TAS 006 The 5 Steps For Finding And Sourcing Products To Private Label And Not Get Scammed

One of the hardest parts of starting your Amazon FBA Business is sourcing a product from China or overseas. I have sourced two products so far and working on my third as I write this post and I've had good luck so far.

But, I feel it's because of the research and the suppliers I contact. In this episode I share with you my 5 steps for finding suppliers and feeling confident I won't get scammed.

The 5 Steps:

  • 1. Search for Products In Alibaba.com
  • 2. Use Filters To Find Highest Quality Suppliers
  • 3. Contact Supplier with Specific Questions (Very Important Step)
  • 4. Respond to Suppliers That Email Back
  • 5. Place First Order and WAIT!

I go into great detail on the podcast, so you'll hear all the ins and outs for choosing the right supplier.

The Podcast recording is down below or you can find it on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

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•Email Template For Suppliers-

I mentioned in the podcast that I would include a basic email with the question to ask.

Hi, My name is ————– and I'm the purchasing agent for XYZ Company.

We are in the process of adding a ——————— to our product line and your product seems to be what we are looking for.

I have a few questions.

1. Do you offer samples and how much including DHL Express Shipping to United States zip code 89078?
2. How long to receive 2 samples?
3. Can we pay using Paypal?
4. Can we change the color ?
5. Can we brand with our logo?
6. What is the cost per unit including shipping by DHL Air Express to United States Zip Code 89076?
7. How long for manufacturing once we place order?
8. Do you accept Escrow payments?

Our first order of 500 will be a small test order and in the future will be ordering between 1,000 to 5,000 units.

Can we order 500 units for the first order?

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank You!

John Doe
-Kitchen Express –  Purchasing Agent

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Tip: Copy and paste your email to at least 10 to 20 suppliers. You will weed out the ones that are late to reply and only attract the ones that could be possible suppliers.

 

Join the discussion

176 comments
  • Hey Scott! thank you for all the info you provide as I am just starting out and its very helpful. I Do have a question about something in your template email though.

    I know in question one your using the zip code of your home address, but in question six I assume your speaking about the zip code for the according AMZ warehouse where your product will be shipped. If this is my first product how will I know which warehouse AMZ will want me to ship to and the according zip?

    thanks again.

    • Both zip codes are going to be the same for the shipping estimate since you don’t have any way of knowing where Amazon wants you to send the inventory until you actually create the shipment inside Amazon (when you’re ready to send in your product).

  • Hi Scott – Thanks for the enthusiastic support and mentorship of all of us working to do what you’ve done! A couple questions…
    1) When you send the supplier your logo, do they ask for a specific file type? I.e. jpg , png?
    2) When you by the SKU/UPC #s is this electronic and you simply send this file to the supplier? Also, would you suggest doing an FN SKU? And does this replace the UPC #?

    Thanks so much – you’ve been a tremendous help!
    Heather

    • Hey Heather!

      Generally your supplier will ask for a vector format image (such as, .ai or .pdf). In terms of the UPC, yes it would be a file you would send to your supplier. I would have your package designer incorporate the barcode into the package design file before you send it to the supplier.

      Whether to use the UPC or FNSKU is a matter of personal preference, I currently have some products that I do one way and some that I do the other. The important thing is, you’ll only be putting 1 on your packaging.

      • Thanks for the response, super helpful! I’m doing my own design using canva.com. I got that website from one of your podcasts or possibly from the jungle scout webinar you participated in. Does that sound like a good route to you? Is there a certain size or pixel quantity suppliers are looking for? I am still wary that I’m missing something in the product I am pursuing. Do you know of a reliable second set of eyes that may be willing to give my product a second look? Thanks again!

        • Hey Heather, the size for your design would vary based on the product and package, but if you get the specs from your supplier you should be able to use just about any tool out there to design it. Just make sure you ask them what they need!

  • Hi Scott – do you send a generic shipment to Amazon to get selling and then organize to have your next shipment private labelled or would you recommend PL right from the beginning? Thanks again for your help.

  • Hi Scott
    I loved your interview on Niche Pursuits podcast and am listening to your first 6 steps podcasts as I prepare to start my FBA business.
    I have a couple of questions about the supplier shipping direct to Amazon:
    How do you handle the import duties? Is it the case that DHL handle this if you send by air? But I think it would be too expensive to send 500 items by air.
    Can you trust the supplier to label the shipment correctly according to Amazon’s strict rules?
    What happens if Amazon rejects the shipment for whatever reason?
    From what I’ve heard on other podcasts, these are reasons to use a shipping agent.
    Regards
    Neil

    • Hey Neil, I ship to my house by air to avoid those exact issue. If Amazon has to reject a shipment due to mislabeling or another reason it will be sent back to the “shipped from address” which if you’re importing directly to their warehouse would be….CHINA. If you’ve been working with the supplier for awhile and trust them it’s up to you.

      As far as import duties go. DHL will handle them up front and then invoice you for them. If it’s $100 or less they will mail you an invoice, if it’s over $100 they will hold the shipment and call you to collect the duties before they deliver it. It’s a pretty painless process.

  • Hey Scott,
    Love the podcast so far. I’m working my way through the earlier episodes a second time to take notes.
    One question on this one: do you respond to suppliers who you aren’t going with to tell them you’re going with someone else?
    And if so, do you reply differently to some of the different “tiers” of the suppliers:
    1) The ones that take way too long too respond
    2) The ones that answer “no” to an important question
    3) The ones whose sample you ordered but isn’t the one you’re going to order

    Thanks!

    • Hey Brenden,

      1) this one is going to vary a bit based on the product and timeline. If they take awhile to respond to the first one but respond to follow ups quickly, then I might let it slide. If they continue to take awhile, I’d probably discount them.

      2) Most no’s are often actually negotiable. Take paypal payment for example. Many suppliers will say they don’t accept it because they don’t want to pay the fees. If you respond with an offer to pay some of or all of the fees, many suppliers become willing to accept paypal. This is the case for virtually everything else as well.

      3)Honesty is the best policy, if you think the supplier is someone you’d like to work with on a future product, let them know that!

  • Thanks so much for your help Scott. Really appreciate it.
    I was told you had done the ASM course was that correct?
    I like your energy and really enjoy your podcasts, so I guess from you I was just looking for reassurance that this your course will be ok for a beginner. Can you tell me if you offer the same if not more content than ASM?

    • I have not been through the ASM course, but from what I hear the material in the PLC is as good if not better (although, of course I’m a bit biased). I can assure you that it would cover every detail from finding your product and suppliers, to getting your product launched and sales rolling in!

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