- Brandon Checketts
- On March 19, 2014
- 0 Comments
- resource video
In the last post titled Analyze, we used programs such as Amazon, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and Seller Scope to analyze potential products that we could manufacture or private label. We focused on analyzing water bottles and found that they are a strong item to produce. In this post, we are going to look at getting those items created and imported from China. We are mainly going to focus on Alibaba, but this process holds true for other sites as well.
Most of the time, the easiest way to manufacture a product is to contact a manufacturing company in China and get them to make a product similar to their own. You could also just order some of the manufacturers current products and get the manufacturer to put your label on them. Alibaba is a very good website to find manufacturing companies. The website shows you the number of products similar to the one you are trying produce, and it shows you the number of suppliers that make your product. Some people believe Alibaba is a scam, but it is not. Alibaba is a marketplace filled with many different independent sellers, and it is very similar to buying a product from Amazon or eBay. The trick to using Alibaba is knowing how to determine if a seller is legit or not.
There are a few different ways to find a legit seller. The first way is to make sure the seller is a gold supplier. The more years the company has been a gold supplier the better. Gold suppliers are required to pay a large sum of money each year just so they can stay on Alibaba. Companies that are scams are more than likely not going to be able to afford that type of payment. Alibaba makes things very easy for you because they have a filter that will show you only gold suppliers.
Another way to make sure a company is legit is to see if they have had an onsite check. The details of the company’s onsite check is found in the company’s profile. It shows details such as the size of the factory, the number of workers, the number of production lines, etc. The onsite check is done by an independent inspector, and it is useful because it helps prove a company’s credibility and makes sure the company’s claims are accurate. You are able to download the actual inspection report if you want to further analyze the company. Like the gold supplier filter, Alibaba also has a filter that will only show you companies that have had an onsite check.
Be sure to do your due diligence because you could lose a bunch of money if you don’t. You really want to examine their reports to make sure they are credible. Make sure the company has been verified by an independent inspector. Look at the number of years they have been manufacturing. Check out how long the company has been manufacturing because the legit companies usually have been manufacturing for a longer period of time. Lastly, Google search them. You want to make sure all of their information such as their address, phone numbers, size, etc. checks out.
Once you have found a legit company, it is time to order a sample of your product. First, contact the supplier and ask for a sample. A small sample for something like a water bottle would cost around $30 to get shipped via air. Initially, you may order a sample from a few different suppliers to see which one you like the best. If you are not satisfied with any of the samples, ask the supplier about making modifications. They will usually be more than happy to work with you.
Once you have found a product you like, it is time to place another order, but this time the order will be a little larger. The next order you place needs to large enough to make sure the quality is still good when you start to order more, but not so large that it will bankrupt you. Around 100-200 units is often a good start. A lot of suppliers have minimum orders much larger than this, but you can always negotiate to have a lower minimum order. This order is used to feel out the market for your product and test your supplier’s quality. With this order, you can determine if your product is going to sell or not, and if it does sell, you can determine your inventory turnover. If you are able to sell all the units for a good margin, then you could go ahead and start placing larger and larger orders because you know there is a demand for your product.
Make sure you always want to pay them with secure payments. Never pay them with a wire transfer. Paypal is a popular service that many people use to make secure, online payments. If you are not fond of Paypal, Alibaba also provides you with an escrow service that keeps your payments secure.
Since you are more than likely ordering your products from China, your products will be shipped to the United States through air freight or sea freight. Sea freight is usually only used for very large orders whereas air freight is usually used for smaller orders. The big air freight companies that you might use include UPS, FedEx, and DHL. DHL is usually the cheapest of the three air freight companies. If you don’t want to have your products shipped air freight, there are numerous companies that could ship your product by sea freight. You always want to try to negotiate for the best shipping deal. You may also consider using an importing consulting company such as Shapiro. They can make the importing process run smoother for you.
We have discussed the basics of importing and manufacturing in this post, and we have covered many steps in the manufacturing process. In the next post, we will discuss more detailed aspects of the manufacturing process.