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How To Find And Manage Your Amazon Suppliers [Guide]
Apr 25, 2022

How To Find And Manage Your Amazon Suppliers [Guide]

Home » Blog » How To Find And Manage Your Amazon Suppliers [Guide]

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes.

Looking for a comprehensive, fool-proof guide to selling on Amazon this year? From fees to fulfilment and optimizing your listings for maximum sales, there’s a lot to learn about the platform. To make things easy, we’ve created a free downloadable guide. Get it here.

You can’t run an efficient Amazon business without reliable suppliers.

And ideally, suppliers that you can work with for years. 

But where do you find them? And are there any best practices when it comes to Amazon supplier relationship management?

In this guide to managing and finding Amazon FBA suppliers:

The best advice and insights for selling on Amazon this year

There’s a lot to know when it comes to selling on Amazon. In this guide, you’ll find expert tips and advice to make sure you start strong and stand out from the crowd.

Download our free guide

Let’s dive in. 

“Suppliers have a hugely important role at every stage of the product lifecycle. From sourcing raw materials to helping ramp up production, and to finding better options for raw materials as the market starts becoming saturated, companies need to work closely with their suppliers to get the best out of their products.”

Going into business with the wrong supplier can be costly, both in terms of time and money.

There are things you can do during your search and initial chats with suppliers to ensure you make the right choices. 

Make sure you cover all these bases before you commit to a new supplier.

Set up and register your business

There are a few things that a new supplier might need to see before they are willing to do business with you:

  • Evidence that you’re a registered business. 

  • A tax resale certificate that allows you to purchase goods tax-free. 

  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Tax ID Number. You can get these free from the IRS and they’re like social security but for your business. 

Assess what you need first 

Audit the needs of your business. What do you need suppliers to provide? Are you likely to find that from one or multiple vendors? 

It’s good at this stage to have an idea of your budget and what kinds of order volumes you’re thinking to get started. 

The more information you have up front, the easier it will be to filter suitable suppliers.

Bonus tip: Do you have an Amazon business plan? These can be useful for mapping out your business and its journey. 

Since your suppliers are a critical part of the success of your business, having this overview will help this part of your journey. Create one using our template.

Do your research

What does the supply market look like in your industry niche? Do you have a rough idea of supply chains, locations, timelines, and how competitors are operating? 

Look for quality

Once you start looking for your suppliers, look for trust signals. These are signs that the supplier is a safe bet. 

They might be a simple and user-friendly website, lots of testimonials from happy customers, and a good reputation among your peers. Anything that suggests they are established and respected. 

Test for quality

Once you’ve shortlisted some suppliers, you need to test for quality. 

For Amazon dropshipping suppliers, you’ll want to receive a product in the same way that a customer would so you can test the process.

For Amazon wholesale suppliers, you want to check the product itself too and ensure it’s up to your standards. 

If you’re creating a new product or re-branding an existing one, you’ll have more stages within this phase

Make sure your suppliers can deliver the kind of product and experience that you want. 

Negotiate terms

Once you’re happy with your new supplier, you’ll want to draw up a contract. Here you’ll discuss and agree on payment terms, pricing, and delivery timelines. 

This is an important protection in case things go sideways, or if you’re planning to sell your business down the line. A contract will provide an added assurance to potential buyers.

Plan and forecast 

Once everything is agreed and in place, it’s time to establish the delivery times and volumes for the next few months. 

You’ll need to plan ahead the inventory you need and how you’ll order more in the future. 

Now that you have a rough idea of the process, let’s explore where you can look for Amazon suppliers.

How To Find Suppliers for Amazon

There are a number of ways you can search for your Amazon business suppliers.

Below are some of the best ways to start the process. 

Alibaba and AliExpress

You’ve probably heard of Alibaba and AliExpress.

Giants of the ecommerce industry, these companies offer a vast range of product lines. 

They are common places for Amazon sellers to source their inventory. 

They’re not the only sites like this, but certainly two of the largest. Find more below. 


Directories exist to make searching for a company easier. 

And it may be a good sign that one has gone to the trouble of getting listed. 

As you can imagine, there are a whole host of directories for ecommerce supply. The best thing to do is search for one focused on your industry. 

If you’re unsure where to start, check out the suggestions below. 

Examples of US Amazon FBA supplier directories:


It pays to be resourceful. 

Use the wealth of social media channels and groups at your disposal. And not just the obvious ones like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

You might find useful discussions and recommendations via Reddit and Quora too. 

At A2X, we have the Ecommerce Back Office Facebook group. We invite any ecommerce seller or accountant to join and share their successes and challenges with selling online. 

Trade publications

Most industries will have digital or print publications dedicated to news and updates.

These are a great place to find supplier recommendations. 

Is there a magazine or newsletter you can subscribe to?

This will be helpful not just for finding trusted suppliers but ongoing advice and expertise in your industry too. Win-win! 

Industry associations and groups

As well as dedicated publications, many industries will also have associations too.

These are usually groups of peers that have a forum of some kind to meet and discuss shared challenges. Similar to our Facebook group above, but more “official”. 

Trade shows and exhibitions 

Getting your name out there is important for business - even when selling online.

In fact, it might be more important, considering you have less face-to-face interaction. 

Events are a great way to meet people. Your suppliers will become integral to your operations, so building a personal relationship with them is key. 

(We don’t mean inviting them to BBQs at the weekend). 

But it’s important to get to know them to figure out whether you’ll work well together. 

Product packaging

Here’s a sneaky trick. 

You can often find “manufactured by” labels on the bottom of packaging. Why not try that next time you order something online from a similar industry? 


A standard Google search for “sustainable skincare supplier for Los Angeles” is a great way to start your search.

(If that’s what you’re looking for, of course). 

But you can go beyond this too. 

Search engines don’t just tell you where to find your information. They also shed light on what others are searching for, asking, and talking about. 

This is valuable information for a new business owner. 

So as you search, keep your eyes peeled. Take note of the “people also ask” questions and the featured snippets. You might glean some useful information about your industry and how supply works.

Take these things with you into your conversations with suppliers. 

Get someone else to do it for you

That’s right!

You can skip this step and outsource your product and supplier research. 

You could hire an individual through freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork, or look for product sourcing firms.

It’s best to find them in the country you want to buy from. For example, Chinese firms will better understand Chinese suppliers, and be able to communicate on your behalf. 

But there are companies that handle multiple regions too. 

Do a bit of digging and ask for their rates. Some might charge fixed fees, some might take a cut of sales. You’ll want to figure out what works best for your business. 

Tips For Managing Amazon Supplier Relationships 

“Research shows severe disruption through the pandemic is driving enterprises to make their supply chains more resilient, collaborative and networked.”

Having great relationships with your suppliers is key to running an efficient operation and weathering any storm.

With stronger relationships you’ll be able to renegotiate pricing, outsource more products or services to them if they have the capacity, work together to resolve issues, and do each other favors. 

Think about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supply chains ground to a halt and many businesses and their suppliers were left in dire straits for months. 

Rocky relationships were been put to the ultimate test. And of course, suppliers will first want to help their most loyal and understanding customers. 

Wouldn’t you?

Tips for building and maintaining excellent supplier relationships

So is there a secret to great supplier relationships?

Let’s see. 

1. Get to know your suppliers and their business

This one isn’t rocket science.

You need to understand what’s a realistic ask of your suppliers so that you deal with them respectfully.

Get to know how they like to work, the best ways to communicate with them, and any particular bug-bears they might have. 

Hopefully if you’ve picked a good one, they’ll do the same for you. 

2. Pay them on time!

It’s basic, but it’s so important. And it’s a matter of respect for their business. 

An easy way to lose a great supplier is to delay payment. 

And it’s good to be aware that many suppliers will want payment in advance.

Fortunately, there are helpful options out there. A2X Partner ClearCo provides ecommerce funding that helps you meet these demands without compromising your business.

3. Transparent communication and expectations

Without transparent communication, everything could collapse. 

You need to tell your suppliers what your expectations are. And they need to have the chance to manage these too. 

Bumps in the road are inevitable. It’s crucial to be proactive and explicit to minimize damages.

4. Get clear on what happens in unexpected circumstances 

Similar to the above, you need to come up with processes for when problems arise. 

What happens in each scenario and who is responsible for seeing that action through? 

For example: missing or damaged stock. Will this be replaced or refunded? 

By planning for this ahead of time, you and your supplier can come to level-headed agreements and feel confident that you’re both prepared. 

You’ll also avoid pointing fingers and scrambling to rectify the situation if things go wrong. 

5. If they speak another language, invest in a translator

You can see by now how important your suppliers are. So you don’t want to skimp on them or the relationship.

This means always understanding each other fully. And it they’re overseas, you might need extra help for this. It’s worth the investment. 

Learn More…

Are you at the beginning of your Amazon business journey?

We have a wealth of guides to help you get started strong and run your business like a pro. 

Check out our comprehensive guide to Selling on Amazon in 2022 and the Amazon Accounting Hub to get started. 

The best advice and insights for selling on Amazon this year

There’s a lot to know when it comes to selling on Amazon. In this guide, you’ll find expert tips and advice to make sure you start strong and stand out from the crowd.

Download our free guide

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