It happens often, you, as a buyer, after hours or days searching on Alibaba, has found a promising Chinese supplier, and sent out a RFQ (Request For Quotation). The next day, and next few days, you check your mailbox but nothing happens, you have not heard back from the Chinese supplier at all.

Why Chinese suppliers ignore your RFQ?

When sending the RFQ, do you fall in below bad situations which quenching the fire of the supplier motivation?

1-  Wide-open RFQ shows you do not know what exactly you look for.

These broad inquiries are heavy on generalities and low on specifics.

If the supplier is responsible and not too busy, they may come back and ask the buyer questions, in hopes to nail down some specifications.

Otherwise, the supplier simply puts your RFQ in low quality category and ignores it.

2- No indication of time frame.

An indication of time frame would be letting the supplier know, “Why they are quoting?”

For example:

“If all goes well, we hope to start sampling next week.”

“We hope to bring the order next month if all goes well.”

But without any time indication when the quote is sent, you’ve basically asked your supplier to shoot a quotation into the wild blue yonder of cyber space.

3- Unrealistic price negotiation from the beginning

This is when the buyer, in hopes of being professional, gives a target price to the vendor.

The trouble is, this target price forgets the basic rules of mathematics.

It’s not good for the supplier motivation if your figures look like you think their margin is coming from some alternate universe.

If you are going to provide a target price in your RFQ (which I recommend by the way), then make sure you are in tune to some of the basic pricing parameters of your product.

Giving a target price – good

Giving an unrealistic target price – bad.

4- Poor mouthing your own inquiry or client

The buyer, when speaking about their own client, may say something along the lines of:

“They’re really pushing us for pricing and being annoying. We just have to send them something.”

Or when a supplier asks for more detail, the buyer says “I don’t know, we’re not really sure, this job isn’t going too well…”

The buyer, in their internal frustration for whatever reason, express disdain for the project.

Well, if you’re not motivated for the project, guess who else will not be?

5- Letting your supplier know how many people you are against in the bid

“Hey, we’re up against like 30 other companies for this one”.

That says enough.

6- Unrealistic quantity request

Some buyers make the mistake of giving too high quantity scales.

Look, you may order a million units or something like that, but those kinds of inquiries do not usually come to fruition of one emailed RFQ. And unless you’ve built a track record of ordering substantial quantity from this supplier, they may not take you seriously.

If you have a high potential quantity, break that down to a few lower scales in case the large quantity does not hit the pay window.

When sourcing and quoting, be known as a serious client who sends potential business. Show that you value your resources.

Supplier motivation whizzes out like air from a balloon when you request 50,000 units and end up ordering 1,000 units.

7- Complicated item

This could be items require extensive development and items that do not fall into the supplier’s line of expertise.

“Hey, we’re looking to quote a great product that takes lots of development time. But at the moment we’re not sure how many we are going to order. Can you spend some time analyzing everything and then give us a quote?”

These kinds of inquiries usually get ignored.

8- You never close an order

If you inquire over and over but never actually close anything, the supplier is not going to really be holding their breath thinking finally, this is the big one.

You need to be careful not to exhaust your resources.


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