China sourcing agent

Why China Suppliers Often Give You Wrong Quotes?

If you have ever requested for quotes for your enquiries from Chinese suppliers, you have probably guessed why they often give you wrong or unreasonable prices. Here are 4 simple reasons:

1. They don’t read your emails carefully

Often we see suppliers that reply half of client’s questions and most of the time they answer something completely different than what it’s asked. Language barriers help to develop even more misunderstandings as I have seen people using Google translating to know what’s that email about. This happens more often than you think. Therefore, there will be misleading in price and production as well. Usually people go quickly through your email and think they got it all correct because they think this is just another enquiry of the product they deal everyday.

Action point: if you don’t have someone in China taking care of your order, when selecting the suppliers, you can try a Skype video call where you can see the person and go through important details about your order and make sure they really understand it. Have a bill of materials and all other necessary details to be discussed with them, have them showing you samples during the call.

2. They can’t make your product

Often they can’t make your product, or part of it but they won’t tell you. Instead they will quote it with some other company that will do it for them. It’s very common in China the cross trading business. Someone knows someone that knows someone that has a friend that knows someone. Be very careful with suppliers you chose to do business with.

Action point: do a company verification that will provide you with full information about that company, main products, machine pictures and other necessary important details for you to know if that company is capable of manufacturing your product.

3. Correct quotes take much more time

Especially if you are a new client, not from a famous company and your order is not that big, they won’t feel like taking the time to go carefully over your requests to quote you correctly. They also believe that, this first quote won’t close the deal, so they just send you anything to get rid of work faster. It’s important not to ask for the prices right away.

Action point: you need to first understand here and there if the supplier can make your product, how the communication goes and how fast and how nice they are willing to answer all your questions; and it’s ok for you not to understand everything, so ask questions as much as you need to have a good feeling about the supplier. You can prepare an excel file with pictures, details and let them fill in the spots with all necessary information that you need for that project, this way, you can easily spot what their answers are and they can see clear your request. Once I have sent a file to a supplier of a project about logo options, where in the picture you could see clearly that the logo was embroidered and they filled it as a silk print logo, something completely different. I found this more efficient and time saving than sending emails over and over again.

4. They are a trading company but their website shows as a manufacturer

Trading companies in China are very common. Some companies do label themselves as that but more prefer to hide that and shows they are a manufacturer to get a chance to win your order. Because they get quote from several suppliers, they can’t develop your own design very well as they do not have skills in manufacturing, as they are only used to buy and sell existing products but cannot control the whole process of producing a new product.

Action point: you need to identify if your supplier is a trading company or a manufacturer via company verification, or you can hire a sourcing agent to do the work, as sourcing agents will only work with direct manufacturers so they can save your money and time, and monitor the quality.