How to find a sourcing agent in China?

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Emma123, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Emma123

    Emma123 UKBF Newcomer

    6 0
    Hi

    I am trying to find a sourcing agent in China with experience in the food market (specifically tea) and preferably with exporting experience from China to the UK.

    I'm a start up business looking to import only small quantities to begin with. I'm too small for most of the major China sourcing agents I've found advertised on Google.

    Is there a 'directory' of sourcing agents I can make enquires from?

    Thanks for your help.
     
    Posted: Sep 22, 2019 By: Emma123 Member since: Sep 22, 2019
    #1
  2. GirirajD

    GirirajD UKBF Newcomer

    4 0
    Hi Emma123,

    If it is of any help, I can help source from India as I have recently started assisting in sourcing.

    In my experience, where small quantities are concerned, India and China would cost almost the same. Infact, India may be cheaper given logistics costs. Although - I am working on building contacts in China and will share once I have some.

    Please let me know if I can help.

    Admin: Please advise if the above message is inappropriate for this group. Am new to this forum.

    Regards,
    Giriraj D
     
    Posted: Sep 23, 2019 By: GirirajD Member since: Sep 19, 2019
    #2
  3. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Verified Business ✔️
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    Hello @Emma123 . How small is small?
     
    Posted: Sep 23, 2019 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
    #3
  4. Emma123

    Emma123 UKBF Newcomer

    6 0
    About 20kg per tea type
     
    Posted: Sep 23, 2019 By: Emma123 Member since: Sep 22, 2019
    #4
  5. Anne nuna

    Anne nuna UKBF Newcomer

    1 0
    HI!

    I'm Chinese living in Manchester.
    I can help you buy 20Kg
    What type would you like?
     
    Posted: Sep 25, 2019 By: Anne nuna Member since: Sep 25, 2019
    #5
  6. OMGVape

    OMGVape Contributor

    577 75
    Hi Emma

    I use a sourcing agent in Beijing for smaller orders, message me your contact details and I’ll ask her to get in touch.
     
    Posted: Sep 25, 2019 By: OMGVape Member since: Jan 21, 2018
    #6
  7. CHUKTC

    CHUKTC Contributor

    202 34
    Hi Emma,
    You will find many sourcing agents able to help you if you look online using a search term such as China sourcing agent. The problem is knowing which one to choose!
    The vast majority are based in China and whilst in theory this is not a problem per sae you may find it preferable and more reassuring to use a UK based company with offices in China.
    Before choosing an agent make a list of the things you want them to do - then make sure you have confidence the agent you choose understands what you want and is able to deliver. Things you may want to consider include finding a suitable supplier who can deliver the quantity and quality you require, will they check out the background of the supplier for you (you dont want to use one who closes after you paid)! What about quality control? will they negotiate prices and importantly payment terms. What about shipping - can they provide door to door delivery? can they provide a price including port and customs charges to your door (many in China cannot). What about checking the goods (in this case a food product) has the required documentation to enter the UK? Do they have experience in this kind of thing?
    A good agent should be able to take care of all of these things for you and protect your interests.
    Let me know if you need any more advice.
     
    Posted: Sep 26, 2019 By: CHUKTC Member since: Jan 2, 2019
    #7
  8. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA Full Member
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    Tea is very very specialised and your buying options will depend on your business you are trying to promote.

    If it's a dedicated tea business you are looking to open, then my advice is to visit China and go to the tea plantations and see with your own eyes how the tea is grown, prepared.

    A tea specialist will want to know that you have knowledge in your buying process and that you understand your business.

    It will be money well spent.

    If you are just looking to sell 'Chinese"' tea, then take your pick on Alibaba . . . .research, select, sample, due diligence, sample order, test etc. etc . . . . .Or get an agent to do the research, sampling and consolidate the sample shipping to you.

    They will charge, but will save you money in the long run, especially for shipping consolidation.

    Feel free to ask for any assistance via the link in my signature below.
     
    Posted: Sep 30, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #8
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  9. QPLAST

    QPLAST UKBF Newcomer

    40 5
    Tea being a very special product, you should first find the source locations where it's grown or processed. Then find a local contact for logistics.

    Alternative, you can do the reverse. get samples from agents and then based on what you like, you have to find the actual source(tea estate) for bulk supply somewhere down the line.

    Good luck
    Deepak
     
    Posted: Oct 6, 2019 By: QPLAST Member since: Aug 22, 2018
    #9
  10. Sauron.Zhang

    Sauron.Zhang UKBF Newcomer

    2 0
    well, I have a friend in China doing tea business. he plants team by himself.
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Sauron.Zhang Member since: Oct 31, 2019
    #10
  11. Nick Garnett

    Nick Garnett UKBF Newcomer

    34 9
    Go straight to Alibaba, it's full of really helpful, conscientious Chinese manufacturers ready and able to help you.
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Nick Garnett Member since: Oct 31, 2019
    #11
  12. Novevan

    Novevan Contributor

    201 47
    this is a good idea,Many people are looking for suppliers on ali
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Novevan Member since: May 6, 2014
    #12
  13. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Only because they are looking for snake oil.
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. Nick Garnett

    Nick Garnett UKBF Newcomer

    34 9
    If you work for UK Business Forums I don't think you're doing a great job, every comment seems to reflect your negative opinions about everything. I'm a new member here and you're not giving me a great impression of the business.
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Nick Garnett Member since: Oct 31, 2019
    #14
  15. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    I don’t work for UKBF. I’m just a volunteer.

    If you search the forum and many other sources they will all tell to be very careful when dealing with alibaba. What you buy may be diiferent to what you receive (as many have discovered).
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. Nick Garnett

    Nick Garnett UKBF Newcomer

    34 9
    Complete nonsense, and why does it say 'Staff member' in your profile?
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: Nick Garnett Member since: Oct 31, 2019
    #16
  17. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Because that is the default label. I don't get paid, all I can do is a bit of moderation. Some of the moderators are employed by Sift but most aren't. If you don't believe me get in contact with @Ray Newman
     
    Posted: Nov 1, 2019 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #17
  18. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA Full Member
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    I agree with @fisicx in that Alibaba is not the best solution for when buying in China.

    The buying process is complex and you need to work with a competent supplier that tells the truth, understands your full requirements and will be able to deliver the product you want, together with your branding, packaging, verified certifications, quality control as well as a host to other requirements.

    Alibaba suppliers will be in the main trading companies with little knowledge of the product and virtually no control of the quality of the final product. Your first line of communication is with a ‘sales rep’ who is in this position solely due that he/she knows a limited amount of English, which is not sufficient to fully understand all your needs required at each stage of the buying process, from A to Z.

    I would say that 90% are trading companies or ‘one man bands’ all masquerading as ‘factories’.

    Alibaba is fine to get ideas and ball park prices on products, but to find a good supplier takes days of hard work, sampling, due diligence, getting 3rd party inspections on the factory itself, certifications and quality inspections before shipping.

    Rule number one - Never rely on what a China supplier tells you. Alibaba are full of these types of suppliers.

    Having said all the above, you may hit lucky with some suppliers, as long as they are genuine factories, which is approximately 10% of the listings you will see.

    Like anything in business you have to be prepared to work hard to find the best suppliers.
     
    Posted: Nov 2, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #18
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  19. Novevan

    Novevan Contributor

    201 47
    Nice answer, totally argree!! thanks for your sharing!!
     
    Posted: Nov 2, 2019 By: Novevan Member since: May 6, 2014
    #19
  20. Maple Sourcing

    Maple Sourcing Contributor

    374 81
    Very good comments from "My Office in China", cannot agree more!
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Maple Sourcing Member since: Oct 8, 2012
    #20
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