Some foreign seller did their sourcing on Alibaba or Aliexpress, like most of you are probably doing right now. When trying research many different products at once, the daily slog of emails to different Chinese suppliers was sucking up a hell of a lot of time. But if you work with China sourcing agent- RunSourcing. You can’t get over how much quicker and easier you lift are.
Therefore, now more and more importers are choosing the professional sourcing agent(procurement agent), to process everything of importing from China to their country. So I want to share with you:
- The definition of sourcing agent or buying agent
- Why should you hire a sourcing agent to handle everything of importing from China?
- Keys to being a good sourcing agent(procurement agent)?
- The benefits of having a China Sourcing Agent
- How to search for a sourcing agent in China?
Point 1: What is sourcing agent or buying agent?
Sourcing agents are third party services that you can hire to find high quality suppliers in their native country on your behalf. They speak the language and are familiar with the customs. They know the supplier very well — and they’re able to visit the factories and complete on-site verification. This means that you do not have to find a supplier yourself, it’s a way for you to minimize the risk of importing low quality goods.
Sourcing Agents are normally employed by companies in high cost countries to purchase components and products from low costs countries, such as China, Vietnam or India in order to obtain a competitive advantage.
Capabilities of Chinese sourcing agent are:
· Fluent in Chinese mandarin language
· Proficient in business culture and the knowledge related to it
· Managing of the suppliers in china
· Streamline manufacturing process
· Experience in Quality controlling process
· Provides an experienced person in Audit as well as in Logistics
Services provided by China purchasing agent are：
Market research, Sourcing supplier/products, Samples confirmation, Price negotiation, Signing contract, customizing packing, Production follow-up, Raw materials quality control, shipping and logistics, Pre-shipment inspection, customs clearance.
Point 2: Why you need a sourcing agent to help you purchase products from China?
Sourcing from China can be a risky and complex business. Finding a reliable supplier is difficult. You can’t fully trust the information online, it is important to know the reality of the supplier.
If you’re buying from China you need eyes in China!
A good sourcing agent can help streamlining manufacturing processes. They can help you:
A. Consolidate all your communication
Typically, if you keep a running list of products you think have potential (in terms of your criteria), so you might have 5 things that could be interesting, but naturally, you need to get the shipping and unit costs.
That means Alibaba or other sourcing websites and endless emails to various suppliers. Every time you want to get price and delivery information for more than one product, you have days of back and forth to communicate with suppliers. Wasting lost of time!
Sourcing agent will help you solve this problem. When you have 3 products you think look good, you just drop links or images into WhatsApp and say: “RunSourcing, see what price you can get on a 100-200 unit order for these types of product.” Then the next day, you have your prices all in one place in one easy channel.
Sourcing agent will sourcing goods from different platforms and choose the best for you
B. Help you get a better price and lower MOQ
Some clients always start off with 100-200 units because they want to test a product, see how it behaves, get a feel for the specification and overall performance. China Sourcing agent can do is hit up the local supplier markets where factories sell off their surplus products, or other places that never even found by the Western buyers. Usually, these places only accept RMB, but you can just PayPal Sourcing agent the equivalent, and get the test items.
Not only that, you can get as little as 10 units if you want with no hassle and no risking extra money.
C. Help you get a competitive advantage
With lots of sellers jumping on Amazon, all using the exact same sourcing sites. And guess what? The source is getting corrupted and more expensive!
You might even have noticed suppliers adding things like “best seller on amazon” to their titles. Now think about that, do you really want to be using them? They’re probably selling on Amazon themselves too and good luck beating the supplier!
When you have someone on the ground, they know the places that most others sellers will never hear about because, they don’t speak Chinese. This absolutely gives you an advantage because they’ll usually be able to give you a better price too.
D. Quality inspection
on-site visiting factory and quality inspection
Most sellers die from bad product quality, everyone knew this is very important, so the Amazon, eBay sellers pay $500+ for product inspection.
If you have China agent to help you handle this process, it will save you lots of worries! China sourcing agent can help you check all the samples one by one, and move out the bad quality item, instead of shipping samples to your country only to find the quality problem, wasting money.
Besides, they will inspect bulk production before shipment, to ensure that the specifications are the same as the customer required. Especially for small sellers, it is not cost-effective to order a third party inspection company for the production quality control.
E. Combination Packages and shipping services
If you have ever requested multiple samples, you’ll know that it can get expensive when shipping. Well, when you have a sourcing agent, you can have all the samples sent to them. China agent usually will provide you 2 months warehouse for free, you can combine all the products and shipped to your country together, instead of shipping individually.
As Sourcing agents have cooperated with logistics companies or express company for a long time, they can send things out via air courier at decent rates. (for example, FedEx is just $5.20 per kg – which is decent). And logistics company will give priority to your goods. Shipping by the ocean or by air or other channels would regularly depend on the product category, weight, volume and shipping time request.
Moreover, your personal agent will provide you customs documents and let you know what compliance certification you will need for customs clearance. You don’t need to know anything about shipping or importing.
Point 3: How to identify a good sourcing agent (procurement agent)?
A lot of businesses need a helping hand when importing from China, as it is becoming the major manufacturer, due to its low price and improved quality. But the geographical distance, diversity of products, language barrier, and cultural differences pose a problem for most foreign buyers.
Thus, having a good China souring agent or buying agent is very important! Below tips for you to choose a good China agent:
A. Trustworthiness:Your reliable runner!
A buyer should note trustworthiness is the primary factor when it comes to the selection of a sourcing agent. If you work with a dishonest sourcing agent, you will never be aware that, your sourcing agent is actually ripping you off by secretly ask the supplier for hidden commission.
A professional sourcing agent will make their golden rule that no information about the supplier should be hidden or faked to the buyer, including number of employees, market performance, reputation, registration information, real business type, product original price, etc. All the communication and operation is 100% transparent and open.
B. Communication: Fluent English, High-efficiency: Your efficient runner!
As English is the international language of business, regardless of which Western country you come from, your China sourcing agent should have a good command of speaking English. They should also have good written English as many of your communications will be in email.
Besides, Time & Efficiency is everything! Professional skills and sensitive reaction, it can speed you up and get you ahead of your competitors. Your personal agent will provide you 24/7 services, whatsApp will always on online. If you have any questions they can help you solve immediately.
C. Product expertise
Knowledge about product and industry is a decisive factor. First, an insider has a much more comprehensive product expertise, which is required to understand what makes good quality (and price) for a certain product. Second, this may also speed up supplier sourcing and vetting procedures, as they can utilize an existing network of suppliers.
However, don’t expect to find an existing Procurement and Purchasing Agency for every single product out there. It is important for you to communicate your quality requirements and product specifications.
Very professional with hat
No matter looking for products or suppliers, a good purchasing agent should guarantee the quality.
The products provided must meet the needs and requirements of customers. Supplier verification and evaluation plays a very important role, sourcing agent also will provide you when start the sourcing.
Once a supplier is chosen by the buyer, sourcing agent should take the time to go to the factory in person to check the assembly lines, warehouse, quality control standards, etc and provide the latest information and analysis to the buyer with photos, meeting minutes, written reports for the client’s evaluation and decision-making.
Point 4: What benefits will you get if having an agent in China?
When importing products from China, it is invaluable to use an experienced sourcing agent rather than going it alone. You can clearly understand from below comparison:
A. Easy communication
1）It is difficult to convey your meaning to suppliers
2）Production problem, goods not match with description
3）Losing the power of negotiation
With China agent:
1）Not only proficient in their local dialect but also in English，translate your meaning very accurately
2）Strictly quality control, raw material inspection
3）Maintain a good relationship with suppliers that reduce the difficulty of negotiation
B. An able local representative
1）Don’t know China industry situation that lost so many opportunities
2）Higher cost to buy the poor material and products
3）Always locked in the price war, be crazy about sample testing, production follow-up etc
With China agent:
1）Timely reflect industry trends, put your interest first.
2）Get the best material and products on your behalf, know the market well.
3）Sourcing agent conducts fruitful price negotiations, sample approval and inspection of products to ensure that they are in perfect working conditions. Saving your time.
C. Great value for your money
1）Lack of knowledge of local industries and suppliers, Swindler can easily part you with your hard-earned money
2）Don’t have local guide, that travel and accommodation waste lost of money and time
3）Rely on the website to search for supplier, and trust the paid customer reviews. However the actual situation does not conform to the description of website
With China agent:
1）Sourcing agents have practically grown around the environment and has an intricate understanding of it.
2）Pick you up from airport and arrange everything for your stay in China
3) Eliminate this risk altogether, dealing with legitimate companies making high-quality products on your behalf; it is intricately easy for the agent to spot out scammers and tell them off.
D. Win more competitiveness
1）Shipping cost is expensive, all samples shipped out individual
2）A large number of products procurement, and the limited procurement platform. Wasting energy too much…and lose competitiveness among peers
3）Purchasing could not keep up with Amazon’s sales, and the stock shortage affected the listing ranking
With China agent:
1）Combine all samples together and one-time delivery by cost-effective delivery companies
2）Sourcing agents support various products purchased on multi-platform, 1688. taobao, Alibaba..
3）China sourcing agent can help you prepare products in advance in peak season to keep up your sales.
Point 5: How to find a sourcing agent in China?
A. Turn your product supplier into your sourcing agent
Some foreign customers have been purchased in China for many years, and they have establish a long-term friendly business relationship with suppliers. It is a big worry to get to know the new China agent again, and also difficult to maintain the relationship.
You can collaborate with your old supplier and convert him into your China sourcing agent. Firstly make sure that your supplier is reliable and trust-worthy, then you need to make sure they have the energy and staff to help you source products. If they are so busy with big orders that they ignore your request, it will be your disaster.
B. Search China sourcing agent(buying agent)on Internet
Open google or Bing and search “China sourcing agent”, then some companies who had this experience will leave a trace about it. Not all sourcing agents that appear on the Internet are trustworthy, so you have to review their expertise and evaluate them through their websites.
A good sourcing company must have professional purchasing ability and great knowledge of industry dynamics. RunSourcing company is your reliable, efficient, free, employed runner! Who has 5 years of Alibaba operation experience, and 15 years of purchasing experience.
Even if some companies have a lot of employees, but some of the employees are fresh graduates. what customers need is professional.
Alibaba assists buyers and exporters in finding and sourcing various products and China suppliers. Use Alibaba’s search bar to find products or agents is very convenient. Please use “China sourcing agent” and quickly found many pages of trading company.
You can contact with different sourcing agents one by one and compare them. It will waste your some time and energy, but you can get lots of resources. A good agent must be part of a trading company listed on Alibaba (so these are not individual freelancers – these are middlemen), Second, the company must have been a “gold supplier” for at least 3 years, they will have strong enough not to make a one-off business.
C. Social media
You should pay more attention to the basic social media to get more information.keep tabs on industry and competitor doings and expand your brand reach, include Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Some China agents will release information on the social medias to expand the publicity of their company. You can care it or search for a topic to see who is talking about it. Once you’ve identified some great leads, follow those people and the companies they work for, to make a connections. But before the cooperation, you’d better do a background checking for these companies, to make sure it is real and had the strength to help you.
D. Find China sourcing agent at trade shows
General trade shows include the famous Canton Fair, Global Sources& Home Show, Hong Kong fair and the Yiwu international fair.
Trade shows are a great opportunity to find the China sourcing agent. Many agents will not show all the information online, to protect themselves from their competition. However, if you meet with them face-to-face and can prove yourself to be a trustworthy buyer then they are willing to open up the mind and bring each other closer.
Start from today!
Sourcing various products and managing the complex supply chains is not possible for a seller.
You need to hire a sourcing agent in China in order to save your time for other strategic business decisions. Over the time you will see how helpful an Amazon sourcing agent can be when your online business is expanding.
If you have any problem or confusion after going through this article, just leave a comment.
If you have need any helps for the business, please give us a emails or call us at any time. We will try best to help you!