China is easily the largest exporter of goods in the world. The East Asian giant sent an incredible $2.5 trillion of goods abroad in 2018, which represents around an eighth of all global exports.

China’s fantastic success in the export market is generated by its ability to manufacture quality products at low cost. This is made possible by the abundance of natural resources, cheap labor and a currency that is kept artificially low in order to promote exports.

More and more US businesses are looking to source their products from Chinese providers. If you would like to know how you might do this with your business without visiting China, read the steps below.

  1. Market Research

The first thing that you need to do is to find a similar product in China to that which your company manufactures. You should then create a list of potential Chinese supplies and then contact them for quotes. You can then settle on a supplier that offers you a reasonable price and appears to be dependable.

  1. Research Your Choice of Supplier

When you have found what appears to be a suitable supplier, your next task is to do a little digging to find out whether everything checks out. The Chinese export market is full of so-called suppliers who are in fact middlemen. These middlemen will offer you a deal which is far inferior to that which you might get if you manage to contact the supplier directly.

  1. Place Your Order and Ask for Samples

The next step is to clearly state what it is that you want the supplier to supply or manufacture. We cannot stress the importance of being thorough in your demands here. Make sure that you express specific requirements regarding the material, quality, cost and appearance of what you want to order. Keep all emails as documentation to use if the product does not meet the agreed-upon specifications.

When you have done this, be sure to order samples before placing your main order. This way, you can check that what you are ordering is fit for purpose.

  1. Follow Progress Reports and Monitor Transit

It is a good idea to ask the supplier to provide you with daily progress reports to help you keep track of what is going on with your order. When your order is ready to be shipped, make sure that you also follow the shipping process as well to ensure that the order arrives by the agreed-upon date.

  1. Payment

If you are happy with the order, organize payment and a receipt through a secure channel. You can then consider drawing up a contract that will dictate the basis of the working relationship with the supplier going forward.

If you own a business and are looking to form a partnership with a Chinese supplier, it can be difficult to know where to start. Time, distance and language can all pose obstacles in the beginning, but once you have overcome these issues, but if you follow the steps listed above, you should be able to find a deal that significantly boosts your profit margin.

Rich Seigel - Author

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