It’s no secret that buying products from overseas is often much cheaper than buying locally because labor and manufacturing costs are typically lower. With that said, there are many things to consider besides the overall cost when sourcing products from overseas. There are shipping, logistics, and customs issues to worry about, not to mention the language barrier.
If you’re planning to source products from overseas, the information below will give you the guidance you need to ensure your interactions and transactions go smoothly.
1. Shipping and Logistics
One of the most significant issues entrepreneurs face is getting their products from Point A to Point B with as little hassle as possible. This is especially true if they do a large amount of business with hundreds of daily sales.
The easiest way to ensure the products you are sourcing from overseas get to the end user is to work with a reputable 3PL fulfillment center. Not only will the fulfillment center make sure your customers’ packages ship on time, but they also handle all the logistics. With their support, your customers will stay happy, and your business will be set for consistent growth.
2. Ask for Product Samples
It can be difficult to gauge quality from an online website, so don’t be afraid to ask for product samples from the overseas suppliers you’re considering. You want to be sure you are selling a quality product to your customers, and you don’t want to overpay for sub-par products.
Keep in mind, though, that the samples you receive may not be an accurate representation of the products themselves. Sometimes, you have to negotiate to ensure you always get your money’s worth from overseas suppliers.
3. Work with a Manufacturer Rather than a Trader
It may not seem like a big deal, but if you work with a manufacturer rather than a trading company, you can directly access the people making the product and address any quality concerns quickly.
If you partner with a trading company, on the other hand, you may have to go through many layers to address quality concerns, which wastes time and dilutes the importance of your concerns. The message can get lost as it travels from you to the manufacturer, leaving you feeling frustrated and helpless.
4. Find Out if Scalability is a Problem
Every business owner hopes to grow, and it would be a shame if you had to switch suppliers simply because they couldn’t keep up with the demand of your growing business. Before signing on any dotted line, determine whether your business growth will be a problem for them. If the supplier can’t commit to growing with you, then it’s best to keep looking for a supplier that can.
5. Compare Vendors
Since you have access to multiple suppliers online, take the time to compare the quality and cost of several of them. Don’t just decide to partner with the first supplier who gives you a decent-looking quote.
Take the time to determine your profit margin to ensure the deal you strike will be worth it. Don’t rush the process; it might take a week or more to find a supplier that provides quality products and meets your budgeting needs. Be patient and picky – this is your livelihood, after all.
The eCommerce industry is booming, with many entrepreneurs turning to overseas suppliers for cost-effective products. Buying overseas can save you a lot of money, but be sure you are getting the quality you expect by following the tips above.