Tips on Choosing the Right Sourcing Agent in China

POSTED ON April 6, 2021

Choosing a product sourcing service in China that is right for your business can be a daunting task. You may choose to work with an individual or agency as long as they know their job well and can get you the best deal. The sourcing agent China base should be able to handle the entire sourcing process for you, right from procurement, control management, delivery process, and other tasks. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right sourcing agent in China.

1. Location of the sourcing agent:

When you choose a sourcing agent, you must check where they are based. Ideally, the agent must be located in/around the manufacturing base of the products you intend to source. They should have an office located within the manufacturing hub so that it makes control and coordination easier. It also gives an opportunity to the sourcing agent to know the market better.

2. License to trade:

It is mandatory that you check the trade and export license of the sourcing agency. You may do it via a third-party verifying agency in China or via local officials. Chinese laws are very strict about what a business can or cannot do. It is mandatory for all businesses to have a license to trade. This license allows a business to conduct a specific type of business operation and they are not permitted to conduct business activities they are not licensed for. So, make sure you ask the sourcing agent for their license before doing any transaction through them.

3. Sourcing Agent’s operating procedures:

Make sure you get an insight into the sourcing strategy and operating procedures of the sourcing agent China base. They should have a clearly laid-out strategy and should strictly conform to the product specifications and certification requirements of the client. You must also ask the product sourcing service provider about the documentation they can provide as a part of the shipping process. They should be well-versed with the nuances of the trade and documentation involved.

4. Quality control:

This is the biggest issue that must be addressed before you hire any sourcing agent based in China. You must check what the sourcing agent’s procedures are for dealing with any quality issues that may arise when sourcing through them. While Chinese manufacturers are quite particular about quality in the sense that they deliver what they promise, but it is important to have procedures in place to ensure that quality issues are handled appropriately as they arise. Responsibilities must be fixed and the product sourcing service provider must make it clear to the manufacturer that they need to meet strict quality standards.

5. Communication skills:

When you are dealing with an agency or individual in a foreign country, it is extremely important that there is clear communication, and there are no language barriers. Regardless of the western nation, you belong to, you would like to have clear communication in the language of your choice-English. So, make sure that your point-of-contact in the company is someone who knows English well and can communicate effectively both verbally and via email.

6. Professionalism:

This is probably the most important trait you should look for in a sourcing agent China base. They should accept responsibility and liability and be professionally sound. They should have a good knowledge of the industry they are dealing in because an agent who is inexperienced or does not have appropriate knowledge can ruin the transaction.

7. Choice of suppliers:

It is always better to deal with a sourcing agent that offers you a choice of manufacturers. They must have a good network within the industry and should be able to get you good quotes from different suppliers. Ideally, you should steer clear of sourcing agents that push only one supplier. Good sourcing agents are those who can use their experience and networking skills to connect you with suppliers that you otherwise may not be able to find.

8. Negotiations:

The sourcing agent that you choose for your business should be ready to negotiate with the suppliers and get you the best deals. Quite often, the agents are lured by kickbacks they receive from suppliers. You must steer clear of such agents. Make sure the sourcing agent is ready to negotiate the best terms of payment for you. While the manufacturer may ask for a large percentage of the total payment to be made prior to starting production, your agent should be able to negotiate favorable payment terms for you.

9. References and Reviews:

The best way to know about product or service quality is through people who have already tried them. You must seek client references from the sourcing agent and see if they have worked with similar businesses before. It is also advisable to check out some real market reviews to know about the agent’s standing and reputation. This will give you a true idea of how trustworthy the sourcing agent is.
These are just some of the points to be considered when choosing the right sourcing agent China base for your business. You must do thorough research before you select a reliable product sourcing service provider for your needs. All good sourcing agents are well aware of the quality requirements of the businesses from western nations. They may also have offices in some of the key international locations. So, you can stay assured of a hassle-free souring experience.

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