China may sell more manufactured items globally today than any other nation. The manufacturing industries in China are frequently referred to as the “World’s Factory,” which is the backbone of the economy.
Because of its low cost, China has become one of the most significant producers of industrial goods. Sourcing from China can always be a great choice if you want your company to be cost-effective.
For many overseas purchasers, however, the enormous variety of products available as well as language obstacles and inconsistent business methods in China might prove to be a major challenge. When this happens, China import agent or a sourcing agent can really help you out.
If you are not familiar with the idea of looking for good agents, allow us to help you. A China import agent or a sourcing agent is a third party who helps in your search for suitable suppliers in a certain country, in the most basic sense.
Generally, sourcing agents are familiar with the business practises and conventions of that nation and may even speak the native tongue.
What a sourcing agent can do for you?
You only need to complete your contact form with all of your specific product specifications and needs. Within 24 hours, a response from a China import agent will be sent. In addition to that, a sourcing agent can do the following.
- Obtain a quotation for you
Once your China import agent gets your requirements, then your agent will search and also make a comparison of different suppliers available to find one, which is best matching one for your needs.
- Will act once you convey your decision
Once you have received the quotation from your sourcing agent, you must first check it thoroughly at your end. If you are fully satisfied with the quotes and samples sent by the agent then you must confirm the order with your agent.
- Do necessary follow-ups for product production
Your sourcing agent will do all necessary follow up at every step of production when the whole process is going on in the China factory so that he can ensure that the whole production of your product will be completed well within the scheduled time.
- Help you with quality control
Quality is one of the main concerns of every importer while buying from China, hence your agent will guarantee the quality of the products during pre-production, during production, and pre-shipment to ensure the necessary quality of your needs.
- Offers support in product shipment
Your agent will give you shipping quotes that are competitive, and he can work also with your forwarder in China in case you have one.
How will you know which sourcing agent is the right one meant for you?
A long list of sourcing agencies can be found online with just a single click. However, anyone cannot be the right sourcing agent for you. While selecting your sourcing agent, you must look for the following.
- Experience of your prospective China sourcing agent
Chinese firms and western companies run very differently from one another. The cultural, social, and mental distinctions are largely responsible for the differences.
It is prudent to choose a sourcing agent having extensive knowledge about China. An experienced sourcing agent with a strong network of trustworthy contacts in China will be invaluable to your company.
- Check for references
Choosing a sourcing agent must provide you with verifiable testimonials from other companies. Don’t forget to personally visit all these references’ websites and also speak with them.
Ask the references how long they have been working together and what kind of quality they have provided. Ask them if they have any recommendations for the sourcing agent who may be much better than the one you are thinking about using.
- Get the required documentation
You ought to be able to get the appropriate paperwork for your sourcing and shipping process from your China import agent. You may get a good idea about the familiarity of your agent in this field with all the procedure he adopts from the wording used on the various paperwork.
The following are among the documentation that sourcing agents generally offer:
- Detailed packing lists
- A Certificate of Origin
- A bill of lading
- A Fumigation Certificate.
- Check how they generally deal with quality issues
The quality of the items is crucial when getting them from a foreign nation. Ask the sourcing representative what controls they have in place to address quality issues. Make it abundantly clear up front that you will not put up with substandard goods.
- Ensure that he has got the necessary license
For conducting any business, every Chinese company must have a valid licence. Chinese law is extremely stringent, and only a few types of businesses are allowed to be operated without the proper licences. Check the sourcing agent’s licence papers before you begin working with them.
- Check the language proficiency
A sourcing agent should be fluent in both Mandarin and English. Make sure that your main contact person is proficient in both speaking and writing in English. Since you might occasionally need to speak with the employees in the Chinese office directly, it is best if they are also fluent in English.
- Expertise in your product that you are interested to buy
Different sourcing agents specialise in various fields. To find out if your sourcing agency has previous expertise in finding the products you are interested in, you must do some research.
You can request buyer references or ask your agent for a list of prior orders. A sourcing agent who works with just one kind of product could be hard to come by. So, ask for certain references from other business companies in your own particular sector.
- Choose a sourcing agent who has got good ethics
Numerous sourcing agents were found to receive kickbacks from suppliers. Although such agents could easily find a supplier for your very quickly, but the product quality can always be questionable. Make sure you only accept a supplier who satisfies your standards for quality and certification.
Finding the ideal China import agent is a key step if you are considering sourcing products from China. Receiving the best quality of products at a reasonable price and also on timely delivery can always help your company grow faster. Spend some time selecting the best import agent. Your company’s future depends on it.