Avoiding middlemen. Protecting IP

The Q&A below is with a buyer of Yoga Mats. But the discussion is applicable to just about any sourcing project in China.


Where do we find out the actual manufacturers of spiked yoga mats as these appear to be brokers/agents? We have contacted the manufacturers of spiked yoga and exercise balls to ask if they can provide us their product in the shape of a yoga mat but we have either received responses saying they are only the agent/broker or no response whatsoever We are now concerned about protecting our idea and if we should give more info or not? We have sent a full brief and now concerned about our idea being copied. Any ideas on how to protect our idea whilst also tracking down a party who can provide samples.



To help answer your questions, here are some video tutorials I have created on the topics you raise:


Video 1: Finding Suppliers Video 2: Evaluating Suppliers Video 5: Protecting Your Intellectual Property Video 6: Leveraging Global Sources Video 8: Avoiding Scams


Additionally, here is some content about how to avoid middlemen:


Avoiding Middlemen: what most China sourcing agents, trading companies and brokers don’t want buyers to know!

The difference between the middleman and the actual factory

“How to Spot a Good Factory and Avoid a Bad Apple” Part 1 of 7


If you decide to engage a 3rd party to help you find and manage vendors, here are some reference materials about the process/costs/dangers/opportunities:



Selecting Service Providers to Support China Sourcing Projects

China Sourcing - Small Buyers Strategies - 2 of 5

More video China Sourcing tutorials on my YouTube channel







Visit my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcwz0GCzDE4hmXRRJEyjcrA for more video tutorials.

Let me know how things work out for you.

Glad to help.

Question answered by Mike Bellamy.

Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). Author of “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.


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