If you want to source products from China, you have two options: you can contact the factories yourself or you can use a Sourcing Agent.
Direct Contact with Factories in China
Visiting factories directly is risky as there is no way of knowing if it is a legitimate business without actually visiting their location. Communication across time zones is difficult.
Without direct contact in China or without a flight to China, you will not know whether the factory actually has the means to manufacture your product. These can be scammers who just created a good looking website. You risk a lot just to save pennies on the dollar only if the transaction goes well for you.
Use a China Sourcing Agent
Choosing a China Sourcing Agent can save you time, money and peace of mind. Using a good sourcing agent is an important decision that can affect the success of your product.
Considerations Before Choosing a Sourcing Agent:
The sourcing company you use should have several years, if not decades, of experience. This is especially important if you are working in China as business partnerships are built on Guanxi. This is a form of relationship building that takes years to build and takes seconds to break if you’re inexperienced or uninformed. Companies with a long history are more likely to have these relationships in addition to the expertise to skillfully source your product.
Good sourcing agents will respond within 24 hours of being contacted. They may not have the answers you want right away, but they do let you know that they are working on your request. Communication is the key to any business or personal relationship.
Good procurement agents source your product with the right information. If you’re making a custom product and your designs aren’t enough to be quoted, we’ll let you know. You are here for the long term and want to build long-term business relationships.
Sourcing agents should explain things to you thoroughly. You may not know why you need a customs broker to import your shipment. You may not know what a shipping term means or why you need to fully develop your product before you can continue manufacturing. The best sourcing agents will be happy to train you.
Your sourcing agent should be invested in your product. You should care about what you want it to be done. After all, their success depends on your success, and they should be invested in the details that are important to you when discussing your product. They may not be able to meet all of your needs, but they will work hard to find the best fit for you.
Choosing a China Sourcing Agent is almost like choosing the conductor of a symphony. Each orchestra has many different instrument sections, and different parties are involved in the import. There are its partner companies in China, factories, freight forwarders and customs brokers. All of this has to work to successfully import a product, and a good sourcing agent can effectively manage these groups so that most of the communication about him or her is optimized.
Choosing a China Sourcing Agent
At Global Trade Specialists, we have been in business with our three partner companies in Ningbo, Qingdao and Shenzhen since 1991. Our long-term relationships have enabled us to source products for our customers quickly and effectively.