When it comes to finding a freelance sourcing agent in China, there are a lot of things to consider. But with the right information, it can be an easy process.
We’ve done our fair share of meddling with sourcing agents from China, and after years of fruitful collaborations (and some bad apples) we’ve come up with a foolproof do and don’t system to help you make the most out of this collaboration.
So, without further ado, here are 13 do’s and don’ts to help you get started.
Because we like to start off on the good foot, we’re going to lead things off with things you’re supposed to do when hiring and working with a sourcing agent from China.
1. Do Your Research
Check their references and do your research before selecting a sourcing agent. The worst thing you can do is enter into a collaboration completely blind and without knowing anything. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Instead, do your due diligence and research the agents that you’re considering hiring. Look for reviews and testimonials from other clients, check their website to see if they have a clearly defined process, and get in touch with them to see how professional they are.
2. Find An Agent That’s Fluent In English
The language barrier is a real obstacle when outsourcing from China, so it’s in your best interest to find an agent that’s fluent in English. Ideally, you want to be able to communicate with them in real-time and without any translation issues.
So, our advice is to find a native Chinese speaker that’s fluent in English – preferably one from https://www.justchinait.com/.
3. Set Your Intentions Straight
Before you begin working with a sourcing agent from China, it’s important to establish clear expectations for what the collaboration will look like. What type of products do you need sourced? How much oversight do you want them to have with the manufacturing process? What about quality control and communication?
Having clear expectations from the very beginning will help alleviate any potential issues down the road. Communicate clearly and regularly with your agent to ensure they are meeting your expectations.
Part of setting your expectations straight should include clearly defining a timeline for when you will need the final products. This is essential because it helps your sourcing agent prioritize tasks and manage the various stages of the manufacturing process in an efficient manner.
4. Work Together With Your Sourcing Agent
Cooperate with your agent to resolve any issues that may arise. After all, you’re on the same team and are working towards the same goal-getting high-quality products manufactured and delivered on time.
If there are any issues with the manufacturing process or quality control, work with your agent to resolve them as quickly as possible. The sooner the issue is resolved, the less of an impact it will have on the grand scheme of things.
5. Trust The Process
Trust your sourcing agent to handle the details of the process, and leave them to do their job without micromanaging them. If you’ve done your research and hired a reputable agent, then they should be more than capable of handling the sourcing and manufacturing process without too much intervention from you.
Of course, it’s still important to stay up-to-date on the progress of things and to be available in case any issues come up. But try not to micromanage and meddle in their process too much. Leave them be. If you’ve communicated clearly, they’ll know what to do.
6. Pay Your Agent Fairly
Last but not least, make sure you’re paying your sourcing agent fairly for their services. These guys are professionals that deserve to be compensated appropriately for the work they do. After all, they’re taking on a lot of responsibility and risk by working with you.
So, be sure to pay them a fair fee that’s commensurate with the amount of work they’re doing on your behalf. And always make sure you’ve established a clear contract outlining what their responsibilities are, how much they’ll be paid, and any other terms of the agreement.
Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin – what not to do.
1. Expect Immediate Results
Don’t expect a sourcing agent to be able to source everything you need in one go – it’s a lengthy and complex process, so be prepared to give them time to do their job properly.
2. Overlook Budget Or Quality Control Concerns
Going into the outsourcing process with your eyes completely closed is a recipe for disaster. It’s vital to be aware of both budget and quality control concerns so that you can look out for them throughout the manufacturing process. This means doing your research and asking questions, prior to making any decisions.
3. Be Unrealistic
When working with a sourcing agent, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. If you’re looking for something that’s impossible to source, then chances are your sourcing agent won’t be able to find it for you – no matter how hard they try.
4. Expect Them Do Read Your Mind
Don’t assume that your sourcing agent will know everything you want them to. It is up to you to brief them thoroughly so they understand your requirements. This includes everything from the type of products you need to be sourced, to your idea and concept, all the way to your budget and timeline.
5. Skimp When Hiring An Agent
Don’t try to save money by going with the cheapest option – a good quality sourcing agent is worth its weight in gold and will save you time and money in the long run.
6. Be An Impatient Boss
Don’t rush your sourcing agent or expect them to work at breakneck speed – patience is key when working with a sourcing agent in China, as they have a lot of different clients to juggle and often work on multiple projects at once.
7. Expect A “Full-Stack” Sourcing Agent
Don’t expect your sourcing agent to be an expert in every aspect of your product – they will be able to source materials, components, and even whole products for you, but if you need extra help with things like design, packaging, or logistics, you may need to look elsewhere.
Working with a sourcing agent can be a great way to get access to high-quality goods at competitive prices. But it’s important to do your research and to know both what to do and what not to do when working with a freelance sourcing agent in China.
By following the dos and don’ts outlined above, you can ensure that your collaboration with a sourcing agent is prosperous and productive – from start to finish.
So, take some time to adopt these dos and don’ts and find the right sourcing agency for you – and then get ready to reap the rewards of working with a quality supplier in China!