Being a new product development business selling in Amazon, we sought help from Cascadia Seller Solutions. Their impressive resume in many areas including product sourcing made us decide to check them out.
Eventually we signed up to Cascadia's sourcing service and was assigned a sourcing agent. The agent was pleasant to work with but after having secured two active suppliers (and in the middle of negotiating for tooling costs),the agent declared that Cascadia's job is over since I have already direct contact with the 2 factories. From that point onwards we were literally left by ourselves to deal with the 2 factories. After making our final choice of which factory to work with, we then invested on a trial tooling mold, and waited for about 2 months for samples to be done. Eventually, the sales rep reports that the factory owner and engineer (that had approved prior submitted quote) says that factory can't anymore stand by it. At the end of the day we were left with a significantly higher cost per unit quote, wasted sourcing fee paid to Cascadia, cost of a trial mold and, much more costly, is opportunity lost for having delayed the launching of our product.
Key Learnings with Cascadia Seller Soutions Sourcing service:
1. We were given the impression that due to their extensive product development experience as former Amazon employees, they would have a stable of vetted factories in China (that they had prior dealing with) they can tap for their clients. In our case, this is not so, as we eventually found out that Cascadia never had prior dealings with the 2 factories that eventually submitted quotes. On hindsight, if Cascadia had an established relationship with the factories we dealt with, there could have been a higher chance that the miscommunication between owner, engineer and sales departments would have been avoided. If we were not let go by the assigned Cascadia sourcing agent prematurely in the sourcing process, we could have been guided into reaching a more favorable outcome with the factory.
2. Even if we were very detailed in describing the product development requirement for our custom product, Cascadia have grossly underestimated the work that is required to do a proper sourcing. Had the project estimate been more accurate, the sourcing fee cost would have been different and expectations calibrated. If the sourcing requirement is too tedious then the fees quoted should have been proportionately higher - and we could have declined to accept it, (or Cascadia would have graciously declined to work with us).
3. Costs: Cascadia is quick to upsell their other services that it gave us the impression that you are hurried into the product development process even if the current stage is still undone.
At the end of the day, Cacadia's promise of extensive sourcing experience did not translate into getting us our custom product produced. Maybe Cascadia can help you in their other services but for us, their sourcing service is a let down. (FYI, we heard good reviews about Cascadia's Amazon suspension assistance and product compliance services. Seems to be their core competences.
I’m sorry to hear about your poor experience with us. We’re normally known for our exceptional attention to detail and experience, and we regret that we missed the mark in your situation.
My name is Rachel and I am the Managing Partner here at Cascadia. If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact me at rachel.greer(at)thinkcascadia.com. Based on the date of the review, it sounds like you worked with us last year? Since then, we've added a team of five in China, as well as changed our onboarding process to only take on clients with private label goals or a working prototype, as certain projects require an experienced engineer on the team to be successful (which we don't have).