Steps To Contacting Suppliers
Finding & Contacting Suppliers
In finding and contracting suppliers, let us use a practical example for easy understanding.
Let us use the product â€œxxxxâ€ as our example for finding and contracting some suppliers.
Just as we searched for product on the Alibaba website, the search for the product suppliers will have us changing the search filter. Check â€œSuppliersâ€ rather than â€œProductsâ€ and also check â€œGold Suppliersâ€ then search for our product. Keep clicking â€œOnsite Checkedâ€, â€œAssessed Supplierâ€, and â€œEscrowâ€ until you have filtered the suppliers to 10-20 of the very best that you could contact.
Write the Supplier for the Product Information
At this point, the next step is to write a general mail that will serve as a template of what you will be sending to suppliers. You could have this on notepad if you so desire. Do ask for the product specifics and features that will appeal to customers.
The Template I usually made use of is given here for your own modification.
Good day, we are starting an e-commerce business and we may be needing a large supply of your product â€œXXXXâ€.
I would like you to send me your price list for this item, along with any shipping and payment information you can give me.
Also, could we work something out regarding a sample being sent to me?
The Products will be going to Abuja, Nigeria.
I also would like to know what the Minimum Order Quantity would be after approving of the samples?
Once your message is ready, all you need to do is scroll down and click on â€œContact Suppliersâ€, after which you should copy and paste the modified message in the box. Click send and thereafter wait for responses from all the suppliers.
Time to choose your Supplier
Within 24 hour you ought to have gotten some responses from the emails you sent earlier. It is advisable to deal with those that are quick to respond and also to â€œdry-runâ€ each of the suppliers in order to get a feel of how doing business with them will be like.
From their answers to your questions, the product spec they sent and the price quotes they sent you will be able to analysis the high/low prices of your product. It is recommended to reduce your choice of suppliers to at least two to safeguard against running out of stock. From the last two suppliers that made your selection, do buy samples from them and test to see if you can actually make money from the product sales.
Buying Product Samples
From the two suppliers that you have narrowed your conversations to, request via mail for samples. It is either you are given the samples free or you buy them. We suggest outright buying especial as it is the first time you will be doing business with them. Youâ€™ll tell them what products you want and what address is the product been sent to.
The Shipping cost of the sample will usually depend on your location.
It is advised to tailor in the Shipping and other logistics into the selling price in order to be able to make profit. When using express carriers, note if their quotes typically will be added in the customs tariffs and if there be other unexpected charges to be incurred when the products arrive in your location?
Also we usually do business with companies that accept payment through PayPal or Escrow. We advise that you stick to one payment merchant until you are internet wise. This is to avoid the risk of been scammed or having no financial protection on your transaction.
Testing your Suppliers
Having found products that you are interested in, the next phase is finding and testing suppliers of such products. This is usually by buying the products as a customer so that you could check out their services firsthand
After placing your order you will need to wait for a couple of days or weeks depending on your location and the suppliersâ€™ response time.
Be sure to note the period it takes for delivery and also find out firsthand what their minimum order quantity is as this might be different from that show in the marketplace.
The minimum order suppliers list on Alibaba website is generally not concrete.
Most often we do find out all we need from a minimum of ten suppliers before narrowing our choice to two suppliers.
If you are concentrating on Alibaba, you might also want to use the AliExpress which is the site option for smaller orders.
It is always best when they are delivering directly to your location. The method with which you receive the sample most often indicates what method of delivery will be used for the supply of further orders.
An important aspect of searching out and comparing products from marketplace like Amazon and Alibaba is to ensure that it is the same brand. However you could also get a similar product to a brand that is already selling and market it very well from the World Wide Brands Products.
Paying your Supplier
Individuals starting an ecommerce business should be careful while paying money to supplier for products. In order to minimize the risk of be defrauded it is highly recommended to use Paypal or Alibaba Escrow. They already have strong reputation in ecommerce business.
The way it works is that payment for the order is made to a merchant who holds the money until you have received the products ordered and is satisfied. Thereafter they release the funds to the supplier. This is a common practice with Alibaba Escrow
Selling your Products
With the products in your custody and you have carefully examined them to your satisfaction, it is now time to sell at a margin to earn profit.
In selling your products, it is very crucial that you get feedback from individuals that made use of your samples. This is to ensure high customers satisfaction getting products from your site. If after this process you decide that your samples have enough quality to be sold, then you can start buying in bulk for resell.
To sell our samples, we have usually do list them on eBay, Amazon, and/or Etsy having set