Product Sourcing – Why Suppliers Keep Ignoring your Inquiries

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Supplier inquiries

You’ve finally found the perfect product. All you need to do now is to go online, send out a few inquiries on Alibaba and wait for the bidding war to begin! Well, at least that’s the way plenty of importers wish things worked. But, as many of you are painfully aware of, the reality surrounding suppliers sourcing and price research is very different. Getting the supplier’s attention is one of the main issues faced by small businesses sourcing products in China.

It may sound rather absurd that you, the buyer, should be the one fighting for attention, and not the supplier. However, Chinese suppliers do indeed have very good reasons to be somewhat picky. In this article, I explain why suppliers don’t reply your inquiries, and what you can do to change that.

“I’m the buyer. Why should I need to convince a supplier to work with me?”

This is indeed a valid question. However, try to put yourself in the suppliers shoes for a moment. Chinese suppliers are accustomed to manufacture products according to the buyer’s specifications. This requires a serious commitment from the buyer. Suppliers listed on Alibaba, and other B2B directories, can receive large numbers of inquiries on a daily basis. They are, just like any business, doing what they can to cut through the clutter and avoid wasting time on leads that are unlikely to ever give a return. Continue reading Product Sourcing – Why Suppliers Keep Ignoring your Inquiries

Alibaba Suppliers – The 3 Biggest Myths and Misconceptions

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Myths about Alibaba

You’ve heard the stories. Small businesses importing from China run into issues every day, and Alibaba is often (wrongly) blamed by buyers. But things are not always as simple as they may seem to be. In this article, we explain – and debunk – the three biggest myths and misconceptions about, and its listed suppliers.

Myth #1: All Gold Suppliers are suitable for your product and quality requirements

We receive emails on a regular basis, from desperate importers that picked the wrong supplier online. Sometimes it regards payment frauds, but more often quality and compliance issues. This comes as a very unpleasant surprise for these importers, as they did their due diligence and picked a proper Gold Supplier. Continue reading Alibaba Suppliers – The 3 Biggest Myths and Misconceptions

Product Specifications When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

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Product Specifications

The main reason many small businesses fail (as in losing a ton of money) when buying from China is because they contact a random supplier Alibaba, refer to a product listed in the supplier’s directory and specifies “good quality” as their only requirement.

That’s also where the problems begin. There’s no universal definition of what good quality really is. Neither will you ever win a court case in China (assuming that you could even afford one), because a supplier didn’t provide you with products compliant to your imaginary and vague definition of “good quality”. Instead, you shall provide your supplier with a product specification. In this article we explain why a product specification is needed, what it shall include and how things can turn bad if you don’t make one. Continue reading Product Specifications When Importing from China: A Complete Guide