You’d be surprised how many FBA sellers don’t know whether they are actually working with a supplier or a manufacturer
Though, it’s essential that you not only know, but also understand the difference between these two.
Furthermore, where you get your products matters and depending on the type of company you're working with, you'll see some differences. The fact is, most FBA sellers will wrongly assume that suppliers and manufacturers are the same.
While in most cases, you won’t really notice much of a difference. In other cases, like when you want to customize your products, you’ll soon find out that there are some perks when you work directly with a manufacturer.
Throughout this blog post, I want to take a look at the fundamental differences between suppliers and manufacturers and why it matters for your store.
Manufacturers Make the Products
As you can probably guess, manufacturers are the companies overseas that actually design and build the products that you sell in your store.
They operate all of the equipment and have the capabilities to customize designs and even make something entirely new for your store.
Some sellers will prefer to work exclusively with manufacturers and avoid suppliers because they have more control over the type of products that they sell. Working with the manufacturer means that you’re communicating directly with the company that puts the products together while suppliers simply resell these products.
On the other hand, working with a manufacturer can sometimes be slow. Especially if you decide to make customizations, you’ll need to go back and forth with the company testing the samples before you’re able to list it on your store.
Suppliers are the Middlemen
On the other hand, suppliers merely supply these products to customers (you) and then you supply them to customers on Amazon.
Pretty simple, right?
There is a catch here: when you work with suppliers, you typically have less control over your products and to work with the manufacturer directly, you’d need to go through the supplier. This can lead to tons of issues in lost time and specifications lost in translation.
There are some perks of working with a supplier. For one, you can typically order quantities of goods sooner from them because they’ve already purchased them from the manufacturer. If you were to work directly with the manufacturer, you might have to wait for them to produce the goods.
Also, working with a supplier means that they know more about the selling end of the equation. While the manufacturer is more concerned with the quantities and the materials used in the products, the supplier will have more experience with product listings, specs, etc.
Why It Matters
The difference between a supplier and a manufacturer comes down to costs and customization.
So, if you want to have as much control over the product specifications, you want to work with a manufacturer.
They’ll be able to make any adjustments that you want to the products so you can offer something truly unique in your Amazon FBA store. This type of service comes at a cost in waiting times, but if you need minimal changes to the samples, it should take you too long.
The Bottom Line
If cost is all that you’re concerned with, ordering generic products from the manufacturer will typically be more affordable. You’ll have to wait a little bit longer, but since you’re buying manufacturer direct, you’ll get wholesale prices.
When you buy from suppliers, they need to make a profit for themselves, so they mark up each order. Although you’ll have faster service, these costs can add up and eat into your profit margin.
Since you’re reading this blog post right now and we’re guessing you’re in the private label business as well, you should work with a manufacturer directly.
This will save you time and money, and they’ll be able to make more customizations apart from slapping your logo on the product.
We hope that this blog post was helpful to you and that now, the difference between a manufacturer and suppliers is totally clear to you.
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To your success!
~ Your AMZinsiders team