Guangzhou Stuff

What kind of supplier you need
Steve Y.H. Chen,April 14,2008
Many buyers maybe will laugh at this question and tell me "is it a real question?Of course I need direct manufacturer."Now,listen,if you just start your import business with small order,I should say your above-mentioned opinion is definitely wrong.

Why it's better to deal with trading companies if your order is small?
1.Trading company will concentrate all his customers/orders on one manufacturer and then get a much better price than you,because he is this manufacturer's VIP customer.Another example exists in hotel booking.When you are on business travel to Guangzhou,China,you need spend RMB498 to stay in a standard room of Liuhua Hotel if you straightly book from the hotel reception centre while only RMB428 if you book from,a travel agency.
2.Trading company is local who knows well about manufacturers distribution.Generally speaking,small factories without much managerial staff and infomationalization will offer cheaper price than big standard counterparts.You can't expect to find any infomation about them from Internet or Fairs.That's why sometimes traders can quote you better price than manufacturers.
3.Trading company is professional in int'l trading who will easily understand your requirement,while small manufacturers don't know anything except for production.The biggest barrier is not language,but thinking.For example,they think a little off color or delay is not a big deal.

In one word,when you can't place a big order,forget factories.Trading companies are better for you.As for trading type,I suggest you cooperate with a professional trading company in your line,not general trading company.

If you're a big "guy" with containers every month,it's simple,just cooperate with big factories who have a professional foreign trade department and export license.They often show off in fairs and B2B website like,so it's easy to look for them. The only thing you need do is to hire a full-time QC or part-time agent to follow up your order.That's all.

If you find a small factory with good price,quality,delivery,communication and organization,then forget middlemen,just do it(salute Nike).You're lucky,Congratulations.

Trading company or manufacturer,depends on who you are.Symmetry is the only creterion,regardless of scale,desire or attitude.

Statement:this article is only standing for my own opinion.Further discussion is highly appreciated.

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The issue here is not who is better trading co. or factories.
The key is getting what you want at the price you want.

Communication is definitely still a barrier and China really lacks management skill.
Trading Co. will be a dying breed (as asianxpat mentioned) because serious buyer become more and more intelligent, it's already happening. However, there are still plenty of fishes in the sea; so they will be around for a while yet.

The biggest problem is everyone (trading and factories included) are so fast to say "yes, no problem"..and problem always arise because they just try to grab your $$ or whatever they can first. No one actually really takes the time to understand what the client really needs or wants. In most cases near enough is good enough for them.

Quality is the biggest issue for me personally, so I opened up my own factory. But now i have problems competing with the cheap products and getting the customer to understand the difference. From the buyer point of view they just see the outside and it all looks the same. However, internally the components use make a huge impact on the costs. An industrial grade component can cost 2,4, even 10 times the price compared to a domestic grade. This where manufacturer cut cost and trading company can make big money. But it's ok, because in the long run they will come back to me when their customers complains and they get themselves in a mess.

Trading companies and factories here think too short term. They want to see fast $$$ and there are enough suckers out there to take the bait.
i basicly agree with u.
both factories n trading companies always have their own survival kit. the difference between the 2 can be sometimes very small or sometimes very big.


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