Mistake 1: Never take sourcing too easy.
Finding suppliers from b2b websites is getting more difficult. Take advantage of professional sourcing companies. You may read my article "china manufacturer sourcing", if you want go your own way.
Mistake 2: Don't communicate on line.
Be sure that your supplier understood 100% what you want. Communicating through e-mails is more effective and reliable, than chatting with some programs like "trade manager" or "messenger". Most of the sales representatives in Chinese companies are using translation programs. And anyway Chinese people are used to say "okay" and "no problem" in most cases. Let them confirm your order by e-mail.
Mistake 3: Don't fear some costs for the cargo of samples.
Secure your order by confirming with samples. If you want to order o e m, you should send a prototype or formula with exact specifications. The manufacturer will ask you for possible mold and material costs. Negotiate a pay-back after reaching a certain amount of order. Re-confirm by receiving samples, they have produced according your wishes.
Mistake 4: Never ask for CIF prices at first.
Request quotes on FOB basis. Its easier calculation for the supplier and you have the control of shipping your goods with your own forwarder. Cheap solutions from manufacturer side, can cause delays and damages of your goods.
Mistake 5: Never decide for the supplier, before you have visited their factory.
China may be far away, from your country, but it is a must for a smooth and long term relationship with a Chinese manufacturer. As you will make the far way to China, you should consider to visit at least 4-5 suppliers, before you decide. You may need assistance from consulting companies, who are western origin with local experience. They can organize all the meetings in China and assist you with translation, during factory visits.
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