With the globalization and advances in international trade technology, businesses today have become truly global and convenient. Thanks to the Internet, sourcing opportunities have been so abundant and varied. Once viewed as the territory of multi-national companies and big businesses, it is now possible for even the smallest and most inexperienced eBay seller to look across the globe for the next great product idea.
Choosing The Right Product
The first step to choosing the right product is to decide on whether to source a standard, off-the-shelf item or to customize a product and make it exclusively your own. If you buy standard items that are made continuously by many factories, all you need is to contact a few suppliers, get their best quotes and do a quick quality check on the product. If you plan to buy customized products, however, ensure that your suppliers clearly understand your specifications.
Locating A Dependable Supplier
Dealing with a serious and dependable supplier ensures good quality items and can help deflect many potential disputes. If possible, visit China and check out potential manufacturers directly. However, first-hand scrutiny is often not practical; in such cases, publications and e-zines on the subject are good places to start your sourcing research. There are also a number of websites where you can find suppliers.
When you are exploring sourcing opportunities, be sure the company you are evaluating actually exists. Call the potential supplier before committing yourself to a written contract. A good Internet sourcing-portal will also include contact details such as names, numbers and e-mail addresses so you can easily get in touch with suppliers with queries and concerns.
Once you are in contact with a prospective supplier, clearly state your requirements with regard to product specifications and order terms. Make sure to ask extensive questions about the manufacturing process as well as quality control. Inquire if the supplier is willing to provide product samples so you can test them yourself. If not, try to place a small order to check the quality and service.
When dealing with suppliers from China, the most common method of payment is the money transfer. In most cases, you will not be able to pay by credit card and it is recommended that you stay away from sites that only accept Money Gram; they are more likely to be bogus. Some companies do accept PayPal for regular customers, that is very safe for you and if they are reliable, you can also pay with Western Union.