Importing from China III: Verifying suppliers

Verifying chinese supplier or manufacturer

As we have previously commented, the finding of suppliers is crucial to importing from China. We need to do a valuable research so that we can find out the best firms to work with before investing too much money in the searching and negotiation. Once we have done it, we should be able to choose at least from one to three suppliers that we want to meet properly. Thereafter, it is time to audit a factory.

Why should we verify our supplier? It is mainly because of the following four seasons:

1.      We need to know if the firm we are going to deal with is a manufacturer or only an intermediate. When we do a research on Alibaba website, we may find generic names such as “Shenzhen Electronic Appliances Co. Ltd.” or “Guangzhou food and beverage Co. Ltd.”. Then, we should be suspicious because they may be intermediates.

2.      We must check the process of manufacturing and the condition of the factory. These two things will give us an idea of the real capacity of manufacturing of our supplier as well as the rough estimate of the product´s quality.

3.      We need to get to know our contact because both buyer and supplier will distrust each other at first. Therefore, the best option is to hire someone who can do this job or visit the factory by your own.

4.      We need to focus on the strategy we have in mind. The supplier could be: a state company, a small company that plans to internationalize, a merchandiser that focuses his job on the Chinese market, a supplier specialized in selling to other foreign firms, etc. Therefore, we need to choose a supplier who shares the same interests we have.

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