#Safesourcing Live Twitter Q&A – How to Find the Right Supplier

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Lace

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Mar 21, 2011
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We’re holding our very first Live Twitter Q&A in partnership with Alibaba and DHL Express on Thurs 21st June from 11am until 12nn and are inviting you all to join us.
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The session will cover How to Find the Right Supplier and the goal is to answer as many of your burning questions as possible. To help us we have enlisted trade experts such as HMRC, Business Link and SaleHoo to name but a few.

Here’s how the session will work:

1. If you’d like to participate, make sure you’re logged into Twitter on Thurs 21st June and be ready to tweet your questions or offer insights to on-going discussions.

2. Tweet to us using @wholesaleforums and add the #safesourcing hashtag.

3. To follow the live Q&A session watch the tweet stream (assuming you’re following us) or type #safesourcing into the Twitter search box.

If you can’t make the live session we’re taking questions in advance. Just submit these to this thread and we’ll make sure they are answered on the day (be sure to leave us your Twitter account). For example, your questions may cover topics such as; finding suppliers, due diligence, negotiating deals, payment & shipping or legal issues.

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday for this exciting event – all participating members will get a mention during the live session plus a spot in the post-event coverage (free publicity!).
 
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Dec 6, 2009
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Lace

I think that people should be cognisant that the right supplier isn't simply the one with the best prices but it is somebody who understands your requirements and will work with you to help you grow , which is of course to the benefit of both parties
 
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Oct 11, 2010
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A question that often arises on TSC from members is about low declared values from China suppliers and the resulting low import VAT on goods.

For example, I have spent £500 on a small import of goods from China,
DHL have delivered them and only charged me £9 in custom charges and clearance,
On the import invoice from China, my supplier declared Samples, No commericial value or valued the goods too low at $80.
As this is not correct, How do i pay the correct import vat?, or are there any forms to fill in to correct this declared low value from my supplier and who do i contact DHL or HMRC about it?

Look forward to an official answer on this question.

Twitter: @wholesaleoutlet
 
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Aug 22, 2009
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When dealing with UK companies verification is far easier, not only due to the online records at Companies House or other directories such as Company Check, but also for more enhanced data and credit reports, copies of their certificate of incorporation, annual return (directors details, etc. I use Bizzy (very reasonable under a tenner for a credit report or under £1 for copies of other docs).

Although when it comes to China it can be a completely different story, we often see questions like 'how can I tell if my china supplier is legit' and this is where I hope this following link will help, I use the HK Gov website to verify company registration for that part of the world (which also displays in English), you can simply check basic information as an unregistered user to verify that a company of that name is indeed registered, if they have an export licence, etc. however you can alo purchase further reports, I have not yet done this but they are available.

Although many china suppliers use 'limited' or 'company' when they aren't one, or it will be a trading name but not the one registered on the website I linked above, this is where it can start to get more cumbersome, sometimes a simple google search will help you find the real company behind the name, other times maybe a whois check will show the name of the company that registered the website if it isn't on their 'contact', 'about' or 'conditions' pages, but bottom line, unless you are 100% certain that the company you are dealing with is legit then don't buy from them and keep looking, ask as many questions as it takes until you're satisfied either way and if still unsure, then if looking to make quite a large purchase then think about hiring a verification agent who can also visit the factory on your behalf, check quality, etc. if you cannot make the trip yourself.

Obviously some smaller suppliers may not have a limited company, this obviously makes checking a little more difficult, but sometimes reputation, word of mouth can be good, or at very least not bad, remember, often 'no news is good news' when researching a supplier, say for example you google 'xyj supplies scam' and it gets results which look questionable, then move on and keep looking, but if they have nothing showing up then also try 'xyj supplies legit' again, if nothing shows up this can be good news, as basically once someone has found a good supplier they aren't going to plaster how great they are all over the internet as this would create extra competition for them in their niche, however, if they ripped them off many will either want answers, want to warn others, or both.

My bottom line, or number one piece of advice when it comes to looking for suppliers is first to know your market inside out, research until you have exhausted all that is available to you, then research more to make sure that you havent missed anything, this will tell you that you cannot source genuine branded goods direct from the manufacturer at a fraction of the retail price, it will tell you whether what you sell requires safety certification in order to be able to resell it, it will tell you that cheap vs value can be a fine line, and a lot more!

Basically, cheapest often isn't best as it's made cheaper, generally from low quality components that even if they are safety certified, chances are the certifications will be fake, which would come back on you the seller and be very costly further down the line, not only that but it will lose you repeat custom (aka lifetime value), from your buyers after buying a shoddy product that didn't last like it should, whereas value, would be reasonably priced but also better quality and last longer, therefore, helping you not only stay legal by complying with standards, but also your bottom line by once people get to know your products are of a better quality, you will not only get more custom, you will get more repeat custom, more recommendations and a longer lasting business.

If in doubt always buy samples and build your relationships steadily, many suppliers will understand this and as mentioned above, work with you and in turn help you grow, often as relationships get better, orders get bigger, then on occasion prices can then get lower, often, when further down the chain you will need to work on lower margins than you would if buying in the thousands on an established account, this is where many come unstuck as they don't seem to understand that if a major corporation can sell at x amount why they can't compete, this again, is down to relationships with suppliers and buying power, both of which take time to build up, be realistic, don't try to run before you can walk and you will have a far greater chance of getting there, don't become another statistic of 'i've got to be the cheapest' as this is where many come unstuck and end up getting scammed or inadvertantly buying fakes, again, as above, research is key here.

Hope this helps some of you!

Regards
Gary

p.s feel free to use any excerpts as you see fit for your Q&A if you wish, I'll still be there if I can.
 
May 16, 2012
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Thanks for sharing by Gary, great post!
 

Lace

Retired Moderator
Mar 21, 2011
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London, UK.
Only a few hours left until we go live! Here is a link to the #safesourcing Twitter stream where we can all view related tweets.

Here's a quickie tip: When replying to a tweet, instead of clicking on 'reply' please tweet it to everyone by adding a period (.) to the Twitter handle you are replying to.

Example: if replying to @wholesaleforums, type [email protected]
This way, all participants can see your tweets :)

Catch you all later!
 
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Lace

Retired Moderator
Mar 21, 2011
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London, UK.
Hi everyone,

A little over one hour to go before our live session, we have at least two questions on hand from @janemeans and @drinkall123 about scams and how to find wholesale fashion suppliers. You can prep your answers and tweet them starting 11am today with the hash tag #safesourcing.

Thanks all! :)
 
Oct 30, 2009
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Lace

I think that people should be cognisant that the right supplier isn't simply the one with the best prices but it is somebody who understands your requirements and will work with you to help you grow , which is of course to the benefit of both parties

And when you have found found a suppliers like this, it is important to build a lasting relationship with them. :)
 
Aug 22, 2009
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I got there a bit late unfortunately as at about 5 to 11 I got an important phone call so missed the first 20 minutes or so (but did look back through what I missed), was pretty interesting.
 
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Lace

Retired Moderator
Mar 21, 2011
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London, UK.
Didn't fully understand how it works as I couldn't see all showing up on the Twitter feed

Hi Norman,

Thanks for your contributions during the Q&A :)

I used both Hootsuite and Twitter (real time search) to monitor the #safesourcing stream - this way tweets from non-followed accounts are also displayed.

Lace
 
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