How to Find Product Sourcing Agents in China For Your Business
Finally, after many attempts, on business, leaving your 9 to 5 job, or carrying out your entrepreneurial plans after a master’s degree, you’re once again or already ready to take charge.
The idea of working on your own business is always enticing, especially in the e-commerce industry. The stats are promising, and the sales prospects always seem to rise, thanks to the continuous digital shift of our modern life.
But, contrary to popular belief, starting and running an e-commerce business is more rigorous and daunting than it is easy. If you think that you’re in the clear after business permits and website and page launches, then you need to think twice. In truth, this is just the beginning.
Once your Amazon e-commerce store is up and running, you need to consider and manage many elements to ensure your business’s sustainability, growth, and success. How do I handle customer support? How do I optimize my store and content? How do I make sponsored ads? How am I going to build my brand image and reputation?
In reality, you have to oversee a lot of aspects of your business. Sometimes even with a team, managing them can be pretty taxing. In times like this, outsourcing for help in certain areas of your business that you cannot physically control might be a good option.
Specifically, whether you’re in Amazon Dropshipping or Print on Demand business, hiring an agent who can physically negotiate with manufacturers in China when you’re from the West might be your best choice.
What Are Amazon Product Sourcing Agents?
Amazon sourcing agents are freelancers or agency representatives that you can find mostly on freelancing platforms who visit and negotiate with manufacturers to source products. They help you with a couple of things vital for your business. They assist with handling product sampling and checking their quality. They also negotiate with manufacturers about the prices of products and arrange their shipping. Most importantly, they provide you with a list of viable suppliers.
Now, what you need to understand is that you can hire an individual freelance sourcing agent to handle product sourcing for you. Or you can pay for sourcing companies or agencies. The individual or freelance agent’s scope of work depends on what you both agreed on. Sourcing companies or agencies, on the other hand, split tasks to specific departments or specialized teams.
Why Make Use of Amazon Product Sourcing Agents from China
First of all, the main reason why you find Amazon sourcing agents from China is that Chinese manufacturers are way cheaper than most manufacturers around the world. They also have an established system and network where you can find raw materials, processing factories, warehouses for inventories, and logistics partners all in one place. It saves you the hassle of outsourcing products and services from different parts of the world.
Here are other benefits of paying for Chinese sourcing agents:
- It saves you time and money.
When you have agents who source and talk to manufacturers, it gives you time to focus on other areas of your business. You can devote your energy to your CMS (Content Management System), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Pay-Per-Click Campaigns, or other sales-boosting or brand-building efforts. It also reduces your sourcing cost.
- Amazon sourcing agents make it easier for manufacturers to trust your brand or company.
It is so much easier to trust someone you can talk to in person than someone hiding behind an electronic screen. It is a universal truth. That’s why having a sourcing agent who can speak with manufacturers in person could yield to better negotiations. It also adds that Chinese agents can speak the vernacular, making it easier for manufacturers to understand and communicate. With proper communication, it is easier to fulfill the needed specifications of your product.
- There is assurance in the quality of products.
One vital aspect of a sourcing agent’s work is checking and verifying the quality of the product. When you have only you behind a computer to negotiate with manufacturers, you don’t get testimonies about the appearance and physical feel of the product.
Manufacturers may lie about their product, and you wouldn’t know. Not unless you order a sample, which would eat your time coming from the other side of the globe. As the mediator between the manufacturer and you, with an ability to experience and assess product samples faster, sourcing agents can attest to the state of the product and materials used. They can also find what you specifically look for faster than when you browse Alibaba or other e-commerce tools.
- Sourcing agents can look into a wide range of products for you.
Unlike you, your Chinese sourcing agents can attend fairs and bazaars where manufacturers from China showcase their products. If you’re still undecided with your niche and still in the process of trying out products that sell, they can help you search for unique or competitive products.
What Makes a Good Product Sourcing Agent
With new players joining the e-commerce industry every minute, you have to thoroughly plan your business moves to stand out and get ahead in the game. Get this price and quality play a vital role in lasting longer and growing stronger in the industry. So, if you think about it, your Amazon sourcing agents handle an essential part of your company’s success.
Therefore, here is a recommended list of criteria you can use to filter the best possible sourcing agent for your business.
- Years of experience in the sourcing industry
- Experience shipping or exporting to your country
- Location of the agent from the industrial cluster
- The product niches they’ve already handled or specialize in
- Contacts and connections within the manufacturing industry
- Their process of sourcing products and contacting manufacturers
- Their preferred payment setup and method
Ways on How to Find Product Sourcing Agents in China
You can find so many sourcing agents and companies easily when you search Google or other search engines. You can also quickly look them up on Upwork, Fiverr, and other freelancing platforms. However, not all of them are good choices, so you need to be vigilant in looking for your agent.
Below are five easy steps to identify your Amazon product, sourcing agent:
- Consider the criteria set above.
- Determine the scope of service you need. This will help you decide whether you need to use a product sourcing company or an independent agent.
- Determine how the agent negotiates with manufacturers or suppliers. If they are only using product sourcing tools that are also available to you, you might as well do the sourcing on your own and not hire an agent.
- Ask for business licenses and other verification documents. Preferably, shortlist candidates who can present licenses that are not in their vernacular. Don’t fall prey to scammers.
- Get a quotation or a proposal to determine the cost and payment setup. Then, negotiate.
- Put everything in writing and let the agent sign. Agents unwilling to sign a contract mean fishy business.
Here’s a full-on blog guide to help you understand more about product sourcing from China. You can read it here: Understanding Product Sourcing from China: All You Need to Know.
Do I Need Amazon Sourcing Agents?
Not necessarily. You may need them, especially when you have no experience in importing, you offer a wide variety of products, or if you offer unique products. You may also need them when you have several large stores.
How Much Do Amazon Product Sourcing Agents Cost?
It depends. There are three payment set-ups for sourcing agents: fixed fee, commission, or an upfront fee and percentage of order amount. Fixed fee means a specific budget is set over an agreed duration and scope of work. Commission means the agent asks for a percentage of the order amount.
Are Sourcing Agents From China Trustworthy and Reliable?
Just like sellers and suppliers in Amazon, there is no guarantee that all product sourcing agents are reliable. But reading the length of this article will give you helpful pointers and tips on finding good and legitimate product sourcing agents.
It’s not hard to find product sourcing agents for your Amazon e-commerce business. It’s also not hard to use product sourcing tools that are easily accessible on the Internet. In fact, you can do your own sourcing using tools like Amazeowl, SellerApp, Helium 10, AMZScout, and many more.
But what’s hard is getting reliable and trustworthy people to do the job. You have to remember that some agents actually get kickbacks from manufacturers to give fake testimonies about their products. Some also hide the company information of suppliers or manufacturers.
Furthermore, just because you have an e-commerce business doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a product sourcing agent. Knowing your business needs and capacity, both in skills and budget, is a key factor in executing your business strategies.