Wholesale B2B trading platform (Alibaba)
Time. To find the right product or vendor may take from a week to a month. It all depends on your experience and the specifics of the product, of course. All that is needed is a stable Internet connection, a lot of enthusiasm and experience with similar sites.
Money. You pay for Internet, electricity and vitamins to improve vision. The cost is minimal.
Energy. If you are a beginner, then be prepared to spend a lot of time behind the monitor. In fact, sourcing of goods is not just sending queries to the suppliers you like. Focusing only on the low price displayed on the platform is not the best option, because this is an indicative price to attract your attention. For greater efficiency, it is necessary to check the supplier according to several parameters and to carefully look at the contents of the supplier’s profile, if any, and then send the request. In general, the cost will be slightly more than expected – add to the vitamins a couple of packs of coffee.
Accessibility. The method is very available to experienced users. People who are able to quickly adapt to a certain environment, can easily adapt to multiple platforms, and will adapt to find reliable suppliers and to establish contacts with them.
Possible difficulties. Trading companies and direct producers of goods. Check out who's who yourself on internet is, in some cases represents a difficulty. Why is it so important? Because if you cooperate with trading companies, you will likely pay a commission (the amount of which is unclear). After all, trading companies in fact do not produce goods. Draw your own conclusions.
Are you not afraid of stumbling on a scam? You should take into account this eventuality because it is something that could happen if the supplier is not carefully checked, especially in the phase of money transferring.
Visits to exhibitions and/or markets
Time. As practice shows, for searching products by visiting exhibitions takes an average of 4-5 days. We consider only the time stay at these exhibitions. We cannot identify the time for processing the documents necessary to visit China, because it all depends on the bureaucratic procedures in each country.
Money. You will have to pay the round-trip tickets, hotel accommodation, travel expenses within the country, and, of course, translation services. The most expensive method.
Energy. Our translators tell us that to go on exhibitions it is tiresome . If you also can't tolerate flying and jet-leg, then be prepared for a good portion of stress. However, we recommend you to visit China at least once. The atmosphere at the exhibitions is unusual and often some interesting activities are carried out. For example, the introduction of VR technologies (virtual reality) in separate showrooms.
Accessibility. Relatively affordable method for owners of medium and large businesses. Moreover, you can always send some responsible Manager instead. However, for small business owners can be rather expensive to frequently visit China.
Possible difficulties. To visit exhibitions requires paperwork. Yes, bureaucracy is everywhere. Do you want to participate in the exhibition? Please, stay in the queue, fill the necessary forms and get the visitor pass. You can of course take a risk and purchase a badge in the metro, but from our own experience we highly not recommend.
Still from experience we can say that the food they sell at the exhibitions is often disgusting. And as you have understood, to go outside of the exhibition area to have a bite is not the best idea. Moreover, you will not have so much time, so be ready for a late lunch.
By the way, with our translators visiting the exhibitions will not be so terrible, besides it will be more productive: we know how to shout over all the noise, we can orientate well in the pavilions, and can also feed you a good dinner at the end of the day.
Search of new suppliers - service provider
Time. From 2-3 days to 1 week on average. Yes, professionals work faster – they know where to look, they know how to do it effectively and often they already have a list of trusted vendors with reasonable prices.
Money. Oddly, you will have to pay a certain amount of money for the search service. In general very few among the service providers publish the prices. But on average, this service should cost $ 150-200. It all depends on the specifics of the product and the personal wishes of the customer.
Energy. All your energy will be focused on writing the search criteria. The rest will be done by the employees of the company from whom you are ordering the search service. Still need a bit of energy to keep patience while experts are looking for suppliers.
Accessibility. With the right approach and a good study of the criteria, this search method becomes a good tool. Besides, many companies provide such services online.
Possible difficulties. The main problem is the competence (or the lack of it) of the experts from which you are ordering the service. Anyone can promise "quality and professional performance", but do companies care about their customers? You know the correct answer. Then, how to check the service provider? Read about it below.
What kind of tool to use you should choose by yourself. As you can see, each has its pluses and minuses. Be guided by your budget, your needs and your target. And remember, there is no universal answer. We hope that this article will help you in your choices. But if you have any questions, we will always answer to them in Facebook. Good luck with your search!