Searching for products manufacturers
By now, you have decided what product(s) you want and you already have an Alibaba account. In the previous article we did discuss the requirements to start this venture. Whether it is for business or personal use, the process is the same. You will then need to do a web search on Alibaba. Search for the phrase: “[your product] + supplier/manufacturer”. For example, if your product is an iPhone screen protector, search for “iPhone screen protector supplier” or “iPhone screen protector manufacturer”.
You will get lots of results depending on your item. More results could be a validation of your search because it shows the item has market traction already. But few results is not necessarily the opposite. If you don’t get results relating to what you looking for, try and change the wording till you can relate with the results.
The results page has a few elements which I will discuss below.
- Products/Supplier tabs. Product tab has the products from different suppliers. Supplier tab has all suppliers listed as supplying your product. Its important to filter supplier location to Mainland China.
- Filter Section. You have several options to narrow your search. Check the boxes to filter to higher-quality suppliers.
- Item listing. Each row has as much details needed for each product and supplier. On the left is the product overview and a picture, price where applicable and whether its a sponsored listing or not. On the Right is the manufacturer details. Of importance here is the number of transactions in the last 6 months and response rate. These numbers will help you know well in advance what kind of a supplier you dealing with. A supplier with high transactions is a sign of an established business while a high response rate shows the supplier has invested handling customer requests which means your requests and questions will be responded to in time.
- On the left of the whole page is further filtering of the product depending on features. If you understand your product well, use these filters to narrow the results.
The aim at this stage is to narrow down to about 7-15 suppliers. Check that you have suppliers within your working budget for each item and they have good qualities like high response rate and high transaction rates. At this point, don’t be intimidated by the minimum order requirement. We will deal with that later. All you need to do now is identify several manufacturers. Click Add to Compare for each of the products you decide on.
Next we will go through how to contact each of those selected suppliers.