Like anything you encounter, business has its own set of specific language and terminology – jargon.  Product sourcing is no different.  There are several different terms used in the industry and understanding them all is key for the highest opportunity for success.

Sourcing Nova has compiled the most likely terms into this particular post.  Each will have a brief definition that will help you understand more about the industry.  You can expect these specific terms in blog posts targeting specific products as we continue to develop and suggest quality products sourced from some of the best locations in China.  Read on to learn the necessary terms.

Sourcing Definition

It makes sense to start off with the fundamentals.  Sourcing is a process of finding key elements of a business – producers and shippers – based on the specific information you are looking for in a product.  The goal is to find the absolute best product possible for your customer at the best price.  There is a crucial balance to strike here – you want to get the products at the lowest cost possible for the highest profit margin possible while still providing a superior product for your customer.

Product Sourcing

The crucial balance mentioned above is product sourcing.  This is when you, or a sourcing agency like Sourcing Nova, finds the manufacturers of the products you are looking to sell.

There are two big places people use product sourcing for: eBay and Amazon.


– is better for sourcing products for extreme niche customers.  The customers who want the rare, obscure, difficult to find and often antique is why people flock to eBay for their product sourcing.

eBay does not offer warehousing for your products.  This is important to remember when you start sourcing your products.  This will mean it is your responsibilty to get the products to your customers, shipping them using your preferred method of shipping.


– Those who are looking to sell new products or products in bulk will find Amazon the better choice for sourcing needs
Amazon’s process is different.  Here, Amazon houses and ships your products for you.  You are not responsible for any of the logistics – receiving, shipping and tracking products.

Reverse Sourcing Wholesale

– this is an Amazon special technique where buyers buy in wholesale from Amazon and sell back on Amazon at standard retail

Product sourcing is not as simple as it sounds, however.  There is considerably much more to it than ordering products, throwing them online and waiting for sales.

Sourcing Process

Product sourcing is not simple because there are more factors going into finding the products.  You, or your sourcing agent partner, looks for everything – price, profit margins, cost calculations, negotiations and the ‘soft skills’ necessary – understanding the customs and ways of manufacturers – especially in China.

Sourcing Specialist

It is for this entire nebulous web of work that a sourcing specialist is highly recommended when product sourcing from China.  A sourcing specialist is the important bridge between you, the product buyer, and the manufacturer, the Chinese company developing the products.  The sourcing specialist will handle 100 percent of the detals – inspecting factories, acquiring samples, working out contract details, determining shipping and seeing the products off to you and your location across the world.  Inside the world of sourcing specialists, there are a few subspecialties:

Sourcing Manager

– Oversees the spending process and looks for ways to cut costs

Sourcing Analyst

– These specialists follow the logistics and data to determine amounts, best sellers, losses and more


– Salaries for each of these sourcing specialists can vary and vary widely depending on the size of the company, total sales and other factors

Sourcing Solutions

Sourcing solutions is the summation of everything you have read and learned thusfar in this very brief blog post.  It is the entire process from the absolute raw material until the products leave and arrive in the hands of your satisfied customer.

There are actually quite a few elements to sourcing solutions.  Here is a brief glance into each.  Sourcing Nova will be sharing additional information with you on these is considerably deeper detail at a later time.  For now, here are the few different solutions:

Crowd Sourcing

– This is when several people come together for a common goal.  It could be you working with a friend on certain products for sale.

Single Sourcing

– You find a single company who can do 100 percent of the work from collecting raw materials to shipping after exhausting as many research venues as feasible.

Outsourcing to China

– It is common for some businesses to single source to China because of the manufacturing chain is compete from the raw materials to the final shipping.

Ethical Sourcing

– The products you order have certain characteristics considered proper business practices, including:

Sustainable Sourcing

– Products come from materials that are easily replaced

Responsible Sourcing

– Workers a paid a fair wage and have inalienable human rights

Drop Sourcing

– A customer orders products from you.  Rather than shipping them to the customer yourself, a third party handles the shipping for you.

Sourcing and procurement

– This is an extremely broad topic, but here is the brief description:


– finding the products you want and need


– the actual purchasing, establishment of contracts, payments and shipping. Sourcing is actually a subsection of the procurement process.

Wholesale Sourcing

– In wholesale sourcing, a seller normally has a large quantity of a single item rather than carry a variety.  An example would be bamboo drinking straws for milkshakes or boba teas (these are usually much larger straws than standard).

Wholesale fba

– Wholesale fufilled by Amazon.  You wholesale products with Amazon as the warehouse and shipping facility.

Sourcing Strategies

– The involvement of all the steps necessary to buy and sell products at a profit

Market Based Sourcing

The goal of market based sourcing is to see what and how the customer ultimately benefited from the product purchase.

China Sourcing Agency

Sourcing Nova is a China sourcing agency in the Guang Dong province.  This province is a hub of all things manufacturing and very close to raw material suppliers as well.  This means Sourcing Nova is able to stay on the pulse of many different products and product manufacturers.  We are able to find and source for you almost any products you would like to sell in your personal business.

Final Thoughts

This is not a long blog like some of our previous or upcoming pieces, but the information in the blog is very important for you as you are looking into product sourcing.  Meanwhile, what can Sourcing Nova find for you and your business?  Leave us a comment below, and someone will respond to your request in short order.