This is the most comprehensive guide to source from china… ever. In this guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting your import campaign.
As China becomes the biggest manufacturer in the world, 75% of small business owners import directly from China. You may wonder why China, because it has been playing a crucial role as the world’s factory since the start of the 21st century. With its skilled workers, many years of experience in manufacturing, and a lot of resources, you can make more money and cut costs more easily than ever before.
The question is: how can you make good use of it? Well, that’s where this ultimate guide comes into play.
I’m John Lee.
I am a sourcing expert with 6 years of experience. I have helped 500+ clients reach out to 2000+ suppliers. Before this, I spent years importing from China and selling products on Amazon. It was one disaster after another at the beginning stage.
Finally, I strived to succeed in making over 200 thousand dollars per month. Throughout this process, I was able to reach out to a large number of Chinese manufacturers and gain valuable experience in all aspects of importing.
I decided to share these techniques with you in this post. So if you want to succeed in e-commerce, keep reading and I will show you exactly how.
1. Take the time to find the best source.
When it comes to sourcing from China, you have 2 options.
Purchasing directly is something that more than 80% of importers strive for. If you want to control the whole process and avoid any middlemen or agents, or if you are starting a new business, purchasing directly is your best choice.
But most suppliers require minimum order quantities (MOQs). Make sure you can meet the MOQs before purchasing.
There are thousands of companies in China offering sourcing services. Most of them have several years of experience and have built up a huge network of suppliers. It definitely saves tons of time if you can make good use of their network. They may also conduct Quality Control and act as your local representative when contacting the manufacturer. After all, most suppliers only speak Chinese. Some of the sourcing agencies even provide logistics services, which is convenient and time-saving.
Most agencies care about their reputations, but importers should check out a few of them to see if they can be trusted.
There is something you need to figure out before you sign the contract:
Can they arrange a visit for you to the factory?
Can they offer you a list of previous customers who bought the same sort of product? And ask for some testimonials.
Can they provide a variety of services, including Quality Control and logistics?
Will you be given a report regularly?
Will you be informed if anything unexpected happens?
What guarantees do they provide if shipments are delayed? What if suppliers
violate the contract? And what if the rate of defective goods you get is not acceptable? Do they set different rates depending on the amount of the order?
Overall, if you want to save time and focus on marketing, you should hire a professional sourcing agency.
2. It is critical to have a qualified supplier
An inspection is not necessary if you decide to hire a sourcing agency. In most cases, these suppliers have been inspected thoroughly by your sourcing agency. They usually have the top-tier suppliers because they definitely don’t want their reputations to be damaged by unqualified suppliers.
If you decide to do it by yourself, you’ll need to cut down on your lists of suppliers and inspect their certificates. If you look at suppliers’ websites, you can find some obvious information. You still need to figure it out:
Whether they have prior experience for exporting.
Whether they have all the certificates required by your local government.
Whether they are capable of fulfilling your order on time.
This is necessary, though it is difficult to accomplish. The factory’s financial statements, copies of tax invoices, and product samples are all you should ask them for. And you can double check the information they provide by entering their company name on China’s enterprise credit information publicity system website.
3. Don’t be too concerned about the price and start gradually.
There is one rule that we should keep in mind: look for a reasonable price, not the lowest price. If the supplier gives you a price that is far lower than normal, it could be a sign that the product isn’t good. As you know, all manufacturers have a price floor. It makes no sense for them to offer a price far lower than the amount they cost. Unless they try to scam you, especially rookies. The unreasonable price will eventually have an effect on your business. It might be of poor quality, no product inspection, or terrible working conditions for workers.
You should avoid these factors if you don’t want to disappoint your customers or even get involved in legal issues.
Surely, hiring a sourcing agency might reduce a lot of risk. If you decide to do it on your own, make sure you do the full research, like raw material costs, labor and manufacturing overhead.
Once you have found the proper price, don’t give the supplier a large order at the beginning. A test order is better. If anything goes wrong, you can shift to another supplier at a minimal loss. And you can increase the order amount if you are satisfied with the previous order. This will help you be successful in the long run.
4. Inspections for Quality Control
It is critical to have good quality management. While starting up your partnership with the supplier, a quality department is needed for setting standards and conducting regular quality control inspections. Whether the quality department is a third party hired by you or belongs to the supplier, they need to guarantee that the quality meets all your requirements. It helps you avoid costly mistakes found later in the selling process.
Please feel free to contact us for any questions you might have, we will be happy to assist you shortly.