China is one of the best manufacturing hubs. This is the reason you might see many businesses opting to source their products manufacturing in China. If you search online, you might come across many suppliers willing to do the job for you. The question is how to distinguish the credible ones?
Understanding the Pricing Policies of the Sourcing Agents
When it comes to searching for a credible product sourcing agent, you need to first set your budget. Secondly, you need to understand how these agents will charge for their services. When it comes to pricing policies, you might come across three methods:
- Fixed Fees
- Commission Basis
- Price Difference from Competitive Pricing
In the fixed fee structure, your sourcing agent will set a flat fee, which will be calculated weekly, or monthly basis, or at the end of the project. Here you get to deal directly with the supplier and fix the price. Another option available to you would be to hire credible sourcing companies that can get you, credible suppliers. Of course, you might need to shell some money out of your pockets.
Under the commission basis, the agents will charge a percentage of the total value of the order. The percentage range can be anywhere between 5 – 10% and can vary depending on the volume or nature of the order.
Last but not the least under the competitive pricing structure, your product sourcing agent will share with you the list of credible suppliers and their fee structures. Your sourcing agent will then calculate the fees based on the price difference and charge you accordingly.
When it comes to searching for the right sourcing agents, you need to do your homework. Patience is the key here. You need to dive into the sourcing agents list and choose the ones that best suit your requirements.
As a newcomer, it is common to make mistakes and land up with the wrong sourcing agents. You can learn from the mistakes of your peers and take heed of the below pointers before finalizing your sourcing agents:
- Choose sourcing agents that are experienced
- Ask for their license and years of service
- Ask for the reference list
- Check if they have worked on similar orders of your nature
- Enquire about their pricing structure
If your sourcing agent is hesitating in answering your questions or dodging the same, then consider it to be a red flag. Credible sourcing agents will be completely transparent with their answers and might even give you advice based on their experience.
Why Chinese Suppliers are Popular Amongst Business
Now, if this is your first time looking for Chinese suppliers, then you might wonder why they are so popular:
- China is said to have low labour costs
- They have the necessary technologies to produce customized products
- Their manufacturing costs are lower when compared to other countries, thus saving you money
- They can take a load of bulk orders and volume due to their state-of-the-art technology
- They can produce goods as per the expectations of the western companies
- Depending on the nature of your business, Chinese suppliers can produce a variety of products without compromising on the quality
It is always better to go in with suppliers who are specialized in your type of products. In this way, they can better relate to your requirements and give you suggestions, if any. If you deal in electronics, then you need to search for a credible product sourcing agent in Shenzhen. This city is considered a global hub in technology and manufacturing business.
Now, if you are a small business searching for Chinese suppliers, you might wonder how to get reliable suppliers without spending too much money. Well, some of the ways how you can get credible suppliers are by:
- Social Media
- Trade Shows
- Leads shared by Peers
Social media can help you get reviews about the suppliers that you have finalized. You can even use social media to check the authenticity of the supplier. Credible suppliers will have websites with clear communication addresses and customer support for customers to contact in case of complaints or queries.
Trade shows are a great way not only to check for suppliers but also to build your networking skills. Here you have the perfect opportunity to meet your suppliers personally and discuss your requirements with them.
The internet is a popular medium for you to check for suppliers. You can filter them based on their ratings, specialization, and the reviews given by customers. Platforms such as Alibaba offer a list of credible suppliers after verifying their credentials.
If your peers have already worked with other Chinese suppliers, you can ask for references and contact the suppliers. You might still need to verify the supplier to be on the safe side.
You can even take the help of your product sourcing agent to verify the suppliers for you. Your agent will take care of all the hassles for you. They will verify the credentials, request quotes, negotiate with them, finalize the suppler and draw up the contract and the payment terms with them.
After the order is placed, they will also supervise the production, conduct factory visits, do quality audits and share the reports with you. Some agents also will do quality checks; deal with branding and packaging, and offer shipment services for additional fees.
If you have small orders, then you can look into trading companies. These companies will not directly produce goods but will act as intermediaries between you and the manufacturer. The only drawback would be that the costs will be higher and you will end up paying them more than what you might pay to your suppliers.
The bottom line is that you need to rely on your instincts to a certain extent when it comes to choosing suppliers or a product sourcing agent. Ensure that you state your requirements clearly and add all the terms and conditions in your contract before you sign the dotted lines.
Credible sourcing agents will give you peace of mind. When you hire sourcing agents, you will have additional time to concentrate on improving the efficiency of your business.