Tell-tale signs a buyer is inexperienced in dealing with China buying and manufacturing.

Really Stoked About Low Price

A new buyer is excited about a very low price quote, as if they found the secret to China buying, hidden deep within the jungle and are light years ahead of the competition.  They need to realize a low price in China buying gives you more than you bargained for.

“The only difference in China buying is the location and the language;  but they’re just like us”:

Sure, there are similarities and equal characteristics of people all over the globe.  But if you don’t recognize the fundamental differences, then it reflects in the quality of your goods and success in dealing with China.  Not recognizing cultural differences has impact on manufacturing results.

Inexperienced buyers expect a Chinese vendor to communicate with them on the same level as their local supplier.

You’re not ordering goods from Joe’s Hardware down the street.  Buyers use quickie emails and corporate speak…and then wonder why something is not immediately understood.

Believes “the factory will know what to do and can be trusted”.

It’s not a “trusted” as far as you can’t trust them to steal your money (although always be vigilant on all aspects).  It’s more of a trusted to do the right thing in a manufacturing sense.

Renaud Anjoran from the Quality Inspection Tips Blog said it best in the comment section of a great post, “How your inspectors can fail to notice quality problems“:

The most important is to switch your mindset from “the manufacturer knows best and can be trusted” to “the manufacturer will propose something to me and it will be up to me to validate it and use it as the standard to comply with”.

You have to gain experience some time. In China buying, these are signs you're still as green as grass.

Most Buyers Don’t Realize How Much is Done by Hand

Assumes because “they told the factory to do, then the factory will do”:

This point is closely related to the cultural point.  “I’m the buyer, I told them to pack it this way…how could they not have listened?!”

You’re a long way from home….

The new buyer calls everyone on Alibaba a “factory”:

Every Chinese company is a “factory” to the inexperienced.  If they’re Chinese, they’re a factory, period.  I’ve been turned down before because I’m not factory.  Inexperienced importers would rather lose a lot of money dealing with a factory than to have a solid production partner successfully facilitating and controlling their merchandise.

Do any of these describe you or your China buying methods?  If so, it may be time to take it to the next level of thought.