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    1. Ginni's Avatar
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      #1

      What are the risks with Chinese suppliers?

      Im trying to get a better idea of what red flags to look for when searching for a Chinese supplier. Im very interested in sourcing from China but obviously dont want to get gypped out of my hard earned money because of lack of knowledge. Can anyone help me out with some pointers in this situation? Thanks in advance.
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      #2
      Working in the industry now for a couple years, I’ve seen my share of red flags. Fraud is everywhere though, and there are so many trustworthy and experienced manufacturers out there that it’d be a loss for any businessman not to try to work with China at some point.

      Although safeguarding yourself is not as easy as simply following a list, I find that keeping the subsequent points below in mind as you go along can save you a lot of headaches.

      • Don’t assume factories listed in online directories are 100% legit. Ask others in the business. They’ll have good information for you. Get loads of references (in person, if you can).
      • Make sure the company’s contact information is valid. If they’re not hosting their own domain name for the company’s website, they’re using a Hotmail or MSN email, or they’re using a mobile phone, it’s probably best to stay away.
      • Check that the company is registered with their local government.
      • Find out about the other companies that use the supplier you are looking at.
      • See if they’re willing to send you a sample of the product you intend to buy. Depending on the nature of the item, most trustworthy companies have no problem doing this.
      • Visit the factory. Or, if you can’t, definitely have a third party that speaks the language, go and inspect the supplier on your behalf.
      • If the supplier is selling products way below their worth, it’s most likely not a good idea to go with them. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
      • If the supplier is claiming to sell brand name products, don’t buy it. Only an authorized distributor can legally sell brand name products. In fact, it’s very difficult to find brand names from ordinary suppliers, Chinese or not.
      • Don’t make too large of an order to start out. Build trust before you begin putting in large orders.
      • If the supplier is reputable, they’ll most likely let you split up your payments (paying a certain percentage after the order and the rest when everything is shipped).
      • The supplier should be using a reputable shipper. Check out the company they use.
      • Don’t go with a company that doesn’t stick by you before and after the transaction. Even if payment and shipment of your product goes smoothly, you want to do long-term business with a supplier that is there for you even after the order is finished.
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      #3
      Definitely get yourself a translator. Working with China when you dont understand the language or culture is a major problem on your hands.

      Also, figure out all of the costs yourself before getting any quotes from companies. This way youll better know whats fair.

      Great summary of what to look for here.

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      A translator is a must. Many business operations between the East and West go wrong because neither party perfectly understands what the other wants or needs. No one can make an order right when they didnt get a clear sense of what it was.

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      #5
      I think that visiting trad fairs is the best way to find a truly legitimate supplier. Anyone can put up a website, but to see these guys face to face, get a feel for them, see their products right then and thereits too convenient not to go.

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      #6
      Wow, thanks for all the help everyone. So glad I came here for advice.

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