Online Sourcing

I’m looking online for a factory to make screw pumps with a capacity of approximately 25 to 30 liters per second.

Any time you ask for suppliers online you will certainly be approached by agents who wish to help you source. This can be an effective channel, or it can be a total waste of your time. Here are some tips from my upcoming book on China sourcing about how to select the right vendor/agent:

Are they a legitimate company with proper business licensing?

Do they have a clear track record of performance? If they can’t give you some client references, run away. That is a very big red flag.

Do they have their own infrastructure or do they leverage another company’s staff, skills sets, office space, licensing and/or manufacturing.

Are they focused on a certain set of services or do they try to everything for everybody? Yes, even the 3rd party service providers have been known to outsource to others just like some factories outsource production without telling the buyer.

Is their pricing structure and service agreement well defined and transparent? It is a major pitfall to do business with a 3rd Party service provider without a clear contract in place that outlines the service, costs, time frame and other desired attributes of the partnership.

I would like to add that you need to be very concerned about the “double dip.” It is not uncommon for agents engaged in China sourcing to charge the client a commission only to also have a hidden payment from the supplier behind the scenes. The result is that the agent works for the supplier when you think they are working for you.

I’m sure your request for help finding an agent or manufacturer will bring you a ton of solicitations, but for your reference, know that the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (where I volunteer) posts for the public a list of reputable Endorsed Service Providers, including agents who can help arrange production.

You may also enjoy the CSIC’s complimentary monthly e-mag on sourcing and check out their videos about finding and managing vendor/agents in China. Smart China Sourcing is also an excellent source of information on China sourcing.

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