Giddy Chinese Representatives.

Discussion in 'International Business' started by mrka, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    I am dealing with Chinese factories. Been talkign with them on email now for about 1 year.. Placed some orders, but it will be in the next 2 weeks where hopefully orders will start pouting in!

    I have never been 100% confident when dealing with any factory, maybe I am dealing with the wrong ones?

    I try to speaak as clear as possible:

    "Do you understand I am a business, a middle man, and will be bringing repeat business back to you?"

    "Yes how many designs would you like?"

    "No, I said I do not have my own designs, I will be getting designs from my customers, and bringing them to you."

    This goes on and on. I managed to speak on the phone to 2 the other day, one guy was ok, spoke good english and we got down to numbers, but one girl, she just melted on the phone, started to get giddy and laugh and go all shy and make "cute" awww noises, I think she thought she was speaking to Paul Mcartney or Justin Bieber!

    I have had some quality orders though.

    But my worry is that I am unsure if we have estabished a business relationship.

    In order to safeguard my business and give me an edge over my customers I need cheaper prices, if they can go there and buy the same products then why would they come to me, the maths needs to work out.

    How can I be sure that they are giving me a b2b price? Surly it's also in there interest to want to WORK with me, or do they just treat everyone the same??
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #1
  2. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,216 852
    You should be asking for samples, product details and prices from at least 3 to 6 suppliers and compare the following:
    1. Product quality
    2. Price
    3. Specifications
    4. MOQ
    5. Delivery times
    6. Communication
    7. Packaging options
    8. Branding options
    9. Due diligence on each factory/supplier
    10. Are they a bona fide factory?
    11. Payment terms
    12. Warranty
    13. Ability to add/amend/change specifications to your requirements
    14. Sample availability to your exact requirements
    15. Certifications (If required)
    The above is in no particular order and depending on your product(s) there will be other areas to check.

    Then ask yourself, if you're working with the best factory to suit your requirements?

    Finding and choosing the right supplier takes time (as you have discovered) and all your boxes should be ticked before starting the order process.

    If you need any help sourcing, feel free to ask.
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #2
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  3. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    5,049 1,081
    Chinese culture in work and home is very different from UK. The structure of all Chinese languages are totally different to the UK. There is no word for 'yes' in mandarin. Guānxi and Face are really important. In my opinion and in my experience, you will never be sure of a deal in China if you can only speak in English,

    That is why I always bought through agents and trading companies, whatever the size of the order.
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #3
  4. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    That's a good check list. Thanks.. I have asked half of them, but this is a good ist to throw at every factory... A trip to china would be pointless???
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #4
  5. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    Yes, I met a Japanese girl in Barcelona who told me this, how the view on life is very different, they are ver inward shy reserved people.

    So yeah, trading compnaies vs factories, two different beasts yes? I have read it's beer to work with trading companies as they are more set up for modern day business and can actually get you cheaper prices. How would I know I am dealing with a trading company... I am guessing they are just middle men... do they usually advertise they are such or is it all a little wishy washy?
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #5
  6. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,216 852
    On the contrary.

    If you are planning on continued orders, then why not pay a visit to see and speak to your suppliers face to face. It encourages trust between both sides.
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #6
  7. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    Yes I am thinking this, and to visit many more factories.. Though there are more factories in china than people on earth right?!
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #7
  8. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,216 852
    Do your preparatory work in UK, then shortlist the factories you want to visit.

    Be prepared that China is huge, so try to focus on one province (which can be bigger than UK).

    Generally a specific product will be manufactured in the same province.
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #8
  9. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    Yep I heard that... Makes sense, about the provinces...
     
    Posted: Jun 6, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #9
  10. AlanJ1

    AlanJ1 UKBF Regular Free Member

    140 21
    Go to China, meet them face to face, you will soon find out if they are the factories, or a middleman just going to the factories getting your stuff made and taking a commission.
    My Office In China's list is also top notch.
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: AlanJ1 Member since: Jul 25, 2018
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,874 1,622
    Yes, most Chinese citizens work in 8 or 10 factories in a day.
    The ones that don't will be running 3 or 4 middlemen operations, pretending to be a factory while placing orders with favourite factories as demand allows.
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11
  12. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    What is the best way to find out if they are just middle men, or more importantly what is the best way to find real factories?
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #12
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,874 1,622
    Visit or pay someone else to visit.
    Even then you may find a factory owner wondering why you and a Chinese guy are wandering around the factory unauthorised... :)
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #13
  14. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    5,049 1,081
    Why does this matter? Would saving say 10% while placing bigger orders make a significant difference?

    But if you really want to find out:-

     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #14
  15. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,216 852
    As @GraemeL has mentioned above, working directly with a factory is not always the best option and this will depend on your products and specific requirements.

    A competent agent can do the following:

    1. Source, arrange, order and check samples from multiple suppliers before shipping out, to ensure only the best is sent.
    2. Consolidate all the samples into one packet to save shipping costs.
    3. Have an in-depth knowledge of suppliers manufacturing specific products.
    4. Often can achieve better prices from the factory than you can, as they have multiple orders already going through the same factory.
    5. Provide impartial quality control inspections.
    6. Provide multiple shipping quotes and select the best option for you.
    7. Check and confirm all export documentation is correct.
    8. Provide product certifications and verify any certificates or licenses.
    9. Arrange packing and packaging that suits your needs, even if it means using a separate packaging supplier.
    10. Ability to consolidate order shipments from multiple suppliers into one shipment.
    11. Negotiate with the factory for better prices as well as to ensure delivery times are adhered to.
    12. Provide a checklist of all the points required in a Pro Forma Invoice.
    13. Inspect components are correct before production begins.
    14. Ensuring all packaging and cartons are adequate, correctly marked and labeled.
    15. Ensure there is no miscommunication between you and the factory.

    There is one downside - they charge. This is normally between 5 - 8% of the order value, although they may save you more than this throughout their work.

    Ensure you use an English native who understands your language as well as your product and all your requirements.

    On another topic, if you are planning on going to China for the first time, don’t go by yourself.

    Ensure you have someone with you that can guide you, has knowledge of what you’re looking for and can be your interpreter through your stay. Not to, may mean you will be taking one step forward and two steps back.

    Do not try and save pennies, as it may have a detrimental affect and may cost you pounds.

    Feel free to ask any questions, I offer free advice.
     
    Posted: Jun 7, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #15
  16. mrka

    mrka UKBF Contributor Free Member

    98 3
    Thanks for that.. Well right now I am mainly contacting what I belive and been told are factories on Alibaba... I am not buying made products, but offering a service where my own customers wil work through me to get work done... I will offer design expertise and making sure all the techncial stuff is done and dusted for them (which is what I am learning now - so know the price is justified!).

    How would I find a trading company for my specific segment?
     
    Posted: Jun 10, 2019 By: mrka Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #16
  17. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,216 852
    What is your specific segment?
     
    Posted: Jun 10, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #17
  18. Maple Sourcing

    Maple Sourcing UKBF Regular Full Member

    349 75
    My suggestion would be to try to find a trustworthy agent who will guide you for sourcing process, consolidate your products and arrange sea shipment.

    If you want to visit China, make sure ask the agent to recommend you an itinerary, and make appointments with factories in advance. Also, it's better the agent can drive you to the factories, otherwise it's very inconvenient. It's difficult to find a taxi around the remote areas where most of factories are located.
     
    Posted: Jun 19, 2019 By: Maple Sourcing Member since: Oct 8, 2012
    #18
  19. CHUKTC

    CHUKTC UKBF Contributor Free Member

    87 13
    You will find very few factories on Alibaba - almost all are agents. If you need a factory you should look on other (Chinese) sites. It's exceedingly difficult to tell if you are dealing with a factory or an agent. We have to go to great lengths to find out sometimes.

    You are right however you need to know who you are dealing with but whether it is a factory or an agent you need to do due dilligence and I would always advise you do all the usual checks before parting with any hard earned cash. As other have said here agents are better for some hings and factories for others.
     
    Posted: Jun 24, 2019 By: CHUKTC Member since: Jan 2, 2019
    #19
  20. QPLAST

    QPLAST UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    22 5
    I can see a good check list to evaluate a factory/agent...

    This is my check list.
    1. First get the right product. If you can find the factory then great, else deal with your agent but ensure you get what you need. The agents can get you many options than factories.

    2. Find an agent who can take care of your logistics.

    3. Serve your customers with confidence ,"best quality product and service"

    4. Once you have repeat orders, keep on optimising the cost and varieties/design/options to reduce your cost and delivery time.

    Agents will always be expensive, but they can give you many options and put you in business in a short period.

    If you are looking for single product on a massive scale, then look for factories, else for multiple products best to go via agents.

    In summary, first I try to give my customer best quality, Then the cost optimisation.

    All the best,

    Cheers, Deepak
     
    Posted: Jun 28, 2019 By: QPLAST Member since: Aug 22, 2018
    #20