Do you have an idea for a new product you’d like to bring to market? Even after you’ve developed a prototype, filed for a patent and fine-tuned your invention, there’s the issue of manufacturing - one of the most challenging parts of the process. You want to produce a quality product while still keeping manufacturing costs low. One of the best ways to do this is to find a manufacturer in China. However, for most small businesses, the idea of locating a trustworthy manufacturer in a vast nation on the other side of the globe sounds even harder than finding a needle in a haystack.
One way to simplify the task of bringing your new product to market is to use an online platform to find manufacturers who can help you connect with global partners. Based in China, Alibaba is a marketplace where companies around the world can find qualified manufacturers. How do you get started?
Visit Alibaba to search for manufacturers who make the type of product you’re planning to introduce. To sort through the options, start by looking at their user reviews and ratings to see what other companies have to say about the manufacturers’ quality and reliability.
You should also get in touch with some of their clients to dig a little deeper and find out if there were any issues you should know about in working with the supplier or manufacturer. For example, do they deliver in a timely fashion? Are they quick to answer emails? The answers will help you narrow your list of possible suppliers or manufacturers to a manageable number.
Contact Your Choices
Before entering an agreement with any overseas factory to make your product, be sure you ask them to sign a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) specifically for overseas manufacturers. This is different than a standard NDA you’d use in the U.S., so it’s wise to have an attorney who knows this field to create the document for you.
Once the manufacturers on your shortlist sign the NDA, it’s time to send them the information about your product prototype so you can make sure they can manufacture it and get a price quote. Include photos, videos, dimensions, materials, and as many other details as possible that will help them recreate the product to your specifications.
Be sure to ask about the minimum order quantity they are willing to make—you might get a low price quote, only to find out that it’s for a minimum of 500,000 units when you only want 5,000. When comparing price quotes, be sure the manufacturers include all the costs, such as tariffs, shipping and customs fees.
Buying from a company you don’t know can be stressful, especially when they’re across the globe. One way to get peace of mind about your payments is by using Trade Assurance from Alibaba. The Trade Assurance program protects you in case the manufacturer doesn’t ship the product on time or doesn’t make a product that meets your quality standards.
Trade Assurance doesn’t cost you anything and is easy to use. Just look for suppliers that display the Trade Assurance seal and check their coverage amount to make sure it will cover the costs of the product you plan to purchase. You then enter into an online contract with the supplier and pay the supplier through a secure, designated account with Alibaba.com. The supplier ships the product, and after you get it, you leave a review for them on the site.
If you don’t get the product on time or if its not up to the quality standards laid out in the contract, having Trade Assurance helps you get your money back. To get a refund, simply submit a dispute request on Alibaba.com. Once it is determined the seller breached the purchase contract, you’ll be refunded up to the Trade Assurance covered amount.
In order to assure quality, Trade Assurance used to require inspecting the goods at the manufacturer’s site, which was a bit of a hassle. Now, Alibaba has simplified this step: You can receive the products you order and have them inspected upon landing by one of the three major global inspection service providers, Bureau, Veritas or SGS, to determine if the quality meets the standards in the More than half of Alibaba’s China Gold Suppliers are already part of the Trade Assurance program, and more are being added every day. That means you have lots of options to choose from when you’re looking for a manufacturer to help launch your new product.
Learn more about Trade Assurance