What's the main thing learned in 10 years trading with the Chinese?

Friday, 20th December 2013


Today I’m going to dispense 10 years of trading with the Chinese into one idea. At a recent HK Global Sources event where I chaired a panel, someone asked:-

“Adam, what’s the main thing you have learned in 10 years trading with the Chinese?”

Now more than ever, it’s clear as daylight that if you…

Find a competent, established manufacture = positive outcome. Pick a mediocre factory = uphill battle, problems, disasters from the start! So you should focus a large amount of initial energy on finding the right factory.

But most people have no method, system or analysis of how to do this. And if they find a good factory it’s often by trial & error. Or dumb luck.

Most people don’t value HOW important finding the right supplier is. They nod their heads. “Yeah, Adam, of course, you need a great supplier...”

But sourcing the right supplier is not easy to execute. How can you judge a factory if you're sourcing from another country via the internet? Or if you meet briefly at a trade show? How can you judge their operations if you don't visit in person?

Most importers don’t have the significant time and resources it takes to do this properly. Here’s an insight into the lengthy steps one should take to source properly.

Unfortunately, you have to wade through a lot of mediocre suppliers to find the good ones.

And compounding this difficulty – many of the biggest and best manufacturers in any industry are NOT listed on Alibaba, global sources, made in China or any trade directory at all.

Of the top 10 factories I’ve visited this year, only about 10-20% were listed on trade directories at all.

Sometimes factories are not accessible through the normal trade websites.

But however, you do it, choosing the right supplier is the critical step when importing from China. It sounds obvious but dedicating the time to get the right factory is not easy.

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