Tag Archives: Importing

Bringing Together The World’s Leading Amazon Sellers and Sourcing Experts

Twice a year, the Global Sources Summit hosts the leading speakers on sourcing and private labeling from every corner of the Earth

For Amazon marketplace sellers, private labeling remains one of the most popular business models. This is where sellers source a generic item, create a logo and custom packaging, and then offer it on Amazon under their own brand name and listing.

But the private label model is more difficult than people think, and one of the most difficult aspects is sourcing products from China – especially if sellers have no previous experience of importing. They often make simple but costly errors, like miscommunicating with their supplier or having the wrong export documentation.

This is where the Global Sources Summit comes in. It aims to help established Amazon sellers source more efficiently, by learning from the world’s top sourcing and private label experts. It also gives sellers the opportunity to source products from two co-located trade shows, and to visit Chinese suppliers in person.

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How to Carry Out an Annual Review of Your Chinese Suppliers

Identify key problems, work together on solutions, and grow your business together – or fire them!

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.

When sourcing from suppliers abroad, oftentimes we are so bogged down in the day-to-day communications, fixing problems, placing orders, and handling all other parts of our business, we rarely take a chance to evaluate how the supplier is performing. One of the best ways is to do this is with a performance review.

Does the sound of that make your skin crawl? The thought of meeting with your boss and having him pick apart all the good and bad you’ve done all year. We hate that feeling when someone gives you negative feedback despite the fact it’s “for your own good”. The idea is that this way you recognize your weaknesses, and ideally identify ways to work together to improve upon them.

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Shipping Private Label Products from China: My Nightmare Story

Man facing tsunami

This post is by Danny McMillan, a private label seller and international speaker on selling through the Amazon marketplace. Danny is a music industry survivor and serial start-up entrepreneur, focusing on Amazon FBA for the last two years. As a public speaker, he has appeared at events including the Smart China Sourcing Summit, Private Label World Summit and the European Private Label Summit. He can be found at DannyMcMillan.com.

I’ve been private labeling for a couple of years now: sourcing products from China, creating a brand and selling them through Amazon FBA. I haven’t nailed it by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve been through the sea-shipping process six times, gained some amazing experiences and learned a lot of lessons along the way.

Back in May I wrote about my first visit to China and the Canton Fair. Trade shows are a fantastic way to scout for new products and meet suppliers face-to-face. Not long after, I decided to embark on a new product launch with my supplier. I worked through product selection, branding and manufacturing without too much trouble. One task remained: shipping the finished products over from China in time for Christmas. It’s just moving something from A to B. Should be simple, right?

Wrong. It turned out to be the most difficult and unpredictable experience of my private labeling career so far. Murphy’s law tells us that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. And it did. I was asked for paperwork that I hadn’t needed before. As soon as I had jumped through that hoop, I was asked for more documents. That happened again and again. Then the payment to my supplier went through early, before the products had even been inspected. After that, we had hazardous material issues with the shipment. Then the boxes were damaged on the way to the port in China. Any one of those problems would be enough to lose sleep over.

But Murphy’s law was wrong. Not only did everything that could go wrong go wrong, things that can’t go wrong went wrong too. My shipment ended up slap-bang in the middle of the biggest economic disaster to hit the freight industry in the last 100 years: the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh-largest shipping company. It was completely unprecedented, and nobody had a clue what was going on. Would my products ever see the light of day?

So here it is: my nightmare story of getting one shipment over from China. I’ll be candid about what happened, and tell you everything I learned. I hope it helps you avoid the same problems.

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Product Sourcing Roundup: Importing, Reselling, Liquidation, Arbitrage and Used

Product Sourcing Roundup

We have covered the topic of sourcing products many times over the past few years. Posts have ranged from sourcing methods and strategies, to the nitty gritty of finding suppliers and working with them effectively.

Many aspects of selling come down to processes and policies – understanding the marketplaces and running a really streamlined operation. That efficiency is crucial, and can be hard to achieve, but really it’s just a requirement so that you can stay in business. The ability to find appealing products at a profitable price is what actually determines your success.

In this roundup, I’ve pulled together our best sourcing posts. They’re grouped into six sections: general, importing, reselling, liquidation, arbitrage and used.

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How To Attend a Chinese Trade Show Like a Pro

Man Jumping

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 two parts on 80/20 Sourcing: Hacking a Chinese trade fair as a buyer and How to attend a trade show like a pro.

Every year the seasons change and we enter spring and fall. Do you know what that means? Besides the changing weather, it’s trade show season!

Just as there’s “more than one way to skin a cat” there’s more than one way to find a Chinese supplier. Besides using sites such as Alibaba, did you know that trade shows can be a great way to:

  • Quickly identify qualified suppliers (and weed out the bad ones).
  • Meet them face-to-face to build trust.
  • Get your hands on samples immediately.
  • Find new products and trends.

Imagine all the time you save speaking with someone in person rather than emailing back forth every night to get a sample delivered to you.

So in this article I’ll explain how to find the right suppliers, ask the right questions, and get the right product at the right price when attending trade shows in China.

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