If you’re an e-commerce seller on Shopee, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to source products that will help you stay competitive in the marketplace. One of the best ways to do that is by sourcing products from China, a country known for its low-cost manufacturing and wide range of products.
In fact, according to a report by eMarketer, China’s online retail transactions reached more than 710 million digital buyers, and transactions reached $2.29 trillion in 2020, with forecasts to reach $3.56 trillion by 2024. In 2021, China became the largest market for e-commerce, with a revenue of $1.5 trillion, placing it ahead of the United States. This means that there is a vast selection of products available to source from China, and the cost savings can be significant.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at where Shopee sellers get their products from and why sourcing products from China can be a smart move. We’ll also provide a step-by-step guide on how to source Shopee products from China, so you can start taking advantage of this opportunity to grow your business. Let’s jump right in.
Where do Shopee sellers get their products?
As an e-commerce seller on Shopee, you have several options for sourcing products. One option is to source products from local suppliers and manufacturers. This can be a good option if you want to support your local economy and have more control over the quality of your products.
Another option is to source products from overseas suppliers. This can be a good option if you’re looking for a wider selection of products or if you want to take advantage of lower manufacturing costs in other countries.
Finally, some Shopee sellers opt to dropship products from other online marketplaces, such as Alibaba or Lazada. This means that when a customer places an order on Shopee, the seller purchases the product from another online marketplace and has it shipped directly to the customer.
Each sourcing method has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s up to you to decide which method is right for your business. For example, sourcing from local suppliers may offer better quality control but also result in higher costs. On the other hand, sourcing from overseas suppliers may offer lower costs, but it may also result in longer shipping times and a greater risk of product defects or counterfeit products.
In the next section, we’ll focus specifically on sourcing products from China, one of the most popular sourcing destinations for Shopee sellers.
Why source products from China for Shopee?
China is a popular destination for e-commerce sellers looking to source products and for good reason. The country has a well-established manufacturing industry and is known for producing high-quality products at low costs. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider sourcing products from China for your Shopee business:
- Low cost of manufacturing: China is known for its low cost of manufacturing, which can help you save money on the cost of goods sold. This can, in turn, help you stay competitive in the marketplace and offer your customers more affordable prices.
- Wide variety of products available: China produces a vast array of products, from electronics to clothing to household goods. This means that no matter what you’re selling on Shopee, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a supplier in China that can provide you with the products you need.
- Favourable shipping rates: Because China is such a popular sourcing destination, many shipping companies offer competitive rates for shipping products from China to Southeast Asia. This can help you keep your shipping costs low and increase your profit margins.
According to Statista, China was the largest supplier of goods to Southeast Asia in 2020, accounting for over 24% of all imports to the region. In 2022, China imported approximately 2.72 trillion U.S. dollars worth of goods. This indicated an increase in import value by about 1.1% compared to the previous year. This shows just how important China is as a sourcing destination for businesses in Southeast Asia, including Shopee sellers.
Now that you understand why China is a popular sourcing destination let’s dive into the steps in sourcing Shopee products from China.
How to source Shopee products from China?
Sourcing products from China can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, with the right approach, it can be a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps involved in sourcing Shopee products from China:
Step 1: Identify the products you want to sell
The first step in sourcing products from China is to identify the products you want to sell on Shopee. This will help you narrow down your search for suppliers and ensure that you’re only contacting suppliers that can provide you with the products you need.
Tip: Research the demand and competition for the products you’re considering selling on Shopee to make sure they’re a viable option for your business.
Pitfall to avoid: Choosing products solely based on low cost without considering other factors like quality and demand can lead to poor sales and negative reviews.
Step 2: Find a reliable supplier
Once you’ve identified the products you want to sell, the next step is to find a reliable supplier. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Using online marketplaces: Websites like Alibaba, Made-in-China, and Global Sources are popular online marketplaces where you can find suppliers in China.
- Attending trade shows: If you have the time and resources, attending trade shows in China can be a great way to meet suppliers face-to-face and establish relationships with them.
- Working with a sourcing agent: If you don’t have the time or resources to find a supplier on your own, you can work with a sourcing agent who can help you find a reliable supplier and manage the sourcing process for you.
When looking for a supplier, it’s important to do your due diligence and research the supplier thoroughly. Look for reviews and ratings from other buyers, and ask for references and product samples before making a commitment.
Tip: Look for suppliers who specialise in the products you want to sell and have a proven track record of quality and reliability.
Pitfall to avoid: Choosing a supplier solely based on low cost without doing proper research and due diligence can lead to issues like low-quality products and delayed delivery times.
Step 3: Negotiate terms and place an order
Once you’ve found a reliable supplier, the next step is to negotiate the terms of your order. This includes the price of the products, the minimum order quantity, and the delivery time. It’s important to negotiate these terms carefully to ensure that you’re getting a good deal and that the supplier can meet your needs.
Once you’ve agreed on the terms, you can place your order with the supplier. Make sure you have a written contract outlining the agreement’s terms, including payment terms, delivery time, and quality standards.
Tip: Be clear about your requirements and expectations when negotiating with your supplier to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Pitfall to avoid: Failing to define the terms of your agreement clearly can lead to misunderstandings and disputes down the line.
Step 4: Arrange for shipping and customs clearance
After you’ve placed your order, you’ll need to arrange for shipping and customs clearance. Your supplier may be able to help you with this, or you may need to work with a reliable e-commerce logistics company to arrange for shipping and customs clearance.
When arranging for shipping, make sure you choose a shipping method that meets your needs in terms of cost, speed, and reliability. You’ll also need to be aware of any customs regulations and taxes that apply to your products.
Tip: Work with a reliable logistics company with experience shipping products from China to ensure that your products arrive on time and in good condition.
Pitfall to avoid: Not being aware of customs regulations and taxes can lead to unexpected fees and delays in delivery.
Step 5: Receive and inspect your products
Finally, once your products have arrived, it’s important to inspect them carefully to ensure that they meet your quality standards. If you find any defects or issues with the products. And ensure you address them with the cross border supplier as soon as possible.
Tip: Create a checklist of quality standards your products must meet and inspect each product thoroughly to ensure they meet these standards.
Pitfall to avoid: Failing to inspect your products thoroughly can lead to issues like receiving damaged or defective products that can harm your reputation on Shopee.
Bonus Tips: How to succeed in sourcing Shopee products from China
In addition to the steps and tips outlined above, here are some bonus tips to help you succeed in sourcing products from China for your Shopee business:
- Build a relationship with your supplier: Establishing a good relationship with your supplier can help you get better deals and priority treatment. Communicate regularly and be respectful and courteous in your interactions.
- Use Alibaba as a sourcing platform: Alibaba is a popular platform for finding suppliers in China. Use it to search for potential suppliers, read reviews, and compare prices.
- Consider using a sourcing agent: If you’re new to sourcing products from China, consider working with a sourcing agent who can help you find reliable suppliers and negotiate on your behalf.
- Be patient and flexible: Sourcing products from China can take time, especially if you’re dealing with custom orders or large quantities. Be patient and flexible with your supplier, but also make sure to set clear expectations and deadlines.
- Invest in quality control: Quality control is essential to ensure that the products you’re selling meet your standards and the expectations of your customers. Consider hiring a third-party inspection company to check your products before they’re shipped.
By following these bonus tips, you can further improve your chances of success in sourcing products from China for your Shopee business. Good luck and happy sourcing!
Sourcing products from China can be smart for Shopee sellers looking to stay competitive in the marketplace. Following the steps outlined in this article and keeping these tips and best practices in mind, you can find reliable suppliers in China and start sourcing products to help you grow your Shopee business. Just remember to do your due diligence and research your suppliers carefully to ensure that you’re getting a good deal and high-quality products.