How to Source Quality Products From China?

How To Source Quality Products From China?

How to source quality products from China is not an easy undertaking Its fraught with danger, cost, and hurdles to trip you up at every occasion.

If you strike this fine balance correctly, it can launch your product to cost-effective stardom; get it wrong, and you will be travelling home with your tail between your legs and a lot poorer for the experience.

Get your sourcing systems correct from the start.

There is no magic wand you can wave to dealing in China. Its a complex place and we talk about the complexities that even we face dealing there.

Hell, even last week one of our suppliers closed down overnight, it’s only because we have our team on the ground in the same cities as our suppliers we were able to get our clients tooling out of the factory and into a new factory.

Headaches, heartaches and profits

You have been onto the Ali-express, Alibaba and Made-in-China sites? Seen the great deals and the amazing piece cost that you can gain in this place.

What if I told you the majority of these “Factories” might just be trading companies or dealers.

You can dig a bit deeper and get to the actual factories and manufacturing facilities. Meaning that there could be an ever-increasing profit margin for you to tap into.

Sounds good right?

Its is, but being a foreigner, you will never be able to get hold, or even close to these prices, without employing a bit of investigation work.

Think of Alibaba and Ali-Express as the starting point. Much like you would heading down the local market. You take the first price from the first shop as a starting point.

Middlemen Vs. Direct

China is one big factory; it has equal amounts of middlemen too. Visiting the factory is always the starting point that I would recommend. It allows you to cut through the salesman talk and get straight to the point.

It’s essential that, at this point, you have someone there doing the translation for you, on your team. It could be that the middleman is just re-hashing the information from the factory and translating it straight to you. They will also re-hash all the quotations for you too. Meaning that you may not gain the best bang for your buck.

What if I cannot get to the factory?

There are a few options that I would advise here. There are many options on the internet to get close to the factory without actually setting foot in China.

But it’s still a risk. You can head to Panjiva, look at the import and exports of a company and work backwards to find the supplier. But you still are at the mercy of someone on the other end of an email or WeChat number.

The other is:

A Sourcing Agent

Many services are offered by agents worldwide; these agents work with Chinese factories and suppliers.

Sourcing agents in the first aspect of the role represent you, the buyer. They source commodities and buy your products on your behalf.


Traditionally sourcing agents do just that, Source. However, agents can offer a multitude of services.

This can include:

    • Finding the right supplier
    • Auditing the supplier
    • Searching and finding the right price
    • Conduct price negotiations
    • Production follow up
    • Conduct quality control
    • Ensure product compliance is met
    • Conduct testing
    • Assist with shipping

It’s A Long List Of Services, Right?

Be sure to ask the questions of services offered when finding your agent.

What If I Have No Experience In Dealing With China?

If you have next to no experience in dealing with suppliers, quality control or importing and need help finding a supplier in China for any of your components or commodities; do not fear.

You have taken the first steps in the right direction.

If you want to read about more topics about how to source from China and how to improve your manufacturing processes, take a look at our China sourcing blog HERE.

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How To Source Quality Products From China?