Find USA Based Suppliers for Amazon FBA Products (PLUS the 3 Biggest MISTAKES You Must Avoid!)
Join Jason Katzenback and Dan Ashburn today on our Million Dollar Brands Live show and learn exactly when you should use US suppliers, the benefits of sourcing locally and 2 stupidly simple ways of finding quality US suppliers for Amazon FBA.
Also learn how to use your RELATIONSHIP with your supplier as a competitive advantage!
Finally, we’ll also be joined LIVE by Angie Chacon from Nu Earth Labs, a 7-figure Amazon Seller and beauty manufacturing factory owner who will share her invaluable experience and the biggest MISTAKES people make when sourcing locally.
This is jam packed with valuable training – definitely not one you want to miss! Plus, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to find products to sell on Amazon FBA!
- Benefits to Sourcing Locally
- Find US Suppliers With Google
- Find US Suppliers With Thomasnet.com
- Minimum Order Quantities
- Getting Product Samples
- Production Prices
- Payment Terms & Turnaround Times
- Tips For Reaching Out to Suppliers
- Choosing a Supplier to Meet Your Long Term Needs
- Do Thorough Research
- Ensure Suppliers Take You Seriously
Jason & Dan: Hey everyone, Jason Katzenback here along with Dan Ashburn! So this is the next episode of our daily show that we’ve been doing, Million Dollar Brands Live, and today we got a great show for you. Today we’re going to be talking about finding US suppliers.
You know one of the big things with finding products on Amazon is usually you hear people are always going to where? Well China.
Yeah China seems to be the big thing… but depending on the types of products that you’re actually going to be searching for there’s a real good reason why you might want to be going into the United States when looking for suppliers.
So Dan’s going to go into a lot of detail on that. What we’re gonna talk about is finding your suppliers but also we’re gonna be talking about three really REALLY important mistakes that are often made that can actually ruin your chances of having a good relationship with a supplier. Plus, we have a special guest on today’s call, Andy Chacon, who you’re gonna want to hear from. She’s gonna be on in about 20-25 minutes and she has an incredible story.
She started as a seller, took our training, and then actually developed into a manufacturer. That is what is beautiful about this business model, there’s many different routes to take. You know, you can just keep running things from your home, or you can grow it into a huge empire if you want. Now there are a lot of different countries that you can source products from, let’s maybe talk a little bit about what those are. So there’s China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, and depending on what you’re sourcing, and the materials that you’re using in your products, you have tons of different options. Now 99% of the time that’s going to be China. I mean no one can really beat China and the set up they have to produce and ship products internationally. However, Vietnam is good for wood. Thailand’s good for ceramic and glass, but often what’s overlooked is a local market aka the USA.
Benefits to Sourcing Locally
There are a lot of benefits to sourcing locally, especially when it comes to consumables, or anything you’re putting in your body, any sort of beauty products really. There’s a number of benefits to doing so too. You know, one of the things to get into the benefits you know, it’s always wise once you get established to try to find back up manufacturers, and so a lot of my products I primarily source from China. Sadly, a lot of those products I just can’t find US manufacturers for because as Dan was saying like a lot of things, especially silicone based products, those kind of things you just can’t compete on price. But, like we said there are things that China just can’t help you with, especially anything that you ingest or you put on your skin.
Highly HIGHLY recommend that you look at domestic suppliers, and if you’re in the USA, that means in the USA. There’s a lot more than just that benefits wise.
Yeah for sure, so there’s many reasons why you would source products from the USA. From FDA approval here in the USA, plus the trust factor of “made in the USA” is especially useful for US markets and US customers. It’s a big sort of credibility point that people look for, especially when putting things in their body. When it comes to sourcing domestically, whether it’s in the USA or the UK or Germany, wherever you’re planning on selling. There are a lot of benefits, and these benefits include speed. So when sourcing from China you’re typically looking at a sort of 90 days minimum once you take into account, production time, shipping time, inspections, getting it across the water, it’s not a very rapid process. However when sourcing locally you can cut that time right down, because the factory could be down the road or just over in another state.
Now I don’t want to over complicate this, but it just is something important to know when you are looking for suppliers. So even though it’s often more expensive for certain products in the States, that speed factor is so cool. With some products it could take you up to 6, 7, or even 12 weeks to get your product. So if all the sudden, let’s say your order just explodes, you end up with a quick backup supplier, even if it’s going to be more expensive to use, you can get a product from them quicker. That can really help your business, so it is important to always be looking for alternative suppliers.
So I just wanted to add that because it’s a huge benefit. If you can’t find U.S. then yeah absolutely 99% the time it is going to be China, because no one can compete on price. Having that back up in place gives you a bit of redundancy in your brand as well, but that does lower minimum order quantities. So if you’re starting maybe with a smaller budget working local in your local market with a local supplier often gives you a bit more flexibility on the numbers, and the units. The ordering is as a minimum sort of inventory amount or a minimum order quantity, there’s also the fact that you’re reducing your supply chain costs. So obviously when you’re ordering from anywhere like China or Vietnam or Thailand you work with a freight forwarder which I know is covered in some depth in video two. Yeah if you haven’t watched that already you should definitely go check that out.
There are costs involved with with moving that product and that inventory across the world to your to your destination. Maybe you’re just starting a brand and you’ve got a smaller order, you’ve got a smaller budget, and you’re looking to invest that wisely. You really want to invest in the development of your product.
Definitely, when it comes to consumables and beauty products that you put on your skin then it’s much more necessary to visit that factory. Jason still does the inspection work himself with the factory to develop that product out. So we’ve got inventory management it means you can place small orders more frequently which means you’re turning that inventory over a lot faster. Now this is going into a bit more sort of advanced inventory management, but this is what affects the cash flow in your business, this is what affects how quickly you can scale the business. Just being able to put on your packaging made-in-the-USA, and being able to put it on your Amazon listing. So when you’re selling on Amazon there is obviously going to be a benefit over the competition if you can say made in the USA versus the competition.
Now obviously that doesn’t hold true if you’re in the UK. But it does well on the US platform. I was involved in a product a couple of years ago that was a collapsible coffee cup, they were made and produced in the UK so this thing was like a travel coffee mug I think you call it, but it collapses down into a small thin piece that you can put in your bag. It’s for people that maybe travel on the London Underground or the tube, and while it was a lot cheaper to have that manufactured over in China, the brand partner we were working with was adamant that he wanted it locally sourced and locally manufactured. We had the whole product made in the UK and because of that “Made in the UK” we actually got exposure almost unexpectedly, AND we sold all the inventory out in 24 hours which was a headache in itself. Yeah I mean in any local market, it’s about looking after the local community, standing by your local manufacturers, it carries a lot of trust in the consumer market.
So first of all I want to remind people that we’ve actually covered a lot of this training in video 2 of the training series. So if you want to check that out they give you a template for contacting your manufacturer, so using that in combination with what we’re talking about right now. That’s some solid training you’re getting access to. I think that’s a really good point because amazon.com is so huge, and we’re using the “made in the USA” example but really like whether you sell them in Germany, or the UK, or anything like that finding domestic suppliers is a good skill.
So if you are in Germany, and you can find a domestic supplier in Germany then it’s worthwhile. It’s going to be the same kind of steps that we’re presenting now. So what we’re about to do is go through and I’m gonna give you two very simple ways of finding a local domestic supplier. Now Mike again has covered this in depth on video – so make sure you go watch video 2 in the four part training series but yeah we’re going to go through two simple steps. All you would do is do them locally in your own market. You know what I mean, Germany, it’s number one or number two in Europe at the moment. Yeah it’s a huge marketplace, and for anyone that knows about engineering, like German cars knows their reputation for engineering. So what we’re going to show you now is a live example of really how simple it is to find US manufacturers or just domestic manufacturers in general.
Find US Suppliers With Google
Yeah the first step is to head over to Google. So all we’re going to do is search for “organic supplements” as an example, and I’ll put “manufacturers” in the search too and I’ll probably throw in USA on the end there just to be safe. You don’t want to shortchange this, you don’t want to try to you know make it as quick as possible. You want to do lots of different searches to find as many manufacturers as you can because the more manufacturer possibilities that you find, the better chances are you’re going to find the product you’re looking for at the price you’re looking for. You can use different words besides manufacturers and private label here. You could search factory, or you could search distributor, so you’ve got to think about it.
Think about the way Google works, it’s bringing websites up based on what the factory owners have put in in their website titles. You know this is something I used to teach back in the day as well, don’t just assume that the front pages are the best because these people are not SEO experts. So on page three or four there could be some really great options. So make sure you dig down into the rankings.
That’s so true I mean we’ve we’ve come across freight forwarders where their website looks ancient, but when you actually pick up the phone and speak to them, some of these factories have been around thirty years. They can give you information about the market that you would never find online because they’ve been serving people for years. So yeah don’t don’t skip on this point. So we come down and I look specifically for organic supplements because maybe I’m looking at launching an organic sports supplement brand, or I mean health service or Eco health market. So I’m looking for organic supplements typically this is definitely something you want to be sourcing domestically, you would not source this overseas in China or any other place because there are many reasons. From FDA approval and trust from the customer, just remember that they’re putting this in their body and you have to understand what goes through the thought process of when you’re buying a brand to put into your body.
So coming down and looking at this, I can see loads of different examples here, “wholesale private label organic supplements” looks like a pretty good result. As you can see they’re quite obviously used to serving our market and used to serving brand developers and brand owners. On the right hand side here, free quotes, they’re advertising their FDA approval and all the other different American certifications here which is obviously a really good sign, and stock products is a good indication here. Stock products tells us that they have all of this sort of on the shelf so to speak. So if we were maybe looking to move quite quickly rather than coming up with our own formulas for the supplement, then we could actually just one from a menu. Which I mean again, you talk about speed to market, we often find only the people that sort of get their product first, and get their feet wet as quickly as possible are often more successful.
Yeah it’s a really good point I just want to stress on for a second. So especially if you’ve never ran a business before you gotta look at your first product as a test product. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be profitable with it, but you’re learning so much, you’re learning the entire Amazon platform, you’re learning how to build a brand ,you’re learning how to market to consumers all of those kinds of things. So the quicker you can get up and selling on the market, the quicker you’re gonna learn the ins and outs, and then once you learn those ropes then you can start adding products. You know I don’t know but I’ve got to believe that it has got to be like 70% plus people with their first product are actually still selling it. I mean I know that for myself the products that I first started with I don’t sell anymore. They were profitable but I just didn’t like selling them. They weren’t what I wanted to sell, so I moved on, and that’s what’s great about this business. Especially dealing with a supplier like that where you could just get up and running in a couple weeks.
Yeah absolutely so maybe we could go look at joint pain stuff, so we see these ketosis pills here, and that’s actually a huge market. You’ve also got stuff like kids gummy bears here, I mean I’ve got an 18 month old, and a 4 year old, and my kids love these things it gives them their daily vitamins. So there’s a whole sort of avenue there. So there’s a phone number there and we’ll talk about how to contact these guys in a second. We see some really good indications that these suppliers are good though, and all I do is open up maybe a Google sheets or an Excel document and I start creating copies of different websites. I mark down the ones I’m interested in, take notes about what I like about them, what I don’t like about them. Just make sure you’re as organized as possible.
Find US Suppliers With Thomasnet.com
So moving away from Google there are actually loads of directories available online and a very famous one, or a very popular one, is called ThomasNet.com and this is a dedicated directory full of US suppliers. So if we go on there and search for organic supplements you can see 130 suppliers just in this single category alone, and then you can see there’s a couple of other categories that are relevant. If I should click on to that category I’m then presented with a list of suppliers that supply organic supplements. So you’ve got some filtering on the left, you can view the suppliers information, you can save them, you can create little folders within the website it’s very useful and again these are all US-based suppliers. You just click on to the profiles, take a look at the links, read about the corporation, maybe click through to the website where they’ve got social media. So you can have a look at this social media to see if they’re active on social media and start to do some sort of your own research on the background of these these suppliers, and the credibility. You definitely want to do that ahead of time and then obviously reach and contact them. There’s also another directory, Alibaba, and you can now search for US based suppliers on there. So there’s not as many suppliers on there, but it’s still important to search, so we search for organic supplements we go to supply US and then on suppliers you’ll see this location drop-down. On the top right hand corner of the screen here you’ve got, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada. So we’ve got a whole list of suppliers here, US-based, that do everything from sports supplements to what looks like sort of fish oils and dietary supplements.
I mean you’ve got the gold star that whole year so there’s a lot of good credibility on these listings. We’re not telling you to use just Google or the directories, we’re telling you to use all of it. You want to be able to exhaust all your resources to put together a great list of manufacturers. All right so when you’ve contacted the manufacturer you want to use, now you’ve got some questions you want to ask the manufacturer.
Minimum Order Quantities
Here we’re just gonna list really the top questions that we think are the most important. The first one we’re gonna talk about is minimum order quantity. Now minimum order quantity isn’t always the truth, meaning that oftentimes they’ll say you see a thousand is their minimum order but the reality is though the reason they’re putting that there is mainly to let you know they’re not in the business of just trying to ship out one or two products. Their products are mass-produced and that’s how they’re able to do this because they mass produce and they want you to order. So minimum order quantity is a good indicator to know whether you can afford it or not. So it’s actually a huge benefit if you can find a manufacturer, especially a domestic one in the US that has a very low minimum order quantity. So if you can order just 30 products, and you can get those products within a week then it’s a huge HUGE asset advantage because not only can you test the market really quickly but you also don’t have to worry about ever running out of inventory cuz you know you can get that inventory back really quickly.
Getting Product Samples
Now the question a lot of people ask is do I need to get samples? Your answer is YES absolutely you want to get samples for one reason and one reason only, because you want to know what you’re giving and as much as we want to trust everybody in the world sometimes you can’t trust people. When you get the product from the sample you realize this product isn’t really what they said it was gonna be. So you want to get samples, so you need to ask about sample prices. One of the advantages of getting samples in the U.S. is if you’re domestic they’re gonna be a little bit cheaper. I mean I ordered a sample last night and it was a hundred dollars express shipping to here in Austin in the U.S. So it’s typically about a hundred dollars even with express shipping. So when you get this sample what you want to do is, you want to order the competing product on Amazon that you’ve been comparing it to, and you want to be able to look at their product and see how you can improve the product that you’ve got.
So the next question is what is your production price? So once you’ve ordered that sample, and you’re happy with the quality of it, then you want to understand the volume that you plan to order. Think about what price they’re going to give you for that volume? Now typically what you’ll find is that with increased volume comes cheapest prices. In the beginning you’re not going to be placing massive orders so you are gonna pay a bit extra, but once you get a feel for this ahead of time and maybe ask them all, hey if I placed 500 units what would that be? If I placed 5,000 units what would that be? Try and get a feel for how that volume pricing looks. Remember when you’re first contacting a supplier they don’t know you from anyone and so you know trying to go in there and negotiate and really aggressively when you have no work history with them, they’ll just want to protect themselves as well.
So the idea is, it might be a little bit more expensive to get started, but as he said two things happen. Number one is you order more products over time, and they’re gonna lower the price. But also once you start creating a relationship with them they’ll be able to give you pricing benefits too. Yeah and to add onto that point, I think that’s the mindset that you have to have is like a win-win relationship. You’re looking to start your brand and your business but remember these manufacturers are also looking to run and profit from a business, so you have to find a deal that creates a win-win relationship.
Payment Terms & Turnaround Times
So it’s not always just pricing, its the next point as well, payment terms and turnaround times. Just remember that going into the conversations, when you hit on pricing, talk about turnaround as well. Yeah sure so the next point after price is, how quickly can you produce this reorder for me? Now over in China typically that’s about 30 days. Here in the US, depending on the products and depending on whether it’s like a stock item off the shelf like we just saw in that website there, it could be as soon as four or five days , so it could be a working week.
If it’s made from scratch typically it’s more like 20-21 days something like that, but definitely faster than overseas, and then when it comes to payment terms the reason we mentioned payment terms is because not many people realize this directly affects your cash flow in your business. So if you can extend your payment terms, and maybe sort of pay a deposit and then pay the balance maybe 30 days after receiving the product, now that’s gonna be hard to do on the first interaction as Jason said because you’ve got to build a relationship and they need to trust you and believe in you. So if you can eventually extend your payment terms then it’s gonna help your cash flow. So you can later renegotiate with manufacturers, you can show them look it’s selling at this price, it’s just too hard, and they’ll work with you on that because they want you to be profitable. They know if you’re profitable then you’re gonna want to sell a lot more, and so it’s really important.
I guess you know we were gonna wait a little bit to talk about this but I’m just gonna emphasize it now, your relationship with your supplier is just as important as your relationship with your customer. Absolutely you need to have a great relationship you need to respect them you know especially I remember when I first started selling I was dealing with China and there is that language barrier. So be respectful, be patient, communicate clearly and really understand that this is an asset for your company. The better relationship you have with your supplier, the better terms you’re gonna get. You know let’s talk about some of the advantages you get in terms of production time. I mean if you really think about how this business works, the foundation is your relationship with your supplier. As you scale your brand, if you’ve got good relationships, and they respect you, you’ll you have a win-win relationship in place. They trust you, you’ve met all your deadlines, you’ve hit the growth targets, then imagine that maybe you sell through your inventory a bit too fast. Maybe it’s coming up to Christmas, you didn’t forecast correctly, and you sell through.
If you’ve got a good relationship with your supplier maybe they put your orders to the front of the queue. That’s just saved you being out of stock on Amazon and saved you thousands of dollars in potential sales just from that relationship. So these are the sort benefits that you can have when you really invest in the relationship, they’ll often reach out to you and say hey this is a product that sells really well. You should do this, so it’s the insider knowledge because they trust you, they know that you’re gonna sell that product. It’s crazy actually I’m heading to China next week, we’re going out there to source some products.
I mean with Amazon it’s so easy now to go internationally, and even easier once you have some solid relationships. Like if you know that a certain price is killing it in a European country, and you can learn that directly from a supplier, that’s beautiful insider knowledge. So you know we know that when people are reaching out to suppliers there are a few tips you need to have. These tips come from seven figure sellers who are working with these factories. So one tip is how to avoid being ignored, so these factories will get multiple requests, maybe hundreds a day. How do you get in touch with these factories professionally without being ignored?
Tips For Reaching Out to Suppliers
So some tips would be to avoid long emails. So you don’t need to put big long bulk emails with loads of text, loads of paragraphs, just be really concise in the questions that you’re asking. Consider bullet pointing them to make it easier, make the person reading that email make their life as easy as possible. Avoid asking too much out the gate, like if you’re asking for at least two customization options and all these developments out the gate and they just want to understand if you’re serious or not because they get a lot of tire kickers. They will get a lot of people reaching out that never actually act upon their intention so you want to ask enough to say can you customize these products without going in. Can you customize this product and do ABC for me on the first email? But then also you avoid asking too little, you need to set the balance to say hey I am serious, this is the brand that I’m building and these are the products I’m interested in from your range to build out for my brand. So add enough information that you’re credible, but don’t ask too much.
Now remember in video 2 of the training series we give you a template. Yeah we give you all that information so you know how to reach out to suppliers. Combine that with this information and you’re golden.
So I think it’s time to introduce our special guest. Yeah can we bring on Angie, so I’m gonna give you just a real quick introduction then you can add to that. So Angie started selling on what was it, four or five years ago? Five years through our training you developed into, I remember at one time you were up to about a half a million dollars a month. And what you did instead of taking the lifestyle side of this, you decided to create your own huge company and become a manufacturer. So I just love that story because again so many avenues you can take with this business, it’s not just one-dimensional, you can do so many different things and here’s a perfect example. Is there anything you want to add to that introduction?
Wow well I mean I definitely started selling on Amazon with no prior experience so it was one of those like is this gonna work for me? It was a shot in the dark I was a little eager for it to work because I was recently single. I was supporting three kids so yeah I was financially pretty strapped so it was one of those, this has to work for me there’s no plan B. Yeah it was it was a good time of really like kind of knuckling down and focusing on the training and really learning and this whole new experience and it was great I mean it worked. I mean interestingly enough my first product that I picked actually failed, it actually didn’t do well and after kind of struggling with it for almost a couple months I actually went back to the training and with someone’s advice I went back to make sure I had picked the right product. It was really good because you know I just felt like I knew best, and I did go back, and I reluctantly said yeah maybe my product for this marketplace wasn’t the right thing.
I kind of realized like Amazon’s a little different than just selling in a retail store or other marketplaces that you might be selling in, and it’s all based on keyword research, and as a person looking that made a huge impact on me just really knowing I gotta pick the right product. Then I did, I picked three more products and over the next few months I launched them out and then I was doing like 60 thousand a month within the six month period. That kind of went on to like I don’t know 200 thousand a month within like I think two years? Then to 500 thousand a month like two and a half years later?
It was pretty awesome the high you had when you were sharing that and it just shows how it was exploding. I love that you said a couple things, first of all you had to go back in the training because you thought you knew best. So often we hear people say that and the reality is like you know that’s probably one of the biggest dangers of trying to do this business so long is there are so many different things on Amazon. So with this business model that’s why we give you such strict criteria when we tell you to pick products because there is a difference when you’re picking your very first product. Now when you’re established and you’re looking to grow your brand you can have a slightly different approach, but your very first product you really want to be as risk adverse as possible. You don’t want to get a lot of inventory, and you want to get something that you know reviews are going to be good, because it simply does exactly what it says.
So that’s a great point. I want to come back to sort of your beginning and ask for a piece of advice for people listening, so what was that journey from sort of starting in the Amazon business to gaining four hundred thousand a month? How did you end up owning a beauty manufacturing factory?
Yeah I don’t know, it actually started because I was going through the struggles of like the learning curve and launching new products, and all the ups and downs that come with that. Then finally okay now I’m actually cruising. I got several products and it’s going well, and I’m launching new ones and I was at kind at my peak of oh I’m doing awesome and my supplier couldn’t keep up with me. I’m starting to have a lot of problems of like, I would talk to my supplier and they’re like it’s your stuff it’s coming. Then like a month later I’m like where’s my stuff? They’d say oh it’s not here yet, we haven’t made it, we’re out of raw materials, and you know things like that. I actually ran out of like my five top sellers. I ran out for you know anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, and it killed me, yeah it tanked and I was like oh there’s a liability in this. You know I took full responsibility like I wasn’t on top of it enough, so I had some experience in manufacturing and in my prior life to know better.
So I wanted to create my own manufacturing, I want to have full control, I want to know what’s getting put in my products like 100 percent what’s actually in there. I want to be able to be in control of my lead times, my price points you know the quality and all that.
Awesome. So that’s how it started, so before we jump into the mistakes that we promised everyone, if you would still go back three or four years to the beginning. If you could tell yourself one thing back then, you know what would that one piece of advice be for people considering starting a brand on Amazon?
Everything that I could say kind of just goes into staying focused. Yeah I’m not getting overly complicated, not going off on shiny new objects, not getting too dispersed or going in too many different directions and just really like isolating out like I did. Like this and this is working and so I’m gonna keep doing this and this is gonna keep working and add value and strengthen that which has been working. I’ve definitely made the mistake of, okay I’m all over the place or I’m going all over, and I’ve felt the effects.
Yes I’ve seen so many people want to launch their first product with ten different products, and you know like I said earlier you know just start with one. Learn the process and then once you’ve learned it and that’s working then start expanding. So that’s great feedback because we can over complicate this so easily, that’s awesome. Alright so we promised you all that we would have three big mistakes, and so who better to ask than manufactures themselves? So when you’re talking to people what do you find are the three biggest mistakes that people make when contacting you guys?
Choosing a Supplier to Meet Your Long Term Needs
So I mean the first mistake is when people are looking for a supplier, they’re often not going to pick a supplier that meets all their needs in the long term. They’re gonna maybe be a little rash, or a little sudden, so they don’t really know what they’re looking for. They’re doing the search, and they’re just gonna kind of reach out and a supplier is gonna say, oh yeah hey you know this sells well, take this product or they might be like a supplier that they’re not really familiar with Amazon. Like myself being an Amazon seller, I kind of know how to walk people through what they’re gonna run into, especially in health and beauty and I’m sure you know nutrition as well, there’s going to be a gating process. Like topical ointments are gated so you need to get through that. I’ve got people gated for two hours you know or two days it can be a fast process, but I’ve seen people take months and struggle before they come to me. I’m like well you know you’re doing something wrong.
Do Thorough Research
I think the point there, Angie’s point is that due diligence isn’t like just going on price as a factor, it’s actually doing the research into it. Is this the right supplier? Is this the right factory for me? Can they support me in the long term? It’s such a good question, yeah like and how familiar are you with Amazon? That’s huge yeah. Exactly and you know are they FDA approved? What’s their manufacturing processes? Have they been around for a while? Can you come visit them and walk through the facility?
I mean unfortunately there’s a lot of shadiness in this industry, and I kind of found out through working with chemists and trying to like reformulate products and stuff that it’s not all what everybody says it is and you don’t always get an honest person on the other side of that channel. So that’s kind of important to just know and have the relationship that’s gonna last long term, and they’re gonna help you develop a brand, because obviously it’s not all about okay you know I want that product. Stick my label on it and stick it out on Amazon and now I’m gonna be rich. It’s you know, you are gonna create a brand you are gonna try to you know figure out who your customer is and really market to them and launch a product. Then launch another one and then launch another one.
Ensure Suppliers Take You Seriously
So that really brings up a really good second point, like know the products that you’re looking to get in to, and do the research before contacting suppliers. Make sure that the supplier takes you seriously because then they know that you know what you’re talking about, so that’s a really good second point there. Like do the research.
Yeah I mean I definitely had people contact me and they’re like okay I want to do this product because this is what I see. I know personally that Amazon is saturated with that product and I’ll say look I don’t actually advise you to do that product as much as I’d love to sell it to you if you’re gonna do that on Amazon I don’t actually feel you’re gonna be successful. So I’ll definitely check with them you know, do you have training on how to actually pick a good product? Do you know what to look for and I run through that with a lot people that contact me and they really don’t know how to pick a product. I’ve seen people really feel like they’re picking the right product, and as much as I can tell them I’m just not sure that that’s the right product, they’ll go with it and you know some will succeed and some won’t and it really you know hurts when someone picks something and I don’t see them grow and I can’t help them grow their brand because that’s my purpose.
So if you haven’t already watched video one rich went through that in detail in video one of the four part series, so make sure after this you jump into that video and take a look there. So what’s the third point?
Angie: So I think the third point would be like when you’re gonna come to a supplier you want to make sure that they can customize things for you, or service you and make your product different than everybody else’s. So a lot a lot of people come to me and they want like maybe major customization which is gonna take your product a lot longer to launch, but you can do really simple things to customize your product like just having a different smell or a scent or color or the packaging can be different. You can do a lot with your labeling and then of course just really knowing your niche, knowing your customer, and don’t just sell you know generic face cream. Just be like this is a face cream specifically for athletes and athletes have these issues. So these are the certain oils or essential oils or benefits for athletes that this cream is going to target and that’s what your branding and everything is going to be about, so your label will say that, your bullets will say that, your titles say that, everything will be relevant to that.
Jason & Dan: So do you find that you know, because one of the things that I recommend for people again is start as simple as possible. Yeah I mean ideally you have a slight differentiation right away but at the end of the day the goal of initially getting up and running is just to test the market, make sure the price is right, so do you find that a lot of people just like want tons and tons of changes that they just think will work? Or do they actually give you reasons for why they wanted it?
Angie: I mean I get a bit of both, I guess that most people don’t do the research, they don’t really know at the end of the day.
Jason & Dan: So here’s a final question for me what does the perfect buyer look like to you? The perfect customer for your manufacturing factory? Like what does ideal look like if we could paint a picture for our viewers here, what does that look like?
Angie: I mean ideally it would be a customer that’s really passionate about building their brand, that’s like the first thing. You know if they’re going the Amazon route they should know as much as possible about how to launch a successful product on Amazon, how to launch it, how to pick it, how to create the listing. Yeah and then you know maybe having some background in selling skincare products or you know they’re just totally motivated they’re all in. Like they’re gonna take this product and they’re gonna maybe start with 500 units which is great, and their next order will be a thousand, and then two thousand, and then you know 50,000 orders which would be great. Then they’ll do their next product, and their next product, and you know they’ll work with us and we’ll help custom create it and work on their packaging and new product ideas. They’ll just be able to roll out and keep going and build a brand.
Jason & Dan: I got two final questions for you before we end this call because I know you’re very busy too. So number one do you ship internationally?
Angie: Yeah I deal with international customers all the time nice.
Jason & Dan: Oh, so what final remark would you like to share with people? So you know right now we’re talking about finding US suppliers, getting going, are there any final remarks that you’d like to share on that?
Angie: I mean besides really knowing your supplier, knowing that they can work with you long-term, knowing that they can help your needs with everything. I mean in order to make sure you’re successful just really really understand how to pick a product. Really understand you know that you’re selling on Amazon so it’s mostly based on keywords. You know sell a product that’s amazing and awesome and good quality of course, but you want to make sure people are searching for it. You want to make sure there’s a demand for it and then it’s kind of a no-brainer after that. If you kind of take those steps and move forward you’ll be better off, and of course if anybody needs help with skin care manufacturing I’m here and happy to help anyone!
Jason & Dan: Awesome well Angie thank you so much, we really appreciate your time on here. I’m so happy to see how things are going for you! It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.
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.