Trump has recently increased the Tariffs for certain products entering the United States from China, causing quite a stir among the bulk of US marketplace sellers. For this reason, it's a good opportunity to consider sourcing Amazon products from countries other than China.
Many sellers have been impacted through these changes. Predominantly, those selling in high volumes with minimal margins are most affected. PPC budgets have commonly required scaling back in order to remain in a profitable position.
Most FBA sellers have opted to raise prices accordingly (and suffer from lower throughput) whilst some have quit Amazon entirely. Certainly the race-to-the-bottom game is now harder more than ever before.
You can weather this storm by adapting to changing times. Consider sourcing for your Amazon business from outside of China, using this guide as a reference.
- Countries to source from
- Limitations of specific countries
- Discovering 13+ non-Chinese suppliers
- Final sourcing considerations
We'll be examining each country and why we think they could be a good fit for your Amazon business. Currently, 80 to 90% of goods sold on Amazon's US marketplace are sourced from outside of the United States. This is leaving unprecedented opportunity on the table for those willing to be creative and source from outside of China.
Countries to source from
Let's examine firstly the countries to source from. After all, we can imagine that 70% of readers simply want this list.
Chances are you're also curious on how to find such Non-Chinese suppliers online, and we'll have this discussed in a later chapter.
This may not come as a surprise to you, but at the same time, you may not be aware that India shares many characteristics with China. They manufacture high quality goods, yet lack in the packaging and customer service aspects.
Like China, India runs dozens of international trade shows on a rotating calendar basis. Clothing, textiles, metal goods and jewellery are best found across India.
We know - you're probably thinking this is just another China. But it isn't! Unit pricing from Taiwan is cheaper, sometimes by up to 50%.
Some sellers source from Taiwan already, though at the same time, Taiwan's product quality is known to be average.
Indonesian isn't a high volume exporter, but they do make some very unique products that are seldomly found in other countries. Trade fairs are also a regular occurrence.
Australians, for example, absolutely love Balinese gifts. Those looking at spiritual goods, bamboo products and animal statues will find some opportunity here.
Vietnam isn't often regarded as a strong alternative to China for Amazon sellers, yet you may discover minimal competition for unique goods. Apparel, tea and animal products can be found here.
Further still, electronics are one of Vietnam's largest exports. Yet, even with Trump's war on China, most sellers will still find good profits and greater product reliability through Chinese electronic suppliers.
Sourcing from China and waiting 6 to 8 weeks for inventory to arrive is not only stressful if you're waiting on inventory, but the 'lag time' means that your money isn't turning over for you. That is, you aren't earning any ROI whilst products are on the boat.
Mexico, however, provides logistical advantages, despite costing slightly higher in freight charges. Your product, even with land freight, could be live and selling within a week or two from factory dispatch. Plastics, gems, precious metals and medical devices can be found here, with some bi-lingual sellers having language advantages too.
- Japan / Korea
There are some Amazon sellers absolutely crushing it right now on 'Made in Japan' products on FBA. You will certainly have a high unit cost price, therefore, this isn't beginner territory. There's simply a perceived higher value placed on Japanese goods, especially in the homewares department.
Following China, our next recommendation for sellers in the electronics space is Japan. This country manufactures for some of the biggest computing and camera brands, yet individual sellers are likely to find unique products that aren't available in China.
- United States
We left the best until last! Sourcing in the United States is not only easier, it's exactly what Trump would love you to do. Even if you're not a Trump supporter (Bindwise is totally cool with all political viewpoints!), you'll be supporting local employment and enjoy the 'Made in USA' sticker proudly placed on your locally produced inventory.
Sourcing locally can also create a higher perceived brand value, both towards the customer and potential business buyers. As more buyers are waking up to the 'cheap junket' that is Amazon at times, they're looking at the quality offerings, and are happy to pay a slight premium, especially if it's home-grown.
Limitations of specific countries
Before you rush off towards discovering suppliers in each of these noted countries, it's wise to step back and evaluate. Each has its limitations, and some simply don't export a great deal.
Remember: China still manufactures for the bulk of the world's goods, and we don't see that slowing down too much in the short term. That is, despite Trump's endless display of power.
- Language barrier. There are some countries where a language barrier is certainly present, especially in Vietnam and Japan. English certainly isn't so widely spoken. You may be used to challenges in translation with the Chinese, but further challenges may be present in these other countries. Hiring a translator is a recommendation, at least in the beginning stages.
- Quality issues. When compared to China, some of these countries noted just up to the standard you might expect. China has really advanced product offerings in the last 20 years. So much so that even luxury brands are now manufacturing in China. These alternative countries, in most cases, haven't really caught up.
- Transit times. China exports such a high volume that your goods can arrive in 6 to 8 weeks, with dozens of ships setting sail every single day. Some of these countries listed may actually take long to reach the US, and potentially cost more as well. It's worth inquiring with your freight forwarder pertaining to the cost and transit time before placing your order.
- Bribery issues. In places some places bribery is so widespread that in some places, it's simply part of the culture. Unlike China where 3rd party inspectors such as V-Trust can audit your goods, it's questionable as to whether this reputation can be upheld in other countries. Some factories may even deflect quite obvious product faults in production.
Please don't let these limitations turn you instantly off sourcing Amazon products outside of China. In fact, all these issues can indeed be found inside China too.
Discovering 13+ Non-Chinese suppliers
Great - so you've gone through the list of all the other countries you could instead source from and still turn a profit in your Amazon business. Plus - you've acknowledged that some unique challenges might be present.
Now you're curious towards how to find such suppliers.
The great news is that, just like Alibaba, a lot of suppliers from these noted countries can be found online. In fact, we're going to share 7 websites that you'll find key suppliers on.
- www.tradeindia.com (India)
- www.jimtrade.com (India)
- www.Dhgate.com (Global)
- www.vietnamexport.com (Vietnam)
- www.globalsources.com (Global)
- www.ec21.com (Korea)
- www.ethitcalsourcing.net (India)
- www.zentrada.eu (Europe)
- www.koleimports.com (US)
- www.closeoutfortune.dollardays.com (Global)
- www.alltimetrading.com (Global)
- www.mxwholesale.co.uk (UK)
- www.thewholesaler.co.uk (UK)
- www.thomasnet.com (US)
Furthermore, we would also recommend trade fairs. Whilst the Canton Fair is the world's largest, it's also visited by thousands of Amazon sellers each season. That is, if your competition is there, then high consider attending fairs in other countries whereby you're unlikely to bump into other sellers.
We can recommend www.10times.com for discovering trade fairs in these countries. Following the Canton Fair, the 3 of the largest trade fairs in the world are:
- Chandigarh Mega Expo (India)
- East China Fair (Guangzhou)
- ASD Market Week (USA)
Whilst there are certainly larger industrial/commercial trade fairs, these 3 are more suitable for Amazon sellers who sell direct to consumers.
Final sourcing considerations
When deciding to remain with China or source Amazon products in other countries such as India and Vietnam, it's wise to consider the Cost / Benefit ratio. Will I get more value (through increased profits and greater quality) through sourcing in other countries?
For those that source in the United States, that's sometimes a yes. Especially after the increase on Tariffs. The consumer is also becoming more conscious of the product supply chain.
Essentially, what we're questioning is that, will it be worth it? That's down to you and your research. Most sellers, we imagine, will likely still stick with China. Especially those on a lower budget.
This ignorance of other countries does present a lower competition opportunity, especially for those prepared to research. One thing is guaranteed - Amazon continues to be a goldmine.
Now where opportunities lay, so do the sharks. Consider protecting your account now with Bindwise, and join the thousands of FBA sellers who can sleep peacefully at night.