Sourcing from India - What Amazon FBA Sellers Need to Know
Many Amazon and eCommerce private label sellers are looking to India to source products in order to diversify their supply chains. Read on to learn more about the opportunities and pitfalls of buying products from India.
Small and midsize factories dominate
While China manufactures at scale, in India most factories are small and midsize. The government too favours SMEs and the country’s regulations are designed to protect them.
Small orders are accepted
Suppliers are usually willing to cater to small orders, sometimes as low as 20 pieces. They may charge a slightly higher price for smaller orders.
You’ll find unique products
There are specific product categories that are ideal to source from India.
Here are a few key categories Amazon sellers can source from India:
– Decorative gifts (including corporate gifts)
– Stationery and paper including handmade paper
Your IP is safe(r)
In general, Indian suppliers have more respect for their buyers’ IP than typical Chinese suppliers. That doesn’t mean your IP will never ever be compromised, but it’s much less likely to happen in India than in China.
Nothing is lost in translation
English is the second official language in India, and most people you will deal with at your supplier will speak English, some of course more fluent than others.
This is extremely advantageous when it comes to communicating with your supplier, especially when you are developing or modifying a product to private label.
When sourcing from India, take the time to develop a relationship with your supplier. Similar to China, it is common for suppliers in India to take their clients out for meals or arrange trips to visit tourist locations such as Taj Mahal.
Hierarchy is important
Decisions are usually made at the highest level and hierarchy is important in Indian business culture. At smaller companies, decisions are typically made by the owner of the company or if it’s a larger company, by top managers, if they have been given the authority.
Monitor lead times
Infrastructure is not as developed as it is in China, but it’s not bad and efficiency is improving.
Suppliers don’t have updated websites
Most Indian suppliers don’t maintain updated websites because they are afraid their designs will be copied by other suppliers!
Production hubs specialize in specific materials
Similar to China, there are production centers for specific products in India. But while Chinese cities tend to specialize in certain product categories, Indian cities specialize in materials and offer products across different categories in those materials.
Major trade show for Amazon sellers
The most relevant exhibition for Amazon sellers to attend is the IHGF Delhi Fair that showcases gifts and handicrafts.
At India Sourcing Trip, we visit the Delhi Fair and provide guided tours by industry experts to teach attendees how to source efficiently at trade shows.