How to Find Chinese Suppliers Beyond Alibaba

Beyond Alibaba

This post is by Gary Huang, an American based in Shanghai, China. Gary has been working in sourcing since 2008, and is the creator of 80/20 Sourcing which teaches online sellers and small business importers how to save time and make more money when sourcing from suppliers in China.

This post was originally published in three parts on 80/20 Sourcing: Yellow PagesOnline Sourcing for Small Volume Orders, and Online, Offline, and Thinking Outside the Box.

Think of Alibaba as the “Yellow Pages”

When you think of sourcing from China what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Hopping on a plane and flying to Guangzhou to find a factory? No, you go on Alibaba!

But can you really find the right supplier for you on Alibaba without getting scammed? Or getting the wrong product? Or deliveries getting delayed? Or getting shipped a container full of dirt? You’ve heard the horror stories.

If you learn nothing else from this article, here’s the takeaway – Alibaba is an online directory just like the yellow pages. In other words, it’s a listing of suppliers and you shouldn’t trust Alibaba to vet them for you.

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The Amazon Sourcing Strategy That Really Works

Amazon Sourcing Strategy

This post is by Andrew Tjernlund, Founder of Vigilante Products and AMZ Help – an “Ask the Experts” service for Amazon sellers. Andrew has been selling online for ten years, and made $10M of sales in 2015. His brother Will was interviewed here in 2015.

The private labeling hype machine has been running hot for a couple of years now.

Just find a product that’s already selling well on Amazon. Then source a generic version from China. Slap a logo on it, and sell it using Amazon FBA. Boom! Riches are yours. Now just rinse and repeat.

But there’s something rotten in this private labeling utopia. Hordes of new sellers seeking their fortunes have descended, and they aren’t getting the easy success all the training courses promised them. Why not?

Well, finding a “perfect product” that will sell like hot cakes is hard. Really hard. Driven by all those online courses and schemes, competition from other sellers has become fierce. On the other side of the equation, buyers are starting to cry foul. Even these fly-by-night “brand names” bring certain expectations of quality and support, and many of them are just not living up to it.

So here’s the Amazon product sourcing strategy that I use. It doesn’t depend on importing, you don’t need to find perfect products, and I’ve made it hard to compete against. For me, it’s been hugely successful.

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9 Myths About Using Social Media for Business

Social Media Mythbuster

This post is by Lanae Paaverud, founder and CEO of Social Networking Nanny. Lanae began selling on eBay in 2000, and opened her own online retail website, Old World Limited, in 2007. An early adopter of Facebook and Twitter to promote her business, Lanae’s success with social media was quickly recognized by her peers. In 2009 this led to the founding of Social Networking Nanny, a social media services firm helping small businesses get social on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more.

As an online retailer with 16 years of experience, I quickly learned that social networking is an integral part of business. You can advertise your products, and promote your latest offers, but also put a face to your store – a crucial human aspect that helps people engage with your business and feel comfortable buying from you.

With Social Networking Nanny, I spend a lot of time talking to other business owners about using social media. But there’s a lot of hype and “hot air” out there about marketing through social networks, and it’s easy to get the wrong idea about using social media in your business.

So here are my top nine myths about social media for business. I’ll explain why people believe them and the reality behind the myths, and – most importantly – how you can really make the most of your social presence. I’d love to hear your questions and feedback in the comments at the end!

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Ecommerce Supply Chain Management: Reducing Cost and Inefficiency

Ecommerce Supply Chain Management 780

This post is written by Crystal Gilliam and illustrated by Joyce Lee, both members of the TradeGecko content team. TradeGecko is a cloud-based inventory management software solution for SMBs. TradeGecko’s blog and knowledge base are full of tips and tricks for retailers and wholesalers on inventory management, ecommerce and logistics.

Supply chain management. The term brings images to mind of warehouses, shipping containers, and people walking around in hard hats holding clipboards. It can seem complicated – and let’s be honest, it is. A supply chain is the multi-faceted backbone of your retail or wholesale business whether you’re selling online, in stores or doing a little bit of both.

As with any major aspect of your business, there are probably lots of areas where you’re incurring more costs than necessary and some of these can definitely be streamlined. It’s worth taking a look at your supply chain as a whole to recognize areas where there could be fewer costs, which also means higher profits.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a guide for cutting those costs and optimizing your supply chain.

In the following, we take a look at six areas of the supply chain and how you can start to cut costs and streamline: inventory cost, inventory valuation, quality control, sales channels, warehousing and fulfillment logistics.

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How To Master Ecommerce Returns & Drive New Sales

Mastering Ecommerce Returns

This post is by Nick Maglosky, CEO of ecomdash. Ecomdash is a smart, multichannel inventory, order, listing and shipping software for online retailers. Nick is passionate about small to mid-sized businesses and all things ecommerce, and enjoys researching innovative ways retailers can compete online in an increasingly diverse market.

Though ecommerce businesses and strategies vary across industries, there’s one thing just about all retailers can agree on: returns suck. It can feel like the death of a sale, and it’s a hassle to process.

Though some buyers want to bury their return policy in hopes of dissuading returns, know that an easy returns experience yields future orders. Studies show that of the 60% of online shoppers that make at least one return or exchange per year, 95% will make another purchase if the return experience was positive.

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