fbpx An Inside Look at Sourcing and Manufacturing Brands
On this page

An Inside Look at Sourcing and Manufacturing Brands with Sourcing Expert Kian Golzari

Kian Golzari 3:02

Kind of Yes. So I am I started manufacturing in China, like 2010, so just about 11 years now. And in 2011 started off in the family business. And we were awarded the license to supply the London 2012 Olympic Games. So my first sort of big effort and big project in manufacturing personal I went to China, I was essentially doing all the product development and all the buying for the Olympic Games through our family business. And in that from manufacturing for the Olympics, that was kind of like getting me involved into sport licensing, and talking to a lot of retailers understanding what’s our products in so after that, you know, when I wanted to do like NBA products or get approached by other licenses, like NASCAR, you know, FC Barcelona and stuff like that, all you have to say is Yeah, manufacturing complex. And that’s just immediate credibility, and you’ve got your foot in the door, basically. So the I think the Olympics, starting in 2011 is my first sort of major export project.

Joshua Chin 4:02

That’s huge. And how do you end up starting your own ecom brand from then on?

Kian Golzari 4:06

I mean, I kind of worked in the family business for eight years. And in that time, that’s when I lived in China visited all these factories built all these products. And I got to go to a stage where I felt like I’ve done everything that I can do if you know I mean, I can feel that like I’ve pushed this brand we’ve got so many different countries so many different retailers manufactured solely the potential products got so many different types of licenses. And I’m like I kind of felt that like what’s next. And I kind of just want to start from scratch venture on by myself and start my own brand and then also manufacturer for my friends brands as well because as you know in this as an industry and people like our friends can just develop these monster brands in like, you know two years like what started off and as an idea knows we’re doing like $25 to $30 million a year in turnover. And in the sort of approach me for help, like, hey, I’ve got quality issues with my manufacturer, how do I fix it? I don’t think I’m getting the best price. What do I do? Should I be looking at Should I not be working with a sourcing agency questions like that, and I just got round to helping so many people, I was like, you know what I should really just figure this stuff out and have a dedicated service for this and, and really help the people that I believe in and really help them scale and launch their manufacturing business. Because I feel that you we can take all these different courses and stuff like that in terms of like how to do your imagery, how to optimize the listing, how to do your PPC and stuff like that. But the whole manufacturing stuff, like that’s something you have to have, like knowledge and experience, and people who have gone there before it and done it, like understand the culture of buy businesses done in China, understanding like, minimum order quantities and understanding like dealing with the factory boss and asking for favors asking for credit, getting your goods pushed to the front of the production schedule, finding out what your manufacturers are making for other countries, other markets, see what works for you. So there’s so many, because when people think about manufacturing and think they just think about like, your quality and your price, but there’s just so many other intangibles that add points to your business that you probably haven’t even considered. So I feel that like, you know, a lot of people think that the margin is in the selling price of your product, but the margin can actually be in the bank list of your product. Like if you’re doing 500,000 units per year, or 10,000 units per year, and you were buying at $10. But you could have been buying at $8, you know, you’re immediately saving that $2 multiplied by 10,000 units, that could pay for your next hire pay for your ad campaign. So sourcing ideal is the first part of the journey that you have to get right. And it’s so important that the success you have sourcing then goes on to play a major factor in terms of success to the rest of your business as well.

Joshua Chin 6:44

That’s, that’s so important. Every dollar saved is $1 earned. And it’s I love that. Now We are in the middle. As of this recording, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. And I think with that comes a number of challenges for both suppliers and and sellers alike. Let’s talk about what you talked what you mentioned. MOQ, minimum order quantity, how, how do you begin to kind of navigate that during COVID with in such a high risk environment, when you start negotiating that down? See the way around that?

Kian Golzari 7:20

Yeah, exactly. So essentially, this is the longest time in my professional career, which I’ve never been to China, right, I’m used to being there, like every two or three months, previously living there, right. And I feel like we do our best work face to face dealing with manufacturers. And that’s where any seller as well, you can purchase the Alibaba or you can go to the Canton Fair, or you can visit your factory directly. But now we’re all in the same situation that like we have to communicate online, right. And if you have a pre existing relationship with your manufacturer, you’ve done business with them before and stuff like that, and you’re adding new products, then find your business and continue as normal. And you can get those minimum order quantities for new products, because Trust has been established. But if you’re like, right, I want to start selling boom, gym equipment. And I need to find a new manufacturer for it. But I don’t want to place this really large order up front, I want to test it first. Now you have to get a little MOQ with someone that you’ve never done business with before. And you can only sort of discuss with them online. So that’s the biggest challenge, right? So what I kind of teach them I talk about is whenever you want to get a little minimum order quantity, you have to state your leverage, you have to make the supplier want to work with you. So many people have just taken courses and they’ve been trained to just reach out to a supplier on Alibaba, ask them, Hey, what’s your price? What’s your MOQ? And can I get customized packaging? And you got to remember that supplier gets that message probably 100 times a week from all these different potential customers, especially in the category which is in high demand, like home office or home sport and fitness, whatever, right? So they’re sick and tired of getting the same message over and over again. But if you reach out to them in a way to say, hey, I’ve been in the manufacturing, I’ve been in the fitness industry, I’ve been in the fitness industry for like five or 10 years. I’m a personal trainer. I’ve got many clients, I’ve got this idea of my own product. I’m a fitness influencer or I know all the biggest fitness influencers and in China they call them KOLs and opinion leaders. I know that many leaders and I’m qualified selling on Amazon, I’ve been doing it for five years, or I’m partnered with some of the biggest sellers on Amazon. So now they’re like, Okay, well, this is someone who knows industry knows the products, so they can help us improve the products as well. They’ve got their customer base, departmental influencers, they know how to sell online. So even though they want a small minimum order, this is someone that’s potentially going to grow as a customer, right? And you have to remember that, like suppliers aren’t thinking about right, how much money can I make from this order? They’re thinking about how much money can I make from this customer over the next 3, 5, 10 years. And as long as you show them your vision and and your knowledge within the industry and you want to be in it for the long term, then they’re much more likely to give you that low MOQ. But if you Just like, Hey, what’s your best price? And can I get 100 pieces they’re gonna be like nah, like, because they’re already so busy, like bear in mind, the fact is already backed up with so many orders. So if they’re taking on any new customers, it’s gonna be a customer that they want to really build with for the long term. And then on top of that, regardless if you’re in a pandemic or not, you should always be seeing your supply for your first order, that the first order is always a trial order. And the trial order is not just so you can get a low MOQ, so that you can test the supplier. And it’s you want to be checking the quality of your productions, okay, that the price that you got was okay, the finish that production when they say they’re going to finish it the past the pre shipment inspection, that when they ship it, there’s no issues that a good score, customs clearance, okay? Did they put the right duty code on the documents that once you start selling it, you don’t get that many returns. And once you pass that trial order, then you’re going to go back and place a much larger order. And I do that with all my suppliers, all my new suppliers, anyone. So that’s it. But that’s something you should always state, even if you want a low MOQ like, you know, 200 pieces or 500 pieces, you always should go through that trial order process, but you have to explain it. That’s why you’re doing it. And what you’re doing is like you’re dangling the carrot to see, hey, if you pass this trial order, then there’s going to be much larger orders for you in the future. But yeah, because like I said, the suppliers or the good suppliers are always thinking long term. So they’re not thinking they might even break even on this first order. Because the minimum might actually be 1000 pieces or 1500 pieces. But they’re really doing 200 pieces in the trial order to get you in as a customer, and they’re going to profit from the future orders. So it’s very important that you word it that way that this is just the trial order. And then you’ll grow from there.

Joshua Chin 11:44

And beyond that, I guess once you have a stable supplier, once you’ve selected a supplier to work with, and you’re confident in their ability to serve you, how do you build a strong relationship with that company? Especially remotely right now? Yes, even though we are still not able to travel to China?

Kian Golzari 12:04

Great question, right. And it’s super important because like, and pre pandemic there, we’d be flying over to be having dinner together with the get drunk together, reality building report and all that. But that’s been taken away from us for the time being. But everyone should be connected with your manufacturer, or your sales agent, or your factory boss on WeChat. And for those of you who don’t know, WeChat is like a Chinese messenger app, it works the same as like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Just got all your contacts in your chat. And everyone in China has that you’re living your life through it, right. But what I like to do in order to build a relationship with people that I’ve not met before, is keep my formal questions to email, like price, delivery date, artwork, instructions, stuff like that. But I might message them on the weekend, like, Hey, I hope you have a nice weekend. This is me and my buddies, like we just watched the game and just send the photo, where are you up on your weekend would normally do? Like, oh, I’m just picking my son for a walk. We’re in the field. And we’re just picking strawberries. Cool, right? And then like, you’ve started to, like, personalize that relationship, right? And then the next step is that like you have the context, whenever you need, you can ask any questions. And the next step from there is on WeChat you can also do video calls. So you can essentially, let’s say you’re talking about your order. If within their working hours, you can literally put them on WeChat on a video call and be like, Hey, I just want to check if the productions ready. Do you mind just going down to the production line and show me that the cartons are ready to take two pieces out of the carton? I just want to check if they’ve added this label or not. Right? Yeah, cool. No problem stealing. And if you don’t show it back great. And no, and you have ice in the factory, and you have access to them and to the factory whenever you want. And you can check and verify anything. But if you only communicate through Alibaba like, Hey, what’s your price? 1020 Cool, yeah, here’s the order. They’re not going to have your phone call or get on a video call with you or take you down to the factory. So like, it’s really about, as you said, like building that relationship about being able to be there. And the best way to do it is through the app. WeChat. And it sounds it sounds like it’s much more important to build that relationship with an agent, like a human being a person versus the company alone. Yeah, for sure to say that. Yeah. And then you know that that’s a really important point because essentially, the factory boss is the decision maker, right? So if you want but I want that lower price and 10% reduction, otherwise I can’t orders anymore and the margins are too low. Your sales agent is going to go talk to the factory boss, right. But while your day to day communication is with the sales agent, it’s very important that you know who the factory bosses and like in when you visit the factory is very easy to tell because you can see the person who has the biggest office, it’s always a box right and you just pop your head together. And quite often the factory boss doesn’t speak English and that’s where the power to sales agents. It’s very important to get a photo together didn’t say hello. Sometimes you take a gift and stuff like that. But during a pandemic, the way I like to get around that is if you ever want to send a gift to you Your supplier right? Or the for Chinese New Year, you might want to send a gift. And I will say like, let’s say your sales agent is called panda. And it’s funny because they actually do give themselves names like that, right? They give us an English name. And they give the names of what they like, right? So I’ve had so many sales agents, which are called panda. So you can say, hey, Panda will send you a gift opportunities a year, can you please confirm your address? Also, I would love to give a gift to the boss as well. Could you let me know what they like? Oh, well, Boss loves this particular type of whiskey. No problem. I’m from Scotland. We do great with skin like, done, and it send it over. And then you just say, look, I really appreciate when I send a gift. Did you just take a photo with the boss whiskey? And then send it to me or something like that? No, but yeah, cool. So sales agent walks in boss’s office, here’s the whiskey. This came from Kian. He’s from Scotland cool. And then he’s got to put some whiskey up in his office as a nice look like because I know, fast forward, four or five months later, you’ve got you just received an order you’re running out of stock, you need to get these goods delivered within 60 days, otherwise, you’re gonna be out of stock, then you contact Panda, here’s the order, but these need to ship in like 35 days, please tell me what you can do about it. But like, also production line store, please, can you check the boss panicles in the boss like, Hey, we have this customer, he needs to be pushed to the front of the production line. Can we do it? And they’re like, well, who is it? Oh, it’s Kian. And you know, the guy who sent you the bottle of whiskey Chinese New Year, Okay, done, push him up. You know, I mean, it’s like that, right? But if, and that’s you building a relationship, not only with the sales agent, but with the decision maker. And that’s basically how you get to the front of the line.

Joshua Chin 16:39

That is, that is so cool. That is so cool. And I want to say, I think everyone has this question in mind and how So you mentioned that the factory boss typically wouldn’t speak English, they would typically just speak Mandarin and their sales agent would be able to speak English. How important it is for a foreigner to learn Mandarin. To communicate. Do you speak Mandarin?

Kian Golzari 17:07

Yeah, and Indian. So I would say like, it’s not important, like I’m generalizing, like, sometimes factory bosses don’t speak English, or speak like very little English enough to like, hold a small conversation. But there’s many, many factory bosses, which speak perfect English. In fact, some of the factors that I work with, the boss speaks Mandarin, English, Italian, Spanish, like, you know, I mean, like, the people of the world, you know, so that the language buyers never been an issue. But it is not important for you to learn the language in order to do business there. But because I lived there, I felt it was important as like a respect thing to at least attempt to learn the language. Like if I’m having dinner with the boss, like, I want to be able to have a basic conversation in Mandarin, right? Just to say that, like, I’m not here just to you know, I’m not here for a holiday, like I’m actually want to adapt to the culture. And I want to learn about this culture. And I want people to contribute to this culture as well. The challenge that I had is that I lived in Shanghai, and I call Shanghai like China lite, right? Because in Shanghai, like everyone speaks English, and it’s like cosmopolitan city. And it’s like, you eat anything. You wonder if you want nice Italian food. They have like proper Italian chefs, nice restaurants. So it’s not the real China experience. But as soon as you step out of Shanghai, like that’s the real China. And that’s when you need to speak a little bit. So I learned a bit but because I lived in Shanghai, I would practice and everyone just replied to me in English trying to practice their English on me. So it didn’t really work out too. Well. I still kept a little bit.

Joshua Chin 18:39

Very cool. What are some negotiation strategies that you could share with our listeners?

Kian Golzari 18:45

Yeah, in terms of like, if you want to get a better price for your product?

Joshua Chin 18:49


Kian Golzari 18:50

So I think the most important thing is understanding first, what is the market price for your product, right? Because there’s no point negotiating First, if you don’t know what the fair price is, because let’s say, a supplier costs you $11. And you’re like, not even like this. They’re like, Okay, cool. We’ll do 950 like, great, I just got $1.50 discount, but you don’t know if the real price you should it be paying was $8 rather than 950. So the first thing is you have to understand what is the market price for your product. And to do that, you have to basically have a specification sheet for your product. And that’s basically a one page PDF that says like, Okay, this is the materials, this is the dimensions, like let’s say for example, if it’s outdoor furniture chair, chair is 18 by 40 centimeters, it’s 600 D polyester fabric. It’s got aluminum tubing on the legs, the tubing is 0.6 mil thick, you know, it’s got a waterproof coating, this got print logo, this is the dimension so the print logo. So you’ve given the full specification of this product on one document. And then you go on Alibaba research and you send that spec sheet to multiple suppliers, right? So you identify your top five suppliers all receive the same information and then you start Get the courts back, it will be 690 $7 710. So you know that product is around $7. But if you just went on Alibaba and you typed in outdoor furniture chair, and then you said, What’s the price of that? And what’s the price of that? Well, someone’s putting you for snowtubing stones put you for aluminium tubing, someone’s putting it for polyester fabric. some point you for nylon fabrics, for printing sounds great for embroidery. So you know, you don’t have a level playing field to know what is the actual price of this product. But if you say what I want, and then you put it out, and then when you have the price, then you can start negotiating done. So if we’ve understood that $7 is the marketplace for this product, and you say to someone here when I want $4.50? And they say yeah, okay, well, you know that price is too good to be true, because it’s just not profitable. So they’ll say, Yes, we’ll take on the order. But then they’ll take shortcuts during the production process to bring the cost down, of which you would have returns later on down the road, right, and both the problems and negative reviews, all that sort of stuff. So it’s important to understand the price first, and then negotiate down the negotiated price. That’s fair as well. So let’s say your favorite manufacturer is one that bought Did you $7.20, but someone else is quoted like 685, but the same specification, you can go to your favorite supplier and say, hey, I want to build a business with you for the long term. I like that you have these patents, I like books on innovation, I like to have these great workers in your factory have these situations, however, I’ve been quoted $6.85. And if you can just match that brace, then I guarantee you can get the order for the long term. And nine times out of 10. They’ll say yes, because that is a better price. Because you know, it’s possible because someone else is quoted for the exact same stuff. And you know, that’s what and in that way, you get your favorite price. And you get your favorite manufacturer. Yeah. So that’s the way I would go about it.

Joshua Chin 21:44

Oh, that’s so cool. That is so good. Um, now. Factories, let’s talk about factories. You’ve personally been in What 500? Over factories yourself? That’s insane. I haven’t even been to 500 places, let alone factories. Now. How do you? How do you differentiate a good factory from a bad factory? How you filter for the best ones?

Kian Golzari 22:08

Yeah, it’s a great question, right. And I would say that the depending on where you’re at, in your business, different factories will suit your needs. So for example, I’ve worked in factories, and you’ve got 50 workers that I’ve worked with factories, which put 2000 workers and in a certain stage of my business, both factories were the best factory for me to work with. Because the factories which have the less employees are much more flexible, that can be a lower mo Q, they’ll give you they’ll allow you to try on different colors, they’ll give you what materials they have in stock, because they’re also a small factory, they want to grow with you as well. Whereas, but they might be quite slow on the production. Like they might take 75 days rather than 50 days, right for your production. But then the factories which you put 3000 workers have that scale, right? They have systems and processes, it’s all very clean, it’s all very organized. There’s a production line manager for whiteboard, which is just written every hour, this is how many units that we have to be producing. And it’s like, but those guys have zero flexibility. It’s like, no, this is how we’re doing it. This is the start date, this is the end date. And you know, they’re gonna ship on time, because their processes are so crisp, but the other guys like maybe not, but you get that flexibility, you might get that and the price will be slightly higher. Obviously, with the larger economies of scale, you get lower price and stuff like that as well. With the larger factories, maybe they have more certification they’ve supplied at the big retailers in the States military supplied the Walmart’s and all that. And as a result, they’ve got like certifications to the highest standards. So all your all your products going to pass all the necessary testing and stuff like that. Whereas you have to ensure testing on the smaller factors. So depending on where you’re at, in your journey, like let’s say for example, if you’re wanting to do this like item for the first time, like a teddy bear with a certain pattern on it, and it’s only like 200 pieces you don’t know if it’s gonna sell or not, then you’re gonna go through the smaller one. But if there’s something that like, Hey, we just got this army, this order for the British Army, you want 50,000 bags, and you need it delivered in like three months look great. I’ve got a perfect factory for it. So it’s kind of basically on the needs of you and your business, which will always change over time. And so like for example, like for backpacks, that’s my favorite product developer. I work with different I work with over 20 different factories for backpacks, and I use their strengths with anyone who I get to business to some are specialize in fashion bags, travel bags, military bags, Canvas bags, duffel bags. You know, I mean, and it’s like or somewhere just doing the low price schoolbags high volume summer during the highly technical outdoor backpacks are capable of climbing Mount Everest. So depending on what your needs are, or where your brand fits on a quality level, or a price level will be different factories in to work with as well. So it’s not just Oh hey, I need a backpack. I need to go to a backpack factory. It’s not like which one because they all specialize in different things.

Joshua Chin 24:51

To their specializations. There’s also trade offs between flexibility and consistency or or I guess reliability and stuff. Some way, that’s really interesting now, how, how do you start to look for factories? Do you do typically go with referrals? Like first party referrals? Or do you just? How would one go about it like a Google search?

Kian Golzari 25:16

Yes. So here’s the thing, like, loads of people have like approached me and said, like, Hey, can you tell me a factory for this product? And the factory information is not the sort of stuff you want to be giving out? Because like, it’s so hard to find the factory like to get them to your needs, and basically, manufacturing what you want as a business. Because there’s a lot of bad factors out there as well. Right? So it’s kind of like, if, if some, if someone says to you, like, hey, like, I see you selling these, like laptop sleeves on Amazon, can you tell me what keywords are converting? Like? Well, if I tell you what factory that I’m working with, well, then if you go and place a very big order to them, in their production, run with them spool and in my lead times might increase, right. So that’s why like, people don’t necessarily just give out factory information as like, oh, here, this is a great factory, they might recommend a good sourcing agent, say, hey, this person is able to come find your practice, like, I do, like one on one coaching, and some and on a coaching call, I will find it back before you online, right, and the live screenshot, and it based on your specifications and your needs and your quality and your price level, we’ll look, we’ll find all the factors online, we’ll analyze, and we’ll see which one fits for your business. And we’ll contact them I don’t know, roughly the opening message as well, as kind of at the star of the show, we talked about building leverage, you know, to the supplier, I’ll help right, craft that message. And that will basically give you the best supplier and the best links or relationships start, if you will, right. But the other reason why like I don’t necessarily like giving back information, just as a recommendation is that that factories worked well with me because of the process is built on, like the WeChat conversations that I have and the relationships I’ve built. But if someone else just is like rude to them saying, hey, I need this in like two weeks, and like, you know, doesn’t supply the artwork on time. And then like, was he any recommend recommended in a factory and then ship on time? Well, how did you work with them? You know, like, that’s a skill in itself. But for anyone like our resources that we have available, right, the way that after this we’ve traditionally been doing over 11 years, is going to the canceling period. And for anyone who doesn’t know the canceled period is the largest import export ban in the world. It has over 26,000 exhibitors has like top quality manufacturers there. And they’re not necessarily the suppliers, which will hang out on Alibaba, because they’re like more of a traditional manufacturers, which don’t even post their products online. Because they’ve had so many customers for so long that their production lines always feel that they don’t feel the need to advertise themselves online. But seeing that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. So we have to use Alibaba, we don’t have access to the council. And they didn’t make the online cancelled pair. But it’s just it’s not as good as the real thing. But on Alibaba, like, I’ve got special process. So I’ve got YouTube video, a YouTube channel called Sourcing with Kian. The first video I posted was seven Alibaba sourcing hacks. And it’s like a seven step, step by step guide in terms of how to filter out the junk suppliers and go straight direct to the best suppliers because for every good supplier, there’s also a bad supplier on line, like ready to scam you right in the, you’re in a pose as a manufacturer, they’re going to collect your order, they’re gonna take your deposit. And then once you get your deposit, they’ve added on their margin, and then they won’t find it back report to to make it right, but it just won’t have that level of skill and experience. And there’s lots of things we can do to filter those guys out, you know, kind of by identifying what’s the best location at verifying the factory address, verifying the number of years we’ve been in business and selecting the right quality certificates, making sure we get trade assurance making sure that the third parties verify the information that we read the reports and stuff like that and it can be done very quickly as well which is very, very important that we get because the typical person will go on Alibaba type in the product that they want, scroll through find one with a reasonable price that you’re happy with and then start the order process but they’ve just missed all the most important things. So Alibaba is not the only resource like there is made in china.com there’s global sources calm if you want to look at import records you can go to Penn cheaper.com to type in competitors names and you can start browsing for records to see who their suppliers are. And but my favorite way to do it is definitely face to face because acne spirits which hopefully will open up again soon I’m optimistic that by the end of the year hopefully we’ll be able to go back to China but essentially you get to touch and feel the product and you get to talk to the manufacturer face to face like build up a bit of a relationship with them there and then and then you know see what you what changes you wanted to sample and they’ll make it for you within the next like few days while you’re in China and and send it to your hotel. Just things get done a lot faster there. I think when people consider or should I go to China they weigh up the cost of alright was supplied think it was supposed to cost right This trip is going to cost me $2,000 Well actually, if you order the samples online pay for the samples paper to free Have them coming over, realize that of course samples weren’t good enough needs to be make it, pay for the next set of samples, you’re already in that $2,000 range. And then you’ve not, you’ve not met the manufacturer, you’ve not been to the factory, you’ve not built the relationship, you’ve not had dinner with them, you’re not drunk with them, I’m not touching the products there. And then and you could have developed a lot quicker. So I just feel that anyone who goes to China is a step ahead of the game. Already.

Joshua Chin 30:24

That sounds like a ton of work a ton tons of moving parts, like you mentioned. Guys listening to this, you should definitely check out Kian’s YouTube channel Sourcing with Kian. I’ve seen it it’s, I just don’t know how you do it, man. It’s it’s a ton of content that you’re giving away for free. And it’s basically a course on its own, like multiple courses that you’ve put up for free on YouTube. And it’s blowing up pretty quickly as well.

Kian Golzari 30:53

Yeah, I just started as a hobby during lockdown. And then it just blew up pretty quickly. And I just the way I did it was that I want to figure out like what are the biggest pain points when people order from China? selecting right manufacturer? Right? done a video on that, right? Where the top 10 questions you should be asking your manufacturer, I did a video on that, like, how do I get a little MOQ video on that, how to order my four sample video on that. So is every step in the journey that you need? There’s essentially a concise video for it with like actionable tips that you can apply to your business today. So yeah, if you wanna check that out, it will be awesome.

Joshua Chin 31:23

And what’s the right, so it sounds like everybody could benefit in some shape or form by working with a sourcing expert, a sourcing agent, at what stage, but what at what stage would that make sense with ROI kind of.

Kian Golzari 31:41

So the way I look at it right is you have to decide whether you’d like sourcing or not, because this is a major part of the business. But so is the the marketing. And so it’s like the listing and all that sort of stuff, and the conversion and optimization, and all that. And it’s very hard as one person, if you don’t have a team to be able to do all of it, right. But I feel sourcing is the most important because that is the product that you’re selling. And if you don’t have a good product, then all the right marketing and all that doesn’t even matter because no one’s gonna buy it, the product isn’t good if it’s not the right price. But think sourcing something that everyone should try for themselves first. And this you might see I love sourcing. I love developing products. I love negotiation. It’s like a game I love, like interact with different cultures. So I want to do this myself. But I’ve also had some people be like, I can’t stand this. I think they’re trying to scam me. I don’t want to go to China. And if you’re in that boat, then Okay, now you should explore the options of like hiring help working for sourcing agency, or like new booking a coaching call or something like that. But if you are like, no, I really want to do this. Regardless if you want to do or not. I think it’s more experienced it just so you know, what’s the communication? Like was language barrier? Like? Do we get product defects? Like, are there any delays? How do they occur? Because if you never try it for yourself, and you outsource it to someone else, and then someone tries to explain to you, oh, yeah, it failed the inspection. So we can’t ship it. Because now you’re like, Well, what does that mean? You know, it’s very important for you to have a basic understanding of the source and world. And then it’s, there’s no harm in asking someone else to source for you. Because let’s say you’ve got your product and your sourcing at $5. Well, if you’ve asked someone else to pace it up for you, if they go away and get you the same quality, and you can get it for 450, well, great, you’ve just saved 10%. If they come back, and they get it for 550. Or you’re like, well, I’m good at what I do, because I got better price than the expert. So then that kind of validates that you’re doing a good job. So it doesn’t hurt. But I feel like the most important things to be aware of, if you do want to work with a sourcing agency, is that you have to have a direct line of communication with the factory, because we just talked earlier on the show about the importance of knowing the boss and asking for a favor and stuff like that. If you always buy from the sourcing agency don’t they don’t even know who you are. And I know a lot of people who buy through sourcing agencies and don’t even know the name or the address of their factory, because they pay their sourcing agent. And then the sourcing agent pays the factory Association hates that information, because they essentially don’t want a client with directly to the factory. Whereas I believe in like openness, open communication. And let’s say you come to sell your business and potential buyer wants to buy a business for $2 million. And like, okay, cool, where your goods manufactured? Like, I don’t know. Like, you know, I mean, it’s vital, vital information. And what happens if your sourcing agency is like a one man show, and that guy gets hit by a bus tomorrow, then you never know where you’re going to end like you never know, like, you can’t place your name choice. So is that the most important thing you have to if you want to work with someone else, you just have to have access to that factory. Super, super important.

Joshua Chin 34:44

Kian, you’ve shared a ton of amazing, amazing knowledge that I think people tend to ignore because it’s not as sexy as kind of thinking what of the latest Facebook hacker marketing tactic. If people are interested to connect with you and continue this conversation, I’m sure they’re gonna be there’s gonna be more questions that arise from this. What’s the best way to connect with you?

Kian Golzari 35:09

Sure, sure. Yeah. So if you want to watch more content like this, go to YouTube channel Sourcing with Kian. I’ve also a Facebook group of the same name, also Sourcing with Kian, 5000 members in it. And people just post their questions, whatever it may be, and either I or the community answer in there, which is quite cool. And if you’re feeling a bit more social, I’m on Instagram, as kian_jg. And if you watch the stories like on previous China trips, I always capture some content. So if you want to see what goes on inside the Canton Fair inside factories, like what you do for fun in China, all that sort of stuff is on the stories. So definitely check it out and drop me a DM if you listen to the show, and you want to ask something additional.

Joshua Chin 35:46

Awesome. Kian, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Kian Golzari 35:50

Pleasure. Thanks very much for having me, Joshua. All the best. Take care and catch you guys soon.

Intro 35:57

Thanks for listening to the eCommerce Profits Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get notified of future episodes.

Other podcasts

Ready to get started?

We’ve put together a handy-dandy eCommerce marketing calendar to help you forecast all the sale dates you’ll need to watch out for! It’s chock-full of major and minor holidays, perfect for your eCommerce brand!
Book a call