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 Ctrip.com,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 Alibaba.com,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.