• Elksourcing:How to Locate a Good Chinese Manufacturer?

    Elksourcing:How to Locate a Good Chinese Manufacturer?

    Many importers find it’s difficult to locate a good Chinese manufacturer, for below four reasons: 1) Language and Cultural Barriers It is an obvious reason, but it bears mentioning: There are huge language and cultural barriers that separate western businessmen from Chinese manufacturers. While English proficiency is rapidly growing in China, there are still many small and mid-sized factories that have no employees who can speak fluent English. Beyond this, you also have to deal with other, more difficult to define, cultural barriers. 2) Many Chinese Factories Do Not Market Themselves Well In the grand scheme of things, China as a global manufacturer power is still a relatively new phenomenon. Many Chinese manufacturing companies are still in their early days. These mid-sized and small Chinese firms, which offer manufacturing services that are well-suited for many western companies, do not yet know how to efficiently market themselves to westerners. Indeed, there is…

  • Elksourcing:Six Tips on Importing from China

    Elksourcing:Six Tips on Importing from China

    When importing there are a number of things you will have to consider. This may range from managing long-distance relationships to organizing international transport and customs clearance. If you are considering importing from China, read our top six tips to help you get started. 1) Plan your import objectives Before you start importing, it’s a good idea to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. You might be looking at China to find a cheaper source of supplies, or to import products that aren’t yet available in your country to sell to your customers. At the same time importing should fit in with your overall business strategy. 2) Identify a good, legitimate and reliable supplier Check the supplier is creditworthy and can meet your quality standards. You should assess product quality and check that the goods you buy are suitable. You need to know whether the supplier outsources any…

  • Elksourcing:5 Common Mistakes for New Importers

    Elksourcing:5 Common Mistakes for New Importers

    I regularly work with a lot of new importers, especially new e-commerce sellers selling through Amazon or eBay platforms. Most importers, when first starting out are very excited and charged up about the new venture, and want to get things moving as quickly as possible. When first importing from China, there is a steep learning curve and it normally takes 2-3 shipments for an importer to understand the process flow and all the terminology involved in International trade. With limited understanding of the import processes and that of the working style of Chinese factories, comes increased risk, especially quality risk as well as the increased likelihood of incurring losses on the first import from China due to getting the numbers wrong. Here I look at 5 common mistakes, I often see with new importers first starting out of China. 1. The “Urgent Order Syndrome” This is by far the number…

  • Elksourcing:8 Tips for Your First Approach to Chinese Companies

    Elksourcing:8 Tips for Your First Approach to Chinese Companies

    There is a belief in the West that Chinese companies are competing very hard for your business and you’ve just got to send a mass email out to get a dozen competing responses, fighting to make your product. The reality is very different. Chinese companies are often overwhelmed with emails from importers who (most of the time) are not serious buyers and will never place an order. Why spend hours dealing with impersonal emails that in most cases are just for price comparison? 99% of emails to Chinese companies are just that, and they know it. The best way to make first contact is with a detailed and targeted email to the company. Then make a follow up call within a few days to confirm that they have received it and are dealing with it. Here are eight tips to make sure that they pay attention to you when you make…

  • Elksourcing:Outsourcing from China in Right Way

    Elksourcing:Outsourcing from China in Right Way

    No business is completely self-sufficient. All companies require solutions and products from other vendors to better service their own customers. Outsourcing enables businesses to focus on developing its core competencies, while still benefiting from greater efficiencies and conveniences provided by their outsourced partners.  For example, a premium brand online selling business should spend more of its time developing new designs, working on promotions, or training customer service staff, while outsourcing production from China. There are many suppliers that provide specialised solutions, and this can cause a huge headache for procurement departments. Furthermore, the range of options is getting more complex, with the availability of traditional services firms, freelancers found via word of mouth or from online platforms, purchased software with an upfront cost, cloud-based solutions on subscription basis and many more! Unfortunately, for most companies, procurement policies are still stuck on a lowest cost bias. One might wonder why this…

  • Elksourcing:Quality Control for Importing from China

    Elksourcing:Quality Control for Importing from China

    When your business entails importing products from China, it’s vital to incorporate a quality control process at the factory you work with. Even the best managed factory might not always produce a perfect batch, so a robust quality control plan should be used to ensure your specifications and quality expectations are met within every order. What is Quality Control? Quality control can focus on both product specifications and manufacturing process specifications for any type of goods and is especially important for importing from China. The goal is to identify any problems, defects, and non-conformities in the product that doesn’t follow required specifications from the buyer, or from general international standards. When caught early enough, these issues can easily be solved to fix the initial batch and avoid any future problems. Challenges for Importing from China Import business owners face several specific challenges that can affect their return on investment as…

  • Elksourcing:Why Chinese Suppliers Raise Prices of an Order?

    Elksourcing:Why Chinese Suppliers Raise Prices of an Order?

    If you have done regular business with Chinese suppliers, you have certainly noticed how eager they are to push prices up. And you probably felt like you got cheated sometimes. In this article, I am going to focus on cases where the supplier increases the price of an order they already accepted — a very upsetting situation for the buyer. 1. How they raise prices I think it works out this way most of the time: The boss looks at the prices negotiated for current productions. He says to the salesperson “we will not make money on this order. We need to increase the price.” It is always better to invoke an external fact, upon which their company has — supposedly — no control. So, the boss chooses an excuse of this type. In the email from the salesperson to the customer, it often sounds unconvincing. The customer generally cannot check…

  • Elksourcing:4 Important Things for Buying from China

    Elksourcing:4 Important Things for Buying from China

    From time to time, some small importers find me, tell me the story that unacceptable Chinese products are received, and ask me how they can force a Chinese supplier to refund an order. My response is usually “forget it, and do things right on your next order (make sure you read about best practices).” There are four important things to keep in mind when you buy from China: 1. Preproduction samples are not indicative of average quality Your supplier might show you nice samples, and pretend that they come from a past production of that factory. Do not think that’s what you will receive. Even if that’s true, who knows if they were the nicest pieces out of a batch that counted 90% defectives? Don’t forget, most assembly and finishing operations are done by hand in low-labor-cost countries. 2. After you have paid, you have no more leverage with your supplier What will…

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