“How To Source Your Private Label Product In China, Without Getting Screwed By Alibaba Suppliers.”
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Find A Reliable Supplier On Alibaba – 2019’s BEST SEARCH HACK
In 2019, finding a reliable supplier on Alibaba is almost impossible. To succeed, it takes more than persistence. It takes some very creative thinking.
That’s why today, I’m revealing 2019’s Best Alibaba Supplier Search Hack. It’ll help you understand exactly why the best way to find a reliable supplier on Alibaba is to forget everything you know about Alibaba.
You read it here first. Alibaba is NOT the best place for Amazon FBA Sellers to find good suppliers in 2019.
I know it’s a bold statement, but hear me out.
There’s one search hack that sellers importing goods from China always forget. No, it’s not 1688, and it isn’t the Yiwu Market. It’s more ingenious and is guaranteed to save you time and money, and help you source the best products for your Private Label Business today.
1. How I Learned To Avoid Alibaba
If you watch my videos or use my courses, you’ll know that I’ve been living and working in China for the last six years. I wasn’t a Sourcing Expert when I started though. On the way to sourcing over 1000 Amazon products, I made a lot of mistakes.
One of my first and biggest mistakes was using Alibaba. It was so disastrous I almost had to walk away from Amazon FBA Selling.
Let me tell you what happened.
When I was trying to source my first product, I spent 40 hours a week, for three months, searching listings and contacting suppliers on Alibaba.
Despite speaking Mandarin and living in China, all of this effort was for nothing. I just couldn’t find a reliable supplier on Alibaba.
Even now I remember it. Spending days going back and forth, wasting my time talking to suppliers who never responded to my emails properly. To make matters worse, they kept increasing their quotes on product orders I was sure we’d already agreed
I wasted so much money and so much time that I almost went broke.
In a last ditch attempt to keep my Amazon FBA hopes alive, I stopped messing around and sought some advice from my mentor, a successful Amazon FBA Business owner. When I told them I’d spent hours looking for the right supplier on Alibaba, he laughed.
Then he told me that I was wasting my time. I was shocked and annoyed, but I listened.
Now, my mentor revealed that despite listing thousands of products on Amazon, he’s never used Alibaba in his life. Instead, he delegated the work to a Sourcing Agent.
I was sceptical, but it was the most important piece of advice I’ve ever received.
2. Use a Sourcing Agent
He told me I needed a good Sourcing Agent, because it is the easiest way to find reliable suppliers, receive free samples, stop wasting time emailing people, and most importantly, get the cheapest quotes.
It sounded too good to be true, so of course, I was sceptical.
However, I was low on money and I didn’t have many options. So I agreed to meet with a Sourcing Agent he knew.
It turns out he was right.
I spent an hour explaining my product to the Sourcing Agent, at which point they informed me that my goals were unrealistic, and I was never going to find the product that I wanted, at a price I could afford.
They then helped me redevelop my product so I could realise it.
My Sourcing Agent worked out all of the details for me, then with a new product brief, proceeded to contact suppliers for me.
Through an hour meeting, I achieved more with a Sourcing Agent than I could have managed spending 40 hours using Alibaba.
However, I know just explaining my story won’t illustrate why this is the only realistic option for your Amazon FBA Business.
Here’s why it’s better:
3. You Will Make Less Money Using Alibaba
It’s simple. As a western Amazon FBA Seller, suppliers will never offer you the same deals that they will offer a local Sourcing Agent.
If you are contact suppliers directly on Alibaba, there’s no way to disguise that you’re not local. They will know, and they will quote higher prices.
A Sourcing Agent can knock up to 20% off your first order. More, they normally only charge 5% of the total order.
It’s a really serious saving..
This is because they are Chinese locals who get Chinese local prices.
Sourcing Agents have something that unless you move to China, you will never be able to achieve. They already know the best manufacturers, having worked with them before and get discounts for using their services again.
4. Alibaba’s Full of Trading Agencies and Middlemen
Let’s get real.
Alibaba hosts loads of listings that pretend to be manufacturers, but are in fact Trading Agencies. It also hosts a range of listings that are in fact just scammers.
While you can go to great lengths to ascertain whether an Alibaba supplier is legitimate, particularly if you know how to identify Alibaba Middlemen and Scammers, it’s a long and difficult process.
The easiest way to not get scammed is not to use Alibaba.
Get a China Sourcing Agent who knows whether suppliers are legitimate to do it for you.
This will save you time, and will protect your Private Label Business from entering a partnership with time wasters.
5. Alibaba Suppliers Will Waste Your Time
Your time is precious.
If you’re already importing from products from China through Alibaba, you will know that a lot of the time, Alibaba suppliers waste your time.
Let me illustrate the point.
Steps to Find a Supplier on Alibaba
Here’s what you need to do to find a reliable supplier on Alibaba:
- Start by filtering Alibaba suppliers, checking whether they are legitimate. Spend hours and hours googling factory locations, investigating product descriptions and more.
- After a long and hard search, you will be able to develop a shortlist of potential suppliers.
- With your shortlist, you start emailing everyone asking for quotes and checking that they can fulfil your product specifications.
- Receive hundreds of emails. None of them answer any of your questions, and many suppliers come back with quotes for products you didn’t even know existed.
- Proceed to pull out your hair.
- Take three days off work chasing suppliers up, and send out hundreds of more emails.
- Remove most of the suppliers from your shortlist before you’ve even got a quote.
Time spent: 40 hours
Result: A blacklist of suppliers and renewed hatred for Alibaba.
Steps to Find a Supplier with a Sourcing Agent
Here’s what you need to do to find a reliable supplier with your Sourcing Agent:
- Arrange an hour meeting, or Skype call with your Sourcing Agent.
- Explain your product, it’s specifications, and your price range.
- Wait three to five days, spending time with your family, spouse or even dog.
- Receive a supplier shortlist from your Sourcing Agent that matches your criteria.
Time spent: 1 Hour
Result: A shortlist of 20 to 50 Reliable Suppliers
Ultimately, it’s your time. However, if you are anything like me, you don’t want to waste it. More, you want your Amazon FBA Business to succeed.
6. Wasting Your Money on Alibaba Samples
If do manage to develop a shortlist of Alibaba Suppliers, to successfully import products from China, you’ll need to order a lot of simple samples. Normally, I recommend a simple sample from every shortlisted supplier.
If you aren’t using a Sourcing Agent, you will need to approach each supplier separately, get a quote, then complete the order.
Now, while you may have budgeted for this expense, when you’re using a Sourcing Agent, sometimes it’s completely unnecessary.
Here’s the difference:
Samples from Alibaba Suppliers
To source a good product, you need to consider a lot of samples. However, for this example, pretend you’re only getting five. Here’s what you’d need to do:
- Ask each supplier for a sample and a quote.
- Receive a quote covering the sample cost and the shipping cost.
- Pay for each sample and shipping cost individually.
In my experience, this will cost at least $500.
If you can afford this expense, go ahead.
However, be prepared to wait two long weeks and receive five packages of poor quality products.
Samples Organised by a Sourcing Agent
Most samples will be free to your Sourcing Agent.
Because they will have worked with most of the suppliers before, and your suppliers know they’re serious.
Your Sourcing Agent can visit the manufacturer, and pick up the samples without paying postage and packaging too.
They can then collate large quantities of samples, sending you pictures of each one. When they have enough to ship, they will package them for you in bulk, removing those that are bad quality.
In total, you could get as many as twenty samples for as little as $150.
When you use a Sourcing Agent, you will get your samples cheaper and faster.
You also avoid the risk of wasting $500 on bad quality samples and having to repeat the process of finding a supplier again, and again.
It’s a much better deal, isn’t it?
Forget Alibaba – Get a Sourcing Agent
Now, I’ll admit that I may have misled you with this post’s title.
However, I did it for you, to emphasise an incredibly important point.
You will never find the best suppliers, the best deals, or the best products on Alibaba on your own.
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to spend a small amount of money to make money. The best and cheapest way to find a good supplier is to ditch Alibaba and start working with a good Sourcing Agent.
It can be intimidating, but if you understand your product and ask the right questions, it’s not hard to find an excellent China Sourcing Agent.
Have you ever been overcharged for samples? What’s been your most frustrating challenge when finding suppliers on Alibaba?
Help us all ditch bad deals on Alibaba and share your secrets for finding a reliable supplier in the comments below!