Product Sourcing With Amy Wees
00:12 In this episode
01:05 It’s Amy Wees “Amazing at home”
02:10 What we’re going to talk
02:42 What about the production process?
04:28 Know what “it” is called in different languages
05:20 Will they make this mug the way we need it?
06:23 2-3 weeks and you are already on Amazon?
07:00 You can do it in Mexico!
09:06 Mexico it’s not a China
If you thought sourcing from China was low-cost, wait until you hear about Mexico.
Amazon sellers have traditionally sourced their products from China, using platforms like Alibaba to find and connect with manufacturers. Today, sellers have a fresh option of sourcing from various other areas of the world, including Mexico and Latin America. Amazing at Home CEO, Amy Wees, joins our podcast to discuss advanced sourcing strategies and the sourcing opportunities available in Mexico.
“The more you know about your manufacturing process, the better off you’ll be when you source.”
Amy explains the importance of understanding the process of manufacturing your specific products. If you are selling t-shirts, you should research and understand the textile and clothing manufacturing process. Familiarize yourself with the tools and supplies needed to make these products so that you can determine if a supplier is equipped to fulfill your product orders. Once you’ve found a new supplier, Amy suggests conducting a mid-production inspection to catch any mistakes before everything is done and ready to ship.
Language barriers are common when doing business internationally. Amy highlights the importance of learning relevant terms in your manufacturers’ language. This will help not only with communicating the right message, but it will also help you with your source search. You may be exposed to more or different manufacturers if you’re able to search them in Chinese or Spanish.
China’s Got Some Competition.
China isn’t the only country you can find cheap goods and resources. Ceramics, wood, home goods, leather, gifting, and products from various popular categories are now often sourced from Mexico. They are also able to customize products as you would in China, but at less cost to you.
For US-based sellers, sourcing products from Mexico is cheaper than from China because you are using ground transportation instead of air or ocean shipping. Your lead time will be much shorter, as short as 2 days, instead of weeks that you would have to wait when sourcing from China. Because US has free trade with Mexico, you save money on tariffs. Sourcing from Mexico also eliminates the risk of delays due to international or political events.
While not all products can be sourced from Mexico, you can buy raw materials from China and export it to your Mexican manufacturer to finish the product. Your manufacturer can then send it to your logistics company – which Amy also recommends basing out of Mexico because Mexican labor rates are cheaper than Chinese. At the same time, you can also outsource your inventory storage to Mexico. Because of Amazon’s inventory restrictions, sellers often store their products in Chinese warehouses. Mexican warehouses are not only cheaper, but you can get your products shipped to Amazon warehouses much faster.
Keep in mind that there is no Alibaba for Mexico yet. They are not yet up to par with China, Amy emphasizes, because they haven’t been in the ecommerce manufacturing world for as long as China has. Chinese manufacturers have had the past 30 years to develop their factories and businesses. They are more experienced and have more resources available. But they are still highly efficient and cost effective. Amy suggests attending tradeshows to network and learn about the Mexican ecommerce community. If you’re interested in learning how to source, what products are available, and visiting factories in Mexico, sign up for the 2022 Mexico Sourcing Trip.
Tips For Working With Mexican Manufacturers
Amy explains that working with Mexican manufacturers will require more effort. Chinese suppliers can typically look at a picture and understand how to make your product. Because Mexican manufacturers aren’t as experienced, you will need to be more hands-on and develop a partnership with them. You may have to work on getting the right framework and tools in the factory before production can start.
Communicating throughout the entire production process is key when working with any supplier. Amy recommends providing highly detailed specification sheets of your product designs to avoid any confusion. Making a PowerPoint presentation can be an effective way to display your product details. You want to provide as much detail as possible, especially because of language barriers. Using keywords in their language helps you ensure that they understand what you are requesting.
Mid-production inspections of your products are key to catching any mistakes early on, Amy says. This way you can prevent further loss of poorly or incorrectly manufactured products. Let your manufacturers know in detail what you’re going to inspect for.
The great thing about Mexico is that visiting your plans in person is easy, giving you have the ability to work together and collaborate with your manufacturers. You can also take a detour to enjoy Mexico’s beautiful beaches while you’re there!
In a Nutshell…
If you’re willing to put in some extra effort, sourcing from Mexico can cut your costs as an Amazon seller. Cheap labor and shipping costs, lower lead times, and a more accessible location make Mexico and ideal place to source your products. You’ll need to be more hands-on and partner with your manufacturers in the beginning, but once you can get them up and running, you might be happy you did.
For more information on Amazing at Home and how Amy’s team can help you with sourcing, visit https://www.amazingathome.com/. If you’re interested in attending a tradeshow where you can learn how to source, what products are available, and visit factories in Mexico, sign up for the 2022 Mexico Sourcing Trip.