Buying from China, 5 Steps to Consider
If you are planning to buy from China producers then you want to ensure that you get good product. The Chinese are notorious for placing quantity high above quality when manufacturing products. Although workers are normally committed to their tasks, they don’t receive much pay or incentive to meet quality guidelines, only quota expectations.
Therefore, we are providing five steps that will help you to ensure that you locate good manufacturers to do business with and receive good product when you buy from China.
Step 1 – Research Sources
When you locate potential Chinese trading partners, don’t assume that they are legit or provide acceptable products off the bat. Request references and follow through with checking them out. Also, don’t rely on emails, but attempt to set up phone interviews to acquire reference information. If your supplier can’t or won’t supply you with at least a couple of references, or you can’t get through to any references provided, strike that supplier off of your list.
Step 2 – Get Documentation
Once you verify the supplier through references, you should then request quality control, lab testing, product safety, and other relevant documentation. Look any documentation over when provided to ensure the products you buy from China are legal and acceptable to sell in your markets. If they refuse to provide such documentation or act like they don’t know what you are talking about, scrub that supplier. Plenty of foreign countries are doing business with the Chinese now and such documentation has become standard.
Step 3 – Carefully Check Quality
Along with product documentation, you should also request samples of any products you’re interested in. Once received, carefully check over all products to ensure quality. Note such defects as cheap materials, flimsy craftsmanship, malfunctioning parts, etc. If samples don’t pass muster, move onto the next supplier and don’t accept excuses. A good business will send out good samples so if the samples are poor quality, you can bet the rest of the products you buy from China will be worse.
Even if you receive good samples, you should continue to check samples from every shipment you buy from China to ensure that the quality remains at your level of expectation. Another characteristic of the Chinese is to provide good quality products for the first several shipments and then to gradually decrease the quality.
Step 4 – Visit Prospective Suppliers
It is advisable for you or a trusted third party to travel to China and personally visit prospective suppliers. If you can’t afford to go this route or lack manpower, there are firms located within the country that specifically provide this service for a couple of hundred dollars. A great deal more can be determined by actually visiting the location and talking with the ones in charge. Having a trusted person to do this footwork could save you a heap of trouble and money down the road.
Step 5 – If It Doesn’t Feel Right, Don’t Proceed
If you have any doubts about any of these steps, or throughout any of the supplier selection process, hold the presses. If doubts can be solved with more information than by all means acquire it, check it out, and make sure you are satisfied. However, if your doubts persist and your gut tells you something isn’t right then pull the plug on the deal and look elsewhere. There are plenty of good companies that will supply quality products that you can buy from China without taking the risk of dealing with a shady one.