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China Sourcing Agent: Essential Facts You Should Know

By Jesus David Cano Romano
June 15, 2016
China sourcing agent

A trustworthy China sourcing agent can prove to be a great asset to a company wanting to import its products. However, employing sourcing agents can be a costly option for start-ups, small businesses, and even large multinationals. The better option is to hire sourcing agent firms that offer these services on a need basis and thus, prove to be highly economical.

There are some obvious questions that occur in every business owner’s mind when it comes to selecting the right China sourcing agent. These include, among others:


  • How do I know which is the right agent?
  • Will they be trustworthy?
  • Should I sign a contract with them?
  • What details do I need to check?


To get the satisfactory answer to these questions you should pay attention to the below points before hiring a China sourcing agent:


Find someone who is truthful, competent and whom you can trust: A not so well-known agent who is truthful and trustworthy is far better than a well-known one with trust issues. You should choose someone who you think is competent and reliable. Do some online research and read reviews so that you have an idea about a firm’s abilities and work ethics.

Get into a written contract: Always try to enter a contract with your agent. Verbal commitments are only fulfilled when your relationship is healthy but people are lawfully bound to fulfill the terms of a written contract. It’s better to put all terms of agreement in the document than relying on a handshake.

Look out for hidden commissions: It is an open secret that many sourcing agents receive a commission from suppliers. This situation can significantly affect your business, and you would not even realize the consequences of this connivance between your agent and the supplier. Some examples of what may happen to include your agent not pushing the supplier for best prices, turning a blind eye on quality issues, etc. To save yourself from this situation, you should sign a contract with your agent or sourcing firm that he/she/they will not take any direct or indirect commission from the supplier. You can also check regularly with other suppliers for different prices.

Hire an expert with experience in your product and market: A competent sourcing agent is always an expert in the product and in the industry. There are thousands of manufacturers in China and having a capable agent by your side will help you find the right product at the right price. These experts will know everything about the market, price fluctuations, logistics, and customs clearance and so on. Some can even double as a quality tester for you so you end up getting the right product.