An Alibaba Sourcing Agent in China can assist you to find factories, product samples and carry out quality control. This way you do not have to travel to China for sourcing; as an assistant does it instead on your behalf. An Alibaba Sourcing Agent is a local company that assists exporters from other countries who would like to import goods from
The first step before hiring a sourcing agent in China is to research their market entry experience. Ensure that they have a good understanding of the product you are looking to sell into this market region and that they are familiar with similar products which may be already selling well into this particular region (e.g.: if your product is for the US market, check to see if they have experience helping other clients sell similar products to the US market.
What is a sourcing agent or buying agent?
Sourcing agents are usually referred to as buying agents in China. They assist exporting companies who want to sell into China by finding suppliers, product samples and arranging quality control inspections where necessary. Sourcing agents typically work on a commission basis or charge a monthly fee as some Chinese manufacturers prefer this method as the exporter is paying for time instead of importing goods that may not be sold.
How can Buying an agent / Alibaba agent help you?
An Alibaba sourcing agent finds reliable suppliers and assists with:
– Product Selection
– Price negotiation
– Shipping arrangements and documentation
According to maplesourcing.com Once an order has been placed and paid for, Alibaba’s sourcing agent will handle all contact between the provider and your purchasing department until delivery is achieved.. Most importantly, the buying agent will arrange for goods to be shipped once production has finished. This is standard practice in China, and most Chinese manufacturers prefer this method as opposed to CIF (cost, insurance, and freight), where the supplier needs to find a forwarder and handle all shipping paperwork and arrangements.
Why would I need an Alibaba sourcing agent?
An Alibaba sourcing agent is especially beneficial when you:
– Are new to importing from China
– Want to sell your products online through sites such as alibaba.com or 1688.com – Need assistance with product selection (the buying agent will know what sells well in which regions)
– Need assistance with quality control inspection
– Do not have the time or knowledge to import and manage your goods – Don’t want to go through the hassle of hiring an in-house staff member for this task
What do you pay a sourcing agent?
The fee that a sourcing agent charges is usually a commission or monthly retainer. The commission fee is determined by the geographical region you are importing from as well as the amount of work involved. Allowing the buying agent to handle all communication between you and the supplier can save time and money because there will be no need for additional translation services as long as
They Will Help you get a competitive
By using an Alibaba sourcing agent, you will receive a competitive edge as your order is placed ahead of those whose exporting company has not outsourced their search for suppliers to a buying agent. This will allow you to beat out the competition and secure higher quality goods at better prices than those offered by other companies selling similar or identical products.
Quality inspection is also included in the commission fee
Some agents charge an additional fee for quality inspection. Other agents offer this service as part of their commission fee which is usually lower than that of similar services provided by non-buying agents.
The primary purpose of researching your potential buying agent is to ensure they have experience importing into this specific region, or at least the same product category you are looking to import. Once you have found a suitable sourcing agent, make sure everything is outlined within a contract before any work begins.
How to identify a good sourcing agent (procurement agent)?
– In business for a number of years, ideally 10+
– Able to communicate via online chat or telephone in fluent English
– Provides written reports on competitors selling prices and product specifications. This will allow you to stay one step ahead of your competition by knowing exactly what they are selling and how much they are making from their sales.
– Specialises in the product category you are looking to import from China. If they have not imported this type of product before, ask them if they feel confident enough to handle this task.
By using an Alibaba sourcing agent you can take advantage of their expertise and gain a competitive edge over your competitors simply because your order was placed first. There is no reason why other companies shouldn’t use sourcing agents as they are a guaranteed way to save time, money, and effort when sourcing suppliers from China.
As English is the international language of business, regardless of which Western country you come from, your China sourcing agent should have a good command of speaking and writing English.
Furthermore, everything revolves around time and efficiency! Professional abilities and a delicate reaction may help you go faster and outpace your competition. Personal agents will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using phone apps. They can assist you with any concerns that you have right now. So a quick response time is a must-have.
– Do not expect your agent to make you rich overnight
– They cannot work miracles – do some research on the supplier themselves and their products
– Do not expect them to find suppliers who can produce goods for less than those selling such goods on Alibaba, as this is more often than not, unrealistic.
– Do not expect anything of them unless you are 100% sure of what you want.
– Make your expectations clear from the get-go so there are no misunderstandings or disappointments in the future.
Sourcing agents are paid to source suppliers for you, they are NOT consultants, project managers, or business advisers. With all that we wish you a happy business and good luck!