China is the world's largest manufacturer of goods, which makes it an attractive option for Amazon sellers who want to directly source quality products at a low cost.
However, it can be a daunting task to navigate the process of finding reliable suppliers, ensuring product quality, and managing logistics, especially when there is a significant cultural, linguistic, and ethical divide between you and the Chinese suppliers.
Amazon has tight requirements for the goods that can be offered in their marketplace, and buyers also have high expectations. Importers need to take actions to ensure they are acquiring high-quality products from their Chinese suppliers to succeed in such a cutthroat industry.
In this article, we will tell Amazon sellers some valuable tips about how to choose products and how to source the products from China.
1. Choose the right products
First of all, you need to correctly calculate the landed costs for the products you plan to sell on Amazon. The landed costs refer to the total expenses for producing and delivering your product to the FBA warehouses, including:
Customs duties and taxes
Amazon handling cost
Lightweight and tiny products are easier to ship, less likely to sustain damage in transit, and more affordable when you are purchasing products from China.
These goods can also be transported more easily via air freight, which expedites their arrival at the warehouse and enables you to start selling them right away.
Based on customer feedback, choose items that are flexible for improvement. To get a sense of what things are simple to change or improve upon, read the reviews for products sold by your competition in your niche.
2. Find the right supplier
A key step in sourcing products from China is to find reliable suppliers. One way to do this is to use online sourcing platforms like Alibaba, Global Sources and Made-in-China that allow you to connect with verified suppliers in China. These platforms often have a wide range of products to choose from and provide tools to help you manage your orders and communication with suppliers.
Another option is to attend trade shows in China, or your home country, where you can meet suppliers face-to-face and establish relationships. On the shows, you are able to touch and feel the samples by yourself, so as to get better idea about the feasibility of the potential products you want to sell on Amazon.
When looking for suppliers, be sure to vet them carefully. Check their references and ask for samples to test product quality. It is also important to establish clear communication channels and expectations for lead times, pricing, and product specifications.
If possible, try to identify and meet the Chinese suppliers in person, you can also visit their factories and fully understand how your products are to be produced, and how the quality is to be assured.
3. Negotiate with your supplier
Once you have found the right supplier, the next step is to negotiate the price and the terms of your agreement. Negotiating prices can be tricky, especially when you are dealing with suppliers who are used to haggling.
It is essential to do your research and know the market prices of the products you are interested in sourcing. You can use B2B websites like Alibaba to research product prices, demand, and competition.
When negotiating, it is essential to be firm but also respectful. You want to build a good relationship with your supplier and avoid damaging it by being too aggressive.
Keep in mind that there are many other issues to discuss during negotiations with the supplier in addition to the price of the product, including its quality, the terms of payment, the timing of delivery, the warranty, etc.
Strong negotiating skills may allow you to lower the price below the price of the supplier’s bottom line, but this could result in lower quality, subpar packaging, late delivery, or other problems. Negotiating the optimum price for both sides is the key to starting a long-term partnership.
Finding a reasonable cost for your initial order can be a smart place to start when negotiating. Dealing in person may be the ideal option if you want to get the best price and build a long-lasting friendship.
At a trade exhibition or when you are in a Chinese factory, you can get a chance to meet the top management or the owner. By doing so, you will be able to settle any issues quickly and establish a professional connection.
4. Establish quality control
Ensuring product quality is crucial while sourcing from China for FBA. One way to do this is to work with suppliers that have been certified by organizations such as ISO or SGS. These certifications show that the supplier has satisfied certain quality standards.
Another way to ensure quality is to conduct thorough product inspections before shipment. You can hire a China inspection agent to check your products and provide a detailed report on any issues found. This can help you catch quality issues early and avoid costly returns or negative reviews from customers.
The sellers who want to use the Amazon FBA program have to adhere to tight guidelines. If so, vendors might think about using a third-party inspection service in China to guarantee the caliber of their goods. Your products are assured to adhere to Amazon FBA requirements thanks to a third-party inspection service. If you do not think about an inspection, your products might not meet specific standards and quality ratings.
As a result, if there are too many complaints about the quality of your goods, Amazon may decide to remove them from the sale.
Besides ensuring that your product satisfies standards of the Amazon for quality and safety, implementing quality control can benefit you in the following ways:
- Attracts positive client feedback once you promise your customers top-quality products.
- Prevents the supply of subpar goods from dishonest manufacturers who prioritize profit above producing high-quality goods.
- Averts major messes that may arise from mistakes in your labelling of the items or packaging. For instance, utilizing the incorrect barcode may result in the shipment of your goods to the incorrect location. When you attempt to fix the mistake, it can end up being too expensive in the long term.
5. Manage logistics
Managing logistics can be one of the biggest challenges when sourcing products for Amazon. To streamline the process, it is important to work with a freight forwarder that has rich experience shipping from China to Amazon FBA warehouses.
They can help you navigate the complex regulations and requirements for importing products into the US and ensure that your products are delivered on time and in good condition.
It is also important to plan and account for lead time when ordering products. Chinese holidays can cause delays in production and shipping, so be sure to plan accordingly and order early to avoid delays.
When selecting a shipping method, it is essential to consider the size and weight of your shipment, the urgency of the delivery, and your budget. There are several shipping options available when importing goods from China, including express, air, and sea. Express is the fastest option but also the most expensive. Sea shipping is slower, but more cost-effective, while air shipping is a cost-effective option for shipments of items with small size and light weight.
Once your shipment has cleared customs, the next step is to send it to Amazon's FBA warehouses. You can do this by creating a shipment plan on Amazon's Seller Central platform. The shipment plan will outline the details of your shipment, including the products, quantities, and destination warehouses. It is important to follow Amazon's guidelines when creating the shipment plan, including using the correct labelling and packaging.
In conclusion, sourcing from China for Amazon can be a great way to find quality products at a lower cost. However, it is important to choose right products, find reliable suppliers and properly negotiate with them, ensure product quality, and manage logistics, you need to pay attention to the regulations and requirements of Amazon FBA.
By following the tips, you can successfully source products directly from China and grow your Amazon business.