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Why Importers Work with Chinese Purchasing Agents?

2024-03-21
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It is popular today to source finished products from a country that manufactures at a low cost. One of the most successful countries that manufactures products for other countries is China. China does not only produce products at cheaper rates, but also delivers quality that is difficult to match at the given price.

Are you trying to import any goods from China for the first time? Although the internet has made it possible to do B2B transactions from anywhere in the world. However, if you are sourcing products from China for the first time, then you cannot take the risk of going it solo. When you are considering procurement outsourcing in China, which is located on the other end of the globe, it can often be too hard for an importer to see every nitty-gritty of the process. 

Therefore, while outsourcing from China, it will be worthwhile to have a certain local presence that can help you to find factories in China. Now, most big companies source products from China on their own. However, companies that are in the beginning stage or don’t have enough resources to invest in the process of product procurement turn to product purchasing agents who are based in China and familiar with the business environment of that country.

Who is a China Chinese purchasing agent?

An agent stationed in China who organizes various purchases and transportation of goods and equipment of the company is known as a China purchasing agent. Chinese purchasing agents purchase commodities, raw materials, finished products, and anything else required for corporate operations as opposed to wholesale buyers, who buy products for resale.

The Chinese purchasing agent is responsible for keeping an eye on product quality and refilling inventory, they also must keep an eye on market conditions and price swings, help to confirm product prices and gets suggestions for replacement products. They also supervise purchase requests and approve payments for the goods bought. They will handle any problems with product delivery and coordinate the production schedule of their business with that of numerous suppliers.

For example, the Chinese purchasing agent can work with the supplier to secure the products in advance if they signal that there is going to be a postponement in product arrival. Chinese purchasing agents usually work closely with various divisions inside corporations. To organize and file all purchase documentation, they collaborate with the finance staff. They deal with paperwork, expedite orders, plan shipping, and resolve disputes. By compiling, analyzing, and listing patterns, agents even provide, and control strategic information connected to purchasing.

Chinese purchasing agents occasionally collaborate with teams to deliver educational sessions. Small businesses may ask their purchasing representative to handle all of their purchasing needs. Depending on how they work and their level of expertise, they can help your company in the following ways:

- Supply chain management and operations.

- Data analysis and record keeping.

- Help in identifying suppliers.

- Undertake price research and comparison.

- Acquire product samples and prototypes.

- Ensure quality assurance and undertakes necessary inspections.

- Carry out product testing.

- Take care of shipping and logistics.

- Handle customs and VAT procedures.

In addition to having strong organizational and quantitative abilities, Chinese purchasing agents need to possess a few key competencies to succeed in their roles. Because they coordinate tasks, Chinese purchasing agents need to be proficient in both oral and written communication. To maintain professional connections and collaborate with many teams, agents need good communication skills. They are skilled negotiators, which helps them persuade suppliers to sell their goods at prices that do not harm the company.

In addition to having strong research and analytical abilities, Chinese purchasing agents also use these abilities to discover trustworthy sources for raw materials while making business decisions. They are also adept at resolving issues. A Chinese purchasing agent can logically and promptly resolve problems like damaged items or a delivery delay through effective communication.

In simple words, Chinese purchasing agents are like your own staff member working in China on your behalf. Their primary goal will be to source quality products at the lowest possible cost and deliver the same to your country. They can be working independently with just one client at a time or can be working for multiple companies simultaneously.

Does your company need a Chinese purchasing agent?

Well, it is not compulsory to hire a Chinese purchasing agent in China, and of course, you can work on your own. However, there are many ways in which a Chinese purchasing agent can help you, especially if:

1. You only have limited staff

Most small-to-medium businesses have limited employees and thus it becomes difficult to source products and supervise products coming from China. In such a scenario, it might become difficult to go all the way to China and handle all the steps of product procurement by yourself. On the other hand, hiring a Chinese purchasing agent might seem expensive at first, but without a doubt, it will prove to be worth it.

2.You source products from multiple suppliers

If your business is offering a wide variety of products, you might have to work with different suppliers, and not just one. In this scenario, negotiating with multiple manufacturers and handling multiple inspections all at once becomes difficult.

However, Chinese purchasing agents who are experts at handling multiple companies and manufacturers at the same time can handle this situation efficiently.

3. You can’t visit China in person for inspections

China surely manufactures products for most of the other countries of the world. However, this does not mean you can blindly trust their manufacturers and purchase products without inspection. It is best if you or someone who is solely working for you undertakes quality inspection in China throughout different levels of production. If you are not able to make in-person visits or are not able to send an employee of yours, it is best to depend on a Chinese purchasing agent for this work. Chinese purchasing agents make in-person visits to the factories, supervise the product quality, and if needed even hire a quality control inspector to test your products.

How to qualify your Chinese purchasing agent?

Countless companies and individuals work as Chinese purchasing agents in China. However, your experience will be good only if you choose to work with either a reputed firm or an individual agent who has good reviews. If you need product sourcing for Amazon from China and want to hire a Chinese purchasing agent, you must ask the following questions.

- Are they also buying similar products that we are planning to buy from China?

- Can you provide any referrals or testimonials from your satisfied customers who may have used or are still using your services?

- Can you coordinate China inspection service on our behalf?

- Will you share an update on the production status regularly?

- Are you located in the same city where the factory is?

- Can you visit the factories before or during production?

- How will you get paid? Can we get any discount if we offer a repeat order for the same product from the same company?

Nevertheless, when you are finding a Chinese purchasing agent, make sure you look for the following qualities:

1. Extensive supplier base

China is a manufacturing hub. There are many different areas in the country where different types of manufacturing units are developed. Only a Chinese purchasing agent with excellent knowledge and contacts will know multiple producers and thereby help you find a perfect one. They will contact Chinese factories and inquire about prices, production capacity, timelines, etc. Ultimately, a knowledgeable agent will help you in getting a good deal.

A Chinese purchasing agent functions in China as the representative of your company and makes crucial business transactions. To maintain their company, especially in a place like China, importing businesses must maintain relationships with vendors, which a competent agent can help them do. They maintain the requirements of the business and communicate with vendors about purchasing issues. By preserving excellent relationships with vendors, Chinese purchasing agent ensure that businesses continue to obtain a steady supply of their inventory.

2. Good communication skills

Only an agent who knows multiple languages and overall has excellent communication skills will be able to handle negotiations efficiently. Furthermore, you want to work with an agent who is fluent in your language and thus will be able to understand your emails perfectly. It is only after this that he/she will be able to communicate your requirements to the manufacturer without any confusion. 

Sourcing directly in China is not an easy task. There are many things to handle, and it needs working with many different individuals. Only Chinese purchasing agents who have top-notch co-ordinations skills and know how to work as a team can secure good products and deals for you. Above all, a Chinese purchasing agent with a cool and calm head and enthusiastic personality will be able to keep open communications between your company and the producers.

Your net income is impacted by the agreements you make with your vendors. It is crucial to make sure the deal you strike will be profitable financially. Your China Chinese purchasing agent will undoubtedly handle this by negotiating product prices with regional Chinese vendors utilizing their experience and expertise. Due to their familiarity with the local language and culture, they have a higher chance of negotiating a much better deal on your behalf than perhaps you could.

3. Knowledge about legal terms and regulations

When any company sources products from another country, a lot of legalities become a part of the equation. In such a situation, a Chinese purchasing agent who is well-versed in all these rules and regulations proves to be very helpful. Right from the point of acquiring raw materials to delivering the finished goods to your country, your Chinese purchasing agent will handle plenty of paperwork on your behalf.

An experienced agent is familiar with the rules and laws that govern exporting and importing commodities.

4. Knowledge of industry trends

A Chinese purchasing agent has knowledge about market developments that have an impact on product prices. They are aware of the top-quality products for your sector and ways to get them from the source. Making the most of the expertise of an agent, while you concentrate on your business is possible when you have an agent arrange for purchasing.

5. Organization of the purchase process

There are several components while the purchasing process in China such as: 

- Placement of order

- Production

- Quality monitoring

- Schedule follow-up

- Arranging shipment

- Tracking shipment.

Instead of you managing this procedure personally, having a Chinese purchasing agent in China can be much more effective and efficient.

6. A positive outlook for your company

A responsible purchasing representative will also contribute to the company's reputation improvement. Consumers today choose to use services from businesses that use sustainable practices since there is more emphasis on these practices in the workplace.

The agent will seek vendors who share your company's values and match their obligations with those values as your company's representative. This enables organizations to follow their values on ethical and sustainable business practices.

7. Coordinating the delivery schedule

The issue of time is another one. Lead times are usually extremely short in Chinese manufacturing since so many distinct processes are happening at once.

A skilled Chinese purchasing agent is knowledgeable about manufacturers and their schedules. The agents may choose the best manufacturers for their clients, saving both the manufacturer and your time.

Conclusion

The product procurement of an organization is coordinated by a China Chinese purchasing agent by collaborating with suppliers and other departments. They locate trustworthy local vendors in their area who provide premium goods at the most competitive prices. To place orders for products and services for the business, they enter contracts with these suppliers.

A good Chinese purchasing agent keeps track of inventory levels, evaluates the need for purchases, bargains contracts, and decides on the final stock price. Additionally, they coordinate and oversee product deliveries. Chinese purchasing agents contribute to the upkeep of beneficial relationships with suppliers, which benefits the bottom line of your company.

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