In Step 2 we are going to take the results of step 1 (the top 5 – 10 ranked suppliers) and are going to send off an enquiry from the Alibaba dashboard. The enquiry is at a high level and is designed to determine the suppliers responsiveness and whether they could become a preferred supplier.
BEFORE doing so, you need to have given some serious thought regarding the potential of customizing the product under investigation. There is no blueprint for this process, but you are encouraged to explore the potential of customization.
Approach the top 5 to 10 of the top-rated suppliers with an initial approach of determining if you can build a relationship by:
- Evaluating responsiveness
- Evaluating level of English
- Evaluating whether they are prepared to go the extra mile
Mail 1 – to be used if NO customization is required – Are you certain that you want your product identical to the competition?
Login to you Alibaba Account and locate the product supplier you wish to engage with.
Send off the ‘personalized’ enquiry form
Login to Alibaba on a regular basis to check for responses (not all suppliers will email you
Next – Step 3
Once the list of suppliers is reduced to the top 3- 5 suppliers that best meet the selection criteria, to start confirming the theoretical numbers and calculations pertaining to:
- Dimensions and weight – impacts on 3 areas of our initial theoretical calculation, namely:
- Shipping Cost to USA
- Pick & Pack costs
- Price per Unit
- Volume Price points
- Payment methods