Say, you have an idea to sell something unique and interesting on Amazon or any other e-commerce platform in India. You have everything figured out: your strategies, your plans, your budget, etc. Registering as a seller on one of these platforms is just minutes away. But there is one problem. How to procure products and stock it up? You know China has one of the largest supplier networks in the world. So how to go about procuring products from China? Let’s take a look at a few things that might help you in this regard.
Your first stop could be Alibaba.com, which is owned by Alibaba Group. Alibaba has the largest supplier network you can benefit from. You can easily get products from Alibaba. Type in a specific keyword and you will find a lot of suppliers offering various unit prices, MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity), and bulk prices.
Other major players in B2B platforms for importers and exporters are Global Sources and Made-in-China. Check these two to start with and test the waters.
Find Legitimate Suppliers
There are innumerable examples of buyers who have been scammed and lost a lot of money in the business. So finding a legitimate supplier is vital. Alibaba, for example, has all their suppliers verified for authenticity with whom you can transact with. Also, it is extremely important to check the suppliers’ ratings, customer feedback, response rate, transaction level, etc. Make sure to check customer protection services offered by these platforms. Taking care of all these will help you choose the right supplier and avoid getting scammed.
Attend Trade Fair
You can find plenty of good suppliers in trade fair in China. Attend these and scout for legitimate suppliers. One of the biggest trade fairs in China is the Canton Fair. Such events feature all types of products like clothing, medicines, automobile parts, electronics, consumer goods, recreational products, etc. This could turn out to be great for you to find the right products to sell. More important, you can get in touch with some legitimate suppliers who can supply these products for you. You can also personally supervise the quality of the products as well.
Other crucial factors you should consider are the production capability of your supplier and the quality of the products. Both are important. You should make sure your supplier can fulfill your demands at all costs. He may supply quality goods, but it’s of no use if he doesn’t meet your market demands. If he can’t supply goods on time and help you stock them up and be ready to ship them to customers as and when the orders come, your business will suffer a loss.
Hire an Agent
If going to China to search for suppliers can be tedious and out of your budget and time, then hire an agent who can do this for you. There are a lot of agents in China who will help you find the right suppliers for you. They will help you with everything, be it buying, inspection, factory audit, sample consolidation, product audit, drop shipping, etc. Find a reliable partner who can help you out on these things and you will save a lot of your time and money.
Order a Sample
Once you have find the right supplier to procure the products from, the next step should be to order a sample. This is highly important, as it allows you to test the product before you order in bulk. They may send high-quality samples, but may send inferior ones when you order in bulk. There is no other way except to be incredibly vigilant in controlling quality. Check for the quality every time you receive an order.
Use freights instead of courier services like FedEx. They will charge you a lot. Freights are great to move bulk orders and is much cheaper than courier services. But the downside of this is the timeline. They may take a long time to reach you. So manage your schedule well. In the end, you have to decide properly how you want your shipment – by air or by sea? It all depends on the demand of the products you are importing. If you don’t mind waiting, go ahead and choose Sea freight. If you need your products soon, then choose air freight. Furthermore, if you are using Amazon FBA, you can get your products imported directly to Amazon Warehouse. This makes everything easy for you.
China is quite popular to import goods from and mostly they serve their customers well. But it doesn’t mean you won’t encounter faulty suppliers from time to time. So keep your eyes and minds open and be agile. Take your time and investigate your suppliers well before approaching them.