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biophase

biophase

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I will play a devil's advocate here.

Google's definition of drop-shipping is: to move (goods) from the manufacturer directly to the retailer without going through the usual distribution channels.

Well, isn't it what most online businesses nowadays are doing, anyway?

My understanding of drop-shipping is being a middle man in the supply chain with adding zero-value.
Are you not drop-shipping any more, if you are providing value and offer 2-day FREE shipping? lol

Care to share your strategy/outlook on this?
I think Google's definition is fine. But when you move a good from the manufacturer, directly to the customer. I assume that manufacturer has made this same good available to everyone else. So your product is the same product that other stores are selling.

Most business are not doing this. If you purchase something from Apple, is the maker of the Iphone in China sending you an Iphone directly? Can I open a cell phone store and order Iphones from China?

Dropshipping to me is when you sell a general product that is available to everyone and you carry no inventory so when you get an order, you place an order with your supplier and they send the product directly from their warehouse to the customer.
 

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Riviera2012

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I have searched through the thread, but have not found the answer.

What is a good way to find the right keywords to be used in product descriptions and titles on Amazon?

Aside from doing PPC or using auto-completion, I haven't found many techniques to search for keywords that users are looking for for a particular product.
 

Ganglion

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Hi @biophase,

Thanks for your contributions on this forum, I've been reading through your posts and find them very helpful.

I've been selling private label me-too products for a while now and barely getting by. I've had enough of relying on marketing and copywriting to sell my products, and want to start inventing unique products the way you advise.

I've picked up some basic woodworking skills so I can create decent quality wooden products myself. I'm thinking about first creating the products with improvements myself, sell these to discover how well they sell, and then to approach a manufacturer for a sample followed by a MOQ shipment.

I feel this approach mitigates the risk of spending $8,000 on a MOQ shipment and finding the product doesn't sell.

I figure a lot of successful people have created the product themselves at first - e.g. Native Deodorant, Gretta van Riel with Skinny Me Tea, Jaswant's Kitchen.

What are your thoughts on this approach?
 
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Raúl Gallegos

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srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
 

Ganglion

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srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
Hey Raúl,

I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.

Then consider ordering a sample. You can often get the sample for free, but be prepared to pay some $50 to air ship it to your address. The sample has to be on point before you proceed to the next step, but the sample being on point does not mean your bulk MOQ order will be on point too.

Next you want to consider your different INSPECTION options. You can hire 3rd party inspection companies to inspect the factory before production, to do inspections during production, and do inspections post-production. I personally did a post-production inspection of every single unit of my 300-unit order, then had it all shipped to my home address in the UK, where I inspected each unit myself.

3rd party inspection is an important part of the process, and thankfully there's an entire podcast dedicated to just this topic, it's called the Global From Asia Podcast.

There's a lot more to it of course, but those are some of the important points that spring to mind. It can seem daunting at first, but just take it one step at a time, once you've made your first order, subsequent ones will become easier and easier.
 

Raúl Gallegos

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Hey Raúl,

I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.

Then consider ordering a sample. You can often get the sample for free, but be prepared to pay some $50 to air ship it to your address. The sample has to be on point before you proceed to the next step, but the sample being on point does not mean your bulk MOQ order will be on point too.

Next you want to consider your different INSPECTION options. You can hire 3rd party inspection companies to inspect the factory before production, to do inspections during production, and do inspections post-production. I personally did a post-production inspection of every single unit of my 300-unit order, then had it all shipped to my home address in the UK, where I inspected each unit myself.

3rd party inspection is an important part of the process, and thankfully there's an entire podcast dedicated to just this topic, it's called the Global From Asia Podcast.

There's a lot more to it of course, but those are some of the important points that spring to mind. It can seem daunting at first, but just take it one step at a time, once you've made your first order, subsequent ones will become easier and easier.
Thank you very much for your knowledge!

I think my mistake was that I skipped the inspection
 

Walter Hay

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I feel this approach mitigates the risk of spending $8,000 on a MOQ shipment and finding the product doesn't sell.
You do not have to order the MOQ. That's only for newbies who don't know how to negotiate smaller quantity orders. I teach that it is a risky idea to place a big first order.
It looks as though you don't have my importing book, so you should at least read through my AMA GOLD! Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist. It is a very long thread but what you learn could help you avoid a lot of mistakes.

In my AMA Post #5 I wrote: "There are things you should say, but there are more things you should not say when you make your first contact." You should start off with that.

You will learn a lot but you won't learn online everything you need to know about safe sourcing and importing.

srry if this was already asked, but how do you ensure the quality of your products that come from China?

I have had bad experiences so far.
@Robert Hull makes some good points in his reply to your question about quality.

I definitely recommend paying for product inspections either during production or prior to shipment. If you tell the manufacturer before placing an order that you will be having an inspection done, that will make them much more careful about quality control.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

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I've ordered from China before, I'm sure other more experienced sellers can chime in with better advice. I think Walter Hay is particularly knowledgable in this field.

First do the usual background checks on the manufacturer. If they're on Alibaba, make sure they have a good reputation on there - they've been selling on there for several years, they're a Gold seller, that they're actually a manufacturer rather than a middleman, etc. Having an impressive resume on Alibaba is no guarantee of anything, it's just better than having a shitty resume on Alibaba, lol.
I would like all to know that I don't import and sell anything, but I did so for 22 years with my importing business before I had to sell it and retire. Prior to that I exported for 9 years, with my biggest customer being a reseller in China. Biophase is the expert in eCommerce. My field is safe sourcing and importing.

For background checks never rely on what you see on Alibaba. First, the Gold Supplier badge is bought, and has nothing to do with the seller's reputation.

It is rare to find a supplier on Alibaba that is not a Gold Supplier. Alibaba have cunningly forced suppliers to pay for a gold badge by not allowing anyone without a gold badge to receive inquiries from buyers!

Almost all suppliers will claim to be manufacturers because they know that's what Western buyers want to think they are dealing with. In reality the great majority are traders.

There are alternatives to Alibaba and there are alternatives to buying from China. In my latest book revision I provide links to genuine sourcing sites in 39 countries other than China. Many of them are official government sites. Using them requires a lot more effort than using Alibaba, but the benefits can be substantial, particularly when you find a unique product that has not been previously imported into your country.

Think outside of China.

Walter
 

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