TAS 018 Tips For Sourcing Private Label Products In China With Nancy Ramirez (9 Year Vendor)

In this episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast I had the privilege of interviewing Nancy Ramirez, who is a product vendor for Target, Walmart and other big box stores. She is going to explain the ins and outs of how everything works in the process. We also answer a bunch of questions that were submitted by you the listeners.

Here's the topics we discuss:

  • What is the role of an Agent? Why have One?
  • How To Find Good Supplier on Alibaba?
  • Is Aliexpress a good option?
  • How should I contact them?
  • Should I act as an individual or business?
  • Any tips for having them take me serious?
  • What if they only accept wire transfers?
  • What to look out for to help protect myself from scams?
  • How do I find an Agent? How do I know I'm speaking with Agent or Manufacturer?
  • How do I know I'm not buying Wholesale? I want the best price direct to Manufacture and not the middle man.
  • What's the best way to pay suppliers?
  • How Does Packaging Work? Do they print and make their own Boxes? Should I create Fancy Box or Packaging?
  • How do I find an inspector? What do they usually charge?
  • What's best way to ship when starting? Air or Sea?
  • Will they print my UPC codes and Packaging?
  • What about infringing on Patents? How do we protect ourselves?

Links Discussed:

Additional Information From Listener After the show Aired:

Awesome interview Scott. This is very helpful. I’ve sourced from Alibaba before and am actually based in China at the moment. My fiancee is getting into sourcing and I’m sharing your podcast with her. While her goal is not to become an Amazon seller, she will definitely gain a good perspective on some sourcing basics.

Re: Alibaba. The company is a giant as you already know. A few of their properties here include the mentioned Taobao (which is the Amazon/eBay), Tmall (for brands, like Zappos), Alipay (PayPal), AliExpress (low MOQs), and 1688 (wholesale website catered to Chinese buyers).

Re: Gold Suppliers. I believe Alibaba has introduced a low priced plan which made the website crowded with a lot of inexperienced or dishonest agents. Previously, it cost at least $4,800 per year to become a Gold Supplier. Many trading companies saw this as a small amount compared to what they could sell and bought in. After a lower price point was released, even more are pretending to be manufacturers.

Re: Shipping. There’s this company called BOXC. While perhaps not for Amazon Sellers, the startup is based in Shanghai and can do dropshipping for factories that won’t.

Questions? Leave Yours In The Comments Box Below.

 

Join the discussion

30 comments
  • Do you have the freight forwarder recommendations from Nancy that you discussed in the podcast? I wonder what the recommended dimensions are for freight to send by boat. I want to transition to boat at some point in the next 6 months depending on how things go. Have you or anyone else heard at what size shipment you may want to think about using boat?

  • Awesome interview Scott. This is very helpful. I’ve sourced from Alibaba before and am actually based in China at the moment. My fiancee is getting into sourcing and I’m sharing your podcast with her. While her goal is not to become an Amazon seller, she will definitely gain a good perspective on some sourcing basics.

    Re: Alibaba. The company is a giant as you already know. A few of their properties here include the mentioned Taobao (which is the Amazon/eBay), Tmall (for brands, like Zappos), Alipay (PayPal), AliExpress (low MOQs), and 1688 (wholesale website catered to Chinese buyers).

    Re: Gold Suppliers. I believe Alibaba has introduced a low priced plan which made the website crowded with a lot of inexperienced or dishonest agents. Previously, it cost at least $4,800 per year to become a Gold Supplier. Many trading companies saw this as a small amount compared to what they could sell and bought in. After a lower price point was released, even more are pretending to be manufacturers.

    Re: Shipping. There’s this company called BOXC. While perhaps not for Amazon Sellers, the startup is based in Shanghai and can do dropshipping for factories that won’t.

    • This is great info Ryan! Thanks for sharing.

      I may post this as additional content on the sourcing page.

      If your Fiancee wants to become a sourcing agent, I’m sure our listeners will hire her 🙂

  • Hi Scott, I rate this podcast the best by far. Great interview. I thought I could get by without a Sourcing Agent but if I’m plan to mix with the big boys, I’ll need one in my corner.

    • Hi John,

      I found mine just searching through Alibaba, but I’m working on getting a list from other sellers and where they found theirs.

  • More golden nuggets, Scott! It’s pretty cool that you read my review on the show. Anyway, I’m liking the fact that you’re bringing us information from the different aspects and backgrounds of the people you interview. It gives us a more balanced education. I have taken action – my first product starts production next week! I’m looking forward to putting the launch plan into execution…as well as listening to more great podcasts from you.

  • Hi Scott,
    Can you offer any advice on where to and how to find a sourcing agent? Most of products I am looking for are produced in Pakistan and I was hoping to find a sourcing agent there.

    P.S. Love the Show!

    Thanks,
    Melinda

    • HI Melinda,

      I don’t at the moment, but I’m working on it. I basically just emailed a lot of agents on Alibaba and found one that works for me now. It does take time and reaching out to a lot. Good Luck!

  • This is definitely one I will have to listen to again! So much great information. I’m waiting on my next shipment and I am so anxious now! lol I am going to look into making some changes to the packaging like a better polybag, packaging my bundle together over there instead of me putting it together, and getting a card thrown in. So excited!

  • Hi Scott,

    For anyone looking for a customs broker and freight forwarder, Amazon’s preferred company to use is Samuel Shapiro and Co.(shapiro.com) I use them and they are very knowledgeable and seasoned in bringing imported goods directly to FBA warehouses. I highly recommend for anyone looking to go this route.

    Brent

  • Another great show Scott. I also have a great agent that will answer questions any time of the day. She even sent me some pictures of her vacation during Chinese New Year.

    Something I would recommend for sellers that want to give the image of a premium product is to have a cloth drawstring bag with a label made for your item. I had them made for 30¢. It may not work for everyone but my product fits perfectly and it adds to the customers experience.

      • Hi Lisa. My product is actually produced by a factory that makes bags so it was very easy to do. I think that most agents would be willing to coordinate with other factories in needed. You can email me mike(at)mikemaxon.com and I can share the factory I work with.

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