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How to Source Products from Overseas? 7 Steps

It’s critical to understand what you’re getting into when sourcing products from overseas. Read on to find out how to improve product sourcing for your import/export business.

Accessing products from abroad has become easier thanks to globalization and the internet. For many businesses, sourcing has become a very alluring option due to the availability of goods at noticeably lower prices.

You can find products for your company and begin selling them by using some product sourcing techniques. We outline and investigate the best methods for sourcing goods from abroad in this blog.

Steps on How to Source Products from Overseas

The process of sourcing goods from abroad may seem difficult to those who are not familiar with it. You can get started with a straightforward approach.

Determine the Product

Choosing the products you’ll sell is the first thing you need to figure out. The truth is that what you want to sell might not be profitable, even though every business owner has an idea of what their ideal store will offer. To find products that can give you good profit margins, you should therefore do some in-depth research.

You should keep in mind when researching products that you want to stock your store with items that are well-liked by customers. Some ways you can easily find popular goods include:

  1. Studying store data trends: Analyzing store data on sales can help you determine how popular a product is. You can get a good idea of what people find popular by looking at what other stores’ shelves are flying off of. It’s also a great idea to use reviews of these products.
  2. Looking at reviews: It will be simpler to find the product you want to order if there are good reviews that let you know which products the customer likes. Because you can use negative product reviews as hints to find better products in the same category, they can be useful.
  3. Studying social media trends: Another effective research technique is trend-following. On social media, trends are most common. You can determine which products are most timely by looking at what people enjoy and engage with. Examining the Facebook ad library is one method of monitoring social media trends.
  4. Youtube unboxing videos: You can find some fantastic product inspiration from YouTube unboxing videos. There is a chance that people will purchase those products in the future or at least show interest if YouTubers with large followings give favorable reviews for the same goods. So you should try sourcing these products for your store.
  5. Amazon suggests: Today, Amazon is by far the most well-known eCommerce platform. Simply typing something into Amazon’s search bar and paying attention to the suggestions it returns is one way the site can assist you in locating products that are closest to the source. The suggestions show that people are searching for these products to buy. By tracking searches, Google Trends also operate in a similar manner. These approaches are all excellent ways to learn more about what customers want.

Research Specific Countries

The next step is to determine which nations produce the products you have chosen to sell. There are many things to take into account when choosing a country, despite the fact that it may seem simple. Both cost-effectiveness and the availability of production-ready materials need to be evaluated.

Finding nations that have access to the resources required for production is crucial when conducting your research. China, Hong Kong, and the United States are the top three markets for electronics, for instance, if you’re thinking about selling them. Therefore, concentrate on those nations.

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Research Suppliers

The next step is to reduce the list of potential suppliers after choosing the best country from which to source your goods. If your business is in a nation that is known for producing a certain type of product, you will find that many suppliers are eager to work with you.

Thorough research should be done on the main suppliers in that nation before selecting one at random. Lists of available product suppliers in a country can be found on some websites. A few of them are:


There are important characteristics you should watch out for when searching for the best supplier for your goods to help you narrow your search.

  • Experience of the supplier
  • Price
  • Customer service relation
  • Delivery time
  • Previous reviews of customers

Make sure the supplier you select will allow you to develop a good working relationship. Therefore, choose a company based on its profit margins and its ability to consistently deliver goods to meet demand.

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Choose the Right Supplier

Once you have found your suppliers, spend some time researching each of the businesses on your list. Look for reviews, in-depth company information, or issues pertaining to this supplier by starting a quick internet search. The greater your chances are for a smooth sourcing process, the more background knowledge you have about the supplier.

Right Supplier

Be sure to ask the supplier the questions that are important to you when you get in touch with them. Ask, for instance, about the specific products they sell, the shipping duration, whether shipping, duties, and/or taxes are included in the final price, whether there is a minimum quantity that must be purchased, and any discounts offered for buying large quantities.

Rules and specifications are unique to each supplier. Simply by identifying the requirements that most closely match your company’s needs, you can select the ideal supplier. Be a savvy consumer as well and don’t be afraid to contact multiple suppliers to compare prices.

Request Samples of Products

Quantity matters, and you want to make sure that the goods you sell meet the expectations of your customers. Given that you might reside a long distance from your supplier, how can you ensure this? Request product demonstrations. The product samples you receive from your supplier may ultimately decide whether or not that supplier is the best choice for you.

After receiving the product, you can determine whether or not it is sellable. Then, if you already have potential customers, you can present the products to them and get their honest, unbiased opinions.

Examine every aspect of the product at this point, including the packaging, parts, and quality. By following this procedure, you can make sure that you are getting the best possible value for your money and giving your customers the top-quality item available.

Finalize Agreement

You are prepared to seal a deal with a foreign supplier at this time. As problems frequently occur when there are language barriers, be sure to have everything in writing. A contract between a foreign supplier and a U.S. company has some important clauses. importer include product specifics, such as pricing, payment terms, shipping terms, and delivery.

Read More: Overseas Manufacturing


What Does Sourcing a Product Mean?

A company can obtain the sellable inventory it needs for daily operations and to satisfy customer demands by sourcing products. To make sure that products are available for purchase, product sourcing also involves looking for and coordinating with a manufacturer.

What is a Product Sourcing Agent?

Typically, a product sourcing agent works with businesses to help them locate cost-effective product suppliers.

How Do I Approach a Chinese Manufacturer?

  • Business is impacted by culture.
  • The dangers of only communicating via email.
  • Make it personal when communicating.
  • “Yes” doesn’t always mean yes.
  • But keep in mind that you are a business owner.
  • Middlemen should be avoided.
  • Don’t lose your cool.
  • Maintain your respectful use of titles.

Related: Chinese Business Etiquette

Start Sourcing Now!

As a result of globalization and the internet, there are countless possibilities for sourcing goods from abroad.

You can achieve sourcing success by sticking to these easy steps.

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