In this post, we’ll teach you how to find the best suppliers on Alibaba to make your Amazon FBA business successful in 2023.
Do you want to sell on Amazon, Shopify, and other e-commerce platforms? Do you have a winning product in mind but just can’t find the perfect supplier? Then Alibaba could be for you.
Alibaba has a huge list of suppliers and is a safe platform to do business due to its trade assurance system and robust customer service that solves issues quickly and fairly.
Many Amazon sellers and businesses, in general, get their products from Alibaba. It is a B2B platform that helps connect buyers with suppliers dominantly in China. They also have suppliers from Korea, India, Sri Lanka, and more.
In Alibaba, you can quickly browse and filter any product you have in mind.
Alibaba is very safe but just like any other online platform, you can still get scammed if you’re not being careful.
In this post, we will guide you on how to source legitimate suppliers of winning and profitable products to sell on Amazon.
HOW TO FIND LEGITIMATE BUSINESS ON ALIBABA
As a first-time buyer, you must only transact with suppliers with the following information in their company profile especially Trade Assurance.
1. Gold Suppliers
They are paid members that have been verified as businesses with commercial or industrial capabilities. Although membership fee is not guaranteed to be valid, suppliers with Gold or Premium membership status are less likely to be unreliable.
2.Trade Assurance Suppliers.
They are suppliers who accept payment through Alibaba.com. The platform also provides payment protection to buyers who pay through the platform.
So, if your product does not arrive in a timely manner and or it does not meet the quality standards contradictory to their product listing, Alibaba.com will give you a refund.
Suppliers whose company profile, management system, production capabilities, product, and process controls have been assessed, certified, and/or inspected by third-party institutions via online and offline means.
Check the supplier’s profile to see the list of what they have been verified for.
In addition to the list, you should be doing more research to verify the suppliers. Check the supplier’s profile and look for their Business License, Business type, Company certifications, and the number of years on Alibaba, reviews or testimonials from other clients, transactions, and any other critical points.
You can also Google research the Company’s name for more information.
Legitimate doesn’t always equal quality. So here are some tips for you to further refine your research
4. Transaction History
Alibaba records transactions done via its platform. You can check their transaction history in the summary section about their company.
A company with 2-year experience and $400,000 in transactions is an indication that they have quality products and have a lot of demand. This isn’t always the case but is nonetheless a very positive indicator of this company.
5. Response Time & Customer Service
In our personal lives and in business a fast response is always appreciated. Especially if you want to sell on Amazon.
It’s crucial that the supplier understand what you want and need. Moreover, this supplier should already know how selling on Amazon works and many do. You just have to find them.
You can ask the supplier directly about their experience with Amazon. You’ll also notice how good a supplier is the more you talk to them.
6. Years of Experience
Suppliers with not much experience usually offer a lower price. If you’re careful and do your research, then you can definitely go with suppliers with not much experience.
Those with a lot of experience already such as 4 years above are easier to work with as they already know how selling on Amazon works, can easily spot errors, and even give you advice.
If you have shortlisted suppliers, you can start reaching out to them. This is the crucial part of the process. You can reach out to them by clicking “contact supplier” on their profile and writing a detailed message.
Here is the information you should include in your message:
- Introduce your name and the business you represent. Give an overview of your business to demonstrate you’re a serious buyer and interested in a long-term business partnership.
- Exactly describe the product you are looking for. Provide detailed information such as specifications, photos, packaging, materials, and any other important details.
- Ask questions to suppliers to determine if they fit your criteria. Some important points to ask are:
- Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
- Product Certificates
- Sample Cost
- Refund Policy for Damaged units, etc.
- Business Locations
- Loading port
- Production Time
Create a sheet to encode the supplier’s data and break down the information for comparison. Once you have shortlisted 3-5 suppliers, order samples from them to check the quality of the product. Custom samples may cost more and take longer to make. After receiving and testing the sample, you can start comparing the suppliers for decision-making.
These are the important questions you should consider for decision-making:
Profitability: Would you be able to gain profit considering the total cost (e.g. manufacturing cost, shipping cost, FBA Fees, overheads, advertising costs, and other miscellaneous expenses?
Quality: Does the supplier produces high-quality products? A bad product will kill your business over time.
Production time: Is the lead time fast enough to avoid depletion of stock? Amazon takes your inventory seriously and it affects how your product rank in the search engine.
Communicative Supplier: Does the supplier respond in a timely manner? Do they honor their warranties?
Once you have the final best supplier, start negotiating and avoid communicating with them outside the Alibaba platform to keep track of the communications for the buyer’s protection as well. You can negotiate to lower the MOQ. Minimum order quantities are almost always negotiable, it’s simply a matter of asking.
Always do your due diligence. Sourcing suppliers in Alibaba is quite challenging but if done well you’ll likely have a profitable business you’ll love and enjoy working with. There are a lot of suppliers you can find in just a few clicks. With some basic knowledge, it can lead to the success of your E-Commerce business.
I hope you find this post helpful. Start sourcing now!
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