Finding the right private label supplier takes some work, but it’s not as hard as it looks.
Finding the right supplier is like finding a needle in a haystack. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools, tips, and know-how, it can actually be pretty easy.
Once you’ve identified a product for your Amazon FBA brand, it’s time to plunge into the world of wholesale suppliers.
Here’s what you’ll learn in our step-by-step guide on how to find quality Amazon FBA suppliers:
Step 1: Make a list of what you need
Before you research suppliers, create a list of requirements. Think of this as your “deal breakers.” Your list should include must-haves to set yourself up for success. Here’s a list to get you started:
How much you, as the buyer, are willing to pay for items. Think about how much product you want to buy, how much you can afford, and whether you’re willing to buy bigger orders for a discount.
If you want to be a legitimate Amazon FBA seller, you need your own brand. This means your products should have your company name, logo, and identity. And the supplier you work with has to customize each product according to your brand specs.
Some suppliers can take several weeks to manufacture and ship your branded products. You have to be flexible here, but it’s good to have a timeframe in mind. Also, know upfront whether you want the supplier to ship directly to Amazon, to you, or a third party.
Step 2: Check out China
China is one of the world’s largest manufacturers. This is why it’s a popular choice for Amazon FBA newcomers and veterans alike. After you’ve prepared your list of requirements, it’s time to begin your search. Here’s a list of suppliers to check out:
• Huge online retailer
• High probability of buying directly from manufacturers
• Large volume orders
• Owned by Alibaba
• Most sellers are small business owners
• Can negotiate smaller orders
• Fast shipping
• Tiered discounts
• Large volume orders
• Fast shipping options
• One of the cheapest wholesalers in China
• No minimum orders
• Business-to-business platform
• Each seller has their own minimum order
• Easy negotiation
You can also explore trade shows to find other quality suppliers overseas. It’ll cost you in terms of travel and trade show entry fees. But you’ll get to talk and negotiate with suppliers in person.
If you want to discover even more, browse popular wholesale directories like Worldwide Brands. You can search online and filter through thousands of suppliers in one place.
Step 3: Ask questions and ask for prototypes
Once you’ve explored all your supplier options, narrow down the list to three to five. Prep messages to each supplier that asks questions like:
What is the price per unit if I order #X?
Replace “#X” with however many units you need. The supplier’s answer should clue you into whether they offer bulk discounts or tiered pricing.
Do you offer product customization?
The answer to this should be “yes.” After all, the success of your Amazon FBA business depends on branding. If you can’t customize your product, you’ll have a tough time competing with other sellers.
Get as much information as you can about what you can customize, and what the supplier needs from you. This could include image files, text files, and so on.
Will you ship a sample to me?
Even if it costs extra, always get a sample before placing a bulk order. This way you can compare samples and prices from each supplier — and choose the one that’s best for your brand.
If the shipment is late, or never arrives, this is also a red flag. Cross them off your list!
What payments do you accept?
Overseas transactions can feel scammy. Never give out personal bank information, especially your PIN, to suppliers. Ask about secure payment methods and money-back guarantees.
If you plan on spending a lot on your order, check with your bank first. Avoid payment transfer delays by letting your bank know about the large transaction ahead of time.
Do you have experience shipping bulk orders to Amazon or other third-parties?
The Amazon FBA program has some strict guidelines about how products are shipped and packaged. The more the supplier you’re working with knows about the program requirements, the better.
Alternatively, you can partner with third-parties to receive bulk shipments. Then, prep the order before shipping the products to Amazon’s warehouse.
Once you reach out to a handful of suppliers, here are some red flags to look out for. If you spot any of these, cross that supplier off your list:
• Suppliers who don’t respond in a day or two to your initial message
• Suppliers who obviously overcharge you
• Suppliers who won’t send a sample, even if you offer to pay for one
• Suppliers who won’t let you put your branding on a private label product
• Suppliers who don’t have any fulfillment experience or skills
• Suppliers who ask you to submit payment via unsecured methods
Choosing the right supplier directly impacts your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, communicate, and analyze. Finding the right match can make your life easy — and finding the wrong one is a nightmare.
Final thoughts on Amazon FBA suppliers
Starting an Amazon FBA private label business is exciting. But before you live a life with more time, and more freedom, remember how important your supplier is. It’s a big decision that will impact your everyday life, and your future. To recap, here’s what you learned:
• Before you embark on your supplier search, make a list of deal-breakers or must-haves
• Search popular online platforms, wholesale directories, or trade shows to network with suppliers
• Ask lots of questions, and request a sample, before you buy
Want more insider info about how to run a successful Amazon FBA business? Head over to our blog to browse articles about business, income streams, and more!
Chief Product Officer at Amazing.com. Owner of multiple top selling brands of product lines and entrepreneurial mentor and coach.