10 Misconceptions of Importing from China
This is our list of the TOP 10 Misconceptions of importing products from China:
These Top 10 misconceptions of importing from China are believed by both those sellers who have never sourced anything from Asia, as well as those seasoned importers who still have these ingrained in their heads.
10. The government will send an inspector and will block the goods if they are below a certain quality standard.
They won’t. They close some factories (a very small minority) from time to time, but they will not check if the products you buy from a supplier are acceptable in your country. If you want someone to help you with quality control, take the initiative and contact some Inspection companies.
9. All the companies listed on Alibaba or exhibiting at trade shows are manufacturers.
Wrong! I bet that most of the suppliers listed there don’t own manufacturing facilities. They are intermediaries, and many of them will claim to be manufacturers. This is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you are happy with your margin and quality and their communication is good it’s OK to work with the trading company.
8. The supplier we contacted told us they are ISO9001 certified by SGS, and they work for Disney. So we are safe if we buy from them.
ISO 9001 certifications don’t mean much in China — so ignore them. And customer references are cheap — they should be considered false until you have verified them yourself.
7. You do not need a sample. Trust us our quality is good.
Totally False, ALWAYS get a sample.
6. All we need is a good factory to act as our partner. They will see that their interest is to give us high quality at low prices.
It just doesn’t work that way. All importers ask their suppliers to make short-term concessions for mutual gain in the long term…and most of them disappoint their suppliers within the first two years of the relationship. So factories just say “yes sure, let’s work on this like two partners”, but they don’t believe a word of it.
5. All we need is a good agent who will find good suppliers and then follow up on our orders.
Some sourcing agents do a great job. But many of them should be avoided. They will often increase your prices by getting commissions from factories so be careful using sourcing agents.
4. Most companies that export from China are middlemen. Once we find one company that offers much lower prices, it means we have found the manufacturer.
Chances are, the price that is the lowest at the beginning won’t be low any more by the time you have wired a deposit (“raw materials are up, so we need to raise the price by 20%”). Or, even worse, you won’t hear from them again and they won’t ship anything to you. 💥💥Do not go for the lowest price without understanding why it is the lowest one.
3. We need to buy directly from factories, to save money.
If you place relatively small orders, you might be better served by a trading company. Small manufacturers generally are very disorganized and don’t have good English-speaking staff. And, in China, the reality is seldom black or white. Factories routinely sub-contract some of their orders. Some trading companies own shares of factories. Most factories only do one final operation, but most of the potential problems originate from the components they have purchased from a sub-supplier.
2. We can buy anything directly in China. It’s like a supermarket.
Wrong! You can buy almost anything, as long as:
(1) the order quantity is high enough, (2) some manufacturers have the capability to produce what you want to buy, and (3) these manufacturers are willing to sell it to you.
Do your research, but don’t assume anything.
1. Chinese factories already work for European and American customers. They know the market expectations. They will know the safety standards, the packaging requirements, etc. better than us.
Very few of them know the safety standards inside out. And, if you leave some specifications up to them, they will follow their cheapest solution…which is probably not in your interest.
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