Are you ready to buy your first Amazon FBA product sample from Alibaba Chinese Suppliers? This video will show you the right way to do it in 3 simple steps.
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Welcome to the GoodLife Warrior podcast. I’m Yuping. We make sourcing easy, fun, and profitable for your business. This episode was originally aired as a video on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/goodlifewarrior. As always, high-quality, professional sourcing content delivered to you with passion and my unique Chinese accent. Enjoy.
How are you my friend? I hope you had a great day. Thank you so much for checking in with me and spending time watching my video. So today I’m going to make a special video for those of you who are ready and excited to order your first sample. I know you are excited, maybe a little bit nervous to get your business started. I wanted to make sure you take the right steps to get your first sample ordered. So I’m going to share some great tips in the three steps that I suggest you take when you are ready to order your first sample. Let’s get started.
If this is your first time checking into my channel, my name’s Yuping Wang. I am here to share with you the best sourcing knowledge. I have been working the sourcing function for almost 20 years. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to share with you what I know.
Okay, to make this video, I need to give a special thanks to a lady. Her name is Siu, Siu Ling Hui. She’s part of the Sourcing Warrior’s elite training group. She asked for the best practice when ordering the first sample. That inspired me to make this video for you. If you are part of the Sourcing Warrior’s Facebook group, I really encourage you to send her a thank-you note. That would be appreciated because we’re here to help each other out. So to order your first sample for your Amazon FBA business, I would just suggest you to take the three steps.
And I’m going to explain each one of the steps: how to prepare, yes, there are things you need to prepare before you order the sample; how to pay the supplier; and how to inspect the sample.
Let’s go over each step:
The first step is to prepare to order your first sample. That’s the homework you must do before you trigger your first sample. Here is the tip I wanted to give you, the three questions. If you can answer these three questions, clearly, that means you have done great homework. The three-question are why what and how many. Let’s go over each one of them. Why you are ordering your first sample? It is because you have done your research. You have the data showing you that this product has the sales volume. And at the same time you have done your total landed cost proving to yourself that this product has the margin that could make you money.
If you don’t know how to do the landed cost analysis, I encourage you please take your time. Try to figure out every single cost element that is related to your product. It could be packaging. If you’re doing something really cool, the packaging cost could be a big portion.
Shipping could be a big portion of your cost, or if your product is subject to the tariff, it could eat away a huge portion of your margin. In the training course, not only I have the template for the students to do the margin analysis. I also encourage them to do the different margin scenarios based on different order quantity. Because the margin may look very good if you order 5,000, would you still have the margin if you order 500 pieces?
The point is, not only you have the research data showing you that this product is going to have a great sales volume, but your total landed cost analysis also proving to you, giving you the confidence that this product is going to have a margin. That is to answer why we’re even to begin to order the first sample.
So the second question is what? What are you going to order? Are you going to order the out of stock product out of your supplier shelf, or you’re actually going to trigger your first sample to be a customized sample? Whether to order the suppliers out of shelf samples or a customized sample, take these two factors into consideration: time or speed to market and the product complexity. If your product is fairly simple, you see the sales volume is there, you need to get this product launched as soon as possible, then ask your supplier to customize this product right away so that you can get your customized simple as soon as possible. But if you need to see, touch, feel the product so you can finalize your customized idea then I would suggest you order the out of shelf sample from your supplier.
Personally, I prefer to order the out of shelf sample, so I can see the supplier quality as is. And also to validate the customization idea, to see if my customization idea is working on the sample at all. At the same time, after you get the sample when you negotiate the price with the supplier, the supplier is going to take you a lot more seriously. Most likely you are going to get a better price because now you can give them very valid feedbacks regarding their quality so you can negotiate a better price. Now we know what to order, let’s answer the third question, how many? It doesn’t matter whether you order the out of shelf product or you’ll customize your own product. I will always encourage you to order at least two samples from two different suppliers because you really wanting to compare the quality of the product. Also, just in case one supplier doesn’t work out, you want to have a contingency plan, the backup supplier to continue to pursue this product idea.
I know it costs money when you order extra samples, but keep in mind when you place your real purchase order, your sample cost that you paid now can be refunded. And when you place your real purchase order, make sure that you talk to your supplier and have this understanding upfront. Ordering sample, it is such an important step for your product development process. Try not to cheap out on this step, ordering minimum of two samples so you have a confidence factor knowing why you are choosing this supplier in comparing the other one.
Okay, let’s recap very quickly. We’re at step number one. To prepare to get your first sample ordered we answered to the question of why we wanted this first to sample because we have the confidence, not only the sales volume but also the margin. And we understand what we wanting to order, whether it’s a stock sample or it’s a customized sample. Also, we talk about how many we want, a minimum of two samples.
Now let’s move on to step number two. How do you pay your supplier? Well, the only option that I wanted to give it to you is to pay with PayPal with the linked credit card.
The reason you wanting to use PayPal is a credit card is because you wanting to give yourself an option to dispute in case something seriously goes wrong. What could go wrong? If you prepay for your sample with the shipping, what if you don’t even get the delivery? So if the packages end up missing, then you can dispute. The other thing that could go wrong is when you customize a sample and the supplier charged you an expensive customization fee, but they didn’t deliver to what you specified. In this case not only you should have PayPal with a linked credit card, I also suggest you have the specification and your instruction in writing so when you dispute, you have something to reference. So to pay for your sample doesn’t matter is out of shelf or is a customized sample. I suggest you to pay with PayPal with a linked credit card.
Now let’s move on to step number three; how we’re going to inspect the sample. In the training course, I gave the students the very detailed first sample inspection checklist so they don’t have to spend time reinventing the wheel. For you when you receive your first sample, please keep the three things in mind. One is the packaging. Is the packaging durable enough? Before you get too excited, open the box, throw away the packaging. You don’t even remember how the packaging looked when they first arrived. To inspect the packaging, inspect the product aesthetic quality, color, variation, finishing, polishing. How does the product look? And then you inspect the functional points, Whatever is the intended use. The tip I wanted to give it to you is to make sure you take pictures and take notes. Not only these pictures and notes should be used for your future production run inspection, but also you could use every single piece of this evidence as the negotiation point to get a better price.
Those are the steps that I recommend you to take to order your first Amazon FBA sample so you can get onto this exciting journey the right way. If you wanting to be super confident, super successful with your sourcing, join me in the Sourcing Warrior Mastermind course. Once you join, you will become part of the exclusive Facebook group where I answer your question specific to your sourcing case. I don’t think you can get support like what I’m offering to you anywhere else. Enough for today my friend. I hope you continue to have a beautiful day. Until the next video; I’ll see you soon.
Check out the link, the Sourcing Warrior Mastermind link, undertake Sourcing Warrior’s quiz to find out your sourcing IQ. Make it fun, learn something, have a great day. I’ll see you in the next episode.