Known as the Factory of the World, China surpasses manufactured goods sales of all other countries, mainly due to the low costs involved in Chinese manufacturing. China is an obvious choice for western companies seeking a cost-effective manufacturing solution.

Finding A Manufacturer Without A Purchasing Agent In China

There are numerous hurdles for westerners who choose to go it alone with manufacturing in China. These are the main challenges:

Language Barrier

Initially, the language barrier can result in various misunderstandings. The messaging app WeChat is one solution; westerners can translate messages fast into Chinese or English, as can Chinese users. But a messaging app is no substitute for constant clear communication.

Production Difficulties

Clothing and furniture are low-tech and low-risk. For those reasons, western companies favor manufacturing them in China. But what if you order products that need in-depth testing? The greater the manufacturing complexities, the more chances of problems.

Can you be sure that mass-produced products will meet the same standards as sample products? If there is no one to oversee production in China for a western company, will manufacturing be monitored effectively?

Uncertainty Over Factory Product Manufacturing Processes

In some instances, companies will design high-quality samples. But when the production process starts, they outsource the work to a cheap, badly run workshop, and quality inevitably suffers. In China, factory outsourcing is a significant problem. Make sure that you avoid it.

Shipping Problems

Once an order is ready for shipping, additional communication problems can result in incorrect shipments. Was a mistake intentional or not? A western company without hands-on help in China may never know.

How The Direct Approach Can Damage Your Business

What follows is an example of what can happen when you approach a Chinese manufacturer directly.

A Canadian importer ordered 100 ladders from a Chinese manufacturer. The importer nominated a friend to collect the ladders from a Canadian warehouse on his behalf. Rather than returning with a hundred ladders, his friend picked up 200 sets of German brake pads. 

The Chinese supplier refused to send the ladders, insisting that the incorrect delivery was not his responsibility. The Canadian importer never found out where the problem originated because there was no order tracking system.

Going direct can mean disastrous problems for western companies buying from China. Trusting a reliable sourcing agent is usually a better option.

Western demands will inevitably vary from country to country. Sourcing companies catering to US companies will provide different services to a China sourcing agent UK company.

If you want to know how to find a Chinese factory, Easy Imex can help you. Going solo is fraught with potential pitfalls.

The solution is to employ a China purchasing agent. This guide will show you how to find the best purchasing agent in China and avoid numerous pitfalls.

Set Out Your Requirements For A Purchasing Agent In China

To focus on the best China purchasing agent for your company, determine your requirements. Be exact about your sourcing agent and supplier requirements; list them all on one document. A procedure may be standard in your home country but non-standard in China, so include everything crucial.

Stipulate the standards you require for location, experience, payments, and language proficiency. Make a list of required product quantities, materials, delivery times, and quality levels.

Budgetary Requirements

Be flexible within the parameters you set for your budget. There may be unplanned expenses, so be prepared for such eventualities. Be reasonable about the prices you will pay for manufactured goods.

What Are Your Main Options For Finding A China Purchasing Agent?

Narrow down the search for a China sourcing agent firm right from the start. Here are some factors that will help you make the right choice.

Sourcing Agent Location

Is a potential sourcing agent based in China, or are they based outside China? A non-Chinese company is the best choice — a China sourcing agent UK firm, for example. Checking the credentials and credibility of a China buying agent can be challenging because of their strict internet rules. Ensure that the agent has an excellent history and a well-staffed office in China.

Reference Checking

Follow up on website reviews on the company website or direct references from your potential sourcing agent. Reach out to the individuals or companies to check references are genuine. References from companies in your sector will help show that the agent can cope with your manufacturing requirements.


Check that the license of a proposed China buying agent is genuine. China has strict laws regarding who can trade in various businesses. China procurement regulations are particularly stringent. When looking for purchasing agent in China, do your due diligence and ensure that your potential agent complies with Chinese law.

Quality Control

Confirm that the purchasing agent in China has specific protocols for dealing with quality control issues. Such procedures will be paramount to your manufacturing success in China. Product compliance is also crucial. There is a range of compliance standards that are the responsibility of western importers.

Language Fluency

Ensure that your proposed sourcing agent is fluent in written and spoken English and Chinese. It’s preferable if their office staff are also bi-lingual as it’s likely you’ll be communicating with them too.

Honesty Is Essential

Unfortunately, there are far too many companies that take kickbacks in return for work favors in China. Make sure that your potential sourcing agent is ethically sound. Check their credentials and references thoroughly before proceeding.

China Sourcing Agent Fees

Your proposed sourcing agent needs clear and simple fee rates. Look out for hidden charges and complex costing data. Unless you fully understand the offer, resist proceeding any further.

Easy Imex provides a premier service underpinned by a combined 132 years of experience. We pride ourselves on our transparent and straightforward China sourcing agent fees.

China Purchasing Agent Review

After reviewing the above information, you will be able to determine whether or not you have a suitable purchasing agent. These essentials will eliminate the inferior agents and help you narrow down the best China purchasing agent for your needs.

Your Final Choice

After completing your China purchasing agent review,  2 or 3 agents should remain. Ask for quotations to determine which of these companies is best for you. Avoid settling for the first quote you get from these companies. Most companies will have leeway in their profit margins and may offer a discount; be creative with your buyer requirements to offset China sourcing agent fees. 

Ask for a discount on repeat orders. Propose that you order in larger quantities if you can be flexible on the numbers. Large companies and independent agents are less bound by convention and are likely to offer you improved rates if you ask. This is the essential final step when looking for purchasing agent in China.

Post-Agreement Documentation

Once you agree with a China buying agent, note down everything and provide the agent with a copy of your document. Flag potential problems, such as delays or quality lapses. Ensure documented procedures to avoid future difficulties.

Detail payment structures. If there are any future fluctuations in plans, documenting agreements will help reach an agreement with your agent. 

Find a Sourcing Agent in China!

How A China Sourcing Agent Will Benefit Your Business

A good China sourcing agent firm will help your business in multiple ways. They will deal with unanticipated problems, and the advantages will outpace the difficulties. Here are some of the ways a sourcing agent benefits your business.

Ease Of Negotiation With A Purchasing Agent In China

Most western companies are motivated to deal with China because of its low manufacturing costs. The sourcing agent will help you hit the sweet spot between high quality and low pricing.

A capable sourcing agent will ensure that your deal proceeds efficiently and negotiations are fast and efficient.

Sourcing Agent Connections

In addition to sourcing services, you benefit from their network of companies. A high-quality sourcing agent will sift through multiple connections and find you your perfect supplier.

Verifying Manufacturer Credentials

A purchasing agent in China will have direct knowledge of the original manufacturer certificates. Not only will the certificates be in Mandarin or Chinese, but sometimes Chinese manufacturers present fraudulent certificates to western companies. Using a sourcing agent reduces this kind of fraud.

Save Time

Using a sourcing agent saves time on direct negotiation with suppliers. Your sourcing agent will save you time and inconvenience by building a bridge between you and your manufacturer.

Clear Communication

Familiarity with Chinese customs will enable your sourcing agent to establish a rapport with your manufacturer. They will communicate clearly and effectively with the manufacturer who shares the same language.


To take a shortcut in your search for a China sourcing agent firm, we recommend Easy Imex. We are fully compliant with China procurement regulations. Our streamlined service will meet your sourcing needs, and we are ideal for scaling your business and facilitating manufacturing. Let us make it easy for you to find the best sourcing agent in China.


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