When you start to do business with the Chinese - keep in mind that in China a lot of middlemen posing as real manufacturers. And they do it quite professionally. China has evolved over the centuries the tradition of trade and intermediary in the course of the culture here. A Chinese man can quite easily agree with the owner of the factory that it will come with a foreign client and everything will be furnished so that you do not even suspect that in front of you "replaced" the factory owner.
How can I check the company is an intermediary or in front of you a real producer?
There are a few tricks. So there you go. Surely you have found (or find helped you) potential suppliers in the B2B sites such as alibaba. com or globalsources. com. There are a few popular sites (made-in-china. Com or tradekey. Com). I will focus on 2 the most serious - it alibaba. com and globalsources. com
Alibaba. com - the most popular B2B resource Large Live here all the proposals is the most active online marketplace for buyers and sellers. Almost any Chinese company that does business with foreign countries has your account here. And all Chinese companies should have the status of Gold Supplier. By itself, the Gold Supplier account says only that the company is ready to spend 30,000 yuan (a little less than 5 thousand. Dollars) a year to enter the international market. Look closely the profile of the company, product images, compare them with photos of other suppliers (the Chinese do not bother too much about the photos and simply copy them from one another). If the company Gold Supplier account for more than 5 years - this means that at least the company exists in the real world.
Now a little about globalsources. com - I personally like it better than Alibaba. Globalsources - it is an older area than Alibaba, but not so unwound. Make a Gold account on globalsources much more expensive - about 15.000USD year. Correspondingly every detail there is practically no, and much more likely to find real producer here. Still, do not relax - in fact you are working with China.
And then after a few hours of sitting in the internet and the selection of potential suppliers you are staying on a few and send them a request (if you do not know English - google translator to help you). After a while, you come with the price of the goods description and prices. At prices not pay much attention - usually in the first letter of the Chinese writing from the bulldozer and they are always exaggerated. In general, I have noticed that the Chinese when talking about price with foreigners trying to overcharge (probably think that all foreigners dumber them). Therefore, comparing prices from several suppliers of identical products can reasonably be traded. Strong killing at a price they would not recommend, but something else as well save on that later will not know what to do with all this product
How to distinguish the intermediary from the manufacturer? Key features
1. If the company has a very large range of products, ranging from silk scarves and plastic hangers to laptops and cell phones - in front of you is a typical Chinese company proxy.
2. For example on Alibaba lot of companies they write that they Manufacter, ie manufacturer. But if you see the name of the company in import / export company or a trading company, then you most likely before the mediator (though not the fact)
3. If the company's website or in the showroom Alibaba no photos of the plant - ask them to send you a photo of the plant. Look carefully at the gate if there is a company name (characters). Then ask to send scanned copies of registration documents (there are also all written in hieroglyphs). Even if you do not know the Chinese language, you most likely will see the similarity or difference in names. At the end of the names of almost every Chinese company is 有限公司, which means "Limited Responsibility". So these characters can not pay attention.
4. If you are not going to work with fake brands, and plan to buy more or less than legal products, then feel free to ask the Chinese certificates, such as CE certificate. CE certificate permits the turnover of these products in the European Union. Chinese manufacturing companies when dealing with exports usually pass the certification procedure. Although I have met and fake certificates, but it happens quite rarely.
Let me describe briefly how it works. When we partner with purchased electronic cigarettes, we worked directly with the manufacturer. Those. electronic cigarettes, they do themselves, we were with them in the factory, CE certificates have been. But when we have asked for certificates for liquid for electronic cigarettes - they have given us their only 2 days. The certificate was generally another company, which is generally in the other provinces. By a brief google search - we found them and contacted them by phone. Fluids are sold only in bulk very large and there was no sense to work with them directly. But we arrived at our price, which are bought by the Chinese liquid. It turns out they have done almost 2 prices. As a result, we saved on each delivery of liquids for about 40%.
5. The company's website. If the company's web site is very beautiful and tastefully decorated (which is extremely rare in China), then the probability that the real manufacturer is much higher. I also recommend to pay attention to the grammar of the English version of the site. Brokers usually do not bother the text and the English version of the site they curve (probably through the same google translator translate). In serious company English text will be written smoothly and without error. If the site is multilingual, ie There are several languages - then the probability that it is a real serious manufacturer is much higher.
6. Look for reviews on Google about this company. It is better to look for the English-speaking Internet. If the company is serious - it is certainly a few links in the network. Generally there Google can help you find a lot of new and interesting information about the company you are interested in
7. Ask your potential suppliers more tricky questions on the product specifications. The fact that the mediators are usually not as well aware of the technical details, and they need time to ensure that these details to find out. Usually mediators write about this answer: "I need to have conversation with engineer, give you answer tomorrow". Namely - "I need to talk to an engineer - I will give the answer tomorrow."
In the real manufacturers, on the other hand - the plant management is well aware of the product specifications and can be answered without delay.
A good option to ask whether it is possible to modify the technical goods. If this is the mediator, then he is either "hang" for a while, or to say "NO". While the real manufacturer will ask specific questions and give a concrete answer in the shortest possible time.
Epilogue: not always work directly with the factory you will be profitable. Many plants will give you a better price than the intermediary. They simply do not care about small orders. I am faced with such situations more than once. Here it is necessary to bargain reasonably. In addition, an intermediary often range is much wider, because he takes the goods from different manufacturers, and the price on the Chinese for the Chinese people. The mediator is often much better versed in the needs of specific markets. So I am constantly in touch with his friend, the Chinese, with whom we have no mutual business interests, but we had remained good friends - and he tells me that he knows what product is best sold in Spain, which in the United States, and some in Russia. And when I had ordered goods, he never tried me vparit illiquid or low-quality goods. I would not make sense to go to producers (even though I knew basically where it is purchased), because I could take the whole range in one place with fast shipping and a minimum mark. And what is important - he never sold me a bad product. Remember the one golden rule that I learned from my experience with China: It does not matter whether your supplier or manufacturer of the mediator. Better an honest and reliable broker, ten obscure plants.