7 Surefire Ways to Get Your Company Out of a China Sourcing Mess

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Finding the right supplier in China can be a pain, but outsourcing to a supplier you can trust doesn’t have to be. There are ways to assess your supplier’s risk before making a deal with them, and if you have the wrong one, they could cost you time and money down the line. Take the following steps when sourcing from China to avoid any problems down the road.


1) Is the supplier providing quality products?

China is known for manufacturing inferior goods. The best quality inspection company in china source from trustworthy suppliers who can deliver quality products at a low cost. If you suspect your supplier is cutting corners or producing poor-quality products, that’s probably true. Find a new supplier immediately, before word gets out and you have trouble getting what you need from anyone in China. Before making any big decisions about your company—like expanding internationally—make sure your suppliers are capable and reliable. You don’t want to risk losing your business because you’re not getting what you need from overseas manufacturers.


2) Are they delivering on time?

If you order 1,000 units from China and your supplier delivers 590 but claims they have delivered all 1,000 units, are you getting scammed? If so, there are two ways to find out. First, follow up with your supplier on what happened. You should be able to get an explanation either by email or over the phone. Second, ask them for photos of their factory floor during production. If they can’t prove that 1,000 units were made then it may be possible that you’re being cheated out of money or product. However if they can provide proof that 1,000 units were produced then you may need to rely on them telling you where exactly your lost product is.


3) Is your relationship going downhill?

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to source from China with the help of third party inspection, there are two ways that you can approach it: You can be an informed buyer or an uninformed buyer. An informed buyer knows exactly what he wants and how much he is willing to pay for it—and then purchases only when he finds suppliers that meet his criteria. If you’re just getting started in e-commerce, you’re not likely at that point yet, so there’s no shame in being uninformed. Before any deal goes down, though, consult with your manufacturer about possible audits by third parties. If your supplier doesn’t use accredited factories and/or isn’t willing to submit itself to inspection—get out while you still can!


4) Has your supplier been audited by a third party?

Have you been recommended a supplier by your trade organization? Audits and recommendations from reputable sources can reduce risk, so finding out if your supplier has been audited is an important first step. It’s also good to know what type of audit it was, as well as who conducted it and when. This information can help you decide whether or not working with that particular supplier makes sense for your company’s bottom line. In addition, if no audit has been performed on your supplier, or if they have not been willing to provide proof that one has taken place, you should consider another option.


5) Are your prices increasing unnecessarily?

If you have been sourcing from China for any length of time, you have probably realized that sourcing from China isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, if your business is new and considering outsourcing production or importing goods from China, it might be a good idea to read some horror stories about companies who have had their fingers burnt while sourcing in China. But even if your company has been around for a while and you already know all about these risks, chances are good that you still haven’t considered one significant risk: Are your prices increasing unnecessarily? It may seem like an odd question but price increases don’t just happen; they are often brought on by poor negotiation techniques which lead suppliers to believe that they can charge more.


6) Does your supplier always need more payment upfront?

One sign that you’re dealing with an untrustworthy supplier is if they ask for more money upfront than you had previously agreed upon. Asking for more money upfront is usually never a good sign, so it’s important to be on guard against suppliers who do so consistently. If they do, be sure to work with them less often and/or ensure you pay them in installments rather than lump-sum payments. Doing so might help reduce your risk, but it may also incentivize them into producing higher-quality goods or finding another way to get paid.