Time for another post on my Amazon FBA journey. If you haven’t read my earlier posts, consider checking them out below before continuing with this one:
In this post I am going to talk about getting samples from suppliers.
Why Get Samples?
The main reason you are interested in getting samples from the supplier, is because you need to make sure the product you are buying is up to the level of quality you expect. If there are issues with the samples, then what’s the final product going to look like? You don’t want to end up getting terrible reviews on Amazon for a poor product.
Samples also allow you to start working with the supplier and seeing how well they work with you, as well as how well they can follow instructions.
How to Arrange them?
The way I go about getting my samples is simply by asking. Normally pretty early on in my conversation with a supplier, I tell them that I want samples before committing to a larger order. 9 times out of 10 this won’t be an issue, and if it is – think long and hard about if you want to do business with this company.
Samples normally don’t cost too much, but the shipping can be a killer. Most of my samples have been between $100 and $200, however, I would rather pay that and dismiss a poor product early, than buying thousands of dollars worth of it.
My Experience so far
Since starting this journey I have ordered about 6 samples for 3 different product lines I am looking at.
The first was very quick to ship, however, the product had minor damage and I wanted to see if there were better suppliers out there. So I contacted another and the sample they sent me was worse than the first! I’ve also got a better idea of how to calculate profit on an item than I did when I started (I’ll save that for a future post) and I have realised that it’s probably best to park this one for a while and pursue other opportunities.
The next item I was looking at was something I thought was going to be easy to get created, however, almost every supplier had issues completing my request (as an example that isn’t real – think about a salt shaker, then think about asking the supplier for a package with a salt and pepper shaker – you wouldn’t think it would be that hard!). In the end I have decided to get samples of just the item they have available and to see how I go with it. Although, I am still working with other suppliers to see if what I want can be done.
The samples I have gotten so far were actually pretty good. I also asked the vendor to add my own brand logo to see how it was going to look, and while there are some small issues, I’m confident they can be overcome.
The last item I am looking at is going quite well. The supplier hasn’t sent me the sample yet, but they have sent me lots of pictures as we develop it. It’s the one I hold the most hope for, as the profit margin is quite high, and there isn’t a lot of competition, plus, my design is 100% unique.
The sample is on it’s way as I type this, so hopefully it works out well.