Can you completely trust sourcing agent ?

Discussion in 'International Business' started by katiesgifts, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. katiesgifts

    katiesgifts UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    Hi Everyone

    I need some advice to put my mind at rest

    I have a sourcing agent in china which I've known for a few years, the only thing is that they are dealing with the factories on my behalf and they say the companies cannot deal with me directly for contact or taking payments ( they say the companies don't speak English and they are not allowed to accept payments from foreign buyers only locals ?

    I need to trust the agent but I feel I'm not in control

    Is this normal ?

    Many Thanks Katie
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2018 By: katiesgifts Member since: Mar 2, 2018
    #1
  2. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    4,937 1,055
    It's quite likely that this is true. I have visited many factories where my agent had to do all of the talking.
    Of course you are not in control, unless you learn mandarin and visit the factory.
    Don't worry about it. Your only concern should be that the price and quality are right for you.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #2
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,050 915
    Imagine yourself as an intermediary between a client and factory.
    Client wants to deal with factory direct. Will you receive the same pay as you have been for being the intermediary? Or is client looking to save money by cutting you out of the loop?

    Trust works both ways. Lots of people have been burned by being cut out of the equation by people dealing direct, not just with factories but with other kinds of business too.

    It sounds like the sourcing agent is trying to protect their income.
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. katiesgifts

    katiesgifts UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 0
    I completely agree with all the answers and understand the need to protect their income.

    My concern is that they are my only agent with an already full time job and this is extra work on the side for them. The agent has all the companies information (which I don't have) and should they decide to go elsewhere or have a disagreement I will be without all the information I need to run my business.

    I just feel very insecure and feel like I have to tip toe around the agent in case I upset them, its a constant worry for me


    Would it be best to have more than one agent sourcing for me ?

    Many Thanks
    Katie
    xx
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: katiesgifts Member since: Mar 2, 2018
    #4
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,050 915
    You could do but will you be having the same issues with other agents?
     
    Posted: Mar 4, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #5
  6. Maple Sourcing

    Maple Sourcing UKBF Regular Full Member

    324 71
    I think you can sign a service contract with your agent, to confirm that if the price keeps competitive and quality keeps good, you assure to work with the agent exclusively on the specific projects.

    At mean time, you can ask the agent to share full information about the supplier with you, and allow you to visit the factory. Also, you can ask the agent to confirm that the specific projects must be done by the supplier, cannot be sub-contracted to other suppliers unless approved by you.

    It's a fair solution. So, you will have more control in supply chain.
     
    Posted: Mar 5, 2018 By: Maple Sourcing Member since: Oct 8, 2012
    #6
  7. Jessica A.

    Jessica A. UKBF Contributor Free Member

    69 49
    China is a closed off country. Social media is banned there. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Viber you name it. But they do allow Skype. I don't think they want to connect with the world given that most of them don't know how to communicate in English. I have a friend there and he says they are strict with letting people in so yes, your sourcing agent is telling the truth.
     
    Posted: Mar 9, 2018 By: Jessica A. Member since: Feb 28, 2018
    #7
  8. Ecowritingtablet

    Ecowritingtablet UKBF Contributor Free Member

    40 2
    you can try to find suppliers as subsitute as well, see their prices, test samples, and then try orders. All by yourself. Then you have backup. You can have good reason to visit the suppliers deal via sourcing agent, saying that your end customers want to see the factories themself as well. quite normal.
     
    Posted: Mar 15, 2018 By: Ecowritingtablet Member since: Mar 14, 2018
    #8
  9. Hao Li

    Hao Li UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Can you completely trust supplier from alibaba?
    Can you completely trust your employee?
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2018 By: Hao Li Member since: Mar 18, 2018
    #9
  10. Hao Li

    Hao Li UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Do you want to directly contact with factory? I am sorry, that is his result of labour, If you want to get it,you need to pay him for the contact information. If you want to get it without pay him for service, I think that is unreasonable, because he spend a lot of time on find the good factory or supplier, you know?
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2018 By: Hao Li Member since: Mar 18, 2018
    #10
  11. Hao Li

    Hao Li UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    think about this question: How long does it take you to find a good factory for yourself, even though you find a good factory ,Can you completely trust them? similarly, you cannot
    completely trust them
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2018 By: Hao Li Member since: Mar 18, 2018
    #11
  12. Hao Li

    Hao Li UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Do you want to directly contact with factory to save the cost? if yes, you can find many from china,Have you done it? I guess you do it, why do you work together with
    your agent after you look for factory from china? I guess you similarly cannot trust them, or their quote is too high or they give you a big M O Q, is it?

    Suppose you find a good factory for yourself,and you completely trust them, can you check quality of your product for yourself? we all know D H L authority do not give you a good price, can you find a shipping agent company with a good price? all in all, can you do everything of import from china for yourself? How long does it take you to do these work?

    your agent can do everything in china, he is your employee, you pay him the salary, Their labor is more cheaper than UK people,you know? you should thanks to your agent,he help you save a lot of time,save a lot of cost,

    finally,you only need to concern his quote and quality of product and your sale, If you think his quote is too high, you refuse to cooperate with him, Just this simple.
     
    Posted: Mar 18, 2018 By: Hao Li Member since: Mar 18, 2018
    #12
  13. Frankngai

    Frankngai UKBF Regular Free Member

    109 9
    I think it's easy to solve the problem. If you don't trust your agent, just find a 3rd party inspector to check the quality before shipment. In this way, you can get the products with the quality you want and the factory's information.

    In China, some factories can do business directly with foreigners although the price may be a little higher than others.Some other factories can't because they can't speak and write English and don't know how to process & export the order. They maily rely on the agent or middleman.

    As you're afraid your agent can't concentrate on your order, you can find a professional sourcing agent to have a try.
     
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: Frankngai Member since: Mar 9, 2012
    #13