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China Manufacturing and Sourcing

December 7, 2008

Finding a manufacturer when sourcing products can be difficult if you do not know where to start.

In many cases, people will find web sites that list manufacturer after manufacturer in China and spend hours contacting those manufacturers. Far too often, those "manufacturers" are not manufacturers at all, but merely middlemen who are looking for an opportunity to earn a commission on your business. While some are successful in finding what they're looking for, there is a real danger that your business is "stuck" with a middleman indefinitely.

These middlemen or "trade companies" are useful in the industry. For companies that are looking to make a one-time purchase of a particular item, then a trade company is a reasonable option to choose. Often, the buying volumes are lower than what a manufacturer would require (though not always!) and you can shop around between various trade companies in order to get a good price.

However, if you want to import large volumes or have products custom-made to your exacting specifications, a trade company is a very bad choice. There are many reasons why we can make that assertion, not the least of which is that your company loses some level of control. For example, suppose you create a new product and sales skyrocket. Suppose the trade company you are working with decides they want a bigger commission. What can you do? You may have no idea who the real manufacturer is. We have seen this before where a business is at a critical juncture and is seriously encumbered by a trade company.

It is possible to bypass the trade companies entirely and work directly with manufacturers to get products made. Often, order quantities can be negotiated and prices are always more favorable when creating new products.

If you do not know how to tell whether a company is a manufacturer or a trade company of some sort, we can always help to find out for you. Whatever your needs, we are happy to help you work with either trade companies or real manufacturers to source your products.

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