After deciding what kind of setup, you are going to have and are either waiting for it to be processed or if it is ready, start contacting manufacturers to get quotes, model options, discuss customization options, etc. You should contact as many as possible and get their quotes on the different models they have. Once you decide on some of the contenders, ask them for samples. This could cost anywhere from $20-100 per sample; samples will be sent by express mail. Manufacturers mostly accept payments via Ali Baba trade assurance for samples so do not be startled, it is normal.
Ali Baba (China) is the most preferable and suitable place for manufacturing the products
China is the best place to source generic products to sell on Amazon because average selling prices on Amazon are so generic as most are sourced from China. If sourced from elsewhere your sourcing costs could be much higher to be unable to make a profit. If you sell at higher prices, it would be more difficult for visibility as there are hundreds or thousands of listings of any product which are selling on Amazon. Chinese manufacturers are also used to dealing with Amazon sellers and are also very open to customizations and assistance with labeling and packaging the products as per Amazon’s requirements.
Create a new Email account
I would strongly suggest you create a new email to communicate with manufacturers as they might be rushed to your inbox. I also suggest you create a “professional email” that reflects how you seem like an employee in the company. You could add a signature and make yourself a Sourcing Agent/Sourcing Department Assistant, etc. This is useful in a couple of ways
First, the manufacturer will think they are dealing with a big company that might put large orders in the future, so they might be more willing to respond on a priority basis and be more willing to do customizations even at smaller orders as they will consider you a serious buyer with the potential of return.
Secondly, it will give you time to consider your options before making any decisions, especially when talking through the phone or Skype your go-to phrase can be: thank you for the information, I will forward it to the department in charge and will get back to you shortly on our decision.
How To Find Suppliers
When reviewing Alibaba suppliers, you aim to figure out how much value they bring to your business. You should have a system in place for assessing, choosing, and reassessing the suppliers with whom you want to do business. Here are a few pointers on how to do it effectively. One of the most effective ways to investigate a company’s background. An onsite inspection is a difficult process. You’ll need to look at a possible supplier’s website to see what they have to offer…
• Contact details
• Certifications from subsidiaries, associates, or vendors
• Business license
• Company or plant location
• Ownership status
• Photos of the supplier’s operations
It’s not easy to come by this stuff . Almost all will be ideal. However, you will not be able to find all of the information mentioned above. After you’ve completed that, go on to.
Go to Alibaba.com in a new tab on your browser. Put your product name in the search bar and hit the search button; you’ll get thousands of suppliers for your particular product. On the left side, you’ll see various types of filters; simply check the box that corresponds to your product and wait for results.
ALIBABA TRADE ASSURANCE
You’ll mostly be working with manufacturers on Alibaba. However, if you want to stop scams and low-quality vendors, Alibaba offers some supplier filters that you can use. Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program is a free service that aims to build trust between buyers and suppliers. If the goods you ordered aren’t delivered on time or are not of good quality, you’re protected by trade assurance. Your reputation is important to you. If either of these happens to you, Alibaba will pay for the goods and you’ll get a full refund. So, using Trade Assurance is a fantastic way to avoid scams!
So, how do you make use of this function?
Check the box next to “Trade Assurance” when looking for goods or companies on Alibaba.
You’ll be able to see goods and vendors that have signed up for Alibaba’s trade guarantee program from there.
If you search using the supplier filter, you’ll see an interface similar to this, where you can get all of the details about the supplier.
If you search for a product using the product filter, you’ll see an interface similar to this, where you can get all of the details about the supplier.
Alibaba’s “Gold” membership is a luxury membership for manufacturers. Suppliers who pay the fee (USD 10,000) are given a variety of options for promoting their goods, which increases product visibility and returns on investment.
Since gold suppliers must pay such a large sum per year, scammers who are only after your money are effectively weeded out. Who would give so much money to a con artist? This does not mean, however, that you’ll be paired with a reliable supplier or one who supplies top-notch materials. You could still get someone who doesn’t respond to you or someone who supplies cheap products.
Check the box that says “Gold Suppliers” on Alibaba to find a gold supplier.
This supplier is not only a three-year gold supplier but also a trade security supplier!
This means you’re safe when you buy from them, and you can rest easy knowing they’ve been a gold supplier on Alibaba for three years!
Another way to obtain details about a supplier’s deals and commitments and evaluate them, you can explore this from their main profile of supplier.
If you don’t see the “gold Supplier” sign on the home page, you can look it up here
After you’ve checked the supplier, you can use the chat box to send a message to get a product quote. this interface will show you when you scroll down the main profile
Things to be remember
Of course, if you don’t wish to pretend as you might wish to have a long-lasting relationship with the manufacturer, you can also say that you have business partners, and investors, whom you need to discuss any decisions with so you never feel pressured into deciding anything on the spot and have time to carefully think everything through.
Another thing to clarify is that when you are introducing yourself as an employee in a company in charge of sourcing; you should know what questions to ask and the lingo. Therefore, to start with, communicate by email, and when things become more serious (when you decide on your favorites and discuss customization options with them in more detail) get on the phone or Skype with them. In the beginning, this will allow you time to research the information they provided you over the email to be able to respond professionally (I’m 03 .8 www.amz-doc.com making it sound more complicated than it is, mind you). Never ask the manufacturer about FOB or MOQ, research it so you are aware.
As an example of an initial email you could send, please see the below sample from the mywifequitherjob.com blog, which is also a great source of information on selling Amazon FBA. Mind you, while the below example could be helpful, I would advise you against using a generic template as much likely use it and it would quickly show you as a first-time buyer which can hurt you later on at the price negotiation stage, as well as the manufacturer might not be as careful with quality control if they didn’t consider you a larger return client.
Message template for reference
Once you decide on the exact manufacturer and the model you wish to order, it is time to prepare for discussions on customization. This step is very important and you will also be discussing your exact quality requirements, which need to be specified word by word and possibly double-confirmed in a phone/video call, just to be on the safe side.
Once you have made your first contact to establish model options and prices, make sure to also discuss what customization options are possible to do in-house. Many factories might not create packaging in-house and when they offer to outsource this themselves, there is a higher risk of quality standards being lowered. Make sure they can implement all the necessary customizations in the house. You can then select your preferred manufacturers and order samples.
When you have decided on the manufacturer, contact some graphic designers to create a mock-up of the model and the packaging. The same designer can also create your logo if you haven’t made one yet
Make sure the designer creates the mock-up with all the measurements, including the measurements of the distance of the logo/design, etc. from the edges. Don’t expect the manufacturer to comply if you simply state (the logo should be in the middle of the product/box); make sure you have evidenced exactly how you want the item and package to look.
Send the final mock-ups to the manufacturer and discuss any final details and possibilities. Before confirming and placing the order, collate all the information up to date in a document (or a contract, if you will – especially if you are presenting your work for a company), complete with your exact quality requirements, and send it to the manufacturer to agree on. It is important to note that many manufacturers might not agree to the customization of a smaller batch of products. Most will require an order of at least 500 if not 1000 pieces. Do ask around and be strict to see if they could customize an order of 500.
When it comes to the package of the product, make sure you are in line with Amazon’s requirements on how to package, especially if you are bundling multiple items together. You can read up on this here: https://amzn.to/2F4d1VW
You have also wanted to read up on how the product needs to be packaged to ship to Amazon’s warehouse (you will see details below that in general your stock will be shipped from a port in China (make sure the manufacturer offers you FOB (free on board) prices so that you don’t have to arrange to pay transportation from the factory to the port) to a port in the US, from where a special delivery will be booked through your Amazon seller account to drop off your item at the assigned warehouse(s) for you: https://amzn.to/2IJTcTG
Ordering stock and payment:
Agreeing on a payment plan is always the tricky part and it differs slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. During this process, you should remember that the manufacturer is wary of you as well as they don’t know you and want to make sure they receive a settlement for a product they are manufacturing and shipping. There are issues you can avoid and things you can do to secure yourself as much as possible, however, there will always be risks involved in the transaction.
Most manufacturers will require a bank transfer when placing a larger order; if they have Trade Assurance and are willing to accept “Alibaba secure payments” you can also make a transfer via the Alibaba website (the payment is done to the bank account and Alibaba doesn’t hold the funds, however, the transaction is noted on the platform and in case anything goes wrong, you can create a dispute on the site. If things do go “belly up”, don’t expect Alibaba to solve anything, however, as they cannot pressure the manufacturer into returning funds, but they can disable their listings, which isn’t beneficial to the manufacturer. While not an ideal “safety precaution”, it still is an extra little step you could do to “secure” yourself a bit more. Some manufacturers might say that the process of placing an order through the Alibaba website doesn’t work for them (even if it is noted on their profile that they accept it) but do insist; they will agree if they wish to sell you the goods. If they don’t, I’d be cautious of them.
Some manufacturers might require half of the payment up front and the other half either before shipping the product, or possibly a smaller amount to be paid after you’ve received your order. Of course, it is ideal to pay for smaller parts up front and the larger ones later on, but not all manufacturers might agree to this for a first-time buyer. This depends on the manufacturer, as well as on your negotiation skills.
While being asked to settle the order in full before it is shipped might sound very risky, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being tricked. It depends on the manufacturer. But do be cautious at all times, do your due diligence before placing the order on both, the manufacturer (ask them for their exact address, whether the sales team is located within the factory, how many workers they have, possibly ask for a short video tour while chatting over Skype, etc.) as well as research the bank to which they wish you to transfer funds to. For a piece of mind, you could always also ask about some customers they have who are happy with them and who’d be willing to give a recommendation. This could happen organically once you are in the elimination phase and your preferred manufacturer is aware that you are deciding between factories.
You have a few different options for safeguarding yourself on the quality of your products. You can hire:
1. Pre-shipment inspection
2. Have items inspected by a company working with your manufacturer
3. Fulfillment company
It can help you achieve the quality levels you’re looking for. To do the inspection, an inspector will go to your factory in China once your order is about 80% completed. The inspector checks a specified number of products, based on a standard called AQL (Acceptable Quality Limits). If your shipment is small (less than 1,000 units) it may be a good idea to inspect the entire shipment (copied from the 05. 11 www.amz-doc.com following blog: https://bit.ly/2GkHbEG). The company that wrote the blog post also has offices in China and does pre-shipment inspections. You can check with them for a quote.
Some other quality control companies:
Have items inspected by a company working with your manufacturer: this one is cheaper but less secure, of course. It depends on you and the quotes, you get on whether you’d want to proceed with or without a third-party inspection.
Fulfillment company: A fulfillment inspection and prep company can help you inspect, package, label, photograph, and ship your items (FBM). This can be especially useful if your packaging is prepared by another manufacturer, but this would of course incur extra costs and would take a bit longer. If, on the other hand, you have sufficient investment to hire such a company, you’d save yourself some worry and be sure the order will be taken care of properly. When starting with selling on Amazon and selling a lower-cost product, I wouldn’t advise using the services of such companies as you’d be better off spending the extra funding on advertising. Again, this depends on your preference and on how much you wish to spend on quality control. Below is a list of a few such companies (they are based in different locations and depending on where your warehouse would be, you could choose the one closest)
Some Fulfillment Companies
● FBAprep.com (located in China)
● FBAops.com (located in China)
I would highly advise you to have each of your shipments checked, but to specifically check the first few until you become more comfortable with your manufacturer. I would not have them ship directly to Amazon themselves without any checks in between as there could be several faulty pieces, missed labels, poorly packaged products, etc. which would only attract negative reviews and refunds and while shipping straight to Amazon by the manufacturer is often quoted as cheaper, it could end up costing you more (especially if they don’t take care of import fees and Amazon then declines to accept the stock in which case you’d then have to arrange for it to be shipped elsewhere at your expense.
All in all, while you could get very well made products from Chinese manufacturers, this shouldn’t be taken as a given and you would need to establish with them the exact level of quality you expect, as well as check if they delivered what was agreed on until you are comfortable enough with them to not have to check every time any more (although it is always best practice to have every shipment checked, of course, as you’d also want to know what you are selling to allow for longevity of the operation and satisfied customers).