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eCommerce Tips & Trends

5 Steps on How to Source Products From Overseas

How do you source products from overseas? Read on to find out!
5 Steps on How to Source Products From Overseas
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

June 24, 2022

Key Points:

  • Sourcing is the process of finding suppliers to provide the products needed for a business
  • Choose the supplier that can provide you with the best quality of goods at the lowest price possible
  • Before ordering products in bulk, request product samples from your supplier to ascertain the quality of the products

eCommerce businesses have mastered the basics of sourcing products from overseas. So instead of taking a trip to another country searching for how to get products for your online store, you can consider sourcing products from major manufacturers or wholesalers from all over the world.

Following some product sourcing strategies, you can find products for your business and start selling. In this blog, we outline and explore the top techniques for sourcing products from overseas.

Table of Contents

Determine Your Products

Before going into the market as a seller, you need sellable products. While choosing any products based on interests is easy, it is essential to check if those products are in high demand for you to sell them. Market research on consumers' needs can help you find the right products to sell.

To get product ideas, research trends, demands, and product market surveys. All these elements come together to help you determine unique products to sell.

  • Trend: you need a trending product to make a big break in the eCommerce business. A great product will drive sales and help you access suitable suppliers or manufacturers in and out of your home country.
  • Demands: while sourcing products in whatever quantity, it is essential that there is an available market for the products. Social media surveys and google trends are great product research sources.
  • Market Survey: a simple survey helps you discover how dense the product's market is. For example, with the popularity of iPhones in the global market today, what would it take to introduce a new smartphone?

Sometimes, the product you want can be relatively new or a DIY product, which is not bad. There have been successful newly introduced products that have taken the markets by storm recently, and you can do it too! However, it is important to research if the product will meet the needs of people. Plus, a good marketing strategy has to be in place.

Related post: 9 Trending Products for eCommerce in 2022

Research Specific Countries

After deciding on the product you want to sell, the next step is identifying the countries that produce them. Finding the country of choice might seem like an easy task, but there are a lot of factors to consider. You want to assess cost-effectiveness and the availability of materials for production.

How to source products from overseas

During your research, looking out for countries with access to the materials needed for production is essential. For example, if you are considering selling electronics, the leading countries in that niche are China, Hong, and the United States. So shift your attention to those countries.

Research Suppliers

Once you have identified the best country to source your products, the next step is to narrow that option to the optimal supplier. Numerous suppliers will be ready to partner with you for a country with a reputation for producing particular products.

How to get product for online store

Instead of choosing just any supplier, conduct intensive research on the major suppliers in that country. Some websites can provide lists of available suppliers of products in a country. A few of them are:

  • Thomasnet.com
  • Globalsources.com
  • Alibaba.com

While looking out for the right supplier for your products, there are key features you should look out for to help you filter your research.

  • Experience of the supplier
  • Price
  • Customer service relation
  • Delivery time
  • Previous reviews of customers

Make sure you choose a supplier with which you can build a healthy relationship. So make your selection based on profit margins and how regularly they can deliver goods to meet demands.

Choose a Supplier

You must arrive at one or two product manufacturers that can serve your best interest. It's advisable to choose the supplier with sufficient background information. Ask for referrals, be sure to have a list of what you expect from a potential supplier, and ensure your preferred supplier ticks all the necessary boxes.

Also, ask relevant questions that will help your business. Questions should include mode of supply, minimum purchasable quantity, and payment method. Clarifying every aspect before proceeding to shake hands with a supplier is vital.

If it will help, here are some things you can do with your chosen supplier before striking a deal with them:

  • Negotiate deals of business like price
  • Discuss the best payment terms for both parties
  • Agree on delivery times

Rather than assume, discussing with your supplier will help clear some doubts so you can make informed decisions for your business.

Request Samples of Products

Quantity matters, and you want to ensure that the products you sell live up to your customers' expectations. How do you guarantee this since you possibly live miles away from your supplier? Ask for product samples. The product samples you get from your supplier can be the overriding factor determining if the supplier is the right one for you.

Once you get the product, you can figure out if the product is sellable or not. Then, if you already have prospective customers, you can present the products to them and ask for their objective and unbiased opinions.

At this stage, examine the product thoroughly - the packaging, components, and actual quality. This process will help you ensure that you are getting your money's worth and providing the best product in the market for your customers.

How to Source Products from Overseas with Easyship

Regardless of where you live in the world today, you can sell any products produced in any country. In addition, the internet and globalization have made it possible for people to connect with major manufacturers of products worldwide.

So with a good internet connection, you cannot only set up your online store but also source products overseas and deliver them. So even if you prefer the dropshipping model, you can have goods delivered to your customer's doorsteps by sourcing overseas and partnering with the right logistics company.

Easyship helps businesses sell their unique products by giving them access to optimized software. These software and features are designed to create a seamless flow of products between you, your suppliers, and your customers.

  • Free Shipping Rates Calculator: Access high-volume discounts from major couriers. Plus, get instant access to delivery lead times from premium shipping couriers
  • Global Fulfillment: Easyship has warehouse partners on four continents to reach customers worldwide. Plus, Easyship helps scale up fulfillment capabilities without increasing overhead costs
  • Duties & Taxes Visibility: Easyship works out all duties and taxes for your international shipments to easily handle your international orders. Calculate your duties for overseas shipments here

Ready to ship? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and learn how to source products from overseas with the help of our shipping experts

How to Source Products From Overseas FAQ

What does sourcing a product mean?

By sourcing products, a business gets sellable inventory needed for running a business and meeting customers' needs. Product sourcing also entails searching and working with a manufacturer to ensure that products are available for sale.

What is a product sourcing agent?

A product sourcing agent usually assists companies who need help finding product suppliers at cost-effective prices.


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