I have found my product, where do I buy it?
By this point you will have likely found your product using the JungleScout product suite. You now need to see if you can buy it and if so, at what price. This step will be essential to figuring out your profit margins and whether you have a viable product.
A great starting point
Most people in this line of work will start off at a place like Alibaba. For those of you who aren't already aware of Alibaba, it is essentially a one stop shop for suppliers and wholesale. Thousands of suppliers for pretty much every product you can think of!
The majority of these suppliers are based in China but don't let that scare you off, it is where the majority of production takes place and if you want the cheapest, you want to buy that item as it is hot off the production line.
As an example below, I have run a search for "Rock Painting Pens". It was a niche I found using JungleScout but never quite took the plunge as I didn't have the capital to invest at the time
Straight away we can see suppliers offering different variations of the product we would like.
- The first option - The first option looks okay. The minimum order quantity is low at only 7 units. (Be aware if you go for minimum order, you will be very lucky to negotiate the lower end of that pricing band so expect the higher price at first). A minimum order here would cost us $27.86 which is very much affordable as a startup to test the waters.
My problems with this option. It's very expensive. Just short of $4 per pack is expensive when you consider you need to ship it here (which isn't free!), sell it on Amazon and take the Amazon fees away. There is a reason the minimum order is so low and that is because the price is high. Unless you feel you can shift this product at £14.99+ there would be little profit to be made here.
- The second option - Very much in contrast to the first option, these pens are much cheaper, but the minimum order is far higher at 500 units. This would make your initial order somewhere around the $180 mark making this a much higher investment, but on the flip-side to that, you have 500 units in your inventory so wouldn't need to top up for some time.
My problems with this option. I am not as against this option as the first option but there are some warning signs here which would make me avoid this product. They are very cheap and you can kind of tell. If you was browsing Amazon for some decent pens that wasn't going to dry out after a single use, would you choose these? I know I certainly wouldn't. They look as cheap as they are.
Based on the above, I would be avoiding these products and be looking for something in the middle of the two extremes.
Having a quick scroll down it didn't take long to find something a little more down my street
What do I like about this product?
The price is fair - I would invest $180 in these pens as they look to be better quality than the equivalent in option two we saw earlier.
Quality - Briefly touched on this just a second ago, these pens look to be of a good quality. Of course we never know until we see them in person but I will let you know how we avoid having 500 units of poor quality kit a little further down.
A nice white label - What's in a label? Why am I interested? I am interested because it looks on first glance that this supplier would be willing to put your own branding on the product. This is actually called "White Labelling". It is the process of buying a product and putting your branding on it, it happens everywhere! Everytime you've been to Aldi/Lidl and said "Wow, those beans taste just the same as Heinz", or "Those biscuits are just like the McVities version". Well...it's probably because they are made in the same place and just labelled differently. That is exactly what we do here. It doesn't take long searching on Amazon to see people doing exactly this.
30 seconds later...
Not to brag, but just searched on Amazon and have found pretty much the exact product we were just looking at that has been white labelled (with a black label)
So you can see people are out there doing this and this is why it is important to chose the right product. It is a fine line between competition, pricing and quality. Once you find that happy medium your sales will start to flow.
How do I know the item will be good quality? I don't want to buy 500 units to then find out the product is poor.
This is a valid question, even if I did just ask it to myself! It is relatively straight forward to get around this issue by asking for a trial order. The supplier should be able to send you a test unit (at cost to you) so you can see the item in person and test it before placing a larger order. Be aware that you will have to foot the shipping bill too so don't expect it to be as cheap. You could be looking at £20-£30 for just one unit, but it is money well spend if you can avoid being disappointed when making a larger order!