Sourcing products in China can be quite lucrative as it remains the best place to get high-quality products at mouthwatering prices. According to recent data by the United Nations Statistics Division, China alone supplies about 28% of the world’s manufacturing output. However, it’s important to learn how to navigate the terrain before venturing into China Sourcing because low-quality products are just as abundant as the high-quality ones, if not more. In this guide, you’ll learn eight useful tips to help you source products from China like a pro:
Thoroughly Research Suppliers
Before pitching your tent with any supplier, it’s vital to conduct thorough research, especially if you’re a first-timer. Usually, you’ll start with a quick Google search or visit websites such as Made in China and Alibaba. However, many first-timers fall victim to meeting and negotiating with resellers, rather than manufacturers. If you wish to get the best quality products at the best prices, you’ll have to look for actual manufacturers or their direct representatives.
Conduct Verification Checks
After drawing up a list of potential suppliers, the next step would be to conduct verification checks. You can call the suppliers directly for some business details such as a license number and registration number. If they fail to provide these details, you’re better off avoiding them altogether. From the business details, you can easily verify whether you’re dealing with a manufacturer or a middleman, although you might need knowledge of Chinese to figure this out.
Establish a Clear Communication Channel
A language barrier is one of the major hurdles you’re likely to face when sourcing from China. Thankfully, many manufacturers now have representatives that can communicate effectively in English. If your target manufacturer does not have one, you might have to hire an interpreter yourself. Although this comes with extra cost, it would be worth it in the long run. An interpreter would help you communicate your product specifications, quality standards, packaging requirements, and delivery expectations to the prospective supplier, without leaving any room for ambiguity.
Negotiate favorable terms with your suppliers, including pricing, payment terms, and delivery times. When negotiating prices, it’s important to strike a balance between price and quality. Keep in mind that most suppliers have a minimum cost to manufacture a product. If your offer is too low and you’re playing hardball, the quality of the product may be affected, as some manufacturers may not be honest enough to reject your offer. So, be prepared to negotiate but also be fair in your expectations.
Pay Attention to Quality Control
You should have a robust quality control process in place, especially if you don’t plan to travel down to China yourself. Request updates at different stages of production and before shipment, and monitor to ensure that the manufacturer adheres to your technical specifications. If possible, hire a sourcing agent or consider hiring a third-party quality control company to assist with the QC process. Again, the investment would be worth it in the long run.
You should order samples from one or more manufacturers or suppliers before committing your resources to a bulk supply. Testing the waters allows you to inspect the delivery for quality and consistency, while allowing you to correct manufacturing defects or other quality problems. If you’re not satisfied with the sample products, you can request another round of samples or opt for another manufacturer altogether.
As much as possible, you should consider diversifying your supplier base to minimize risk. If you rely on one supplier, your business may suffer greatly if there’s a slight disruption in the supply chain. However, multiple suppliers create a safety net for you, and you’re better equipped to cope with unforeseen disruptions. Importantly, try to build long-term, professional relationships with your suppliers. You’re more likely to get discounts and may even benefit from their network later on.
Consider Hiring a Sourcing Agent
Sourcing from China can be quite daunting. While all these tips can help you navigate the waters, you might be better off outsourcing the hard work, especially if the products you need have stringent technical specifications. A sourcing agent can help you conduct factory and quality inspections, while clearly communicating your specifications to the manufacturer. Furthermore, sourcing agents have mastered the art of negotiation, and they will be able to help you overcome the language barrier.
Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been in the business for some time, no one wants to get scammed when sourcing products from China. Hence, it’s important to take your time to conduct thorough research, consider all factors possible, and arm yourself with the necessary information to make an informed decision. As long as you keep these tips in mind, you can be on your way to making a healthy profit from your carefully sourced products.
Let’s Do the Hard Work for You
Are you afraid of getting scammed or ending up with low-quality products that do not meet your specifications? Fulfillman is here to do all the hard work for you. We’re a reputable China sourcing company with global connections that ensure the best hands handle your sourcing, production, shipment, and fulfillment. We handle everything from finding and choosing suppliers to bringing your products to the market. Send us a message today, and you’ll be glad you did.