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#296 – Sourcing From A Website Many Have Never Heard Of

Amazon product sourcing expert Jalona Falkner shares her top strategies which include sourcing from a website that many have never heard of before.

In this episode, first-time guest and Freedom Ticket 3.0 instructor Jalona Falkner shares her story and strategies on Amazon product sourcing. Why is it important at one time to visit China for a sourcing trip and how to do it when you do so? How to source products and find opportunities inside Yiwugo?

Plus, make sure to listen to the very end as she shares the best practices in negotiating and relationship building with your suppliers.

In episode 296 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley and Jalona discuss:

  • 02:30 – How Jalona Got Started On e-Commerce
  • 04:00 – Finding Opportunities While Traveling
  • 05:00 – Watch Jalona’s Freedom Ticket 3.0 Module!
  • 06:00 – What’s The Advantage Of Going To China In Person?
  • 09:00 – Having A Personalized Itinerary On Business Travels
  • 11:30 – I Land In China, Where Do I Go First?
  • 15:00 – Finding Opportunities Inside Yiwugo
  • 24:00 – Negotiating Techniques For Your Potential Suppliers
  • 29:00 – Jalona’s Take In Current Issues About Shipping and Logistics
  • 35:00 – Relationship Building Tactics Work Well
  • 36:30 – How To Reach Out To Jalona

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

Today, we’re going to talk about product sourcing from somewhere we have never ever talked about on this show. How cool is that? Pretty cool I think.

Bradley Sutton:

Helium 10 has well over 200 employees and we’re added talented individuals every week. If you’re interested in coming to work for a company that has an incredible culture and cool perks such as a four-week paid sabbatical after two years, check out our job openings at h10.me/jobs h10.me/jobs. We’d love to have you join the team.

Bradley Sutton:

Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS-free unscripted, and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the Amazon or Walmart world. And we’ve got somebody who’s been helping serious sellers out there, her name is Jalona. Jalona how’s it going?

Jalona:

It’s going great. Thank you so much for having me on.

Bradley Sutton:

Thank you for being here now, right off the bat. I don’t know anything about you. Are you a seller yourself? I know what you’re an expert in because you’re in Freedom Ticket. And we’re going to be talking about sourcing, but do you sell on Amazon yourself?

Jalona:

I am going to be in about two weeks. Yes. I have helped other sellers get product, source products, get them shipped, but I’ve always simply sold on Shopify, but now there’s this amazing opportunity I have to enter a market that isn’t quite as saturated as some others. So yeah, I will be joining the serious sellers soon.

Bradley Sutton:

All right. I love it. I love it. Now let’s just take a couple steps back, you know, I think part of your expertise is on sourcing. And especially when we’re talking about from China, but I want to get to how you even got to that point. So like, first of all, where are you in calling me from where are you at? What state are you in?

Jalona:

I am in Memphis, Tennessee, home of the world’s best barbecue.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s debatable. I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know. You know?

Jalona:

I know. And you’re a world traveler, so you know?

Bradley Sutton:

I’ve been to Tennessee. Unfortunately, I didn’t do the barbecue there. I was doing when I was a Zumba instructor and I did a masterclass there and it’s kind of a little bit contradictory. I do this big humongous fitness class, and then I go pig out on barbecue. So I didn’t do that time, but anyway, so Tennessee, and then where is that where you’re born and raised or?

Jalona:

I am actually born and raised in Michigan by way of Chicago. Memphis is home now, went to college here, married here had kids here right here. I am a tiger and a volunteer. So I’m kind of down the middle, the Memphis. Memphis University Tigers.

Bradley Sutton:

Oh, that’s right. I should have known that. Oh my goodness. Okay. Yeah, that’s always what I always try and remember, like the different colleges. And now if you had said middle Tennessee state or something like that, I might not have known which their mascot was anyways. Okay. Like how in the world then somebody, you know, in Tennessee by way of Michigan becomes an expert on Chinese sourcing.

Jalona:

So, interesting story. Really? It is because I’ve always been in tech, IT, that’s what I went to college for, but I’ve always been this extremely curious risk-taker and in my twenties, I got really bored and I decided to learn how to sell. At the time, I was managing a group of engineers. One of those engineers lived and traveled back and forth to Vietnam. I wanted a partner to make my clothes. I started sewing for other women, you know, custom suits and skirts. And I said, Hey, you’re going to Vietnam. I’ve got a vendor over there. Can you go to this address? I’ll give you a free week of vacation and find these people for me, get samples made, and bring them back to me. And that’s exactly what he did. Of course, my boss never knew that you know, he was never aware that I had sent an employee to Vietnam for me, but it paid off in spades because so that was my first foray into working with international partners.

Jalona:

From there, I moved into wedding dresses and of course, China as Suzhou and Guangzhou are just the world’s wedding dress capital. And I started working with partners there. So again, I thought, oh, I need to send someone over there. I need to, you know, get more samples and build these relationships, but I thought, why not go yourself? So I began traveling to China a few years ago about maybe five years ago. And I’ve gone two to three times a year, ever since. So yes. And in the midst of traveling, of course, my primary industry has always been fashion, but in the midst of traveling there, I could not ignore all of these other amazing opportunities, amazing markets, amazing products, and vendors. So I began building a database of vendors and suppliers, meeting other entrepreneurs who needed help, who needed connections. So that’s how thechinaconnect. That’s the name of my business. That’s how they’re trying to connect began. And I began taking other business owners to China to do the same thing, make direct factory-direct connections.

Bradley Sutton:

Excellent. Excellent. And by the way, guys, you know, how you maybe be like, how did you invite this person? You don’t even know who she is rather. Well, she’s actually in Freedom Ticket 3.0, as you guys know, we’ve been highlighting different guest instructors. And we’ve already had in the first two weeks, 10,000 people sign up for Freedom Ticket 3.0. And so, 10,000 y’all might have known Jalona even before me here. I have seen her module. We’re not going to give you the entire module here, guys. You got to go into, it’s actually week five in Freedom Ticket. If you guys have access to that, if you, if you don’t have access to Freedom Ticket, go to h10.me/freedomticket h10.me/freedomticket, you can see how to, how to sign up.

Bradley Sutton:

But her module is 5.06 and going to mainly be talking about Yiwugo. But before we even talk about that, you know, I noticed in kind of like your not resume, but your splash screen here about introducing you in your Freedom Ticket module, you talked about how in the past, you would actually do sourcing trips and things like that. Now everybody understands the world is a different place right now, you know, with China being shut out from most access to most of us. But back when it was open and, and you know, we know it’s going to open up one day again in the future. Talk about that a little bit. Like what, why would somebody want to go physically? You know, if they have the means to a Chinese factory or to a trade show over there, as opposed to, Hey, I’m just going to use websites, which by the way, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with using websites. We’re going to be talking about today, but what’s the advantage of spending, you know, thousand dollars on a ticket plus hotels by going there in person.

Jalona:

Right. Absolutely. And many people ask this question. For me, the number one reason to go is there is absolutely no way a website like Alibaba, or Yiwugo, global sources. There’s no way that they can get host and give you the full breadth and depth of the number of products and opportunities there are in China. From the moment you step foot in whatever city you’re in, you are only maybe a hundred yards away from a market. That is where all of the magic happens. The prices that you get while you’re, there are three to four times cheaper than even what you see on Alibaba. So you think things are cheap on Alibaba, but when you’re in China, in front of the vendor, at their booth, looking at their goods, negotiating prices, they see you, they know you’re serious because you’ve traveled halfway around the world to come visit their shop.

Jalona:

They’re honored. They treat you like royalty and there the relationship starts. So number one, the number of products that you just simply won’t ever see on a website, because there are literally millions of products. And we’ll talk about what’s in Yiwu, but Yiwu itself has 1.8 million different commodities. There’s no way, even if those products were on a website, you wouldn’t have the time, your finger would give out with clicking before you got to the end of appealed pages, full of 1.8 million worth of product. So just to be able to see for yourself, walk the floors of these markets, which are massive. There’s no way you can find that magic product just simply from a website. The relationships that you build are unmatched, the type of relationship that you build, the negotiating power that you will while you’re there. Of course, we say cash is king everywhere, and it is so true while you’re there on the ground in China. And then too, I think it gives the business owner. Not only is it, an experience for their business, it’s a personal growth experience as well. You end up learning the language, you end up learning more about the culture. You certainly end up understanding why there are numerous holidays sprinkled throughout the year. You just gained such an appreciation for the speed and velocity and massive production power there is coming out of China when you go and see it for yourself, it’s really an unmatched experience.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, excellent. Now, you know, I’m sure you would agree and not just for your own personal gain, but it’s always best to go in groups, you know, that are more organized as opposed to, you know, what, I’m just going to go buy my own ticket to China and try and find my way out there. But let’s just say somebody who’s not using your group or, or what are some things that people should be looking for in a group. Or if they’re trying to get some sellers to get, like what, what’s a sample itinerary for one of these trips, you did like, you know, how much time should people allocate? What are the cities to hit and, and, you know, what’s a good group size? What should people look for in a guide like yourself, et cetera, et cetera?

Jalona:

Yeah, sure. So we’ll take just the group itself. So the way that we operate our groups is each person has their own personalized itinerary. And it’s based on your business goals. Some people come with a specific idea of the type of product that they want to purchase. Some people come with the purpose of seeing samples in person. So perhaps they’ve started a manufacturing engagement months ago. And so now it’s ready to see their sample. That’s ready for the samples to be tested or, you know, quality checked. They may come for that, but in our groups, we customize that itinerary according to that person’s business goals, or if they don’t necessarily have an idea, we talk through the type of business, the platform they’re selling on. What is their budget? What do they want to spend per product? How soon do they want the products? And we will point them to a specific market.

Jalona:

The big thing to know, if you’re going to travel there without a group if you’re going to go by yourself, is to do your research on the markets that you want to go to. The worst thing is to land in China and you ask someone, oh, where should I go? Or you don’t know, there are hundreds, literally hundreds of markets, and it takes days to get through one market. So you want to make the most of your time. And that means planning, planning, planning. You also want to be sure that you have the right amount of funds. You know, things are cheap there. Yes. But in addition to personal shopping, you want to bring cash for your samples, the negotiating power that you have when you bring cash to purchase your samples just elevates you. It elevates your expertise. As I said, the people there are so gracious, but they know the difference between someone who’s just kind of poking around, just looking versus someone who’s a real deal, the real deal, and ready to well end deal because they’ve got cash. The cities that one should go to, absolutely. If you’re an Amazon seller, you absolutely want to fly into Shanghai, catch a speed train, or a short flight and go to Yiwu is the international trade city. You’ve got well over 80,000 vendors there selling millions of different commodities and all types of industries, home goods, toys, electronics, decorations, furniture, food auto, home appliances, all kinds of just knick-knacks on up to the larger you know, items such as, like I said, furniture bedding and things like that. Yiwu is 80,000.

Bradley Sutton:

80,000? Like how does that even, like, I’ve never been to Yiwu, I mean, I’ve been to China many times, but I’ve never been to Yiwu, so this isn’t like a convention center, you know, like Las Vegas convention center is a lot of booths, it’s more like, just like streets of building? Like how does that even, I can’t even wrap my mind about 80,000 vendors.

Jalona:

80,000 vendors. It is an actual city and it’s separated into five districts. And in each district, you’ve got small commodities, kitchen, appliances, toys paper goods, and another. And that district there maybe, I don’t know, 10 to 12 floors. Each floor may have, I don’t know, 200 vendors on it. So as I said, doing your research and knowing where you want to go first will save you a ton of time and you can cover more ground that way. So there’s, there’s the big Yiwu market, which, like I said, it’s five districts, but then you’ve got smaller markets that specialize in things like the thousands of different types of socks. You’ve got the Beng Wei market for textiles and fabrics. You’ve got a food market. It’s nothing, but it’s exotic foods. Pre-Packaged seasonings and herbs. So it is just massive. It’s literally a city. It is literally a city. Yiwu gets about 300,000 visitors a day. They’re open seven days a week. They rarely close except for the spring festival. It is literally massive. And you need no less than five days to get through all the markets circle back to the one that you saw that, you know, you want to take a look at that product, negotiate some prices or some samples. It’s huge. I can’t even explain how, how large it is, except for, to think of it as an actual city. That’s broken down into different districts that are walkable, but boy, you better wear some comfortable shoes.

Bradley Sutton:

Wow. Wow. All right. Now that brings us to, you know like I said before, you know, you want to go to Yiwu right now, but you probably can’t unless you got some kind of diplomatic immunity or some kind of pass to be able to get in there, but you know, with, or without fit being the ability to physically go there is now an alternative. And I had never heard of it called I believe Yiwugo, right? Now, can you talk a little about that? Because I don’t have much experience in I would assume that probably more than 90% of our audience has not heard of that.

Jalona:

Okay. So Yiwugo is the website that is attached to or associated with Yiwu city, the commodities, markets. It looks and feels similar to Alibaba, but there are some restrictions, you know, in Alibaba, you can conduct business from a to Z from purchase to having the products at your door. So this website is still being developed. They’ve come such a long way from when they first launched just a few years ago. But the beauty about this website is that you can search individual booths. They actually have virtual tours of booths, and they’ve got contact information for the vendors right there on the website. You can now contact that vendor through Yiwugo, but the best way to get in touch with those shop owners is to use a sourcing agent just because you may have three to four vendors or suppliers that you’re going to work with, that agent can consolidate all of those purchases.

Jalona:

As I said, you can’t conduct purchases on Yiwugo yet. So you do need a third party, like the sourcing agent to help corral all of your, your goods. But it allows you to search hot categories. As I said, pretty much every district is represented on Yiwugo. I won’t say that every vendor, every booth is represented, but a good majority. I think there’s now maybe 13,000 vendors on Yiwugo. So of the 80,000 you know, you don’t have, you don’t have everyone, but you’ve got enough to get an idea of what those offerings are.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. All right. Now let’s just say, I am a typical Joe seller, I’m using Helium 10. I found some product opportunity, you know, perhaps I do look on alibaba.com and that’s what I’m used to doing. What’s the difference between the two? And when would you use one as opposed to the other, or would you always suggest using both?

Jalona:

So the advantages of using Yiwugo is what you’ll find is that the prices are cheaper when you buy them from Yiwu. What you have on Alibaba is sometimes sellers will list their price low, just so that they’ll get that click and that inquiry. And then you’ll find that the price is actually higher or they’ll come up with some excuse why the price listed isn’t the price that you’ll receive. With Yiwugo, 90% of the products I’ve inquired about the prices the same as listed. The products are cheaper. You’ve got, oh man hundreds, probably thousands of manufacturing facilities in and around Yiwu. There is a just-in-time supply chain there. So when you order your products, typically it may take a day or two for that factory to ship it to your sourcing agent. There’s just such a concentration and competition right there in Yiwu City, and everyone’s right next to each other. So their prices are typically cheaper than what you’ll find on Alibaba.

Jalona:

I use Yiwugo for cost comparison, price comparison. And I will sometimes say, Hey, I understand you’re in Guangzhou. I traveled there. I want to come to your factory to visit you, but I’ve got another vendor in Yiwu and I’ll send them a screenshot of the price. I’m like, can you match this price? Let’s do business. And a lot of times they will come as close to that price or even beat it. You can also do product research on Yiwugo. I know we’ve got a ton of tools through Helium 10, and we look at Alibaba at their hot categories to find out what’s selling there, but having another research tool to round out the full picture, there’s never anything wrong with that. There is a keyword feature on Yiwugo that will allow you to look at other people’s searches.

Jalona:

And this is in the course, I explained this in the freedom ticket module, how to look at others, RFQ through Yiwugo. So you’ll get a sense of what other sellers are buying the volume that they’re purchasing, the products that they’re purchasing. So there are some benefits to Yiwugo that you don’t necessarily find on Alibaba. But for me, primarily, I would say is just the cost of products. There’s so much competition right there together that you’ll find the price, compared to what you see on Ali-Baba because those vendors are dispersed they’re from all over China. They’re not sitting right next to each other, trying to win your business. So for me, that’s the biggest advantage of taking a look at Yiwugo before you make your purchase elsewhere.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. What is required if anything, to getting started over there, you know, like I just go to the website, like, you know, 1688.com or Alibaba and just start searching. Do I have to create an account?

Jalona:

You can search, you can look up contact information, even without creating an account. You don’t have to create an account when you go to Yiwugo, you know, you search much like you do on Alibaba, go-to products, look at what’s hot, you will see prices for specific quantities. You can send an inquiry, like I said, you can’t purchase, but you can send a direct inquiry. And the best thing is the WeChat number, the WhatsApp number, their email address is right there on the website.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay, good to know. So obviously since you can’t purchase, then, you know, no trade assurance and things like that, but have you ever like done what people do with the 1688 and go there and then show a factory on Alibaba or another factory? Like, Hey, look, what I saw and Yiwugo like is that a technique that’s doable or, oh,

Jalona:

I do that all the time. So I’ve got a team in Yiwu and in Guangzhou. And if I am buying something for my personal or website, like to supply my own business, a lot of times I will see something on 1688 or one of the other websites, and I’ll say, Hey, how much is this? Can you get this for me? And how quickly can you get it for me? A lot of times the context in the larger cities can’t access it. They don’t have the supply there, but most times I’d say 90% of the time, Yiwu has got to have it. I still show them things off of 1688 all the time. As a matter of fact, most of the things on 1688 are coming out of Yiwu. Most of the commodities are coming from Yiwu.

Bradley Sutton:

Is it just all kinds of products there? You know, like when we’re talking about India, and Pakistan it’s mainly textiles is the specialties there Alibaba is kind of everything. The Yiwugo also kind of just like in everything or is there more electronics? Is there more X or Y type of item?

Jalona:

No, Yiwu has pretty much everything. The one thing that I don’t see often are heavy electronics, medical equipment, machinery like mask-making machines. You don’t get a ton of results for that on Yiwugo. So your smaller commodities is where Yiwu specializes. But as I said, you only have, you know, less than half of the vendors on Yiwugo at this point, more being added every day. So I would expect that this website is going to become another Alibaba in short order. But yeah, I would say the larger machinery. I’ve got a customer who is in SPAs. She owns, you know, line of spas and we order micro-mist machines, cavitation machines. And these are big machines that are used to work on someone’s body. I would probably not get those from Yiwugo. We always go through a vendor on Alibaba. So I said, that’s probably the one thing that I don’t see quite often.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. You know, we’ll, regardless if we’re talking, Yiwugo, Ali-Baba going in person. You know, a common question that anybody is wondering about it is the whole, like, negotiation face. Like, so what’s some, some tips and strategies you can give us about negotiating with a factory or factories, you know, for a product idea that somebody has.

Jalona:

Sure. So one of my favorite ways is is to show them that I am actually speaking with a number of vendors. I want them to feel that I’m interviewing vendors and that I’m working with other people, and it’s not necessarily all about the price. I’m usually careful to mention that it’s not necessarily about the price. It’s about the relationship, quality and trust, and all of that. But I like to show evidence of the prices I’m getting elsewhere. So a simple screenshot of the price that you see somewhere else, even if it’s an RMB, just do a quick conversion. And I use that, and that typically will work because they don’t want to lose your business. They want to be your vendor of choice. So I will always provide a screenshot I’ve even gone as far as providing the PI.

Jalona:

I will re-raise the vendor’s name and I’ll say, Hey, look, I’ve got this PI. And even though your delivery timeline is a week longer, I’m willing to wait. I like your product. I like you like your energy. But I can’t, your prices are too high. I’m not going to be profitable. What can you do? And then a lot of times, and I think most of us that will do this is so right now I have an accessory that I’m producing. And my top number was $2 per item. They gave me a price of two 60. And so of course I said, well, my top number is like a $1.80. Can’t do more than that. My landing cost needs to be a little bit higher than that. So they came all the way down to $2.10. They were wanting to meet me, you know, somewhere in the middle, but I knew $2.60 was just way too high. So I usually will go low, well, way lower than I know they will go in order for them to land somewhere in that profitable spot. So those are two of my favorite negotiating techniques, especially as it relates to Yiwugo. Now, I will mention this too, with Yiwugo, typically you will need a sourcing agent and having a sourcing agent negotiate for you. Sometimes you end up with an even better deal than if you are back and forth and messaging on your own.

Bradley Sutton:

That’s what I do. Yeah. I mean, I find stuff on websites, but then I show it to the sourcing agent because I’m like, you know. And you know what? People always ask me, you know what they always ask me? Like, how much money are you paying her? Or like, what’s her margin? And I’m like, you know what? I don’t, I have no idea. And I don’t care. I have her just quote me the price. I got to pay her. If she’s making a dollar, she’s making $10. I don’t care because whatever price she’s given me, almost always it’s cheaper than, than what I was getting from a, from quotes. So she can make all the money she wants because she’s saving me money. And so I, a hundred percent co-sign what you just said there.

Jalona:

Yeah. One thing I wanted to mention going back to, if someone travels to China, I always, as many times as I’ve been there, I’m learning the language. I can, you know, talk and negotiate a little bit on my own, but I never go alone. I always go with my agent or I’ll go with one of my employees. I let them walk in the store first, or I let them walk into the factory first. Just sometimes it’s just, we come out better when I keep my mouth shut. You know, when I, they know my price, they know my quality level, they know everything. So, and then sometimes they’ll present me kind of as a partner, you know, as a business partner, not necessarily, this is my boss and she wants to buy these items. This is my partner. We are. So that sometimes goes a long way. And like, you, I don’t care what she’s charging me. I know she’s got commissioned rolled in the price. Yeah. I never pay a separate fee. But like you, I don’t care because the price that she can get me far outweighs the price that I can negotiate myself.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah, absolutely. Now, you know, this day and age, we all know that it’s a mess to order anything. You know, it’s, it’s, we’ve got shipping issues and containers sitting out there in the middle of the water for a long time. We’ve got rolling blackouts in China and in factories, not working at full capacity and factories, can’t find containers to put product on it. It’s a complete mess. And I know it’s going to get better, but what are some strategies you can give sellers out there who are in this stage where they’re either getting some stuff made? You know, is it just a matter of, Hey, just add some more time to your timeline because it’s doubled now, or what can you say about this whole process right now?

Jalona:

Yes, to me is one of the only ways to combat what’s going on right now is to start early. And I don’t mean three months early. I mean almost double, like right now we should be ordering summer things. We should be ordering Easter, we might get it by Easter. I’m not even sure. Easter is what April? If we started now, we could probably get Easter commodities shipped in a container and here and not be stressed out and losing our hair, thinking we’re going to miss the date, you know, with all these eggs in a crate. And we missed the date of Easter, we start with eggs. So starting now. So one of my clients is ordering 40,000 custom planners. They’re going on a ship probably next week. And normally that trip journey would take, you know, 30 to 30, 35 days, maybe 40 to get to her door. I’m telling her to expect twice that amount of time. Now, luckily ordering now we’ll miss the holiday rush of shipments, but I don’t think the cargo fiasco is going to clear up any earlier than Q1 of next year. Wow. There’s just dynamics that are going to take time to right-size. So you nailed it. The only way is to start early.

Bradley Sutton:

It was a big tell for me. You know what? I had gotten a message back on October. I want to say October 26th Hey better start getting your orders in to make sure it ships out by Chinese NewY ear. And I’m like, it’s October 26th. Like, I get that email every year. You know, I get that email, of course, every year, you know, I’ve been importing from China for 20 years. I get that maybe like the end of December, or like the beginning of January, you know, it’s like the end of October. And I’m being told like, yeah, you better get your orders in that you want to ship out before Chinese new year, which is I believe like February 1st, this year. So I’m like, wow, I know they’re trying to be cautious, but at the same time, that just kind of shows the sourcing world that we’re living in now.

Jalona:

Yes. Absolutely. We’re still gearing up for holiday sales, right? We’re still trying to get our ducks in a row to have a great holiday season, a great Q4. My mind’s not thinking about ordering in order for things to be here, you know, beginning of next year. But if you’re smart, you will start thinking about those things and you will start your engagements on, you know, production or whatever it is because it’s simply won’t be here. Now, the other thing, the other way around that, if you’re lucky enough to have a tiny product or something really small, that you can ship by air cargo, then obviously no problems there, right? Things are getting here three to four days commercial air, even air cargo, you know, you’re looking at maybe seven to 10 days. But a lot of us aren’t that lucky to have a small product that we can ship here by air and not have our shirts eaten. So yeah, that’s the only other strategy is to ship by air if your product is small enough.

Bradley Sutton:

Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, you’ve been talking about different strategies throughout this episode. We do something that we call the 30-second tip TST. What what’s let’s, let’s do like two or three of these, like what are some quick-hitting sourcing or any kind of, you know, supply chain, whatever you want tips that you can give Amazon sellers out there.

Jalona:

Oh, wow. Okay. Of course, we know to order samples, right. We know to shop around. One of my favorite tips is to bear the expense so that your sample budget isn’t blown on something that they are left to use their own creativity to create. I send my own prototypes all the time. I send my own color swatches all the time. We use Pantone and most times the colors will match up. But if the shade is extremely important if it, you know, branding is extremely important and you’ve got to have that exact shade, I will send whatever it is I have to, to their factory so that they can replicate it on the dime. It takes a little bit more time, obviously, and it takes a little bit more money to do that. Sure. But I’ve never regretted it.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. I like it. You got any other ones for us?

Jalona:

So a lot of times we focus on quick wins. You know, we’ll see a product. We want to capture the demand. We want to be first. We want to get that product in our warehouse and you know, up for sale as quick as possible. But a lot of times, and this is one of the things I’ve learned by going over there. Most times, when you go, you will not do business until about 90 minutes after you arrive, they cherish that relationship-building time. So very much they ask about your children. They feed you food. They, you know, you have tea, they show you the Kung Fu tea ceremony. By the end of the day, your is about the bus because you’re so full of tea and oranges. However, that time is precious. You can still use some of those relationship-building tactics, even when you’re on Alibaba.

Jalona:

So recently they just came back from Autumn Festival. Before I engaged in any conversation, I spent at least 10 minutes asking, what did they do for Autumn Festival? Where did they go? Is your, what city are you in? Is your family there? I didn’t get as personal to ask for pictures of their kids, but they appreciated that because if you think about it and Ali Baba consultant, or agent, they’re sitting at their computer getting hundreds of inquiries, they’re getting pounded all day long. Some people are idiots, some people are not nice. You could be the person that changes the tone of their day. So taking the time to do that just goes a long way. You become considered a friend, someone who is more than just, you know, a name and it message, you know, you’re given priority in a way that tends to pay off down the road. So take some time to get to know your vendors.

Bradley Sutton:

Alright. I like it. I like it. All right. How can people find you on the interwebs out there if they want to reach out, obviously, in addition to checking out your Freedom Ticket module?

Jalona:

Yes, absolutely. So I am thechinaconnect on all platforms, the website, Instagram, Facebook thechinaconnect, @thechinaconnect. thechinaconnect.com is my website. And there, you will find information on the tours the sourcing agents, the product, and manufacturing, business that we do. The Alibaba courses, all of that’s there. So yeah, I am thechinaconnect on all platforms and thechinaconnect.com.

Bradley Sutton:

Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on here, and wish you the best of success.

Jalona:

You are so welcome. Thanks for having me.

Bradley Sutton:

We’ll have you back in a year and let’s see like how you did on that launch. And maybe you’ve launched a couple more products by then.

Jalona:

Maybe we can have the podcast while I’m at Yiwu.

Bradley Sutton:

Let’s do it. Maybe I’ll go with you to Yiwu. Well, how about that? Like said, I’ve never been all right. Thank you so much Jalona. All right. Have a good one.


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