Is sourcing in the USA better for your business? This episode answers your questions and gives you the resources you need to find USA suppliers for your Amazon FBA Business.
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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.
Hello, sourcing warrior. I hope you are doing great, feeling great, having a great mindset, holding you up to do great things for your life. A lot of us right now are facing the challenge to get the product out of China . So it’s a good opportunity to talk about how to find suppliers in the USA. If you are selling into the USA market, this video could be incredibly valuable to your business. If you’re not selling into USA market, I hope I inspire you to think about the alternative source. Let’s get started.
Before we start finding the USA suppliers, first and foremost, let’s understand the pros and cons of working with the USA suppliers, because each business is so unique. Just because we are temporarily facing the challenge of sourcing products from China, it does not mean that finding a USA supplier will fit your business model. So let’s review the pros and cons first. Of course, benefits go first. Pro number one, shorter lead time. Why do we save time by working with a domestic USA supplier? Is that because the USA factory produces your parts faster than those Chinese factories? Not necessarily. In fact, a lot of Chinese factories can produce your parts faster. Then where did we save time? It’s in shipping, especially if your normal transportation mode is through ocean shipping. Now, the tricky question for you. If you are buying a product from China and your product is light and small and your normal transportation mode is through air shipping, is lead time still pro to you?
Think about it. Not necessarily, right? But if your normal transportation is through ocean shipping, right there you save 30 days. Pro number two, easier, faster, more accurate communication. Lots of Chinese suppliers are getting much better communicating in English, but I know you still feel a lot of times you feel so confused and even frustrated communicating with the Chinese suppliers. So if you can get a USA supplier communicating in English, easy peasy. Definitely, communication is a benefit. Pro number three, IP protection, intellectual property risk, and exposures. This is a big one if your product design is super sensitive. You know what I mean. Which supplier you have more IP risk, the USA supplier, or the Chinese supplier? You know the answer, right? So we’re not going to elaborate on this. Pro number four, made in the USA. This statement alone can add an extra selling point to your product.
So this could be a great benefit for your product. Now, let me throw a curveball on you. What about quality? Is the quality of benefit made in the USA? Not necessarily. It depends. Some product actually has better quality made in China, but if you think that your product is going to have a better quality made in the USA, add quality to the pro list. Now let’s talk about all the cons of working with the USA supplier. Are there any cons working with the USA suppliers? Maybe a couple. The first big one is the higher cost. I’m not sure if you have personal experience on this, but you might career life, I have seen it so many times. It is shocking and painful to see the USA supplier quote. Even after I add shipping, add tax, add duty, tariff, everything I could possibly add to the Chinese quote, the quote from China is still lower than the USA supplier quote.
This higher cost factor alone has queued so many projects that were intended to be produced in the USA market. After all, business is all about the bottom line. Con number two, higher IMO queue. Why is that? A lot of USA factories that have succeeded so far, they rely on their equipment automation process to compete with China. They cater more to industrial and commercial production. If you just want 300 pieces to start your product, you may have a hard time finding a factory to produce your product because they require a higher IMO queue, but if you are at the scaling point, this might be perfect timing for you to consider, bring back your product from China back to the USA. Con number three, less flexibility in customization. This could be huge for your business.
I said less, and this is absolute truth, because if you ask your Chinese supplier, can you customize the moon for me? They will say yes, because Chinese suppliers are incredibly flexible and customize everything, pretty much everything, but if you ask your USA supplier, most likely the answer is no. Now that you fully understand the pros and cons of a made in the USA product, better lead time, better communication, better IP protection, know the cons that come with this product, do a quick evaluation on your product. Are you still up to finding a USA supplier? If you do, let me show you, coming up next. Part two, find to the USA suppliers. I have to admit, it’s not easy to find USA suppliers. I wish we have a B2B, business to business platform, just like alibaba.com. We don’t, but if there’s a will, there is away. So I’m going to show you some ways to find the USA suppliers.
The first way is Reference USA. What is reference USA? Reference USA is probably the best, the most comprehensive database available in the United States. You can find any business, I mean any business in this database, and it’s a hundred percent free, but if it’s that great, why not so many people heard about it or even use it? Because there is a catch. To use this database, you have to get a library card to go to the library and use the library’s computer. I used to love going to the library. I quit going, but if my business depends on me to find a great USA supplier source, I will make the trip, and the best part about the Reference USA database, we can search by keyword, say injection molding, or we can narrow down the search by city, zip code. Say I only wanted to work with a local supplier. I can find that business.
Isn’t that great? Reference USA is a great resource to have. The second resource, Thomasnet. You have heard about Thomasnet, I bet, but do you know, Thomasnet geared towards more to the commercial and the industrial type of product and less to the consumer type of product. If you’re a first-time seller, I bet your product idea is more on the consumer product type. So be careful to spend way too much time on Thomasnet, but if you are thinking about fabricating a product that is more industrial, Thomasnet is your excellent resource. The third resource, a third way, Maker’s Row, from idea to product. That’s what Maker’s Row does. It’s geared towards the business who’s looking into manufacturing the product from the scratch, from design to manufacture, you can see it through.
The beautiful thing about this platform is you can provide your product detail, you can see the sample, you can see the photo, you can see the estimate on cost all the way to the manufacturing, but this beautiful platform costs money too. It costs between $35 to $99 per month. It’s a monthly subscription. If this fits your budget, it’s a great resource to have. Maker’s Row to see your product from idea to a commercialized product. Resource number four, Wholesale Central, my favorite. Why is it my favorite? Because finally, we got a practical B2B platform that we can find a consumer type of product suppliers in the United States. When you are on Wholesale Central, you will be able to see a lot of great categories that you can relate, like a baby category, home and garden, toys and hobbies, holidays and seasons, and when you drill each category, you will be able to see the manufacturers on the list.
When I was on Wholesale Central, I dove deeper into the baby category and see the factories can customize print on the baby closing. Isn’t that great? If you are not going to the library, you’re not going to pay the subscription to Maker’s Row, and no luck finding anything on Thomasnet, make sure you visit Wholesale Central. It’s so awesome it’s so free. The last but not the least, resource number five, trade shows. I love going to the trade shows because normally the greatest and latest designs are displayed at the trade shows. The trade show is a great place to get product inspiration. Now we’re looking for suppliers. Do you know that suppliers from all around the world fly into the United States trade shows? Yes, they fly into one city, congregate at one place for you to meet with them. What a great way to meet and established a personal relationship with the suppliers.
If you’re looking for the United States suppliers, even if you don’t find them at all in the trade show, you might be able to find suppliers say from Indonesia or Latin America. There are so many trade shows in the United States that run throughout the entire year. If it’s not in your city, it’s probably two hours flight away in the next major city. If you are in the home and garden niche, just search home and garden trade show and find the next one and go. Just like finding a great Chinese supplier, finding a great USA supplier takes time. I have given you the pros and cons of working with a USA supply. You can use those pros and cons to do a quick evaluation on your business to see if you need to change the sourcing strategy. If you do, I have given you five resources to find the USA suppliers. I hope it’s helpful. If you appreciate this video, like, comment, or even pick a star to support this channel. Our individual greatness always gets bigger when we are together to support each other. I appreciate your greatness, and I appreciate you supporting me. I’ll see you in the next video. Have a great day.
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.