Make Sure You Validate Your Product Before You Decide to Manufacture!
Finding a product to sell online is one of the most difficult tasks for ecommerce sellers. Regardless if you’re a new seller, using Amazon FBA as a secondary income stream, or an established business that has 100 private label products listed on every available ecommerce platform, product discovery is laborious, yet critical undertaking.
It’s no coincidence that tools like Jungle Scout, Unicorn Smasher, ASINinsepctor and others are popping up every day. There is money to be made if you can design software that provides sellers some information to help them find profitable products.
Once you have put in the time and found that hidden gem that meets all of your requirements, you now have to validate the product to make sure it’s even viable to manufacture, import, and sell. After all the production and shipping costs are added up, and Amazon (or similar platform) takes their cut, you have to be left with enough profit to pay for your time and effort. And for most sellers, this product validation and cost analysis process, if done correctly, takes more time than they can imagine.
Does this sound familiar?
- Spending countless hours picking a product to sell.
- Sending dozens of emails at all hours of the day and night to the supplier trying to figure out if the product you are thinking of manufacturing is even going to be possible.
- Since the supplier is in a timezone that is essentially 12 hours ahead of yours, you end up playing email tag with them for days.
- You trade emails back and forth because you don’t speak Mandarin, and the supplier doesn’t speak English–at least not very well.
- Once you’ve decided that this particular supplier can indeed make your product to your specifications, you now have to arrange samples so you decide if the quality of the product will be acceptable. And you know from experience that a quality sample does NOT necessarily mean that your entire production will be of the same quality, so you need to order multiple samples to make sure the supplier isn’t “cherry picking” the one good sample they have to send to you.
- You send more emails to try and negotiate a price for your desired order quantity–and you know this is never just one email. Especially if you want to order below the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ).
- You send more emails to get an accurate carton size so that you can solicit a shipping quote from freight forwarders.
- You contact a few freight companies with your carton dimensions and origin and destination addresses to nail down an accurate shipping quote.
- You then have to figure out if your product has any special certification or compliance requirements that you’ll then need to pay for before it even has a chance of making through customs. And you know that you can’t rely on suppliers to know this information, as they produce that same product for probably dozens of countries, all of which have different compliance requirements. So there’s no way they can be expected to know with any degree of certainty what the requirement are for your country.
- Then you need to calculate your duties and taxes for this production to make sure you’re being as accurate as possible with your cost analysis.
I think all sellers who have manufactured a private label product in Asia can relate to the above scenario. As you well know, this is an extraordinarily time-consuming process.
But the good news after you’ve done all of this?
You now might have an idea of the total landed cost of your product so you can decide whether or not it will even be profitable enough to sell.
The bad news? That process took around 10 hours of actual time and probably spanned weeks……and that was for ONE supplier and ONE product! Now you have to do the same thing at least 4 or 5 more times with other suppliers to ensure you’re doing your due diligence and getting multiple quotes and proposals.
In reality, you should be contacting 20+ suppliers. As horrible as that sounds, it’s a reality that you should be contacting as many suppliers as you can find. And there are tens of thousands of suppliers in China, so the more you can contact, the better chance you have of finding the ideal factory that offer both quality and value.
Now guess what happens next?
You have to repeat the SAME inane, time consuming tasks for freight forwarders. Granted, some of the steps listed above only apply to contacting suppliers, but if you’ve ever contacted freight forwarders, you will understand that the process can be almost as time consuming and even more frustrating.
By now, it should be crystal clear that this process is a HUGE time sink. You should be spending this time on building your business, increasing sales, optimizing marketing and expanding your brand. The time you spend validating your product, while extremely important, can be better spent on tasks that increase your bottom line.
This is precisely why Guided Imports has launched our Product Validation & Cost Analysis service. We’ve been asked for years to provide this as a stand-alone service so sellers could pick a product, send us the information, and then get back to working on their business.
So while this post is a not-so-subtle advertisement for our service, we also have put together a helpful guide for those of you who want to keep doing this step on your own as well as some tips to help you along the way.
Let our expert team of multi-lingual sourcing experts in our China office do ALL the work and due diligence for you!
We will deliver a comprehensive report to you that includes:
Estimated Manufacturing Costs
Order Quantity Pricing Breaks
Estimated Shipping Fees (Air, Sea, & Mixed)
Import Duties & Taxes
Once you have the report, you can answer the most important questions about your potential product:
Does this product make sense to manufacture?
What is the estimated timeline for production?
What order quantity makes the most financial sense?
Are there any red flags I should know about?
Does this product require any certifications?
What is the total landed cost of this product?
This is something we’ve been asked to provide for years and are now excited to roll it out as a stand-alone service!
We are absolutely positive that you will be so impressed with this service that you will make this part of your standard operating procedure when evaluating new products to sell.
The Guided Imports Product Validation Service can give you the information you need to minimize your risk and maximize your competitive edge, all for a LOT less money than it would cost you in the time and effort you spend doing this on your own. Time & effort that could be then re-allocated to working on scaling your business & increasing sales!
Just tell us as much information about your product as you can, and we will do the rest! It’s as easy as that!