My Amazon Guy

How to Source with Robert Sperling East West Basics #153

February 09, 2021 Robert Sperling Season 2 Episode 53
My Amazon Guy
How to Source with Robert Sperling East West Basics #153
Show Notes

Robert Sperling owns East West Basics which has been sourcing on the ground in China for 22 years. So he's seen it all, and actively sourcing for large Fortune 500 companies.  He owns Abington Lane, and has been a My Amazon Guy client for nearly 3 years, and one of the most experienced sourcing people I know. holesale distribution of non-durable goods.

What has changed in sourcing in the past 22 years?

What are the various things that need to be set up in a sourcing operation:

  • Boots on the ground
  • Inspections
  • Communication
  • Factory relationships

Manufactures are constantly looking to cut corners.

Biggest sourcing mistake? Can't accept a big retailer because not making enough margins. Chose to work with less expensive factories and the factory cut a corner so bad it cost $200,000. The vase leaked purple ink into water failing a water proofing test.

What types of products are you comfortable sourcing?

  • Any consumer products
  • Car parts
  • Home Goods

How to grow Amazon sales tips:

  • What are the competitors doing? How are their reviews?
  • Improve a currently well selling product on Amazon so it isn't just a me too product.

When you go to the Canton fares and other China fares:

  • Talk to the manufactuers and get to know them.
  • Most of them are trading comapnies and not factories.

Visit a factory - what should you do. 

Harry Joiner says when you visit a factory in China it's like putting your hand into a bucket of water, when you leave the water goes right back to where it was. 

"Our primary company, East West Basics has been in business for 22 years. We develop and source products for many large retailers as well as wholesalers. Customers include Walmart, QVC, FTD, BBB, JCP, TJX, Ross,  Amazon, Wayfair, and others. 

We have our own sourcing infrastructure based in Shenzhen, China. Our full time staff of 35 people source products all over China. We also have a presence in Vietnam, and soon we will have one in Cambodia.

My managing partner, who for the most part lives in China, is Taiwanese; he has set up our operation in China from its inception. By background, he is a UCLA pre-med graduate that chose the business world over medicine. 

Many of our seasoned staff members have been with us for 15-20 years. 

We do not go through middle-men or trading companies. We deal directly with all factories.

We have merchandisers that focus on product development, along with a design team, as well field merchants that work directly with the factories.

Our team/s are intricately involved with factory selection, price negotiations, sampling, etc. Once orders are placed, we have a detailed, and rather sophisticated PO monitoring system that spans the entire production cycle.

We have a QC team - separate from the people involved in the field to insure many sets of different eyes are monitoring production prior to the final products being shipped out." - Robert Sperling.

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