Thinking of going into an Amazon FBA business? It’s a great idea, as it’s a profitable business model that has been successful for hundreds, if not thousands of budding entrepreneurs.
However, there are so many different steps you will have to take that requires patience, research, due diligence, and knowing the ropes.
Luckily, you’ve stumbled up the article that will save you thousands of dollars with this Amazon FBA hack that we will share with you.
Also, the power of trade data will be beneficial, giving you the confidence to do business.
Why? Because more than likely, you’ll be doing business oversees with Chinese suppliers. It’s essential to have access to legitimate documents and proof of operations because not everything you see online is the truth.
Read on to find out our Amazon FBA sourcing tips and tricks that will save you money, and how import data using ImportKey can give you the conviction you need to do business in China.
First, we’re going to discuss the importance of getting an inspection for your Amazon FBA business.
Can you imagine ordering 1,000 units of a product, only for half of them to defective? This results in catastrophic consequences for both you and your Amazon business.
The less defective items you have, the less chance your Amazon FBA business will be suspended. If you have a refund rate of 10% or more, your Amazon listing will be suspended, resulting in lost profits. This leads to more headaches, with the process of separating your inventory, finding out which items are defective and which aren’t.
There’s a solution: do a full inspection. It will cost roughly $200 to $600 depending on who you choose to do the full inspection.
After your manufacturer is finished producing your order quantity, you contact a 3rd party inspection company. Your inspection company will work with your manufacturer for a time and place. Inspectors carefully look at each product, one by one, declaring if it’s defective or not. You are then given a sheet of all the details, and it will either tell you if the inspection passed or fail. There are options to do a partial inspection but skip that option. If the partial inspection fails, you will have to do a full inspection anyway.
When choosing an inspection company, they must be in the same province as your supplier, which will save you time and money. China’s a huge place, and having your inspection company within a reasonable distance will also be beneficial to the inspector too. Also, negotiate to pay 30% upfront and the rest after the inspection. This will motivate the inspection company to get the job done, as their reward will be a full payment. Also, it’s to protect yourself too.
Believe it or not, sampling won’t solve this problem. Some suppliers give you a high-quality sample, while the rest of the orders will be of lower-grade quality. There isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent this, other than getting as much verified information as possible, which will reduce the chances of this happening. We discuss this later in the article.
When you’re sourcing products from China for your Amazon business, there are a few things you need to know. For instance, not all suppliers are truthful—resulting in conducting tedious research to find out if the company is legitimate. We’ve made it simple for you in the next section.
When you’re looking for suppliers on Alibaba, the “business type” will determine if you want to engage with them. There are four main types to concentrate on:
A company with the keyword “manufacturer” is what you want, as they will have the production line and equipment to supply your products directly to you. In China, most company’s have to register as a trading company, so a supplier that is “Manufacturer, Trading Company” is more desired than someone who labels themselves a “Manufacturer.” More than likely, it is false if they are labeled just as a “manufacturer,” which can fool people who are novices. However, with some research, you can know for sure.
How? By using the Chinese AIC business website, which is an official business directory. The complicated part of using the Chinese AIC business directory is that the search has to contain Chinese letters. It’s a bit tedious, but we’ll walk you through it.
Below, we have “Zhejiang Feijian Industry and Trade Co., Ltd.” which supplies household items and water bottles.
As we scroll through the company overview (down below), we see it says it’s a “Manufacturer, Trading Company.” Usually, we’d stop there and declare this a good company to work with. However, you want to be sure, requiring more research ahead.
Let’s search for some information regarding this company by clicking “Contact” on the webpage.
We can see the address and website. The URL www.feijiankj.com is the official website, that we hope is in Chinese for the Chinese AIC directory, as that will be the only way to search (explained later).
As we’d hope, the website is in Chinese (most likely Mandarin).
Simply scroll to the bottom, and look near the copyright. A good hint to know what you’re looking for is the “司“ symbol, which is known as “LTD.”
The symbols near Copyright (bottom left) is what we’re looking for, and it ends in the “LTD” symbol—浙江飞剑科技有限公司.
However, we have to make sure this is “Zhejiang Feijian Industry and Trade Co., Ltd.” in Chinese. A quick Google translate search “Chinese to English” gives us this:
Oh no! This isn’t what we’re looking for, but it’s close. There is another method we will introduce. Usually the Copyright on the bottom will tell you the exact name, but not in this case. So, what do we do? We utilize the 司 symbol.
We’re going to put in Google “Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co., 司”
If we look at the Chinese lettering, in this case (grey highlight under Canton Fair), we can see it’s similar to the one from the website, but not quite. Take note of the first symbol to know where it starts, which is the symbol for “Zhejiang.” Who knew you’d also have a Chinese language tutorial too?
To know for sure, use Google translate again.
Success! Now we know for sure, we want “ 浙江飞剑工贸有限公司.”
There’s a reason we went through this wrap-around because this is the reality of researching. Google will always be our best friend!
We head over to National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, which is a business directory in China. Do this in Google Chrome, or a browser that can translate Chinese to English.
We’ve entered our supplier, 浙江飞剑工贸有限公司 (Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co. LTD)
The red button means “inquire” or “enter.” Let’s see what happens.
The top left symbols look familiar, but let’s translate the page above using Google Chrome. Right-click the page to “Translate to English” if you don’t get a pop-up.
Below, we have an exact match. How do we know for sure? The location. The address is the same that was found in the Alibaba website which was “No. 387, Huaxia Road, Economic Development Zone, Yongkang, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China. “
The “Business scope” is the goldmine we’ve been looking for. This will tell us the exact operations that go on in this facility, and if it is a real manufacturer.
As we read the description, we see “Daily metal products, kitchen utensils, household plastic products, sports bottles, auto parts (excluding engines) travel and leisure products manufacturing, processing.”
Of course, it is also a trading company, so there are sales too, but the most important keywords we want are manufacturing, production, processing. We’ve got 2 out of 3, which gives us a good reason to believe this is a genuine manufacturer.
Selling on Amazon is not as easy as it sounds, and you need as much data as possible to formulate intelligent investments.
Even with information from Alibaba, Chinese AIC websites, and Google, there is still a necessity of having the correct information to rely on, as doing business overseas in China is risky.
Import and export trade data are where the answer lies. Having legal documentation such as the Bill of Lading shows a transaction occurred, showing proof there was an exchange of goods.
You will see other trade data, such as the cargo description, the port where the goods were dropped off, quantity, the vessel, and much more.
We will walk you through how to have this kind of information at your fingertips in seconds in the next section.
Let’s see the type of transactions “Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co. LTD” has done using import and export trade data with our software, ImportKey.
We go to our dashboard, and as we’re typing our company, we see a business that looks to be an exact match.
Only one supplier is shown, and it’s “Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co. LTD.” Take note of the address once more, as it matches what we saw on both Alibaba and the Chinese business directory.
As we investigate, we can see the top buyers for Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co. LTD. Even companies that do exceptionally well such as Hydro Flask and Starbucks are customers of our chosen supplier.
Down below, we can see each transaction under “Shipments.” This is where you will see the Bill of Lading documentation, and each of the components such as cargo description, the buyer, etc.
As we move to the next tab, “buyers,” we can see each customer and what they’ve bought and the frequency. It’s safe to say there have been repeating customers for this supplier, giving us confidence that this supplier knows what they are doing, and have a legitimate operation going on.
Lastly, we have the “Relationships” which is a web diagram of all the other customers and competition. This gives you good market insight on who is buying what, and if you share the same suppliers as your competitors.
After all the research we have conducted, we can conclude that “Zhejiang Feijian Industry & Trade Co. LTD” is a supplier we can do business with through Alibaba for our Amazon FBA business. There is a valid operation going on, with consistent information throughout our research.
From Chinese AIC business directories to Alibaba, to import and export trade data, we have armed you with knowledge and the tools to make intelligent investment decisions regarding your Amazon FBA business.
We hope you enjoyed this article about an Amazon FBA sourcing hack that will save you thousands of dollars, as you need every penny when doing business in China.
Start by exploring your options with ImportKey today to be ahead of the competition. Sign up now!