3 Mistakes To Avoid When Sourcing From China

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Sourcing From China

As a budding entrepreneur, importing goods from China to sell on local platforms such as Amazon might seem an attractive option for you, and rightly so. For years, a country which was seen as a competitive threat is now a strategic resource for its ability to supply low cost goods. The low cost industry in China has gotten American entrepreneurs to focus more on the tertiary side of the business while they handle the manufacturing.

mistakes when sourcing from china

Unfortunately, despite all its pros and benefits, sourcing goods from China is as complex as it can be. There are a number of factors at play that can make an otherwise attractive business plan go down the drain. This happens to many importers who are not aware of the on-ground realities and end up making blunders because they end up overlooking some basic details. As a seller in America, when you’re sourcing from a country such as China, you need to be very careful, especially if you’re dealing remotely and have not personally met your supplier. Here are three common mistakes that you should beware of making when sourcing from China:

Paying Before Verification

You Googled a supplier, logged onto Alibaba, started a conversation and struck a deal. On paper, you might have just struck a jackpot for winning a supplier at an unbeatable low price and made the payment. However, did you consider what if the supplier bails out on you? You can be scammed or delivered something totally not what you ordered. It is a common myth that anyone who is enlisted on a platform as large as Alibaba will be someone reputable. Unfortunately, the truth is that Alibaba is just a community space and is wide open. Anyone can list themselves as a supplier and some are good at impersonating a professional. You can be a potential scam victim and therefore you should never make a payment before verification.

Some importers believe that requesting a sample can easily solve this problem. However, remember that samples can be easily purchased off another supplier and sent for approval and it will be very difficult for an importer to verify if the sample was genuinely from the supplier it was requested from. In order to avoid such traps, you can either hire a third-party audit agency to verify the supplier on your behalf. A cheaper and better deal would be to avoid dealing directly and hire a sourcing agency such as Leelinesourcing.com to take care of all your sourcing and inventory management needs.

Caution When Communicating

Communication processes are easy and simple in America. You write an order or a requisite and make your specifications and it’s done. Unfortunately, things work very differently in China. The business culture and language are different, and the lack of English usage makes communication difficult. However, many importers fail to focus on that part, and end up believing that the supplier has understood the requirements. Therefore, you should make sure that all your communication, specifications, deadlines, quality criteria and other important instructions are clear. Ideally, you should make your documentation in both English language and Mandarin to avoid communication issues.