Month: January 2018

Global Sourcing Success Guide

The Global Sourcing Success Guide: Unraveling the key factors for achieving sourcing excellence

In an increasingly interconnected world, businesses across industries are turning towards global sourcing as a means to stay competitive, reduce costs, and gain access to a wider range of suppliers and markets. However, sourcing success at a global scale is not without its challenges. To navigate the complexities and maximize the benefits of global sourcing, it is crucial for businesses to possess a comprehensive understanding of the key factors that contribute to success. In this guide, we will explore the essential components of the Global Sourcing Success Guide by Hope Sourcing, delving into the strategies, best practices, and potential pitfalls that businesses must navigate to drive successful global sourcing initiatives.

Chapter 1: Understanding Global Sourcing:

This chapter serves as an introduction to the concept of global sourcing, providing an overview of its benefits, challenges, and potential risks. It explores how advancements in technology and transportation have made global sourcing a viable strategy for businesses looking to expand their supply chains. Key topics covered include the impact of globalization on sourcing decisions, the role of cost and quality considerations, and the importance of supplier diversification.

Chapter 2: Preparing for Global Sourcing:

Before embarking on a global sourcing journey, proper preparation is essential. This chapter focuses on the critical preparatory steps businesses need to take to set themselves up for success. It covers aspects such as conducting market research, understanding cultural differences, assessing supplier capabilities, establishing clear objectives, and developing robust communication channels.

Chapter 3: Selecting the Right Suppliers:

Choosing the right suppliers is crucial in determining the success of global sourcing initiatives. This chapter explores the factors to consider when selecting suppliers, such as supply chain visibility, supplier capabilities, commitment to quality standards, and ethical practices. It also discusses the importance of conducting thorough due diligence, including site visits and supplier audits, to ensure alignment with business goals and values.

Chapter 4: Negotiation and Contracting:

Effective negotiation and contracting play a pivotal role in establishing mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers. This chapter provides insights into negotiation strategies, including determining the optimal pricing structure, establishing performance metrics, and implementing risk management mechanisms. It also highlights the legal and contractual considerations involved in international sourcing agreements to minimize potential conflicts and ensure compliance with local regulations.

Chapter 5: Building Strong Supplier Relationships:

Maintaining strong supplier relationships is essential to long-term sourcing success. This section focuses on relationship management strategies, including effective communication, collaboration, and regular performance evaluation. It explores the importance of building trust, transparency, and open lines of communication between buyers and suppliers, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership.

Chapter 6: Managing Risks:

Global sourcing inherently introduces various risks that businesses must be prepared to address. This chapter discusses the identification, assessment, and mitigation of risks associated with global sourcing, including geopolitical, economic, environmental, and logistical risks. It also emphasizes the importance of developing contingency plans and establishing robust supply chain resilience to ensure uninterrupted operations.

Chapter 7: Applying Technology and Analytics:

Leveraging technology and analytics can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of global sourcing initiatives. This section delves into the role of data analytics, supplier management software, and other digital tools in streamlining sourcing processes, improving decision-making, and identifying optimization opportunities. It also explores emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and Internet of Things (IoT) that have the potential to revolutionize global sourcing practices.

Chapter 8: Continuous Improvement and Adaptation:

Successful global sourcing is not a one-time effort; it requires ongoing improvement and adaptation. This chapter emphasizes the importance of continuous assessment, monitoring, and feedback loops to identify areas for improvement and adapt to evolving market dynamics. It also highlights the significance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation within the organization.


In conclusion, the Global Sourcing Success Guide by Hope Sourcing serves as a comprehensive resource for businesses looking to embark on successful global sourcing initiatives. By understanding the key factors discussed in each chapter, businesses can navigate the complexities of global sourcing, mitigate risks, capitalize on opportunities, and build strong and sustainable supply chains that drive success in the global marketplace. With the right knowledge, tools, and strategies at their disposal, businesses can unlock the full potential of global sourcing and gain a competitive advantage in today’s interconnected world.


Global Sourcing Success Guide: five-point strategy Tips

Global sourcing refers to the practice of companies seeking goods and services beyond their domestic borders. This may involve a shoe company manufacturing its products in Asia or a telemarketer conducting sales calls from New Delhi, India. The main advantage of global sourcing is the cost reduction achieved through lower labor and materials expenses. To ensure the success of your first global sourcing endeavor, consider the following five-point strategy:

Chapter 1. Source from a Country with Low Labor Costs and Good Quality Control:

By sourcing from countries with lower labor costs, companies can enjoy cost savings between 10-35%. While China used to be the go-to option for affordability and acceptable quality, other countries such as Korea, India, and Vietnam are now emerging as alternatives. It’s essential to consider the overall cost, including transportation expenses, to ensure the best price.

Chapter 2. Choose a Country that is Easy to Visit:

Building a relationship with a supplier that is located thousands of miles away may require frequent visits. These visits serve to monitor compliance with local regulations, verify workforce conditions, assess the market for potential threats, and ensure product specifications are met. It’s important to select a market that is easily accessible, affordable to visit regularly, and visitor-friendly. Consider long-term feasibility rather than short-term solutions.

Chapter 3. Source from a Country with a Language You Understand:

Effective communication is vital when dealing with global suppliers. It’s crucial to conduct business in a country where you can understand the language or have an employee who is proficient in the spoken language. Misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes and jeopardize the success of sourcing endeavors. Language proficiency ensures clear communication and attention to detail.

Chapter 4. Choose a Country that Respects and Enforces Laws:

If a country, like China, has a reputation for inadequate intellectual property protection, it may be wise to seek sourcing opportunities elsewhere. Opt for countries with clear laws, easy compliance measures, and robust enforcement mechanisms. For instance, countries like Vietnam, which are members of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), offer reliable legal frameworks for intellectual property protection.

Chapter 5. Establish Trust and Rapport with Business Partners:

Building trust and strong relationships with suppliers is crucial for successful global sourcing. Take the time to thoroughly know and understand the individuals you are doing business with. If you encounter trust issues or lack respect for your supplier contact, it may be necessary to re-evaluate the relationship. Trust is essential for long-term success and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Once you’ve found a reliable global sourcing partner, ask yourself if you are purchasing from the best supplier in terms of quality, price, and location. Confidence in the answers to these questions signifies you are on the right track.


Global Sourcing Success Guide: Sourcing Goods from China

Global sourcing has become increasingly popular, with China emerging as a prominent hub for businesses looking to procure goods at competitive prices. However, diving into the process of sourcing goods from China can be a daunting task for both seasoned professionals and newcomers. This guide aims to provide you with essential insights, strategies, and best practices to navigate the complex world of sourcing goods from China. By following these steps, you can optimize your global sourcing efforts and unlock success in your business.

Chapter 1.Understanding the Chinese Market

To effectively source goods from China, it is crucial to first understand the Chinese market. This section covers factors such as market size, consumer behavior, cultural nuances, and legal considerations. By grasping the intricacies of the market, you can tailor your sourcing strategy accordingly and make informed decisions.

Chapter 2.Identifying Product Opportunities

Finding the right products to source is a vital step in the process. This section explores various methods to identify product opportunities in China, including market research, product trends, and competitor analysis. It also discusses the importance of conducting due diligence to ensure that sourcing a particular product aligns with your business objectives.

Chapter 3.Finding Reliable Suppliers

One of the primary challenges in global sourcing is finding reliable suppliers. This section presents different sourcing channels, including trade shows, online platforms, and referrals. Additionally, it offers guidance on how to assess supplier credibility, negotiate favorable terms, and establish effective communication channels.

Chapter 4.Quality Control and Product Compliance

Ensuring the quality and compliance of sourced goods is imperative for maintaining customer satisfaction and adhering to regulatory standards. This section delves into quality control practices, including factory audits, pre-shipment inspections, and certifications. It also highlights the importance of understanding product compliance regulations to avoid potential legal complications.

Chapter 5.Managing Logistics and Shipping

Efficient logistics and shipping management are crucial for successful sourcing from China. This section covers key aspects such as freight forwarding, customs clearance, and transportation. It also provides insights on optimizing supply chain operations, reducing costs, and selecting appropriate shipping methods.

Chapter 6.Building Strong Supplier Relationships

Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with your suppliers is paramount for long-term success. This section offers strategies to foster collaboration, including effective communication, regular supplier reviews, and incentivizing suppliers. It emphasizes the importance of cultivating trust and transparency to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.

Chapter 7.Overcoming Challenges and Mitigating Risks

Sourcing goods from China comes with its fair share of challenges and risks. This section discusses common obstacles, such as language barriers, cultural differences, intellectual property concerns, and supply chain disruptions. By being prepared and implementing risk mitigation strategies, you can minimize potential issues.

Chapter 8.Continuously Optimizing Sourcing

Sourcing from China is an ongoing process, and continuous optimization is essential for sustained success. This section explores ways to improve your sourcing strategy, including regular market research, staying updated with industry trends, and exploring new sourcing channels. It also emphasizes the importance of adaptability and flexibility in responding to changing market dynamics.


Sourcing goods from China can be a profitable venture, provided you navigate the process with knowledge and careful planning. This comprehensive guide equips you with the essential insights and strategies to help you unlock global sourcing success. By understanding the Chinese market, identifying product opportunities, fostering strong supplier relationships, and continuously optimizing your sourcing efforts, you can confidently navigate the complexities of global sourcing and achieve your business objectives.


Approaching a Foreign Company For Importing

How do you approach a manufacturer in another country to let you import it to yours? Priority No. 1 is to select a product that is successful in its present domestic operation and has the look and feel of export potential (meaning everybody, everywhere —already loves it and is likely to continue doing so even in the United States). Priority No. 2 is to go to market with what you are familiar with.

Priority No. 3 is to view the potential of the product in front of you through the eyes of consumers in your import market of choice, in this instance, the United States.

That said, let’s say the manufacturer you are interested in makes more than 12 different styles of shoelaces. Which one should you import?  Easy.  The one that sells like hotcakes in his market. The one you love the best.  The one you know that customers in the United States will love the best. Try to choose one item that you can come close to providing an affirmative response for in regard to all of those statements! 

Next, script your communication to the manufacturer. You might want to also review Finding a Supplier for the Product You Want to Import.

Lastly, nothing beats a face-to-face encountering when you want to seal a deal on representation.  

Once you have gathered information on your prospective supplier’s product and reviewed the product for import readiness, you must convince the manufacturer that you are capable of importing the company’s shoelaces to your part of the world.

How do you go about it?

It goes like this: focus, explain, emphasize and stroke.

Focus on the target market. Give the manufacturer an introduction to the market conditions in an unknown country. This will intrigue him.
Explain how you do all the work and incur all the risks.
Emphasize that he will make most of the money from the transaction.

Stroke him by enumerating the benefits you can bring to his business by exploring other markets on his behalf.
Your goal is to get the manufacturer excited about the possibilities and to convince him that you’ve got the expertise to pull it off. It’s best to be prepared for a range of possible responses. Your follow-up exchange might go like this:

Importer: “Do you sell to the United States?”
Manufacturer: “Not yet.”
Importer: “Well, I think it’s a good market for your shoelaces – rich in upside potential! I’m in touch with several agents and distributors here who are looking for your type of shoelaces, and that means fast, hassle-free additional business for you!”
Manufacturer: “Sounds great! How do we get started?”

In this instance, you’re breaking totally new ground for him, so you can offer him your strategy as to how to get started. But you might find yourself dealing with a manufacturer who already has some international operations in place. If you want to get in on that action, you must convince the person you’re dealing with that you are flexible, cooperative and interested primarily in generating additional business for him. Here’s how you might work such a situation to your advantage:

Importer: “I have contacts in the United States. May I offer your products there?
Manufacturer: “We already do business there.”
Importer: “On an exclusive basis?”
Manufacturer: “No, but we are open to expanding our business there.”
Importer: “I sell through importing distributors who service the discount chain stores. Does that differ from your present customer base?”
Manufacturer: “Yes. Right now we sell only to small mom-and-pop retail outlets that are serviced by a local trading company.”
Importer: “If I generate reasonable business within a few months, will you allow me exclusivity in United States on all discount chain store business?”
Manufacturer: “If I see you generate the sales, I’ll have no problem giving you exclusivity.”
Importer: “Fair enough! I am confident that I can generate the sales you’ll want to see in six months.

At that point, if it is acceptable to you, I would like to meet with you to work up an agreement protecting my efforts.”
Manufacturer: “Fine. In the meantime, let’s get some idea of what you need to get started.”

That’s all there is to it. Now that you have gone to the trouble of finding a product to import, shoelaces, and proving to a manufacturer you can import it, it’s time to consider whether you need a written agreement as to how you will do business with the company. We’ll discuss that in a future article.

How to Find a Supplier for the Product You Want To Import

Importing products can be a lucrative business venture, but it all starts with finding a reliable and trustworthy supplier. This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the process of finding a supplier for the product you want to import. By following these steps, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify reliable suppliers, negotiate favorable terms, and build lasting partnerships that can drive your import business to new heights, you will be on your way to establishing a successful import business.

1. Determine your product requirements:

Before embarking on the supplier search, it is important to clearly define your product requirements. This includes the specific features, specifications, quality standards, and any other essential criteria necessary for your product. Having a clear understanding of what you are looking for will help guide your search and ensure you find the right supplier.

1.1 Identify the product: Determine the product you wish to import, considering factors such as market demand, profitability, and potential competition.

1.2 Define quality standards: Establish specifications and quality requirements to ensure the supplier can meet your expectations and match the needs of your target market.

1.3 Determine quantities: Calculate the estimated volume of the product you plan to import, considering market demand and your financial capabilities.

2. Research potential suppliers:

Begin your search for suppliers by conducting thorough research. The internet is a valuable resource, enabling you to identify potential suppliers by using search engines, B2B platforms, trade directories, and online marketplaces. Additionally, attending trade shows, exhibitions, and industry conferences can prove to be effective in finding suppliers who specialize in your desired product niche.

2.1 Utilize online directories and platforms: Explore reliable platforms and directories specific to your industry, such as Google, and, to find potential suppliers.

2.2 Attend international trade shows: Attend exhibitions and trade shows related to your product to meet suppliers face-to-face, build relationships, and assess the quality of their offerings.

2.3 Seek recommendations: Engage with industry professionals, local trade associations, and online forums to gather valuable insights and recommendations on trustworthy suppliers.

2.4 Verify supplier credibility: Conduct a background check on potential suppliers, including verifying their business registration, financial stability, and reputation among other buyers.

3. Evaluate supplier credibility:

Once you have identified potential suppliers, it is crucial to assess their credibility. Look for industry certifications, licenses, and affiliations that demonstrate their commitment to quality and compliance. Verify their legitimacy by checking if they have a physical address, contact information, and a professional website. Furthermore, researching their reputation and online reviews can provide insights into their past performance and customer satisfaction level.

3.1 Initial contact: Reach out to suppliers and evaluate their responsiveness, communication skills, and willingness to engage in detailed discussions about your specific needs.

3.2 Sample evaluation: Request product samples from shortlisted suppliers to assess their quality, packaging, and conformity to your specifications.

3.3 Evaluate production capabilities: Understand the supplier’s production capacity, lead times, and ability to scale production in the future if required.

3.4 Inquire about certifications and compliance: Determine whether potential suppliers adhere to product safety regulations, quality certifications, and ethical standards in their production processes.

4. Assess supplier capabilities:

Understanding a supplier’s capabilities is essential to ensure they are able to meet your product demands. Evaluate their production capacity, manufacturing facilities, and their ability to meet your required quality standards. Inquire about their production lead times, order quantities, and any other factors that are crucial to your business operations. Make sure their capabilities align with your business needs to avoid any potential issues in the future.

4.1 Request detailed quotations: Seek detailed quotations from shortlisted suppliers that include pricing, payment terms, shipping options, and any additional costs such as customs duties or inspections.

4.2 Assess value for money: Consider not only the price but also the overall value provided, including product quality, additional services, and post-sales support.

4.3 Negotiate terms and conditions: Initiate negotiations to secure favorable terms, such as pricing discounts, exclusive rights, minimum order quantities, and customizable packaging options.

4.4 Draft and sign a contract: Once an agreement is reached, formalize the terms and conditions in a written contract that clearly outlines the responsibilities of both parties to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes.

5. Request product samples:

Before finalizing a supplier, it is advisable to request product samples. This will enable you to evaluate the quality of their products firsthand, ensuring they meet your expectations. Pay attention to the product’s durability, functionality, and overall quality. It is also a good idea to compare samples from multiple suppliers to make an informed decision.

6. Understand pricing and payment terms:

Negotiating pricing and payment terms is a crucial aspect of any supplier agreement. Seek clarification on the supplier’s pricing structure, including any discounts for bulk orders. Inquire about the payment methods they accept and whether they offer credit terms or require upfront payment. Understanding these aspects will aid in determining the feasibility and profitability of importing the desired product.

7. Communicate effectively:

Effective communication with potential suppliers is essential throughout the selection process. Promptly respond to their queries, and ask relevant questions to clarify any doubts you may have. Establishing an open line of communication from the outset will help build a strong business relationship based on trust and reliability.

7.1 Foster communication and transparency: Establish open lines of communication with your chosen supplier, emphasizing clarity in expectations, ongoing support, and regular updates about changes or challenges.

7.2 Arrange payment terms: Establish secure and mutually beneficial payment arrangements to mitigate any financial risks for both parties.

7.3 Monitor performance and quality: Implement mechanisms to monitor and assess the supplier’s overall performance, including quality control, on-time delivery, and customer satisfaction.

7.4 Establish a long-term partnership: Consider working towards building a long-term relationship with reliable suppliers to ensure consistent quality and access to potential future opportunities.

8. Visit the supplier’s premises:

If possible, consider visiting the supplier’s premises to gain firsthand knowledge of their operations. A physical visit can provide insights into their manufacturing processes, quality control measures, and overall working environment. Additionally, meeting the supplier in person allows for deeper discussions and negotiations, further bolstering the relationship.

8.1 Schedule on-site visits: Arrange visits to the premises of potential suppliers to evaluate their facilities, production processes, and quality control measures firsthand.

8.2 Assess production capabilities and capacity: Observe the supplier’s ability to meet your quality standards, gauge workforce expertise, and assess whether they have the necessary technology and equipment to fulfill your requirements.

8.3 Meet key personnel: Engage with key decision-makers and relevant staff to develop a deeper understanding of the supplier’s commitment, expertise, and long-term vision.

9. Request references and testimonials:

To gain a better understanding of a supplier’s track record, request references and testimonials from their existing or previous clients. This will provide you with valuable insights into their reliability, customer service, and overall satisfaction levels. It is advisable to contact these references directly to gather honest feedback about their experience working with the supplier.

10. Negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement:

Once you have evaluated all the necessary aspects and are satisfied with a particular supplier, it is time to negotiate an agreement. This agreement should outline all the terms and conditions, pricing, warranty, delivery schedules, and any other important details. It is recommended to involve legal counsel to ensure the agreement is comprehensive and protects your interests.

Sourcing a reliable supplier for your import business is a critical step towards success. By following these comprehensive steps, you can ensure an efficient and effective search for a supplier that meets your product requirements, quality standards, and business goals. Remember, thorough research, effective communication, and diligent evaluation are key to finding a trusted partner who can provide you with the products you need to compete in the global marketplace. Building long-term relationships with suppliers that align with your business values will help you establish a strong supply chain, enabling you to import products with confidence and unlock the potential for growth and profitability in your import business.


Finding a supplier for importing products is a critical step in establishing a successful import business. By following these steps, you will be better equipped to identify reliable suppliers who can meet your product requirements, quality standards, and business needs. Remember, conducting thorough research, evaluating credibility, and communicating effectively will help you build strong and lasting relationships with your suppliers, ensuring the success of your import venture.

How to Choose the Right China Sourcing Agent or Buy Wholesale from China

How to Choose the Right China Sourcing Agent or Buy Wholesale from China 

How to Choose the Right China Sourcing Agent or Buy Wholesale from China can be pretty a tasking job in particular if it is your first time. It requires ample training as it is time-consuming and a lot of assets are worried (monetary resources). So, to ease this undertaking one wants a China buying agent to characterize him in the actual market and be in a position to get the proper merchandise at the satisfactory manufacturing unit prices.

There are a handful of these sourcing retailers and every declare to be the pleasant in the business. However, for the reason that there are no set requirements to measure the stage of every agent, it is upon the importer to use exceptional techniques and potential to confirm their authenticity and effectivity earlier than you set up any formal work relation.

When selecting a China sourcing agent think about the following six-point verification technique to assist get the excellent who serves your desires as distinct clients have specific wishes to fulfil.

1. Make inquiries and request them to furnish you with their enterprise registration permit, criminal compliance file and their export license in China, affirm their authenticity with the neighborhood change authorities or with 0.33 birthday celebration companies.

2. Trust is the key to any robust work relation, ask the China sourcing agent in query to furnish you with at least 5 consumer reference from your region of import.

3. Let the sourcing agent give an explanation for their safety measures in case of any kickbacks from the suppliers bearing in thought that ‘kickbacks’ is a managerial challenge.

4. Choose sourcing retailers relying on the consumer need. Some china sourcing marketers will provide unique offerings over others. For instance, some sourcing dealers will no longer grant re-branding offerings and associated services.

5. Identify china sourcing sellers who are professionals in a precise type of product as they are very accurate at what they specialize in.

For instance, ‘Foshan sourcing agents’ are professionals in constructing substances and ceramics and most instances are positioned close to the manufacturing industries of your product cluster as a result lowering the value of transportation and are greater probably assist out must some thing go incorrect at some stage in production.

6. After figuring out your sourcing agent, put the agent into a take a look at with a small order to verify the skillability of his services, by no means throw in a full-size sum into your first order till you can develop some self belief with your sourcing agent.

Feel free to pose any different expert questions regarding the offerings they offer. If the above factors are totally satisfying, then you can relaxation certain you have the fine China sourcing agent.

How do sourcing businesses cost for their services?

The prices worried relies upon on the assignment at hand. However, sourcing businesses used to base their costs on a fee for the remaining order value. These days most china sourcing retailers have adopted a constant pricing strategy.

What type of offerings can you get from a Chinese sourcing agent?

When conducting a China sourcing agent ability you anticipate to get some offerings back. Some offerings accessible include;

● Product sourcing and pattern consolidation

● Procurement brain and procurement outsourcing

● Supplier lookup and contract negotiation

● Supervised manufacturing in China manufacturing facility and rebranding

● Quality manipulate and fine inspection

● Logistics and shipping

● Product evolution and dispute management

What is the minimal order extent ‘MOQ’ a sourcing agent in China can process?

The minimal order volume ‘MOQ’ of any product is calculated relying on the manufacturing unit or dealer requirements, and they vary. However, China sourcing marketers may additionally select to have their ‘MOQ’ involving the economic fee or the minimal quantity of items one can order at any given time.

For instance, a China sourcing agent may additionally have the ‘MOQ’ for product X as $500, while a distinctive sourcing agent might also have the ‘MOQ’ for the identical product as one hundred portions and every piece value $2, consequently translating to $200. The MOQ is now not steady and is variant with one-of-a-kind sourcing agents.

Can you assist me get a dependable Yiwu shopping for agent?

This is pretty easy, and yes. simply like when looking out for any different china sourcing agent, you need to have a precise product in mind.

I believe, ‘promotional merchandise’, as Yiwu is the most enormous world market for ‘inexpensive products.’ The system ought to be:

Ø Choose a phrase extra like ‘Yiwu shopping for agent’ on the search engine.

Ø Pick at least eight sourcing marketers inside the 5 districts of Yiwu or at least have an workplace there.

Ø Make an effort to contact them and time table an appointment thru a video name or any different ability like Skype.

Ø Then after figuring out a few, strive to habits thorough lookup on the offerings they provide relying on your needs.

Can you advocate a Guangzhou, sourcing agent?

Guangzhou is bright with severa sourcing sellers like; Imex sourcing services, Asiaction sourcing, and vitasin to clip on a few. ‘Foshan sourcing’ is amongst these with a legitimate foundation. However, you would like to seem to be even nearer as there are masses of them.

Do sourcing marketers in China furnish logistics and transport support?
Once they acquire a product, most china sourcing agents’ associate with freight forwarding organizations who provide logistics and different comparable services; however, most of these marketers have logistics and delivery help inclusive in their complete package deal as soon as you have interaction them.

Buying wholesale from China is pretty a system and time-consuming. However, this assignment can be effortless and exciting with resource from over fifty china sourcing marketers and suppliers.

The Reasons Why You Need A China Sourcing Agent

Basically, the main feature of a China sourcing agent is to supply and become aware of in shape suppliers primarily based on the technical standards, and character purchaser requirements. The technique of finding out a provider is no longer easy. However, with the assist of expert China wholesale sourcing suppliers, it can be a lot less complicated for a beginner to begin purchasing.

✱ Competitive Price

Believe it or not, most China sourcing dealers may additionally assist you get a a whole lot higher charge towards your own. Why? Because they can collect portions from unique clients collectively to ask for more cost effective charge from the producers and suppliers, and in lesser time as a consequence saving the client time and money.

✱ Quality Control

Most sourcing agent in China are expert in product sampling, manufacturing facility audit and mass manufacturing inspection. They are well-educated how to supply items at certified standard. Hence, limit the hazard of discovering terrible first-rate wholesale suppliers throughout purchasing.

✱ Wide Range of Products Availablity

Different from Chinese wholesale factories who can solely supply restrained product range, with the assist of a China sourcing agent, you will without difficulty get get right of entry to to the contemporary items and apprehend the market style due to the fact they are managing hundreds of merchandise in a whole.

✱ Shipping and Logistics Assist

The Chinese wholesale sourcing businesses additionally cowl the logistics strategies involved, provider verification, warehousing and act as a hyperlink between the patron and the dealer in China.

Generally, they assist the patron perceive real healthy suppliers based totally on patron desires accordingly informing the patron on the tariffs, taxes and any import/export adjustments involve.

To sum up, China sourcing agents assist you a lot on furnish chain management.

How to Develop and Price a New Product for the Global Marketplace

Have a new product idea that shocked the world? what are you waiting for? When developing and pricing new products overseas, the first step should be to check whether similar products already exist on the market and what the prices are. If there are similar products, check out how to differentiate your ideas and use the prices of competing products as a starting point. This is needed to bring products to market and price them fairly.

Let me first sketch that many people sourcing products from abroad will be relevant. like this

You want to launch a good idea on the market: large, durable, lightweight high-style eco-friendly canvas tote bag with waterproof function, adjustable shoulder straps, which can be adjusted according to your comfort, and has multiple internal and external Pocket and can hold baby items and computer equipment at the same time. For user convenience, the bag will include a replacement pad, a tablet pouch, a smartphone case and a laptop case.

With a pencil in your hand, you can draft your idea on paper and prepare it for submission to a potential supplier who can make your product meet specifications. At the same time, you tore off photos from magazines, newspapers and catalogs that look similar to your tote bag style. In addition, you have captured website screenshots of some products that capture the essence of your idea, or combine parts of your idea (baby tote and computer gear tote) or almost all components (color canvas tote )combine it all toghther.

Congratulations! You are ready to show your ideas to the supplier! You are ready to draw sketches, photos and screenshots in a neat and organized way. But wait. You forgot to consider the price. What price are you looking for on this product? What price does the market offer for your products-retail price is $ 25, $ 35 or $ 60 (excluding shipping) of course?

Once you’ve identified a reasonable retail price point, step back from there to see what price you need from your supplier when importing your product. Assume that based on the initial 1,000-bag order, the price per bag is approximately $ 5. Then, when you take into account taxes, duties, customs clearance, transportation and insurance, its landing price (ie home delivery) is $ 11 per bag. This way, your profit per bag is between $ 14 and $ 59. But wait. There is more to consider.

After you import the bags, you must store them somewhere, unless you think you can temporarily store 1,000 bags in the basement. However, if the number of imports is large, you must set up a warehouse, order boxes for luggage, establish a direct transportation process (when someone orders luggage, they must be shipped in stages), and a transportation method. All these steps add extra cost to the product. So now that you’ve deducted an additional $ 7 from the cost of $ 11 per bag to cover all other incidental but significant costs associated with bringing the bag to the customer, you now have a cost of $ 18 per bag. Yes, fortunately, you can still make money. Oh, who will sell the product once it is available on the market?

This is an additional cost for you and others. Now your fees are up to $ 20 per bag, including sales costs, and depending on the retail price, your profit will range between $ 5 and $ 39 per bag. Other factors to consider: Are you going to sell business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C)? If you sell B2B, the retailer selling the tote will add a high markup (its profit) to your price, making the retail price higher. By selling B2C, you can keep your profits steady and maintain most of your profits, but you will most likely end up selling a small number of bags because you sell one bag at a time instead of selling a bunch of tote bags to a retailer for resale.

Now that you’ve considered pricing and profit, you can start purchasing products and eagerly waiting for product samples.

I will cover these two key steps more fully in another article. Be careful!

Request for Proposal (RFP) and for Quotation (RFQ)

Now that you have analyzed your business requirements and completed your vendor search, you are ready to start the meat-and-potatoes of the vendor selection process. A well-written Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quotation (RFQ) is the key for selecting the best vendor at the best value for your company. Writing a RFP or RFQ is not difficult if you understand the objectives and function of the document.

Decide: Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation
Request for Proposal (RFP)
An RFP is used for services or complex products where quality, service or the engineered final product will be different from each vendor that is responding.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)
An RFQ is used for commodities, simple services or straightforward/uncomplicated parts with little or no room for product or service differentiation between responding vendors. Negotiation points could include delivery schedules, packaging options, etc.

Objectives of a RFP or RFQ
Obtain detailed proposals in order to evaluate each vendors’ response so that the best interests of your company are met on all fronts
Leverage the competitive nature of the vendor selection process to negotiate the best possible deal
Ensure that the interests of all stakeholders within your company will be met and a consensus reached
Puts your company in control of the entire vendor selection process and sets the selection rules up front
Starts building the partnership between you and the vendor right from the start
Sections of the Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation
The RFP or RFQ should contain the following sections. Keep in mind, that each document will be different depending upon the type of company and product you are searching for.

Tailor each section for your individual needs.

Submission Details
Deadlines, mailing address of your company, contact person for questions and clarifications
Introduction and Executive Summary
Write this section last after the entire document is finished. This is used to provide prospective vendors with a brief overview of your company and the requirements for your product or service.
Business Overview & Background
Give a brief overview of your business, products and market sector that you cater to. This will help your prospective vendors understand what business needs you are trying to fill with the vendor selection process. Also, provide important background information that will benefit the vendor when responding.
Detailed Specifications
This should be the longest section of the document. For an RFP, it will contain the qualitative measures and requirements that will drive the vendor selection decision. For an RFQ this section should provide the quantitative measures that you will be looking for in the vendor’s response. Example criterion includes:
Product drawings
Engineering tolerances
Service levels
Deliverables & Timelines
Technical or Business Requirements
Software functionality
Hardware requirements


Assumptions & Constraints
Any assumptions and/or constraints that the prospective vendors need to be made aware of must be listed here. Failure to be forthright and upfront with the vendor will open the door to renegotiation of the agreement at a later date and runs the possibility of straining the relationship you have with your vendor. Possible topics include travel expenses, upgrade/modification costs, licensing rights, etc.
Terms and Conditions
Any terms and conditions of the contract must be listed in order for the vendor to make a fair and honest response. These may include financing options, contract length, renewal options, warranties, delivery penalties, service levels, etc.
Selection Criteria
The final section should be an overview of the selection criteria that you will be using to make your decision. Some companies prefer to keep this information totally confidential; while other companies believe this will help prospective vendors focus on what is important to your company.
Distribute the RFP/RFQ to Selected Vendors
Finally, compose a cover letter and send two copies of your RFP or RFQ to each of the vendors that you selected from your search process. Make sure that appropriate contact information is included in order to provide assistance to any vendor that needs it.

6 Step Vendor Selection Process

The vendor selection process can be a very complicated and emotional undertaking if you don’t know how to approach it from the very start. Here are five steps to help you select the right vendor for your business. This guide will show you how to analyze your business requirements, search for prospective vendors, lead the team in selecting the winning vendor and provide you with insight on contract negotiations and avoid negotiation mistakes.

Analyze the Business Requirements
Before you begin to gather data or perform interviews, assemble a team of people who have a vested interest in this particular vendor selection process. The first task that the vendor selection team needs accomplish is to define, in writing, the product, material or service that you are searching for a vendor. Next, define the technical and business requirements. Also, define the vendor requirements. Finally, publish your document to the areas relevant to this vendor selection process and seek their input. Have the team analyze the comments and create a final document. In summary:

Assemble an Evaluation Team
Define the Product, Material or Service
Define the Technical and Business Requirements
Define the Vendor Requirements
Publish a Requirements Document for Approval
Vendor Search
Now that you have agreement on the business and vendor requirements, the team now must start to search for possible vendors that will be able to deliver the material, product or service.

The larger the scope of the vendor selection process the more vendors you should put on the table. Of course, not all vendors will meet your minimum requirements and the team will have to decide which vendors you will seek more information from. Next, write a Request for Information (RFI) and send it to the selected vendors.

Finally, evaluate their responses and select a small number of vendors that will make the “Short List” and move on to the next round. In summary:

Compile a List of Possible Vendors
Select Vendors to Request More Information From
Write a Request for Information (RFI)
Evaluate Responses and Create a “Short List” of Vendors
Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Quotation (RFQ)
The business requirements are defined and you have a short list of vendors that you want to evaluate. It is now time to write a Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation. Whichever format you decide, your RFP or RFQ should contain the following sections:

Submission Details
Introduction and Executive Summary
Business Overview and Background
Detailed Specifications
Assumptions and Constraints
Terms and Conditions
Selection Criteria
Proposal Evaluation and Vendor Selection
The main objective of this phase is to minimize human emotion and political positioning in order to arrive at a decision that is in the best interest of the company. Be thorough in your investigation, seek input from all stakeholders and use the following methodology to lead the team to a unified vendor selection decision:

Preliminary Review of All Vendor Proposals

Record Business Requirements and Vendor Requirements
Assign Importance Value for Each Requirement
Assign a Performance Value for Each Requirement
Calculate a Total Performance Score
Select the Winning Vendor
Contract Negotiation Strategies
The final stage in the vendor selection process is developing a contract negotiation strategy. Remember, you want to “partner” with your vendor and not “take them to the cleaners.” Review your objectives for your contract negotiation and plan for the negotiations be covering the following items:

List Rank Your Priorities Along With Alternatives
Know the Difference Between What You Need and What You Want
Know Your Bottom Line So You Know When to Walk Away
Define Any Time Constraints and Benchmarks
Assess Potential Liabilities and Risks
Confidentiality, non-compete, dispute resolution, changes in requirements
Do the Same for Your Vendor (i.e. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes)
Contract Negotiation Mistakes
The smallest mistake can kill an otherwise productive contract negotiation process. Avoid contract negotiation mistakes and avoid jeopardizing an otherwise productive contract negotiation process

Introduction to Outsourcing

Outsourcing has seen a lot of press over the years. Some look to outsourcing as the savior of their company, while others see outsourcing as an evil, job-killing management tactic. Before you start to evaluate if an outsourcing strategy is right for your company, you need to understand what it is and what it is not.

Outsourcing Defined
Outsourcing is the contracting out of any task, operation, job or process that was originally performed by employees within your company to a third party for a significant period of time.

These outsourced functions can be performed by the third party on-site or off-site. Hiring a temporary employee while your secretary is on maternity leave is not outsourcing.

The most common story of outsourcing in the news today involves jobs that are sent overseas to countries like India or China—often manufacturing jobs, but outsourcing is not limited to this sector. It is more commonly called offshoring. Examples include customer service and tech support call center jobs, as well as computer programming jobs. Examples of jobs that are generally safe from being moved overseas are janitorial services and security services, though completely outsourcing a department or division of a company may remove the need for these jobs in that location so that they can be eliminated.

Why Outsourcing?
There are many reasons why a company may choose to outsource a particular function of their business, which may include:

Resource Shortages
A particularly strong reason to outsource involves a shortage of a critical resource. This can be available employees that possess knowledge in a certain area (e.g., engineers), the availability of raw material (e.g., petroleum or minerals) and an available labor force that possesses a necessary level of expertise at the right price.

Realignment with Core Business
Some peripheral operations are outsourced frequently. It gives the managers the ability to concentrate on the core business issues instead of devoting resources to areas that may be necessary but are not related to the business’ core competencies. A good example is a major hospital that outsources its security operations to an outside company that specializes in security.

Cost Savings
The prices of labor and/or materials keep increasing, and competition keeps forcing prices lower. If there is an outsourcing solution that can save your company money and overcomes the disadvantages of outsourcing, these areas should be investigated.

Business Flexibility
Seasonal or cyclical demands that ebb-and-flow put varying demands on the resources of the company. An outsourcing contract could provide the flexibility needed to stabilize these varying demands. Example: A business brings in extra accountants during tax season and when being audited by the holding company that owns the business.

Reduced Overhead Costs
Some functions require a large outlay of money just to get started. This expenditure could be avoided by contracting with a third party. For example, outsourcing a call center rather than undertaking a costly expansion to the telephone system and office space to meet increasing customer service demands.

Common Outsourced Areas
Although many areas and functions are outsourced, here are some of the frequently outsourced areas:

Information Technology Functions
Network and Telecommunications
Human Resources and Insurance Administration

Things to Know Before Starting an Import/Export Business

I hope I am not dreaming. I heard you have a great product ready to import or export, now all you need to do is get it in the hands of a few good customers, and you are off to international trade nirvana. Wait, not so fast. How do you know the product will sell? Will you make money selling it? How should you price the product? All importers and exporters must face these questions at some point if they want to achieve success in the global marketplace.

Here are a few solutions to guide you in the process.

Have a Quality Product or Service
Start with a product or service that you know will sell—if not everywhere, at least somewhere. You will improve your odds of picking a winner if you cultivate a knack for tracking trends, spotting potential trends or even creating game-changing trends. Remember the popular line of stuffed animals called Beanie Babies (as shown), or the Cabbage Patch dolls? Had you realized those products’ export potential early on before they became best-selling products, you would have made yourself a millionaire four times over in a very short period. The same holds true for Japan’s Hello Kitty line of products, which is based on a fictional character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio in 1974. Had you found that product early on and asked for exclusivity from Sanrio to market it in the United States, your company name would be mentioned here as a success story.

That’s the kind of foresight needed to pick import and export winners.

Track Your Financials
No matter what form of business you run, you don’t want to wait until you get to the end of your calendar year to find out where you stand in terms of profit and loss. It’s best to prepare monthly financial—income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements—as you go.

If you haven’t made a sale yet, you are probably asking yourself at this point why you need to keep these detailed financial records. It’s simple: Even though you may have minimal sales, or none at all, in the first few months, you are still spending money. You have expenses. And sooner or later, every business needs working capital to grow.

Another situation that requires monitoring expenses would be one in which, after running your company for a few months, you decide to go to a bank for a loan to help grow your business. Before the bank decides if you’re a good credit prospect, it needs to see some details on your company’s financial history—namely, your year-to-date sales, expenses, profit-and-loss statement, preferably prepared by your CPA or a reputable accounting organization. This not only helps you control costs but also tells you at a glance if you are making money or losing it and where adjustments need to be made.

Develop Competitive Pricing
Whether you are importing or exporting, you must develop competitive pricing that includes your profit margin or commission, whatever the case may be. Consider the following criteria to determine just how high or low you can go on your markup:

•    Uniqueness: Are you first to market—then price higher.
•    Quality: Is the product quality upscale or marginal—price accordingly.
•    Your cost: If it’s high, keep your markup low.
•    Newness: Price higher on newer and lower on established.
•    Customer contact: Did the customer ask for your product or did you approach the customer?
•    Product Positioning: Place it in the best light to determine the price at which you will be able to sell it.
•    Direct: You can afford a higher profit margin.
•    Competition: Price to play (compete) in the global game.
•    Government policies: Can have a direct and indirect impact on pricing policies.
•    Are you associated with an internationally known celebrity? Consider yourself fortunate to be working with a celebrity, and go for the higher price.

Quality In The Purchasing Process – Optimized Supply Chain Impact

Quality is an important part of the supply chain, whether it is quality inspections during the manufacturing process, quality checks before goods arrive at the customer, or checking the quality as raw materials and parts enter the factory.

Before any part or raw material is used in a manufacturer of a finished good that will be delivered to a customer, it is the responsibility of the purchasing department to ensure that the materials that arrive are of the correct quality specification.

Quality in the Purchasing Process
When the purchasing department is looking at the procurement of materials from suppliers they will have been given some guidance by the manufacturing department, research, and development, or the quality department.

This should include a variety of information about the item to be sourced, such as:

Physical description
Dimensional measurements
Chemical composition
Performance specifications
Industrial standards
Brand name 
Physical Description 
The purchasing department must know the physical attributes of the part they are required to source.

For example, if the required material must be made of a certain shade of a blue, then the purchasing department must be able to communicate that requirement to the potential suppliers to ensure that the specification can be met.

Chemical Composition 
This is very important for sourced materials that are used in the chemical process.

The quality department should give the purchasing team a detailed list of chemical specifications of the required material.  This should include a list of characteristics and specifications that the materials should conform to, as well as the ranges that the materials must lie within.

For example, a sourced chemical may be required to have a pH of between 5.6 and 5.9; otherwise, the material would not be suitable for the manufacturing processes.

Dimensional Measurements
For a part to be used in the manufacturer of a machine the part must conform to certain dimensional specifications.

For example, if the manufacture of a finished item required the use of a Pentalobe TS1 screw with a length of 4mm, then the supplier must be able to produce the item in that correct size.

Performance Specifications 
If a part is required to withstand certain forces or perform in a particular manner, the purchasing department must find a supplier that can achieve those specifications.

For example, on a household item such as a washing machine, the rubber belt that is used must be bale to withstand certain forces and not fail within a certain number of revolutions.  This quality measurement is key for a business if they are to produce finished goods that are reliable in the eyes of their customers.  Therefore, it is important for the purchasing department to find suppliers who can provide parts that meet quality specifications.

Industrial Standards
Some parts required in the production of finished goods must conform to certain industry standards.

These standards are set by a number of trade or industry groups who try to maintain a certain level of quality.

 By having an item that conforms to a particular industry standard, the customer will have a level of confidence in the product.

There are a number of industry standards that are used, such as Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.  The society has hundreds of standards that relate to different technical aspects of manufacturing.

Brand Name
Sometimes the quality department or development team will inform the purchasing department to only source a particular brand name.

This may be due to the specific nature of the part made by one company or the level of quality it has over competitors.

The quality of the parts and raw materials that are used by a company makes a difference to the finished products that are sold to their customers.


By ensuring that the purchased parts are of a specific quality, as defined by the development, manufacturing, or quality departments, the purchasing department is ensuring that the quality of the finished goods is maintained.

Learn Some Great Ways to Save Money Importing

Got a great product idea? Then get ready to source and import it. The whole point of importing is to broaden your selection of suppliers worldwide, lower prices and increase profit margins, all part of a global strategy to become a competitive force in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at how to do that.

Order It on the Cheap.
Let’s say you ask a United States manufacturer to make hammers for you to complement your already existing line of hardware products; they cost $1/unit based on a minimum order of 10,000 units.

You ask a manufacturer in Korea to make the same hammer and it’s 25 cents a unit based on a minimum order of 5,000 units.

Even after adding transportation, your markup, tariffs, duties, exchange rates, and insurance fees to your price, you will still net a cheaper price per unit going with the Korean supplier versus the U.S. supplier. Shop around. This may not always be the case, but you’d be surprised at how manufacturers in countries with low labor costs can produce goods at remarkably cheap prices. And the quality is acceptable provided you keep your eye on it.

Buy Large Quantities to Keep Your Transportation Cost Down
There is a huge difference between ordering 1,000 units versus 10,000, and it’s not just in the number. It’s also in the freight savings. Say it costs $500 to ship 1,000 hammers, or $.50/unit. From the same manufacturer, to ship 10,000 units, its $700, or $.07/unit. It pays to negotiate larger orders to save money on freight costs.

Oftentimes, the price per unit also goes down when you order larger quantities.

Import From a Country Close to Yours to Save on Transportation Costs
Are you based in the United States? Then think about importing from Mexico or Canada. The proximity shortens the transportation route, reduces the freight expense and allows for faster deliveries.

Plus, NAFTA offers some nice international trade incentives.

Purchase the Same Product in Different Colors
On those hammers, most likely you will pay a one-time investment for the design and the manufacturing mold to produce it. Ask your supplier to make it in five different colors. Spread the investment over many SKUs (standard stock-keeping units) to save money. Besides, your customers will be happy with so many choices.

Track Your Imports with Online Software
There are a variety of software packages available online that will help you track your sales, inventory and order fulfillment in real time and all with the goal of boosting the delivery speed of your shipments while saving on transportation. Check out Visco Software for Importers and Industrious Software.

Establish Creative Payment Terms
Instead of paying for goods in full upon delivery, ask your supplier for a time payment, usually, 30, 60, 90, or even up to 180 days to pay the amount in full after title to the goods is transferred to you. Importers prefer this payment method, but obviously, it will compromise your supplier’s cash flow. Negotiate until it is a win-win for both parties. Check out “Methods of Payment: Terms, Conditions and Alternative Financing Sources for Export Sales” for more ideas that can equally apply to importing.

How to Source Products from Overseas

Globalization and the internet have made sourcing products from overseas more accessible than ever before. The ability to get access to products at significantly lower prices has made sourcing a very appealing option for many businesses. Small and large businesses alike are utilizing web resources to gain access to vendors that were once out of reach.

However, sourcing products overseas may seem like an overwhelming task for those who have never done it before.

To demystify the process, I’ve outlined a simple step-by-step plan to help you get started.

Difficulty: N/A

Time Required: Varies

Here’s How:

  1. Choose a Product

    The first step is to decide what type of product you are looking to source. A well-defined product is a key to success, efficiency, and profitability. Most people choose to source products overseas because they are looking for a way to earn a quick buck; the problem with this approach is that there are so many other variables that a person needs to think about. Ask yourself:

    • Is there a target market that wants this type of product?
    • Does your product fill a need within this market?
    • Are you trying to source a niche product or are you looking for a variety of different products to sell?
    • What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of your product?
    • Does this product interest you in any way? Would you buy this product for yourself?

    There are many reasons why you want to take the time to answer these questions. You will be investing time, effort and financial resources toward sourcing your products from overseas, taking the time to think through what you are trying to accomplish will only help you. For instance, does it make sense to invest in a product that has no customer base?

  1. Identify Specific Countries

    Not every country produces every type of product, and certain countries have advantages that keep costs to a minimum. Therefore it is essential that you figure out what countries specialize in the products that you trying to source. For instance, China has access to a great deal of metal whereas other countries don’t. Consequently, if you are trying to source a metal home furnishing product, then China would probably be the best country for sourcing.

    A couple of great resources to explore are Background Notes and Country Commercial Guides. Both sites will help you hone in on the specific countries that specialize in your product.

    This simple step will save you a tremendous amount of time and headache when looking for overseas suppliers.

  1. Find a Supplier

    Once you have identified the optimal country for production, it’s time to find a supplier. The great news is that there is an abundance of web resources to help you find the supplier that best fits your needs. and Globalsources.comare excellent resources that can help you get started quickly. Simply type in your product and country of origin and you will be shocked at the sheer number of overseas suppliers. For a more comprehensive guide to finding overseas suppliers, check out Supplier Guide to Sourcing Your Product Overseas.

  2. Choose the Right Supplier

    Once you’ve identified suppliers, take a moment to research each of the companies on your list. Begin with a quick Google search; look for reviews, detailed company information or problems related to this supplier. The more background information you have about the supplier, the better!

    When contacting the supplier, make sure you ask the questions that matter to you. Here are some sample questions to think about:

    • What specific products does the supplier offer?
    • Are their minimums when ordering their product?
    • What discounts do they offer for purchasing larger quantities?
    • How long does it take to ship an order from time of purchase?
    • Does the final price include shipping and duties/taxes?

    For a comprehensive list of questions, check out the Overseas Supplier Checklist. Every supplier has their own rules and requirements. You can choose the right supplier simply by identifying the requirements that best meets your business needs. Also, be an informed consumer; don’t be afraid to contact several suppliersto compare prices.

  1. Request Product Samples

    Before you purchase anything from an overseas supplier, insist on receiving a product sample. The main reason to request a product sample is to ensure that you review the quality of the product. You do not want to work with any supplier that skimps on quality.

    Another great reason to request product samples is to have the ability to present actual products to prospective customers.

    The more ammunition you have to set yourself up for success, the better the outcome. So my advice to you is to request a product sample before you finalize any agreement!

  2. Finalize Agreement with Overseas Supplier

    You are now ready to finalize an agreement with an overseas supplier. Make sure you have everything in writing as issues typically arise when language barriers exist. Some key points of an agreement between an overseas supplier and a US importerare:

    • Product Specifics
    • Pricing
    • Payment Terms
    • Shipping Terms
    • Delivery

    For a comprehensive list of overseas supplier agreement options, check out the Overseas Contract Checklist.

  1. Start Sourcing Now

    As you can see, there are seemingly infinite opportunities for sourcing products overseas thanks to globalization and the internet. Just follow the simple steps above, and you will be on your way to sourcing success!

How to Outsource Your Shipping

When you run an ecommerce business, one of the most important details to handle is how you will ship your products to your customers. While shipping out of your garage works well in the startup stage, once you outgrow this phase, that model becomes unsustainable.

There comes a point in every business owner’s life when they realize they need to  streamline their logistics process, said Krishna Iyer, director of strategic alliances for ShipStation. If you’ve reached that point, you may be wondering how to affordably outsource your shipping needs to third-party providers with the least disruption to your customers and to your business.

Business News Daily spoke with industry experts to help small online retailers determine whether now is the right time to outsource, and if so, how to do it. [Learn about ecommerce shipping basics in our guide.]

If you’ve been shipping products out of your home, trusting a third party can be difficult. Iyer said business owners need to take a hard look at their finances to decide if it’s time to use shipping software and/or hire another company to handle shipping for you.

“When looking to outsource shipping, business owners should consider where they are shipping products to most often, how intricate their fulfillment procedures are, what the returns experience looks like for their customers and what markets they would like to expand to,” Iyer said.

Iyer listed a few pros and cons of outsourcing.

  • Outsourcing allows merchants to focus on their core competencies, such as product development, marketing and long-term growth strategy
  • Third-party shippers are often better suited to handle shipping, packing and fulfillment
  • You can decrease your business’s order-fulfillment time and possibly save your customers money
  • If you sell large products, it may cost more in the long run because of the extra warehouse space needed to store your products
  • Some third parties have complex pricing structures that can be difficult for merchants to understand
  • Sometimes the returns process suffers when using a third-party shipping company. (Some customer service functions are out of your hands.)

Online retailers have a few different options to consider when outsourcing, including renting warehouses, drop-shipping and using third-party logistics (3PL) companies.

“It really depends on your business and what you’re selling, and the materials you need to do business,” said Sam Ely, director of LTL operations at uShip.

This practice is common among growing online retailers. Merchants rent warehouse space near high-population areas so goods can be delivered to consumers faster and cheaper than they otherwise could from business owner’s or the manufacturer’s location. (Shipping software can help you remotely manage your inventory and orders.)

If you don’t want the hassles that come with renting warehouse space, drop shipping bypasses warehousing and allows you to ship orders and track inventory directly from the drop shipper. Instead, when a customer buys a product, you, the merchant, buys the inventory from the drop shipping company that then ships the products to the customer directly.

3PL is a broad term that encompasses many different services, but, essentially, it’s hiring another business to optimize your supply chain. This could mean everything from handling the entire shipping process to warehousing, controlling the inventory process, providing  in-depth reporting, etc.

Going with a 3PL over the other outsourcing options comes with a hefty price tag, which might be difficult for some small businesses to handle. As a business owner, you need to weigh the pros – not having to deal with the nightmarish web of shipping duties – with the cons, like the large upfront investment these services require.

As you weigh your options, Iyer offered some tips for finding an outsourcing partner.

Understand your business’s needs. Envision the customer-fulfillment and delivery experience you want your customers to have, then communicate your business’s needs to the providers you are considering. It also helps to involve your company’s various departments early on, which can mitigate potential issues later.

Shop around.  “Understand the line-item costs for each item fulfilled,” Iyer said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample invoice breakdown and a projection of what a bill will look like.”

Iyer noted that most 3PLs (if that is what you choose) are locally owned and operated, so they can be fairly flexible with invoicing structures. Find one that really fits your needs, and ask for references with companies that are in similar industries if possible, he said.

Ask questions. As cliche as “open communication” and “asking lots of questions” may seem, it is crucial to find the right provider, because it can save you a lot of headaches further down the road.

“[Third-party shippers] should … have a lot of transparency in what they are doing, how they are doing it and why they are doing it,” Iyer told Business News Daily. “After all, it is your product and why a customer is buying from you.”

One important area to consider is how a third-party vendor might handle customer returns.

“How much do they put on the customer versus utilizing tools, i.e., printing a return label on the front end for a product or having the capability to print and email a return label?” Iyer said. “How does the third party process the return when it comes in? Can they utilize low-cost return methods? These are critical questions [to ask] in keeping costs down and ensuring a better customer experience.”

To get a glimpse into the future of ecommerce logistics for retailers, one needs only to look at the industry’s biggest player: Amazon.

In 2015, Amazon spent $11.5 billion on shipping, which, at the time, amounted to 10.8 percent of its sales. Last year, the ecommerce giant created an in-house shipping company, quite possibly changing the game for everyone.

“All eyes are on Amazon given its enormous investment in logistics and desire to control the supply chain, from sourcing to transoceanic movement to warehousing to final mile delivery to the home,” Ely said. “Technology will play a big part in optimizing that effort for them.”

“Products are getting from the manufacturer/vendor to the customer faster than ever,” Iyer added. “It will be interesting to see if the creation of more shipping options then creates new products, modes of transport or other levels of innovation that we have not foreseen yet.”

How to Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product

Before embarking on the journey of manufacturing a product, entrepreneurs need to complete a few essential steps to ensure a successful and smooth transition from initial idea to production. This guide will provide valuable insights and recommendations on how to prepare for manufacturing, covering market research, licensing, prototype development, and intellectual property protection. By following these steps diligently, entrepreneurs will be better equipped to find a suitable factory and bring their product to life.

Step 1: Market Research

Market research is a crucial step in the preparation process, as it helps entrepreneurs gain a comprehensive understanding of their target market and potential customers. Conducting thorough market research will enable entrepreneurs to determine if their product already exists and if there is a demand for it. By analyzing market trends, consumer preferences, and competitive analysis, entrepreneurs can refine their product offering and develop effective marketing strategies.

To conduct market research, entrepreneurs can either undertake this task themselves or hire professionals who specialize in market intelligence. Regardless of the approach, the key outcome should be gathering information that helps identify market opportunities and potential obstacles.

Step 2: Licensing

Once market research is completed, entrepreneurs must evaluate whether they want to produce and sell the product themselves or license the idea to an experienced company. Licensing allows entrepreneurs to rent their idea to a company that possesses the necessary resources and expertise to manufacture, market, and distribute the product. In return, entrepreneurs receive royalties based on sales, without the need for an upfront investment.

Licensing is often employed by large corporations or designated licensing companies. It is a viable option for entrepreneurs who may not have the means or desire to handle the complexities of manufacturing and distribution themselves. To gain a better understanding of licensing, entrepreneurs should explore articles and resources dedicated to the subject.

Step 3: Building and Testing a Prototype

If entrepreneurs choose to proceed independently, the next step is to build and test a prototype. A prototype is a preliminary version of the product designed to assess its feasibility and ensure that it can be manufactured according to specifications. The process of creating a prototype may involve several iterations and can span months, depending on the complexity of the product.

There are various approaches to prototype development, including in-house production or outsourcing to specialized prototyping services. Analyzing the pros and cons of each method is essential, as it can impact cost, time, and the overall quality of the prototype. By producing and testing a prototype, entrepreneurs can identify any design flaws or manufacturing challenges early on, reducing the risk of issues during mass production.

Step 4: Protecting Intellectual Property

To safeguard their innovations and ideas, entrepreneurs should consider protecting their intellectual property. Intellectual property protection involves registering for patents, copyrighting works, or purchasing trademarks. Each form of protection serves a different purpose, and entrepreneurs should consult legal professionals to determine the most appropriate measures for their specific needs.

Patents are typically obtained for new inventions or novel processes, granting exclusive rights to the inventor for a specified period. Copyrights are used to protect original creative works such as literature, music, or artistic creations. Trademarks, on the other hand, are used to protect brand names, logos, and distinguishing features associated with a particular product or service.


Step 5: Finding a Suitable Factory

With the necessary groundwork complete, entrepreneurs can embark on the search for a factory to manufacture their product. The choice of factory is a critical decision that will impact the quality, cost, and timely delivery of the final product. It is advisable to assess multiple factories based on their capabilities, experience, credibility, and production capacities.

When selecting a factory, entrepreneurs should consider factors such as manufacturing expertise, quality control processes, production capacity, adherence to ethical and environmental standards, cost efficiency, geographical location, and flexibility in meeting future demands. Engaging in detailed communication, requesting sample productions, and visiting potential factories are valuable steps in finalizing a long-term manufacturing partnership.


Preparing for manufacturing involves several crucial steps that entrepreneurs must carefully undertake to ensure a successful production journey. By conducting thorough market research, evaluating licensing opportunities, building and testing prototypes, protecting intellectual property, and finding a suitable factory, entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success. Each step contributes to minimizing risks, refining product quality, and paving the way for a smooth transition into full-scale production. By following this guide diligently, entrepreneurs can confidently move forward on their manufacturing journey and bring their innovative ideas to life.

 Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product

Starting a manufacturing business can be an exciting endeavor, but it requires careful planning and research to ensure success. One of the crucial steps in this process is finding the right factory to produce your product. This article will guide you through the key strategies and considerations to help you find the ideal factory that meets your requirements.

Understand Your Manufacturing Needs:

The first step in finding a suitable factory is to have a comprehensive understanding of your manufacturing needs. Begin by defining your product specifications clearly. Consider factors such as materials, quantity, quality standards, and production timeline. Having a clear vision of your manufacturing requirements will allow you to identify the most appropriate factory for your product.

Determine Your Budget:

Establishing a budget is essential before beginning the factory search process. Determine how much you are willing to invest in manufacturing your product. Ensure that your budget includes all the costs involved, such as labor, materials, shipping, and overhead expenses. Having a clear budget guideline will help you narrow down your options and avoid wasting time and resources on factories that are out of your price range.

Research Manufacturing Hubs:

Identify manufacturing hubs that specialize in your product category. Different regions or countries may have specific expertise or advantages in certain industries. For example, China is known for electronics manufacturing, whereas Italy is renowned for its expertise in fashion and luxury goods. Researching manufacturing hubs will help you leverage the existing infrastructure, skilled labor force, and cost advantages available in these areas.

Utilize Online Directories and Platforms:

Online directories and platforms dedicated to connecting manufacturers and businesses can be valuable resources in finding an appropriate factory. Websites like Alibaba, Global Sources, ThomasNet, and provide extensive databases of factories from various industries and locations. Use search filters to narrow down options based on your specific requirements, and reach out directly to potential factories for inquiries and quotations.

Attend Trade Shows and Exhibitions:

Trade shows and exhibitions are excellent opportunities to meet manufacturers face-to-face, learn more about their capabilities, and establish personal connections. Attend industry-specific events that are relevant to your product category. These events allow you to witness manufacturing processes firsthand, ask questions, and explore potential partnerships. Take note of the standout factories you encounter for further evaluation.

Seek Recommendations and Referrals:

Leverage your network of industry contacts to seek recommendations and referrals for reliable factories. Reach out to suppliers, industry associations, or even competitors who may have knowledge or experience in manufacturing similar products. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights and help you find trusted factories with a proven track record.

Conduct Background Checks and Due Diligence:

Before finalizing your decision, conduct a thorough background check on potential factories to ensure their credibility and reliability. Consider factors such as their experience, reputation, financial stability, production capacity, quality control measures, and any certifications or accreditations. Online reviews, previous client references, and site visits can help you evaluate factories more objectively and make an informed decision.

Request Sample Production and Evaluate Quality:

Request sample production from the shortlisted factories to assess the quality of their work. Inspect the samples for accuracy, finish, and overall quality. Evaluate whether the factory can meet your required standards and specifications consistently. It is crucial to ensure that the factory’s production capabilities align with your expectations and quality goals.

Negotiate Terms and Contracts:

Once you have identified the factory that best fits your requirements, it is time to negotiate the terms of the manufacturing agreement. Ensure that all details, including pricing, payment terms, delivery schedules, and quality control measures, are clearly defined in a written contract. Seek legal advice, if necessary, to protect your interests and avoid potential disputes.

Establish a Strong Communication Channel:

Maintaining clear and regular communication with the factory is crucial to ensure smooth collaboration. Establishing a reliable communication channel is essential to address any issues, provide feedback, and maintain a transparent working relationship. Regular updates and site visits can help you stay informed and confident in the progress of your manufacturing process.



Finding the right factory to manufacture your product is a crucial step towards realizing your business goals. Thorough research, leveraging online resources, attending trade shows, and seeking recommendations will assist you in discovering reputable factories. Conducting due diligence, requesting samples, and negotiating contracts will ensure that your chosen factory is capable of delivering high-quality products consistently. By following these steps and dedicating time and effort to the search process, you can find the perfect factory to bring your product to life and achieve manufacturing success.

More reference information is as follows

Questions to ask a potential partner

– What quality control measures do you have in place?

– How do you handle product defects or issues?

– What is your production capacity? Can you handle large orders?

– Can you provide samples of previous work or products?

– How do you ensure confidentiality and protect intellectual property?

– Are you familiar with the relevant regulations and compliance standards for our product?

– Can you accommodate any special requirements or customization requests?

– What is your communication process during the production and delivery process?

– How do you handle shipping and logistics for international orders?

– Can you provide references from other clients you have worked with?

– What is your approach to long-term partnerships? Do you offer any incentives or support for recurring orders?

– Are you open to discussing pricing and negotiating contracts?

– How do you handle the maintenance and repair of machinery or equipment?

– What is your approach to environmental sustainability and social responsibility?

– Can you provide any certifications or accreditations that are relevant to my industry?

– How do you handle product testing and certification processes?

– What are your policies and practices for worker safety and welfare?

– Can you accommodate any special packaging or labeling requirements?

– How do you handle changes or modifications to the production schedule or specifications?

– Do you have any experience working with companies or brands similar to ours?

– Can you provide a timeline for the entire production process, from initial order to delivery?

– How do you handle quality assurance throughout the production process?

– Can you provide any guarantees or warranties for the products you manufacture?

– What is your policy on returns or refunds?

– How do you handle disputes or conflicts that may arise during the manufacturing process?

– Can you provide any insights or suggestions for optimizing the design or production of our product?

– What is your approach to continuous improvement and innovation?

– How do you stay updated with the latest industry trends and technologies?

– Can you provide a breakdown of your pricing structure, including any additional fees or charges?

– What are your policies and procedures for handling confidential or proprietary information?

– How do you handle inventory management and storage of finished products?

– Can you provide an overview of your company’s history and background?

– What is your approach to maintaining a long-term relationship with clients?

– Can you provide any testimonials or case studies from other satisfied clients?

– How do you handle potential disruptions or unforeseen circumstances that may impact production or delivery?

– Can you provide any recommendations or referrals for other service providers or vendors in your network?

– What is your approach to managing and resolving any potential conflicts of interest?

– How do you ensure transparency and open communication throughout the entire manufacturing process?

– Can you provide any training or support for our team during the initial setup or implementation phase?

– What is your approach to project management and coordination with other stakeholders?

– How do you handle import/export regulations and customs requirements for international orders?

– Can you provide a breakdown of your manufacturing facilities and capabilities?

– What is your approach to managing supply chain risks or disruptions?

– How do you handle any potential labor or employment issues within your company?

– Can you provide any insights or suggestions for improving the efficiency or cost-effectiveness of our product?

– What is your approach to resolving any potential intellectual property disputes?

– How do you ensure data security and protection for any sensitive information shared during the manufacturing process?

– Can you provide a list of any awards or recognition your company has received within the industry?

– What is your approach to ethical sourcing and responsible production practices?

– How do you handle any potential ethical or social concerns related to the manufacturing process or supply chain?

– Can you provide any information or documentation regarding your company’s financial stability and solvency?

– What is your approach to managing and mitigating any potential risks associated with the manufacturing process?

– How do you handle any potential product recalls or safety issues?

– Can you provide a detailed breakdown of your production timeline and milestone deliverables?

– What is your approach to ensuring the continuity and consistency of the manufacturing process?

– How do you handle any potential warranty claims or after-sales support?

– Can you provide any research or data on industry trends or consumer preferences that may impact the manufacturing process?

– What is your approach to managing and optimizing the supply chain for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness?

– How do you handle any potential disruptions or delays in the supply chain?

– Can you provide any insights or suggestions for product packaging and branding?

– What is your approach to managing and minimizing any potential environmental impact of the manufacturing process?

– How do you handle any potential shortages or fluctuations in the availability of raw materials?

– Can you provide any information or documentation regarding your company’s insurance coverage and liability?

– What is your approach to managing and maintaining any necessary certifications or compliance standards?

– How do you handle any potential communication barriers or language differences within your company or with international clients?

– Can you provide any information or documentation regarding your company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and fair labor practices?

– What is your approach to managing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for your employees?


What to look for in a factory

When it comes to manufacturing goods, finding the right factory to partner with is crucial for success. Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding an existing one, choosing the right factory can make or break your product. We interviewed experts and industry professionals to gather insights on what to look for in a factory.

One of the first things to consider when evaluating potential factories is their knowledge and experience. A factory that demonstrates expertise and can guide you through the manufacturing process is invaluable. For example, if you’re producing a food product, it’s important to find a factory that can recommend a reputable food chemist to ensure the highest quality and safety standards. Similarly, if you’re in the clothing industry, a factory that can provide advice on material sourcing is a definite plus.

Technical capabilities are also a key factor to consider. You want a factory that already produces goods or products similar to your own. This ensures that they understand your market and have the necessary expertise to meet your specific requirements. If you’re producing electronic devices, for instance, partnering with a factory that specializes in electronics manufacturing will greatly benefit you. Technical expertise not only ensures a smoother production process but can also lead to better quality products.

Another important aspect to consider is the reputation of the factory. Does the factory work with major brands or retailers? Do they have a track record of delivering quality products on time? It’s essential to do your due diligence and research the factory’s background. Look for any regulatory fines or infractions they may have faced. If the factory is located overseas, inquire about their labor policies and the turnover rate of their employees. Trust is a crucial factor in selecting the right factory, so ensure that you’re comfortable and confident in their reputation and practices.

Marco Perry, the founder of strategy, design, and engineering firm Pensa, emphasizes the importance of finding a factory that not only possesses the necessary tools and capabilities but also acts as a partner in helping you create a great product. A factory that understands the nuances of your specific product category will be better equipped to provide valuable insights and suggestions throughout the production process. Working with a factory that goes beyond just assembling parts and takes a holistic approach to production can greatly enhance the quality and success of your product.

In conclusion, when searching for a factory to partner with, consider their knowledge and experience, technical capabilities, reputation, and willingness to act as a true partner in the manufacturing process. Taking the time to find the right factory, one that aligns with your specific needs and can deliver high-quality products, is crucial for a successful partnership and the overall success of your business.


Resources for finding a factory

Finding the right factory to produce your products is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your business. With the advancement of technology, there are now many online resources available that can help you in your search for a suitable factory. In this article, we will explore some of the top resources for finding a factory and how they can assist you throughout the manufacturing process.

One of the top resources for finding a factory is Maker’s Row ( This platform was created by Tanya Menendez and her business partner to address the difficulties faced by clothing manufacturers in finding American factories. Maker’s Row connects you with manufacturers in the United States and offers one-on-one guidance through the manufacturing process. Whether you are a startup or an established business, Maker’s Row can help you find a factory that meets your specific requirements.

For those looking to hire a factory overseas, Product GSS ( is an excellent resource. This website specializes in connecting startups with factories or manufacturers from anywhere in the world. Whether you need mass production or smaller-scaled manufacturing, Product GSS can match you with an ideal factory that fits your needs. Their global network of manufacturers ensures that you have a wide range of options available to choose from.

Alibaba ( is another popular resource for finding factories overseas. With a vast network of suppliers, Alibaba allows you to browse through different industries to find a match that is best suited for your business. This platform not only helps you connect with factories but also provides tools and resources to facilitate the entire manufacturing process. From sourcing components to logistics, Alibaba offers a comprehensive solution for entrepreneurs looking to hire factories overseas.

If you are looking for a resource that not only helps you find a factory but also offers additional features such as project tracking and CAD file integration, ( is the platform for you. allows you to search for factories worldwide and provides a range of tools to streamline your manufacturing process. With features like progress tracking, part lists, and CAD file integration, you can easily manage your projects and collaborate with manufacturers seamlessly.

These online resources provide entrepreneurs and businesses with a convenient way to connect with factories worldwide. Whether you are looking for a factory in the United States or overseas, these platforms offer a variety of options to choose from. By utilizing these resources, you can save time and effort in your search for the right factory, ultimately helping you bring your product to market more efficiently.

In addition to these online platforms, it is also worth mentioning that networking and attending industry events can be valuable resources for finding factories. Building relationships with other entrepreneurs, suppliers, and manufacturers can provide valuable insights and recommendations for finding the right factory for your business.

In conclusion, finding the right factory is a crucial step in the manufacturing process. Fortunately, there are many online resources available to help you in your search. Platforms like Maker’s Row, Product GSS, Alibaba, and can connect you with a wide range of factories worldwide, making it easier to find a match that meets your specific requirements. By utilizing these resources, you can streamline your manufacturing process and bring your product to market more efficiently.


U.S. factories versus overseas factories is an ongoing debate among manufacturers and businesses worldwide. When deciding where to manufacture a product, several factors must be taken into consideration, including personal preference, budget, the type of product, and even the level of patience one possesses. Both options, U.S. factories and overseas factories, have their pros and cons, making it essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a final decision.

One of the primary challenges faced when considering U.S. factories is the globalization and diminishing base of American manufacturers. It is not always possible to find a U.S. factory that can produce the specific type of product one desires. However, if the product can indeed be made in the U.S., there are distinct advantages to consider. For certain audiences, having products made entirely in the U.S. may elicit a more positive response. Additionally, American factories often allow for the order of small batches of products, which may be advantageous for those starting out or with limited budgets. Tanya Menendez, co-founder of Maker’s Row, highlights this distinction in favor of American factories.

On the other hand, overseas factories also present a viable option for manufacturing. Working with foreign factories, although perceived as complicated by some, doesn’t have to be overly challenging. Arlene Battishill, director of digital marketing at MediaMark Spotlight, explains that negotiating with foreign factories may require overcoming language and cultural barriers. Nonetheless, Battishill emphasizes the importance of confidently navigating these challenges. Adopting a confident approach, sounding knowledgeable about the manufacturing process, and clearly communicating your expectations with potential overseas factories can help establish a successful working relationship.

Battishill offers a few tips to aid in the decision-making process when considering foreign factories. It is crucial to pre-screen potential factories by indicating a willingness to establish long-term communication and emphasizing the importance of reviewing the quality of their work before placing an order. This approach implies a substantial purchase, even if initially requesting only a sample. Negotiation skills also come into play when dealing with overseas factories. These factories may charge American companies more, assuming they will pay the inflated prices. However, Battishill advises counteroffering at two-thirds of the initial quoted cost and gradually increasing the offer to three-quarters if necessary.

Clear and effective communication is key when working with overseas factories. It is advisable to establish a concrete understanding between both parties to avoid misunderstandings. Battishill suggests asking the factory representatives to repeat their understanding of the project requirements or even creating a video that demonstrates and explains the exact specifications desired. These strategies ensure a shared vision and minimize the chances of miscommunication throughout the manufacturing process.

Another advantageous aspect of partnering with overseas factories is the logistical support they offer. Due to their large production volume, these factories are well-versed in shipping arrangements and often provide tracking information. Nonetheless, once the shipment arrives in the United States, hiring a licensed and bonded customs broker is recommended. Customs brokers assist with clearing the shipment and handling all associated paperwork and logistics, ensuring a smooth transition into the domestic market.

In conclusion, the decision between U.S. factories versus overseas factories is a complex one that requires careful consideration of various factors. While U.S. factories may be preferred by some due to the ability to manufacture smaller batch orders and appeal to specific audiences, overseas factories offer cost advantages and can often meet specific manufacturing needs. Effective communication, pre-screening, and negotiation skills are necessary when working with foreign factories. Ultimately, the choice depends on the specific requirements, budget, and preferences of individual businesses and manufacturers.

How to Turn Your Idea Into a Product and Launch It

Every product out on the market today started as an idea in someone’s head. From a mobile device to a software platform or a kitchen gadget, most items you can purchase came to life through the process of invention.

The road from concept to finished product can be a long one, and those who travel it often face numerous obstacles and setbacks. But armed with the right information and resources, you can put yourself on the path to bringing your invention to market. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Turning your idea into a reality is a bit more complicated than just handing your design over to a manufacturer or developer and waiting for the profits to roll in. In an article on, author Tamara Monosoff outlined some of the basic steps you’ll need to take before your product hits the shelves.

Market research. Before you spend a lot of time and money creating a product, you should know if anyone will want to buy it. Look at what’s out there and size up the competition. Do products that are similar to your idea exist, and if so, where are they sold and who’s buying them? Answering these questions will give you an idea of your target market, as well as what you’ll need to do differently to stand out from your competitors.

Patent research. Would your design infringe upon someone else’s copyright or intellectual property (IP)? Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and investigate any patents on items like the one you want to invent. If you have questions or want to be sure your invention is legal for you to create and sell, consult with an attorney specializing in patents and IP law.

Develop a prototype. Once you’ve found your market and ensured that your legal path is clear, it’s time to start bringing your idea to fruition. Monosoff said a good prototype can be as basic as a drawing or diagram, or as complex as a working, professional product.

At this point, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to have your product manufactured or licensed. The former means you’ll create and sell your product yourself (this includes paying a third party to manufacture your product); the latter means you’ll sell another company the rights to make, use and sell your products, granting that right in exchange for a license fee and royalty payments. More information about the pros and cons of each method can be found in these articles on FindLaw and IP Watchdog.

Success in the world of innovation is all about getting your timing right. If you wait too long, someone else will have capitalized on a similar idea and captured your niche already. On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its kind, the market might not be ready — and you’ll have to fight an uphill battle to carve out a place for your product.

Henry Helgeson, CEO and co-founder of Cayan, faced this issue as a mobile payments technology company in 2011, several years before mobile payments became mainstream. For other startups on the “too early” side of innovation, he advised perseverance, to get ahead of your competitors when the market does catch up.

“Peers in our industry [said mobile payments] would never happen, but we kept moving and got a three- to four-year jump on everyone,” Helgeson said. “It takes a while … it’s not something you can build up overnight. But once you have momentum going, it’s very powerful.”

If you’re on the later end, Helgeson said you’ll need to take a look at your competition and decide if it’s something you want to continue with, or if you’d be better off going in another direction with your invention.

“There [should always be] a sense of urgency, to fix what you need to, make the change and [get the product] back out to market,” he said. “As long as you do it quickly, it’s OK.”

Another big challenge for inventors is figuring out how to get their product out to the public. It may not even be something you consider at first — your idea may be great, but without a marketing plan, no one will ever know about it.

“In hindsight, we were too focused on our product, and thought it would sell itself,” Helgeson said. “You need a plan to [market it].”

Nicole Lininger, director of corporate communications at InventHelp, an inventor service company, said that many entrepreneurs who are just starting out don’t have a large advertising budget to promote their inventions. But that doesn’t have to stand in their way, she said. Lininger recommended starting off with a strong social media marketing plan, which is cost-effective and wide-reaching.

Ready to turn your product idea into a reality? Helgeson and Lininger offered the following advice for aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs.

Take time to research. Inventing a product requires a lot of initial investigation, patience and resilience, Lininger said. Before you begin the process, make sure you have the time to dedicate to due-diligence research. This is especially true when you’re looking at patent protection for your idea.

“Do some research into intellectual property and familiarize themselves with the process and the jargon used in the field, including patent, copyright, trademark, etc.,” Lininger said. “There are numerous reputable sites you can learn from, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office, World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization. If patent protection is something you are interested in, contact a patent lawyer.”

Continually test your product. Helgeson reminded entrepreneurs that their products are not going to be perfect in their first iterations. You’ll have to tweak the product and make some changes along the way, and the best way to figure out those changes is by testing your invention with real consumers. Get honest feedback from test groups as a way to validate your idea, he said.

“The validation process needs to happen on a regular basis,” Helgeson told Business News Daily. “If you’re trying to do something, and the market tells you [they want] something else, you might be going down the wrong path. Be out there in the field … talking to people, being part of industry conversations. You can’t sit in a room and try to dream something up.”

Work on your elevator pitch. Even before you have a finished product to sell, you’ll need to start talking it up to your friends and professional contacts. Lininger emphasized the importance of developing a great elevator pitch — a short, concise sales pitch that includes a hook, a value statement, statistics and other data, your product’s uniqueness, and a call to action. Learn more about creating such a pitch here.

Don’t go it alone. There are a lot of steps involved in the invention process, and it can be overwhelming to try to take care of everything yourself. Lininger advised seeking out professional assistance so you can be assured that certain elements of the process will be in capable, experienced hands. For instance, you may want to turn to a service like InventHelp if you’re looking for a way to get your idea in front of companies or develop your prototype, or Rocket Lawyer if you’re looking for a qualified, on-demand patent attorney. 

How to Successfully Launch Your First Product with sourcing agent

Write a Detailed Plan for the First Product

Launching your first product can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the industry. However, with the help of a sourcing agent, you can streamline the process and increase your chances of a successful launch. In this article, we will explore the steps you need to take to successfully launch your first product with a sourcing agent.

1.Understand Your Market

Before you even begin the development phase of your product, it’s crucial to thoroughly understand your target market. A sourcing agent can help you conduct market research to identify your audience’s needs and preferences. This will ensure that your product aligns with their expectations and increases your chances of success.

2.Identify Your Goals

Defining your goals is essential for a successful product launch. Your goals should align with your overall business objectives. These goals may include growing your customer base, increasing market share, or creating awareness of your product or company. By clearly defining your goals, you can create a roadmap for your product launch and measure your progress along the way.

3.Define Your Audience and Key Message

To effectively launch your product, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience. A sourcing agent can assist you in gathering demographic information, identifying influencers, and determining what types of media your audience consumes. Additionally, you need to develop a strong key message that clearly articulates your product offering and its benefits to your target audience.

4.Develop and Test Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Your first iteration of the product will unlikely be the final version. However, it’s crucial to develop and test a minimum viable product (MVP) to gather feedback and make necessary improvements. A sourcing agent can help you define your MVP and conduct surveys and focus groups to understand consumer behavior and preferences. The feedback you gather will guide you in refining your product before the official launch.

5.Create a Marketing Plan

It’s never too early to start thinking about your marketing plan. With the help of a sourcing agent, you can plan how you’ll market and promote your product. This may include choosing the right social media channels, organizing a launch event, or developing pre-launch press releases. Press outreach should also be a vital part of your marketing strategy, with the aim of getting the word out well in advance of the official launch date.

6.Measure Your Results

To ensure the success of your product launch, it’s essential to measure your results. Define what a successful launch looks like and establish metrics to track your progress. Work with your sourcing agent to analyze daily, weekly, and monthly analytics data to determine what’s contributing to your sales and other goal completions. This data will help you identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments moving forward.

7.Keep the Momentum Going

The end of your product launch is just the beginning of building a successful sales strategy. It’s important to continue planning for the future and having conversations with prospects about the next steps of your product. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice from experienced entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and other trusted individuals who can offer valuable guidance for sustained success.

Launching your first product can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right preparation and guidance from a sourcing agent, you can increase your chances of success. By understanding your market, setting clear goals, defining your target audience, developing and testing your MVP, creating a comprehensive marketing plan, measuring your results, and keeping the momentum going, you’ll be well on your way to successfully launching your first product.

Deep cooperation with procurement agents

Launching your first product can be an exhilarating yet overwhelming experience. With the rise of e-commerce and the increasing accessibility of global markets, sourcing agents have become an invaluable resource for businesses looking to enter the market with their products. In this guide, we will explore the essential steps and strategies to successfully launch your first product with the assistance of sourcing agents.

1.Understanding the Role of Sourcing Agents:

Sourcing agents act as intermediaries between businesses and manufacturers, helping to connect you with suitable suppliers for your product. Their expertise lies in identifying reliable manufacturers, negotiating prices, managing quality control, and overseeing shipping and logistics.

2.Research and Planning:

Before embarking on your first product launch, conduct thorough market research to identify suitable product ideas and potential target markets. By understanding market trends, consumer preferences, and competitors, you can develop a product that meets existing demand and has a unique selling proposition.

3.Defining Your Product Requirements:

Create a comprehensive product specification document that outlines every detail of your product, including materials, dimensions, functionality, packaging, and any other specifications necessary. This document will serve as a crucial communication tool between you and the sourcing agent, ensuring that your requirements are met during the supplier selection process.

4.Finding the Right Sourcing Agent:

Choose a sourcing agent that specializes in your industry or product category. Look for agents with a strong network of manufacturers, a proven track record of successful product launches, and positive client reviews. Take the time to thoroughly vet potential agents to ensure they align with your business goals and values.

5.Establishing Communication Channels:

Clear and effective communication is essential throughout the product launch process. Agree on communication channels and workflow with your sourcing agent. Regular updates, virtual meetings, and prompt responses will facilitate smooth collaboration and minimize misunderstandings.

6.Supplier Evaluation and Selection:

Your sourcing agent will help identify and shortlist potential suppliers based on your product requirements. Evaluate each supplier’s capabilities, production capacity, product quality, certifications, and their ability to meet deadlines. Request samples and assess their quality to choose the most suitable manufacturer for your product.

7.Negotiation and Contracting:

Sourcing agents are skilled negotiators and can help you secure the best pricing and terms from suppliers. Collaborate with your agent to negotiate favorable costs, order quantities, and delivery timelines. Ensure all agreements are documented in a detailed and legally binding contract to protect your interests.

8.Quality Assurance and Control:

Maintaining product quality is crucial for your brand’s reputation. Work closely with your sourcing agent to develop quality control measures and inspection protocols. They can conduct regular factory visits, perform product inspections, and implement product testing to ensure your specifications are met.

9.Managing Logistics and Delivery:

Sourcing agents handle logistics and shipping arrangements on your behalf. They coordinate with suppliers to ensure timely production, packaging, and arrange transportation from the manufacturing facility to your desired destination. Regular communication and tracking systems will ensure a seamless supply chain.

10.Launch and Marketing Strategies:

Collaborate with your sourcing agent and marketing team to develop a comprehensive launch and marketing strategy. Define your target audience, develop compelling messaging, and identify appropriate marketing channels to maximize product visibility and sales.

11.Feedback and Continuous Improvement:

Once your product is launched, gather customer feedback and reviews to understand areas for improvement. Collaborate with your sourcing agent to address any issues and optimize the product design, packaging, or manufacturing process for future iterations.


Launching your first product with the help of sourcing agents can smooth out the complexities of manufacturing and supply chain management. By following these essential steps and building a strong partnership with your sourcing agent, you can successfully navigate the product launch process and set a solid foundation for future endeavors in the market. Remember to focus on quality, effective communication, and continuous improvement to ensure long-term success with your products.

How to Find a Good Sourcing Agent in China

Are you looking for an overseas factory to manufacture your products? Rather than searching for a factory yourself – a task akin …

Are you looking for an overseas factory to manufacture your products? Rather than searching for a factory yourself – a task akin to the proverbial needle in a haystack, especially from afar — look for a good sourcing agent or sourcing company to do that work for you. A good sourcing agent, either in the U.S. or in country, can:
1. Locate factories that have equipment and talent that matches your needs.
2. Determine which factories or suppliers will meet deadlines and provide efficient service.
3. Negotiate good prices.
4. Place orders, handle currency issues and pay suppliers.
5. Inspect factories for quality and ethical practices.
6. In some cases, inspect your finished goods before they’re shipped to you.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing a sourcing agent:

Visit trade shows

A good sourcing agent will have a deep understanding of your industry and of the country in which you want to do business. As a result, your industry’s trade shows may be the best places at which to locate a sourcing agent. Like the quality of products made by a colleague in the same industry? Ask him or her for sourcing agent recommendations. 

Decision time: a U.S.-based, global, or in-country sourcing agent?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both domestic and in-country agents. A domestic sourcing agent may be larger and broader in scope – for instance, if you want to manufacture products in several countries, a domestic sourcing company with access to, say, factories in China and Vietnam may provide you with a single point of contact. On the other hand, local representatives can help small companies get started for relatively affordable prices; they’re often paid on commission, as opposed to larger domestic companies, which typically work on contract and expect a portion of the fee up front. In either case, ensure that representatives are fully bilingual. 
Globus & NTDB.

Get the best prices

A good sourcing agent should get bids from several different factories for you. In addition, make sure that the agent doesn’t have financial ties to any particular factories. Also be aware that in some countries, sourcing agents receive commissions or kickbacks from the factories they choose; this practice can compromise their objectivity, to say the least. 

Maintain ethical practices

These days, it’s important to ensure that overseas factories aren’t employing underage workers or treating their employees poorly. You’ll need to inspect factories before you sign a contract, but you can also do business with sourcing agents who make a point of doing business responsibly. 

  • Have a sourcing agent sign a non-disclosure agreement before you give him or her information about your new product.
  • Once he or she has signed an NDA, give the agent as much information as possible, including specifications, measurements, and drawings, about the product you want produced.
  • Once you’ve chosen a factory, start with a small product run and inspect it before it leaves the factory.
  • Once you’ve chosen a factory, start with a small product run and inspect it before it leaves the factory.

How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer: A Primer on Global Sourcing

You have a great new product that you want to take global. Now, you need to find someone to manufacture that product. Do you know where to find a manufacturer overseas? I do.

Contract manufacturing is when a company arranges to have a local or overseas manufacturer make all or part of the product. Typically, the hiring firm provides a design or formula to the contract manufacturer to replicate or improve. The selling and marketing of the product is left to the hiring company, unless other arrangements have been made. Now, this same process tends to be referred to as outsourcing if it involves a business function, especially if it’s done across borders, or global sourcing if it involves finding an overseas manufacturer.

Factors to consider before you select an overseas manufacturer

Before you start the process of finding an overseas manufacturer, you need to determine if you are ready. That said, I suggest that first, you read the following two articles:

  1. “Is Global Sourcing For You,” which discusses 20 questions to ask before you begin. Is global sourcing a good fit for your business? Make sure you have determined that global sourcing is right for you before proceeding any further.
  2. “How to Develop and Price a New Product for the Global Marketplace” because it emphasizes why it is important to check if there is a similar product to yours already on the market. If there is a similar product, see how your idea can be differentiated and, of course, use the competing product’s price point as a starting point for yours.

As you assess a potential overseas manufacturer, make sure it has most—if not all—of the following characteristics:

  • A good, clean, well-managed facility
  • It is ISO-certified, meaning the company is meeting quality standards
  • It has drop-ship capabilities (direct to customers)
  • It has the ability to be flexible and absorb market fluctuations
  • It can keep up with demand on product
  • It has synergies with your company
  • It is highly reputable in the marketplace
  • It is financially sound
  • It solves your specific production challenges

As you analyze supplier pros and cons, it helps to address some other key questions. For instance, how far away is the supplier? Does the U.S. have any trade agreements with the country, and how do you plan to pay for the goods? What is the product quality like, is it satisfactory? Are you in a hurry, and will the supplier be able to meet your demands on time? For a more in-depth look at some deciding factors when choosing a supplier, see my article on Factors to Consider When Outsourcing.

Many business owners turn to overseas suppliers to curb rising production costs and to boost global competitiveness. To ensure you’re on the right track to success, keep the following things in mind:

  1. Source to a country with low labor costs and good quality control
  2. Source to a country where you can take a plane ride with comfort and ease
  3. Source to a country where you can understand the language
  4. Source to a country where you can respect and abide by the laws
  5. Source to a country where you can trust the people you do business with

Where to look for help in finding a product manufacturer overseas:

Now that you know the ins and outs to selecting an overseas manufacturer, it’s time to find one. Each of these resources provides a wealth of information on potential manufacturers.

1. Global Sources 

A B2B marketplace connecting buyers, suppliers and manufacturers. For more information on what Global Sources can and can’t do, read “An Inside Guide on Sourcing in China.”

2. Alibaba 

Here you can find manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, importers, buyers and wholesalers. For more information on Alibaba’s capabilities, read “A Short Course on Alibaba.”


A product sourcing and supplier discovery platform for procurement professionals, engineers, plant and facility management.
For additional information relating to sourcing and product quality, read, “Where to Source Products and What To Do If You Receive Crappy Product Samples From Overseas.”

Am I missing anything? If so, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

How To Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea with China sourcing agent

If you’ve been reading our previous posts on finding niche ideas and evaluatingg products to sell online, you may have started coming up with some ideas of your own. This can be an interesting time for an entrepreneur as momentum begins to build and excitement grows the more you think about your idea. 

However, time and time again, many entrepreneurs find themselves hitting a brick wall and losing momentum when it comes time to actually source products. Whether it be manufacturing your own product or finding suppliers to purchase wholesale from, they aren’t always easy to find.

In this post, we’re going to look at the basics of sourcing a supplier for your next project. We will look at some places to search, how you should approach them and what to ask. 

Let’s dive in.

The Basics – What Are You Looking For? 

For the purpose of this post when we refer to suppliers, we are referring to anyone that has the capability to provide you with products and inventory. This encompasses manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

There are a ton of helpful resources to be found online just by searching Google. However before you begin, there are a few things you should know and decide.

First, you should determine what type of supplier you’re looking for. This will help determine the terminology you need to use in your research. I would highly suggest you start by reading our post on Make, Manufacturer, Wholesale or Dropship.

There are several options, with the most common being:

  • A manufacturer to produce your own product idea
  • A supplier, who may also be a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor to purchase already existing brands and products
  • A dropshipper to supply products and fulfill orders of already existing brands and products

Domestic vs. Overseas Suppliers

A classic question when looking for suppliers if you plan to manufacture or wholesale is whether you want to source domestically or from overseas. Overseas can refer to any location overseas but usually, and for the purpose of this post, refers to Asian countries like China, India and Taiwan.

You likely already know that it’s almost always cheaper to source your products overseas but there’s a lot more to that decision than just the upfront investment and cost per unit.

Both domestic and overseas sourcing have their advantages as well as disadvantages which we will take a look at below:

Domestic Sourcing


  • Higher manufacturing quality and labor standards
  • Easier communication with no language barrier
  • Marketing appeal of being made in North America
  • Easier to verify reputable manufacturers
  • Faster shipping time
  • High intellectual property right protection
  • Greater payment security and recourse 


  • Higher manufacturing costs
  • Less product choice (There are many items that just aren’t made in North America anymore)

Overseas Sourcing


  • Lower manufacturing costs
  • High number of manufacturers to choose from
  • One-stop services like Alibaba have made it easy to navigate suppliers


  • Lower perceived quality from customers
  • (Usually) lower manufacturing and labor standards
  • Little intellectual property protection
  • Language and communication barrier can be difficult to navigate 
  • Difficulty/costly to verify manufacturer and visit on-site
  • Longer shipping time
  • Cultural differences in business practices
  • Product importation and customs clearance
  • Less payment security and recourse

Where To Begin Your Search

Now that you have a better idea of exactly what you’re looking for, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of domestic vs. overseas sourcing, where do you begin your search? Naturally, the internet is the best place to start, but there are a few places in particular that can help with your search.


Some of the best sources can be free online supplier directories. These directories can contain profiles for hundreds or thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers. Below, we have listed out a few of the most popular ones below for both domestic and overseas suppliers:

Online Domestic Directories

Online Overseas Directories

The Depths of Google

Over the last handful of years, we’ve become accustomed to being able to easily search Google and find what we’re looking for in the first few search results. However, many suppliers haven’t kept pace with the internet and in particular, Google’s algorithm changes. Their websites are usually old, sparse on information and most certainly are not search engine optimized. 

So how do you find suppliers on Google? For the first time ever, you’ll need to explore page ten of Google search results, and beyond. You’ll also want to use a variety of search terms. For example, words like wholesale, wholesaler and distributor may be used interchangeably so you should search for all of them. 

It may help you make yourself familiar with Google’s search shortcuts to improve the quality of your searches, thus the results.

Local Library

You may also want to consider dusting off your library card and heading to your local library. Many libraries pay monthly subscription fees for online business and manufacturer directories that you normally wouldn’t have access to, or you would have to pay a large amount of money for, like the Scotts Online Business Directory. These directories contain profiles for many manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in North America, depending on the exact directory. 

Make sure to give your local library a call ahead of time and ask them if they have access to these types of private directories. For larger libraries, you may need to chat with the business and technology department.


Some of the best leads can come from referrals by friends and family. Social networks have made it much easier to get the word out so make sure to use these channels.

As you do start to uncover suppliers, even if they aren’t the right fit for you, be sure to ask them if they can point you in the right direction. Being in the industry means they will likely have great contacts and many would be more than happy to refer you to someone that might be a better fit.

Other Research Tips

Another possible way to search for product suppliers is by searching for your products by their NAICS code. 

NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System, and pretty much every single industry and product you can think of is attached to a NAICS code. Sometimes manufacturers and suppliers may list their products by the NAICS code which can make your product manufactures and suppliers easier to find, especially if you’re using professional directories. 

The NAICS directory can be found at your local library or on the Internet at:


Canada – NAICS Code

Requesting A Quote

Once you’ve found a suitable supplier, how do you approach them? 

The biggest question you’re going to have is “how much?” but before you hastily send the supplier your request for quotation (many times referred to as a RFQ), take a few minutes to plan out what you want to say and the questions you need to ask. Planning your email will increase your chances that you will receive a response and the correct information.

Here are a few important questions to consider for your email:

  • What is your minimum order quantity? – Also referred to as a MOQ, you want to make sure their minimums are manageable for you and that you can afford them. This minimum order quantity can vary wildly depending on the product and the supplier so it’s important to ask upfront. 
  • What is your sample pricing? – You’ll likely want samples to inspect before making a full order. Sample pricing ranges, depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers that receive many requests may change the full retail pricing, others will offer you samples at a discounted rate, and some may even send you samples for free. 
  • What is your production pricing? – One of the most important questions is how much your products will cost. You’ll probably wan’t to ask for pricing for several quantities to get a sense of if and how they do discounted pricing at higher quantity levels. 
  • What is your turnaround time? – Knowing how long it will take to produce your order is an important consideration and depending your exact business, time can be critical. 
  • What are your payment terms? – Many suppliers will require new businesses to pay for the full order upfront. This is important to know since inventory is a major cost for ecommerce startups. You may want to also ask if they provide payment terms on future orders.

Suppliers get bombarded with email quote requests all the time from flaky buyers that are just ‘kicking the tires’ so it’s not unusual for many suppliers not to reply to every request. A lack of supplier responsiveness is a common complaint from new ecommerce entrepreneurs. 

So how do you avoid being ignored? There are a few things that you should avoid when you reach out to suppliers for the first time:

  • Long emails – Your first email to a manufacturer should be clear and concise. Avoid telling too much about your story and background. The first email should be purely to assess potential fit at a high level. Focus on what suppliers care about the most like the details of what you’re trying to source. 
  • Asking for too much – Requests aren’t always easy for the supplier to produce. It’s important to ask for a few prices for multiple quantities, but avoid asking for too much or too many quotes. Stick to asking for what you absolutely need to assess fit between you and the supplier.
  • Asking for too little – If you ask for a quote well below the supplier’s minimum order you risk being met with silence. If you are unsure if your request is too small, consider giving them a quick call or send a quick one question email prior to ask what their minimum order is.

Finally, if you’re contacting a supplier from overseas, keep in mind that in many cases, they may be using translating programs to translate your email as well as their reply. Keeping your emails short, concise, well formatted and spelling error free will not only help the manufacturer but it will ultimately provide you with better replies and answers. Also, when asking your questions, it’s best to number your questions, so that they can easily reply to each number, keeping the questions and communication clean and organized.

Here is an example of an email I might send out: 

My name is Richard and I am from XYZ company. 
I am interested in placing an order for Widget A. I just have a few questions beforehand: 

1. What is you minimum order quantity? 
2. What is your cost per unit at the minimum order as well as if I were to order 3x your minimum order?
3. What are your payment terms for new customers? 

I would also like to order a sample of Widget A to verify quality. Can you please send me the cost for the sample, including shipping to:

Richard Lazazzera
80 Spadina Avenue, Floor 4
Toronto, ON, Canada
M5V 2J4

Thank you, 

As you can see from the sample above, it’s short, concise and it’s goal is to make sure at a high level that there is a fit between us. I have also set myself up to immediately order a sample unit, should there be a good fit between us. Once I have received the samples and I’m happy with them, I can then start getting into more detail knowing I’m not wasting their time, or mine. 

Negotiating Minimums

If you’re looking for a supplier for the first time, you’re going to quickly learn about ‘Minimum Order Quantities’ (MOQ’s). It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to require a commitment to purchase hundreds or even thousands of units for your first order depending on the product and manufacturer.

MOQ’s make it difficult when you have limited funds, or simply want to play it safe by starting small to test the market before making larger purchases. The good thing is that MOQ’s are almost always negotiable.

Before you begin negotiating, the first step is to understand why the supplier has imposed a minimum. Is it because there is a lot of work upfront? Or maybe it’s because they prefer to work with larger buyers. Understanding the reasons behind the minimum will help you better understand their position and allow you to negotiate and propose to best counter offer. 

After you have a better understanding of your suppliers position, you can offer a lower order quantity. Compromises can include giving the supplier a deposit for a larger order, but just producing small amounts at a time or paying a higher price per unit. 

Have You Found Your Supply Partner?

Sourcing suppliers and manufacturers is a unique process, and for many, a new experience. Trying to locate suppliers that are a good fit is a critical decision for your new business and aren’t always easy to find. It’s easy to get frustrated when you hit dead ends or brick walls but in most cases, it just requires a little more patience and perseverance to find the perfect partner for your new business.

How to manage quality assurance and quality control in China with China sourcing agent

Everyone is concerned about how to control quality in China. In fact I often have new clients say to me “I don’t care about the price just make sure the quality is OK”. This is actually pretty wise, you are much better worrying about China quality assurance management or production issues than a 5% discount on the production cost.

Imagine your shipment is delayed from China, your product has defects which reduce customer satisfaction or in the worst case require a total product recall.

This happens all the time and even to the big boys, obviously Toys come to mind with the cases of lead paint but also Wal-Mart has had massive product recall cases where they failed to effectively manage their quality assurance processes in China.


What does China quality assurance and quality control involve?

Factories will generally expect some sort of quality assurance process to be employed by the buyer.

Either a full blown quality assurance control or a sampling process. Whatever the case you need the skills to carry out an quality assurance and quality control inspection relevant to your product.

When ChinaFind carries out quality assurance control we look at the following factors:

1. Product factors
a. Size
b. Quantity
c. Technical nature
d. Materials
e. Production process
f. Packaging requirements

2. Situational factors
a. Factory location
b. Weather
c. Language
d. Seasonal
e. China National Holidays

3. Technical Factors
a. Labour skill requirements
b. Tools, testing equipment requirements
c. Certifications required

Product Factors:
We need to know these because they can greatly impact the type and number of quality assurance inspections we carry out.

For example, an order of 1million poker chips would require a different quality assurance inspection than a single wind turbine.

Technical Factors
Such as do we need an engineer, or a person with a specific skill set, or will they be someone capable of looking for scratches on a sheet of glass for example.

The technical nature of the product and the production process often determines the type and level of the quality assurance inspection required.

Situational factors are often overlooked. A factory in central China will incur greater travel expenses, be harder to reach and require overnight stays compared to a factory near a major city.

During some seasons factories will be on skeleton staff while they could be closed or key personnel are away during national holidays.

Does your product need to be certified? I have another article which covers certifications however know that some products are required by law to be certified – are you qualified to carry out these tests or arrange someone that can?