A China sourcing agent or sourcing agent companies play a vital role in the international market. Simply put, a sourcing agent’s job is to find the right supplier for the sellers. Product sourcing means finding a source (i.e., supplier) or the products you want to sell. They are third-party service providers and help you in getting the right source.
The need for such third-party agents is high, especially in global trade. So, when it comes to finding the right product at less price, the ideal country is China. The reason is here almost all products are manufactured and available at a lower price than in any other country. So, the sourcing agent must communicate with the local suppliers in their language, and they are also familiar with the local customs.
Purchasing agent or purchasing office helps to procure the products you are looking for. Both sourcing agents and purchasing agents do similar jobs, but the sourcing agent takes commissions, and the purchasing agent does the job of a trader. He purchases the items from local vendors at low prices and sells them to the buyer adding profit. Buying from purchasing agent is suitable if the purchasing quantity is less.
Sourcing Agent Vs. Sourcing Company What’s the difference?
In the international market, people often use both sourcing agents and sourcing companies in a single meaning. For example, if anyone needs to find suppliers in China, they say find me a sourcing agent or find me a souring company. But it is not the right thing to do because there are many differences between these two entities. So, let us understand what those are.
A sourcing agent can be an individual person who helps you source the product full-time. Usually, sourcing agents are individual, and they work individually or with the help of another assistant. They work in small offices or use their home as an office. Many people may have experience working for sourcing companies or trading companies. You can easily find these types of China sourcing agents on a freelance basis on popular freelancing websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc., and you can even find some sourcing websites through their websites.
The sourcing companies are also known as sourcing agencies, which assist in sourcing, quality inspecting, shipping, and warehousing. It is backed by a team of experts who know how to handle all these activities with efficiency. These types of companies are more efficient and provide services for different customers simultaneously. These sourcing companies are usually located in industrial areas. In China, you can find sourcing companies in Guangzhou, Yiwu, and Shenzhen.
Why use a sourcing company?
There are several reasons for choosing a sourcing company. Since many online platforms need products from several different sources, a sourcing company can help you acquire the products you are looking for in a particular area. The below reasons tell you why you need a sourcing company.
If you choose a reputed sourcing company, language doesn’t become a barrier to your transactions. When you need to negotiate, the sourcing companies’ experts help you brief every specification or the product you want to buy from a supplier. And they also assist in verifying everything is included in the product.
To save time
The main reason to hire a sourcing company is to save precious time. The sourcing companies help you to find suppliers and get things done on time. Sourcing companies help you to get started things right away and in the right way. You don’t need to negotiate and brief about your requirements; the sourcing company will do that on your behalf.
Easy to verify certificates
If you choose a supplier for your products, it is imperative to check and verify the certificates and licenses. It ensures that they are performing the business in the right manner and as per the local laws. Since these certificates will usually be in native languages, you can’t perform all these things. Sourcing companies help you verify these details and prevent working with scammers who do business on fake agencies’ licenses and names. Hence, if you choose a sourcing company, you can easily mitigate the risk of getting scammed.
Easy to negotiate
The most difficult job for foreigners in China or any other unknown country is making negotiations. But this will be easily handled by the local sourcing companies who will be well aware of the common practices and customs of the locality. After knowing the right price and negotiation techniques, they can help you get the products at lower prices without compromising the specifications you are looking for.
Great network and experience
There is no substitute for experience. If you hire a sourcing company, you can get sourcing agents with vast experience and a wider network. In the past, they may have worked with several manufacturers, and they will be aware of where to look for the products you are looking for. Hence, through their extensive experience in the market and awareness about the manufacturers, they help you get the right supplier.
You can look for a suitable supplier yourself.
Yes, there are numerous ways to find the right supplier as per your needs. You can find them through freelance servicing websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer.com, etc., or you can google them and get the right one for you. Many companies have their own websites, and you can connect through websites and get the things you need.
Advantages of China sourcing agent
Selection of the right supplier as per your needs
You can see thousands of manufacturers in China, and for new people, it becomes challenging to select the right supplier. The main barrier is communication, and the sourcing agent helps you to fill this bridge. Adding to the communication gap, many suppliers are not familiar with the shipment, and it may take a longer time than expected. But the right sourcing agent helps you in all these aspects. They can verify the authenticity of the supplier and help you in picking the right one. Additionally, there are many people you can find online; they can call themselves suppliers, but they actually mediators. They buy from other manufacturers and sell to the buyers by adding their profit. But sourcing agents help you by picking the products from the factory outlet. It ensures you get the products from the factory itself.
Provides inspection services
The main problem in international trade is, you cannot be able to inspect everything by yourself. Many manufacturers offerinspection servicesfrom third parties, but those inspectors may not be knowing your requirements, and sometimes the inspectors are not fully qualified. To overcome all these challenges, hiring a China sourcing agent is the ideal solution. They help reduce the loss by inspecting the qualified people, plus their experience helps you pick the right supplier from the varieties of options available in front of you.
Save You Time
Buyers always look forward to the best products from the sellers. However, picking the best out of the thousands of suppliers is not an easy task. It needs a lot of expertise and is also a time-consuming one. Every supplier claims to genuine supplier and provides quality products. However, it is humanly not possible to verify every supplier from the thousands of available suppliers. So, you need to select a reliable supplier, and they must deliver the products on time. A reliable China sourcing agent able to provide deliver the products on time. The Chinese purchasing agent knows what to do at every step and the right way to do that.
Putting It All Together
If you plan to deal with the supplier directly, the suppliers will take care of only production and shipment. But this is not enough for many international buyers since there are numerous other things to take care of. Hence, a sourcing agent provides all the services a buyer needs in a single platform. The services consist of visiting the market, placing the orders on your behalf, collecting the products, customs clearance, shipment, and many others. These services help the buyers reduce the total cost of the product, and importantly, they help you save time.
Gives product gathering services
If you are a buyer, it becomes challenging to gather the products from various sources and ship them. That means you need to spend more on gathering the products. But the sourcing agents will be having a wide network and some of them working for multiple buyers at the same time. Hence, they can transport and gather the products at a minimal cost. They can perform multiple tasks such as product gathering, warehousing, shipping, andinternational freight, helping the buyers immensely. If your requirement is less, sourcing agents ship the products more quickly than many container services.
Better connection with suppliers
Since the sourcing agents are from the same locality, they speak the native language and effectively navigate the culture. Hence, they can make the connection with ease, and they bag a good deal for you. Since they have a good connection with the suppliers, they may provide the products at a lesser price.
Give You Greater Flexibility
The China sourcing agent provides greater flexibility in choosing and procuring the product and receiving the products. The sourcing agents’ services can be customized as per your needs, and they charge only for that portion of the work. So, you can perform the things you can and leave the harder task to the experts.
Immediately spot scams
The most common thing in international trade is scams. When it comes to choosing the product, you must check the license and certificates of the supplier. Most of these certificates will be in the Chinese language, and you can’t read what is written there. Through their extensive experience in these types of jobs, they can easily tell who is the authentic supplier and gauge whether the product is genuine or not.
It is common in every country that they usually charge higher if they see the buyer from other countries. But if you go through the sourcing agents, you can save money easily. The experienced professionals procure the products at reasonable prices and sell them to you after changing their commission.
Reduce Overall Expenses & risk
The services of a sourcing agent are enormous, and they help you reduce the risk to a greater extent. Since they undertake different jobs, you can get peace of mind since you just need to hire the right sourcing agent, and they take care of all other worries on your behalf. It includes Quality Control/reducing the risk of bad quality of your desired product.
Sourcing – procurement compliance services
Another vital thing is to transact as per the local and international rules and regulations. You can take care of the receiving entity’s compliance part by yourself, but you require an expert sourcing agent to deal with China’s compliance. Since they work in the same profession for years, they help you meet all the compliance standards.
The risks of working with a China sourcing agent
Even though the sourcing agents provide many services to the buyer, they are not free from the drawbacks. The below points will explain the risk of working with the sourcing agents.
Since, in most cases, the complete job of finding the supplier to ship to the buyers, the sourcing agent is responsible, they may become too lazy and delay the process. Many sourcing agents work independently and lack professionalism, and they are too disorganized.
If they have personal contact with product manufacturers, they usually choose them by ignoring all the competence and other factors. For example, if anyone from their family produces certain products, they will procure that even other suppliers are better.
Every sourcing agent portrays themselves as honest and hardworking, but it is a known fact that they will get a commission of 50 to 10 percent from the factories.
Since they are taking money from the factory, in most cases, they defend the factory rather than protecting your interest if something goes wrong.
Some sourcing agents will inspect the product by themselves even if they are not qualified to. And if they find out any defect in the product, they won’t tell you.
Import China sourcing agent
Import sourcing agents take care of the importing and other compliance parts associated with that. They are also responsible for checking the product quality, the specified specifications of yours, and many other important business aspects related to import international trade.
As the name says, a sourcing agent’s primary job is to source a buyer’s product. They verify and choose the right supplier who provides everything a buyer is looking for. They do the briefing and negotiation to get the right products at the right price for a buyer.
Another important service a sourcing agent provides is auditing the factory. By doing this, they verify the trustworthiness and legality of the business entities of the suppliers.
Once the right supplier is identified, the next step is to follow up with the products’ producer. They will monitor the production process and ensure manufacturing units produces the products on time as per the specifications described before.
The sourcing agents also reduce the chances of receiving faulty products with their quality inspections before shipping. The quality check can be conducted at various times by the sourcing agents as per the buyer’s needs.
Arrange shipment & logistics
Once the production is done and the quality check has been done, the next step will be checking the most important shipping process. In this step, souring agents work with the shipping companies and select the one that offers more affordable and quality logistics services quickly.
Other Value-added Services
Apart from the key services mentioned so far, a China sourcing agent also offers other services such as private labeling, customizing the product, customizing the labels, or packaging, and free product photography to upload on the e-commerce sites.
Sourcing agent services process
The main problem with many domestic small-scale producers is non-compliance with local rules. But it is not easy to find out by yourself, and hence sourcing agents’ skills and specializations come into play. They check the supplier’s compliance and ensure everything from manufacturing to shipping happens as per the regulations of the land.
Product specification compliance
The quality of the product depends on the manufacturing process followed by the producer. Before placing the order with a supplier, sourcing agents provide the instructions or convey your instructions to the supplier. And during the manufacturing or product picking, they check whether all the specifications are included as per the prior discussions and agreements.
Pricing is the vital thing that decides the profitability or success of your business. If you can get the products at lower prices, it is easier to service in the market. The China sourcing agent is familiar with these processes, and they can easily strike a good deal for you.
Product sample costs
Before selecting the right supplier, one must go through a lengthy check of different samples offered by different producers. In most cases, the sourcing agent takes care of all the product sampling costs and concludes.
once you agree on the product and brief the specifications, the manufacturer makes the delivery on the spot if the products are in stock. Still, if your products need to be designed specially, it takes more time, and during this process, the sourcing agent takes care of all other activities such as process monitoring, quality check, etc.
Quality Management System Procedures
When it comes to marketing, the quality of the products plays a vital role. Hence a sourcing agent or sourcing companies make numerous inspections at different stages of the product life cycle.
Before shipping the products, the sourcing agent must check the product’s quality and ensure all the specifications briefed before are met. If any defects or shortcomings they identify, they must stop the shipment. This is the normal routine many sourcing agents do.
Another important thing to take is customs clearance. This is where many manufacturers fail to provide speedy shipping since the containers fail to clear customs. But the sourcing agent is experienced in this process, and they make all the necessary arrangements to clear the customs without any delays.
Product sourcing agent agreement
The agreement between the buyer and the souring agents is necessary to make the duties and responsibilities crystal clear. It will help in avoiding conflicts.
Product sourcing agent
Alibaba sourcing agent
Sourcing agent Alibaba is one of the main sourcing agents you can find in China. They are familiar with the local customs and what types of products are required to sell in most e-commerce stores.
Amazon sourcing agent is more popular when it comes to international trading. If you search for a sourcing agent for amazon, you find numerous sourcing agents in China.
Sourcing agent for drop shipping
In modern days drop shipping is becoming famous since it can solve storage issues and other problems. The dropship sourcing agents take the orders from you and directly ship them to the end customer.
Who needs a sourcing agent?
People have less time.
Buyers with little experience in the Chinese local market.
Buyers who don’t know about local practices and customs.
Which types of sourcing agents?
Single sourcing agents – These types of sourcing agents work on their own without forming a company or office.
Sourcing agencies – Sourcing agencies are backed by a team of sourcing agents who take care of multiple tasks at once, and they serve many customers at once.
Sourcing and logistics companies – These companies are a large association of many industry experts; they take care of everything from sourcing the products to shipping them.
What is a product sourcing agent?
A product sourcing agent is a person or institution that takes care of all the activities associated with product procurement and shipping.
The right China product sourcing agent helps you fulfill all your needs; you can find the best one in the agent sourcing directory.
Many souring agents are specialized in different products, and you can get dedicated sourcing agents in the below fields.
Furniture sourcing agent in China
Fabric sourcing agent
Apparel sourcing agent
Electronics sourcing agent
Toys sourcing agent
Jewelry sourcing agent in China
Lighting sourcing agent
Footwear sourcing agent
Home textile sourcing agent
How do sourcing agents work?
The first step is obtaining the task description, product concept & design from the buyer.
Then they Contact the manufacturer.
The sourcing agents make Factory visits & audits before selecting the supplier.
Once the supplier is decided, the next step is Price Negotiation & contracts.
The deal is foxed with the supplier, they Request a quote and other specifications.
Once the sample is confirmed, they confirm with the supplier to produce the reaming with the same quality.
Since manufacturing is a lengthy process, product follow-up is necessary, and sourcing agents take care of this.
In the manufacturing process, Quality control is required, and they hire experts to inspect the quality at different stages—the detailed Products Inspection help avoid the risks.
Goods consolidation is conducted once the products are ready for Shipping & logistics.
Once all the above tasks are completed, the sourcing agent ensures Labeling & packaging are checked.
Pre-shipment inspection and customs clearance are done to make the shipping process hassle-free.
How much do sourcing agents charge?
The sourcing agent fee is charged by different companies and agents differently. All agents follow anyone from the below methods.
The commission is not fixed since it varies based on different factors, including quantity, frequency, order value, etc. The smaller the order, the more one has to pay. It usually varies from 5 to 10%.
In this method, the agents charge on an hourly basis. So, whatever the order value, size doesn’t matter, but agents can delay getting more payment.
Under this method, the agents charge a flat rate based on the agreement before entering the deal.
Mixed Payment Structure
If you choose this method, you need to pay a flat fee until the fixed amount. Once the limit is reached, you need to pay either commission or an hourly rate.
Where to find an outsourcing agent?
Outsourcing platforms, Fiverr, Upwork,
Tips for choosing sourcing agent on Alibaba
Always look for Established agents since they know how everything works.
Look for the Supplier Index; it shows the higher the index, you can get quality services.
Look for Ratings & Reviews online and take feedback from fellow buyers.
The sourcing agent must have a valid Business License; if not, even if they are offering low prices, don’t enter the trade.
How to find the Right buying office or purchasing agent in China?
Are you looking for an Experienced sourcing agent in China? Then you must select the established companies or agents. You can follow the below steps to get a good sourcing agent.
To minimize the cost, choose an Agent Near Your Manufacturing Base.
Make sure they are experts in Communication and Language.
Different souring agents are in the market for different industries, choosing the best agent to Get Industry Expertise.
To avoid all conflicts and other complications, Document exactly what you need.
Define what you need in terms of quantity, specifications, size, and every other detail.
Set Your Budget and select the sourcing agent as per your budget.
Choose A Type Of Sourcing Company that is expert and reliable in the industry.
Get the quotes from different sourcing agents before selecting research & Compare.
Get Different Offers & Ask For Business Licenses before agreeing.
You need to Negotiate Payments since sourcing agents always quote high initially, and they will be ready to reduce the commission if you negotiate properly.
Once you are completed every step mentioned above and are satisfied, then only Sign a sourcing agent agreement
What are some common tricks of purchasing agents?
Kickback, bribe, and taking the commission from the factory are the common tricks of purchasing agents. You need to research in detail before selecting your purchasing agent.
Sourcing agent in Haining, Zhejiang province – Huntersourcing helps you hunt the right supplier for you in the industrial clusters, including Zhejiang and Haining provinces. It assists you in getting the right products as per your requirement at reasonable prices. This agency operates near Yiwu, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Ningbo, Shanghai, and other important industrial areas.
One-Stop Solution – If you choose Huntersourcing, you can spend the rest of the buying process with peace of mind. The reason is it takes care of almost everything that you need. It helps in choosing the right supplier to deliver the product to your address.
Free offer quote and sample – At Huntersourcing, you do not need to pay anything to get the sample or estimate product sourcing. You can visit and ask for free quotes, and if you are happy with the quotes, you can proceed with further proceedings.
Delivery in time – In the business, every minute matters, and we know how difficult if you are unable to fulfill your customer’s requirements on time. So, if you want to become free from this issue, you can opt for the services of Huntersourcing. They deliver on or before the agreed time.
Warehouse storage & packaging – Huntersourcing takes care of storing the products and packing your products with utmost care.
Transparent, no kickbacks – The main drawback in international trade is the dishonest agents who take the profits from both buyer and the factory. But Huntersourcing is honest and provides the breakdown for every expense and takes only the agreed commission.
Sourcing agentcommission rate reasonable– Huntersourcing provides quality services at reasonable prices. The commission of the sourcing service is reasonable, and it is below most competitors. You can check the prices by visiting us.
120-day Satisfaction Guarantee – At Huntersourcing, the buyer and sourcing agent’s relationship doesn’t end once the products are delivered. It provides a guarantee for 120 days, and if you are not satisfied with the products, you can contact customer care, and based on your issues, the appropriate actions will be taken.
Different sourcing agents and sourcing agencies are operating in China and choosing the best one becomes challenging. Also, many fake agencies are scamming buyers and making international trade difficult for foreign buyers. Hence, you need a reliable and trustworthy souring agency, and one of them is Huntersourcing.
The role of a sourcing agent or sourcing company is huge in international trade. However, the selection of the sourcing agent decides the success or failure of your business. Hence, as a buyer, one must be very cautious in selecting the right sourcing agents. If you want one such trading partner, you can choose Huntersourcing and become tension-free.