Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba | Product World

Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba

We started with some simple fabric samples and ended up with fire joggers… Let’s break down the process of sourcing and ordering an Alibaba merchandise item.

To do this, we’re going to use the 5 Steps in the Buying Process as a guide.

Sourcing and ordering merchandise from Alibaba

Step 1 — Recognition of needs or wants

For Korova merchandise, it’s not about making a profit. It’s about offering cool stuff our fans will like for affordable prices.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 1: Recognition of needs or wants | Product World

 

Step 2 — Searching for information

We searched on Alibaba for

  • “hypebeast”
  • “joggers”
  • “mens sweatpants”

and picked 6 vendors with nice stuff.

 

Step 3 — Evaluation of choices

We contacted the 6 chosen vendors directly, asking to purchase samples. Of the 6, only 3 had solid English skills and we had good communications. The others were either asking a lot of irrelevant questions or unresponsive to our messages.

We spent $200 on ordering 2-3 samples from each of the 3 selected vendors.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 3: Evaluation of choices | Product World

 

These were fabric swatches. Criteria were primarily shipping costs and ease, with no sample cost more than $15.

Examples of pricing below…

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 3: Evaluation of choices (pricing) | Product World

 

Step 4 — The purchasing decision

We picked the vendor whose stuff we liked the best and ordered 1 of everything they make that was relevant. That cost $250.

Once we identified which style we wanted, we sent a super-detailed mock-up for quoting.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 4: The purchasing decision | Product World

 

After some back and forth, we realized they couldn’t do the tags we wanted, even though they were on the samples. We lost a week in communication, but no sweat; we updated the design.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 4: The purchasing decision | Product World

 

Here’s the full order. The order cost was $1,530 with shipping for 100 units.

Including all our sampling costs we were sitting at $19.80/unit.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 4: The purchasing decision | Product World

 

Step 5 — Evaluation of purchase

Once the order arrived it was photoshoot time.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 5: Evaluation of purchase | Product World

 

Flatlays, gels, plus graphic design in post.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 5: Evaluation of purchase | Product World

 

We priced at $38. That’s 2x sourcing costs, and we break even after costing the time for photo/design.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 5: Evaluation of purchase | Product World

 

This isn’t hard. And it’s not limited to clothes. Everything is on Alibaba. You can go cheap, premium, sustainable, electronics, furniture, you name it.

 

Top Tips for Sourcing and Ordering from Alibaba - Step 5: Evaluation of purchase | Product World

 

Search, sample, communicate. The global economy is SO easy to access.

 

Thanks for reading. See the original Ordering and Sourcing Twitter thread here.

– Oren

 

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