Timing Before and After the Chinese New Year

Whenever you're negotiating prices and planning summer orders, timing is something to watch out of the corner of your eye when doing it around Chinese New Year.
This time of year, post Christmas holiday and prior to the Chinese New Year holiday, morphs into a giant blob. For some importers, it can be an inefficient and frustrating time. Here are some reminders on timing during this time period and what to look out for.  This applies to both before and after the Chinese Holiday....

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China Suppliers Typically Aren’t Experts or Aficionados

Just because they manufacture bags or glassware, doesn't mean they're market, style or even functionality experts.
You're bringing in a container of homeware that perfectly accents a living room and makes a life statement for any customer who can afford your brand. To your offshore supplier, it's simply stuff. It's stuff they make, it what feeds their factory and it's how they make their living. If they're not making this, they would make something else. Should knowing this affect how you handle your offshore orders? ...

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Things to Keep in Mind About Your China Supplier

Should we proceed regardless of the mindset of our vendors, or keep in mind the differences, in order to achieve understanding? A few reminders dealing with a China supplier.
Perhaps if you kept a few things in mind about your China supplier it would add perspective to the entire sourcing process? You may get frustrated a little less. A buyer may remember to add on a few extra sentences to descriptions. The eager importer will recall different world views and then approach projects and problems differently....

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Getting in Front of Problems

Is it true because it's true or because you'd rather not exert serious effort in controlling this factory? A few thoughts about getting in front of problems in China manufacturing.
In China sourcing, a chunk of miscommunication and mass production messes are because of failure to get in front of problems. Suppliers are bashful to admit in advance why something may take a turn for the worse. Buyers won't acknowledge failure and in order to CYA or money, they push issues off onto the supplier. Whatever the reason, being able to recognize potential problems and cut them off at the pass, will save a world of hurt. ...

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Good Buyer Discipline in Importing

Good buyer discipline and habits lead to successful importing.
Success in China sourcing doesn't happen in a vacuum but comes from good discipline. Consistent habits stack on top of each other like building blocks, forming an experienced buyer. Shoot, besides China sourcing, this whole discipline concept works in many walks of life....

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Wire Transfer Payment Terms and China Vendors

Some considerations on standard wire transfer payment terms
Negotiating preferred payment terms with Chinese suppliers is a big concern for buyers. "How much deposit is normal? When to pay the balance? Why won't supplier accept "looser" payment terms? Can't they trust me?" Let's shed some light on this topic....

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5 Important Habits When Working with Overseas Suppliers

5 Good habits when working with overseas suppliers lead to good production. Good mass production is the goal, right?
Importers that gain traction and succeed when dealing with overseas suppliers, tend to develop the right habits. When every order becomes painful and mired with the same problems, a little digging will show that person doesn't consistently apply the right habits. I'm laying out 5 import pieces of discipline that'll help when managing overseas suppliers....

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Supplier Communication: Look For and Give Relevant Detail

Sometimes an offshore project seems like stumbling around in the dark because you and the supplier are talking past each other. Strive for relevant detail.
By focusing on relevant detail  in your supplier communication you avoid time waste, misunderstanding and even incorrect mass production. In offshore manufacturing, nothing is to be taken for granted. Nothing? Nothing. For each phase, consider "what relevant detail needs to be put forward."...

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Repeat Orders Still Require Vigilant Control

Don't take repeat orders for granted but continue a proper system of control.
Repeat orders in China manufacturing still require vigilant control. Casualness from both sides influences the outcome for the negative; the burden of fault being on the supplier's shoulders. Here's some reasons why errors happen in repeat orders and what to look out for. ...

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More Considerations on Importing Promo Products

Considerations for Sourcing Promo Products from Chinese Vendors
The majority of promo product orders are smaller runs (200 pens, 500 ball caps, etc). These are purchased from onshore stock or local factories. China or offshore manufacturing comes into play with extensive customization and increased quantities. Once buyers go offshore, they realize their expectations and demands aren't necessarily upheld or even understood by the vendors. Let's talk the change of mindset that's necessary for sourcing promo products offshore.  ...

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Obstacles in Importing Promotional Products from China

Importing promotional products from China, because of the wide range, has a set of its own unique obstacles.
Importing promotional products is a hot topic for companies in that 20 billion dollar industry. From the end brand to distributor to importer, businesses in the supply chain require customization and cost savings. For Western-based companies starting to buy offshore; here's a picture of some of the initial obstacles you may face. ...

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Sorting Out Mass Production Errors

Mass production errors don't only happen to other people. If the winds of Providence blow your way, how will you handle?
Having to sort out mass production errors is not a place any buyer wants to find themselves. But the cold fact, is that it happens. It's better to be prepared and have some concepts in place on how to handle instead of acting like "it won't happen to me."...

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Responsibility and Mass Production Mistakes

Solving production mistakes in a solution-oriented manner are signs of a solid vendor.
Production mistakes cut a project to the quick. Not only is the actual product now "not right" but there's other aspects to sort out. Handling it all cross-culturally and from abroad makes it all the more touchy....

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Quantity, Quantity Scales and MOQ

Be precise as possible in your communication with your Chinese vendor. Even when it comes to order quantity in your RFQ
Here are some refreshers on your quantity request when sending in inquiries to vendors in China sourcing. Your initial inquiry sets the stage for supplier buyer interaction. The quantity request portion of your inquiry is a vital part of that inquiry. This may not be the most exciting post...come to think of it, none of my posts are that exciting. ...

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