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    1. tim007's Avatar
      tim007 is offline

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      Oct 2010
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      China vs Local wholesale sourcing - Finding Suppliers

      See above. Is there any benefit to sourcing from US suppliers? I mean, are all products not from China anyway? Is China too full of scammers to be of any real benefit?
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    2. Hill_green's Avatar
      Hill_green is offline

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      Straight to the point, aren’t we? I dig that, and unfortunately there’s not a simple answer here. There’s substantial pros and cons for each sourcing option, and it all really depends upon what you’re looking for.

      A big point to make-- Yes, most products sold in the US-- even from US suppliers-- are manufactured/whatever in China. That said, NO branded items are sold from China, so if you’re looking for an actual iPhone supplier and not a source selling knock-off Skyphones, then you’ll have to use a certified distributor, typically from within the States.

      So, without further ado, here’s how this breaks down:



      ● US address/contacts
      Should anything go wrong, you have a local contact to deal with. This expedites things a good bit, does away with language barriers (mostly), and means your supplier operates entirely under the same laws as you. Likewise, returns/exchanges are MUCH faster and cheaper.

      ● Pay with credit card
      Most credit card companies have defined, customer-centric policies for resolving conflicts. This is much more secure than the bank transfer by telegraphic transfer typically required in a lot of import.

      ● Product more likely to comply with US safety regs
      That is, a supplier/manufacturer based in the US has more reason to comply with local safety standards, rather than just buying a roll of FCC stickers. Moreover, should there be a problem with the safety of the product, it’s the supplier’s responsibility, not yours.

      • Doesn’t involve importing
      I mean, importing is not all that terrible, but you certainly get faster delivery times, lower MOQs, and a lack of duty and import taxes when you don’t... you know... import.


      ● Higher base price
      By sourcing locally, you’ve likely already put yourself at least a couple of links downstream on the supply chain. Even those who manufacture locally have to deal with things like unions and minimum wage. Labor is just generally more expensive in the States than many places abroad.

      ● Competition
      There’s a smaller collection of suppliers in the US than in China, and the likelihood of using a supplier who also supplies your competition is high. Simply because of the reduced selection, you’ll have a harder time beating your competition’s prices.

      ● Paperwork
      Yes, there’s going to be less of it if you aren’t importing, but you won’t escape it. Get used to it.

      ● Scammers/Counterfeiters
      Scammers are less prevalent than in China, but that doesn’t mean everyone is on the up-and-up. Never drop your guard, stay paranoid. If something feels sketchy, it probably is, and you should at least consult a lawyer, if not just run away.



      ● Cheaper
      You’ll typically be further upstream in the supply chain than with local sources, and labor is generally cheaper in China, and so the suppliers are able to pass the savings from their sweatshops on to you, the customer.

      ● Ridiculous array of non-branded products
      Everything from digital watches, televisions, and smartphones have a non-brand equivalent, and it’s sold in China. It’s the Mecca of off-label products.

      ● Looser operations
      In general, Chinese suppliers are less rigid in operations than their US counterparts. Once a solid relationship has been established, most legit Chinese suppliers will be willing to bend over backwards to satisfy their client; up to and including packaging, etc.


      ● More likely to find a scammer
      Like in the third pro for China mercantile, laws are more lax in the Middle Kingdom. You’re more likely to run afoul of a scam site or counterfeiter than in the States. .

      ● Paperwork, paperwork, PAPERWORK!
      Sweet baby Jesus, the paper work. China loves bureaucracy, and their suppliers keep to that. Of course, US customs ain’t exactly the most efficient clearing body in the world, so that just compounds your likelihood of developing carpal tunnel.

      ● Duty/VAT
      There’s going to be more taxes levied on imported goods than local. ALWAYS consider what your fees for shipping and importation will run before you decided on a price from overseas.

      ● Long wait times
      Ocean freight from China can take upwards of 40 days, especially if the item isn’t actually in stock or production when you order it. Transit time alone is going to be in the neighborhood of 21 days.

      ● High minimum order quantities
      A lot of the suppliers you’ll be dealing with are also manufacturers, or deal directly with manufacturers. That, coupled with the fact Import/Export is Expensive, and you’ll likely see MOQs reaching toward 1000 units.

      ● Safety/Different Laws
      China’s safety regs are virtually non-existent. Any legit supplier will ensure goods are actually FCC vetted instead of simply buying a roll of stickers, but you don’t have any real way of knowing which kind you’ll be dealing with at first. Even better, should injury (or worse) come from the product in question, it’s YOUR reputation on the wire, not the supplier’s.

      Yes, local has more pros, China more cons, but it still mostly comes down to what you are looking for. Do you want unbranded, inexpensive products or generally higher quality, faster products? Evaluate your needs, and go from there.
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    3. Wing Hwang is offline

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      Apr 2011
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      I am agree with you.

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