In this post we are going to navigate –sometimes across oceans– between the bases to find suppliers, either for dropshipping or to make the first sale of your ecommerce . We will tell you where to look for providers; where to do it (China? Europe?), how to approach your potential manufacturers and what questions to ask them.
However, beyond the joy of getting closer to your goal, sourcing can be exasperating. If you want to import electric toothbrushes, the path is not always easy, whether you want to make your own product or find a manufacturer who will make it for you.
First, the basics. For this post, we will define a supplier as a company that is capable of offering you enough products and inventory to start your business. This definition of supplier encompasses manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors .
There are hundreds of thousands of resources available on Google to help you find providers. However, before you start diving into this task, you need to know beforehand and make decisions.
Before launching to find suppliers for your business. First, you must decide what type of provider you are looking for. This will guide you in determining the terms you use to search. The three most common types of providers are:
When you consider signing a supplier - either manufacturers or wholesalers - you must decide whether you want to find manufacturers in China - or, generally speaking, abroad - or in Europe.
In this post we talk about finding foreign suppliers. Normally, we refer to countries like China, India, Bangladesh. Typically, this is because the products they manufacture or distribute are especially cheaper than making it in Europe. However, deciding which provider to choose is more than just the initial investment and unit cost.
Both Chinese and European suppliers have advantages and disadvantages .
Good. At this point you will have already chosen what type of provider is ideal for you (manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor). In addition, you will have weighed the pros and cons of finding a supplier in China or doing it in Spain or Europe. How do you start the search for manufacturers?
In this section we show you some typical places where you can find lists of manufacturers:
One of the best sources is free provider directories . These directories contain the profile - with contact details - of hundreds of manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. Here is a list of supplier directories so that you can easily find your manufacturer.
European supplier directories
China, India and foreign supplier directories
It is clear that the big G, Google, is the first place where someone considers looking for providers. However, it is true that the websites of some manufacturers, distributors or wholesalers are outdated, old and very poorly optimized at the SEO level.
So how do you find providers on Google ? So to find them, you probably have to go to the second (or third!) Page of results. Try using different keywords (for example, suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers; or their terms in English - especially to search for suppliers in China -, such as wholesaler , manufacturer or distributor ).
Some of the best business opportunities that come to you can come via your contacts. Don't be shy and ask partners and friends in your professional network if they have any recommendations for finding a provider that works for them. If they share their knowledge with you, you will be closer to finding the ideal manufacturer!
If you do not have this type of profile among your acquaintances, try joining Facebook groups, online communities of ecommerces and ask your questions or ask for recommendations.
As you go about your search for providers, even if the ones you connect with aren't the best fit for you, ask them if they can recommend someone. In the end, industries tend to be small - and everyone knows each other. That of ... "the world is a handkerchief."
Once you have found a good provider, it is time to contact them. The first question you may have is "Hey, what is the price of X product?" However, before sending the request for quotation (in English RFQ or Request For Quotation , if you are looking for a supplier in China), ask yourself beforehand what questions you need to ask before.
Surprise: it is not only price.
Posing this initial request can increase the chances of getting a response from your provider. In addition, you will focus the subsequent conversation better. Here are some important questions you should ask to find a provider.
The minimum order or MOQ , for its acronym in English Minimum Order Quantity, is the minimum quantity that your supplier can buy from you. You must bear in mind that this minimum order is something that is within your means. If they don't have it on the web or in the directory profile, ask at the beginning.
In almost all likelihood, before purchasing an order from your new supplier, you will want to see the quality of the product first hand. Depending on the provider, some will charge you a certain price for your order of samples, others will do so at a discounted price and some will even send them to you for free.
At Sincla, for example, our potential customers can check the robustness of the boxes before committing to placing a large order, by purchasing the sample boxes :
Knowing how long it will take for the supplier to produce - and ship - your order is an important consideration when finding the right one. Depending on your business, it can be critical.
Many providers will force these new customers (you) to pay up front. This is a factor to take into account, since inventory costs are the highest in an online store. Before finding your supplier, you should ask them what payment options there are for future orders .
Supplier inboxes are full of emails from potential customers - more or less qualified. So it is not uncommon for many of these emails to go unanswered.
Here are some tips to prevent your manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor from ignoring your emails:
Finally, when asking, try to number those questions. In this way, it will be easier for your provider to respond and it will facilitate communication.
If you are in the phase of looking for suppliers for the first time, you will see how quickly you will find the minimum order or MOQ - if you want to find it on Alibaba or other supplier directories. It is not uncommon for these manufacturers to require high minimum orders - or purchase commitments - of hundreds or thousands of units.
Minimum orders make it difficult for you as an entrepreneur in two fundamental aspects:
The good news is that the minimum order of all the providers you look for is negotiable . You can pay more per unit than the minimum order or make a deposit for a larger order or just produce small strips of product at once.
Finding suppliers and manufacturers is a process that must be defined on a case-by-case basis. For many beginning entrepreneurs, it is a complicated task. A tip when looking for providers is to locate several - since in this way, you make sure you have a backup in case one of your trusted providers fails.
It's easy to get frustrated when your budget requests are ignored. In that case, it is best to be persistent and have patience to find the perfect partner for your business.
As a China Manufacturer, supplier, factory of electric toothbrush and oral irrigator/water flosser, Shenzhen Relish provides various types of electric toothbrush wholesale, dropshipping and OEM services. You can also wholesale water floss/oral irrigator from Relish at factory price. We look forward to working with you.