3 Different Types of Chinese Suppliers: Which is Right for You?

3 Types of Chinese Suppliers

This post is by Ashish Monga, the founder of IMEX Sourcing Services. IMEX is a sourcing, quality control and product development company helping businesses import from China while managing their costs and risks, with particular expertise in ecommerce and selling on Amazon. Ashish also does consultancy work in the field of international trade and import risk management. He is the author of The Sourcing Blog, a blog focused on sourcing advice for importing from China.

There are many commonly held beliefs in the West about getting a company to manufacture your goods in China. It is true that you can vastly reduce your production costs, even when you have to ship products halfway around the world.

But it isn’t true that dealing directly with factories is always the best way forward. Trading and sourcing companies, though they sometimes have a poor reputation, can be a very good way of starting your foray into Chinese manufacturing, with experts on the ground able to help you in a very alien environment.

In this article I’m going to explain the differences between manufacturers, trading companies and sourcing companies. Then I’ll help you understand which is right for your unique business and products.

Finally, I’ll give you some advice on how to approach these companies. Chinese suppliers can get hundreds of inquiries every day, so you have to “sell” your business to them just as much as they have to prove themselves to you.

Let’s start by taking a look at the similarities and differences between manufacturers, trading companies, and sourcing companies.

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Why Selling on Amazon is Like Trading on the Stock Market

Old Retail Model vs New Retail Model

This post is by Lauren Shepherd, a marketer at Teikametrics. Teikametrics helps Amazon FBA sellers drive traffic to their listings and scale their business using data-driven software and consulting for inventory optimization, repricing, restocking, review management, ad optimization, and product scouting. This post was first published on the Teikametrics Blog as What the Most Successful FBA Sellers Do Differently.

Selling on Amazon is a bit like life in the Amazon jungle – it’s survival of the fittest. But what gives certain sellers that edge? What makes them stand out from the pack and become king of their domain?

Top Amazon sellers aren’t like the rest.  The most successful sellers have adapted to the evolving ecosystem that is online retail by treating selling on Amazon like trading on the stock market.

Amazon has resulted in an increasing commodification of retail, putting the focus on price and convenience rather than value and selection. Just as traders take a strategic, analytical approach to their stock portfolios, successful sellers apply the same mentality towards their inventories.

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Selling Internationally? Look Beyond Amazon and eBay

Selling Internationally? Look Beyond Amazon and eBay

This article is by Trevor Ginn. Trevor runs UK-based business Hello Baby, selling baby, toddler and nursery products worldwide through several online marketplaces and his own store.

At Hello Baby we’ve been selling online since 2007. We started on eBay, then Amazon soon afterwards, so multi-channel selling has been important for us since the start.

We started selling internationally in our first year, taking advantage of eBay’s international availability option. That’s the easiest way to get started with cross-border trade. Since then, we’ve grown our international sales steadily.

Today, we regularly sell to 34 countries around the world including the United States, Australia, France and Japan. Wherever the buyers are, if they want to buy from us then I am happy to sell to them.

But I’m always on the lookout for new channels – countries and marketplaces that can help us increase our order volume further.

In this post I’ll explain why I’m such a strong believer in selling internationally, and how I go about deciding where to sell next. I’ll talk about the challenges we’ve faced selling internationally – both in general, and for specific marketplaces in New Zealand, France and the Netherlands. And I’ll tell you how we dealt with those problems.

If you have any questions just pop them in the comments box at the end.

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Amazon Sponsored Products: How to Increase Your ROI

Amazon Sponsored Products 101 Animated

This post is by Tara Johnson, Lead Reporter for Retail at CPC Strategy. Named one of the top 50 Ecommerce Experts in 2015, Tara specializes in premium content creation with a focus on the Amazon Marketplace and Google Shopping. She is also the leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.

Web Retailer’s recent survey showed that 67% of Amazon sellers actively promote their items, and of those 74% use Amazon Sponsored Products, making it by far the most popular form of advertising for Amazon sellers.

But there are many Amazon sellers – a third, according to the survey – who don’t promote their items in any way at all. And why should they, when they already pay Amazon fees to sell their products?

In this article, I’m going to explain why you should consider using Amazon Sponsored Products to help grow your business. I’ll take you through the nuts and bolts of how it works, with a real-life example and some practical advice on how to get the best ROI.

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Vendor Central or Seller Central? 1P vs. 3P Amazon Strategies

Amazon Vendor Central vs Seller Central

This post is by James Thomson and Joseph Hansen, Partners of Buybox Experts, a consultancy supporting brands selling on Amazon and other marketplaces. Thomson and Hansen are also co-founders of the PROSPER Show, a continuing education conference focused on developing training and best-practice materials for early-stage online sellers.

When a brand owner contemplates selling on Amazon, they have a big choice to make:

  • 1P: Sell first-party, wholesale, directly to Amazon Retail, using the Vendor Central interface.
  • 3P: Sell third-party to consumers through the Amazon marketplace, using the Seller Central interface (whether the brand sets up its own 3P seller account, or works with partner 3P sellers focused on the brand).

Given the complexity of the Amazon marketplace, and the desire of brands to control their own destinies, we are seeing a significant move towards brands either setting up their own third-party seller accounts, or working with sophisticated third-party sellers who will manage the brands’ brand equity and product feeds, while respecting pricing and ensuring constant availability of product through the Fulfillment by Amazon program.

In this paper, we discuss the key issues and trade-offs of selling wholesale to Amazon Retail vs. selling through third-party Amazon sellers, and outline the risks involved in each approach.

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