China has now emerged as the manufacturer of all kinds of industrial as well as consumable products of reasonably good quality at very attractive prices. Therefore, all businesses of the world now prefer China direct sourcing.
However, for any American or European businessman, it can be a tough call to manage this venture so smoothly. Firstly, China is located at the other end of the globe, and also the business culture of China is entirely different from Western countries.
Also, despite the Chinese government opening the door for overseas companies to do business in their country, hardly a few Chinese people can speak or understand English. All their communication is in the Mandarin language, which poses another challenge to any businessman from western countries.
However, the cost of Chinese products as well as manufacturing costs is so attractive and can offer very good profitability for any business in the western country.
Therefore, it will make sense to obtain assistance from a certain sourcing agent when you are FBA sourcing from China for sale on amazon. A local product sourcing agent can ensure that all of your needs are met and assist you in finding the finest supplier for your best-selling product as you are far away and unable to simply pay a visit to China in case you have any issues.
If you are unfamiliar with the idea of finding agents, let us assist you. A product sourcing agent is, in its most basic sense, a third party who assists you in locating the ideal suppliers in a certain nation. Typically, sourcing agents are acquainted with the business conventions and practices of that nation and may even speak the native tongue.
Let us look at a few other options of global sourcing in China, and find out which option can suit the best under your situation.
1. Purchase direct
Many importers attempt to accomplish this. They want to be in complete control of the process and forego paying any agents or middlemen commissions. This is perhaps the best choice for you if you are structured enough to handle suppliers and if you can meet the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantities) of suppliers.
2. Use a sourcing agent
Many people are attempting to support themselves by offering this service. If you got lost in thousands of suppliers on Alibaba, and don’t know which to choose. Then an Alibaba sourcing agent can help you find the suitable supplier with a certain commission. You can utilize their network to save a lot of time if they are in the proper industry. Additionally, they can conduct inspection services in China for you.
If you are very selective while choosing any product sourcing agent, this can be your best option.
3. Purchase from a certain trading company
If you can’t meet the MOQs, because you are probably a start-up or small entrepreneur placing your first order, this is an excellent choice.
A trade corporation may outsource production to a more compact workshop that takes on modest orders. With the exception of this specific circumstance, we do not advocate using a middleman.
Considerations while looking for a China sourcing agent
You need to do a few checks in order to choose your best product sourcing agent in China.
1. Location of your sourcing agent
Look for your sourcing agent's location when you browse the online list of sourcing agents in China. Are they foreign businesses with offices in China, or are they Chinese?
It is far simpler to conduct business with a certain foreign corporation than a Chinese one. Due to China's tight internet regulations, it may be challenging to verify your Chinese sourcing agent's credentials.
Make sure the foreign sourcing agent you select has a functional office in China. Also, find out how long the China office has been open.
2. Experience of your China sourcing agent
Chinese firms and western enterprises run very differently from one another. The cultural, societal, and mental distinctions are largely responsible for the differences. It is advisable to select a sourcing representative with extensive knowledge of China.
A sourcing agency with significant expertise working in China may have a wide network of trustworthy contacts that are essential to your company.
3. Check for references
Choose a certain sourcing agent who can provide you with verifiable testimonials from other companies. Don't forget to visit these references' websites and speak with them in person. Ask about the service quality the sourcing agent offers and how long they were working together. Request their opinion on the sourcing agent.
4. Obtain the necessary documentation
You ought to get the appropriate paperwork for your shipping process and sourcing from your agent. You may get a good notion of the agent's familiarity with the entire procedure from the wording used on the paperwork. Typically, sourcing agents offer the following documents:
Bill of Lading
Certificate of Origin
Detailed packing list
5. Have got the necessary license
In order to conduct business, every company in China needs a licence. Chinese law is extremely rigorous, and only some types of businesses are allowed to be operated without the proper licences. Check the sourcing agent's licencing before you begin working with them.
6. Check how they will deal with quality-related issues
The quality of your items is crucial when getting them from a foreign nation. Ask the sourcing representative what controls they have already in place to address the quality problem. Make it abundantly clear up front that you may not put up with subpar goods.
7. Check the English language proficiency
A sourcing agent must be fluent in both Mandarin and English. Make sure your main point of contact is proficient in both spoken and written English. Since you might occasionally need to speak with the workers in the office directly, it is best if they are also fluent in English.
8. Expertise in your particular product that you may like to buy
All sourcing agents specialize in certain fields. To find out whether your sourcing agency has previous expertise in finding the products that you are interested in, you must do some research. You can request buyer references or ask the agent for a list of prior orders. A sourcing agent who works with just one kind of goods could be hard to come by. So, request customer references from businesses in your sector.
9. Choose sourcing agent with good ethics
Numerous sourcing agents have been reported to accept kickbacks from suppliers. These agents could make it easier for you to discover a supplier, but the product quality might be questionable. Ensure you only accept a supplier who satisfies your standards for quality and certification.
What are the various benefits of sourcing agents?
Hiring any sourcing agent has so many advantages that they completely exceed the risks:
1. Hiring any sourcing agent may help you save time
The greatest and most significant advantage of employing a sourcing expert is the time you will save.
You don't need to scan through hundreds of internet pages of suppliers, invest time in screening numerous factories, and engage in drawn-out, challenging talks about product specifications. All of these responsibilities will be handled for you by your sourcing agent.
2. A Chinese sourcing agent can reduce language barriers
Your ideal briefing can then be given to your chosen supplier with the help of your sourcing agent. Given that it actually relies on the specifics, this is crucial in situations when a language barrier is enormous.
Additionally, the agent is fully aware of all the information the supplier requires to learn about your product that should be included in your briefing.
3. Usually Sourcing agents can be negotiation experts
Some sourcing businesses additionally provide negotiation services. They are knowledgeable about the suppliers in relation to the cost. As a result, they may bargain for the best deal while preserving quality.
4. Sourcing agents can reduce the scam risk
Always ask to view the manufacturer's official certificates and permits. More and more firms in the recent years have come under fire for poor working conditions or subpar product quality. However, if you cannot read the Chinese language in which normally they are written, what good are certifications and licences?
Although you can get them properly translated, doing so is highly expensive, and you are still unsure of the validity of the documents.
An expert sourcing agent might be quite helpful in this situation. Any sourcing agent is fully aware of the requirements the manufacturer must satisfy, the inspection organizations in charge, and the specifications for the official certificates.
5. Sourcing agents have plenty of experience and network
You don't just pay your sourcing agent for the services that they actively provide when you hire them. Additionally, you must pay for the agent's network access and years of experience.
They frequently have experience working with a variety of manufacturers and are aware of which ones are best for a given kind of product.
Finding the ideal China sourcing agent will be the key step if you are considering a product sourcing agent from China. Receiving top-notch goods at a fair price and on schedule might help your company expand greatly. Spend some time selecting the best China sourcing agent. Your company's future depends on it.