My name is Kirk Iwasaki, I just started listening to your Podcasts on my way to and from work. Thank you for all of your great advice! Im getting ready to launch a Kickstarter Campaign shortly and I want to make sure I do it right!
By profession I am a product developer for an educational materials company and we deal a lot with vendors, both OEM and sourcing. Ive also worked with vendors from both Alibaba and Aliexpress for smaller personal projects (ie. wedding decor/gifts, and quoting early stages of what is soon to become my kickstarter project).
After scanning through your Alibaba post, i feel like most of the information you put on there is good solid information for those new to the vendor world. The tips about MOQ's and sampling is key in my mind!
Not sure if you want to include this, or if it falls outside of the message you are trying to get across...but something i learned is that working with multiple vendors at the same time can offer 2 you things, 1- a "2nd opinion" on costs to make extra sure your costs arent being hiked by 1 vendor...
and 2- possible help troubleshooting production issues upfront. Some vendors may be more willing to problem solve with you than others, but they may give you hints on ways to cut costs in labor or materials that you can take to other vendors when negotiating.
And yes, CNY sucks...as well as golden week...and that random holiday that seems to "conveniently" fall JUST when you need a critical answer from your vendor...
Obviously there are TONS of things to talk about when working with Alibaba and vendors in general, but i just thought id throw in my 2 cents =)
Keep up the great work!
Thanks and best regards,
ps. typo under the buying blind section (i think you meant Cash, not ash?)