If you’re interested in manufacturing products on the cheap, or if you want to sell your product directly to Chinese consumers, you might want to think about manufacturing in China. One of the major parts of this process is finding and choosing the right China sourcing agent or company to work with, as you don’t want to have any hiccups along the way. Here are some things to consider before making your decision.
Having worked in the sourcing business since 2022, I have a few pointers for you. To my way of thinking, every good sourcing agent needs:
Strong working knowledge of Chinese manufacturing and its regulations.
You need a China sourcing agent that has worked in China and can relate to your needs.
For example, if you have an idea which is not allowed under Chinese law, but still want it done in China, you need an agent who knows how to get around Chinese regulations!
An office close to you – Having a local agent that is available around-the-clock can help smooth over language issues, allowing for clear and fast communication.
This is particularly important in cases where problems with your suppliers need to be solved fast.
After all, not being able to communicate clearly and efficiently is one of the most common reasons international customers pull out of doing business with Chinese companies.
- A local presence in China
A China-based sourcing agent has a few distinct advantages over a virtual one.
First, you don’t have to worry about language barriers, communication delays, and other problems that come with outsourcing your production process to another country.
Your China-based sourcing agent will speak fluent English (or whatever language you prefer) and is able to communicate and work effectively in an international setting.
If you want to produce your products in China, then you’ll need a Chinese company and that means dealing with a local presence.
- An office close to you – the customer
It is not easy to find a reliable China sourcing agent as several sourcing experts make false promises, bait and switch clients and do not know how to get things done properly.
Finding a reliable China sourcing agent that can understand your requirements is just like choosing a doctor or lawyer – it’s important to choose one with experience in your industry.
If you are a customer based in the West, any query you send a sourcing agent may not be answered until the next day.
If you need something done urgently, it is very likely that your China sourcing company will ignore your request.
- Excellent communication skills
China sourcing agents often work in teams, and it’s essential that they’re able to communicate effectively with each other on a daily basis.
Their job is also customer-focused, which means they must be able to maintain a clear line of communication with you and pass on your requests effectively
Communicating clearly and concisely are two skills most valued by China sourcing companies.
- Experience in sourcing from China
Talk with a prospective China sourcing agent/company you’re interested in. Tell them what you’re doing, and ask them how they plan on helping you make it happen.
The more experience they have, as well as their references, will be your best indication of whether or not they’ll be able to help you reach your goals.
- Be an expert in the product you want to manufacture
It’s one thing to want something manufactured, but it’s another to know how it should be made.
Be an expert in your product; choose a China sourcing agent that specializes in your manufacturing process and make sure you are as knowledgeable about your product as possible.
That way, you can work with your manufacturer to make sure they understand exactly what you want and there will be no surprises when it comes time for production.
Final wrap up
Once you’ve found a China sourcing agent, it’s best to start off with small projects.
It can be disheartening when you put your trust into an agent and they turn out not to be as professional as they seemed.
In fact, China sourcing agents will take their first project seriously and get it done within budget in order to secure future business from you—so if your first project is too big, there’s no pressure for them.
This gives you time to build trust in each other and lets them prove that they have what it takes before engaging with larger projects down the line.