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China Sourcing Agents: Things to Know About Them

Sourcing in China has become a rage in recent times and a number of people are trying their luck in the market there. Where some people are fortunate enough to be circumspect about the hi-lows of dealing with the China sourcing agents, others, being naïve, start transactions without knowing the structure and position of the market, as well as the nature of these agents.

If you belong to the latter category, below-listed are the things that you must know about the China sourcing agents:

  1. Any sourcing agent or freelancer acts as your extended hand in China and he performs the tasks such as background checking on the supplier, gathering the quotations, etc. They also tend to perform other time-consuming tasks on your behalf. If managed in the right way, any sourcing freelancer can save your countless hours of work on a weekly basis by charging a fairly low cost.
  2. Although these agents can perform a multitude of tasks for you, you are still required to inspect their actions. This could be done by preparing the written guidelines which the agent needs to follow. These guidelines should include a step by step guidance, video tutorials, and checklist as well as completion requirements.
  3. Sourcing agents in China can be negotiated at a fixed cost on a project basis, but it is always recommended to pay them on an hourly basis. Novice sourcing freelancers often charge as little as $7 per hour whereas the more experienced ones charge $20 to $40 per hour. On an average, they can be paid around $12 to $15 per hour.
  4. Sourcing agents can be disorganized and lazy when following an objective process where the potential suppliers are identified, shortlisted and finally visited in person and carefully examined. Thus, timely inspections over them are very important.
  5. Some sourcing agents in China may appear very honest and hardworking, but in most of the cases, they fetch 5 percent or 10 percent from the factory without revealing it to you.

It is therefore very important to supervise and inspect a Chinese sourcing agent.