How to evaluate supplier responses? Your supplier should respond you pretty quickly. This is why you need to choose the very best suppliers, due to the fact that the whole dropshipping business model rests on the fact that you heavily rely on your suppliers. This is where SaleSource comes in, with it’s manually curated list of the top suppliers. When they do here are three things to look for:
Does their product catalogue contain niche products? Remember good suppliers make one thing and one thing only if I am speaking to an electronics manufacturer then that's all I should see in their catalogue there shouldn't be any toys. If you see that don't bother moving forward
A supplier such an early stage should not be pushing you for payment. Especially by Western Union or bank transfer. If all they were asking is for cash payment types then move on to the next supplier
They don't share too much information about their clients. Once had a supplier show me everything about one of their client’s artists it just happened to be one of my competitors and if they do that to them they will also do it to me meaning I can trust that supplier.
We now enter the final phase get a detailed quote. We started the code process by selecting 10 to 15 suppliers and sent out an RFI. The purpose of the RFI is that we wanted to let suppliers know that we are interested in them.
It didn't contain any specific details it was basically a testing or feeling-out process and the key thing that we got from the RFI was a product catalogue and some general pricing. after talking with a few suppliers to email and chat we should be able to narrow down the list between 3 and 5 suppliers and these are the ones from whom we will request a formal or detailed code.
Up to now we have been kicking tires, we never gave hard numbers we never shared product details but now it's time to put the cards on the table and tell the supplier what we will really want - to request a formal quote a this template.
I start by re-affirming the relationship, even though I have done that this before in the RFI , it's really important that you look for the supplier and understand that you are looking for a long-term partner.
Link to the technical document. This is a document that you create which contains all the specifics of your product, for more info visit: https://salesource.io/ . Don't trust your supplier to understand what you want. You cannot leave anything to chance I'll talk more about the technical document in a moment.
The third element is to ask about pricing and MOQ. In the previous email the RFI told the supplier I wanted 500 pieces. I did that to get their attention, but I'm not ready to commit to that many units just yet so I'll say I only want 200 pieces or whatever the MOQ is. In fact you can go lower than the MOQ if you want, just remember the lower the quantity the higher the price per unit, but if you feel that the suppliers MOQ is too high don't be afraid to ask for a number that fits your budget.
Next I clearly state how many samples I want remember never order anything without seeing samples first now I can combine all this information and ask them based on my technical and my revised MOQ and the request for samples to confirm the following:
- can they actually make the product based on the information I provided
- the new price based on my revised MOQ including shipping
- that they can add my logo, of course you don't need to do this if you are not creating a private label
- the costs of making the sample including shipping
- for the lead time or how long it will take them to produce my order
- I asked about which payment methods they accept
- I closed the request just like my previous email by emphasizing that I'm in a rush.