Importing Basics – Top 10 Important Points For Quality When Buying From China


It’s lead paint on a children’s giveaway toy. It’s a computer mouse that can seriously shock the user. It seems that every new day brings a wave of product recalls and safety alerts in regard to product coming from China. Promotional product importers and distributers are just as susceptible as retailers to the disastrous effect on business and reputation that distributing a dangerous product will bring. As more of us in the promotional product industry deal with China suppliers on a daily basis, the following strategies can serve as a guide to ensuring you receive only the highest quality product from overseas.  

10.   Know Who You’re Working With – When you’re buying product from China it’s often hard to tell if you are working with a factory, a trading company, or something in between.  When it comes to product and quality issues it is key that you know exactly who you’re working with, and that the relationship is transparent to all parties. If you are not working with the factory directly and the supplier can not provide 먹튀검증 you satisfactory answers about the product, then they are inhibiting the sourcing process for you and you should reconsider the relationship. If you’re having a tough time putting your finger on who you’re working with you should contact a company specializing in China Supplier Verification.

9.        Keep Emails Short, Sweet and to the Point – I have great respect for how much English the local Chinese staff uses having never lived in an English-speaking country. However, from my experience doing business in China for over 7 years, I will tell you that your China-based supplier most likely understands only about 50% of what you write in emails. Keep this in mind the next time you start a long-winded explanation or suggestion to an overseas supplier. English is not this person’s first language. Keep your emails simple and your directions clear.

8.       Paying Chinese Suppliers – Wire Transfer (W/T) or Letter of Credit (L/C)? – Having a safe and well-communicated payment arrangement in place before you place your order is beneficial to both parties and one of the parameters to a relationship that encourages quality. Unless you have a long-standing relationship and trust with your supplier, then L/C should always be your preferred method of payment. If you haven’t used a L/C before then contact your bank’s business department for assistance.

7.       Save Money and Headaches with a 3rd party Quality Check (“QC”) – Working with a 3rd party QC company in China allows you to draw on the experience of firms whose entire mission is to ensure a products quality meets certain standards.   These companies provide services such as product inspection, factory auditing, and lab testing. The service is usually available at a fixed rate which can offer a great value relative to the total cost of your purchase (approximately $350 to inspect a shipment of goods). The most well known companies in China that provide QC services are InTouch Services, Bureau Veritas, and Intertek Testing.

6.        Confirm you Production Schedule – Don’t Get Bumped! – Receiving your order from China on time is just as important as receiving the right product. Chinese factories are notorious for bumping less important (to them) production when a more profitable order comes in the door. Issues with quality are more likely to occur as a result of the supplier rushing to  catch up on the schedule that they promised you. So, make sure you are asking the right questions and getting answers in email. These questions include: a)         When will production start? Be 50% done? Complete? Ship out? (Confirm that these milestones are being reached) b)        Have all the raw materials for this order already arrived at the factory? How about all the packaging materials?

Leave a Reply