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You may be using several of the below methods already, though we can always all try to improve without you compromising on the quality of your sourcing & vetting of suppliers.
Sometimes those 1-day delays can add up and at the end of the day, you realize you have maybe wasted 2 to 4 weeks because of these issues which can be avoided in many cases.
People who have booked themselves in 4 or 5-star hotels normally prefer to chill at the hotel bar and restaurants, though the below can be some useful options to have if you want to get out a little bit and explore the city.
The Below locations can also be used for both personal and business meetings though it can get a little crowded during the Canton Fair.
It would be safe to say that most (80 to 90%) of the sellers and importers from all over the world who visit the Canton Fair in Guangzhou go there to find new products, new suppliers, meet existing suppliers, do some factory visits during this period.
Other obvious benefits are getting better pricing, lower MOQs, and better payment terms.
When you want to place an order with them, the supplier usually will have a significant change in their attitude as well terms. This happens when you are about to do your due diligence on them; after you receiving & confirming the quality of their sample.
They could be doing following things before ordering samples:
I have seen some of our clients and the general public bringing below food items, snacks, drinks along with them from their own countries when attending the Canton Fair. These are clients from all over the world (USA, Europe, Africa, India, Middle east).
People bring stuff which they regularly like to eat and don't want to run for food and waste time
With the Tariffs looming on China by the US, a lot of the even bigger manufacturers whose main market is the US and who have the financial muscle to move their manufacturing base to another country, still face a herculean task in setting up their whole production base into another country.
Below are some of the factors which a manufacturer has to take into consideration when thinking to move their production to a new country.
If you still want to keep China as your Primary Supply Chain source, then the below tips could be useful to consider and implement.
These tips will help deal with business chanllenges and motivate to explore solutions
Getting better payment terms from your supplier is challenging but very much possible for you to solve some part of your cash flow issues. A lot of the sellers/importers who are growing rapidly after a year or so do face similar issues and cash flow hurdles.
Below are a few of the tools/tactics you can try implementing when speaking to suppliers for better payment terms:
When dealing with any supplier (new or old), it's best to do all your vetting, due diligence, price negotiations, sample quality check, and rechecking all the details related to your order before pulling the trigger.
However, some suppliers might be in urgent need of orders and hence don’t want you to spend too much time vetting and thinking and thus try to speed up the process.
Those who want to enjoy their upcoming walks at Canton Fair need to go through this list of things unnecessary to carry along.
This is the list of tools and weapons you might think you need but can prove as unnecessary baggage. Please have a look.
Below is the kind of ammunition you can use to present to the Alibaba Trade Dispute Mediation Department and leverage it in try winning a case against a supplier in situations where either you get shipped defected goods, a failed inspection, late delivery, or constant changes in prices or payment terms.
The more proof you have, the more chances the case should be swinging in your favor.
Last week we had a Factory Audit done to check if a supplier was a manufacturer or trading company. Our inspector found 10 workers to be under the age of 16 (Legally, minimum age has to be 16 in China).
The inspector found out the age through the manufacturer's employee name list that mentions the date of birth of each employee working in that company.
Below are few of the "Reasons" we have been given in the past and hit with unexpected costs from some shipping companies.
So please make sure you work with vetted and reliable shipping companies. Many good ones out there mostly.
Below are some of the questions I ask my sourcing team to answer me back with, after a client has approved our quote and wishes to order a sample from a supplier.
Below are few of the methods you can use for your business when dealing with Chinese Suppliers, though many of these below methods can also be implemented on whichever countries you are sourcing from. Of course, there can always still be a small chance for a cunning supplier to find loopholes and run away with your ideas.
If looking for some high-quality packaging for your product then do try working with a box factory in the Guangdong area ideally, as their box quality & overall finishing is often better than other provinces.
Their price might be $0.1 to $.25 higher at times but can often be worth it and you can always negotiate hard if your quantities are good!
It's important you know the average price first of your product, in the country you are sourcing from. That will give you an idea how much realistically you can negotiate without making your supplier loose interest in your inquiry.
You can have all the contracts, trademarks, NNN agreements, Vetting made and done but as in life and business building that relationship and trust is so very important to keep things smooth and rolling for the long-term. Sometimes being so deep into E-commerce makes us forget the value of getting to know the other person and understand other human beings.
When confirming a contract with a supplier for any big project which is high is order value (say over usd20,000 or above) then it's always a good idea in trying to convince the supplier to stamp the contract with their company's official stamp. Though of course this is just one of the many ways you should utilize when trying to protect your unique product ideas, Mold Project, high value projects.
Below are some words/phrases we can use with our Chinese suppliers, especially when talking to them on Wechat.
It actually resonates with them when used correctly, at the right times, and with a positive intent. Basically, it can make the conversation feel more human for them and actually does help in getting them to feel a little comfortable.
If all the below points have a check beside them, then you can feel pretty confident and be in a good position to pull the trigger when sending out that initial payment.
E-commerce for a lot of us has been totally life changing and hopefully never taken for granted. But at times the human element totally goes missing and disappears in the e-commerce space. We sometimes get so immersed in our little E-com businesses and start thinking this is how business is done in the real world.
Next time if you happen to visit China for your factory visits or the Canton Fair you can try opening a Chinese Bank account and then link it up with your Wechat.
Linking it up to your Wechat can help you make small and quick payments in RMB to your Suppliers, Courier companies, Shipping companies, Inspection companies.
Yes flying to China to renegotiate your payment terms is one of the Best options you have in trying to get you a better deal (pricing, improved payment terms, new product ideas).
Below are few things you could try leveraging and re-negotiating better payment terms for yourself!
Alibaba is focused on the International Market, is branded in those ways and it's one of their primary reason for being in existence.
It's more expensive for a company to register and have presence on the Alibaba Platform (at times nearly USD5000 for up to a year).
More often than not it's best to work with an actual manufacturer for any given product but sometimes depending on your the product it's very hard for you to source the actual source of the product and one is forced to go through a trading company who might still be able to provide you the product based on all your requirements, quality standard and target pricing.
Below are few of the Fancy/Creative names and phrases some China based Trading companies use when they want to hide the fact of them not manufacturing your product and not being a Manufacturer of any product.
In order to Win Bigger business and retain their existing clients a lot of Trading companies still prefer to not being totally transparent of them being a trader and actually buying the product from an actual manufacturer and selling it on for a profit....
Below are few of the first "Positive" things and signs you can try to take into account before jumping into business with a supplier.
Normally you can do a quick recap of the below points after you have approved the suppliers Sample and made sure that you are dealing with an actual manufacturer and not a trading company.
Below are some of the kinds of gifts you could give to your supplier in a show of Appreciation/Friendship or building stronger relationships.
- 1.) Any Pig related souvenir or item would be quite a safe bet.
- 2.) Tea (preferably a brand from your own country) as many still Chinese suppliers still prefer good/pure Tea over Coffee.
In the Chinese Culture “Saving Face” plays a big role in everyday life and business.
So, it’s quite common for Suppliers to not tell the true reasons for their disinterest in doing business with you, be it out of respect for you or their own conservatism.
This post is simply to help you understand why at times you may have faced or will face this situation.
- 1.) https://www.1688.com (its in Chinese, so one would need to use google translate or a local company to help).
- 2.) https://www.globalsources.com.
- 3.) https://sourcing.hktdc.com.
- 4.) http://www.e-cantonfair.com.
Inspections are ALWAYS a good idea to get done, be it a new or old supplier.
Below are some of the "Reasons" some Suppliers could give you to avoid Inspections (Red Flag!).
- 1.) We don’t trust third party Inspection companies and feel they are not professional and aren't equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to do the inspection.
- 1.) Better pricing (anywhere between 1 to 30% depending on the product and circumstances).
- 2.) Consistency in Product quality.
- 1.) Check on their Alibaba/website, if they displaying too many different product categories? If yes, then theirs a strong possibility of them being a trading company.
- 2.) Check their Business license copy (it’s in Chinese but on it is mentioned if they are a trading company or factory).
A lot of times the delivery date/shipment is delayed due to circumstances which are many times not in our control.
Below could be some of the reasons and if you have experienced any of these or have had your own, then please do comment!
When doing your Sourcing for Suppliers & Products via the internet, be it through Google, Alibaba, Global Sources, Made in China, Exhibition websites, or even 1688.com (translated).
Even after living in China for more than 6 years I still often find myself struggling to come up with a good system to filter out the right suppliers.
As each case is different and there are no fixed solutions or templates to this, but if you keep the Basic Fundamentals strong than you should not go wrong.
In all my years working in China in the Sourcing Industry and Import & Export business in general, I’m often first asked the below questions from Clients/Buyers/Amazon sellers (New and Experienced ones both).
Please note through this post I just want to share my ideas and points of view based on my own personal experiences and observations from being on the ground here in Guangzhou, China for the last 7 years.
Like every post of mine, my only intention is to provide Value Serve, Educate and keep every reader informed about the current trends in this industry.
In Today’s post let’s try to look at the things through a Manufacturer/Supplier eyes.
Hence our own personal experiences often teach us our biggest lessons and help guide us to filter out the bad people in our lives.
I decided to share some of the things I take along with me whenever attending these Exhibitions for the last 7 years.
The below “Weapons” are just something I have learned to Acquire and use at each of these Exhibitions.
Below are a few things you can try to avoid doing in order to have a more productive Canton Fair for yourself personally and for your business.
1.) Taking a little too many of your Own Business Cards with you each day you visit the canton fair. When you have a lot of your business cards on you, more often than not you just start handing them out more frequently when asked. Even when you just take a cursory look at a booth, ask a question or two and then tell the supplier that you are not interested in their products, most Chinese suppliers will still insist for your name card.
As promised yesterday, in today’s post of mine I will talk about how buyers can identify and differentiate the Actual Manufacturers from a Trading Company at the Canton Fair in Guangzhou.
Though there’s nothing wrong in working with good trading companies (they are actually out there!) most buyers feel (very rightly so) that after spending so much money, time and energy to arrive at a Exhibition they should be working with a supplier who is actually the true source and manufacturer of their target product(s).
Every year literally hundreds if not thousands of small to big factories go Bankrupt or are forced to close down their businesses due to negative circumstances.
Many of these Factories which get shut down or go bankrupt still manage to set up a new factory with a different product line or at times make the same product under a different Registered Company name. Also, the fact that local businesses here have strong support from the Banks does help a lot.
Below are some of the warning signs which you should take very seriously when dealing with a new Chinese supplier for yourself.
These can be implemented upon both manufacturers and traders.
1.) When they ask you to send them payments by Bank transfer/TT Only.
In no way are the below different kinds of suppliers in anyway better than the other. They can all very well be good and suitable suppliers in their own right depending on your needs as a buyer and your business goals.
More often than not as long as a supplier’s intent is good, they are run professionally, organized, and their products quality is acceptable then any of the below suppliers could be a good suit for you and your business.
Most buyers have faced the issue of delayed delivery dates and shipments for their orders.
Be it if the Manufacturers are located in the USA, Europe or Asia, at some point or the other most buyers will have faced this issue and will continue facing in the future.
Yes, we all know that many Chinese Manufacturers still don’t have as high standards and a reputation as say a German Manufacturer for trying their best to ship the goods on time.
Finally gotten down to some writing again after two weeks of attending the Canton Fair (Phase 1 & 2) & the Gift Exhibition in Hong Kong.
Most buyers, who have had some experience in dealing with Chinese suppliers, have at some point or another faced the issue of their supplier “Magically” coming up with new (Creative) additional costs during negotiating prices with them or before finalizing an order with them.
1.) When the RMB becomes stronger against the US Dollar. The Chinese Yuan is relatively stable and doesn’t often drastically fluctuate. Though every once a while there's a fluctuation, where the price of your product could go up by 1 to 4%. Let’s say a buyer buys a product in January and the exchange rate at that time is 6.32 RMB against one US dollar. The same buyer comes back in May to buy the same exact product but now the exchange rate in China is 6.20 RMB against one US dollar.
All of us know the 4 to 5 platforms were most buyers do their sourcing from the internet. Be it Alibaba.com, 1688.com, Globalsources.com, Made-in-china.com, all of these sites are where more or less each buyer tries to source from. Below are some tips which one can use to Creatively Source some suppliers from these platforms and at the same time also look outside these platforms for potential suppliers.
Even though Alibaba and 1688 are under one umbrella company, they both operate significantly differently. Yes, most Alibaba suppliers are by and large reasonably quick to respond to new client inquiries.
Though when we compare these Alibaba suppliers directly to the ones on the 1688 platform, their overall response Speed is often slower.
The reason for a few days delay for this post is because I got blocked by Facebook again (my 4th time!) because I repeated the mistake of copying and pasting my content in different groups a little too fast. Basically, one needs to keep a 5 to 10-minute interval when posting out content in different groups to avoid the Facebook algorithm from thinking its Spam.
1.) Finding a supplier who has given you an Awesome price, after you had approved their samples quality and had their premises audited.
2.) After more than a week (or even more) of searching, you finally find a supplier who can meet your target price and all your products requirements.
1.) You actually get to see if your supplier is actually manufacturing the product you need and which process is being outsourced to other manufacturers. In this way it helps you know how much quality control can be done by your primary manufacturer.
2.) Build Relationship and trust with your supplier (Called Guanxi in Chinese business culture).
With Facebook and WhatsApp being blocked in China, the WeChat App (Called Weixin in China) can be very useful and at times a must have when sourcing and doing business with Chinese suppliers/companies.
Below are some of the benefits of using the WeChat App.
Investing in a Mold can be a little challenging at times, especially when its your first time involving yourself in it.
But Investing in a Mold does give you a good chance in differentiating your product from the competition and be a trail blazer in the market.Depending on your Product, a Mold can cost anywhere from as low as $200 to more than $200,000.