The Truth About Product Sourcing: What Every New Seller Needs to Know

Jun 26, 2024 | 0 comments

This is how product sourcing normally happens… 

You have a product idea that instantly gets drafted, you find the perfect factory quickly, they understand exactly what you want, sampling goes flawlessly and you put in a PO. Your product comes out perfect, with really competitive margins. 

I’m obviously joking. We all know that never happens. Or at least not with that much ease. 

To anyone just getting into selling products, I often describe the process as being 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Or 5 steps back sometimes…

Here’s the reality: 

1.) Product ideation can take a while

Coming up with a product idea is just the beginning. Turning that idea into a feasible product can be a long and iterative process. Speaking from launching dozens of products in our own home storage brand, I know that getting out of your own way can help. 

For example, our sourcing agency’s in-house industrial designer helps to take a rough concept and turn it into a design that is practical and ready for manufacturing, all while incorporating client feedback on look and function. 

If you have a great idea, don’t let it die due to inaction. Either hire a professional or find a way to get out of your own way to move it forward. 

2.) Finding the right factory is challenging 

Finding an experienced factory that meets your requirements is no small task. It takes a lot of research, vetting, and communication to ensure they get your vision and can deliver on it.

Adjustments and some concessions are normally needed throughout this process. 

3.) Cost management or ensuring you’re profitable

Discovering that your product, which can only sell for a certain price, will cost too much to produce and deliver with the desired look, materials, and functionality is a hard lesson to learn too late.

4.) Sampling normally takes a few rounds 

If there’s one part of the process you don’t want to rush, it’s sampling. Whether it’s material quality, design flaws, or functional problems, the first sample is rarely perfect. It typically requires several rounds of adjustments and troubleshooting.

The higher the complexity of your product, the more likely this process will be more drawn out. 

5.) Production and quality control

Even after finalizing the production-ready sample, maintaining consistent quality in mass production is tough. Be prepared to check in frequently to make sure you order is on track and being made to spec. 

Knowing all of this, it’s no wonder a lot of product ideas never see the light of day. It’s a hard and sometimes lengthy process. But the upside can be huge. 

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