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Finding an Excellent Supplier for Your Amazon FBA Business (2021 Step-by-Step Guide)

August 16, 2020

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In this article, you'll learn how to locate a supplier for your FBA Private Label business.

One product I found from a local business enabled me to double my Amazon income and help them increase their product sales. 

The best part?

I show you a variety of places to search for suppliers,

including Alibaba and even mom-and-pop shops near you.

When you know how to sell on Amazon,

you can help local suppliers and build an income for yourself. 

Here's an outline of what I cover in this one:

  • Overview: 3 Basic Steps of Getting a Great Supplier
  • Different Kinds of Suppliers
  • Using Alibaba to Find a Supplier
  • Utilizing Jungle Scout's Supplier Discovery Tool

Supplier Selection in 3 Basic Steps

Here's an overview of the product selection process:

Step 1. Evaluate Responsiveness: You don't want to have to wait a week to hear from your supplier, so finding out how responsive (how fast the supplier replies and communicates) they are is vital.

Here's a couple points to consider: 

(A) Do they respond within 24-36 hours? (be gracious and take into account time zone differences)

(B) Do they respond with fairly clear English (in my experience with Chinese suppliers, their English isn't flawless, but it's definitely workable)? 

Remember that you are looking at having a long term relationship with this company, so while being understanding for some sort of language barrier, assure yourself that you are interacting with a professional company. (Wondering if you are dealing with an actual company? Verify your prospective supplier with Jungle Scout's Database. 

Step 2. SHOW PROFESSIONALISM: How the supplier perceives your level of serious is important.

When you send communication to the supplier, be polite and yet fairly straight to the point. I provide a template below, which you can customize for your business (I include 4 customization suggestions below the template). 

Step 3. VERIFY PRODUCT QUALITY: Getting a sample was necessary a few years ago, but since camera quality has evolved on smart phones, all you need to do is arrange a video session and view the product from all angles and have a certain set of questions to ask the supplier about the product.

But if you want them to ship an actual sample for you inspect (I generally don't), be prepared to spend 75 to 100 dollars per sample, which includes the product cost, shipping and handling as well as a few miscellaneous costs. 

Those are the overall steps to finding a product supplier. 

If you are looking to find your supplier via Alibaba, here's a step by step guide to finding your ideal supplier. 

If you are using Jungle Scout, I share a step-by-step process below to using their new Supplier Database features. 

Types of Suppliers for Amazon FBA

There's four main types of suppliers that service FBA merchants (sellers) well. 

Private Label Product Manufacturers

If you are building your own brand of products, this is the type of supplier that you will want. 

You'll find a supplier that is already set up to make your product,

then add your packaging and/labeling to the product. 

Two Super Popular Supplier Directories

Alibaba

Nearly all Amazon FBA courses have instructions for how to find suppliers using Alibaba.com

This site you can navigate super easily via the search bar at the top. 

One super helpful feature is the filters that you can put on your search queries

that give you the ability to find verified suppliers 

so you know that you are looking at reliable producers. 

there's nothing worse than thinking you've found your ideal supplier

(product is ideal, price is excellent, etc.)

but then realizing that the supplier doesn't have good customer service or has a history of unethical practices. 

Most of the suppliers available on Alibaba are based in China,

but there are manufacturers from Vietnam, India and more. 

Similar to Alibaba, ThomasNet is another helpful supplier directory. 

It has a little broader scope than Alibaba,

as you can search by location,

versus,​

with Alibaba,

you need to go find the Alibaba site that is for the particular country you want to find a supplier in before searching for your product. 

Basically, ThomasNet saves a step in the process. 

When you search on ThomasNet, each search result will show the manufacturer and their current certifications.

It's really important that the suppliers have been inspected by a 3rd party organization like ISO, 

which stands for the "International Organization for Standardization."

The current standard, as of February 2020, is ISO 9002. 

I got familiar with manufacturing certifications when I was coordinating with Japanese part suppliers while working at a car parts store immediately after graduating from university. 

The job was a headache because we had to re verify that our parts came from ISO 9000 manufacturers each time that we ordered to restock our inventory. 

Devils in the details with all the paperwork to show that everything was kosher. 


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