What is the Cost of a China Sourcing Agent?

China is widely regarded as the ‘world’s factory’, standing strong as the global manufacturing powerhouse of the world. With a thriving economy driven by an impressive GDP, China is the go-to worldwide supplier for products like clothing, textiles, furniture, footwear, cosmetics, toys, electronics, and more.

But how exactly did China manage to reach such an influential global status? Well, three main driving factors separate China’s production abilities:

  • Low Labor Costs
  • Excellent Infrastructure
  • A Technically Superior Workforce

China’s export market continues to grow, even in the face of adversity. China is one of the only economies to grow during the pandemic, a testament to the resolve and determination of this resilient demographic.

All of these advantages point to China being a great nation to source manufactured goods from, despite many western businesses being wary of collaborations. Therefore, the question that’s often posed is how to find a China manufacturer

There are many cultural, business, and language barriers that can put people off, but these are easily overcome by working with a China sourcing agent. This makes the experience convenient and profitable, as your reputable agent can manage business relationships on your behalf by leveraging years of experience to generate optimal outcomes.

Sourcing agents like Easy Imex can tackle production, quality control, price negotiation, document preparation, and so much more. Selecting the right sourcing agent can be challenging, so it’s important to look for one that possesses the following characteristics:

  • A local presence in China
  • An office close to you
  • Elite communication skills
  • Advanced experience
  • Sourcing expertise

Choosing the right sourcing agent can be the difference between success and failure, but something that will drive your decision is the cost of working with an agent. This’ll mean contemplating how much your sourcing agent charges for their services and whether they’re worth their asking price?

If you’re intrigued to learn more about pricing structures, here are some China sourcing company fee breakdowns to give you a better idea what to expect when discovering the right sourcing agent for you:

Common Fee Structures

When looking for a China Sourcing agent UK, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, it’s important to consider the vast range of professional experts in existence. When finding the right one for you, price is likely to be a critical factor that drives your decision.

There are many different types of China sourcing agent fees, which largely depend on the scope of services being offered. Here are some examples of the type of fees you’re likely to encounter:

One-Time Fee

For a one-time fee, a sourcing agent can commit to:

  • Finding an appropriate supplier
  • Verifying their credentials
  • Verifying they supply the product claimed
  • Verifying whether they’re a manufacturer or trading company
  • Communicating your requirements to the supplier

Once a supplier has been approved, the sourcing agent will hand all responsibilities to you, which means the risks will be in your hands. Your sourcing agent will receive a one-time fee for their efforts.

Continuous Production Management Fee

This is a preferred option for those who need to entrust a sourcing agent with continued management and support services. It’s a great option for those who desire more than simply finding the right manufacturer, especially when there are many subsequent considerations to take into account.

For an additional fee, a sourcing agent can arrange things like sampling, toolin=g, document preparation, and negotiation to get the best deal possible. They can also tackle things like quality control inspections, problem-solving, and shipping, which can help the production process run seamlessly.

There are two common charging models for continued services of this nature:

Flat Fee

Many sourcing agents charge a flat fee which is calculated based on either the time spent working on a project or a per-product basis.


Commission based services are usually charged as a percentage of the total value of each purchase order. Sourcing agents usually charge somewhere in the region of 5-10% on each order, though commissions often vary based on the type of product and size of the order in question.

What is the Best Fee Model For Me?

Since there isn’t one specific model that stands out above the rest, your decision will largely be based on your unique circumstances. What works well for one person will not necessarily be the best option for others, so it’s important to select an option that fits your requirements.

However, there are a few do’s and don’t’s to bear in mind during the decision-making process:


  • Select a package that facilitates cultivating a long-term business relationship with both your supplier and sourcing agent. Lasting partnerships will benefit everyone involved, especially when you’re willing to commit to a long-term arrangement.
  • Pick a supplier with various verification methods to minimize your overall risk. You should consider things like whether your agent will be able to visit the factory, or whether their licenses are valid and up-to-date. This is a great way to safeguard you from harm.
  • As a beginner, entrust an experienced sourcing agent with a local presence, one that offers a continuous production management package. This is a great way to alleviate pressure by capitalizing on the wealth of knowledge your agent has to offer.
  • Ensure value-added services are included in your package, whether that’s troubleshooting during the production process or taking photos for your eCommerce platform. Value-added services can come with additional charges, so it’s important to be vigilant and check the requirements in question.


  • Avoid selecting the cheapest rates to ensure you’re not negated by a lack of quality.
  • Don’t be swayed by agents offering ‘free services’. There’s nothing free in this world, so you’ll end up paying for what’s offered somewhere down the line.
  • Avoid focusing solely on price, look at what your agent has to offer and how credible their background is. Find a sourcing agent whose committed to meeting your exact requirements, and who’s transparent and upfront about the entire procurement process.

Nurturing Effective Relationships

In China, trust, loyalty, and respect is everything. If you can build a great personal connection with your supplier/sourcing agent, they’ll be incentivized to do everything within their power to secure an optimal outcome for your business.

Trust between partners is essential, so you’ll need to build effective relationships if you’re to succeed. Establishing a mutually beneficial partnership is the ultimate goal, especially since your sourcing agent will provide an essential link between you and your manufacturer/supplier.

Your sourcing agent can leverage their relationships and knowledge to secure good connections with business representatives that can elevate your business to new heights. With a mixture of local presence, business insights, communication skills, and more, the right sourcing agent will be integral to your success.

It’s all about striking up the right relationship at a good value, something you can accomplish by working with a sourcing agent like Easy Imex.

Easy Imex is committed to scaling your business with elite sourcing services. The company can offer continued support and services after finding the right manufacturer for you, guaranteeing improved pricing, lead times, product quality, and more.

With the ability to tackle everything that surrounds the sourcing journey, Easy Imex values meeting the unique requirements of its clientele, securing the best possible solution in each individual case.

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    About the Author: Adam

    Adam Gilbourne is the Founder and Managing Director of Easy Imex. Since 2005, he has helped hundreds of companies worldwide to successfully import from China. He has a large expertise on product sourcing, quality assurance, and supply chain management.

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