Here are some of the reasons why even the most experienced companies choose to use a buying or sourcing agent in china.
So what happens? First of all, imagine you are buying a used car, you find an advert in the paper so you simply send over a cheque for the advertised amount.
Would you ever do this? No. The chances of not receiving the car or the car not being as advertised is huge, you wouldn't even consider it - and this is the same in China.
Let's leave cultural and business etiquette in china aside for the moment; when you buy something important you want to see it first.
When you factor in cultural differences in China, language barriers and different business ethics in a relaxed regulatory environment - you have the perfect conditions for a disaster to occur.
A sourcing agent, or a buying agent, is a representative located in a given country. Companies who wants to buy from this country, but does not want to setup an office there, can employ a sourcing agent, to find, select and negotiate with suppliers.
So what can go wrong? In the worst scenario you will lose all your money.
Sending payments to an unknown party, usually by direct transfer, has huge risks of its own. Products could be faulty, old stock, damaged or not to specification - how will you know if you haven't seen them.
Finally, you could end up with a customs nightmare if unwanted items are holding up your customs clearance which you will be paying by the day.
A good export company from China will act as your eyes, ears and nose in China.
They should visit the factory, run background checks and insure that what you think you are going to get is what actually arrives.
Furthermore even the best factory can have delays and human errors and your sourcing agent in china should keep in close contact to ensure your goals are met in terms of time and product design.
From experience ChinaFind can say that having a Chinese sourcing agent in the team that can communicate with the factory will result in almost an 80% reduction in the occurrence of these issues.
Furthermore having a foreigner inspect the China factory and a product in tandem with a Chinese sourcing agent will ensure not only price and delivery objectives are met, but quality and design requirements are also strictly adhered to.
Whether you choose ChinaFind or another agency, make sure you ask exactly how they will ensure your business objectives are going to be met when you import from China.
Find out where their team is, it still surprises me how many companies employ sourcing agencies outside of China to export from China.
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