Whether you're new to oversea sourcing from China, you might be thinking if you genuinely need the help of a China buying agent or agency. It's obvious to wonder how difficult could it possibly be? But unfortunately, many companies are hesitant to use sourcing agents because they are concerned about unprofessionalism and unethical activity.
What are China buying agents?
A buying and supplying agency or corporation primarily looks for dependable suppliers and partners to supply items that are suited to the buyer's demands. These can be high-end luxury items or things with a cheap price point, where the quality must be reliable but not necessarily meet the highest standards.
China buying agents can perform a range of duties, including connecting international customers with Chinese suppliers and purchasing things on the company's behalf. Price negotiation, quality control, factory audits, compliance with international legislation, logistics, and any other duties requested by the buyer are typical examples of additional services.
When it comes to buying and sourcing from China, importers have below options.
● Direct Purchase
This is what 80% of importers strive towards. They want to be in charge of the entire process and avoid paying mediators' or agents' fees. This is definitely the best option for you if you are structured enough to handle suppliers and can meet their minimum order volumes.
● Purchasing from a trading firm
If you just want to buy products in small quantity, and if you're a startup or entrepreneur placing an early purchase, this is an excellent choice. A trading firm can outsource production to a smaller business that can handle minor requests.
● Make use of a China agent
Thousands of people in China are attempting to support themselves by offering this service. You may utilize their network and save a lot of time if they are in the relevant business. They can also serve as your representative in the nation.
● Make use of a service provider
Some China sourcing agencies and buying agents demand a fee for their services. Everything is on display. It will be an initial expenditure for your firm, but it is a fantastic alternative if you anticipate substantial orders in the future. Such buying agents were once uncommon, but they will become more frequent in the future. The finest ones are adequately structured and function as a procurement office.
Who needs a buying agent in China?
Sourcing agencies and firms are professionals in the Chinese sourcing process and often have a vast network of dependable and trustworthy Chinese manufacturers. This is especially useful if you want to make Chinese custom product with your branding, or just purchase standardized items for wholesale, individual selling, or business usage.
Furthermore, their understanding of the Chinese market, language, and culture may help you communicate more effectively, enhance negotiations, create trust, and establish a long-term commercial partnership while meeting your sourcing demands.
Working with sourcing firms and buying agents can assist the following groups in particular:
● Companies who are new to importing Chinese goods
Searching for, auditing, and maintaining a relationship, which is vital and hard, especially if your company has no subsidiaries there. Of course, if the pandemic situation and travel limits allow you, you may take many business trips to stay in the nation, but this is neither efficient nor productive.
● Businesses with a wide range of products
Finding a high-quality supplier may not be as tricky if your firm simply sells one product in many colors or other variants.
● Brands that sell specialized items
It is feasible to get specialty items from China, such as chemicals or medical supplies, if your organization wants to utilize or distribute them.
Knowing the local legislation and import rules, on the other hand, is another story.
Use the skills of a professional sourcing agency or buying agents to make your life simpler.
● Businesses that require massive volumes
Businesses such as wholesale marketplaces and giant supermarkets may demand huge volumes of a specific product or a range of products. Improve your supply chain and profits while still providing high-quality items to your consumers.
Benefits of having a reliable China buying agent
The benefits of using the correct buying agent are versatile.
Here are some of the advantages of employing a China buying agent:
● Saves time
You save a lot of time with a good buying agent since you don't have to go through pages of vendors to locate the correct one. You also save a significant amount of time that you would have spent evaluating vendors and engaging in lengthy discussions otherwise. To save you time, your agent will take care of everything.
● Room for negotiations
The goal of sourcing from China is to acquire a lower price than you would receive domestically. However, when the price is too low, the product quality may be questioned. A skilled agent may find a balance in this situation. They can negotiate a reasonable price for you, but not at the expense of product quality. Also, because an agent speaks the local language, negotiations are made more accessible. In addition, they are familiar with Chinese culture and traditions. As a result, dealing with agents is faster and more efficient.
● A channel of communication between you and your vendor
You must offer a briefing on the product you require while choosing a provider. If there is a language barrier between you and the supplier, your agent can assist you in writing down the specific facts.
● Check the credentials of your suppliers
It is an excellent idea to examine your manufacturer's qualifications before doing business with them. Be aware that when you ask for their credentials and licenses, they will almost certainly be in Mandarin. If you need to verify them, you'll need to hire a professional translator to translate them first. That would be significantly expensive. It's also possible that the manufacturer will just send out a bundle of forged documentation. When you choose a buying agent, they are familiar with the appearance of original certifications. They are aware of the inspection bodies as well as the manufacturer's obligations. With a sourcing agent, your chances of being misled by a supplier are significantly reduced.
Choosing the right China buying agent
Here are some pointers to consider while selecting a buying agent.
● Choose a seasoned professional
A dependable and skilled buying agent will be able to handle the entire sourcing procedure. Your China agent should be familiar with every stage of the process, from finding factories in China, obtaining accurate pricing to handling the shipment. Choose an agent that has a statewide office as well as a China office. Working with such an agency or agent will enable you to overcome cultural and linguistic obstacles, allowing you to have a deeper grasp of the supplier market.
● Obtain previous samples
The chances are that the outcomes you receive will differ significantly from the specifications you provided. To avoid such problems, you could get a sample from your agency ahead of time. Although it is not always required for the initial sample to fulfil your requirements, you should not approve manufacturing until you have received an acceptable sample. If the items don't match, you should definitely inform the company.
● Check their credentials thoroughly
It's critical to check the qualifications of any buying agent you're considering working with. Many possibilities may be available while looking for buying agents. Use caution when selecting an agent because not all will have the necessary expertise or understanding of the entire procedure. It is critical to conduct thorough research on various sourcing agents in China and to check their qualifications.
● Understand how quality assurance works
In China, you may come across agents that are not necessarily knowledgeable about quality control. The agent's role should ideally be to check the quality of the manufactured items. Thus, you should have as much background knowledge as possible to aid in finding a sourcing agent who thoroughly appreciates the need for quality control.
What is the cost to hire a China buying agent?
A commission fee depending on the cost of your order, will be charged by a China buying agent. As your order size grows, the percentage charged usually lowers. All subsequent orders must be placed with your agency after your initial order. Working directly with the factory and bypassing your representative is often frowned upon unless certain agreements are established in advance.
Most factories will not do business with you unless you have an agent. Some China agencies will completely conceal factory information from you. Most service businesses would also refuse to share the name of your factory. A sourcing charge of 5-10% may appear considerable at first. However, the time and stress that a sourcing agent can save you might be well worth the investment.
As you can see from the preceding discussion, employing a China buying agent may be incredibly beneficial if you want to investigate China's vast commercial opportunities. They may make the sourcing process much easier for you, and they don't always charge a fortune to do so. Hiring a buying agency reduces your company risks in the long run, with the added bonus of annual cost reductions.
Hence, finding the correct buying agent is critical if you are considering sourcing items from China. Getting items of the finest quality with punctuality and at the proper expenditure may help your company develop multifold. Take your time while selecting a buying and sourcing agency because it affects the future and success of your company.