Due to its low cost, China is one of the world’s most important producers of industrial and consumer products. China sells more manufactured goods than any other country in the world.
Sourcing and importing from China is a good decision if you want to make your business cost-effective. However, language barriers and complex business practices can be barriers for many foreign buyers, not to mention the variety of products available. This is when a purchasing agent can greatly benefit you.
The simplest definition of a purchasing agent is a third party that helps you find suitable suppliers in a particular country. Generally, purchasing agents are familiar with the country’s business practices and customs and speak the local language.
A simple Google search can list a whole bunch of purchasing agents. How do you know which one is right for you?
When choosing a China sourcing agent, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make the right choice.
1. Have the necessary licenses
All businesses in China need a business license. The laws in China are very strict and you can only operate certain businesses with certain licenses. Before you start working with a purchasing agent, remember to check their license.
2. Check Language Proficiency
The ideal purchasing agent should be proficient in both English and Mandarin. Make sure your primary contact has good spoken and written English.
3. The location of the purchasing agent
Confirm the location of your Chinese purchasing agent. Are they a Chinese company or a foreign company with an office in China?
There are huge differences in how Chinese and Western companies operate. Much of this difference is attributable to differences in culture, customs, and ways of thinking. It is wise to choose a Chinese sourcing agent.
4. How long have you been a purchasing agent
Ask how long you’ve been a purchasing agent. It’s important to know how resourceful this person is.
5. Individual or team purchasing agent
In purchasing agents, there is a difference between a team and a company. But a lot of them are independent buying agents, who work very hard, but there is also a good chance that they will disappear very quickly.
6. What categories are you good at?
Different purchasing agents have different areas of expertise. You must check that your purchasing agent has experience sourcing the product you are interested in. A good sourcing agent who is good at sourcing electronics is not the same as a sourcing agent who is good at sourcing injection molded products like plastics because the inspection process is very different, so ideally you will find a sourcing agent who can be very good at purchasing products.
7. Choose sourcing agents with good ethics
This is a sensitive topic. Even if you ask, you may not get a real answer. I suggest you ask anyway. The question of getting a rebate should not come up. A good purchasing agent should not and will not accept factory rebates or discounts while charging you a commission. Make sure you only say yes to suppliers who meet your quality and certification standards. Many businesses are reluctant to use purchasing agents due to fears of unprofessional and unethical behavior. However, when you use the right sourcing agent, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
8. How to audit the factory, how to ensure on-time delivery
Purchasing agents should have a factory checklist and they should ensure production is on schedule and delivery is on schedule. They should feed this information back to you, as your purchasing agent, on how they can certify this factory.
9. Set a budget
Your budget is an important factor in choosing the right purchasing agent for your business. You should choose a purchasing agent based on the type of service and the type of relationship you want. If this purchasing agent is very competent and you want to develop a long-term partnership, you may want to consider a percentage based on your order value. Remember to be flexible with your budget, as unexpected expenses may arise at any time.
10. How to deal with quality issues
When sourcing products from abroad, the quality of the product is paramount. Make it clear from the outset that you will not accept products of substandard quality. Check with the purchasing agent to see what they have in place to deal with quality issues. Some purchasing agents do not do any inspections, so you have to hire a third party to go out and do additional inspections.
So you need to know in advance if the purchasing agent does not do the inspection.
Here are some of the benefits of using a purchasing agent:
Save valuable time
By choosing a reliable sourcing agent, you can save a lot of time that you would otherwise spend vetting suppliers and engaging in lengthy negotiations. Your purchasing agent will handle all of this to save you valuable time.
Assist in negotiation
Negotiations are easier when you have a Chinese sourcing agent because they can speak Chinese and understand Chinese culture and customs. As a result, negotiations with purchasing agents are faster and more efficient.
Verify your manufacturer’s certificate
All your supplier’s documents and licenses are written in Chinese. If you need to verify these documents, you first need to pay a professional translator to translate them. This in itself is quite expensive. There’s also a risk that the manufacturer could hand over a bunch of fake documents. Your Chinese sourcing agent can help you verify your manufacturer’s certificate.
Finding the right Chinese sourcing agent is a crucial step if you want to source and import products from China. Access to high-quality products at the right price and time can help your business grow by leaps and bounds and grab more market share. Take the time to choose the right purchasing agent. The future of your business depends on it, and one of the Chinese sourcing agents you should know most about is Ebuysourcing.
EbuySourcing is a professional integrated supply chain service provider, focusing on helping global cross-border small and medium-sized retailers manage the complexity and risk of supply chains.
The founding partners of the company are all professionals with more than 10 years of industry experience in the international trade industry and international logistics industry.
We have served hundreds of branded merchants. Online merchants including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and other cross-border platforms provide hundreds of start-up cross-border small and medium-sized retailers around the world with a variety of service models with different business needs and quickly respond to merchants’ personalized business instructions.
Starting from the product side, EbuySourcing provides merchants with a one-stop supply chain service that is transparent and can be tracked throughout the process, including but not limited to:
Commodity reverse customization
Brand VI customization
Production progress follow-up
Warehousing and packaging
We use the team’s very professional industry insight and market model analysis capabilities to provide the most valuable industry hot product selection data analysis reports, commodity market research, and analysis reports for the merchants we serve. Let the merchants we serve no longer worry about the selection of products, and no longer worry about the uncertainty of the market.
EbuySourcing helps you grow your business every step of the way, making every corner of the world your market.
Please feel free to contact us for any question you might have, we will be happy to assist you shortly.