Our best articles on finding manufacturers, using Alibaba and other sourcing sites, ensuring product quality, and complying with regulations
Importing goods for sale is a profitable business model for many online sellers, but it is complex and can be a minefield of problems from poor product quality to shipments being held up at customs.
Many things can go wrong in the import/export process. There are several examples in private label seller Danny McMillan’s nightmare story about importing a shipment from China. Danny also covers everything he learned from the situation.
Thankfully, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there to help sellers import products from China. For this roundup we’ve selected our best importing articles and grouped them into four sections:
- Finding suppliers from China and beyond
- To Alibaba or not to Alibaba?
- Getting the best out of your suppliers
- Product quality and compliance
Step-by-step tips on buying from Alibaba, from finding suppliers and sending RFQs, to making a shortlist and using communication channels.
This post is by Gary Huang, founder of 80/20 Sourcing and an online seller on Amazon, eBay and Shopify since 2004.
As a private label business owner or ecommerce store owner, when you want to source a product from China the first thing that comes to mind is buying from Alibaba, right? Not so fast…
Alibaba certainly is the largest online directory of suppliers. However I always say that Alibaba is like the yellow pages. And there are hundreds of thousands of suppliers on there. And there will be the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So how do you separate the scammers and trading companies from the straight-shooting direct factories?
I’ve been based in China since 2008 and have worked with hundreds of Chinese suppliers. Alibaba is one of the tools I’ve used to source reliable suppliers, so I’d like to share some of my do’s and don’ts and help you buy from Alibaba successfully.
Ensure the quality is up to scratch when working with factories in China, with this product inspection primer for ecommerce businesses.
This post is by Blair Quane, Director of Remote Control CEO.
Most consumer goods are now made in China, from plastic toys for dollar stores to the latest iPhones for Apple. Chinese factories make products for brands and retailers of every type.
When you are having products made in China for your own business, how do you know if you are getting iPhone quality or dollar store quality? How can you make sure standards are consistent across different production runs? How do you know that the goods are being handled and packaged properly?
Unfortunately, you can’t really know these things unless you are standing in the factory all day, looking over their shoulder. What you can do is arrange an independent inspection to check that the products are being made to your specification, then take action if the quality is not what it should be.
Amazon is asking sellers on its European sites for their products’ Declaration of Conformity. What is a DoC and how can sellers get one?
This post is by Ferry Vermeulen, Founder of INSTRKTIV, a company which helps businesses develop compliant product documentation and user manuals.
When selling certain products on Amazon in Europe, the platform requires you to submit a Declaration of Conformity. A Declaration of Conformity (or DoC) proves that the product complies with European product safety legislation.
Depending on the EU directives that apply to your product, there are different requirements on the content of the Declaration. Amazon is very strict and only approves products that include a compliant Declaration. They often decline products without giving a reason, so the seller has to work out what’s missing for themselves.
This article will explain what a Declaration of Conformity is, when you need one, and how you can draft and submit a compliant DoC.
Everything you need to know, from what makes a great private label manufacturer to the best directories – and the worst mistakes.
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.
FACT: there are over 2.8 MILLION factories in China. They range from state of the art and fully-automated manufacturing facilities, to loose groups of stay-at-home women who cut and sew textiles from their own homes. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a pretty good chance there’s a factory in China that can make it.
But if you’re an Amazon private label seller or an ecommerce entrepreneur, how do you know which type of manufacturer is right for you?
In other words, how do you find the right private label manufacturer for your business? One that makes products at the right quality and the right price, provides the service you need, can deliver on time, make the modifications you want, and manufacture them under your brand.