After completing your Amazon product research, finding the suppliers require time and effort. This is little bit too complicated to find the suppliers from China, especially when there is a huge cultural, language and business ethics gap between you and Chinese supplier.
Establishing a direct person-to-person relationship is the key to success for the foundation of business relationship in Chinese culture. Today, I’ll share 3 solid tips to nail your product sourcing process from China.
1. Find the Right Supplier
When you start your supplier hunt, Alibaba is typically the first place to look for, being one of the largest marketplaces in the world. There’s a huge number of suppliers for almost anything. To find the quality suppliers is really a big deal. There are other options like Global Sources to find the quality suppliers as everyone has to pre-qualify to join the platform.
You may also go to your industry related trade shows to find and meet the Chinese suppliers in person. Here’s your chance to build your relationship with them.
Differentiate Between a Trader and Manufacturer
You need to figure out if you’re dealing with a trading company or manufacturing company in order to negotiate the best deal for you. You may want to ask them straight whether they are manufacturer or take a guess by looking at their catalogue. The supplier can be a manufacturer if the products belong to same niche, for example a supplier of rubber products is selling everything related to rubber. On the other hand if there are multiple products from different niches are being sold by a supplier then there’s a good chance that the supplier is a trading company.
2. Negotiate With Your Supplier
While negotiating with the supplier, keep in mind there are more things to negotiate besides the price of the product such as quality, payment terms, delivery time, etc.
If you are a strong negotiator and may push the price below the price floor of the supplier, you may get less quality, poorer packaging, late delivery or some other issue. The point here is to establish a long term relationship by negotiating the best price for both parties.
Negotiation is an ongoing process with Chinese suppliers and even the part of their culture. At the beginning you may pay higher price but for the second order you can get discounts by slightly increasing order size.
Finding a fair price for your first order can be a good start for negotiation. To achieve the best price and establish a long-term relationship you may want to deal in person. You can meet the management or the owner in the trade show or in a factory in China. This way you can easily manage to solve any problems easily and also build a business relationship.
3. Quality Control
Keeping a check on the quality of products is essential for the Amazon sellers. You can protect yourself from a varying number of problems by making a written agreement. Mention all aspects of the product like design, material, dimensions, packaging, quality and shipment term in the agreement. Monitoring quality throughout the manufacturing process will help you keep the cost under control. Because cost can increase significantly if the products are manufactured and shipped with faults.
While selecting the suppliers, you can easily identify the quality manufacturers who are normally producing for the US, Japan and European markets whereas suppliers of African and Middle Eastern markets may produce lower quality items. You should always request samples before finalizing the suppliers. Make a written agreement to maintain the highest quality control and also ask for the pre-production sample to identify the full production quality.
Match the quality of sample and produced items before making the remaining payment. In case of issues, you can easily ask the supplier to fix any product issues or replace them with the quality of the product that was agreed upon.
In the end, do not assume that any point of the agreement is understood. Write everything in the agreement that is discussed and have the supplier’s acknowledgement. Protect your investment and be proactive throughout the manufacturing process while maintaining the business relationship. Hiring Amazon product sourcing agent in China can also help you overcome most of these issues and give you peace of mind but this also comes with its own pros and cons.