
Online Sourcing Tools
With the number of products in the market, it becomes quite unrealistically difficult for the human brain to keep track of sourcing data. Hence, to ease the process there are many software for online sourcing. Some of them are listed below:
ManageByStats is known for providing product sales performance graphs on the grounds of the brand, the product line they offer, individual products that are available, and SKU. It also provides us with an Amazon inventory management feature that allows us to predict reordering quantities client-wise. It has an integrated Amazon email mechanism, making it easily operable.
It is an Amazon FBA online arbitrage virtual buying assistant, analyzing endless data points to get the best deals. It also checks eligibility, Hazmat, private label status, inventory stocks of competitor platforms, and estimated sales.
OAGenius is an online sourcing tool that makes the opportunities discoverable for arbitrage sellers. Besides business opportunities, they also help them discover list products, manage their inventory, monitor over-all prices of the products, and easily dropship their orders.
Made-in-China.com is an online sourcing tool that includes easily accessible product directories, sourcing request facility, payment escrow, deeply analyzed audit reports, and free-flowing assistance to get the right suppliers for your business.
5. FBA Wizard
FBA Wizard is one of the many available online arbitrage tools that helps in finding products to resell in a market which would offer its high value. It connects you with thousands of trustworthy and reliable retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers. It’s primary features include an in-depth retailer scan, wholesale product scan, and more. It’s a part of businesses in the UK, US, and Canadian markets.
There are many other online sourcing tools available that you can make use of. These are some of the easily available tools.
Online Arbitrage Product Sourcing
Arbitrage may be a new term for someone who doesn’t belong natively to the trading world. Arbitrage is used to refer to the process of purchasing a product from one market, where it is relatively cheaper, and selling it off at a place in a market that provides a higher value for the same product.
With the onset of COVID-19 and extreme quarantine situations across most parts of the world, online arbitrage seems to be the only option left. It shouldn’t be surprising, however, that online arbitrage has been welcomed with open hands and exponentially rising demand. This is because of its primary benefits like reduced costs, more convenience, and easy delivery.
It also implies that we source products from online websites, Facebook shops, Instagram stores, and other available eCommerce platforms and resell them on Amazon.
Now, it would occur to you that this model is super easy, convenient, and mind-blowing. Undoubtedly, it is. But is sourcing things online as simple and sweet as we think it is? Well, the answer to that is not really a ‘yes’. Why? This is because when you buy products and services online, ensuring their quality, pricing them correctly to make a fairly healthy profit margin, and at same time attract a good amount of customers, managing logistics, and marketing it to the people – all of this becomes a single person task and quite difficult to handle.
But it cannot be denied that if one can manage time and efforts, online arbitrage can furiously benefit us in ways we can’t imagine.
Companies like Target, Walmart, Sears, Office Depot, Walgreens, etc. are some ecommerce sites that you can use for online arbitrage.
Find a Private Label Manufacturer
Now, the next step is sourcing the products for your business, which can actually be done in many ways:
- Through a China sourcing agent
- Retail and Online arbitrage
- Wholesale suppliers and manufacturers
- Private Label Manufacturer
Here, we will talk about the latter one – that is, selling private labels on Amazon. Till now, we all have seen products that can be sourced from manufacturers. The products that have already been manufactured and that we can use for our own benefit. But has the thought of creating your own products ever crossed your head? Feels like a herculean, unachievable dream, doesn’t it? But actually, it’s not. It’s way easier than we make ourselves believe.
To create and customize our own products and sell private label products, we need to find a genuine private label manufacturer on a global trading platform like Alibaba. Here, you are guaranteed to find a diverse range of suppliers and manufacturers across all the industries who would be more than happy to create your item.
For starters, you can take up an already manufactured product and improvise it. Additional features, alternative designs, new color pallets, ways to fix up the current issues.
These manufacturers would gladly want to turn your innovation into reality.
The primary advantage of private label sourcing is that you can create your own brand, most of the time with very reasonable costs, and minimal overhead expenses. If you closely observe, as compared to alternatives like handmade product sourcing and directly sourced products, private labeling provides leniency on investment charges.
On the other side, the private labeled products are required to be brought in fixed quantities. If you require them in quantities like 20-25, private labeled products aren’t made for you. Labeling and customization cost you some fair expenses. So, this is a more profitable method if you have a well-established business with continuous cash flow.
Order and Check Samples
Once you’ve decided the product, decided the mode of sourcing it, worked on which manufacturer to work with, comes the step of purchasing it.
Remember that while the manufacturer may be the best in the market, you’re new in dealing with them. Sending the products directly to the clients can be risky and can put your reputation at stake. To prevent this kind of secondhand embarrassment, you can order some dummy samples from the manufacturer to be assured of product quality, and delivery safety.
For this purpose, you can order a small quantity and cross-check whether the quality of the products is as polished as it was promised to you at the time of purchase. If you are convinced with the delivery facility, manufacturing quality, lead time taken by the manufacturer, etc, then you can go ahead and order in the original quantity.
But, in case you find any defect or fault in the entire process, you can either negotiate the matter with the supplier with your valid reasons or change the manufacturer, depending on how grave the defects were.
In the end, the significance of this step is to be a customer before being a business owner. You would want to deliver the best to your clients, and there’s no better way than to test the products yourself.
Dropshipping from China
As we move towards the end of this process, we come to one of the most important steps that include the shipping of products. As a client organization, you can choose two options for your shipping. It can either be:
- A conventional shipping method
- The more convenient way of dropshipping
What is dropshipping? Dropshipping refers to the alternative way of shipping where the manufacturer is not responsible for order fulfillment. All they need to do is take a client’s order, and all the rest of the things (maintaining an inventory, storing the products, packaging, and delivery) are taken care of by a dropshipping agent.
Dropshipping is an excellent choice when it comes to product sourcing from China because of various reasons:
- Low Costing Products: Most of the business owners choose to do this because of the reduced product costs as compared to the other countries. China’s cheap labor costs and easy access to abundant resources give the financial advantage more than any other country/market.
- Minimum Capital Required: Dropshipping doesn’t require you to invest your entire fortune, which the typical shipping alternatives may. All you have to essentially pay for is the hosting and advertising, this is one of the main reasons why small business owners shift to dropshipping for their products.
- No Inventory-Related Concerns: Since you’re not in charge of holding inventory, you don’t need to worry about the cost and space-related issues that follow it. You can be ensured that the products would be directly shipped to the concerned clients.
- Increased Scalability: As a business owner one of the worst things that could happen to you is running out of stock when your business is peaking. It can not only embarrass you, it can also affect the insights of your business. One big advantage of dropshipping is its increased scalability of your business. The inventory that your dropshippers would maintain would be limitless. There’s hardly any probability of the products running out of stock. This maintains the fluent flow of cash and clients.
Learn How to Communicate With Suppliers
When you have decided on the manufacturers and suppliers, there’s one important step before you finalize your purchase with them. Before your products go for manufacturing, a proper supplier-buyer interaction is very important. This interaction is meant to communicate your requirements and negotiate the prices. How to negotiate with Chinese suppliers, you ask? Here is how:
- The Chinese manufacturer would provide you with certain discounts based on the quantity you purchase. So, the first rule: the bigger the order, the better.
- The second very important thing to take care of while negotiating is, your relationship with the manufacturer defines a lot. A good relationship can give you more mind-blowing discounts and one bad experience can snatch away the deal from you.
- One more important thing to remember is to see how low the price gets. Even though it is wrong to generalize this statement, sometimes the price is directly proportional to the quality. So be cautious to purchase good quality products at a reasonable price.
- Always find a reliable Chinese agent to cut down your work and get the best deal for you.
Even after knowing all this on paper, it becomes quite a task to negotiate with the manufacturers. We are here with some tips and tricks to help you with the same:
- Whenever getting to negotiate with the manufacturer, be well prepared. Well-preparedness would be required on many grounds. Chinese manufacturers have been in the industry for a long time, and if you are not well prepared, it could lead to a heavy loss. Know your business in terms of:
- The price you can afford
- The quality demanded by clients
- The quantity you would require for your business
- The lead time and the payment terms you wish to work with
- The traded terms of your company
- The after-sales and value-added services you would expect them to deliver as a potential client
- The second important thing is to be aware of who you are dealing with. Knowing your potential vendors help you adopt practices and methods that would make business easier for both of the parties:
- Before going for the final negotiation, carry out a quick SWOT analysis for a better understanding of the organization and its practices.
- Heavily focus on their weakness, this is because negotiation over their weak points may prove to be a strong point for you, as a consumer.
- Before finally closing up the deal, sit back and analyze if there are other suppliers in the same industry that can pose as their competitors. If so, it gives you an upper hand over the final decision.
Use your negotiation skills in a manipulatively intelligent way for your own benefit. You can use some of the following tips to strengthen your negotiation and ensure that your supplier know that you’re well aware of the market:
- Ask for graded quotes from the suppliers, for e.g.: you can ask for prices for varying quantities to get a better view into their quotes.
- Present your deal with your future intentions, and how seriously you aim to make this collaboration permanent and successful. This will lead them to want to work with you, provided you have undeterred sincerity and clear goals.
- Work on understanding your market competition and suppliers competition. This is important to negotiate with an understanding that the market has more options available for you and them both.
- Negotiate with confidence. As soon as they sense nervousness or lack of confidence, they will manage to convince you according to them. Always ask for more, like less price, shorter lead time, and better services. Do not settle for less than what you deserve.
In this article, we summed up how we can source products to sell on Amazon. Amazon is a great way to sell our products and expand our business. However, sourcing products to be sold here can be a troubling matter if you don’t have any idea about it.
You can always contact a reliable sourcing agent like MatchSourcing, that specializes in all the aspects discussed above, like Amazon FBA prep, negotiation, and dropshipping.
We hope this sourcing guide would help you to make better and wise choices about your trading world!