“How To Source Your Private Label Product In China, Without Getting Screwed By Alibaba Suppliers.”
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REVEALED: Amazon FBA Sellers BIGGEST Mistakes
Face it, it’s hard to get Amazon FBA Sourcing right.
Over the last six years, I’ve seen my fair share of mistakes from Amazon Sellers. Some mistakes have been funny, some have been obvious, and some have destroyed people’s businesses.
The sad thing is, a lot of these mistakes are really easy to avoid
That’s why today I’m revealing the seven biggest mistakes you can make as an Amazon FBA Seller, and how you can avoid them.
Read on, or watch my video, and find out exactly what not to do when importing products from China.
1. Underestimating the Importance of Supply Chain
As an Amazon Seller, what’s the most important thing about your business?
If you just answered ‘my brand’, I’m afraid you’re vulnerable to the first mistake.
The most crucial aspect of your Amazon FBA Business is your product.
Even though you’d expect every seller to know this, I’ve seen countless sellers forget it.
For your Private Label Business to succeed, you need products that are always up to the correct quality standards, shipments that are delivered on time, the correct labelling and packaging solutions and a price that will make you a healthy profit
The crucial lesson is that the only way to get all of these things is through your supplier.
If you’re just starting out as an Amazon FBA Seller, it’s easy to think of the supply chain as a small, but one of the least significant parts of your business.
That’s why you need to make sure that you always put in the work to find a supplier who will deliver the products you need, and maintain a good working relationship with them at all times.
Discover how to avoid scammers and find the best Alibaba suppliers here.
2. Not Enough Quotes
As an Amazon FBA Seller, you can never have too many quotes.
Quotes from five suppliers sounds like a lot, but it isn’t.
If you only get a few quotes, you’re missing the only opportunity you have to get a good quality product, to your specifications, that’s as cheap as possible.
If you only consider a handful of suppliers, you will routinely end up with a poor quality product at a price that’s too high.
Address this problem by getting as many quotes from your supplier as possible.
When sourcing a new product, make sure you get quotes from at least 20 suppliers. If after 20 quotes you haven’t found the right supplier, increase your quotes to 50, or even 100 suppliers.
I know this seems like a lot of effort, but the more quotes you get, the more likely you are to find a great supplier, and a great product.
As an Amazon FBA Seller, how many quotes do you normally get?
3. Not Enough Samples
Just like quotes, I have met so many Private Label Businesses who do not order and review enough samples.
You cannot assess the quality of a supplier’s product unless you consider their samples. Period.
That means that the number of samples you review equals the number of suppliers you have considered
I know that ordering and reviewing samples is an expensive process, but until you have reviewed a manufacturer’s products, you will have absolutely no idea how good the products they supply will be
Reviewing a large quantity of samples will save you money in the long run.
Top Tip: Reduce the cost of reviewing large quantities of samples by working with a Sourcing Agent who can bundle all of your samples for you.
4. Failure to Coordinate Samples
I’ve seen many Amazon FBA Sellers order one test sample, decide they don’t like it, then go to another supplier and repeat the process.
Researching your suppliers and samples like this is will cost you time and money.
Instead, save yourself time and use this approach:
- Get quotes from a wide range of suppliers all at once.
- Order simple samples from all of the suppliers you have shortlisted.
- Make sure the samples ordered cover products that are quoted under, at and aboveyour price range.
- Review all of the simple samples and rank the quality of each one against the cost per unit. It’s easy to do this in a simple spreadsheet.
- Filter out your favourite suppliers, and come up with a list of two or three companies that you want to work with.
- Order customised samples from all of the suppliers on your final list.
Following this process will help you identify the perfect supplier for your Private Label Business quickly and accurately.
As an added bonus it helps you identify back-up suppliers in the event that your preferred supplier falls through.
5. Wasting too much time emailing with suppliers
If you don’t communicate with your suppliers professionally, they will waste your money and time.
I’ve experienced this and you’ve probably experienced this too.
When discussing my product requirements with a supplier, sometimes it can take endless email exchanges to get all of the information I need to assess whether they’re a suitable supplier.
That’s because when you don’t communicate with a supplier properly they will not answer you emails properly.
To make sure you’re communicating clearly and professionally always use a Product Inquiry Sheet. Using one shows that you’re serious, makes it easier for potential suppliers to answer all of your questions, and makes it easier for you to assess whether they are a suitable supplier for your business.
Top Tip: Sign up for my free webclass, How to Source your PL in China without getting screwed by Alibaba suppliers, and claim your free Product Inquiry Sheet template now.
6. Not Negotiating
If you think this, you are not getting the best prices.
When importing goods from China, suppliers on Alibaba expect you to negotiate with them. That’s why they set their initial prices so high.
Make sure you always negotiate the price before settling on a supplier. You won’t offend anyone and you will get much better prices.
7. Late Quality Control Checks
The last disaster I’ll cover today is taking your focus off your supplier too early
I’ve illustrated it in the following situation:
You’re just starting out as an Amazon FBA Seller. You’ve found a great product, and a great supplier. They promised to manufacture and deliver your red socks for a great price in no time.
You review your supplier’s basic samples, they’re good and you’re confident that they will supply a quality final product.
As an Amazon FBA Seller, you’re busy, so you let the supplier get on with their work and focus on getting ready to sell your red socks. You send your supplier the final payment before you’ve seen the final product
A month later a box arrives on your doorstep.
Excited, you open it.
Your red socks are in fact pink socks. You’ve spend all your money. Your customers are waiting
There’s nothing you can do except ship the product back to China at your own expense and hope that your manufacturer agrees to change the product.
But you’ve already paid them, so even if they agree to rectify the problem, they’re not going to do it quickly.
ALWAYS check your final products before they ship and never release your final payment until you are confident that your products meet your standards
There’s no way around it.
If you don’t live in China, do it through a company like QIMA or work with a local Sourcing Agent.
It will cost you a bit of money, but a little extra expense is a small price to pay when compared to losing your entire business.
What You’ve Learned
If you want to survive as an Amazon FBA Seller, you must remember the following rules:
- Take time to find a supplier you can trust
- Get as many quotes as possible
- Get as many samples as possible
- Organise your quotation and sampling process logically and execute it effectively
- Always use a Product Inquiry Sheet when communicating with suppliers
- Never forget to Negotiate
- Make sure your final products are checked before they are shipped
Make sure you follow these rules to keep your Private Label Business successful.
Have you ever had to overcome any of these challenges? How did you get out of them?
Tell me about your experiences and share the knowledge in the comments below!