If you had a million dollars to invest, would you invest without any research and forethought? You wouldn’t. Instead, you would look up all the investment options available to you to find the investment option that you can give you the best return.
Similarly, when you want to source from China, you must go through all the steps with due diligence to source quality products from China. Sourcing quality products from China is important because it ensures that you get value for your money. While minimizing the cost of sourcing products is the primary reason to import from China, this should not come at the cost of quality.
Whether you are a retailer, wholesaler, an online seller, or the owner of a department store, customers will not buy products from you if they do not meet the expected quality. In other words, the success of your business depends on the quality of your products.
Poor quality products will tarnish the reputation of your business and negatively impact your bottom line. Therefore, quality control should be a key part of your sourcing process if you want to source quality products from China and ensure the success of your business.
You must make sure the products you are importing from China are of the quality that your customers expect and want. This needs to be done before the products are delivered to you or shipped to your warehouse from China. One of the best ways to do this is by using a top-rated sourcing agent to source quality products from China. However, you will still need to go through the 7 steps in this guide that ensure the quality of products sourced from China.
7 Ways to Ensure the Quality of Products
The ability to sourcing products and materials at the right price is one of the most important skills that you can have as a business owner. However, more important than the cost of the products or materials you’re sourcing is their quality.
Even if you were to save thousands of dollars by negotiating a low price for the products you want to buy from China, these savings will mean nothing if no one wants to buy from you. A major reason that people won’t buy from a retailer, wholesalers, an online seller, a department store, or another business is that their products are not of the expected or required quality.
So, if you want to add to your bottom line, focus less on the cost of sourcing from China and more on how to source quality products from China. To help you with this, the steps for ensuring the quality of products from China are detailed below.
1. Understand the Value of Your Products
It is important for you to have a complete understanding of the products you intend to source from China. This includes knowing the value of those products. With this knowledge, you will be better placed to compare quotes from the different suppliers of your products.
When looking to determine the quality of your products, you need to consider the raw material used in them, their design, and their functions. Once you know this, it will easier for you to determine if the products are of the expected quality. Based on the quality of the products, you can work out if the different suppliers are charging a fair price for them and which one of them has the best offer.
Most experts would tell you to look at the current market price of your products to get an idea of their value. However, they fail to take into account the fact that the quality standards for the same products vary from manufacturer to manufacturer or from supplier to supplier. Therefore, you need to first determine the quality of products you want and then find out the market value of your products with the desired quality.
2. Choose Products Based on Quality Rather Than Price
The Importance of this cannot be emphasized enough. When sourcing products from China, it is best to avoid looking for the ‘cheapest’ option available. The search for cheap products from China often results in the import of low-quality products from the country that no one wants to buy.
Each day, new manufacturers that offer products at amazingly low-rates spring up in China. This makes China an incredibly competitive market where everyone wants to outshine the market. Since they cannot compete with the established players in terms of product quality, the new entrants in the Chinese market try to gain a foothold in the market by offering the ‘cheapest’ price.
Even if they claim to offer high-quality products, most of the new entrants offering ‘cheap’ products don’t have the capacity to meet your product quality requirements. If you still choose these suppliers of your products just to save a few extra hundred dollars, then remember that these savings will mean nothing when you fail to sell your products because they do not meet the quality your customers want or expect.
3. Start Search for a Quality Supplier
To source quality products from China, you need to find and work with a quality supplier of your products. The search for quality suppliers needs to start by reaching out to the suppliers. You can reach out to the suppliers through multiple channels, including trade shows, Google, B2B websites, and even social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
To find out the quality of the supplier, get as much information as possible about their background and previous work. Another way to determine the quality of a supplier is by checking their business license, financial history, and quality certificate. You can evaluate the suppliers’ quality by inspecting their manufacturing site. This is one of the best ways to verify the supplier.
If physically visiting the manufacturing site of a supplier is not possible for you, find a China sourcing agent that can perform the inspection on your behalf. Ideally, the agent should be based in China and have previous experience of inspecting product suppliers in China for quality.
By letting a China sourcing agent inspect a supplier on your behalf, you will save both time and money. These savings are even greater even you outsource the entire process of searching for a quality supplier of products in China to a sourcing agent.
4. Assess Suppliers’ Ability to Communicate
For many businesses, the process of sourcing quality products from China begins with a search for suppliers that can provide the required products at the desired price and quality level. However, one thing that they fail to consider—which is as important as the price and the quality of the product on offer—is the ability of the supplier to communicate.
Why is this important? Because one of the biggest problems in sourcing products from China arises due to poor communication between a business and its supplier. The ability of the suppliers you have shortlisted for sourcing products from China can be easily evaluated through their ability to communicate right from the off. You can determine the ability of a supplier to communicate effectively by paying attention to the following qualities of the suppliers when they interact with your or your China sourcing agent.
Find out how much time it takes the supplier to answer your queries and respond to your comments and concerns. If they are taking too much time to respond, then you should consider this a red flag and avoid buying from the supplier.
§ Attention to Detail
If the supplier is responding to queries, comments, and concerns as quickly as you want them to, then the next step should be finding out if the responses of the suppliers are clear and thorough. If the responses are vague or incomplete, then you’re better off trying another supplier.
Another important quality to look for is the clarity with which the suppliers makes you understand things or processes that you may be interested in. If the supplier cannot clarify things to you in an easy-to-understand language, then they may not be the best option available.
By appropriately answering your questions and responding to your concerns, a supplier with strong communication skills can make it a lot easier for you or your China sourcing agent to source quality products from China.
5. Set Clear Expectations for Product Requirements
Not setting clear expectations for the products they want to source from China is one of the most common mistakes that businesses make. This may not sound like a big deal but not setting clear expectations is the main cause of product quality problems, delays in shipping, and other issues in sourcing products from China. Therefore, immediately after you first get in touch with a prospective supplier or a China sourcing agent, you should communicate your expectations for products to them. Once this is done, you need to ensure that your expectations for the products are being met and you need to do this throughout the sourcing process.
6. Request and Inspect Product Samples
One of the best ways to shortlist potential suppliers is by requesting the suppliers for product samples. By requesting for product samples, you will be to determine if the supplier can deliver the product quality that you are looking for. For a very small fee, most of the reputable product suppliers in China will be willing to send you their product sample.
This next step in ensuring the quality of products sourced from China will be to inspect the product samples for quality. By getting your hands on the product sample of a supplier, you can assess every aspect of the product to determine whether or not it meets your expectations and quality standards.
If you don’t have the experience or expertise to inspect the product samples for quality, then you can entrust a China sourcing agent with this responsibility. Using a top-rated sourcing agent to source quality products from China—including entrusting them with ensuring the quality of product samples—will allow you to source quality products from China at an affordable price.
7. Get a Third-Party Inspection
The seventh and final step in ensuring the quality of products sourced from China is getting a third-party to inspect the supplier. This includes both the inspection of the supplier’s manufacturing site and its products.
Ensuring a third-party inspection is especially important if you are sourcing products from China for the very first time. There’s no one better for this than a quality China sourcing agent. Once the products you want to source from China are ready for shipment, an independent quality inspector—who is a representative of the sourcing agent—can personally visit the supplier’s factory or manufacturing to inspect the products for quality.
Even if the sourcing agent does not have a quality inspector on their roster, they will be able to provide you with a list of reliable inspectors that you can choose from. The best thing about this is that the agent is unlikely to charge you an additional fee for this. However, this may change based on the value of the order and the products you want to source.
In the end, whether or not you have to pay a fee for the inspection is not important. Instead, what is important is that you choose a reputed product quality inspector with previous experience of inspecting products for quality in China and reporting the findings to the importer or the sourcing agent acting on its behalf. Any advice would be to avoid dishonest or fraudulent inspectors like the plague. Using a top-rated sourcing agent to source quality products from China will help ensure this.
The quality of the products sourced from China is more important than how much they cost. Therefore, your primary focus should be ensuring the quality of the products you want to source from China. You can do this by using the 7 steps mentioned above for ensuring the quality of products that you source!