Ask a Few Questions to Both Agents and the Manufacturer Before Hiring Your Agent

China may currently sell more manufactured items than any other nation on the planet. China is appropriately referred to as the “World’s Factory” because the manufacturing industry is what powers the country’s economy.

China is one of the major producers of industrial goods due to its low cost. If you want your business to be cost-effective, sourcing from China can be a terrific option.

The vast array of products available, however, as well as linguistic barriers and varied business practises, may prove to be a hardship for many foreign customers. In this circumstance, a sourcing agent can be of great assistance.

Let us explain, as the idea of sourcing agents may be unfamiliar to many of you. A sourcing agent is, in its most basic sense, a third party who aids in your search for suitable suppliers in a certain nation.

Typically, sourcing agents are acquainted with the business conventions and practices of that nation and may even speak the native tongue.

With a fast online search, a comprehensive list of sourcing agents can be located. What makes one the greatest option for you, exactly?

The following are a few important questions that must be asked to your prospective China sourcing agents before you follow the recommendation of China sourcing services.

  • Are you having a team of people or a one-person service?

There are few sourcing agents who work independently too and nothing wrong in hiring such an agent, as long as he has enough experience and knowledge in this job. 

However, for a long-term requirement, go for an agent who has a proper team, as a single-person agent may disappear at any time.  

  • How long are you working as a sourcing agent?

Always prefer an agent, who has worked for a sufficient duration of time. Such agents will have many contacts and resources who can offer a better service.

  • In which area you have got specialization?

The recommendation of China sourcing services will be much more effective if your agent is also having specialization in the products that you are interested in. So, you must not forget to ask this important question.

  • Are you ready to share the addresses of the factories and can we visit them?

It is important that you also build a relationship with the manufacturer. Therefore, if your Chinese sourcing agent is reluctant to share the details then you must not hire him. 

  • Can you share the contact numbers of your other clients?

Any genuine sourcing agent will never shy away to share the details of his past clients. You must discuss with them so that you can know what their experience was by following the advice of the agent whom you are considering.

  • How do you qualify any company before recommending it?

Asking this question will help you to know the reliability of the recommendation of China sourcing services. You will also know more about his professionalism.

  • Do you have the resources to do a quality inspection of products?

Quality remains a major issue while importing from China and you have only 2 choices:

  • Visit the factory with your own quality team
  • Hire a third party for inspection

Both these options are quite expensive. 

  • How will you charge us for your service?

You must know whether the agent will charge fees only once or will it depend on the value of your order. 

  • Do you get any kickbacks from the factory?

This is surely a tough question to ask and no agent will say “Yes”, however, asking this question can surely sensitize your agent and you must not shy away from asking. 

  • What should we expect from you?

This is an open-ended question. However, the answer of the agent can reveal many other facets of his services that perhaps you did not think of before. 

After your Chinese sourcing agent recommends a few companies for your product, you must ask these questions about that company.

  • Do you have any quality management system in your company?

You will know by asking this question whether the company is ISO/OHSAS/IATF certified or not. You can have more confidence in a company having a certain quality system in place.

  • How did you manage during the recent pandemic situation?

Recent Covid-19, it had created a lot of setbacks for many companies in the world, and Chinese companies are no exception. So, it will be good to know so that you can know the management capability of the company. 

  • What kind of communication system do you use?

Communication is very important while doing business, particularly in a country where only a few people understand proper English. 

Therefore, it is important to know which mode of communication the company is more comfortable with. 

  • What is your scope of service?

Some providers provide their own brands, some can handle OEM and ODM demands, and some give all-inclusive services. 

While some vendors outsource other services, others undertake R&D and QC themselves. Knowing the scope of services, a supplier offers will assist consumers to make an economical choice depending on their demands.

  • Do you have any minimum order requirements?

Every company has a certain minimum order requirement, however, by asking this question you can open a door for some negotiation if you are going to be a long-term customer.  

  • What are your terms for payment?

Asking a potential supplier about their payment terms is something that a buyer should do regardless of their financial capacity. You may also get a chance for certain negotiations too.

  • What will happen if we receive your products defective or late?

Does the supplier give any kind of insurance, refund, or payment for loss/damage in the event that the orders arrive later than the anticipated time or, worse, they arrive defective?

  • Do you use any sustainable production methods?

Sustainability is a crucial economic development paradigm that all organisations and businesses must follow, although being frequently disregarded and ignored. Do the suppliers follow any moral business principles?

If you are not satisfied with the answers of the companies based on the recommendation of China sourcing services, you can ask your agent for more companies and ask the same questions.