How to Source Products to Sell Online

Found the product you’re going to manufacture yet?

If you didn’t…

Go through the last eCommerce series on niche ideas or product selection.

In this post, I’ll show you how I get a product sourced to sell online.

Ideally, this is for creating private label products.

It’s much easier and cheaper than inventing your own product.

What are private label products?

Basically, you’re adding your own brand on a product already made.

Market and sell it.

However, you must differentiate from competitors and make your product stand out. In the next part of the eCommerce series, I’ll discuss my brand design strategy that converts.

Let’s dive in…

Here are two methods I’ve used to find suppliers to manufacture my products.

Use Google to Search Private Label Opportunities

The first method is easiest.

This is also the best method if you want your product manufactured in the US.

Most suppliers have their own website with detailed information about their private label product process.

Depending on your niche, the simplest way is to use search parameters

Example:

“niche” + private label company or private label “niche + product”

Google provides a good amount of companies here in the states that source private label products.

You just need to search.

When you’ve found the suppliers you’re interested contact and get at least 5-10 quotes from 5-10 suppliers.

Usually, their websites have all the information you need but call them directly too, just to make sure they’re a professional company.

How much does it cost to start?

Short answer, depending on your budget.

This really depends on many factors too, and I won’t dive into all the calculations such as the cost of goods, landing cost, customs, etc. But, I’ll suggest this if this is your first time with a budget.

Start off small, 300-500 minimum order quantity, if possible.

Depending on the cost per unit and suppliers MOQ, usually, the more you buy the cheaper the cost per unit.

Using Alibaba for Global Product Sourcing

Alibaba is the leading online commerce provider.

You’ll be able to get your product sourced internationally like countries from China or even Vietnam.

With low manufacturer prices.

However, you’ll need some basic negotiations skills to get them to get the best prices.

Here’s how I’m able to find China suppliers and get low prices.

First, if you haven’t, sign up for a free Alibaba.com account.

Once you get your account set up.

Search in Alibaba for your product.

Choose the Trade Assurance and Gold Plus Supplier under Supplier Types:

This shows the suppliers that only have a premium membership as a high-level supplier.

It also shows the supplier supports Trade Assurance, an Alibaba program to protect your payment to delivery.

When looking they’re the list of your potential products and suppliers.

A few things to look out for:

  1. Prices are NOT exact on the search results, you’ll have to contact them directly to get their exact prices, but you can use it as a guide to choose suppliers to contact.
  2. Images of their product matters. Even though the supplier may have a lower price, they may be giving you a quote for the lowest quality. To make sure I get the best, I usually gather more images and material ideas, even from my competitors, this gives them an idea you’re not looking for low-quality products.

Go through the product listings and check description details.

Check the packaging details and see what they include per unit, usually, it should come with a pp bag.

One of the most important things to look for is the OEM service.

This usually means they can make a private label of your product, however, you’ll have to order at an MOQ.

Contact the supplier representative below the product page. I usually leave everything on default such as Quantity and Business Card, but leave the “Recommended matching…” unchecked, unless you want suppliers to spam you.

Here’s a template you can use:

Hi,

My name is ___.

We are currently looking for a long-term supplier to produce our product, the (product name) with our logo and packaging design.

(if you want any customizations)We also would like to add a flyer insert to each packaging.

The product must be high-quality materials.

Attached are some examples I’ve found that I am looking to include for our product.

Please provide your MOQ and price for this.

Thank you, hope to hear back soon.

Your Name

Again, you should contact at least 5-10 suppliers.

Copy and paste your message to each supplier to make it much easier and faster.

Conclusion

This phase is really simple.

Just remember, trying to explain exactly how you want your product, and give some image examples if possible.

But keep in mind, the more you customize, the more it may cost.

Check anyways. Get as many quotes to where you feel comfortable with the price you’re going to pay.

Another thing to keep in mind, they charge for packaging separately. If you’re planning to have your packaging in a more quality bag or box, expect to pay an MOQ for this.

On the next post, we’ll discuss Brand design strategies and how I use it to differentiate from competitors that make your brand and products convert.

Are you using one of the methods above for sourcing products? Do you have other methods you want to share? Comment below!


Join free weekly newsletters plus get tips and strategy to launch your own successful eCommerce brand!

Click Here to Sign Up