Certain characteristics of overseas buyers cause major China manufacturing problems.  These “work habits” increase the headache when working with factories and suppliers.

Common incidents may seem like harmless side effects of the business.  In reality, normal issues can fester and grow, leading to full-blown manufacturing catastrophes.

Unreliable on Payment

If the supplier is preoccupied with a late payment or if you have a history of being unreliable on payment with a supplier, the factory will focus more on payment admin then on the quality of your production.  This leads to delays on the production line or loss of motivation over the project.  Lack of supplier motivation leads to low quality.


Are you the type of buyer who falls apart like a 2$ suitcase every time a situation arises.  Do you use finger-pointing language via email and make threats?  This makes the sales person nervous and lose face, thus he or she is not properly relaying information to the production department.  Times where they could help you and be proactively vigilant on quality are now non-existent.

Not Being Open on Key Detail

Do you know more about this project than you are letting on?  For example, this is the first time this has been produced in China, previous orders were German-manufactured.  Were there mistakes on the same product with a different vendor of which you could’ve    informed the new vendor so they could avoid the same mistake?


Do you flood the supplier with emails and skype calls for a week and then disappear for 2-weeks?  Are you hot, cold, hot, cold on the project.  If you are not showing interest in your order…guess who else won’t.  Lack of professionalism translates to a Chinese supplier as low-importance on the project.

Over-Focusing on an Issue

If every one of your communications is about the packing, the packing, the packing…that packing may come out perfect, but the rest of the order could be riddled with mistakes.  I was 10 years in China and still daily work with the country; over-focusing on an issue can be detrimental.  Confucius calls for balance.

Tight-Lipped on Standards & Expectations

Did you aggressively negotiate the price and forget to the tell the vendor that this project requires pristine quality?  Did you inform the vendor the high expectations for this job?  Assuming the factory will assume you want perfect quality is a naive assumption (that’s a lot of assumptions..).  From the factory’s point of view, there are different levels of “perfect”.  The factory for the most part strives for the possible and neededquality for the job.  The more ammo you give them on the job, the more they can focus energies in the proper areas.

Delaying a Confirmation Leads to China Manufacturing Problems

You received the samples 2 weeks ago, the production line is eagerly waiting for the green light, but you still haven’t sent a confirmation.  For whatever reason; you’re waiting on your buyer,  you’re making changes..whatever.  But the thing is;  a factory cooling off on your job, is a factory cooling off on the quality.  A factory is like a big machine, once they’ve rolled past the hot stages of a project, it’s hard to heat ’em back up.

Many Western importers simplistically conclude, “there is a problem, the factory is at fault”.  But did you lead the factory down a dangerous path during the pre-production or production process?

Your professionalism, or lack thereof, flows through the entire process.