Are you still waiting to hear from suppliers?
Be sure you respond to suppliers as soon as possible. This gets the ball rolling faster, keeps things flowing, and is just polite. You want to be responded to as quickly as possible. It’s the same for them as for you.
You will have faster communication if you move things over to Skype or a similar instant messaging (IM) platform. Once you get the initial email out of the way, move over to an IM. People generally respond to IM faster than they do to email, but be aware of time differences. If it’s noon where you are, it’s the middle of the night for people on the other side of the world. So plan to do this part of your work early in the morning and again in the evening, depending on your time zone.
If you initially contact suppliers through Alibaba, remember that you must log in to receive your messages.
Also, be aware that some suppliers are just slow at responding.
If you only connect with 1-2 suppliers, and you’re just waiting on them, you’ve put yourself at a disadvantage. But if you’ve gathered 6-12 or more that look good, some are going to get back to you quickly and others are just going to be slower.
If you blast a generic email to suppliers, you will get a much lower response rate. So send a personalized message. Even if you are contacting a dozen different suppliers for basically the same product, personalize the very similar email you send to each of them so they know it’s not just some form letter.
If you get no response after a few days, send out a second email. Some suppliers just don’t respond to the first email. But if after the second email a few more days go by and they still don’t respond, just move on to another supplier.
When you find a supplier you want to contact, use the template below to contact that supplier so that you come across as a professional, reputable company and can receive a fast response.
Step 1: Initial Contact to Order a Sample Hello,
My name is [Your Name], and I represent [Your Company Name]. We are a product development and distribution company with primary operations in the USA.
I am looking to source a [Product] and found you on [where you found them, e.g., Alibaba.com].
Specifically, here is the product listing I found: [insert URL of product listing]
I’m interested in placing an order for this product after I review a product sample.
I am happy to pay for the sample cost and shipping cost.
Please let me know if you are able to take payment through PayPal for the sample prior to shipping or if you require a different method of payment.
Also, can you please tell me the price per unit of the product based on quantity ordered? Thank you, and I look forward to doing business together.
Hello [Contact’s Name],
I’ve reviewed the product sample you sent and am ready to place an order for our company.
Can you please let me know what packaging options you have available and the cost per unit of each packaging type?
Also, can you send me a design sample, or images of the sample, that I can share with my designer?
Step 3: Placing Your First Inventory Order (After Packaging Design is Created)
Hello [Contact’s Name],
Attached is the completed design file for the packaging for my product.
I’d like to place an initial order for [# of units] at [price quoted] per unit.
Please let me know the estimated date the finished units will be ready for shipping to the USA.
Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions.