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Hiring a Buying Agent to Help Your Manufacturing in China



The manufacturer you choose to work with is the foundation of your importing business. Your overall worthiness is a key component of how your customers perceive you. A good supplier will help you acquire high-quality products that will be appreciated by your customers and result in repeat business.

A China buying agent is a good choice if you're considering buying products from China in bulk, the buying agent helps you get products at your desired price. Like a broker, a buying agent also gets paid on a commission basis. That is decided according to a percentage of the value of the order.

What's a buying agent?

A buying agent helps companies find the best product at a reasonable price, which can create value by strengthening sourcing process. The buying agent gets paid as per the basis of commission percentage.

Why should you employ a buying agent?

A buying agent can find you a great deal. They may also be able to:

- Negotiate the price with suppliers.
- Watch the manufacturing process
- Save your international freight cost.

Agreed that you must shell quite a lot for hiring a trustworthy buying agent, but the benefits outweigh the downside of this entire thing. Some advantages are:

You save a lot of time if you hire an agent. They do all the work, and you feel assured that you are getting the best deal.

The buying agent will help you make that perfect briefing about your inquiry and expectations, which will eventually convince the supplier. This is especially crucial when you and the supplier speak different languages.

If you hire an efficient buying specialist, negotiations are often quicker and done effectively. This is because the agent would know the "pain threshold" of a particular supplier. In this case, they would set a price that would be suitable for the both of you.

How to find the best Chinese buying agent?

Finding out the best Chinese buying agent is a daunting task because the options are aplenty. As said before, China is the world's largest and most favorite manufacturing hub. So, buying agents in China are also more in number.

Follow these pointers to go for the best Chinese buying agent:

- Ask for their business license. Even when you opt for big companies, this is a must.

- Experience matters, right? In this case too, some company becomes the best Chinese buying agent with time.

- Research about the specialization the buying agent deals in. If say you are into electronic items, you should search for the agent in this field.

- Check testimonials: The more people a certain buying agent has worked with, the more testimonials they will have to show.

- Check the location carefully: Your buying agent should not be located very far from one of the main ports in China. Because more kilometers translate to more money incurred.

How to work with buying agents in China?

Research: Before choosing the best Chinese buying agent, do your homework rigorously. Make use of every search engine like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to come to a solid conclusion. If you are wary of hiring a buying agent, go for Alibaba, Global Sources and Made in China. Because these online buying platforms rate their suppliers, so you know how trustworthy they are.

Word of mouth works: Experienced buying specialists say that the market is saturated. So, to choose a particular agent, it is best to visit China. Ask around for the best buying agent. You should pay attention to the one who gets the most referrals.

Ask about their working process: Any agent will internalize all your specifications, jot down a few factories, and approach them. After a lengthy talk, the agent will make a list. They will then get back to you with factors like quality, price, and lead times, among others. All these will help you decide on the right supplier.

Check samples: The buying specialist will work with the factory to create a pre-production sample. You need to carefully check the appearance, function, performance of the sample. Ask the buying agent to improve for the aspects which are not fully satisfied in.

Payment terms: The terms of payment are dependent on the relationship you share with a particular agent. They tend to be flexible if your bond with the agent is longer. Also, if the payment amount is huge, ask for a letter of credit transaction.

Commission: Usually, buying agents will charge you around 5-10% of the total cost of the order. This may sound high. But the best Chinese buying agent will guarantee you three things with this: price, quality, and lead time.

How do you choose the best China buying agency?

To ensure your business' success, you must carefully screen the agents to find the best one. Here are some tips for choosing a China buying agency:

1. Choose an experienced one

An experienced and trusted China buying agent could manage the entire sourcing process. Your buying agent must be able to accurately describe each step of the process, from getting price quotes from factories to handling the shipment. Choose an agent with an office in China. This agent can help you overcome cultural and linguistic barriers that may hinder your understanding of the supplier market.

2. Check credentials properly

It is important to check the credentials of any China buying agent that you are going to work with. Not all agents have the necessary knowledge to complete the product sourcing operations. It is important to take the time to investigate their credentials.

3. Learn how quality control works

It is possible to come across Chinese buying agents who aren't familiar with quality control. It is the agent's job to ensure the quality of manufactured products. Therefore, you need to have as much knowledge as possible to find a buying agent who understands the importance and benefits of quality control.

- How does your buying agent screen new suppliers and take what kind of factors into consideration?

- How many factories visits and quality inspections will your agent make during production?

- How can your buying agent guarantee the quality of finished goods?


Hiring a reliable China buying agent can be incredibly beneficial in exploring China's vast business opportunities. The agent can simplify the process of sourcing in China for you at reasonable charges, so as to reduce your business risks and provide recurring cost savings in the long run.

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