Trying to find your first supplier or a new supplier can be overwhelming, frustrating and exhausting, trust me I have been constantly communicating with suppliers for over 6 years. It is really important to build the right relationship with your potential supplier as this is what will give you the edge over your competition for stock quality, prices and more. If you can have this edge and this trusted relationship your business life is going to be a whole lot easier and run a whole lot smoother.
We spoke to many suppliers while at a speaking gig in China last year and discovered some great tips. The main one being a gentle reminder that suppliers are businesses as well, with businesses emailing in every day from all over the world. A supplier will select businesses that are potential “real” clients for them, not time wasters. The best way to get noticed and get a reply is to be real.
Know what questions you want answered and then put them into a numbered list with clear spacing. Try not to ask every single question you want an answer to in the very first email, this is more of a reaching out and introduction email.
The reason for my email today is, i am trying to get some samples from a supplier and one minute they tell me that they can, but then the tell me its going to cost A amount of dollars – which is not too bad, however if i was going to pay then i would like the benefits of picking my own colours… They said i couldn’t do this as they were giving me samples. I seem to find it hard to understand what they want and also find it hard to get across what i want because of the language barrier. I have tried this with a large number of different suppliers on there and i run into the same problems. Also, i am wondering if you could tell me what it means when they say 5 pcs. does this mean 5 ready made #####? the company i was trying to go with was #####.
Is there any advice you can give me, as i love the pictures on their sites however i want to test them myself before i commit to large quantities.
We released a free recipe earlier this week that was a “food for thought” outline on the steps we take for starting and running our e-commerce sites. Today we are going to expand on ‘Step 1 – Finding a product’. More importantly we are going to help you find a product that doesn’t suck, meaning it has traffic, a good profit margin and low competition.
Finding the right product to sell, with the right amount of traffic and a good profit margin can mean the difference between you achieving the lifestyle you want in months versus years (or never). The right product will save you hundreds of hours trying to conquer a virtually impossible market. How do I know? Because we started with the wrong product! It is now my goal to make sure you don’t. Here are 7 super quick and easy actions you can take to make sure you find the right product line.
This will be the easy part, everyone knows what they would love to sell, in general it is products you buy/use on a regular basis and enjoy shopping for.
Here is a small snippet;
“The Hartnetts’ restaurant experiences in China have included lunching on pig face, chicken feet and even toad, but the adventurous entrepreneurs picked those dishes off the menu themselves. “We’re a bit funny like that, but everywhere we went we got to order so you don’t have to choose the crazy dishes if you don’t want to. They were just amazed when we picked up a pair of chopsticks,” says Nathan.”
They also have bad news for fans of competitive drinking. “We’ve never been to a factory where anyone has drunk anything. One of the suppliers told us ‘You drink beer, we drink tea’ —so you will have to drink a lot of tea!” says Nathan.
“The idea of friendship by torture isn’t true,” agrees Greenberg. “It’s an old wives tale that you have to endure eating strange food and long hours of drinking.” continue reading the full article
One of our readers recently went through the experience of using sea freight to import her new product range. This is something we thought might be of interest to you guys, so Chloe kindly outlined her experience. Please note this is from China to Australia but regardless of your location, we hope you find some valuable take aways.
My experience with sea freight was importing goods from China to Brisbane, Australia using the customs interactive website (requires a digital certificate) in 2013 (disclaimer!) I do not know what audience would read this but as I was a newbie, I pitch it to this group and just set out the steps I did with some info I learnt along the way. I do not mind if you change/do not include on your website, this is good for me to have as a workflow outline.
My process was as follows:
I managed to only pay the following:
1. Insurance, freight and handling charges (the freight forwarders quoted costs), which included:
Port Service Charges
Destination Terminal Handling Charges
Delivery Order Fee
Import Terminal Security Fee
Cargo Automation Fee
2. AUD50 for N10 form processing
3. AUD59 for electronic processing of AQIS documents to DAFF, AUD14 for N10 processing to AQIS and AUD6 for AQIS container charge, and
4. The duties and taxes on my consignment (NOTE: GST is on total of consignment value, import duty on the consignment, insurance & shipping). I did call customs a few times to confirm details, and you do have to be very careful when inputting details into all the forms. I also phoned the forwarder each day to find out where the consignment was at each stage. It is of note that I was told some consignments are grouped together if from the same supplier on the one ship, so duty and taxes will be charged on the total of all of these.
I must admit the self customs-clearance process involved a lot of reading of documentation and forms, so you need to make sure you have enough time to understand what information is needed, and when. As it is reiterated on various documents and recorded messages in wait queues: Ignorance of the law is no excuse (for getting the form/s wrong).
If you have anything you can add then please comment below or email us.