Reading through the following article you will get a very handy list of Sourcing Agents as well as a detailed explanation as to why their services are worth it for you. We will go into further details and break down their services and how you can make the most out of using their services. Chinese Sourcing Agents have a crucial role in the international market. Their job is to identify and find the best supplier for their clients, the sellers. Putting it simply, product sourcing is finding the right source or product that you wish to sell. Sourcing Agents are the safe, third-parties that will help you go through this process smoothly.
How Sourcing Agents Work?
The following is a simple and straightforward list that breaks down the most important functions of your ideal Sourcing Agent. Once the buyer finds the right Agent and they start working together, the Agent will:
- Identify the exact needs and wants of the buyer with specific regards to the product
- The manufacturer is contacted
- Factory visit is conducted
- Negotiating price, specifying the contracts & terms
- The agreement is set with the supplier, specific quote and other details then are required.
- First samples are produced and tested
- Once green-lit, they confirm that the remaining products can be manufactured as well
- Product follow-up is conducted
- Expert inspectors are hired to conduct quality check
- Technical analysis of goods is conducted
- Labeling and packaging process starts
- All other preparatory tasks were conducted to ready the goods for shipment
The following is a list of the Top 20 Sourcing Agents in China. If you decide to take your business here, these are the best Agents you can work with:
- Quik Sourcing
- Meeno Group
- Imex Sourcing Services
- Sourcing Bro
- Dragon Sourcing
- Guided Imports
- Linc Sourcing
- Easy Imex
- Ec4u Limited
- Keen Sourcing
- FBA Sourcing China
- Maple Sourcing
- China Purchasing Agent
- Import Dojo
- 80/20 Sourcing
- Baysource Global
- Jing Sourcing
- Foshan Sourcing
Who Needs a Sourcing Agent in China?
There are various reasons one could decide to hire Sourcing Agents. It is all about delegation. Even if One is confident they can conduct all of the steps (more details on that later) of what it takes to get your finished goods, it is just more effective to delegate your tasks. This way you can save not just money but valuable time. You can rid yourself of the hassle of researching Chinese local markets, customs and practices and understanding potential Chinese speaking suppliers.
Therefore there is a high demand for these third-party agents. This is especially true when it comes to global trade due to the prices generally being the lowest in the world. Therefore it is advisable to get an Agent s you can find and make the best deals.
What Kinds of Products Can a Sourcing Agent Help to Source
Due to their understanding of local trends Sourcing Agents will help you select the right manufacturer from thousands of choices. The hardship usually comes because of communication. They will be very helpful with that as well. From here on you can get almost any product manufactured and shipped. The sky’s the limit.
As opposed to mediators who sell their own products for their own profit. After agreeing on the terms and conditions the Service Agent will ensure authentic and original manufacturing directly conducted for your specific needs. Thereby guaranteeing safety and high quality.
What Kinds of Services You Get from Chinese Sourcing Agent
During the following section of the article we look deeper into what exactly a Chinese Sourcing Agent will do for you. Once you select the right Agent for your and the process starts, they will:
- Selection of the Right Supplier Matching Your Needs – Normally before One selects the matching supplier they need to go through a time consuming process of checking and testing various sample products produced by the suppliers. This tends to be one of the most time consuming steps of the process. Most agents will do this and much more for you
- Inspection Services – One significant barrier in international trading is not being able to take care of matters like quality inspection personally. Manufacturers might offer third-party inspection services but they are not always best qualified for checking the goods as per the client’s need. A local Sourcing Agent will keep your needs and wants in mind and represent them at their factory visits. They will also be sure to hire the best inspection services based on your needs.
- Saving Time – As a buyer you always want the best products from the best sources. However since there are thousands of sources it is not possible to go through them one by one. Getting an agent will save you a great amount of time. Due to their network and experience they will quickly identify the right match for your needs and pair you up with the right provider, or create a short list for you to go through. Saving you the time of checking the other thousands of sellers in the region.
- Gathering the Products – If you were to have different goods manufactured from different products, that is no problem at all. Due to their wide network, agents can help you by minimising your costs and the time it takes to gather your products even from different sources. They perform a multitude of tasks: storing, shipping and even international freight to mention a few.
- Good Connection with Suppliers – As mentioned earlier as well China Sourcing Agents have great and trusted connections with local and regional sources. They therefore are able to find the best deals and even negotiate for you if need be.
- Flexibility is key – Their services can be fully customised to your needs. The have the capacity to take on complex tasks at your service right away.
- Spotting Scams – Knowing the local culture and having a wide ranging network will enable your selected Agent to quickly identify and eliminate potential scammers and thereby help you reduce risks.
- Reducing Prices – It is known throughout various sectors that sources tend to increase their prices when they learn that their buyer is from a foreign country. Agents will represent you as locals and reduce these costs. Of course they will still take their fees, but this will still save you money on the long run. When hiring your Sourcing Agent you do not need to delegate your tasks, because they will do that for you in the most cost effective way possible.
- Compliance Service – It is also crucial to comply with local and international rules and regulations when conducting business. Your selected Agent’s services entails this service as well. They will look out for you and prevent any potential fines for not following guidelines and regulations.
To put it simply, the right Agent will find a local rady factory to produce your goods. They will manage the production process. Afterwards they will hire the right inspectors and conduct high quality inspection of your goods. And finally they will arrange the plan of shipment tailored to your needs.
What is the Sourcing Agent Commission Rate and Fee Structure
The price of the service provided by your selected Agent will be depending on your exact needs and the amounts of services you as the buyer require from them. Some of the aspects might be of help for you to see what they will base thor pricing on:
- Commission – The commission is usually somewhere between 5-10%. This however will be dependent on your choices as to all aspects of your order. For example: the amounts or frequency of your orders.
- Hourly Rate – When applying this option the size or procedure of your order is irrelevant. Your selected Agent will simply be paid after each hour they work for you.
- Flat Fee – This a one time payment based on the agreement between the two parties. From henceforth there are no additional fees required by the Agent.
- Mixed Payment Structure – This third option starts with a similarly fixed rate. However there is a pre-agreed limit. Once this limit is reached you might be required to initiate further payments using either commission or hourly rate options.
How to Find a Perfect Sourcing Agent in China
Based on the information so far you by now surely got an idea of what exactly you prefer. Now that you are further in the selection process we can take a look at which aspects should you, as the buyer base your choice on. Here is a useful list for that:
Document Your Needs
It can be very useful and a solid foundation for the upcoming business transaction if you are laser focused and keep in mind everything you want. The best way to do this is by writing a list of all your requirements both for your Agent and your Supplier. Take the time you need, this will prevent you from forgetting anything important and having to start all over later. Keep in mind that standard business practices can, at times, be very different in different countries. Just because something is perfectly clear to you that does not mean that it is understood the same way by your business partner(s). No list is too detailed.
As for your Sourcing Agent, you have to include among others: the range of services you need, the level of expertise you require, location(s), language proficiency and payment structure. Be sure to also define what exact requirements you want to set towards the supplier. This could include: working conditions, quality, delivery deadlines and material types you wish to be used when manufacturing your products.
Set Your Budget
The budget you have is of course a very important factor in the process. However it is always advisable to be ready to have extra fiscal capacity as many additional costs may arise. This too is a good reason to be absolutely precise with your terms and conditions before you start the process. Determine the price you are willing to pay, the amount of units you want and so on.
Choose The Right Company Based On Your Needs
There are three main types of Sourcing Agents that you can choose from, based on all the factors determining your business capacities and needs:
- Single Sourcing Agents – These Agents are individuals who work alone. One of the advantages of choosing a Single Sourcing Agent is that it is likely that they will work closely with their clients. A more personal business relationship could be formed that may benefit the buyer. However this individual might have fewer smaller networks as opposed to a larger agency. Smaller Agencies usually also come with fewer reviews, references. This could increase risks.
- Sourcing Agencies – These are larger agencies working with various types of Agents, each with their fields of expertise. They have larger networks and resources. These companies though tend to be pricier then Single Sourcing Agents
- Sourcing and Logistics Companies – These companies are on a larger scale. They have an extensive network and many divisions. They also offer a much larger set of services that can be specifically tailored to their buyers’ needs. The biggest advantage of doing business with Sourcing and Logistics Companies is probably time. You can have every single aspect of your business conducted by one company and after one agreement. The down side of course is the price. These companies are the most expensive of them all.
All of the above examples show different agencies working with different methods and different services they are able to offer for their potential buyers. Therefore it is important to study them carefully before One makes their decision as to which specific company to proceed with and trust to live up to their expectations.
Do Your Research
When you do your research, don’t just look them up online. Many people tend to go with whatever comes up first in their browser. More extensive research is highly advised. For example, read the reviews from previous clients, or even write them an email with specific questions or give them a call and see how quick and ready they are to give you the best service you deserve. If the business you are about to conduct is of large scale, you could even contact their references to get a more in-depth review on their previous collaborations, their product quality and overall level of service.
Ask for a Written Quotation
Once you are nearing your decision, it can be useful to still draw up a shortlist of the best fitting Sourcing Agents. Do reach out and ask for a detailed price estimate based on your needs and musts. If in doubt you should feel free to even ask for a copy of their business licence as well. You will be conducting business with them after all.
Negotiate The Price
When you have found all of your candidates, try and see if there are any discounts or perhaps a cheaper deal if you were to repeat your offer. Larger companies tend to have fixed prices, however they could have discounts occasionally. If you need to watch your budget, an independent Sourcing Agent could be of better use too.
Thoroughly Document Everything
In order to prevent any miscommunications or misunderstandings, which then could lead to potential disagreements. Do document every single step of the business. Not just the agreement but each step. For instance if anything arrives not up to par it is advisable to have the right documentation of that product. This way the supplier can fix the error. You should also confirm and double check the preferred payment method. This will include the amount and type of payment by all parties involved. Documentation is the solid foundation of your business and it will be your safeguard should things go wrong.
Test Your Agent With a Small Order
If everything is in place and you are confident about your order, and the agreement with your Sourcing Agent but you have extra time on your hands, it could be worth it to test them and their services with an initial smaller order. Then once you receive your goods and find everything to be up to your standards you can place your larger orders too with high confidence and trust in your Agent.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers That Can Help You Find Your Next Sourcing Agent
How Much can I Save by Sourcing From China?
Many countries tend to charge more if they see that their buyer is from different countries. Here too your selected Sourcing Agents can be useful by seeking out the best deals for you.
Get Sourcing Agent from Right City
Due to their experience, expertise and usually wide network, your Agent or Agency will help you identify the easiest location for your needed products and their manufacturing. This way, again they can save you time and money/
Quality is Key
The right Agency will get a third party to inspect your goods. This is crucial as you are not present to do it personally.
What is the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
The MOQ can really vary depending on what exactly you order and which country is the shipping destination. The most common items ordered are clothing and other fabrics, watches, electronics, kitchen products, toys and children’s products. All of these products require MOQ. Your selected company will specify their minimum limit for you.
How Long Does it Take to Source From China?
This could take anywhere between 1-2 weeks to months, depending on a multitude of factors. This could be the time of the year your order is placed, the quantity and quality of the products and most importantly the way of preferred transport and the country of destination.