Part 3 of sourcing products, with Retail Arbitrage, Wholesale, private label and creating listings to sell on Amazon Fba.
Just to recap, I started by explaining in part 1, the differences between Retail Arbitrage, Wholesale, Private label or simply by selling used or unwanted items you have around the house.
Yesterday I touched on the free and some paid software to track products, measure demand and even competition.
Then I also mentioned some of the sites I use to find manufacturers of the products.
Now I will let you know some best practices on how to use those websites.
Then we’ll discuss how to ship to Amazon and start selling.
Let’s start with how to deal with vendors in China.
It is very important to know that these vendors are getting messages from everybody all over the world.
So, your message may be one of 350 they received that day.
You better make sure that you don’t just sound like a tire kicker that will just waste their time.
At least have a signature with your company name. And this company doesn’t really need to exist yet.
They will call you by “Dear” doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. Its a way they have of being polite and respectful.
If you need to ask them several questions, make sure to number them. This will make sure they don’t skip any.
But, before you even start messaging the vendors, make sure to filter them a bit. There are options on Alibaba to filter by a Gold supplier, assessed supplier, and trade assurance.
Basically, this means they have been around for a long time, the assessed part means that their factory has been verified to be a real location, and trade assurance means they are willing to use Alibaba as the middleman for escrow services. You pay Alibaba, and they will hold the money until you get the product.
Talking about paying, there are a few more things that you need to know:
Every supplier will have an MOQ, this stands for minimum order quantity, and its the minimum quantity that they will allow you to order if you are personalizing the product (Like printing logos and etc)
Next is the 2 payment plan, the norm is paying 30% up front when ordering, then after getting the inspection done, you pay the remaining 70%.
By the way, this “inspection” is a crucial factor in making sure your order has the quality you need to sell on Amazon and not risk your seller account.
You know, lots of sellers try to lower the costs, by negotiating the price to the minimum possible, and contrary to what people believe, China can make the highest quality of anything… but you need to be ready to pay for quality, just like you would anywhere else. If you try to lower the cost of a $5 item to $3, the quality will suffer and your product will be cheaply made.
So, before lowering to much make sure you know exactly what kind of product you want.
For instance, I have one vendor that gave me a quote, and I didn’t ask for a single cent discount… instead, I said, I would accept the price if they guaranteed I would have the highest quality of anyone, and every single return or refund would be discounted on my next order. This product is currently the only product of mine that has 100% 5-star rating and not a single review was incentivized or given by friends. It’s actually so good that it’s Amazon’s choice and they put on the listing that it has 60% fewer returns than comparable products on that sell on Amazon.
So, now that you have found the manufacturer that has the product you want, is a gold supplier, assessed, and has trade assurance, you will need to negotiate the MOQ, to please your wallet and at the same time be able to fill the supply without running out of stock.
You place your order, and of course, to do so, you asked for quotes to ship by plain and by sea, because depending on the size and weight of the product (The cubic footage, basically) you may save lots of money by alternating from one shipment to the other.
Now, to ship directly from China to Amazon, it may seem more complicated than it really is…
Here is what you have to do
Go to you amazon seller central account, click the option to create a new product, select the category.
Remember that some categories are gated, this means you can’t start selling on certain categories without approval, like food category (but you wouldn’t want to start there anyway)
Create your listing… You don’t need to fully create it yet, here is what you will need:
- A tittle
- A UPC (This is a unique barcode GS1 approved)
- a selling price
- at least 1 picture
These are the mandatory things that you will need to enter, for now if there is something else mandatory that I am forgetting right now, you will see a red asterisk where the mandatory fields are.
Dont stress, all of this can be modified, except for the UPC.
Save it, and create a shipping form. To do this, click on your Manage Inventory tab, select the product and chose on the drop-down “send or replenish inventory”
Fill the blanks in the forms, like where it’s shipping from, the size of the packaging, how many on each package, the weight, etc.
if there is something you don’t know, message your manufacturer and get the answer.
Now, when you are done, Amazon will give you the option to print the shipping labels with the address of the warehouse you are shipping to.
Remember these are free because you will be paying the shipping to your supplier or freight forwarder. You are not paying Amazon. They just give you the label to make it easy to receive your shipment in the warehouse and to know what is coming and who owns it.
print the labels and email them to your manufacturer or freight forwarder… Sometimes the manufacturer already has a freight forwarder you can use if they are trustworthy.
Now that the product is on the way to Amazon, you will have time to finish your listing.
Get so professional looking pictures – The main one needs to have a pure white background and 80% of the picture needs to be the product.
Enter the 5 bullet points and 250 characters of keywords in the backend. I am going to recommend a tool that I love for this and its 100% free
Its called AMZ search terms on steroids
It’s a chrome extension that will tell you how many characters you have left, how many words you have repeated in the back, that are already in the title, bullets, and description.
You can use a free tool like sonar to get the competitors keywords – http://sonar-tool.com
Lts finish here today, and tomorrow I will explain how to launch and how to create the PPc Campaigns (Pay Per Click advertising)