when you’ve found some suitable supplier,how do you approach them and Requesting A Quote?here pls learn The Best Way for Easily to Get the Supplier Price List.
Requesting A Quote
The biggest question you’re going to have is “how much?” but before you hastily send the supplier your request for quotation (many times referred to as a RFQ), take a few minutes to plan out what you want to say and the questions you need to ask. Planning your email will increase your chances that you will receive a response and the correct information.
Here are a few important questions to consider for your email:
What is your minimum order quantity? – Also referred to as a MOQ, you want to make sure their minimums are manageable for you and that you can afford them. This minimum order quantity can vary wildly depending on the product and the supplier so it’s important to ask upfront.
What is your sample pricing? – You’ll likely want samples to inspect before making a full order. Sample pricing ranges, depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers that receive many requests may change the full retail pricing, others will offer you samples at a discounted rate, and some may even send you samples for free.
What is your production pricing? – One of the most important questions is how much your products will cost. You’ll probably wan’t to ask for pricing for several quantities to get a sense of if and how they do discounted pricing at higher quantity levels.
What is your turnaround time? – Knowing how long it will take to produce your order is an important consideration and depending your exact business, time can be critical.
What are your payment terms? – Many suppliers will require new businesses to pay for the full order upfront. This is important to know since inventory is a major cost for ecommerce startups. You may want to also ask if they provide payment terms on future orders.
Suppliers get bombarded with email quote requests all the time from flaky buyers that are just ‘kicking the tires’ so it’s not unusual for many suppliers not to reply to every request. A lack of supplier responsiveness is a common complaint from new ecommerce entrepreneurs.
So how do you avoid being ignored? There are a few things that you should avoid when you reach out to suppliers for the first time:
Long emails – Your first email to a manufacturer should be clear and concise. Avoid telling too much about your story and background. The first email should be purely to assess potential fit at a high level. Focus on what suppliers care about the most like the details of what you’re trying to source.
Asking for too much – Requests aren’t always easy for the supplier to produce. It’s important to ask for a few prices for multiple quantities, but avoid asking for too much or too many quotes. Stick to asking for what you absolutely need to assess fit between you and the supplier.
Asking for too little – If you ask for a quote well below the supplier’s minimum order you risk being met with silence. If you are unsure if your request is too small, consider giving them a quick call or send a quick one question email prior to ask what their minimum order is.
Finally, if you’re contacting a supplier from overseas, keep in mind that in many cases, they may be using translating programs to translate your email as well as their reply. Keeping your emails short, concise, well formatted and spelling error free will not only help the manufacturer but it will ultimately provide you with better replies and answers. Also, when asking your questions, it’s best to number your questions, so that they can easily reply to each number, keeping the questions and communication clean and organized.
Here is an example of an email I might send out:
My name is Richard and I am from XYZ company.
I am interested in placing an order for Widget A. I just have a few questions beforehand:
1. What is you minimum order quantity?
2. What is your cost per unit at the minimum order as well as if I were to order 3x your minimum order?
3. What are your payment terms for new customers?
I would also like to order a sample of Widget A to verify quality. Can you please send me the cost for the sample, including shipping to:
80 Spadina Avenue, Floor 4
Toronto, ON, Canada
As you can see from the sample above, it’s short, concise and it’s goal is to make sure at a high level that there is a fit between us. I have also set myself up to immediately order a sample unit, should there be a good fit between us. Once I have received the samples and I’m happy with them, I can then start getting into more detail knowing I’m not wasting their time, or mine.
If you’re looking for a supplier for the first time, you’re going to quickly learn about ‘Minimum Order Quantities’ (MOQ’s). It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to require a commitment to purchase hundreds or even thousands of units for your first order depending on the product and manufacturer.
MOQ’s make it difficult when you have limited funds, or simply want to play it safe by starting small to test the market before making larger purchases. The good thing is that MOQ’s are almost always negotiable.
Before you begin negotiating, the first step is to understand why the supplier has imposed a minimum. Is it because there is a lot of work upfront? Or maybe it’s because they prefer to work with larger buyers. Understanding the reasons behind the minimum will help you better understand their position and allow you to negotiate and propose to best counter offer.
After you have a better understanding of your suppliers position, you can offer a lower order quantity. Compromises can include giving the supplier a deposit for a larger order, but just producing small amounts at a time or paying a higher price per unit.
Have You Found Your Supply Partner?
Sourcing suppliers and manufacturers is a unique process, and for many, a new experience. Trying to locate suppliers that are a good fit is a critical decision for your new business and aren’t always easy to find. It’s easy to get frustrated when you hit dead ends or brick walls but in most cases, it just requires a little more patience and perseverance to find the perfect partner for your new business.