Product sourcing decisions are the most critical decisions for new Amazon FBA sellers as well as for seasoned sellers. As pointed out the same in Amazon FBA in 2019, Yay or Nay!, Supplier Relations will be significant in your success in 2019. You have to start considering them as your business partners, you can only achieve greatness if your supplier provides you high quality, low cost products ‘consistently’. Your success is literally in their hands.
Where to source? Many of us are happily married to Alibaba suppliers and have no intentions to explore other sourcing platforms. Think about it, every seller is going on Alibaba and many times suppliers are providing the same product to your competitor on Amazon. It’s not just a repetition product but also putting your supplier in a uniquely powerful position to sell off your customized product to other Amazon sellers. Just like any other business, you need to introduce new variety, improve quality or even innovate existing products in the market place. You need to make constant efforts to provide high quality products with variations working with manufacturers, suppliers, exporters to offer something new to your Amazon customers otherwise your success will be temporary. As easily you inflated with profits, you are destined to deflate with losses soon.
So, we are penning down all you need to know about sourcing for new and experienced sellers. This will serve as an encyclopedia with some important points that we feel are significant in decision making.
What should be your Objectives while sourcing? Below are some guiding points that should help you during the procurement process. As an Amazon seller you are searching for:
- Lowest price for a product without compromising the quality.
- Timely delivery to your warehouse.
- Reach the manufacturer directly and take out the middleman.
- Someone who understands your language which will help for making modifications.
Available Sourcing Platforms
There are various channels through which you can source products.
For the purpose of this blog, we are going to restrict ourselves to the first option and share the options available to you as there are some great Wholesale Supplier Directories available online for you to explore. If you already have set suppliers then you can cross-reference your product with these portals. Talk to multiple suppliers and do your due diligence.
1688.com. It is a Chinese language version of Alibaba.com offering domestic B2B trade. You will find many traders on Alibaba, not the manufacturers. Here you will have high chances to interact with the manufacturers to avoid the middleman and get better prices. The only catch is that it is only available in Mandarin.
Globalsources.com It is a Hong-Kong based company for B2B market place for buyers from all over the world. Global sources has more than 30 offices in China and over 4 million Chinese online users and subscribers. Their suppliers’ list is very well vetted and they also appear in exhibitions/tradeshows.
Made-in-china.com It is a relatively old B2B platform, has been operating since 1996. You can find the latest products of China. It won China’s B2B Impact Award for leading the B2B portal. It is known for its easy interface and connecting to suppliers easily.
DHGate.com It is a wholesale B2B ecommerce site based in China and they prefer bulk orders, but the MOQ’s (minimum order quantities) are usually low. DHGate is popular and one feature that makes it stand out is its system of payments handling. They only pass payments to sellers when buyers confirms receipt of goods making transactions extremely safe.
Tradekey.com Based in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and founded in 2006, Tradekey is a large international Electronic Marketplace that connects buyers, wholesalers, manufacturers, more than 9 million consumers and distributors in over 240 countries. Tradekey Portal can be read in several different languages including English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish.
AsianProducts.com. Asian Products was launched in 1996 and has since become one of the leading B2B platforms. AsianProducts focuses on providing e-Sourcing Solutions to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) a segment that received a tremendous boost from the Internet. Focusing on suppliers from Taiwan and China, Asian Products is an old-fashioned but with useful list of companies.
Alza.co.uk. Alza was established more than two decades ago and first started trading as Alzasoft back in 1994. It became a market leader in 2008 and has received several prestigious awards over the years in recognition of the quality service it offers to millions of customers. It is now a purely Czech joint stock company.
Gearbest.com. Suppliers on Gearbest are managed through a professional rating system to select top suppliers and optimize the procurement of quality goods, while at the same time, maintain the comprehensiveness of product categories. Gearbest works closely with over 5,000 famous Chinese brands and top suppliers, including over 1,000 top brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei. Gearbest has got over 1 million SKUs online, more than 1,000 new arrivals per day, providing plentiful shopping options for users. They have warehouses are located in USA, Spain, England, Poland, Czech Republic.
Banggood.com. Banggood was founded in 2006, and at that time it was specialized in computer software research and development. It shifted its business to international e-commerce services, and since then it has become an online retailer selling almost everything you may need or think of.
Ec21.com. This is a Korean B2B marketplace, one of the world’s top 10 largest online B2B marketplaces. EC21 has over 2 million member companies, 7 million products, 3.5 million buyers in its database, and 3.5 million monthly visitors. EC21 was originally started as a way to connect international buyers to Korean companies. While Korea is still its main focus you can use EC21 to find a supplier in other countries as well. EC21 maintains the largest database of Korean Manufacturers in the world.
SaleHoo.com It is one of the best Wholesale Supplier Directory with over 8,000 genuine wholesale and drop-ship suppliers of over 1.6 million products at genuine wholesale prices. It is not free and you will get information on selling and competition statistics.
WorldWideBrands.com. It is a Maitland, Florida based company that was founded in 1999. It is a product sourcing research company that has a primary function to locate and qualify factory-authorized wholesale suppliers and wholesale manufacturers that are willing to sell to home businesses and Internet retailers. Worldwide Brands publishes the results of its findings in an online wholesale directory. The company’s target market consists of small to medium-sized retailers, home businesses, and online merchants who sell on popular ecommerce platforms like eBay, Amazonas well as on independent ecommerce websites.
WholesaleCentral.com. It is the leading B2B directory of wholesale suppliers and products. They offer powerful sourcing tools to help resellers find thousands of prescreened wholesalers, importers, distributors, dropshippers, and manufacturers. No registration is required to search the site and shop for great values in wholesale merchandise. They personally review and screen each and every company that is listed on Wholesale Central to confirm that they are true wholesalers.
DIYTrade.com. It is a Chinese B2B global trading platform that features over 5 Million products.
OFweek.com. This platform focuses on Electronics, tech and other high tech goods. OFweek has a nice design that is easier to navigate than most Chinese websites. Almost all goods sold on this website are finished goods, however, you may be able to get in direct touch with the manufacturer to make some basic customization of your products.
ECVV.com. It is one of the largest B2B websites in the world which was founded in 2003. They have 2,500,000 registered users, and successfully received 1,500,000 buyers from more than 220 countries and regions. The annual trade volume on ECVV is estimated to be $5,000,000,000. They seek to be a more full-service sourcing provider than most and provide additional services such as logistics. They claim to focus on creating more long-term trade relationship than other platforms.
MakePolo.com. It is a large Chinese directory that claims to have a more advanced search engine to find factories. Their revenue model is a pay per click business model in which the factory pays them every time you click on a link.
ECPlaza.net. It started as a B2B business site in 1996, EC Plaza has grown to No.1 Trade Leader providing online and off line service to over 1,000,000 members. Based on export marketing, we are operating not only B2B website, EDI service and trade consulting but also offline trade-related services for SMEs.
GongChang.com. Gong Chang specializes in heavy machinery and industrial equipment. If you are looking at setting up your own manufacturing then this is a good resource to use to get equipment. The only problem that you will face is that it is in Chinese language.
TradeGood.com. It was formerly known as iSupplier Intelligence (ISI) and is a B2B global sourcing community. It specializes in matching business counterparts in sourcing and aims to bridge the gap between buyers and suppliers. It provides supplier evaluation services using more than 50 different criteria, including operational history, regulatory compliance, the number of employees, environmental sustainability as well as security measurement.
Doba.com. Doba has several similarities to Alibaba but is specifically focused on drop-shipping. The way you find suppliers is basically the same as Alibaba or any other database, but what is different is the way the ordering works. Doba allows drop shippers to list products on your drop-shipping store, and when you make a sale, you order from the supplier with your customer’s information and Doba will handle the payments and shipping for you. Another cool feature is that Doba lets you keep the difference in price. It should be noted that Doba is a paid service with a very limited free trial. The premier B2B online product sourcing marketplace for wholesale suppliers and retailers.
GlobalMarket.com. It is a listed Manufacturer to Business (M2B) marketplace of certified manufacturers, suppliers and exporters from China and Hong Kong.
YouDroop.com. YouDroop is a dropshipping platform that permits to sell products online without a warehouse.
PanXpan.com. A California based online platform allowing manufacturers to find and work with local partners all over the world.
WaystoCap.com. WaystoCap is a B2B platform where businesses in Africa and beyond can buy and sell products in a secure environment.
Merkandi.co.uk. This is an international wholesale trading platform for regular products as well as liquidation stocks, overstocks, excess stocks, bankrupt stocks, customer returns and all other wholesale goods with over 30.000 users and over 150 countries worldwide.
Target.com. It is a website somewhat like Alibaba that offers products at discounted prices that you can ship to your home (or pick up at one of their brick-and-mortar stores). Though Target isn’t quite as committed to low prices as some other companies like Alibaba, it does place emphasis on stocking very trendy and fashion-forward goods.
Walmart.com. It is one of the largest companies in the world with focus on offering goods at low prices, which you can order online or pick up at a nearby brick-and-mortar store.
JD.com. Short for “Jiandong Mall”, this website that was previously known as “360Buy” is one of the biggest Alibaba competitors in China. It began as an electronics specialty store but has now diversified to sell clothing, accessories, and home & garden fixtures. It is one of the most respected and trustworthy e-commerce companies in China. However, you can only sell with them if you’re a company based in China (though that includes Hong Kong and overseas territories).
HC360.com. It is one of China’s leading B2B websites for domestic trade and is in Chinese language.
B2B Manufacturers.com.tw. It is a listings website specializing in Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers. Although their listings covers a wide range of products, the results for industrial equipment seem to be strongest.
Yiwubuy.com. As the official website of China Yiwu Commodity Markets, Yiwugo.com is dedicated to the integrative development of Yiwu markets between online & offline business. Yiwubuy offers their physical stores an online presence.
Banggood.com. Specialized in electronics, robots, mobile phones and accessories, Banggood is a B2C platform operated from Mainland China, Hong Kong together with overseas warehouse to help global buyers.
TaiwanTrade.com. Taiwan’s government set up Taiwantrade in 2002 to be the official trade website for Taiwan. Taiwantrade is managed by Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs and operated by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. Taiwan trade has over 60 offices worldwide and has a massive searchable database of Taiwanese manufacturers. Many factories in China are operated by Taiwanese companies and using Taiwan Trade can be a great way of locating them.
Tradeindia.com. TradeIndia is an online Business to Business (B2B) portal for small businesses based in India and around the globe. The portal was started in 1996 and it has number of company profiles, product catalogs under 2,256 different product categories and sub-categories.
IndiaMART.com. IndiaMART is India’s largest online B2B marketplace, connecting buyers with suppliers. With 60% market share of the online B2B Classified space in India, the channel focuses on providing a platform to Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), large enterprises as well as individuals.
VietnamExport.com. A modern website that maintains a large database of verified factories in Vietnam. The website is endorsed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam. The website is much better than the others due to the quality and quantity of suppliers. In addition to the database, they provide a ton of industry-specific information for Vietnam. The website also promotes agricultural products such as coffee and lychee, which is uncommon among other websites.
VietnamManufacturers.vn. Founded in 2009, Vietnam Manufacturers started as a trade journal to promote Vietnamese companies and business interest worldwide. They have since expanded and now provide a large searchable database, trade show promotions and industry-specific publications.
VTown.vn. Vtown.vn is owned by the Japanese company Washin Engine Co. and is actually a database of Japanese companies that do business and manufacturing in Vietnam. Regardless they maintain a very good database of Vietnamese based manufacturers and factories. The website is in English and easy to search. Since the factories in their database are largely Japanese Managed you tend to find manufacturers that have a much higher quality control.
VietnamAZ.com. VietnamAZ is made for American Companies who are looking to buy and do business in Vietnam. They maintain a large database of suppliers that is searchable by categories. The layout is outdated and not as big as other resources out there.
VietnameseMade.com. VietnameseMade is another database of manufacturers that focus on the Vietnamese market. It is a B2B trade portal to help connect buyers around the world to sellers in Vietnam.
VCCI News.com. While the main focus on the website is to provide news to exporters in Vietnam they do maintain a directory of business in Vietnam.
Aliexpress.com. It’s a Business to Consumer (B to C) website. You won’t be able to sell on Aliexpress as its Chinese suppliers centric model. Only sellers from China are authorized to sell on Aliexpress and the rest of the world can only buy as consumer or can buy and resell in the market.
OctoPart.com. Octopart is based in the US and maintains a global database of manufacturers. Great for finding electronic components but you need to have a full product designed and know your exact specifications of components. This site is Geared towards engineers and those with advanced technical knowledge.
Listthe.com. Strives to be an extremely simple search engine to find factories. You simply put in the product you want and they will immediately create a list of 10 factories for you.
Go4WorldBusiness.com. Go4WorldBusiness is a truly global online B2B marketplace to find manufacturers, exporters, suppliers and more. Based in Delhi, India, it was founded in 2007 and does a great job of targeting smaller markets that are underserved by existing B2B marketplaces. This includes places like Sri Lanka, Bolivia and several other hard to source countries.
TradeBoss.com. Founded in 2002. TradeBoss is an international focus B2B marketplace. The interface is incredibly outdated, and the database is much smaller than others, but it does have the ability to search by country and has several smaller countries listed. TradeBoss is a good resource if you are searching for a supplier in a small and underserved country.
Hong Kong Trade Development Council. This service is operated directly by Hong Kong’s Government and connects over 130,000 Hong Kong based companies to international buyers. Even though Hong Kong does not have much manufacturing anymore, many mainland factories will have a corporate office in Hong Kong. This is a good alternative for those who want to take advantage of Chinese manufacturers but want the protection and legal environment of Hong Kong.
B2B China Sources. Ran by the same company as B2B Manufacturers, B2B China Source helps connect buyers with manufacturers in the Republic of China (aka Taiwan) as well as mainland China. They claim to get you Chinese prices with Taiwanese quality.
Maker’s Row. Maker’s Row is a Brooklyn, NY based database of American Manufacturers and product-based business. The company was originally made to connect buyers of fashion and leather goods with Makers in the US but has since expanded to a wide range of industries. They are probably one of the largest databases of American manufacturers and suppliers.
MFG.com. More focused on finding contract manufacturers and rental time on machine space than on finished products. Nonetheless, if you need to find a manufacturer with a CNC machine you can find on and contract with them. While they list manufacturers from all over the world, we estimate that over half of their suppliers are located in the United States. This site is focused mainly on American manufacturers so it’s a great resource for finding a US based supplier. This is a great tool for those who have a total product design and want to hand the manufacturing themselves.
Thomas Net.com. Thomas Net is a good tool that Includes Mexico and Canada. Thomas has been around for a staggering 120 years and started out as a B2B register to help buyers find suppliers. Thomas claims to have over 500,000 suppliers and over 1 million buyers that use their service. Thomas’s information is hidden behind a paywall but they do give a free trial.
This will definitely be enough to push you in the right direction 🙂