Are you starting to source products overseas for your Amazon business but don’t know where to start? This video will show you how to find suppliers abroad in four easy steps.
Step 1: Research suppliers using Alibaba.com.
Alibaba is the best place to source products overseas without actually going overseas. The website is a directory of suppliers, including factory and trading companies. First, type the product you’re searching to source in the search bar. Then, filter the list to include trade assurance, verified suppliers and the country, if you want.
You want to focus on the price and the minimums of the product listing. Remember, listings are meant to attract your attention so that price listed may not be the actual price. When it comes to minimums, we want to look for minimums between 100 and 500. Be mindful to find suppliers with high quality photos and who have been in business for a while. A high response rate is also a good indicator for a quality supplier. Customized logo & lead times are important to consider and verify when contacting the supplier.
Step 2: Find 10 suppliers that meet your criteria and reach out to them. ALWAYS use the contact supplier button within Alibaba.com.
Be honest with all of your communication with future suppliers, in order to build a strong relationship from the start.
You don’t want to ask them too many questions in the first email. You want to build trust with the suppliers and doing that slowly is important.
Here’s what we recommend you ask in the first email to show that you are an expert and that your company has the potential for growth:
- What is the price per unit, including packaging, at the following minimum order quantities: 100-500, 501-1000, 1001-5000, 5000+? We use this approach to let the supplier know you could be increasing orders in the future.
- What is the standard production time for this order?
- Are you able to provide custom packaging? What colors do you provide?
- What are the package dimensions?
Building relationships is critical when it comes to working with suppliers. This has to be a two-way street in order to create a long-term relationship. You want a supplier you can work with for years.
Once the supplier responds, then you can start asking other questions, like payment terms and where their factory is located. You want to know that piece of information because you want to have someone come and inspect the factory.
Step 3: Choose the top three suppliers based on the responses you receive.
Step 4: Order samples.
Some samples do have a cost associated but these costs are the least of your worries. If you want to get these costs eliminated, you can say, “I will pay for the samples upfront but with my first order will you take off the sample price?” Most suppliers will be happy to oblige.
For even more helpful tips on how to how to find suppliers abroad and build a successful business with Amazon – FREE Training Series: AmazingSellingMachine.com.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.