To me, sourcing Chinese products is a piece of cake.
- I am UK based so I can be close contact with the buyers.
- I have no language barrier because I am from China.
- I have years of experience of talking to manufacturers.
- I know or I can easily find out the production base area of a certain product, so I avoid fruitless approaches from the very beginning.
However, some people may think sourcing products in China is a hi-tech job, especially for those English speakers. One of my partners, before he became my partner, used a weird approach to source Chinese products. He can only speak English, which makes him reluctant to talk/write to Chinese suppliers directly. He is neglecting the fact that China is open to the world now and many Chinese factories and/or import and export companies have staff with good English literature. He is just afraid of the embarrassment of misunderstandings in communication. He employed someone in India as Virtual Assistant to source products in China.
It was a weird approach because the Indian Virtual Assistant was virtually a liaison. It would raise more chances of misunderstandings in communication even the Indian Virtual Assistant is English-Chinese bilingual. What’s more, the Indian Virtual Assistant could not go to China in case the situation requires. I did not see any benefits of employing a Virtual Assistant in Indian.
Well, now I am his partner, and I source products in China, liaison with Chinese factories, and inspect the factories as partnership. I can find many good Chinese suppliers that never appear on Google. (If I was a Chinese suppliers, the first thing I would do was calling for Google awareness. But that is another issue.)
If you are outsourcing sourcing manpower, I would also like to be your Chinese Products Sourcing Manager. Leave a reply for details.