The ultimate guide to finding a supplier for your product idea

Friday, February 12, 2021 - 3 min read

There are a variety of suppliers that you might encounter when searching on the Internet while choosing a good supplier with who you can build a long-term business relationship with is vital. Follow our following ultimate guide to find the best supplier for your product idea.

What kind of supplier are you searching for?

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Dropshipping business

There are tons of suppliers Google can suggest, however, prior to the selection, make out what kind of supplier you are targeting. The most common supplier options are: manufacturer (who directly produces the product), supplier (or wholesaler, a distributor that provides already-existing products) or drop shipper (who supplies and completes product orders). You also should decide whether a domestic or overseas supplier will be suitable for your product. The domestic suppliers can shorten shipping time, secure payment process and protect intellectual property while the overseas ones offer lower manufacturing cost and diversity of supplier choices.

Where to find a manufacturer?

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Trade shows

There are several options that you might consider:

  • Trade shows: you can straightly talk to the suppliers, ask and compare on the spot.
  • Referral: ask peers in the same industry to see who they cooperate with as suppliers and the insight of personal experience and feedback.
  • Google: Google is the ultimate way to find a supplier, however, some suppliers are not always “online”, some do not keep pace with the Internet, updated their website nor optimized search engine.
  • Alibaba, eBay, Oberlo, Amazon, Global Sources, etc.

Request for quotation

The price might be the first and foremost question you need to raise with the supplier.

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Sample of email requesting for a quotation

On planning request for a quote, in order to receive an accurate response, besides introducing yourself, you should add these contents in your email:

  • Minimum order quantity;
  • Sample cost;
  • Producing time;
  • Payment terms;
  • Return/Refund policies;
  • Product pricing.

Being ignored or receiving no response is very common, suppliers have thousands of quote requests and many of them from flaky buyers. In order to be noticed, you should prepare a clear, concise and well-formatted email with no error and try to be just enough, don’t try to ask too much or too little.

Shortlist

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Draw a shortlist of supplier

Now you might face up with thousands of suppliers and it is time to draw a shortlist. In addition to consideration of quotations, terms and condition, the following questions should be answered:

  • Are they capable of delivering your target product at your desired time?
  • Do they have any financial issues that might negatively affect production?
  • How long have they run their business?
  • Do they receive recommendations or good reviews?

Suppliers can make or break your business, the chances to pick a good supplier will be increased if you can clarify your needs, ask questions and accurately assess bids.