Issa Asad Shares How to Use Alibaba to Procure New Products
Alibaba is arguably one of the largest ecommerce companies in the world. It has a comprehensive directory of suppliers and millions of products to choose from.
“As you begin your search, you should know how to identify a reliable product,” said Issa Asad Florida entrepreneur and social media expert. Mr. Asad is the CEO of Q Link Wireless and Quadrant Holdings, located in South Florida. He is also the author of 4 e-commerce and marketing e-books that can be purchased on Amazon.
This leaves you with the challenge of sorting the products. Here Issa Asad Shares How to Use Alibaba to Procure New Products.
Finding a manufacturer for your startup business
The straight forward way of finding the right manufacturer is to browse through the categories of the individual products. If you are looking for certain clothes say `shirts’, just change your search tab from products to suppliers. The second task is to identify a reliable manufacturer who has the capacity to produce your products of interest. Let’s look at 3 simple steps to follow when sourcing for a manufacturer.
Contact one supplier to confirm the vendor for your demands
If you’re looking for a long-term supplier, then you need a real manufacturer. Many buyers tend to overlook this process. You need to communicate in a straightforward manner with carefully selected words. Ask for their phone number, sample products, factory phones, and a copy of their business license. You can go a step further and arrange for a Skype meeting. Remember, any serious manufacturer must present what he or she is trying to make. Although Alibaba is based in china, there are other companies around the world. Thankfully, there is always someone who can speak fluent English. Feel free to ask whatever question makes you comfortable to do business with them.
Confirm the legitimacy of the manufacturer
The good thing about this website is that buyers are allowed to browse through the suppliers and manufacturers. Therefore, before you share all the information with your manufacturer, check their legitimacy. Although Alibaba is a great site, it’s not immune to problems. This is something you should be aware of before you engage in any business. As a rule of thumb, you should not confine yourself to only one supplier when there are several others to choose from. Your cross-reference tactic is to check whether your company of interest has a website. Secondly, check if the manufacturer is listed on the leading outsourcing sites like HKTDC and Global Sources. To sum up your research, check if the company has ever attended any trade shows for your company. If everything adds up, then you have found a reliable manufacturer.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Your goal should be to understand the company better. It’s quite easy to judge the response time from the initial communication. In order to ensure your production run stays on track, familiarize yourself with the supplier. Try to by keep in touch on weekly basis. On the other hand, make them aware you are there for a long-term relationship. That being said, you should run your business independently.