Many times, entrepreneurs find themselves in very tricky situations coming up with a product sourcing strategy that works best for them. Contrary to what many people believe, sourcing products isn’t always easy and finding products to sell at prices that allows you make profit is challenging as well, so a little guidance for getting started isn’t a bad idea at all.
So, if you are embarking on the journey to finding the right sourcing strategy, this article is exactly what you need.
What is Product Sourcing?
Before you can procure goods, you’ve got to find the suppliers and evaluate them out. Connecting with the right suppliers is critical. If you make mistakes in the sourcing process, it can be difficult and costly.
Simply put, product sourcing is the process of finding products you want to sell, buying them from a third-party (supplier, manufacturer, online company) and then reselling them. You also need to understand that the process of finding products and services is the first step in the supply chain.
Popular Product Sourcing Methods
There are many types of sourcing methods you can choose from, and they do not all operate the same way. Having a clear idea of what you want is the best way to go about this and start by conducting research and understanding each individual method and see which is suitable for your business needs:
This is where you find a manufacture or a supplier who makes your product from scratch. For this method to work you need to conduct extensive research and finds reliable manufactures who will work with you.
ProTip: Seeking the services of sourcing companies is the perfect way to find dependable manufactures. Product sourcing companies are a third-party that helps retailers find manufacturers or suppliers to work with. They have practices in place to help businesses find and evaluate manufacturers in terms of cost, lead time and quality control. This means they will have a good knowledge of the language, traditional business customs and international trade procedures.
Drop shipping is the easiest way to source products for an online store. It’s not just a product sourcing technique, it’s also an order fulfillment method. As a dropshipper, you only sell products by using a supplier that holds and ships the product for you. There is no middleman.
Perfect if you want to sell unique one-of-a-kind items. Making your own products by hand is a common approach for many hobbyists. Whether it’s beauty products, clothing, or jewellery, handcrafting products gives you full control over quality and branding.
They act as middlemen between manufacturers and retailers. They purchase products directly from manufacturers and resell them to retailers for a higher price. Wholesalers don’t actually make the products they sell; their main focus is distributing the products in bulk quantities.
Trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences can not only be great places to conduct market research, but also identify and establish relationships with manufacturers, wholesalers and other independent retailers often selling unique products that are not yet common market knowledge.
6.UsIng sourcing companies or agents
Trading agents and product sourcing companies work as middlemen between you and your manufacturers. They offer support throughout the process by communicating directly with your manufacturers, helping with quality control, and checking on the production process for you.
The Do’s when Sourcing Products
Research, Research and Research
It’s your responsibility to conduct extensive research before you embark on the sourcing journey especially when working with new suppliers/manufacturers. This helps you minimize risks and get profitable products altogether.
Look into the products you want to source from the manufacturers to make sure you’re not going to get scammed or are going to sell any products that are faulty or counterfeit.
Even after research, it is important to double check your research with tried and tested criteria and solid data to validate your research.
Have multiple sources
Every retailer’s desire is to have numerous sources of products to meet the different desires, needs and wants of both business and customers.
Always keep your options open when it comes to working with suppliers or manufacturers. If you only contact one supplier, you could be missing out on a company that is a really good fit for your company, or an incredible deal on a product.
Build strong and lasting relationships with your manufacturers and suppliers
If you are looking to having a successful business always ensure that your suppliers and manufacturers are also happy. This will set you up for long-term success.
Have a PLAN B
Always have a plan B concerning your business. Having a contingency plan ensures you never get thrown out of business, even if your suppliers do. This means is when planning a product sourcing strategy ensure that whatever you can access multiple sources.
Remember that your clients have high expectations of products you’re offering and they can become loyal once an array of product options is presented to them at all times. Therefore, having multiple sources for your products is of high value to the existence of your business.
Product sourcing is an intimidating process that involves lots of trial and error. This simple guide is great if you are a beginner and want to try your luck in the ecommerce world. With the guidance above, you are ready to start finding the best suppliers for your business and sourcing your products effectively.