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Thoughts on becoming a distrubutor of Chinese Goods

We would like to be a distributor but we do not know how to link with a company that does this could you help.

There are so many products made in China that may be of interest to your market’s buyers, that I think the first important step should be for you to decide the exact products you feel would sell well via your network. If you start asking random suppliers if they would like to be represented in your home country, you will probably get a lot of interest, but only some of the products will be a good fit. So do things the other way around, first pick your target product, then contact suppliers of that specific product and that product only. Trade shows are an excellent way to meet potential factories to represent, but you can also use Global Sources to generate a list of targets and begin to approach them. Unfortunately, it is hard to do a search for “factories wanting representation”, but if you have a list of reputable companies via online search, then you can develop a template letter to reach out to a group of factories to gauge their interest in having your represent them.
Now some words of caution:
I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times in past few years that I have heard of the sales partner doing the heavy lifting to open up a new market, only for the factory to cut that person out of the loop once the market has been opened. So, here are some tools to protect yourself:
1. Set up an exclusivity arrangement with the supplier. Have wording that protects against gray market imports and also covers anything that factory or its subsidiaries produce. For example, if you get exclusivity on only a brand, the supplier can always make a new brand on the same product and cut you out, so be sure to have true protection in your exclusivity arrangement.




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