How to Know if a Particular Sourcing Agent is Right for your Needs?

POSTED ON July 7, 2021

When you decide to work with a sourcing agent in China, you are surely looking for a hassle-free sourcing experience wherein all the tasks are handled locally by a professional. However, your experience will be only as good as the sourcing agent you choose. There are thousands of agents eyeing your business, but you need to choose the one that is experienced, skilled and reliable.

If you are shortlisting sourcing agents China, here are some points that you can keep in mind. These points will help you understand the sourcing agent better and whether or not they are the right choice for you.

Check whether its an individual or a Sourcing Company

It is very important to know whether you will be working with an individual or a company. We can’t really say that you should prefer one over the other as both have their pros and cons. However, it is generally riskier to work with freelancers than with professionally run companies. While you may have to spend a little more money on hiring a company’s services, you can stay assured that you will get broader expertise and more reliable services. The companies usually have better network of suppliers and supply chain management, so they take shorter time to source products for you.

Ask them how experienced they are

When it comes to sourcing products for an international client, experience is of paramount importance. The more time you have spent in the market, the more contacts to build. The network becomes broader over the years and the agent becomes better capable of connecting you to the right manufacturer.

The kind of relationship they have with the manufacturer

It is extremely important that the sourcing agent has a great professional relationship with their network of suppliers. When they share a good working relationship, they can communicate your requirements better and negotiate a better deal for you. If they tell you that they have been working with certain manufacturers for a long time and have served many international clients together, it means they have a good working relationship.

The product line they specialize in

It is practically impossible for a sourcing agent to specialize in all the products. Normally, Chinese agents specialize in some selected product lines. In China, the sourcing certificates are also allotted as per product niches. So, make sure the sourcing agent you choose specializes in the product you are interested in.

The scope of their services

Not all sourcing services are designed alike. Some are more comprehensive than others. So, before hiring a sourcing agent it makes sense to know about the scope of the services they offer. One must understand that while some agents only offer sourcing services, which means they just connect you with the right supplier, others offer a host of services including price negotiation, quality control, shipping and more. Choose a sourcing agent based on what services you are looking for.

Their understanding of the manufacturing process

In order to decide whether or not a particular supplier will be able to manufacture the product as per the specifications, the sourcing agent should have a reasonable understanding of the manufacturing process. The basic knowledge is also required in order to carry out quality inspection and other activities.

Supplier qualifying process

It is a good idea to ask your sourcing agent as to how they qualify the suppliers. Ideally, they should have clearly laid down criteria to qualify the suppliers. They should have a checklist for factory or product inspection. When they have a proper system in place for supplier qualification, you can stay assured that they will find the right supplier for you.

In-house or third-party quality inspection

Quality control is crucial when you source your products from a foreign country. The last thing you want is that you receive poor-quality product or products that don’t meet the specifications. Ask the sourcing agent whether they carry out the quality inspection themselves or they hire a third party for the same. Remember, not all sourcing agents take responsibility of quality control. So, this question is quite important.


Some sourcing agents charge a flat fee for their service and others charge a percentage commission on the order value. The idea is to find a China sourcing agent that has a transparent fee structure. Make sure they clearly list down the services they will provide in that fee. If you want the souring agent to just find the supplier for you, you can work on a flat fee basis. However, for more comprehensive services, it is best to work with a professional Chinese sourcing company that works on a percentage commission.

Interested in sourcing quality products from China? We will be happy to help. Get in touch with our team now to discuss your requirements.