How to Find a Supplier for Amazon FBA

Last Updated: June 27, 2024

As Amazon sellers, we all know how important finding the right supplier is for the success of your Amazon FBA business. A reliable supplier ensures that you have a consistent supply of high-quality products. But how do we find suppliers for Amazon FBA?

To find a supplier for Amazon FBA, start by using online marketplaces like Alibaba and Global Sources to search for manufacturers and wholesalers. Attend trade shows relevant to your product niche to meet suppliers in person, and leverage industry directories and your professional network for recommendations.

Whether you're an FBA or FBM seller, this article will help you learn the ins and outs of finding and evaluating suppliers for your Amazon FBA business. We’ll walk you through different methods to locate potential suppliers, how to verify their reliability, and tips for negotiating terms that work in your favor and find profitable products.

The three main types of Amazon FBA suppliers

Typically, there are three main types of suppliers that can be used as suppliers for your FBA business: manufacters (OEM’s), wholesalers, and dropshippers.

Manufacturers

Directly buying from manufacturers often means you'll have access to the most competitive prices, by default. You'll also likely have access to more customization options and better quality control. This is the preferred option if you're planning to develop a private label brand.

However, getting manufacturers to agree to work with you typically requires higher minimum order quantities (MOQs), longer lead times, and may involve communication challenges.

How to find and contact manufacturers

To find manufacturers, use online platforms like Alibaba and Global Sources, check industry directories such as ThomasNet, attend trade shows, and leverage business networks for referrals.

Wholesalers

Wholesalers typically offer lower MOQs, faster shipping, and easier communication compared to manufacturers, but prices may be higher than buying directly from manufacturers, and customization options are often limited.

Though wholesale products fetch slightly higher wholesale prices, they still won't be quite as low as if you were working with an OEM. The advantage is that the wholesale business model necessitates a wider selection of products.

As an aside, wholesalers can be particularly useful if you're planning to build kits or bundles as Amazon products, since they'll often have multiple products that can fit within your bundles.

How to find and contact wholesalers

Finding Amazon FBA wholesale sources can typically be done through online wholesale directories, though your network may be aware of some as well. Look for wholesalers on platforms like SaleHoo and Wholesale Central, explore industry directories, network with other business owners, and attend trade shows to meet wholesalers in person.

Dropshipping suppliers

Dropshipping eliminates inventory costs, requires low startup investment, eliminates the requirement to purchase products in bulk, and offers access to a wide range of products, but it may lead to lower profit margins, less control over product quality and shipping, and potential stock issues.

Additionally, utilizing dropshippers all but precludes the creation of bundled products on Amazon, unless you can somehow convince the dropshipper to build them for you.

How to find and contact dropshipping suppliers

Find dropshipping suppliers on platforms like Oberlo and Spocket, use online directories like Doba and Wholesale2B, participate in dropshipping forums, and visit supplier websites offering dropshipping programs.

Some of our favorite Amazon FBA suppliers

After spending over a decade selling on Amazon, we got to work with numerous suppliers across the various types listed above. In our experience, the top suppliers for Amazon sellers have been:

1. Alibaba

One of the largest online marketplaces where you can find manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers from around the world. It offers a wide range of products and suppliers across various industries.

2. Global Sources

 Another major online marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers, primarily from Asia. It features verified suppliers and offers tools for product sourcing and supplier verification.

3. ThomasNet

Known for its comprehensive directory of manufacturers and suppliers in North America. It's a valuable resource for finding industrial products and services across different sectors.

4. Trade shows and exhibitions

Attending trade shows relevant to your industry allows you to meet suppliers face-to-face, see product samples, and build relationships. Websites like Trade Show News Network (TSNN) and industry-specific event organizers provide information on upcoming trade shows.

5. Industry directories (e.g., Kompass, Maker's Row)

Online directories list verified suppliers across various industries. They provide detailed company profiles, product categories, and contact information, making it easier to find and connect with suppliers.

6. Networking and referral

Leveraging your professional network, industry associations, and business contacts can often lead to valuable supplier recommendations. Networking events, local business groups, and online communities (like LinkedIn groups) can be fruitful for making connections.

7. Supplier websites

Many suppliers have their own websites where they showcase their products and services. Directly contacting suppliers through their websites can sometimes lead to better negotiation and partnership opportunities.

Evaluating potential suppliers

When evaluating potential suppliers for your Amazon FBA business, consider these critical factors:

Supplier verification

Ensure you're dealing with reputable suppliers by checking their credentials, certifications, and industry affiliations. This step helps assess their legitimacy and reliability in delivering quality products and services.

Request samples

Before committing to a supplier, request samples of their products to evaluate their quality and consistency. This process allows you to verify if their offerings meet your standards and align with your brand's image.

Communication and responsiveness

Clear and effective communication is key to a successful supplier relationship. Evaluate how responsive the supplier is to inquiries and requests. A supplier who communicates well and promptly addresses concerns can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure smooth operations.

Negotiating with suppliers

Negotiating favorable terms with suppliers can significantly impact your profitability and operational efficiency. Here are key aspects to consider:

Pricing and payment terms

Learn how to negotiate pricing on marketplaces like Alibaba to secure competitive rates that fit your budget while maintaining quality. Understanding payment terms, such as payment schedules and methods, ensures smooth financial transactions.

Minimum order quantities (MOQs)

Negotiate Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) that strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and inventory needs. This negotiation ensures you can meet customer demand without tying up excessive capital in unsold inventory.

Contract and agreement

When finalizing terms with suppliers, outline key elements in a supplier contract to clarify expectations and responsibilities. Ensure legal protection by including clauses on product specifications, delivery schedules, dispute resolution, and intellectual property rights.

By carefully evaluating and negotiating with suppliers, you can establish strong partnerships that support the growth and success of your Amazon FBA business.

Building a long-term relationship with your supplier

Establishing a strong and lasting relationship with your supplier is crucial for the success of your Amazon FBA business. Here’s how you can nurture that relationship:

Maintaining good communication

Keep communication channels open with your supplier by providing regular updates and constructive feedback. This helps in addressing any issues promptly and ensures mutual understanding and trust.

Consistency in orders

Maintain consistency in placing orders to help your supplier manage their production schedules effectively. Timely and predictable orders not only streamline operations but also strengthen your reliability as a customer.

Handling disputes

In the event of disputes or issues, strive to resolve them amicably through open dialogue and negotiation. A collaborative approach can often lead to mutually beneficial solutions.

Legal recourse if necessary

While aiming for amicable resolutions, be prepared to enforce legal protections outlined in your supplier contract if disputes escalate. Having clear terms and understanding legal options ensures you can protect your interests effectively.

By fostering good communication, consistency in orders, and a proactive approach to handling disputes, you can build a sustainable and productive relationship with your supplier, laying a strong foundation for your Amazon FBA business's growth.

Final thoughts

One thing that's served us well over the years is to remember to prioritize quality and reliability over price. Build strong relationships and wholesale accounts through effective communication and consistency in orders. Stay proactive in resolving issues and protecting your business interests.

By following these guidelines and staying proactive in managing your supplier relationships, you'll be well-positioned to thrive in the competitive world of Amazon FBA. Good luck!

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