The overall process of selecting a supplier looks something like this: you start by chatting with 10 suppliers based on your preliminary list of candidates, which is significantly more than if you were setting up a shopify store. Of those ten to fifteen we select a few and send out an RFI or a request for information. That’s what I’m going to cover in this article. after the RFI you asked for detail code and from there you start negotiating
so let’s look at the RFI – you can get the suppliers name and email address through the Alibaba chat system. I need more information: The email I’m going to send looks something like this:
This is just a template, if you prefer to use your own just make sure it has all these elements. The RFI starts with an introduction that states your goal which is to form a long-term relationship, even though as we discussed that’s really the suppliers goal – to get you on board with shopify dropshipping. I also include a link to the product that I want and a picture as well. Now, here’s where I got into the details. I asked them to give me a quote of 500 pieces, even though their MOQ was only at 100. the reason I exceeded their MOQ is because I wanted to start negotiations at a lower price point. For example, if I asked for 100 units they might quote me $20 a share but by asking for 500 they caught me $15.
If my target price is $17 it’s actually easier to reach that target by making it seem like I’m the one who is compromising and agreeing to pay more. During negotiations I can say you want $15 for 500 units how about I give you $17 and you lower the MOQ. I make it sound like I’m the one who’s compromising because I’m paying more and all I did was lower their MOQ. This is an old negotiating trick that come in handy all the situations.
Moving on I also asked if they can make samples, sometimes suppliers can be wary of providing samples, especially the other size is small and that’s just another reason why you should start with the higher MOQ. You I also provided a financial incentive and make it clear that I am willing to pay for a sample.
The next part is really important more suppliers have a product catalog which they don’t always share on Alibaba. The catalog is up to the deep which latest products so always ask for it. Most of the time I find the products I want not to the supplier page rather through the supplier catalog
And finally in every email I like to create a sense of urgency to support the supplier basically this is to motivate him, so here I can say we are in rush but I could also use something like we are in process of choosing a supplier and would like to make a final decision soon, it’s just another little extra motivation to give them to the next step.
Now I’ll close the email with my contact info and my whatsapp number. This will help speed up things when she sends her catalog and I see something that I like rather than sending her an email I’m going and going back and forth is razor rather easier just to send a text message, remember you can discuss anything on what self but the final contract will be on paper.