6 Tips for Sourcing your E-commerce Store Products from Good Suppliers

Last Updated:
October 12, 2022
Author:
Karisa Gingerich

Find the Best Supplier for Sourcing your E-commerce Store Products

Suppliers can make or break a business, these tips will help you source your e-commerce store from good suppliers. With the complexity of supply chains and the daunting challenge of shortages and delays, suppliers can have a huge impact on your e-commerce business. It can be intimidating to connect with wholesalers when you are only beginning to build up your business presence, but these tips can help you form a plan for choosing suppliers that are best for your business.

1. Where to source your e-commerce store products online

Finding suppliers takes more than a Google search. To find good wholesale suppliers or distributors, you can approach them individually or work with them through a B2B wholesale marketplace. Here are E-commerce suppliers you could consider for your online store…

These are just a few of the resources to begin finding suppliers online. ImportGenius is also a good tool to use to see where competitors are sourcing their products.

2. Why you should have backup suppliers

As seen recently, supply chains are not always reliable. It would be beneficial for your business to have multiple suppliers to rely on. Make sure to vet each option so you have a reliable pool of companies to order products from. 

3. Why local shops are a good product option

Wholesale e-commerce sites are not your only option. Many small e-commerce businesses are looking for businesses to sell their original products. Many times working with local shops can be beneficial with more personalized customer service, knowing the quality of their supply chain, and nurturing locally owned businesses.

How can you find local options? Reach out to local small businesses, artists, designers, and more to inquire about carrying their products in your store. You can also research credible small suppliers from the US customs database, trade groups, and from event shows.

4. Global e-commerce suppliers can be an option

Overseas is always an option. China and India’s products tend to cost far less than domestic alternatives. However, when it comes to working with more global manufacturers and suppliers it can be harder to verify the products' supply chain and the quality of the conditions surrounding its creation. This is important to be aware of because of The Uyghurs Forced Labor Prevention Act, which implicated a lot of mainstream brands’ supply chains.

Overseas suppliers usually appear more affordable but this is not always the case. Many will come with additional costs like import duties that need to be factored into the planning costs.

5. Questions to ask suppliers when sourcing your e-commerce store products

Like a job interview, it is important to ask questions when speaking to new e-commerce suppliers. Make sure that the supplier fits with your business beyond the product. Some questions to ask might be…

Questions for all suppliers:

  • Is the product we need available?
  • How often do you restock?
  • How much stock is on hand?
  • What is the minimum order quantity?
  • What will my total costs include?
  • What is the return and manufacturing error policy?

Extra Questions to ask overseas suppliers:

  • Is there a representative that speaks our language?
  • Will you be available during business hours in our time zone?
  • Are you experienced with foreign delivered to our market?

Questions suppliers might ask about your store:

  • Who is your target market?
  • What do you expect in terms of delivery time? 

6. Why you should get quotes and samples

After choosing a few e-commerce store suppliers that meet your requirements, vet them by gathering quotes, prices, and samples. It is beneficial to arrange a trial shipment and face-to-face meeting or at least a virtual videoconference meeting to see if the product meets your quality standards.

Find the Best Supplier for Sourcing your E-commerce Store Products

Ultimately, you know what is best for your business and what supplier can best meet your needs when looking at sourcing your e-commerce store products. With these tips you can make an informed decision to feel confident in the research you do on your e-commerce suppliers.

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