Amazon FBA Mastery: A Complete Alibaba Guide for Beginners Sourcing in China


Hey, I’m Fung Cheng, and guess what? You’ve arrived to the right place if you’re new to Amazon FBA and are asking how to source your products from China. Let’s begin right away!


Hey, friends! Fung Cheng here, and today, we’re diving into something super exciting—Amazon FBA Mastery! You know, when we talk about Amazon FBA Mastery, it’s more than just picking and shipping products. It’s about the whole nine yards—from product selection, negotiating with suppliers, and most crucially, sourcing your products.

Now, why is sourcing so pivotal in your Amazon FBA Mastery journey? Simple, my friends. Imagine having the perfect product but zero clue about where to get it from. You’d be like a ship without a compass—going nowhere fast. A lot of sellers dream about hitting it big on Amazon but fumble when it comes to sourcing, especially from the goldmine that is China. So, if you’re striving for Amazon FBA Mastery, getting your sourcing game on point from China is your VIP ticket.

I’ve been through the maze, learned from my hits and misses, and today, we’ll break down the A to Z of sourcing from China. This is your Amazon FBA Mastery class in session, folks! We’ll go over how to use Alibaba properly, how to bargain with suppliers, and much more. So let’s put on our work boots and start working, shall we?

Why Alibaba is So Essential for Your Amazon FBA Mastery

Why Alibaba is So Essential for Your Amazon FBA Mastery

Why Alibaba, you ask? I can’t stress this enough—Alibaba is like the “Google” for suppliers. It’s the world’s largest B2B or wholesale platform. It’s like a bridge that connects you to countless suppliers in China, be it factories or manufacturers. So, why waste time? Get onto Alibaba!

Trust me, the old ways of sourcing included plane tickets, travel, and trade shows. But Alibaba changes the game. You can sip on your coffee in your PJs while making deals with suppliers halfway across the world. The time you save can go straight back into your Amazon FBA business.

Let’s get to the nuts and bolts. To find your ideal supplier, head over to Alibaba and type your product into the search bar. You’ll get a bunch of options. But don’t just skim through. Reach out to them, even if the product you’re seeking isn’t listed. Because, between you and me, suppliers don’t list everything they offer.

Trust Indicators: Gold and Certified Suppliers

You’ll see badges next to suppliers’ names. These are trust indicators. You’ve got Gold and Certified suppliers. Certified ones have been vetted and usually get more traffic. Does that mean we should always choose Certified suppliers? Not necessarily. Sometimes the Gold suppliers offer products at a more budget-friendly price.

Here’s where things get real. There are mainly two types of suppliers on Alibaba: trading companies and manufacturers. Manufacturers produce and sell directly to you. Simple. Trading companies, on the other hand, are the middlemen between you and the manufacturers.

Should You Avoid Trading Companies?

Should You Avoid Trading Companies

Now, listen up. In our experience, trading companies are not always the bad guys. Sometimes, they offer you better terms and can be reliable partners. Plus, many manufacturers also operate trading companies. So, a “Trading Company” label doesn’t always mean you’re dealing with a middleman.

Wondering how to distinguish between a trading company and a manufacturer? It’s straightforward. Look for the label under the company name in their profile. If it says ‘Trading Company,’ well, there you have it.

I get this question a lot—will sourcing from a trading company be more expensive? Not always. You see, many trading companies are just branches of manufacturers in major Chinese cities.

The True Story About Pricing

The first thing to remember: Don’t be tricked by the numbers you see online. A lot of people assume that sourcing directly from manufacturers will be cheaper than going through trading companies. Sometimes, that’s true. But sometimes, you’ll find that trading companies offer even better prices.

I understand. Everybody wants the greatest prices, especially when considering large orders. However, figures might be misleading. Prices listed on Alibaba might not be as reliable as you believe. So, based on my experience, utilize them as a starting point while maintaining an open mind.

You might be wondering, what the heck are “ammo kills?” Well, they’re basically volume levels at which Alibaba offers different prices. You’ll find them on the product pages, and they can serve as a solid reference point for your discount negotiations. But here’s my tip: don’t trust these numbers blindly.

That’s right, I’ve seen these so-called “fixed” prices change the moment you begin a conversation with suppliers. So what’s my next step? You’ve got to reach out to them to get the real scoop. Ask for better terms on both price and volume, which leads me to my next point.

Mastering Communication and Negotiation with Suppliers

Mastering Communication and Negotiation with Suppliers

After you’ve shortlisted some interesting suppliers, the next step is to break the ice. I recommend crafting a killer email template. Be clear about who you are and what you’re doing, and include a sample image or link to show them the type of product you’re interested in.Then, get into the meaty questions. What’s the ammo queue, pricing, and delivery time for a sample? Blast this message out to all your shortlisted suppliers. It saves a heap of time. Sit back, relax, and wait for the responses to roll in.

You’ve got your replies, and now it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff. Don’t hesitate to eliminate those who seem unreliable or can’t meet your critical needs. Remember, we’re aiming for Amazon FBA mastery here, and that requires being a bit picky.Another smart way to find suppliers is using Alibaba’s Request for Quotation (RFQ) feature. You just post what you’re looking for, and suppliers will come to you! This is especially helpful if you’re juggling a lot of tasks and need suppliers to take the first step.

When you’re doing Amazon FBA, always, always, always ask for a commercial invoice. Why? Well, should any issues arise with your product listings in the future, Amazon will ask for this document. So, be proactive and request it upfront.

Flexibility is Key

Finally, the golden rule for Amazon FBA mastery: Partner with a supplier who can adapt to your business model. Your supplier needs to keep up with your pace and requirements whether you’re selling through physical storefronts, running a Shopify store, or concentrating only on Amazon FBA.

So, what business strategy do you employ? Are you drop-shipping via Shopify or sending high volumes to Amazon FBA fulfillment centers? Maybe a mix of online and offline? Whatever your approach, find a supplier that can be your chameleon.

There you have it, everyone! Although mastering Amazon FBA is not easy, with the appropriate approach, you can source from China like an expert in no time. If you have any thoughts or would want to share your own experiences, please leave a comment below.Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more juicy content. Join my Facebook group—the link’s in the description below.Until next time, this is Fung Cheng signing off. Happy sourcing, everyone!

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Air Huang

Air Huang

Marketing should be Global
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