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    1. hairbuyer is offline

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      #1

      How to find a Chinese factory - Using a sourcing agent

      Hello All,

      I have been purchasing hair products from a supplier in China who I believe is the middle man for several years now. However, I would like to try and go direct to the factory as I am buying much larger quantify now and having a hard time getting my products in a timely manner. I love the quality of the product so I want to keep the source. Is there anyway I can find out who/where the real factory is?

      Thanks much!
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    2. PaperChase is offline

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      #2
      I think it is best to use a buying agent in China. If you send them pictures of your current products I'm sure they can find the exact factory where it is produced. Tell them you are going to come to China to inspect the factory yourself as well so you make sure they go directly to the source.

      I'm in the same situation as you. I know the exact products I want from China but everyone I've been dealing with is clearly a middleman.

      I tried googling for "buying agent in china" but I don't know who to trust. Please let me know if you find a good buying agent.
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    3. Thank you for this post:

      jackzhou1986 (20 Jun 2012), Bid For-Bargains (03 Aug 2012)

    4. Dipper is offline

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      #3
      As an agent myself, this is the type of behaviour from a buyer that is a good part of the reason why there is no trust betwen buyers and suppliers.

      You are saying you want the find the real manufacturer but want to ditch the agent who found you the supplier in the first place.

      If the timeliness is the issue then what makes you think that is the fault of the agent. Maybe the agent is actually improving an even worse production timeframe simply by being local and pushing the factory harder.

      Also perhaps the agent is actually able to provide very good pricing due to a relationship they may already have with that particular manufacturer.

      In any case, next time you and people like you complain of being conned by Chinese factories or agents, just remember this is exactly what you are trying to do to them.

    5. hairbuyer is offline

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      #4
      dipper... you made alot of assumptions about my post that i did not include. i never said anything about not trusting the "middle man" or fear of being conned... what i did say was that i am not getting my products in time and losing money because of it.... i also did not say that the time issue was the middle mans fault... but please tell me how would i go about finding out where the fault is if i didnt try some other avenue? ... also please keep in mind that if i was still getting products in a timely manner then i wouldnt even by asking the question.... but as i said i am LOSING MONEY... and i do not know any business person would not try to fix an issue that is causes their company loss of money...

      also next time you respond please try include some solutions as opposed to just a bunch of false accusations. thank you!

    6. Dipper is offline

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      #5
      Regarding this comment.

      "In any case, next time you and people like you complain of being conned by Chinese factories or agents, just remember this is exactly what you are trying to do to them."

      This was a general comment (maybe could have been worded better) not specifically aimed at this situation but at buyers in general. So many buyers always look to blame the Chinese when they are treated unfairly in their eyes.

      Looking for someone else to do the legwork, and finding a good factory/supplier can be one of the hardest parts of this job. Then trying to cut out the person that did all that work in the first place. That is nothing short of unethical in my book and is no different from what many buyers complain about.

      So as a general statement about behaviour I stand by that comment.

      Besides you ARE saying it's the middle mans fault. You are happy with the product and want to go direct to the same manufacturer, but you are concerned with the timeliness so you want to cut out the middle man. That sure sounds like you blame the middle man to me.

      Unless your middle man is completely hopeless then the problem of the delay should not be with him. He is just the go between. The only delay he can cause is if he is taking a long time to process the order. And if he is doing that then he is incompetent and maybe if you have been using him for years, you should have stopped long before now.

      The longest time for completing any order will be in the manufacturing process. Chinese factories have a habit of over promising and under delivering. While it is not a good way to do business, it is not somehting that will change quickly and you need to cover this in your planning.

      Having said that, without knowing the specifics of your products, the actual manufacturing time is not that long. As an example, if your product production lead time is say 30 days, normally most of the time is in getitng all the raw materials/parts together to assemble the product. So of a 30 day lead time, 25 days of that may be taken in getting all the parts and pieces to hand, with only a few days actually used for production.

      This can change depending on the time of year etc.. For example there are many products that are time sensitive. If your orders are being placed at the same time as large companies then your orders may be getting shunted to the end of the line if others have a bigger priority.

      So you also have to be realistic about your expectations as well as also based on experience most people arer looking to place their orders at the last minute to take advantage of stock turn and cashflows etc.

      So there can be several reasons for a delay, not necessarily the cause of the middle man.

      If it is at the point where you are losing money, obviously it needs to be resolved somehow. But given what I said above, it is more likely the fault is with the factory rather than the middle man.

      And as I said in my previous comments, without knowing who your agent is, it is quite possible they are actually making the situation better than it would be if they weren't there. What can you possibly do at the factory from half way around the world that a good middle man can't from being more local??

      So, if you have several years of working with your agent, then surely this is an issue you have alreays discussed. What has been the outcome of those discussions??? If the result is not satisfactroy then what action is the middle man doing to improve it??

      You have not mentioned whether you have had any discussion with your agent about this, but that would be the obvious first step. Don't be afraid to go hard as afterall it is your money.

      If they can't or won't do anything then I would agree it is time to look around, but don't automatically assume going direct will solve your problems. And in all honesty, makers of hair products are a dime a dozen, it may be like trying to find a needle in a haystack unless they have a specific product that stands out.

    7. jackexport is offline

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      #6
      Though the factory may give you more low price, there's something I should suggest:

      1. trading companies usually are more familiar with the products in this line, because they should know many factories and their prices, and should be able to choose the best.
      2. many factories may not have the permit to export goods out of China
      3. many trading companies have good relations with factories, so the difference between the trading company and manufacturer prices may be small.

    8. bbtiger is offline

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      #7
      what DIPPER said is right on delivery.. i am a manufactuer.. can understand the difficulty of middle man.. it's not easy for them.. however, dipper, I can understand hairbuyer in a way.. all people, including you and I, want to have the best price for what we buy and then, propose to our buyers..

      For delivery, for all the time, it's very hard to control if a manufactuer has no stock for raw materials.. It's not the truth that we want to delay the delivery all the time.. in fact, at least, to me, I try my best to deliver on time, or earlier than what I promise to my customers.. The reason we delay is our suppliers delay the delivery for raw materials..

      Another reason is, I have to claim the people working in factory, the workers.. because they don't have good educated, you cant imagine what they are doing all the time.. and then, the delay comes out..

      An advice to you, Hairbuyer, when you purchase, NEVER, choose the product with lowest price.. it's wise to choose the one with middle price.. because the cost for a product is no matter how similar with different suppliers.. The only difference is coming from the profits an owner of the factory wants to have.. If you find a price with extremly low price, I mean, far from all suppliers price, you then need to be careful.. normally, this kind of product is with bad materials.. or, they want to have your money without sending you goods..

      with good search, I am sure you can find a good supplier for your product..

      Finally, to jackexport, for most of the trading company, at least, the trading company i know, they only know the factories, but NEVER, know our products.. when you don't know the product, how can you find the best? and for export license, it's not difficult to export even if a factory has no export license.. I DON'T have import and export license, I can import and export..

    9. Thank you for this post:

      Blairs.hometech (06 Feb 2018)

    10. jackexport is offline

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      #8

      Quote:

      Originally Posted by bbtiger View Post
      what DIPPER said is right on delivery.. i am a manufactuer.. can understand the difficulty of middle man.. it's not easy for them.. however, dipper, I can understand hairbuyer in a way.. all people, including you and I, want to have the best price for what we buy and then, propose to our buyers..

      For delivery, for all the time, it's very hard to control if a manufactuer has no stock for raw materials.. It's not the truth that we want to delay the delivery all the time.. in fact, at least, to me, I try my best to deliver on time, or earlier than what I promise to my customers.. The reason we delay is our suppliers delay the delivery for raw materials..

      Another reason is, I have to claim the people working in factory, the workers.. because they don't have good educated, you cant imagine what they are doing all the time.. and then, the delay comes out..

      An advice to you, Hairbuyer, when you purchase, NEVER, choose the product with lowest price.. it's wise to choose the one with middle price.. because the cost for a product is no matter how similar with different suppliers.. The only difference is coming from the profits an owner of the factory wants to have.. If you find a price with extremly low price, I mean, far from all suppliers price, you then need to be careful.. normally, this kind of product is with bad materials.. or, they want to have your money without sending you goods..

      with good search, I am sure you can find a good supplier for your product..
      Finally, to jackexport, for most of the trading company, at least, the trading company i know, they only know the factories, but NEVER, know our products.. when you don't know the product, how can you find the best? and for export license, it's not difficult to export even if a factory has no export license.. I DON'T have import and export license, I can import and export..
      The trading company you met are selling many many products, so they may not know the products. But in many trading companies the manger is an experienced man, they are in this line for many many years,
      some of them were used to being in big factories in this line. If they don't know the products, how can they compete with factories? Not everyone can set up a trading comany.

    11. Samlee is offline

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      #9
      hairbuyer my suggestion on finding the factory is to tell the mid man you will come to China to do a factory inspection before your next shipment, or ask your Chinese friend to make the inspection for you.

    12. hihomedecor is offline

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      #10
      if your quantity is big and you are willing to invest, you can get factories to make to your exact specifications. otherwise you may have to buy whatever they have got on the market, customization is possible if you order in bulk.

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