You don’t need a supplier, you need a GREAT Alibaba supplier because a BAD supplier will suck your money, give you bad quality products, and tons of headaches. In this episode, we will dig DEEP and see what a great supplier looks like!
Welcome to the Sourcing Warrior podcast. I’m Yuping.
We make sourcing easy, fun and profitable for you. 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, how are you doing? I hope your day is going well and you’re keeping your spirit up.
Today I’m going to share some awesome tips to help you find a great supplier. If this is your first time launching the product, you definitely need a great supplier to help you build your business. If you already have a good one, you need another one to back up your business. You never know what’s going to happen to your supplier, right?
So the question is what does a great supplier look like? Let’s check them out.
All right, my darling friend, I am so grateful you are here. I think you feel the same way because this channel is filled with high-quality content, I really do think you appreciate. And I appreciate you by giving me likes, comments and sharing my content with someone you care. Thank you for supporting me.
Today, I’m on a mission to help you find a great supplier. I’m going to give you five passes to use to qualify this great supplier. All five passes are important. But the last one, the last one to me, could be a deal-breaker. You will see why.
First pass. Does this great supplier have any root on Alibaba?
Just like the e-commerce sellers on amazon.com, they come and they go. The suppliers on alibaba.com, they come and go. Many suppliers couldn’t make it for more than one year or two years.
So, that great supplier you’re looking for needs to have minimum three years of experience selling on alibaba.com.
Here is a great question. You find a great supplier whose factory has been established for more than five years, eight years but they only have a one year or two year selling experience on alibaba.com. Does this mean that this supplier didn’t make the cut?
That’s correct. This supplier didn’t make the cut because the minute they leaves Alibaba, immediately you lose your privilege to use the Trade Assurance.
That leads to the pass number two you must check. Is this great supplier committed to the Trade Assurance?
The whole point of using alibaba.com to deal with the Chinese supplier is because we need protection. You can find suppliers on globalsource.com, made-in-china or even through your sourcing agents. But none of these sources can give you the level of protection, for your money, than the Trade Assurance.
Now the question for your great supplier is this, are you committed to the Trade Assurance? Meaning that when I’m ready to place my purchase order don’t tell me that, “You need to place the purchase order with my factory directly,” I wanted to use the Trade Assurance. You need to confirm that.
The third pass. Does this supplier know what they are doing?
Everybody knows how to use, checking the product line, checking the product catalog to find out if the supplier is concentrated in doing certain product. That is true, you check their store to see if the display look like a Walmart or it looks like a specialty store.
The more concentrated, specialized this supplier does a certain product line the higher of their quality because they do this day in and day out. Worker skills are much more polished.
But there is one more layer to this. And this right here is your gold. When you are checking the product catalog and the product lines you’re looking for both the breadth and the depths of the product display. Does the product show the supplier capability of making variations. That’s the true indicator, whether they can.
They have the ability to work with you to customize your product. That is a true tell, whether this supplier knows what they’re doing.
After you got three passes from the supplier, you will be tempted to contact the supplier. That’s great because you’re taking action.
This is the perfect opportunity to see if you can give the supplier the fourth pass. Can they speak English? No. Your test is, can they pay attention?
Many Amazon sellers lost money not because the factory is not good. It’s because the sales rep sucks. They speak English, but they don’t have the ability to pay attention.
Just remember your customized product has so many details. Your logo placement, your gift box, your bundling flyers, your design changes. All of these has to be communicated through your sales rep.
If this person doesn’t have the ability to pay attention, what you end up with is frustration, waste of time. And then when you send the inspection team to inspect your product you find out your product didn’t make the change as you expected.
So test them at the early stage to see if their ability to pay attention is there. Fire them right away because this supplier cannot make it to become your great supplier.
Finally, the last pass, I would really hate to make this a deal-breaker. I talk about this at the beginning of the video, this could be a deal-breaker.
The last pass is, can this supplier be stable? This supplier has been selling on alibaba.com for more than three years. Doesn’t this mean this supplier is quite stable? No, it does not mean that at all.
Let me give you an example. Two years ago, Chinese government implemented strict environmental rule.
Many small factories had to close because they don’t have the resource to invest into the environmental system to meet the new requirement. Either you don’t meet it, or you come up with a big fine, you have to pay for it.
And now it’s pandemic. Many small factories unfortunately couldn’t either reopen or continue to sustain the business. This means when you are looking for your suppliers on alibaba.com, you got to pay attention to company size. The bigger of the company, the more likely they’re going to stay open and weather through a lot of challenges.
What is the best indicator for a company size? Number of employees.
When you’re looking at the supplier profile, you don’t need the supplier with a mega-factory who has more than 1,000 to 2,000 employees. Those factories, most likely they’re going to have a higher MOQ and they’re less flexible to work with you anyway. You are looking for a medium-sized factory.
Those small factories who has less than 50 employees, when there’s big challenges such as the pandemic that is happening right now, they’re going to be impacted badly and there’s a risk for you.
So ideally, you’re looking for a company who has minimum 50 and 50 above, ideally 100 employee and above.
I hope you have taken good notes on this five passes. A great supplier has all five.
Let me just say this, you have worked so hard to save this money for your e-commerce business. Take your time to find the great supplier, only the great supplier deserves your money.
I feel so honored to have helped you through this video. And I welcome you to join Sourcing Warrior’s course.
If you’re smart, you know you need to take advantage of my experience. You don’t just get a course. You got my support through the entire sourcing process.
Check out the link, the course link and take 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.