Channels of finding export suppliers
When you receive an inquiry about a new product, you should first see if there is a suitable off-the-shelf export supplier that you know. If so, you make an inquiry with him first. If not, you can ask your colleagues or friends to see if they know some suitable supplier. In case they don’t provide the information you need, you need to expand your channel of information.
For example, I used to work as a purchaser in a large enterprise. I am now engaging in export, still in the same industry. And the final products used at home and abroad are similar. So, I’ll ask my former colleagues to provide me with some relevant information. Sometimes I even ask some of my peers. Although the peer may be a competitor, this is not necessarily. The world is big, and it is unlikely to face the same customer. So I learn from them.
In some cases, I also learn to the customer. For example, customer A asks for a product, and I know that customer B has purchased in China before. I will learn some information about this product from customer B, including domestic suppliers, etc.
If you can’t get the information you need through the above channels, you can only use search engines like GOOGLE, Baidu, or YAHOO, Alibaba. There is a lot of information about export suppliers on the web, but you need to filter.
The features of export suppliers
The first factor to choose a supplier is reliability, which will reduce the risk. Once there are some problems, it is easy to solve. So you have to ask an acquaintance before you turn to the Internet for search.
In general, you should choose a supplier with convenient transportation, such as a foreign trade company in the surrounding area. If possible, you’d better choose a supplier that can travel to and from the area within a day. Where there is a railway, there are more advantages. The railway is safer and faster than the highway. In this case, things like inspections, negotiations can be finished in one to two days.
When choosing an export supplier, you’d better choose a professional manufacturer with foreign trade experience. Some foreign trade companies have joked that if a factory exports products to Japan, it was taught by Japanese customers, and then such suppliers are easier to communicate, and the quality is relatively reliable. Suppliers with export experience, their quality, service, delivery time management will not be too bad. The factory that has never done foreign trade has no idea of foreign standards, export packaging, and material conversion. Therefore, foreign trade companies need to invest a lot of labor and material resources to guide and supervise them. That would be cumbersome and risky.
Export suppliers should have a relatively standardized quality system, such as ISO certificate, environmental certificate, TS certificate, 3C certification, etc. Without these certificates, it will be difficult to enter the foreign market.
Generally, before you officially sign the contract and start production, you need to go to inspect the scale, equipment, management, sanitation, and environmental protection of the factory. After all, it is a foreign trade order, and there is no harm in being cautious. You have the confidence to bring the foreign customer to the factory that you can give the contract to such a factory.
One more point is important. You need to see the supplier’s management in person, especially the boss. If you feel the person is reliable and easy to communicate, you can work with him. However, if the boss socializes all day, or keeps receiving calls for goods or claims when he is talking to you, you’d better think carefully about the cooperation. If you can’t build trust in him, you’d better not sign the contract to avoid future trouble.
When looking for export suppliers, you must also consider whether the supplier is easy to get along with and willing to cooperate with you. Some have their own foreign trade channels and prefer to contact customers directly. Such suppliers are not easy to control, and it is recommended not to cooperate with them.
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