Businesses around the world have understood that low prices do not necessarily mean low quality. This realization has made China the manufacturing hub of the world. Almost anything you use in your daily life has originally been sourced and manufactured in China. In this article, we will look at some of the basic guidelines for sourcing from China
The first and foremost step is to study the Chinese manufacturing market very well. Visit different B2B websites of Chinese vendors and take a look at the manufacturing and supply options for each of the manufacturers. Study the different quality levels available for your product group. You may also come across a good set of specialized manufacturers who produce custom goods at the very reasonable price.
Vendor or Supplier Selection
List down all the different vendors of the product you desire to import. These days, the simplest way to make a list of vendors is to search on Google and copy down the details in excel or text file.
Next, send out a request for quotation to each of the shortlisted vendors. Once you are done with that, you should get back responses from most of the vendors within a week or so.
Sort the list again based on the prices quoted and reply back to negotiate a better price. After that you should have a list of the best quotes. Select the top few vendors and ask for additional details on packing, shipment, insurance, customs and other details. This will help you finalize one or two vendors from whom you want to order.
Quality Control & Assurance with Pre-shipment Inspection
This is one of the most important steps in your sourcing journey. While most of the suppliers in China are good, honest people. There are chances of coming across an unethical firm which supplies a lower quality product than the one that was negotiated upon. The best way to overcome this is to engage a third party inspection service to check the quality of goods before they are shipped to you.
Shipping and Logistics
There are three major modes of shipping viz. air, sea and roadways. The one that you select depends a lot on your location, budget and time constraints. If you are pressed for time and the quantity of the good is small, then the best option is using air transport. However, for bulk import of large qualities, air freight may prove to be expensive and sea freight is the best option in this case.
Once, your goods are ready to be shipped to your warehouse, you will need to prepare for customs clearance procedures. Contact your local clearing agent or port authority and prepare all the necessary documents to ensure faster clearance so that there is no delay in getting your good delivered.
Hire a Sourcing Agent
If you find that taking care of all the above factors is a lot of hassle, you are better off hiring a sourcing agent that is resident in China. Agents have local language and negotiation skills and have a better relationship with manufacturers and suppliers and will get you the best possible deal. This way you can save a lot of time which you can put to better use in growing your business.