Top 3 Options to order small quantities in China (Insider advice)

In this guest post, Nils is sharing inside knowledge on how to order small quantities in China.
He is the host of the Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast, the owner of the sourcing agency Minted Sourcing and the guy behind www.fair-reports.com.
After living, working and sourcing products in China for 5 years he overcame the challenge of ordering small quantities of products he wants to launch.

Here is his approach:

Before delivering the solution, let us first clarify why you would want to order small quantities of your product instead of going as high as possible to save money.

Imagine you want to launch a product with different variations (e.g color) and you are not sure which one will sell best. Obviously, you want to know this before placing a large order and risking to have invested money sitting in storage.
When approaching factories for test orders in China however, you are challenged by their big MOQs (minimum quantity orders)

Here are your options:
Upfront for all options it’s making your life (A LOT) easier to have a sourcing agent on the ground in China, who can help you with communicating.
FREE: Subscribe with your Email to the Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast and get a free questionnaire that you need to find your sourcing agent.

Option #1
As this are test orders to validate your variations you may not need to add your logo or have packaging. If you are lucky you find a factory that has enough samples (unbranded) laying around in their shelves, they are likely to sell them to you.

If you cannot find a factory like this you may want to visit Ali express.
Here you can place small orders for products you are interested in directly from the factory.
Another source may be Taobao.com
This is “Chinas eBay” and was brought to life by the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma.
Here not only local brands are selling their items but factories list their products for direct retail as well. Anything from products that didn’t pass QC’s to big name shoe brands that are sold as “fake” can be found. Get a Chinese translator or agent to help you out to find the product you are looking for.
Read more about Taobao at the end of this post (INSIDER TIP)

Option #2
If you feel like throwing products without packaging on the market, even though just for testing purpose is not what you want for your brand then consider this:

Custom packaging is also only available at high MOQs.
But how about we simplify?
Instead of a paper box, you have simpler options that are available at very low MOQs.
Those can be: metal boxes, fabric pouches or silver foil bags (10x better than poly bags)
You can always print stickers with your logo to avoid hijackers of your Amazon listing or just feel like you need it for your brand image.
Are you sure you will order some variations anyway?
Great, then you can order custom design packaging (starting at 500pc) and store the units you don’t need in a warehouse in China.

Option #3:
If you only want the very best for your products and your brand and can not stand to see any of your items hitting the market without proper branding I have this suggestion:

Order small quantities of your product and your packaging unbranded first, as described in Option #1. Ship everything to your country and find a service that can modify your items and your packaging on individual order basis.

That means that this service will be adding (printing, engraving, stamping, stitching) your logo.
For the European market, I use this service http://4you-design.de/.
Their MOQ for modifications is 1 unit and I pay around 6$ for individual logo engagement.
They also drop-ship my orders.
It’s a little bit more work and adds some costs but absolutely worth it if you want to keep your brand image and test new variations at the same time!

(INSIDER BONUS TIP)
Here’s one interesting way you can use Taobao to validate your pricing: if you want to sell a product but you aren’t sure about the margin, type in Chinese on Taobao. Calculate those prices into US dollars to see if it makes sense to buy a product directly from the factory. The Taobao prices match up pretty well to what you’d pay a factory for 1,000 units. If a factory quotes you 5 dollars per product but you find it for 4 dollars on Taobao, you can show them this proof and pressure them to drop the price. They might tell you that there are added costs such as adding a logo, but if they have the margin to sell it on Taobao, they have the margin to lower the price for you.

If you want to improve your sourcing skills, expand your knowledge for free and explore hacks & tricks to help you save headaches tune in to the Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast here:
www.easypeasysourcing.com

PS: you can also ask Nils questions about sourcing and launching products and he will give you free advice.
Find out more here: www.easypeasysourcing.com/ask

 

HTML version for you guys to copy/ paste.

<h2><strong>Top 3 Options to order small quantities in China (Insider advice)</strong></h2>
<h3>In this guest post, Nils is sharing inside knowledge on how to order small quantities in China.
He is the host of the<a href=”http://www.easypeasysourcing.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”> <em><u>Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast</u></em></a>, the owner of the sourcing agency <a href=”http://www.mintedsourcing.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><em><u>Minted Sourcing</u></em></a> and the guy behind <a href=”http://www.fair-reports.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”><em><u>www.fair-reports.com</u></em></a>.
After living, working and sourcing products in China for 5 years he overcame the challenge of ordering small quantities of products he wants to launch.</h3>
<h3>Here is his approach:</h3>
<h3>Before delivering the solution, let us first clarify why you would want to order small quantities of your product instead of going as high as possible to save money.

Imagine you want to launch a product with different variations (e.g color) and you are not sure which one will sell best. Obviously, you want to know this before placing a large order and risking to have invested money sitting in storage.
When approaching factories for test orders in China however, you are challenged by their big MOQs (minimum quantity orders)</h3>
<h3>Here are your options:
Upfront for all options it’s making your life (A LOT) easier to have a sourcing agent on the ground in China, who can help you with communicating.
FREE: Subscribe with your Email to the <em><u><a href=”http://www.easypeasysourcing.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast</a> </u></em>and get a free questionnaire that you need to find your sourcing agent.</h3>
<h3><strong>Option #1</strong>
As this are test orders to validate your variations you may not need to add your logo or have packaging. If you are lucky you find a factory that has enough samples (unbranded) laying around in their shelves, they are likely to sell them to you.</h3>
<h3>If you cannot find a factory like this you may want to visit <em><u>Ali express.</u>
</em>Here you can place small orders for products you are interested in directly from the factory.
Another source may be <em><u>Taobao.com</u></em>
This is “Chinas eBay” and was brought to life by the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma.
Here not only local brands are selling their items but factories list their products for direct retail as well. Anything from products that didn’t pass QC’s to big name shoe brands that are sold as “fake” can be found. Get a Chinese translator or agent to help you out to find the product you are looking for.
Read more about Taobao at the end of this post (INSIDER TIP)</h3>
<h3><strong>Option #2</strong>
If you feel like throwing products without packaging on the market, even though just for testing purpose is not what you want for your brand then consider this:</h3>
<h3>Custom packaging is also only available at high MOQs.
But how about we simplify?
Instead of a paper box, you have simpler options that are available at very low MOQs.
Those can be: metal boxes, fabric pouches or silver foil bags (10x better than poly bags)
You can always print stickers with your logo to avoid hijackers of your Amazon listing or just feel like you need it for your brand image.
Are you sure you will order some variations anyway?
Great, then you can order custom design packaging (starting at 500pc) and store the units you don’t need in a warehouse in China.</h3>
<h3><strong>Option #3:</strong>
If you only want the very best for your products and your brand and can not stand to see any of your items hitting the market without proper branding I have this suggestion:</h3>
<h3>Order small quantities of your product and your packaging unbranded first, as described in Option #1. Ship everything to your country and find a service that can modify your items and your packaging on individual order basis.</h3>
<h3>That means that this service will be adding (printing, engraving, stamping, stitching) your logo.
For the European market, I use this service <a href=”http://4you-design.de/”>http://4you-design.de/</a>.
Their MOQ for modifications is 1 unit and I pay around 6$ for individual logo engagement.
They also drop-ship my orders.
It’s a little bit more work and adds some costs but absolutely worth it if you want to keep your brand image and test new variations at the same time!</h3>
<h3><strong>(INSIDER BONUS TIP)</strong>
<em> Here’s one interesting way you can use <u>Taobao</u> to validate your pricing: if you want to sell a product but you aren’t sure about the margin, type in Chinese on <u>Taobao</u>. Calculate those prices into US dollars to see if it makes sense to buy a product directly from the factory. The Taobao prices match up pretty well to what you’d pay a factory for 1,000 units. If a factory quotes you 5 dollars per product but you find it for 4 dollars on Taobao, you can show them this proof and pressure them to drop the price. They might tell you that there are added costs such as adding a logo, but if they have the margin to sell it on Taobao, they have the margin to lower the price for you.</em></h3>
<h3>If you want to improve your sourcing skills, expand your knowledge for free and explore hacks &amp; tricks to help you save headaches tune in to the Easy Peasy Sourcing Podcast here:
<a href=”http://www.easypeasysourcing.com”>www.easypeasysourcing.com</a></h3>
<h3>PS: you can also ask Nils questions about sourcing and launching products and he will give you free advice.
Find out more here: <a href=”http://www.easypeasysourcing.com/ask”>www.easypeasysourcing.com/ask</a></h3>

 

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