How to Find A Qualified Sourcing Agent from China?


We can work with a sourcing agent to buy from China, in this way it can save us time and effort. The sourcing agent is specialized in their fields, they have established business partnerships with some manufacturers and have a wide network of sourcing resources. It is critical to find a qualified sourcing agent to boost our business when we turn to help from sourcing agents. In this article, we will discuss this topic from some perspectives views.

1. Where to find a sourcing agent?

In our previous post, we talked about where we can find a sourcing agent. Search engines like Google and Bing are our first approach, we can also look for one from work marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork, and on social network platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. Some sourcing agents may attend trade fairs, we can also find them there.

2. How to select a qualified sourcing agent?

After we get a list of names, how can we choose one that is qualified? There is a Chinese idiom that says “half the work is twice the effort”, which means we spend less time and effort to achieve the goal if we cooperate with the right sourcing agent, otherwise it may become the opposite situation”spend more time and effort to accomplish the work”. According to our years of sourcing work experience, we have 4 suggestions when we consider a potential agent whom we are going to work with.

2.1 Background Investigation

We can conduct a simple background investigation on the sourcing agent before contacting them. By using the search engines, we can put their names into the searching box, and check the results to see if there are any reviews by others. There is another useful tool to check the identity of the sourcing agent, is the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, this website is run by the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration of China, we can check the name in the system and obtain official information of the sourcing agent related, which includes the registration information, violation of laws and credit information. This is the essential step before we contact any sourcing agents because we do business only with legal and formal companies.

2.2 Good Communication

Communication comes first, this is the basic and essential requirement. Let’s think about this question: what does the sourcing agent actually do? The sourcing agent is providing the service for us in purchasing, they represent us to communicate and negotiate with manufacturers to make the deals, therefore, good communication is important from the beginning. The sourcing agent should speak fluent English so that they can communicate with us and figure out our real intent so that they can start to work and transfer the information to the factory. Just imagine if a sourcing agent misunderstands our need and delivers wrong messages to the factory, it will be a disaster for all parties.

Due to language barriers, we may meet difficulties in communicating with the factory, a qualified sourcing agent can assist in this case and make things easier, but the premise is that they should have good communication skills. We can communicate with different sourcing agents, test them and select the best one. A good sourcing agent helps us save time, but also saves money, they communicate with the factory and ask for a reasonable price which we can not get and it could be even better if they acquire a lower MOQ. This result is because they have been in the fields for years and have a stable business partnership with the factory, and the factory trusts them.

2.3 Location Checking

In China, manufacturers in the same industry gather together in the same place, we call it an industry cluster. There are many industry clusters distributed in China, like hardware in Yongkang City, toys in Chenghai Town, women’s clothing in Guangzhou City, and kids’ clothing in Zhili Town, etc. From raw materials to finished goods, there is a complete supply chain, so there is an obvious advantage when we make a purchase from the industry cluster, many competitors in the same business will improve the industry, and product prices are competitive. Sourcing agents here are also part of the industry, they belong to the end part of the supply chain, assisting in selling. Therefore, they know more about the industry than others who are not in the cluster, and they are much more competitive.

We can see that a lot of sourcing agents are located in Yiwu and Guangzhou because there are many industry clusters in and around the city, and there are also a lot of shipping agents which contribute to the advanced supply chain. It is hard to imagine a sourcing agent who is located in a place where very few factories and shipping agents are based. Some sourcing agents do not state their location clearly on their websites, we should be vigilant of this because this is the basic information we need to know when we choose a sourcing agent.

2.4 Test before Action

We do not know the final result only when we take part in it, we do not know a sourcing agent whether it’s really good only after we work with it. For the first time cooperation, we can give a small project to test them, during the process, everything will be clear, and we can evaluate the communication, the work efficiency, and the final result. If it turns out to be awful, which indicates we chose the wrong sourcing agent, we have to continue to look for a new one. If everything goes well, then we can work with them in the future for big orders.

There are other factors when we determine to work with a sourcing agent, we hope the tips in this article would be helpful in selecting a qualified one, please feel free to contact us, we are happy to discuss this topic with you.

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