VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION: Hello, everyone. In this lecture, I’m going to give you an overview of a standard Alibaba listing. Now obviously, listings vary from product to product, the amount of effort a supplier will put into a listing, but I feel like I’ve found a listing here that kind of covers all the things that you will see on a standard listing. But please bear in mind, depending on the product, there might be some terms and variations that I’m missing. So you’re starting at the top here, we have the title of the product. I have gone for a 240ml bath jar with a spoon. So this is basically a title area where your supplier will put in the loaded keywords relevant to your product. Moving over to the left here, we have the product image. As you can see, this is basically a glass jar. They’ve modelled it with some bath salts in here, and they’ve got some other images here which are very nice. If you click on the image, you will see that you get taken through to more images and you can kind of slide through them using the arrows on the side here. If you keep going, it will show you some images that aren’t actually included with the immediate images in that top left-hand corner, you get a few extra ones and there’s also a video and some pictures of their factory, too. So you get a bit more of an overview once you click on the main photo. Okay, moving off to the left here, we have free on board reference posts. This is a common shipping INGO term which basically means that the liability for the shipment if you were to order with them, would end at them getting in on board the mode of transport of choice. So if you are ordering over ten thousand of these, you may well want to put them on a boat. It then becomes your liability and the responsibility for the shipment lies with you. This is pretty much every listing on Alibaba you will see this. You can ask for different shipping terms depending on your circumstances, but FOB is generally the way to go. Anyway, you can get your latest price here by clicking this, and this will give you a, open up a communication window with the supplier. Beneath that, we have a general overview of the price. It’s 0.57 pieces to 0.27 cents per unit, and it’s 10,000 pieces is the minimum order quantity. Now please take these as a rough overview and just get an idea of what the price is and what the minimum order quantity is. Once you open up communications with the supplier, then these are subject to change. You can offer more here, take more away there. Sometimes maybe not, I mean it depends on the supplier, what their circumstances are, but you can often get these changed with a bit of negotiation and conversation between yourself and the supplier. They’re normally very flexible on this sort of things. Underneath that we have the contact supplier button, so you can straightaway contact the supplier, go through to a messaging service on Alibaba.com and open up a line of communication with the supplier. Next to that is a start order button, this starts a trade assurance order with the supplier. Beneath that is leave messages. Now, this is kind of, you can leave the supplier a message by clicking here or, if the supplier is online, this will change to like a Chat Now and it’d be like an instant chat service. So instead of sending out an e-mail or a message using the contact supplier button, if the supplier is online when you’re online then you can have an instant chat with them, which is a lot quicker and you can find out information about the product a lot quicker, too. One other thing I should mention quickly, in the top of the image up here, you have a little heart button. This is the add to favourites button. If you click this, it should go orange and that has added it to my favourites. So now I can go to my favourites on any page on Alibaba website and reference this product very quickly. Next to the leave messages is a request for a free sample. You click this and it will take you through to a request form that you can send a supplier asking for a free sample of this product. Normally the supplier will ask that you pay for the freight and shipping, but the sample itself will be free. Heading further down, we have the information that the seller supports trade assurance, the seller’s usual payment terms, and shipping information where you can get quotes as well by clicking here. Off to the right of this is a box that gives you more details about the supplier manufacturing this product. At the top here, you have the name of the supplier and if you click on this it will take you through to the company profile. Beneath that is the number of years that the supplier has been in business, or been on Alibaba should I say, and the country of origin. Beneath that, we see that the supplier is a gold supplier with Alibaba.com, accepts trade assurance again, and has had an on-site check. We also have reviews here, they have got one review which isn’t a high amount, but they did get a 4.7 out of 5. , Alibaba transaction level rating and the number of transactions they have done in the last six months and the amount. So here it’s over $120,000 they’ve done in the last six months and that totalled to 16 transactions. Their response time is important. Now, the response time and the response rate are two metrics that you really want to pay attention to when looking a supplier. These guys are responding under 24 hours and their response rate is 85.2%. Anything under 60% on the response rates I would raise an eyebrow at, and you want that response time to always be under 24 hours. The reason for this is, at the moment this supplier’s giving you their best representation to try and get your business. Now, if these figures here are low now before you’ve even communicated with them or developed any kind of relationship with them, what’s it going to be like once they have your business? I mean, the response time, once they’ve got your money or once you’re in with them, the response time could fall away even more. And when you’re relying on quick responses and you’re relying on information quickly, on details on their orders you’ve got with them, then you want these response times to be quick now so you know that they’re going to get back to you when you really need it. Now, moving down into the meat of the listing, we will have three tabs across the top here. Again, this takes you to the company profile and their transactions overview, giving you a more in-depth look at the supplier. Beneath that are tabs. Now if you click on these, it will take you to various parts of the listing. So if we click on packaging and shipping, it will take us further down the listing to the packaging and shipping area so we can see more details on how this supplier packs and ships their products to you. Now we can jump again to their services. If we go to their services, you will see that they do label printing, so they’re in for OEM and private labelling, the different types of branding and labelling they do, packaging. They offer free samples, OEMs acceptable on lab tests and hygiene and various things like that. If we scroll down to the product description area on the listing, this is always a good sign as to how good a supplier is. You’ll see some listings on Alibaba and they are horrific on why anyone would want to send that supplier a message or engage with them in business is beyond me. You’ll see some murky, gloomy-looking image that’s just done with an old mobile phone and it’s just been thrown on an office table or something like that. This sort of thing really is off-putting to a buyer. I mean, if you’re looking to source these products and maybe part with thousands, tens of thousands of dollars, you need to be reassured within yourself that this supplier means business and they’re enthusiastic to do business with you and they’re enthusiastic about the product that they’re supplying. So when we look at this listing, you can see here that they’ve put some time into making a table and it gives an overview of details that you’ll want to know as you’re supplying or looking to source this kind of product. Going back to the listing quality, again, we can see here that they have put some time and effort into making these images look good. They modelled it here with some bath salts, they’re showing you here that there’s a label on here, you can put your logo on this label, you can have this as a private-labelled product. I dare say you could find bath salts very easily on Alibaba and maybe get these jars sent to that bath salt factory and they’ll pack them for you and the labels will already be on because these guys are going to stick the labels on and hey-ho, you’ve got yourself a nice little bath salt private label product that you can sell on Amazon or on your eCommerce store. Moving down, we have more product images. All of them are of a good standard, good quality. If you are looking to source this product and you have nothing similar, then often the factory will give you the unwatermarked images here so you can use them as a starter. So if you are looking to sell this product or start advertising it and you haven’t had time to get the product images done, then if you make a nice big order with these guys or you’ve developed a good relationship with them, you can ask them, “Can I quickly borrow these product photos? I need some just to quickly put on my Amazon listing or my website until I can get my own ones taken and sorted out.” If we click through to their company profile, this will give you more information on the factory or the supplier and is another way to gauge just how legitimate they are, as opposed to being a gold supplier, if they’re a gold plus supplier it’s, even more, a bonus. We can look at their factory photos here. There’s also a video of the factory and location, you can press that. And also, you can check here that they have had the Alibaba on-site check. Now, if you hover your mouse over that on-site check logo it will tell you on-site check, the supplier’s company premises have been checked by Alibaba.com staff to ensure on-site operations exist there. A third party verification company has confirmed the legal status of the supplier. Heading up to the top here, we have the home page, we have the product categories of all the different products that they sell. They are indeed well into the glass jar and glass packaging niche. The company profile, which is what we’re on, and giving you a great overview of what this factory is all about and what they’re doing and the contacts where you can contact them. You can also check them out with their website address at the top here and their phone number. If you go through this supplier’s product portfolio and you like their company profile, you can also save the supplier to favourites as well by clicking on the heart button there. That will save this supplier to a separate list, so you’ll have your favourite suppliers and your favourite products. So if you are looking to source a product from this supplier or you’re looking to combine products or whatever you want to do, you can save suppliers to a separate favourites list which is amazing. And that is about it for a listing overview. As stated, all product listings are different. It really depends on how much effort the factory or supplier wants to put into the listing, it depends on the product, it depends on your requirements and the information you need, but I think that this listing kind of gives you a good overview of all the common things you’ll find on any given listing on Alibaba. I hope you liked this lecture and I will see you in the next one. Thank you for watching.
Negotiation is an art that every entrepreneur should have a firm grasp on. Great business deals and offers have been made at the negotiating table or through Alibaba, enabling many firms to grow and thrive. However, like any other art, there are the wrong and the right ways of conducting a successful negotiation. You should know when to negotiate, what to negotiate on and who to negotiate with. Below are seven deadly mistakes you should avoid during a negotiation:
1. Leaving Money on the Table
A good negotiator invariably looks out for loopholes that they can turn to their advantage. Here are good examples of how clients literally leave money on the table’ for their own advantage:
Sample costs should always be credited back to you during the trial order. This is something that should be negotiated beforehand and can easily save you $100 off the trial order price.
Before placing your initial order, make sure that you are aware of the costs of the products. Stick only to your specific suppliers shortlist while negotiating to avoid wasting time with people who have no direct impact on the outcomes of the negotiation. Basing on your decisions on market price, ensure that you negotiate a price that is equally fair to you as it is to the supplier.
Reorders and negotiations
Your initial negotiation is crucial in determining how your supplier will price subsequent orders. However, as your order volumes grow, it is important that you revisit the negotiation with your supply and get them to reconsider their prices. Keep negotiating as long as you are in business because business situations keep changing.
2. Going for the Kill Too Early
A good negotiation requires an ample supply of patience from both parties. Sometimes, a negotiation is not just about negotiating. When you jump into the negotiation too early, you come across as egocentric who is solely after satisfying their own interests. This can be very off-putting, especially in China.
Before beginning the discussion, you need to establish a strong relationship with your supplier. Make them bestow their trust in you. Additionally, you need to have a firm business foundation. Do not engage your supplier before you have something tangible to offer. Patience is a virtue in business. Create meaningful relationships first, then other things will follow.
3. Negotiating Below the Price Floor
The main focus of a great negotiation is to eventually achieve mutual contentment. However, amateur negotiators think that negotiations are all about winning. They may, therefore, try to out-compete by aggressively elbowing suppliers to below their price floor.
Trying to pay suppliers less than what a product is worth is not good and looks amateurish. Factories have to make a living too and you should remember that you are doing more disservice to your business than the supplier. The suppliers also have their own interests and they are not ready to sacrifice them on the altar of your aggressiveness.
The best you can get from a supplier who feels violated by the negotiation is poor quality service or product. It is a rule of business to do all you can to protect your company. Suppliers will not be willing to compromise their business in the favour of yours.
It is a well-known fact that the Chinese are mostly peace-loving, intelligent people. It is not uncommon that they may decide to stay clear of an aggressive negotiation and leave you with the illusion that you have had your way. They will agree to work with you but provide you with poor quality products if you went below their price floor.
Communication is key when working with Chinese Suppliers. It is up to you to make sure that you are clear on what you want and not risk getting what you didn’t ask for.
4. Thinking That Price Is Everything
Keep in mind that eventually, the price alone does not matter. There are other vital factors that add to the prosperity of your business. These factors include, but not limited to favourable payment terms, timely delivery and services of great quality. It is therefore important to remember that negotiations are not just about prices. The prosperity of your business depends on other factors much broader than just the prices.
5. Forgetting to Negotiate Better Payment Terms to Increase Cash Flow
The key driver of any successful negotiation is the promise that, in the end, both parties will mutually benefit. However, you should put more focus on growing your cash flow by negotiating more accommodating payment terms. Make sure that you negotiate payment terms that are considerate of your cash flow. A good cash flow will allow room for your business to scale faster, introduce more quality services and serve a wider customer base.
6. Not Getting the Supplier to Compensate You for Defect Orders
In as much as business is about mutually accommodating each other, it would be imprudent to pay for your supplier’s mistakes. When you make an order, you deserve only what you asked for. Remember that you paid for the services and it’s up to the supplier to deliver only quality goods.If in any case, there are defects in what you have received and the supplier is only to blame for the mistake, they should be responsible for their blunder.
You will be hurting your business by acting too nice and agreeing to take spoiled goods. Your customers do not care and you will simply plunge your business into unfavourable unnecessary loses. You also need to set a precedence to the factory that you are not a walk over and mistakes will be called out.
Do not taint the reputation of your business because you are trying to get the supplier to think you are a nice business partner. Faulty goods attract negative feedback and an opportunity for your competitors to bring you down.
7. Forgetting To Negotiate Packaging, Labeling, and Shipping
Sometimes you can get carried away with setting the right price for the product and forget other important aspects of a successful shipment. There are other costs that you should put into consideration apart from the buying price of the product. These include packaging, labelling, and shipping expenses.
While thinking about these additional costs, you should brainstorm different ways in which you can cut them by getting the services done at lower prices. While negotiating with your supplier, do not forget to make every aspect of the shipment a subject of your negotiation. Consider the costs you will incur until the goods are safely in your hands. For example, you can have your labels made in China, where you can pay cheaply compared to when they are made in the US.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that prices should not be your chief focus when negotiating with Chinese Suppliers. Understand your business needs to stand a chance of making a better negotiation. You should be in a position to know when and how to negotiate. Make sure that every negotiation is geared towards flourishing your business and enabling you to stay ahead of your competition.
Thank you, for checking out this Private Label tutorial. In the following pages, we will be covering everything from the factories on Alibaba to building out a brand from scratch.
If you are reading this and don’t already have a product sourced then please check out my China Import Guide and that will get you to this point in the best and easiest way possible.
I really hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you want to take things to the next level then check out this free webinar below.
Its hosted by my good friends the StartupBros and is awesome!
So without further ado let’s get cracking…
This is a great industry to be in, and you’re getting in really on the ground floor. You will be amazed at how many people still do not shop online, but Amazon is growing by the second. Ebay is well, eBay is kinda breathing Amazon’s dust, if you ask me and has been unable to compete at all but is still worth having a presence on.
There are many other E-commerce stores and marketplaces and areas that you can sell your products. Facebook is getting in on the action now and E-commerce is a massive growth industry. If you have done your product research correctly, sourced from a reliable factory and developed a good relationship then you are well on your way to private labelling your products and developing a brand that comes with so many more benefits.
The difference between private labelling and having a brand is you can just get a factory to slap your logo on the box and product and you have in essence private labelled your product but building a brand is exactly that. It takes time and lots of work to develop but will give your business a customer following for life.
What is private labelling?
Well, if you type, “What is private labelling?” Into Google, you will be met with a result from Wikipedia, which is: “Private label products or services are typically those manufactured or provided by one company under another company’s brand. Private label goods and services are available in a wide range of industries, from foods, cosmetics, to Web hosting.” Now, the last one’s an interesting one, Web hosting. It does show that private labelling isn’t just stuff you can slap on Amazon. It can be anything.
And a lot of companies out there including all of the big ones, most of their products on their shelves are privately labelled
The Minority Supplies the Majority
There is only a certain amount of factories in this world. And then there is an awful lot more people selling.
For example, Web hosting, you will see lots of hosting companies online. You can type that into Google and see there are hundreds, thousands, of Web hosting companies. But there are only a few people who have the ability to host a huge amount of websites.
So, you can go onto GoDaddy, and type in “reseller,” and you can use their hosting, and slap your brand on it, have your own website, start your own Web hosting company. But everything that you host, and all of your customers’ websites you host, will be done on GoDaddy’s hosting services. And you’ll just be a middleman, per se.
Example: Whey protein is a hugely private labelled product on Amazon.
As you can see from the image above this is just the first third of the page, there is a ton of competition and it’s tough to stand out. What you will also notice is that aside from the label a lot of these products come in very similar packaging. This is not a coincidence most of the listings you see there all come from a few factories.
Let’s look at Alibaba.com and see exactly how many.
If you are new to Alibaba click here for the grand tour.
In the search, we’re gonna type in “whey protein”
As you can see there are 11,669 product listings on Alibaba that sell whey protein. But we are not here to look for the product, we need the suppliers.
So by clicking on the Suppliers tab, also select the Gold and access suppliers as filters. This will give us the factories that meet the Alibaba Gold standard. Assessed Suppliers have an Alibaba representative visit to make sure they’re not operating out of their garden shed.
We’re now down to 79 suppliers that supply whey protein to the world!
Now I know what your thinking… “there could be other suppliers elsewhere Danny”. Your right here could be but Alibaba is the biggest, busiest and best factory/wholesale directory in the world so I’m going to guess that 99% of them are on here.
But the data gets more defined when you take into account resellers that buy tons of the stuff at discount and then resell it (there’s a lot of that on Alibaba). Also, some of the results will be incorrect and show unrelated products.
Therefore it is fair to say that out of 79 half of them will be resellers and incorrect listings. This takes our total down closer to 40 actual whey protein factories on this planet.
A stark difference to the huge number of whey protein private label sellers on Amazon.
Which is why standing out from the crowd, niching down and offering more are more important than ever.
The key points to take away when looking at saturated niches on Alibaba like whey protein are:
- Everyone is sourcing from the same factories. Unless modifications have been done, its the same product in a different coloured tub.
- These saturated markets are just the beginning. You will see way more big money niches get saturated to with products that are all the same.
- Just putting a logo on something and throwing it out there is not enough anymore. You need to offer more, be different and have more than just a product listing (website, social following etc
- We will go into detail on how to build out a brand that will perform no matter what the conditions.
So what is next I hear you ask?
Check out the webinar below! This is live, FREE and will leave no stone unturned.
We will cover everything to turn your fledgeling product into private label and build a brand around it.
This will take time, work and a lot of effort. Yes, it’s probably going to cost some money too but this is all investment and the return is amazing.
In this comprehensive step by step tutorial. I will take you through what it takes and what is involved to find products, import from China, sell on Amazon and build an eCommerce business that can be scaled into the millions of dollars every year.
But first, why should you listen to me? and how is this blog post all of a sudden your saving grace?
Both good questions.
Firstly it isn’t just this blog post that you will need to read and study.
This website is, in essence, a complete course into how to launch and build an eCommerce empire importing from China from anywhere in the world.
The blog post you are reading is what’s known in the blogging game as “pillar content” and everything you need to know will either be on this page or linked to additional pages for you to open and study.
Either way, you have landed in the right place.
eCommerce is exploding!
Finding products to import from China and learning how to sell on Amazon is an amazing opportunity.
It’s never been more accessible than ever to source products and set up shop.
Who am I?
My name is Danny Guerin and I have been selling products and building my eCommerce empire for over 10 years and boy has it changed!
I also have 5 star rated eCommerce training courses on Udemy.com and am a successful serial web app entrepreneur.
But it didn’t use to be this way.
My very first business ventures were at school. I used to be the highest earner on the playground selling cigarettes and sweets to my schoolmates. Learning to import from China, how to sell on Amazon and other cyber marketplaces were the stuff of comic books.
My supplier was the owner of Trinity Stores, a shop down the road, who would have sold his own mother if it had made him a profit never mind cigarettes to a child.
Looking back it’s easy to laugh at my small time hustle but what I was learning has kept me making money in some way, shape or form my whole life.
Years later my first big import from China was in women’s fashion jewellery (‘jewelry’ if you’re from the US).
Watching the some of the girls I worked with spend hours scrolling through jewellery websites credit cards in hand.
If there was a rule book when I made my first women’s jewellery import from China,
I pretty much broke it in half!
- Having barely seen the products online (just a couple of pictures).
- Knowing nothing about the factory (found them on Google).
- Worst of all I paid by transferring the money by credit card (with little to no protection)
- and I had no idea how I was going to sell whatever was sent to me.
I don’t think I even had an Amazon Seller Account nevermind knowing how to sell on Amazon.
Now, this was kinda back in the wild west days of importing and was really a game for big businesses who could afford to make very large orders and import from China regularly.
These days all that has changed and once you know how the process of finding and importing products over from China it’s easy to repeat to your heart’s content.
I’m sure you’re having some of the same worries I had…
- What should my first product be?
- What should I buy? will it sell?
- I’ve heard people get scammed?
- How do I find suppliers I can trust and communicate with them?
- Do I need to learn Chinese or go to China? Whats the process to import from China?
- How do I sell my products? Do I need a website?
- Where do I start!?
All these questions are completely legitimate and are either what I asked myself or I have been asked by many others over the years.
The good news is there has never been an easier, safer and more lucrative time to start to import from China or other countries and build your business.
This is why I decided to put together this step by step guide giving you everything I would do if I was starting out from zero.
If this is the first time reading this post, please read it from start to finish (preferably taking action along the way) as just reading parts of it will only cause confusion.
This is a process and once done, can be repeated and scaled easily.
So without further ado, let’s get cracking!
“The cowards never started it and the weak died along the way”
– Phil Knight
There are few things we need to get out of the way first.
- This is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes work, time and effort as this is a business and will to a certain extent require your constant attention. If this was an easy quick buck everyone would be doing it.
- I don’t owe you anything. I am more than happy to answer questions and have a chat but as I’m sure you understand I’m a busy man who also needs to make. Although I do love to help people as much as possible, a certain amount of initiative and tenacity will be required.
- This blog post is going to be huge and will link off to many other pages on this website and around the web. So please bookmark and make full use of the table of contents. I have video courses on Udemy which I often offer discounts and coupons for so be sure to sign in the box below.
- This is a skill. Learning to find products that make money. Learning to see a deal, strike a deal and sell are all skills. If you work hard and are not afraid of failure then those skills will come pretty quick and so will the results.
I know what I’ve just typed might seem a bit harsh and abrupt but I see too many people just looking for the handout. If you want to get rich tomorrow then go buy a lotto ticket.
But if you want to start a legitimate business and change your life…
Let’s move on.
What Do You Initially Want To Achieve?
There are some choices and considerations that you need to look at before moving any further.
Doing this will save you a lot of time and expense later down the line. Having a plan that you can stick to and execute, even if it’s just a rough direction will give you a distinct advantage.
The reason for this is once you start using websites like Alibaba in conjunction with product research tools, marketing tools and branding options. Everything can get overwhelming and daunting very quickly.
It’s better to have a direction of what you want to achieve now even if you are not sure than to just wander aimlessly and achieve little to nothing.
The first item your plan should include is what do you want to achieve in this business?
I have two friends who partnered together and sell two private labelled products, they import from China and sell on Amazon.
Each product does about 10 sales a day and they are netting about £10 ($16) a sale. This makes them about £5000 ($8000) a month and is extremely hands off.
This obviously is a lovely amount of money to be making every month and enables them to go travelling and live the life they want with a huge amount of freedom.
Because they only sell on Amazon and use fulfilment by Amazon its pretty much a passive income.
On the other side, I have another friend who has several fully established brands with websites, marketing campaigns and now two with physical shops.
He has blossomed from selling on Amazon into creating an empire that sells in over 40 countries through multiple different channels. His lifestyle is his business and he is a very busy man that lives for it.
There is nothing to say you can’t start small and work your way up to this but the point is to have a plan as to where you want to go first.
Then you can reach that goal have a result that you can be proud of and then either expand further or enjoy what you’ve created.
The process of getting products to market from end to end can be divided up into four parts.
1/ product research
This is by far the most important part of the whole process. Without a carefully chosen product that fits practical criteria and makes a good margin your business may never take off. Not to worry though I have two deep-dive tutorials on the subject and also some other ways to get your feet wet looking for products.
2/ Finding a Supplier
To import from China for any sustainable period of time with the same products comes down to your new factory meeting a certain set of standards. When looking for a factory to work with you should be very selective as this relationship could blossom into an amazing business or give you an expensive headache. We cover every step and consideration you should take in this post and ones linked to it.
3/ Product Curation & Manufacturing
Once you have found your factory and approved their samples it’s time to work with them and other businesses to bring everything together. This could very well be getting your logo printed on the product and packaging. Getting packaging made for the product. Having the process inspected by an independent company. Working with your new supplier to get the product manufactured and ready to import from China or the country they are based in.
4/ Shipping & Distribution
Like all the other points there are plenty of variables for how you want this to play out. But the main two are getting the products shipped to your home/working address or directly into Amazon FBA and sell on Amazon marketplaces. We will cover each of these and their requirements later on.
As I’m sure you understand everyone who reads this will have a different plan and ideas for what they want to achieve with their new products and it would be impossible for me to cover every variable so if you have any questions or want more information please put it in the comments below.
Check out the pdf below that covers the general process. This pdf is part of the FREE importer start-up kit available in the opt-in box below.
VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t be one of these people!
Don’t buy counterfeit tat. If this is something you are looking at doing please don’t. It’s a bad business, it’s illegal and it’s just not what we’re about here at Source Ship Sell.
Don’t give suppliers your personal email address. To say the Chinese like the hard sell is an understatement. Your inbox will be stuffed in minutes and unusable for years. Set up a new Gmail account for all your product sourcing business activities.
Don’t buy in bulk from a factory until you have tried and tested them using our processes.
Don’t buy a lot of inventory at a time. Factories will try to get you to commit to large quantities but try to only order 100-200 units at a time to start with and see how things go.
Don’t do business with a factory that refuses to ship samples. This is a standard practice especially when you import from China, without seeing and testing the product you should never part with your money.
Don’t buy from a company that doesn’t accept PayPal or Trade Assurance. These services are there to protect you and if a factory is refusing to use them it usually means they have had too many complaints and been cut off or are just scamming people. Avoid.
Stick to the plan and if you are unsure about something ask in the comments at the bottom.
Introduction to Alibaba.com
Finding products really comes down to these 3-steps:
When starting to look for products there are many wholesale directories to choose from and if I’m being honest all but one of them is a complete waste of time. In fact, a lot of them are borderline scams. They are quick to take your money and give very little in return.
Thankfully the biggest and best directory in the world is here to help and will very quickly become your new best friend.
Alibaba.com is ENORMOUS and has hundreds of millions of products listed.
I have used Alibaba to source and import from China on every single one of my products and highly recommend you do the same. I also recommend that you stay well clear of nearly all other directories out there.
Check out my comprehensive tour of Alibaba in the video below.
To summarize what was said in the video:-
Alibaba is massive and pretty much has every type of product you could ever hope to look for.
Look for Gold Suppliers that have had an onsite check and have a number of years trading history.
Always use a supplier that takes PayPal or preferably Trade Assurance. DO NOT TRANSFER FUNDS DIRECTLY!
Make sure the factory offers samples. No samples, no deal.
When looking at product listings you want to see lots of images and information about the product. If a listing looks empty and the images are lacking and dull then I would look elsewhere.
When looking at products, if any questions pop into your head be sure to write them down. You might forget later when communicating with your chosen supplier.
There are some limits on what you can sell that will save you some headaches and a lot of expense in the future.
Check out these videos taken from my paid tutorials to help keep you on the right track when selecting products.
Get The Infographics From These Videos Here:
Let’s Start Brainstorming!
The way I do this is to get a large pad of paper in front of me and just start writing whatever I’m thinking of or what I am looking at on the internet.
There are loads of great websites out there that can help get those inspirational juices flowing!
The first being Alibaba, as you have just seen their product catalogue is massive! and if you just start to click through to listings and onto related listings you can find some great ideas.
Be sure to always keep the Alibaba tab open so that when you are looking elsewhere you can check the prices.
Amazon Best Sellers
The next place I go to is the Amazon Best Sellers page. This page weirdly enough is not accessible through the main site and is best to get to through Google.
Just type “Amazon Best Sellers”
and look for the result with the ‘zgbs’ in the green URL.
This will take you to a page that lists all of the top 100 best sellers on Amazon in every category and sub-category.
I will niche down into these and try to find some gold nuggets off the beaten track.
Once you have selected something on the bestsellers lists, click through and then head to the “Customer who bought this item also bought” in the product listing.
You will often find products that are just as popular here but are more off the beaten track and still get really good sales.
The website marketplace called flippa.com has recently launched an FBA (Fulfilment By Amazon) seller section where already established Amazon sellers can sell their private label businesses.
This could provide you with good inspiration for products and you will be able to see their sales figures too.
The key is to stay off the beaten track. Products like phone cases, watches or anything else is just too saturated and you will not be able to compete.
Once you have got a good list of potential products down its time to get serious with product research.
I have created two product research methods. One is the premium method which uses a specialist software called Jungle Scout. This tutorial will take you step by step through the whole process and by the end, you will have a winning product to move forward with,
The second is the free method and should cost you absolutely nothing to implement. the catch is that it is more work and the figures your getting is nowhere near refined as Jungle Scout. But it is still extremely effective and if you are on a budget is a great option.
Identify & Contact Chosen Suppliers
So by now, you should have a chosen product to import from China or at least narrowed it down to two or three.
Now is the time to make initial contact with factories and order some samples.
Instead of looking for products we are now looking for factories and as we did earlier with search criteria, we will do the same here.
When typing into the search for your supplier you want to select the following: Gold Supplier, Onsite Checked, Assessed Supplier, Trade Assurance.
This should narrow the search results down quite a bit and will leave you with the safest options available.
We now have a list of our prime potential suppliers depending on how many there are you want to pick out the best 5 or 6 to message.
Look at their listings to see how this is done. See if they are a factory by checking the company details and if there are photos of their operation.
Look at the quality of the product listing are there good photos, is there plenty of product details and do you get a good feeling about it?
Contact the good ones
Send an email to the chosen few via the internal messaging service on Alibaba or you can use your own email. But remember to use the email you created especially for this otherwise your inbox will be nuked!
The details you want to know are: what is their MOQ (minimum order quantity)? Their payment and shipping policies, sample policy, a price list or product spec sheet.
These details the sales agent will have to hand and answers multiple times a day so don’t be scared to ask.
I normally send this email out to suppliers but it obviously varies with each product I import.
Feel free to add or delete whatever you need to but try to keep the contents the same format, the Chinese like you to be specific in your requirements.
Just copy and paste into your email composer
Hi there, My name is Danny from Craft Kitchen. We are looking to purchase Silicone Oven Glove for the US market. Please see attached photos. Our primary sales channels will be online. We estimate up to 20,000 to 30,000pcs annual purchase volume once fully established and after a trial order of 500 sets plus samples for evaluation. Specifications:
Size - 9in x 5in (22cm x 13cm)
Should have cloth sleeve
In colours Orange, bright green and purple.
High Quality required.
Do you manufacture silicon oven gloves to this specification? If so, please provide the following: 1/ Photo, specifications and shipping quotation 2/ Are you a manufacturer or Trading Company? 3/ What is the lead time for samples and trial order? 4/ Can we add a logo to this item? If so where can the logo be added? 5/ What is the sample cost including shipping, by express to the USA? Appreciate your reply. Thank you. Danny Guerin Craft Kitchen
Now you have sent out your emails you need to see who responds and in a timely manner.
Check out this post on Interacting and negotiating with suppliers.
At this point, they are competing for your business and have no idea who you are. If a factory takes two weeks to respond now what are they going to be like once the deal is done?
Always try to haggle on the price there is always room for movement and you should try to get some discount wherever possible. Don’t be shy to do this as it is very much in Chinese culture.
Please do not try to negotiate or haggle on the sample price. This would not be a good look for you, whatever the sample price is plus the shipping, should be paid without question.
For the record, most suppliers will offer the sample for free and you pay the shipping.
Check out my video taken from The Beginners Guide To Importing course
Test The Samples
At last, you get to see the product and things are starting to get more fun now. I will usually get samples from 3/5 suppliers that made the shortlist but I never just get one.
Once you have received your samples you should run them through a barrage of tests.
See if they are strong enough, well made, waterproof (if required).
Furthermore, weigh and measure them if you are going to be fulfilling the orders yourself and need to calculate the postage.
Sell The Samples
Selling the extra samples will help gauge the market and see how quickly they sell.
Also, recoup expenses and learn the basics of how to sell on Amazon and eBay if never done before.
Do not sell the sample you have just beaten the crap out of with tests, keep it for future reference.
If you are going to import from China regularly, use samples when communicating with factories over design needs, measurements, packaging. It also good to use when answering customer questions.
Working With MOQ’s (minimum order quantities)
Factories naturally want to sell you the biggest quantities of goods, it’s their business.
But they also don’t want to lose your business either and will make huge efforts to accommodate your needs.
When starting to import from China the quantities ordered will be low, it’s my experience that suppliers are quite flexible.
Sometimes though it can’t happen for whatever reason.
If this is the case I would check, Alibaba Wholesale.
This is a completely separate section of the Alibaba website where you will see MOQ’s that are a lot smaller. Be aware that sometimes this makes the price go up so be sure to check your margins.
Another good place to look is AliExpress. This is Alibaba’s sister site and is kinda like the Amazon version of Alibaba. You can buy single quantity products on here as well as larger amounts. This is good to get small quantities over, then communicate with the supplier later when ordering higher amounts.
Be aware again the prices could well be higher.
Import From China – Your First Order
Once you have tested the samples and have selected a factory it is time to make your first order.
There are many accounts online of people ordering thousands of units and import from China straight to Amazon.
This, in my opinion, is reckless. Your first order should be as small as possible. This depends on the factory and your communication, but usually, a few hundred units are acceptable for your first order.
This is great because you can start selling and shipping them yourself which minimises the risk.
The last thing you want is to send 2000 units straight into Amazon and they’re wrong, faulty or even worse. This will sink you before you have started to swim.
Taking your time, keeping it simple and starting slowly is the safest and best way to go.
Luckily you have access to 3 huge sales channels and can get selling products and receive that all-important customer feedback.
I recommend starting with eBay, sell on Amazon and Facebook Marketplace this should give you more than enough exposure.
Out of all these sales channels, learning to sell on Amazon is the most important.
When adding your products to sell on Amazon creating an awesome listing is essential. Check out my video on this below:
Learning how to sell on Amazon essential to the success of your eCommerce business. For now though get an Amazon Seller Account and just get started. You will never learn the platform until you make the first steps and these are the most important.
Out of all these sales channels, learning to sell on Amazon is the most important.
Learning how to sell on Amazon essential to the success of your eCommerce business. For now though get an Amazon Seller Account and just get started. You won’t learn how to sell on Amazon until you make the first steps, these are the most important.
Would you like more details on how to sell on Amazon?
Check out this link to a Udemy course I run – |CLICK HERE – Ill even throw in a discount 😉|
Within two months you will know if you have got a winning product or its back to the drawing board.
Whatever the case, you will have an awesome experience in sourcing, shipping, selling and the whole import from China process.
If you have followed everything in this article and website, you should be doing well and things are looking good.
Find more products to import from China and scale this baby up!…
After a while of selling jewellery, I realised that Facebook ads were the future! I managed to get my product photos from the factory, they were really professional looking and made my ads shine!
The sales started coming in quick, I was running the whole operation from home whilst working full time.
It got crazy pretty quickly.
I remember queueing at my local post office with a giant sports bag full of fashion jewellery orders. The lady who worked there hated me. 🙂
Amazon and eBay were flooded with jewellery so the best option was Facebook ads and cut out the middleman.
Looking back, if I had known how to sell on Amazon and eBay I could have still made some sales.
Some places you’ll get more sales, do your research and keep tabs on where your sales are coming from.
You should be fine selling in all the marketplaces if the product research was done correctly.
Here’s what I would do and it will more than likely work for you too:
List your product everywhere and Learn how to sell on Amazon!
The marketplaces will vary on location, the main ones are Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace and classified ads sites. Each new channel will get you a few more sales for a very little cost.
Fulfilment By Amazon
As you may have noticed by now… I love to sell on Amazon! And for good reason.
Amazon’s marketplaces are the biggest and busiest in the world. To truly capitalize on this you will need to put your products into the Amazon Fulfilment Network.
This will give your products massive exposure and furthermore you’ll get next day shipping in your home country.
Advertise on Amazon Ads and eBay. This has had great results for me and I continue to advertise nearly everything I sell to this day.
Brand & private label yourself
This is a course in its self and the next stage once you have mastered how to sell on Amazon.
Adding a brand to your products gives them much more value and customer loyalty. Decide on a brand name that resonates with your target audience which will increase customer loyalty and sales.
Taking It To The Next Level
You should now be selling a good amount if you follow the information on these pages.
So what’s next? Well, there are two main options available…
The first is to import from China again with all different product lines and build a portfolio.
Or Create a brand around your product and sell related products with your company logo on them. Have packaging designed, and get a website as an official home/shop for your brand. This allows more opportunities with branding, you can register your trademark and take your product lines to the next level. Learning to sell on Amazon well will give limitless opportunities and income.
Amazon loves branded products and gives sellers brand recognition, new tools and advanced tutorials on how to sell on Amazon. This has increased my sales by up to 40%
This is just a birds-eye view of how to import from China and the processes involved. I really hope that it points you in the right direction
Make It Happen
I hope you found this article useful, on your first import from China educated and easier. If you combine all the other free resources on this website you will be able to move forward with confidence.
Finally, the only thing for you to do now is to…TAKE ACTION!
Therefore soak up as much information on this website as you can and check out the FREE webinar in the box below.
This very webinar helped change my life years ago and can do the same for you.
Whatever it is nothing will happen if you don’t make it happen.
I wish you all the very best and would love to hear your feedback and experiences in the comments below.
Good luck, and talk below!