How to find a good cosmetic raw material supplier on the Internet

December 7, 2023

Nowadays, the cosmetics market has become a highly demanded industry in the world. According to a report by Grand View Research, a specialized data research company in the United States, the global cosmetics market has reached $262.21 billion in 2022 alone1. And, it will also grow at a CAGR of 4.2% in the future. As a cosmetics manufacturer, you are certainly happy to see this. At the same time, you are surely clear that choosing a reliable cosmetic raw material supplier is essential for the success of your products.

In this modern world, exploring cosmetic raw materials from all over the globe is not much of a challenge. This is because the option of online shopping makes it easy for you to buy everything from anywhere. But what is important is how to find a cosmetic raw material supplier that is a true fit for you, with excellent quality and top-notch service?

1. Why should you look for cosmetic raw material suppliers online?

1. Global Selection Range: Through the online platform, you can easily access to a global range of cosmetic ingredients suppliers with a wider choice, which helps you find the best suppliers to meet your needs.

2. Convenient Comparison: Online you can visually compare the product range, quality, price, and service information of different suppliers, helping you make more informed decisions.

3. Customer reviews and feedback: Online platforms often provide customer reviews and feedback on suppliers, enabling you to have a more comprehensive understanding of a supplier's reputation and business performance, and reducing potential risks.

4. Cost reduction: Selecting suppliers online can reduce the costs involved in traditional procurement methods, such as travel and time costs, making the whole procurement process more cost-effective.

2. Clarify your needs and standards

2.1 Determine your product needs

1. Target Market and Audience

Before going on the journey to find a supplier, you first need to understand your target market. There are differences in cosmetic needs among consumer groups in different regions, and your product should be meet the needs of the market. For example, according to the Organic Trade Association's U.S. Organic Industry Survey 2023 finds that consumers have a growing preference for cosmetics formulated with natural ingredients2. When you are clear on this trend, it will help you filter out the ones that don't meet the market demand and narrow down your choices when choosing suppliers in the future.

2. Product characteristics and requirements

Different products may require different ingredients, so make sure you have a clear understanding of each product's requirements. This includes but is not limited to cosmetic raw materials of texture, color, scent, and durability. And it will help when searching for suppliers, and filter out those who can provide ingredients that match your product's characteristics.

2.2 Clarify quality standards for raw materials

Quality is one of the key factors for product success. As a cosmetic manufacturer, you need to have a clear quality standard before you even choose a cosmetic raw material supplier. This includes the fact that you need to have a clear standard for the purity, stability, and durability of the raw material. This way, when communicating with your suppliers, you will be more targeted in choosing the right cosmetic raw material supplier.

3. Find cosmetic raw material suppliers

When starting to prepare for wholesale cosmetic raw materials, you should consider buying from online B2B sites. This is because various B2B web portals contain bulk distributors from all over the world who display their quality products on the websites. This can solve your trouble in finding bulk cosmetic raw material sellers in a big way. Sites like Alibaba, Global Sources, and Made-in-China are some of the well-known B2B platforms. Or, you can just search on Google. You just need to enter relevant keywords, such as "cosmetic raw materials suppliers" or "wholesale cosmetic raw materials". Soon, you will get a list of suppliers that meet your requirements.

Through this search process, you will get a list of the best Cosmetic Raw Materials suppliers. If you want to make the supplier list more specific, you can use specific keywords related to the product. For example, type in "wholesale arbutin powder" and you will find a list of suppliers offering that specific type of product.

4. Evaluating cosmetic raw material suppliers

Once you have made a selection of a cosmetic ingredient supplier that meets your needs from a large number of suppliers, you will have to start to enter the next key process of evaluating the supplier. Generally speaking, this stage will give you a general idea about the supplier's company background, reputation, and product quality and certification. In the following, I will introduce the things you need to pay attention to when evaluating the supplier's qualifications.

1. Find out about the company

When you look for a list of suppliers, you can usually find information about the company. For example, when you are searching for suppliers on the Alibaba platform, each company will have a description of when it was founded, its current size, and its equipment. If you are screening in the search engine when you enter the official website of the company, you can also learn the relevant information. Some companies will also display their customer feedback and reviews, which is also a channel of information for you to evaluate.

2. Product quality certification 

The most important part is what information can the supplier give you about the raw material?

For example, are the raw materials certified, such as organic certification? If the company claims to hold certificates, which organizations issue them? What do these certifications mean for the quality of the raw materials? The point I want to make here is that just because a company doesn't have these certifications doesn't mean that their raw materials are unsafe. It only means that the company itself does not hold these certificates.

On the other hand, does the company have Certificates of Analysis (COA) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the raw materials? 

A COA is a document provided by the supplier certifying the quality and composition of the raw materials, which lists the results of various analyses and ensures that the raw materials you are getting comply with specific standards and quality requirements. An MSDS, on the other hand, is detailed information about the safety of raw material and how it can be used. In Europe, if a raw material is considered non-hazardous, it may not be necessary to provide an MSDS. e.g. Some suppliers may not provide an MSDS for non-hazardous raw materials, but this does not mean that they are unsafe or of poor quality. However, most suppliers keep MSDSs on file for all ingredients in case they need to refer to them. And, if a cosmetic ingredient supplier can provide you with guidance on the use of raw materials, then you will find them to be very helpful. This is because they will provide you with information about the proper use of the product, such as pH levels, temperature stability, solubility, and compatibility with other types of ingredients, to name a few.

Of course, the most direct method of testing is to request a sample of the desired ingredient before buying in bulk. This allows you to directly assess the quality, texture, and performance of the ingredients.

5. Communication and cooperation

After a thorough screening and evaluation, you are ready to start cooperation with your favorite suppliers. Before you start cooperation, you need to clarify the following details with the supplier:

1. Delivery time and place

The exact delivery time and location will vary depending on the mode of transportation. Let's take the US as an example, I will compare the delivery time and location of two modes of transportation:

NameDelivery TimeLocation
Air Transportation12-15daysSan Francisco Airport
Sea Freight25-30daysCIF San Francisco

From the above comparison, we can see that sea transportation is slower and air transportation is faster. However, in practice, we usually choose sea transportation, as the freight cost of air transportation is too expensive.

2. Negotiate Prices and Terms

● Base price

Reaching an agreement on the base price is the initial step to establishing a clear consensus on product pricing with the supplier. This price is typically determined when the market conditions are relatively stable and serves as the starting point for discussing price fluctuations.

● Bulk discounts

Suppliers often offer tiered pricing, and purchasing mushroom extracts in bulk usually comes with price discounts. You can decide whether to place large orders based on your needs and the extent of discounts.

3. Payment Terms

Various payment methods are available, such as advance payment, payment upon delivery, or letter of credit. Regardless of the chosen method, ensure that all payment terms are explicitly stated in the contract to avoid disputes later on. For example, when our company collaborates with overseas clients and opts for advance payment, we specify the payment method in the contract, paying a 30% deposit upon confirming the Proforma Invoice (PI) and the remaining 70% before shipment.

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Importing Mushroom Extracts from China: A Comprehensive Guide (August 2023 Update)

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