Smart Sourcing

8 reasons to register your trademarks in China

Posted: June 23, 2017

If you don't register your trademark, someone else could and probably will

Supercharge your Amazon PPC (Michael Hartman) – Global Sources Summit

Posted: June 22, 2017

Michael Hartmant's Summit presentation covered the importance of PPC, and how to structure and optimize campaigns.

How to Stop Hijackers on Amazon

Posted: June 21, 2017

If you want to protect your brand and income from hijackers on Amazon, you have to start with the basics, that is filing for trademark protection.

4 ways to protect your IP when manufacturing in China

Posted: June 21, 2017

The best strategy to protect your IP is to prioritize IP registration in your major sales market/s.

Prevent quality defects in your products by clarifying requirements

Posted: June 19, 2017

There are a number of ways to clarify your requirements to help you get the product you want while limiting quality defects.

Promo products: Considerations before manufacturing starts

Posted: June 16, 2017

For promo products, use the time prior to mass production for final communication and checking.

China contract templates: The cons and the cons

Posted: June 14, 2017

In drafting contracts, the core agreement is almost always completely unique to the specific client.

Watch all Global Sources Summit sessions when and where you want

Posted: June 13, 2017

If you missed attending the Summit, you can now watch all 18 presentations at your own convenience on your favorite device.

China supplier vetting part 8: Factory testing facilities

Posted: June 12, 2017

A factory missing the necessary testing facilities does not have the capability to make consistent quality products.

Five ways to stop duplicates of your product from being sold on Amazon

Posted: June 09, 2017

Here's how you can reduce the risk of duplicate products appearing on Amazon and better position yourself to remove those products if they do show up.

4 ways to address product defects found during QC inspection

Posted: June 07, 2017

Asking for reinspection and chargebacks is one way of coping with product defects.

Sea freight vs. air freight – The ultimate guide

Posted: June 05, 2017

This guide covers freight methods, container types and sizing, delivery times and weight calculations.

Preventing product defects starts with negotiating with suppliers

Posted: June 02, 2017

Preventing product defects through negotiation saves importers time and money in trying to fix these issues after production.

How to conduct stricter QC inspections, apart from a lower AQL?

Posted: May 31, 2017

Buyers often ask us how to do stricter quality inspections with some of their suppliers in China or Vietnam.

China customs violations and how to avoid jail time

Posted: May 29, 2017

Do not underreport or in any other way lie to China customs.

Why QC professionals use AQL sampling for product inspection

Posted: May 26, 2017

AQL sampling offers certain advantages, including time savings, flexibility and cost effectivity.

So you inspect quality but Chinese suppliers don't improve?

Posted: May 24, 2017

Why isn't quality getting better? There are mainly two reasons for this.

Case study: How my private label product ended up on Oprah's Favorite Things list (KJ Robinson)

Posted: May 22, 2017

A product KJ Robinson first sourced at the Global Sources show was featured on Oprah's Favorite Things list of 2016 and USA Today’s 10 must-haves.

3 basic guidelines for garment quality assurance in China

Posted: May 19, 2017

A recent articlelays out nicely the basic guidelines an importer should follow to ensure good garment quality assurance.

Which entity should own your China IP?

Posted: May 17, 2017

Unless you have a really good reason to split ownership and use of your China IP into different entities, just keep it simple and use one company.

How to avoid risks when importing from China

Posted: May 15, 2017

A lot of the potential hassle can be avoided by heeding the following when importing from China.

Is your China contract worthless?

Posted: May 12, 2017

If you are going to do business in China or with a Chinese company, you almost certainly will need a contract that satisfies China's legal requirements.

Global Sources Summit April 2017 recap: Key takeaways from 20+ Amazon experts

Posted: May 11, 2017

The Summit brought together online and Amazon sellers to learn from a wide range of speakers to help grow their eCommerce businesses.

How AQL sampling affects your product inspection results

Posted: May 10, 2017

Let's look at how AQL and other factors to determine the result of your inspections.

5 negotiating lessons from Sec. of State Tillerson's Beijing trip

Posted: May 08, 2017

Tillerson followed western negotiating protocol by focusing on the key negotiating goals. But for Chinese negotiators, there is always a larger agenda.

Pre-production samples: Critical points when confirming

Posted: May 05, 2017

As you're signing-off and confirming pre-production samples, find out from the supplier how mass production is going to differ from the samples.

Three keys to drafting a China contract that works

Posted: May 03, 2017

Giving clients a contract that will both protect them and get the deal done is key in drafting a China contract.

China supplier vetting part 7: Factory process & system audit

Posted: May 01, 2017

The key to a system audit is to evaluate the maturity of the systems and processes of the factory.

How importers use the AQL table for product inspection

Posted: April 28, 2017

Understanding how the AQL table works can go a long way in helping interpret your inspection results and decide how to act on them.

Valuelink's Zack Franklin reveals the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese Amazon sellers

Posted: April 26, 2017

Zack Franklin shares what he's been seeing among Chinese Amazon sellers and what differentiates them from American sellers and those in other markets.

Skubana founder explains why his platform is the best for beginners and pros alike

Posted: April 24, 2017

Skubana is different because it's seamless and handles everything from inventory management to analytics.

Bringing strong closure to your China order

Posted: April 21, 2017

Many a China order goes down the toilet because slackness creeps end towards the end of the process.

China supplier vetting, part 6: On-site social compliance audits

Posted: April 19, 2017

During China supplier vetting, you might also have to check their social & environmental policies.

Learn how to protect your IP from China at the Global Sources Summit

Posted: April 17, 2017

On April 18, China Law Blog's Dan Harris will be speaking on China IP at the Global Sources Summit in Hong Kong.

5 electronic product recalls that QC inspection could have prevented

Posted: April 14, 2017

Look at major tech product recalls in recent news and see how the importer might have avoided them with QC inspection.

Pre-production samples: Critical points when confirming

Posted: April 12, 2017

In order not to over-promise or to have misplaced concepts of mass production, there are critical points to consider.

6 contract-related mistakes importers make in China

Posted: April 07, 2017

Most first-time importers make at least 4 of the following 6 mistakes.

China negotiating lessons

Posted: April 05, 2017

Western negotiating protocol is to focus on the key negotiating goals, but Chinese negotiators "always" have a larger agenda.

The steps FBA sellers should not skip when buying in China [video]

Posted: April 03, 2017

FBA sellers can find a wealth of tutorials on "how to sell on Amazon and get rich in 6 months" but not much on what to do with Chinese suppliers and ensure product quality.

More on sampling process: Once the samples arrive…then what?

Posted: March 31, 2017

Let's look at the sampling process more from the standpoint of once the samples arrive to the buyers' hands. What's next?

5 basic things to remind your supplier

Posted: March 29, 2017

Here are 5 reminders to keep in front of your supplier and…not to mention your own flow chart and sticky-note bulletin.

Why QC inspectors rarely work with Chinese factory staff to fix issues

Posted: March 27, 2017

The belief that a QC inspector's role extends beyond simply finding and reporting problems is one of five misconceptions of QC inspection in China.

Why you need to write contracts with your Chinese suppliers

Posted: March 27, 2017

Misunderstanding, confusion, and uncertainty can definitely plague your entire supply chain when you choose to outsource from abroad, especially when dealing with an alien culture like China.

6 pieces of advice for importers to control quality remotely

Posted: March 24, 2017

Here are six ways to utilize quality control in China so you can avoid defects, delays, partial shipments, and other headaches.

China supplier vetting, part 5: On-site factory quality audits

Posted: March 22, 2017

If you want to move further in the direction of working with them, the next step is generally a factory quality audit.

Walk trade shows like a pro with free eBook

Posted: March 21, 2017

A new eBook from Global Sources offers tips on how to maximize visits to trade shows in Asia.

China IP theft: Why pay for technology?

Posted: March 20, 2017

We are perpetually concerned that the overriding goal of the Chinese side is to walk away with our client's intellectual property without fairly compensating our client for that.

The risks of paying sourcing contractors (employees) in China

Posted: March 17, 2017

One option is to work with a professional sourcing agency. It might cost more in direct fees, but it usually more than pays itself through the lower incidence of serious issues.

10 sampling tips for China sourcing

Posted: March 15, 2017

If sampling is smooth and gives keen insight into the product and type of supplier you're working with, then you’re on the right path.

China counterfeiting: 8 common myths

Posted: March 13, 2017

There's no way to protect brands in China against counterfeits is just one of the eight common China counterfeiting myths.

Why product inspection companies can't compel your Chinese suppliers

Posted: March 10, 2017

What are the limitations of an inspection company's authority at the factory? When is more direct involvement from the importer required? And where does an inspection company provide value to the importer?

China employment compliance and audits: THE new big thing

Posted: March 08, 2017

Your job as a China employer is to get out in front on compliance as well. The best way to do this is to have an independent audit conducted on your employer-employee situation.

Power-packed Global Sources Summit Agenda

Posted: March 07, 2017

The Global Sources Summit returns in April packed with sourcing insights and actionable strategies from industry experts.

China supplier vetting, part 4: On-site, subjective evaluations

Posted: March 06, 2017

The key is to not only ask questions and listen to what they say, but also observe. Have your own agenda and you will get a much better idea of how good they are.

Overcoming quality challenges when selling on Amazon FBA

Posted: March 03, 2017

Take note of the six unavoidable quality challenges when selling on Amazon FBA goods sourced in China.

China trademark lawyers and timely renewals

Posted: March 01, 2017

Choose your China IP counsel wisely and consider maintaining your own IP calendaring system as well. And don't be late.

Chinese factories designing, branding, and selling on Amazon: Q&A

Posted: February 27, 2017

I asked Fredrik Gronkvist of China Importal for his opinion on the trend of Chinese factories selling on Amazon.

China and the unpredictable negotiator

Posted: February 24, 2017

Chinese negotiators tend to shift from guanxi-seeking partner to cut-throat competitor mode when confronted with an unpredictable counter-party.

China trademarks: Counterfeit goods and parallel imports

Posted: February 22, 2017

China does not have a clearly articulated position on the legality of parallel imports for trademarked goods, but courts have generally held that selling such goods in China does not constitute trademark infringement.

China supplier vetting, part 3: Evaluating engineering capability

Posted: February 20, 2017

If you want to work with a Chinese manufacturer to develop a new product, you need to evaluate their engineering capability.

Quote & order monitoring around China holiday season

Posted: February 17, 2017

When the factory comes back to work, realize that the quote you have in-hand, is subject to change.

11 common mistakes of DIY importers [VIDEO]

Posted: February 15, 2017

Reduce sourcing risks by taking note of these 11 common mistakes committed by DIY importers, as shared by Guided Imports.

China manufacturing gone bad

Posted: February 15, 2017

Have your manufacturing agreement forbid your China manufacturer from making or selling your product and from using your trade name or your logos.

The 7 major risks you run with your China manufacturers

Posted: February 13, 2017

The major risks that experienced importers run, when working with a new manufacturer in China, are mostly related to issues of motivation and trust.

What is quality control for importers sourcing in China

Posted: February 10, 2017

A robust quality control plan should be used to ensure specifications and quality expectations are met within each and every order.

Six hugely common China law problems AND their solutions

Posted: February 08, 2017

Here are six of the most common problems our China attorneys see, all of which can almost always cost-effectively be avoided by doing "the right thing" early on.

China supplier vetting, part 2: Questions to ask before a visit

Posted: February 06, 2017

The next step is to ask them a number of questions that will disqualify them if they are a poor fit for your needs — and that will warn you if you are a poor fit for them.

4 things to consider when your supplier quotes a high price

Posted: February 03, 2017

Before you write off a supplier based on a "high price" here are 4 considerations to ponder.

8 steps to import quality products from China

Posted: February 01, 2017

Pre-production, in-process and pre-shipment inspection are the most effective ways to prevent poor quality products from being shipped.

China supplier vetting, part 1: Background checks

Posted: January 30, 2017

You can check the company's legitimacy and reputation on the internet, in government databases, and through service providers.

5 on-site product tests for garment inspection

Posted: January 27, 2017

Garment inspection is one of the best ways to verify the quality of a clothing item before it leaves the factory.

Conferences in Hong Kong and Shenzhen in 2017

Posted: January 25, 2017

Two trade shows in South China will offer conferences in April that might interest buyers.

Super common China contract mistakes

Posted: January 23, 2017

Translating a contract into Chinese does not make the contract appropriate for China.

How long does a custom product development take in China?

Posted: January 20, 2017

When you are planning, the actual timescale is a least twice as long as the initial estimated timescales for your project plan.

3 mistakes importers make with quality control checklists

Posted: January 18, 2017

QC checklists eliminate ambiguity by providing clear, black and white standards for your product.

Timing before and after the Chinese New Year

Posted: January 16, 2017

Here are some reminders on timing during this time period and what to look out for.

6 steps and 1 key to reduce subcontracting risks in China

Posted: January 13, 2017

You don't want to give so much work to one factory that they can't get it done internally.

Pilar Newman dishes on Amazon success and her new online course

Posted: January 11, 2017

Newman talks with Global Sources about her nine years selling on Amazon and explains why anyone can become successful on the platform.

An innovative approach to stopping China counterfeits!??

Posted: January 11, 2017

Not only must you file for a China trademark for your brands and your logos, but you should also then register your granted China trademark with China customs to stem counterfeits of your products from leaving China.

6 ways to avoid disruption on import business during Chinese New Year

Posted: January 09, 2017

Clearly, the impact of Chinese New Year on any import business is enormous, making it more important than ever to well prepare your order and implement a robust quality control strategy in China.

How to comply with legal requirements for clothing labeling

Posted: January 06, 2017

Without proper labeling, the customs authority of the country you're exporting to might forbid you to distribute there.

Online sellers conference is back with new speakers, new topics

Posted: January 04, 2017

At the Global Sources Summit, online and Amazon sellers can learn actionable strategies to grow their online and Amazon business.

Getting China manufacturers to pay certification costs

Posted: January 04, 2017

The big boys' strategy is generally to push testing costs up the supply chain. In other words, to have the manufacturers and their sub-suppliers to pay for testing and certification, but in a way that can be traced and verified.

China etiquette: THE guide

Posted: January 02, 2017

This is a great book (indeed, an almost necessary book) for anyone new or relatively new to doing business in China. It also makes for an excellent refresher for China veterans.

Obstacles in importing promotional products from China

Posted: December 30, 2016

For Western-based companies starting to buy offshore; here's a picture of some of the initial obstacles you may face.

Analyzing differences in measurements with your factory

Posted: December 28, 2016

Finding out the "why" is not easy. One can do a lot of 'armchair' inductive reasoning

Amazon speaks at Global Sources' most recent meetup for online sellers

Posted: December 27, 2016

The objective of these events is to increase awareness of Global Sources among this increasingly important and fast-growing buyer segment, and to engage with them to better understand their needs.

A close look at procurement and procurement services

Posted: December 26, 2016

If procurement does not receive the prominence it deserves in any organization, there are bound to be problems which make it imperative to get insight on the same.

Supplier & buyer communication in China sourcing

Posted: December 23, 2016

When both sides increase understanding, both sides are then working with a higher quality product.

Changes during the sampling phase

Posted: December 21, 2016

These changes, albeit needed, also bring about another wave of phenomena in your China project management that you want to be on guard for.

How Amazon FBA sellers should control quality in China

Posted: December 19, 2016

Buyers should take the right steps to ensure product quality more upstream in their purchasing & development process.

Why most importers don't rely on factory QC staff for inspection

Posted: December 16, 2016

Relying on the factory's own staff to conduct inspection can be a solution for some importers. But for many others, factory staff alone don't provide the clarity and insight they need.

China product development and manufacturing rights

Posted: December 14, 2016

When the Chinese side takes the position that it will retain the rights to the underlying technology in your product, your next step is to try to negotiate a license to that technology.

Top 7 expert tips on shipping from China

Posted: December 12, 2016

Learn what happens, how and who affects the shipping process and where you fit in.

Chinese New Year sourcing best practices from China

Posted: December 09, 2016

If you are an Amazon seller or importer and source from China, then this time of year can be a huge headache because Chinese factories will shut down anywhere from two weeks to a month.

How to classify defects for garment inspection

Posted: December 09, 2016

Understanding the different types of quality defects for garments and how to classify them is the first step to preventing or greatly reducing them.

Product sourcing in China: 8 tricks for small businesses to keep costs down

Posted: December 07, 2016

You know clearly that well begun is half done, and I hope you will also agree with when I say costing down your product sourcing is already half the success for your business.

Trade shows in Hong Kong & Guangzhou – April 2017

Posted: December 06, 2016

Here are dates and key product categories of April 2017 sourcing exhibitions in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Why importers must understand the 5 types of suppliers In China

Posted: December 02, 2016

By understanding each category importers can identify which supplier is suited to manufacturing their product in terms of price, risk, and quality.

5 important habits when working with overseas suppliers

Posted: November 30, 2016

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.

Real-time inspection updates on Wechat/Whatsapp? Really?

Posted: November 28, 2016

That's one of those ideas that sound nice but that are actually bad 99% of the time.

Making changes once mass production starts

Posted: November 25, 2016

Knowing the production path will give you insight on when changes can take place without causing something catastrophic.

Incoterms in plain English: A freight shipping guide

Posted: November 24, 2016

Freight incoterms are the standard contract term used in sales contracts with importing/exporting to define responsibility and liability for shipment of the goods.

Global Sources refines site search experience

Posted: November 23, 2016

Product search now offers two viewing options, thumbnails and image magnification, and easy-to-see price and MOQ information.

Product liability insurance

Posted: November 23, 2016

I'd say anyone importing to the US needs PLI at some point. Be it low risk items or high risk items, it just is better to have as you never know what your customers may do with your product or if there's any fault in manufacturing that you didn't find out during inspection.

T/T payment terms with China factories: Set the right incentives

Posted: November 21, 2016

There is no shortage of payment options. Some are much more favorable to the buyer. And yet, even the most favorable to the buying side include serious risks!

Supplier communication: Look for and give relevant detail

Posted: November 18, 2016

By focusing on relevant detail in your supplier communication you avoid time waste, misunderstanding and even incorrect mass production.

Get better freight service with these ten tips from professionals

Posted: November 16, 2016

There's lots online about selecting a forwarder, less on how to get a better freight service. Instead of relying on blind faith, check out these ten tips on how to get a better freight service.

China manufacturing and how to prevent quality problems

Posted: November 14, 2016

As China makes increasingly more complex products, their ability to engage and get away with quality fade increases as well.

Wire transfer payment terms and China vendors

Posted: November 11, 2016

The more you order with the same vendor, the more you pay invoices on time, the more likely the vendors will extend favorable terms.

How understanding China's manufacturing geography leads to better sourcing results

Posted: November 09, 2016

The information that can be gained through a quick survey of manufacturers and their location is significant and should not be ignored.

Packaging: Think outside (and inside) the box

Posted: November 08, 2016

Sure protecting your shipment is prudent (and boring) but did you know that great packaging can slash costs? Suddenly not so boring, right?

Amazon vendor central vs. seller central

Posted: November 07, 2016

All products sold and fulfilled by Amazon on Amazon are sourced by Vendor Central partners. In this business model you act as a wholesaler to Amazon. Seller Central is a way for third party sellers to sell their products on Amazon. In this business model you sell your product on Amazon.

Sampling is an important part of a random inspection

Posted: November 07, 2016

Skipping sampling might mean not seeing issues that are present on 40% of the goods and declare that defects are below the AQL limits.

Importer or team leader

Posted: November 04, 2016

A safer and more comprehensive view is to see the supplier working for you in the sense of a leader (importer) and production team (supplier).

Why you should (or shouldn't) hire a full-time product inspector

Posted: November 03, 2016

Let's look more closely at why some importers choose to hire full-time staff and others don’t to see if this is a viable product QC solution for you.

8 ways to facilitate the quoting process

Posted: November 02, 2016

Here are 8 ways to avoid time loss, misunderstandings and help your supplier be more efficient in the quoting process.

Live Q&A with compliance expert [VIDEO]

Posted: November 02, 2016

Rachel Johnson Greer has over 7 years of Amazon experience where she managed compliance and quality for Amazon's private brands.

How to avoid working with factories that close unexpectedly

Posted: October 28, 2016

Factories that close unexpectedly can leave importers in a serious situation. Not only are they likely to lose the deposit on their order, but they also face a huge setback in finding a new supplier. They basically need to start again from scratch.

Sourcing expert shows best way to walk a trade show [VIDEO]

Posted: October 28, 2016

Meghla Bhardwaj of Global Sources follows Gary around the Global Sources Mobile Electronics show.

Million-dollar Amazon seller on how to build a Private Label brand through wholesale [VIDEO]

Posted: October 28, 2016

Will Tjernlund advised sellers to approach traditional brands and ask to represent them on Amazon.

Top mistakes made when selling an Amazon business [VIDEO]

Posted: October 27, 2016

Coran Woodmass, founder of The FBA Broker, says in order to prepare your business for sale, you need to get accounting in place.

Jewelry & accessories manufacturers in China: A complete guide

Posted: October 26, 2016

Whenever some product attributes can be measured, statistical tools can help understand the situation, prioritize improvement efforts, and even help those improvement efforts.

Promotional item RFQ: Vital components – Part 3

Posted: October 24, 2016

The more accurate the promo item RFQ, the higher the possibility the vendor is able to provide an accurate price quote.

Key takeaways from October 2016 Global Sources Summit for online sellers

Posted: October 21, 2016

Global Sources CIO Peter Zapf shares important takeaways from the October 2016 Global Sources Summit.

Getting your China products through U.S. Customs: The 101

Posted: October 21, 2016

Compliance with U.S. Customs laws and regulations is critical in avoiding your shipments being detained or seized, and/or penalties assessed.

Basic statistics any Chinese factory can understand

Posted: October 19, 2016

Whenever some product attributes can be measured, statistical tools can help understand the situation, prioritize improvement efforts, and even help those improvement efforts.

Stylistic tips for your promo product RFQ – Part 2

Posted: October 17, 2016

From the beginning, work to optimize your promo product RFQ.

Buying in Asia and selling on eBay & Amazon: By Mike Michelini

Posted: October 14, 2016

Learn how Mike built his five figure bar accessory online businesses on Amazon and eBay – from the ground up.

3 reasons to conduct production monitoring

Posted: October 12, 2016

Production monitoring, having an inspector at the factory regularly, gives a fuller picture of what's happening not only at one place, but throughout the factory.

Things to include in your promotional product RFQ – Part 1

Posted: October 10, 2016

An effective RFQ is the start of a successful China sourcing project. As we all know the RFQ is the "request for quotation" and it’s basically when you contact the supplier to provide you a quote.

Product labeling regulations in the US, the EU and Australia

Posted: October 07, 2016

Labeling requirements are usually just one of many requirements that importers must fulfill to ensure compliance with certain regulations.

5 keys to successful sourcing from China

Posted: October 05, 2016

If you're going to invest in sourcing products from China, you'd be wise to practice due diligence.

How to scale your (Amazon) business

Posted: October 03, 2016

Don't over optimize your listings – spend the time on developing new products. Build more income streams, especially passive money.

Intellectual property (IP) protection when importing from China

Posted: September 30, 2016

Intellectual Property (IP) theft is a main concern for Startups and Small businesses importing from China, and other Asian countries.

China compliance: A basic checklist

Posted: September 28, 2016

Now seems like the right time to talk about what WFOEs, joint ventures, representative offices should be doing to protect themselves on the compliance front.

How to know if your China factory is good?

Posted: September 26, 2016

At CMC we have developed a self-assessment tool that will help you pinpoint in what areas their performance is good, average, and below average.

Trade shows in Hong Kong 2016: A complete guide

Posted: September 23, 2016

In this article, we explain what you must know about upcoming Hong Kong trade shows during the Fall 2016.

Another batch of possible changes during the China sourcing process

Posted: September 21, 2016

Because the human element is involved, from RFQ to delivery, something is very likely to get off course.

Air shipment for offshore promo orders

Posted: September 19, 2016

Did you know that for a certain type and large portion of promotional orders, air shipment is more economic and efficient than sea freight?

Importing sunglasses & eyewear from China: A complete guide

Posted: September 16, 2016

In this guide, you'll learn what you must know before getting started, including how to select the right eyewear manufacturer.

How to guarantee quality [VIDEO]

Posted: September 15, 2016

Asia Quality Focus quality manager Habib Rhka explained in a presentation how importers can guarantee the quality of products sourced in China.

The danger of choosing a "cheap" Chinese factory

Posted: September 15, 2016

One of the biggest mistakes importers make is to work with a "cheap" factory. The price is good, but you need to revise your expectations way, way down.

5 defects for Bluetooth speakers

Posted: September 14, 2016

Knowing these defects for Bluetooth speakers can help you better understand what problems might affect your order.

The magic triangle: Product specifications, sample reviews, and QC inspections

Posted: September 09, 2016

Aside from supplier selection, there are three steps that I feel are indispensable. Most experienced buyers never skip these steps.

13 experts reveal the No. 1 thing that can improve your online business

Posted: September 07, 2016

Summit speakers answer one simple question: "What is the one thing online and Amazon sellers should be doing to improve their business?"

What cross border eCommerce could be bringing your way

Posted: September 02, 2016

While access to millions of potential new customers across the world presents a huge financial opportunity, cross-border eCommerce poses some challenges for merchants more adept at handling domestic orders.

Agenda announced – Global Sources Summit for online & Amazon sellers

Posted: September 01, 2016

The Summit boasts more than 20 sessions spread across three days. Networking opportunities abound as well.

9 mistakes that can kill your import business

Posted: August 30, 2016

Many startups and first time FBA importers do not survive the first year dye to these nine importing mistakes.

Product inspection in Hangzhou during the G20 summit

Posted: August 26, 2016

To reduce risks, you’ll need to adapt your quality control strategy and perform any product inspection in Hangzhou at different stages of production.

Strategies for successful China sourcing [VIDEO]

Posted: August 24, 2016

Mike Bellamy of PassageMaker shares important tips to ensure successful China sourcing.

Bring value & motivate your suppliers

Posted: August 24, 2016

With any business, producer to service provider you want the people you contact to be motivated and value the potential business.

The one thing that can save 25% shipping from China to Amazon FBA

Posted: August 22, 2016

Using a freight forwarder is my "one thing" that can save 25% off shipping, eliminate confusion and help you sleep at night.

Wood warping and how to prevent it

Posted: August 19, 2016

Warped wood can be a serious problem for some products, resulting in customer complaints and returns.

NDAs, agreements and having your own tooling in China

Posted: August 17, 2016

Today I wanted to walk you through the process of placing the order with your factory and which steps you need to take to guarantee safe delivery.

Launching a $40 coffee press on Amazon: Every step I took

Posted: August 15, 2016

In this presentation at the Global Sources Summit, Manuel Becvar describes every step he took in launching a $40 French coffee press on Amazon.

Importing from China to Singapore: A complete guide

Posted: August 15, 2016

Keep reading, and learn more about Singaporean product safety, import duties, required permits and taxes.

More on FOB China port

Posted: August 12, 2016

A deftly executed and skillfully manufactured order can delay at the China port if your logistics and booking are not in order.

How-to-steps when prepping and labeling in China

Posted: August 10, 2016

Today I wanted to walk you through the process of placing the order with your factory and which steps you need to take to guarantee safe delivery.

How to choose products that actually sell on Amazon [VIDEO]

Posted: August 09, 2016

In his presentation at the April 2016 Global Sources Summit, Greg Mercer, founder of JungleScout shares advice on selecting profitable niches.

Fundraising on Kickstarter & making in China: How to NOT fail

Posted: August 08, 2016

Many of the products presented on Kickstarter are meant to be made in China. Getting products made in anywhere is not an easy task, and China is even harder.

10 reasons to visit a sourcing trade show in Asia

Posted: August 04, 2016

The decision to visit a sourcing trade show mainly depends on your business model, scale of business, and availability of financial resources. Here are some benefits of visiting a trade show.

Canton Fair invitation letter: How to get one

Posted: August 04, 2016

While there are various ways to obtain a China visa for Canton fair visitors, an invitation letter is possibly the most straightforward way.

China's move up the industrial value chain

Posted: August 03, 2016

By moving toward more value-added manufacturing, China has found itself the exception to the global decline in manufacturing.

Huaqiangbei in the electronics supply chain

Posted: August 01, 2016

If you have an interest in the electronics industry, you need to know about Huaqiangbei.

China supplier communication: Question & answer tips

Posted: July 29, 2016

When communicating with Chinese vendors, there’s a better way to handle question and answer process than if you were talking to someone within your own company or own country.

Global Sources app preps buyers for trade shows

Posted: July 27, 2016

The improved app boasts various features that will help buyers map out their trip to attend Global Sources shows.

Thoughts on FOB price term

Posted: July 27, 2016

The goal of this post isn’t to get into the technicality of the Incoterms but to provide some practical tips on the FOB concept when sourcing your promotional merchandise from China.

Importing from China to the UK: A complete guide

Posted: July 22, 2016

Read this guide to learn what you must know about product regulations, labelling requirements, import duties and VAT in the United Kingdom.

How to build a brand on Amazon that outlasts Amazon [VIDEO]

Posted: July 21, 2016

Is it possible to build a Private Label brand on Amazon that outlasts Amazon?

What do suppliers do with rejected products?

Posted: July 20, 2016

It helps to understand how your product can end up in unexpected places and what you can do to make sure they're dealt with the right way.

Choosing a quality control company in China

Posted: July 18, 2016

Choosing the right quality control provider may be quite overwhelming at first. That's why we believe it's useful to have a few key factors in mind when making the decision.

Everything about the pre-shipment inspection

Posted: July 15, 2016

Pre-shipment inspection guards against any nasty surprises, and means you know your goods are in working order long before you take delivery — pretty useful if your supplier is halfway around the world.

Sending a regular survey to your Chinese suppliers

Posted: July 13, 2016

Large companies usually send an annual survey to their suppliers. The feedback helps them see opportunities for improvements and gives them data to justify some of those improvements.

How to save money by asking for a quote in a foreign currency

Posted: July 11, 2016

A good first step to getting your best possible pricing is to ask for prices in the home currency of your partner companies.

VAT on imported goods from China: A complete guide

Posted: July 08, 2016

In this article, we help you navigate the complexities of 'Import VAT' when buying from China.

Why do China trademarks matter anyway?

Posted: July 06, 2016

Maybe one out of fifty of our clients has no IP to protect, but the rest do and it is surprising how many of them do not realize the need for them to do so when dealing with China.

Global Sources Summit returns with more sourcing tips, practices

Posted: July 05, 2016

Sourcing pros will talk about C, compliance, logistics and IP protection, and case studies from Amazon resellers.

China factory audits: What questions should you be asking?

Posted: July 04, 2016

Having a good structure for the information you would like to gather from your China product sourcing missions is essential.

The future of manufacturing in China: 3 big trends

Posted: July 01, 2016

In this article, I explain why, on one hand, China will remain a manufacturing powerhouse – and on the other, why you shouldn’t worry about your supplier stealing your market share.

6 common quality defects in shoes and how to address them

Posted: June 29, 2016

Whether you're an importer of shoes that wants to improve quality at your factory in Indonesia or an end-consumer picking out a quality pair from a retail store, it helps to know what to look for.

Buyer sourcing approach: Read my mind and do it right!

Posted: June 27, 2016

It seems the typical buyer, once they're getting their feet wet and before they many importing scars, they are still used to how service and communication is on the home front.

How to make a telegraphic transfer (T/T) to a Chinese supplier

Posted: June 24, 2016

This article explains why a slight misspelling could result in tens of thousands of dollars being withheld by the receiving bank.

Assessing Chinese suppliers. What information should you be recording?

Posted: June 22, 2016

A good chunk of your time needs to be invested in analyzing the information that you gather from suppliers in China.

13 mistakes made by the DIY importer

Posted: June 20, 2016

In an effort to create something a little easier to read with actionable tips, I've put together a list of 13 mistakes the DIY importer is bound to make.

Aligning and calibrating in-line and final inspections

Posted: June 17, 2016

Many companies employ a few inspectors in China and, in parallel, pay third-party quality assurance agencies. It makes a lot of sense but is not always done right.

5 steps to successfully deal with suppliers in Asia

Posted: June 15, 2016

The frenzy of April's trade shows is far away now and you collected many contacts for a potential supplier deal in Asia. What do you do next?

5 habits of successful promotional product importers

Posted: June 13, 2016

Those importers who successfully import, have habits that set them apart from the common promo product importer who "wings it" for lack of a better term.

5 common tablet PC defects and how to address them

Posted: June 10, 2016

Being familiar with some of the common quality issues that can affect tablets, you can avoid purchasing a faulty product that doesn't meet your requirements or quality standards.

How to keep product costs down as a startup importer

Posted: June 08, 2016

As a startup, with limited resources, time and money are working against you. In order to succeed, you must go the most out of the small funds you have.

Top 7 benefits of China factory inspections

Posted: June 06, 2016

There are some really simple things you can do to keep lowering risk.

Before you make the deposit payment in China manufacturing

Posted: June 03, 2016

In China manufacturing, make sure there is a level of assurance before you wire the first deposit payment to your supplier.

China product development: What you NEED to know

Posted: June 01, 2016

If you don't pay your Chinese manufacturer to develop your product, the Chinese manufacturer WILL believe (not just tend to believe) that the product the two of you developed together belongs to the Chinese manufacturer and not to you.

Good visual management changes how internal auditing gets done

Posted: May 30, 2016

The key word in "Visual Management" is "Management". A local leader or manager has to look at visuals, understand what process(es) led to the information displayed, and act to get closer to target.

Reasons your quoted price changes

Posted: May 27, 2016

This should really go without saying. A change in spec likely assumes a change in the quoted price.

Buying private label products in China: A complete guide

Posted: May 26, 2016

How hard can it be to just pick a product, send over a logo file and start selling something on Amazon?

Top 3 tips for Amazon FBA sellers shipping from China

Posted: May 25, 2016

I have been talking about shipping from China a lot recently, today let's focus that a bit more for Amazon FBA sellers. I will run through 3 tips on delivering imports to Amazon correctly.

In China sourcing & order control, a follow-up can be…

Posted: May 20, 2016

During your China project and order control, systematic contact with your supplier, brings a world of results.

How to check 100% of a small production batch before shipment

Posted: May 18, 2016

There are three important conditions to reap the full benefits of a 100% inspection.

Importing from China: An average snapshot of your first order

Posted: May 16, 2016

Once you have had that great idea to start importing from China, it would be good to know what to expect from your ?rst order.

5 common fabric defects and how to prevent them

Posted: May 13, 2016

Where do these kinds of fabric defects come from? And how can you prevent them from negatively impacting the quality of your products?

How 3PL automation can bolster your business's growth

Posted: May 12, 2016

A 3PL is an outsourced warehouse that provides you with most or all logistics services for your online business.

Checking buyer reference when buying from Chinese suppliers

Posted: May 11, 2016

We explain why many Chinese suppliers aren't overly keen on sharing information about their existing buyers, and why you are part of the problem.

6 expert tips on how to source from China

Posted: May 10, 2016

A good beginning really is half the work where choosing wisely is very important in lowering your risk.

Pre-production sample order terms: A complete guide

Posted: May 06, 2016

Developing pre-production samples is the only way to truly test the viability of a new design, and the manufacturers capability to produce it.

Promo item sourcing: Reviewing supplier price quotes

Posted: May 05, 2016

Thoughtfully reviewing supplier price quotes will avoid some of the inefficiencies that plague the importing process.

3 ways to monitor environmental management systems

Posted: May 04, 2016

There are a few widely recognized certifications for environmental management systems that you can use to make sure your suppliers are meeting standards set by your retailers and distributors.

Importing from China to the United States: A complete guide

Posted: May 03, 2016

This article explains what startups and small businesses must know about US product regulations, labelling requirements and transportation restrictions.

Getting production photos from your supplier

Posted: May 03, 2016

When it comes to sample images, images of the facility or production photo, a large portion of suppliers lack concept as to "why" a buyer finds these images of interest.

How to attend a trade show like a pro

Posted: May 02, 2016

Find the right suppliers, ask the right questions, and find the right product at the right price.

Having troubles shipping batteries by plane? Here is why

Posted: May 02, 2016

The culprit is low-cost lithium-ion batteries that are produced by companies with low standards — not by established brands such as Sony or Panasonic.

Supply chain security, beyond QR codes & RFID: Q&A with an expert

Posted: April 29, 2016

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Hugo Garcia-Cotte, CEO of Cypheme, a company that helps control what really happens in a company's supply chain.

Trade shows in Hong Kong & Guangzhou — October 2016

Posted: April 28, 2016

Plan ahead with the help of this October 2016 Hong Kong/Guangzhou trade show calendar.

How to conquer China payment scams

Posted: April 28, 2016

The bank switch scam is the most common, most pernicious and most difficult to detect.

Establishing a potential China supplier's interest

Posted: April 27, 2016

Learning to gauge a potential China supplier's interest will help you save time and headache in your initial RFQ stages.

3 China sourcing mistakes you don't want to make

Posted: April 26, 2016

China sourcing can be an easy process so long as you avoid some common China sourcing mistakes importers are known to make.

Understanding MOQ — The supplier's perspective

Posted: April 25, 2016

It all comes back to costs and constraints. What additional costs will the supplier incur to support an order? Will any of the upstream component or raw material vendors impose any kind of MOQ requirements?

Product design and manufacturing – Well begun is half done!

Posted: April 22, 2016

In order to reach the final goal (in this case a product that represents what was intended at the beginning), it's necessary that the design is detail-oriented.

What regulatory standards apply to garments?

Posted: April 21, 2016

If you import products from another country, you should be aware of the regulations that apply to those products.

5 qualities of a good supplier

Posted: April 20, 2016

While you'd be hard pressed to find any supplier that's perfect, if you've found one with these five qualities, you can be confident you've found a relatively good one.

Take Aways from the Smart China Sourcing Summit

Posted: April 19, 2016

My take-aways from Day 1 of the Global Sources Smart China Sourcing Summit. Can't get them all in, but here are some of my favorites.

Price quote questions in promotional item sourcing

Posted: April 18, 2016

Some of these questions may be answered inside the other areas of the price quote. Thoroughly read the entire quote sheet before formulating your questions.

3 tips for stronger supplier relationships

Posted: April 15, 2016

Cultivating a healthy partnership with a supplier isn't as hard as it seems. It just takes some familiarity with a few guiding principles.

Sourcing in Asia – 5 critical mistakes to avoid

Posted: April 14, 2016

Protect yourself against delivery delay, scams, money loss or poor quality products by avoiding the following five common mistakes when sourcing in Asia.

China sourcing & importing excuses buyers make

Posted: April 13, 2016

If you find yourself mumbling these curses, button your lip and think about "How am I going to fix it next time?".

What to do after a quality problem with a Chinese factory?

Posted: April 12, 2016

Many importers have the wrong reaction and count on their supplier to get their act together.

Buying LED bulb lights from Chinese manufacturers: A complete guide

Posted: April 11, 2016

Learn more about buying Private label LED bulbs, assessing suppliers and technical specifications.

How to solve your China production problems

Posted: April 08, 2016

Simple tools have been widely known for several decades and can help greatly with improvement.

How to get a 'good' price and other sourcing questions answered [podcast]

Posted: April 07, 2016

Global Sources CIO Peter Zapf gives tips on working out a good price but also reminds listeners of the need to balance price and quality.

Reminders on order documents

Posted: April 07, 2016

When it comes to working with Chinese vendors and being proactive on your order documents, here's some order reminders.

Top 5 on-site tests for watches

Posted: April 06, 2016

It’s important for you, as a watch supplier or importer, to ensure that your customers are receiving the level of quality they're paying for.

A pricier China -- Buyers keep faith but smarten strategies

Posted: April 05, 2016

The relationship between buyer and supplier is maturing as the focus expands beyond cost to long-term benefits.

China's new opportunities: Slowdown, what slowdown?

Posted: April 04, 2016

Our law firm has been incredibly busy of late documenting deals, mostly in industries that are flat out booming in China.

Signs that mass production may not go well

Posted: April 01, 2016

If a project doesn’t start out with some semblance of smoothness and stride hitting, then it’s not going to get any better.

4 powerful tools for China supplier verification

Posted: March 31, 2016

There are many tools out there to verify a potential supplier based in China.

Sourcing smartwatches and wearables in China

Posted: March 30, 2016

It is critical that buyers and importers on record know the factory that makes the products they are selling.

5 ways to assure mass production success

Posted: March 29, 2016

Success in mass production doesn't happen when solely left to the supplier, but it's buyer and supplier working arm-in-arm.

Importing furniture from China in 5 steps

Posted: March 28, 2016

Keep reading, and learn what you must know about finding the right furniture suppliers, relevant trade shows and customization options.

What's the cost to ship a product sample?

Posted: March 23, 2016

What's a reasonable cost to ship a product sample from Asia? There are many courier companies out there in the market, so how do you choose one that’s best for you?

Product import budget calculation: A case study

Posted: March 22, 2016

Making a product import budget calculation is far from as easy as simple as counting a profit directly on a quoted FOB price.

Hacking a Chinese trade fair as a buyer (pre-show)

Posted: March 21, 2016

Before you hop on a plane to China, do yourself a favor and take 20 minutes to prepare to save time and headaches so you can maximize your trip.

Timeline in making custom samples

Posted: March 18, 2016

If you're working on a custom project, here is a basic step-by-step guide on some key phases in making custom samples.

5 things a QC company can't control

Posted: March 17, 2016

It's important for you to understand what factors your QC company can't control so that you can address those with your supplier directly

The logistics of exporting from China — air and sea

Posted: March 16, 2016

This time we are writing about the best way to send substantial quantities of products (over 100 kg) out of mainland China.

Doing business in China: Bring your own interpreter

Posted: March 15, 2016

The result of not taking the role of an interpreter seriously is that foreigners often don't know what's going on.

The Chinese New Year and its impact on your business

Posted: March 14, 2016

Let me explain why it is so difficult before and right after Chinese New Year to get factories working on your orders.

How to send small quantities & samples in and out of China

Posted: March 11, 2016

Do you need to send samples to China, or to get small orders out of China? Do you want to avoid headaches and high costs? My colleague Fabien wrote some advice that will probably be helpful.

Stand out from other buyers in your China sourcing

Posted: March 10, 2016

Your competition is not just people in your industry, but it can also be people who work with the same supplier. Here's a few ways to stand out from other buyers.

Trading companies vs. manufacturers in China

Posted: March 09, 2016

When you walk around these factories, you will never know for sure. You’re really skillful if you can do that. But you can do a few background checks.

5 reasons offshore promotional product orders fail

Posted: March 08, 2016

If an order starts off bad, chances are it isn't going to get much better. The initial phases of your project are critical to the success of your mass production orders.

Managing the production process in China – Part II: Quality assurance, balance payment & shipment

Posted: March 07, 2016

In this second part, we guide you through the remaining steps of the process.

Global Sources CIO shares key sourcing do's and don'ts [podcast]

Posted: March 04, 2016

Global Sources CIO Peter Zapf talks about what to do and what to avoid during the various stages of the sourcing process.

Changing a spec in your China project? What else changes?

Posted: March 04, 2016

In a China project, if you change one spec during the inquiry and sampling phase, is it a safe assumption that the factory will alert you on the ramifications of the change?

3 ways to handle defective products

Posted: March 03, 2016

The goal here is to get your factory to reduce their frequency of defects and hold them accountable for defects that still occur.

Managing the production process in China – Part I: Sales contract, deposit payment & batch samples

Posted: March 02, 2016

In the first part, we guide you from the negotiation and signing of the sales contract and initial deposit payment, to mass production and batch sample delivery.

Best packaging practice – How to create a great private label packaging!

Posted: March 01, 2016

Here is an overview on how you can improve your packaging and beat the competition.

Engage Chinese suppliers to improve their productivity

Posted: February 26, 2016

Five questions to ask to engage China suppliers in improving productivity.

International payment to Chinese factories: Q&A

Posted: February 24, 2016

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Richard Bensberg, an expert in the field of international transactions.

Retro coolers premium merchandise guide

Posted: February 23, 2016

At the change of season, these vintage pieces take on a whole new relevancy. Here is everything you need to know about this exciting line of premium merchandise.

Outdoor wear manufacturers in China: A complete guide

Posted: February 22, 2016

This article gives insights into outdoor wear manufacturing clusters, product specifications and minimum order quantities.

Top 5 on-site tests for porcelain dinnerware

Posted: February 19, 2016

Not only does testing help by verifying supplier claims like "microwave-safe", but it also reveals the true performance and safety of the product.

Finding the right supplier on Global Sources

Posted: February 18, 2016

I have previously written about how to finding the right supplier in China. Today I want to share with you three approaches that you can take when looking through the Global Sources website.

7 soft skills needed for sourcing China suppliers

Posted: February 17, 2016

In sourcing China suppliers, every importer should make use of these tools.

Three keys to spotting a fraudulent Chinese company

Posted: February 16, 2016

I take a look at the annual or quarterly report of the Chinese company and if it meets these three tests, it is virtually certain to be a complete fraud, with no operations, no assets and no funds in the bank.

The ultimate guide to Global Sources Hong Kong exhibition – Free eBook

Posted: February 15, 2016

Tools, tips and strategies to get the most out of your Global Sources show visit.

3 tips for better quality without product inspection

Posted: February 12, 2016

You might be surprised to learn there are other steps you can take to ensure you’re getting what you pay for.

QC reporting: How much detail do you need?

Posted: February 11, 2016

Quality inspectors in different companies work in different ways. Some don’t report anything in written form, while others spend 2 hours a day doing paperwork.

5 promotional item sourcing tips

Posted: February 10, 2016

I hope these tips shine some light on your offshore buying adventures and help you to avoid pitfalls.

Procurement and purchasing agents in China: A complete guide

Posted: February 09, 2016

This article explains what a procurement agent can be expected to do for your business, and how they differ.

What Chinese factory managers don't understand

Posted: February 05, 2016

Have you ever been in front of a Chinese manager who has misconceived notions, yet won’t change his mind? It happens to us all the time.

Suppliers and client emails

Posted: February 04, 2016

The cold fact is that the typical supplier when reading an email, doesn't thoroughly read the message.

Quality control in China ahead of Chinese New Year

Posted: February 03, 2016

Workmanship and product specifications are often neglected and internal Quality Control is no longer ensured

5 common defects in cast iron cookware

Posted: February 02, 2016

Due to its unique properties and the production processes involved compared to other materials, cast iron cookware is vulnerable to more potential defects.

Chinese New Year information

Posted: February 01, 2016

The official holiday, the actual Chinese New Year day, is Monday Feb. 8th. Does that mean everyone works right up until New Year’s Eve or Chinese New Year day? Not really…

9 tips for China product sourcing

Posted: January 29, 2016

Sourcing from China can differ from sourcing from the West.

More practicality when reviewing supplier price quotes

Posted: January 28, 2016

Price quotes from China require the buyer (if they want to avoid error) to sit down, think about the project, consider what may go wrong and formulate questions and scenarios in their minds.

Top 5 on-site tests for bags and suitcases

Posted: January 27, 2016

When you receive quotations from Chinese suppliers, do not assume the supplier was precise.

Partners to keep close in China product sourcing & importing

Posted: January 26, 2016

In the world of China product sourcing and importing, partner companies create solid links in your supply chain.

Compliance Q&A with a watch manufacturer: Subcontractors & substance regulations

Posted: January 25, 2016

Learn more about compliance and risks in watch manufacturing – lessons that can be applied to virtually any industry.

How to shape your China procurement strategy

Posted: January 22, 2016

For all those companies that need to source from several Chinese manufacturers, a tradeoff must be made.

How to attend a sourcing show like a pro

Posted: January 21, 2016

Learn the benefits of visiting a trade show, and get tips on making the most out of your trip.

3 key areas of quality control for garments

Posted: January 21, 2016

There are a few specific areas that will be uniquely important to managing garment quality. Here is a breakdown of three of the most important ones.

A practical step in analyzing quotations

Posted: January 20, 2016

When you receive quotations from Chinese suppliers, do not assume the supplier was precise.

What to do when supplier breaks the contract and blackmails your deposit

Posted: January 19, 2016

Don't let them know you suspect anything, find some excuse to delay your formal feedback until you have a chance to better understand the situation.

Product compliance in the LED industry: A case study

Posted: January 18, 2016

Get insider insights into the actual state of EU and US product compliance among LED manufacturers.

Mindset in reviewing China price quotes

Posted: January 15, 2016

Analyze. Dissect. Scrutinize. As a buyer, these words should come to mind whenever you think of China price quotes.

Are your China trademarks dirty?

Posted: January 14, 2016

What a recent LinkedIn post says about domestic companies applies with equal force to foreign companies doing business in China.

How to prevent the factory from swapping the goods after Inspection

Posted: January 13, 2016

There is no perfect solution, unfortunately. But here are eight ideas to reduce the risk.

Tips for beanie sourcing in China

Posted: January 12, 2016

Sending an beanie RFQ to a factory? Here are some tips from our years of manufacturing that I believe will be good reminders.

Importing experts show and tell at Smart China Sourcing summit

Posted: January 11, 2016

Three days of interactive training will enable Amazon and online sellers to source products confidently.

Myth and reality of CE marking when importing from China

Posted: January 08, 2016

Plenty of businesses fail to understand how such documentation is produced, and what it must include.

Setting up a supplier evaluation system that works in China

Posted: January 07, 2016

The supplier evaluation system could be part of a vendor management system IT solution, or it could be in a simple Excel spreadsheet.

3 keys to addressing product quality issues with your supplier

Posted: January 05, 2016

Being specific is one of the keys to addressing product quality issues.

The Chinese New Year: How importers can avoid delays & quality issues

Posted: January 04, 2016

The Chinese New Year of 2016 starts on February 8th. While this is a major event that is still largely unknown outside of Asia, importers are (often painfully) aware of this season.

How to import to the US for international sellers - ship to Amazon directly

Posted: January 04, 2016

Two of the questions I receive the most is: "Can I sell on Amazon US as an international seller" and "Can I send my order directly from the factory directly to Amazon"?

Alarm systems manufacturers in China: A complete guide

Posted: December 31, 2015

Learn more about alarm systems production clusters in Mainland China, and applicable regulations and standards in the EU and the US.

Why can't China make a good ballpoint pen?

Posted: December 30, 2015

If you are doing anything related to manufacturing in China or anywhere else, this is the one article you should read this year.

Managing QC Inspectors, Part 8: QC vs. QA

Posted: December 28, 2015

The QA team tries to make everything go smooth. The QC team keeps the factories and the QA team honest and effective by checking their work. I think it makes a lot of sense.

Eight questions importers need to ask before ordering a hoverboard in China

Posted: December 17, 2015

The list is not intended to cover everything but to provide a starting point for further detailed dialogue with the factory.

5 ways the smartest importers cut inspection costs

Posted: December 16, 2015

You might save a bit of money in the short term by forgoing inspection. But any issues with your finished product after it reaches distribution centers – or worse, your customers – might have you wishing you’d made the relatively small investment in quality control beforehand.

Managing QC Inspectors, Part 7: The quality manager in China

Posted: December 15, 2015

Many companies in China have difficulties finding the right quality manager.

The purpose of your China factory contact person

Posted: December 14, 2015

Visualize and treat your factory contact (the salesperson you frequently deal with) as an extension of your own team.

"Making it" in China – The factory workers that make your products

Posted: December 10, 2015

What kind of life are Chinese factory workers living? What opportunities or challenges does factory life present them?

Managing QC inspectors, Part 6: Planning the inspections

Posted: December 09, 2015

Some companies let factories and inspectors set the planning freely among themselves, and I think that’s a big mistake.

Holidays, China mass production scheduling and….quality?

Posted: December 08, 2015

If something is affecting production scheduling, generally, especially in the lower to mid-cost arena, it’s only a few degrees away from affecting the quality.

6 must-know facts about Yiwu's wholesale market

Posted: December 07, 2015

If you want to learn about Yiwu, plan to visit the city for business or want to learn more about trading in China in general, then you will find this article quite practical.

A beginners guide to importing electronics from China

Posted: December 03, 2015

You will want to buy from factories that are either compliant already or are willing to work together with you to get the product compliant.

Top 5 common mistakes made during product inspection

Posted: December 03, 2015

Know that there are steps taken to minimize these mistakes.

3 things you must do to hang on to your molds

Posted: December 02, 2015

If you want to position yourself to be able to hang on to your mold, there are some relatively simple and inexpensive steps you should take.

How to negotiate up to a 5% price cut with Chinese suppliers in one email

Posted: December 02, 2015

Now is the time to renegotiate pricing with your suppliers to take advantage of the depreciation and get a price cut.

Managing QC inspectors, Part 5: Avoiding bribery

Posted: December 01, 2015

I touch on the evaluation of quality inspectors, and it naturally brings up the topic of bribery.

4 tips for production launch of an electronic product in China

Posted: November 26, 2015

These days it seems more and more "hardware startups" are coming to Shenzhen and working with Chinese manufacturers to launch production of electronic products.

Overcoming supplier communication obstacles

Posted: November 25, 2015

A primary obstacle, if not the heart of all obstacles, is understanding where your supplier is coming from.

Managing QC inspectors, part 4: Evaluating their performance

Posted: November 24, 2015

You need a method to evaluate their performance in order to know who should receive a bonus and/or a raise… and who should be let go.

Essential dishwasher testing for kitchenware

Posted: November 23, 2015

Product inspections performed at factories to verify quality also typically include dishwasher testing for kitchenware to verify this claim.

Trade shows in Hong Kong & Guangzhou April 2016

Posted: November 13, 2015

Here are dates and key product categories of sourcing exhibitions being held in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in April, 2016.

EU compliance updates: Finger paint recall, and more

Posted: November 13, 2015

Find out why the DVMA ordered the recall of finger paints from consumers and shops in ProductIP's August EU compliance updates.

How to use retailer standards for social compliance

Posted: November 05, 2015

Importers and retailers are often faced with the choice of using lower cost suppliers for manufacturing that follow poor labor practices or higher cost suppliers that are more socially responsible.

How to get clearer confirmations from your China supplier

Posted: November 04, 2015

Confirmations passed down the line from supplier to client should not immediately be taken at face value.

Managing QC inspectors, Part 3: Training, coaching, and auditing

Posted: November 03, 2015

I listed 7 ways inspectors can fail to notice quality problems, which included 4 issues that good training, coaching, and auditing should mostly eradicate.

Chinese supplier got my deposit, now ignores me. What to do?

Posted: November 02, 2015

If you wish to get the order shipped with this supplier, but reduce your risk, you could consider linking the supplier's performance to you payment.

5 simple Chinese phrases for bettering your relationships

Posted: October 29, 2015

A small effort made in learning a bit of your suppliers' native language can go a long way to building rapport and helping you form lasting relationships.

How to keep your China manufacturer motivated and why that matters

Posted: October 28, 2015

I have become convinced that those who put in real time and effort at establishing a good relationship with their China suppliers tend to have far fewer supply problems than those who just phone it in.

Managing QC inspectors, part 2: Checklist and equipment

Posted: October 27, 2015

Without a list of checkpoints to follow, an inspector has to rely too much on his/her memory and tends to lack a proper structure to follow.

How often should you visit your suppliers?

Posted: October 26, 2015

How often should you visit your suppliers? The short answer: Not very often.

"Not enough time" for product inspection?

Posted: October 22, 2015

Maintaining an open line of communication with regular following-up between the supplier contact and you, the buyer, is vital after production has begun.

8 red flags your RFQ tells supplier to "Work for Free"

Posted: October 21, 2015

Here are eight flags importers and buyers frequently wave that tell the supplier to "work for free," quenching the fire of the supplier motivation.

The effective China contract: Liquidated damages

Posted: October 20, 2015

Writing a liquidated damages provision for a China contract is two parts art and eight parts experience.

Managing QC inspectors, part 1: The hiring process

Posted: October 19, 2015

Part 1 is about hiring a team of inspectors. What profiles should you look for, how should you evaluate them, and who should manage them?

How to protect against copies when you manufacture in China

Posted: October 15, 2015

One of China's major weaknesses is its lack of respect of intellectual property rights. It means many importers have to face a challenge: the emergence of copies of their proprietary products.

Product inspection and lab testing to verify quality of materials

Posted: October 14, 2015

By performing regular checks throughout production, or by working with a trusted third-party QC company, you can be sure the materials used in your product meet specifications.

Purchase orders and the promotional product buyer

Posted: October 07, 2015

For the promotional product buyer the PO should simply be a green light that shows you are ready to start the order. The document probably serves more purposes internally in your own company than it does with the vendor.

What to sell on Amazon: Advice from a successful private label seller

Posted: October 05, 2015

First determine if an Amazon market is suitable, then find and determine if the product ticks all of the boxes in the checklist so you can maximize your profits.

Podcast: Go inside China manufacturing with Global Sources CIO Peter Zapf

Posted: October 02, 2015

In a recent Seller Dojo podcast, Global Sources CIO Peter Zapf shared his insights on how to pick the right supplier, why visiting trade shows is good for buyers and the future of private labeling on Amazon.

Social compliance audits – 4 key areas they unveil

Posted: September 30, 2015

Social compliance audits are one of the most powerful tools used to ensure a factory is abiding by local laws and following an ethical and moral business culture.

How to pack goods for transit

Posted: September 28, 2015

It's worth taking the time to get the packaging right in order to make your customers happy and, ultimately, save your business money.

How to prevent your Chinese suppliers from subcontracting

Posted: September 23, 2015

The vast majority of Chinese manufacturers routinely subcontract some orders. The problem is, they usually do it without disclosing the reality to their customer.

Tips & tricks for using from an importer with 10 years' experience

Posted: September 21, 2015

In his webcast, ImportDojo's Manuel Becvar gives tips on how he uses Global Sources.

PayPal payments & general payment terms

Posted: September 16, 2015

Many factories won’t accept PayPal payments mostly because of the fees and because it is difficult to withdraw money in China from PayPal.

5 tips for visiting factories in China

Posted: September 14, 2015

This is the time to get a real feel for the people you might be working with in the near future. However, if you're not prepared for your visit, you could miss out on making the most of your trip.

What not to do when negotiating with Chinese businesses

Posted: September 09, 2015

People who want to do business in China would do well to remember that the country has a different culture and rules of etiquette.

Not necessarily signs of a bad supplier

Posted: September 07, 2015

Here is a brief list of signs, that although may look concerning, are not necessarily indications of a bad supplier.

10 industries China favors

Posted: September 03, 2015

Here's why each of these industries will do well over the next 10 years.

5 misconceptions about QC in China

Posted: September 01, 2015

By learning about these errors in thought, you’ll be better prepared to manufacture in China, achieve consistent product quality, and encounter fewer surprises.

Food safety standards: ISO 22001, HACCP, GMP

Posted: August 27, 2015

For a food factory, there are 3 steps in a logical progress, from GMP to HACCP and finally to ISO 22001.

The case for single source procurement

Posted: August 19, 2015

The new mindset is to find a good supplier and keep a consistent, conflict-free, mutually beneficial, and long term cooperation between the two companies.

Start-ups, here's what you need to go into manufacturing

Posted: August 17, 2015

Having a great idea for a new product is exciting! When you believe you've stumbled onto something truly unique, you'll be eager to get started turning it into a real product.

Tablets for QC inspection: iPad, Android, or Windows?

Posted: August 14, 2015

A comparison of the three big alternatives would be interesting.

Register your trademark In China: Now. Just ask Mike

Posted: August 12, 2015

China is a first to file country, which means that, with very few exceptions, whoever files for a particular trademark in a particular category gets it.

Manufacturing in India vs. China

Posted: August 10, 2015

This article will give you a clearer idea of whether or not manufacturing in India is the right move for you and your unique situation.

Production & lead time in Asia: A complete guide

Posted: August 07, 2015

This blog post will guide you through the four phases of production, quality assurance and delivery.

Amazon does not tolerate low quality Chinese products

Posted: August 05, 2015

Buy products in China and selling them on Amazon as a Third Party Seller can form the basis of a strong, profitable business. But there is very little tolerance for quality issues.

Air freight & courier from China – Basics, strategies & issues

Posted: August 05, 2015

New importers often do not understand the difference between“couriers” & “air freight.”

Timing control in China manufacturing wrap up

Posted: August 04, 2015

Did you know that timing blunders can also hurt the quality of production?

Payment methods when importing from China – Complete guide

Posted: July 31, 2015

The payment method and the process can spell the difference between success and failure when buying from overseas suppliers.

What's a "chop" and why is it important for contracts in China when sourcing?

Posted: July 29, 2015

Every company in China has a company chop. It's a physical ink stamp that is used on a frequent basis to authorize documents.

Color fastness test on dyed yarn fabric

Posted: July 27, 2015

The color fastness test is one of the most popular, in the textile industry, during a first article inspection, production inspection or pre-shipment inspection.

Buying in China and selling on Amazon - Part 3: Product guidelines

Posted: July 24, 2015

In this third part, we guide you through Amazon's Product Guidelines, which are part of Amazon's Seller Policy.

5 uncommon reasons for sea shipping delays from China

Posted: July 22, 2015

Here are 5 less-common reasons that can lead to delays with your shipments. Many of these are factors that can’t really be planned for.

8 questions for doing business in China

Posted: July 20, 2015

The China lawyers at my firm are often asked what foreign companies should know and do to stay out of legal trouble in China.

Buying in China and selling on Amazon – Part 2: Meeting seller performance targets

Posted: July 17, 2015

Your success, or failure, in meeting these Seller Performance Targets is directly dependent on how you manage your purchasing strategy.

Top 5 tests for mobile phones (slideshow)

Posted: July 15, 2015

Display, touch panel and Wi-Fi tests are three of the five tests you need to do on your next mobile phones inspection.

Australia's import trade with China

Posted: July 15, 2015

According to the Queensland Government Statistician's Office, Australia's total imports from other countries stands at $251.6 billion per year. Out of this, $49.3 billion comes from China, or 19.8 percent of total imports.

"Well, we've got time…"

Posted: July 13, 2015

This line of thinking and usual accompanying casualness actually CAUSE mass production delays. There are projects where timing looks to be sufficiently on your side.

Buying in China and Selling on Amazon – Part 1: Shipping & Logistics

Posted: July 10, 2015

This article explains what importers must know about shipping and logistics, when buying in China and selling on

Warning: inspection of goods with sealed packaging

Posted: July 08, 2015

Waiting until the very last minute, before shipping, to inspect goods packed in a sealed packaging is taking the risk of having to inspect a smaller sample size than the one required.

Are there many fake ISO 9001 certifications in China?

Posted: July 06, 2015

While I know there are many fake product certificates, I don’t think there are many fake ISO 9001, ISO 14001, or ISO/TS16949 certificates.

How to get suppliers in China to respond to your e-mails?

Posted: July 03, 2015

Five ways to improve your response rate when contacting suppliers with requests for quotations.

How to protect your brand in Vietnam; China too

Posted: July 01, 2015

Tips that provide protection for your brands in Vietnam apply with equal force to China.

Product testing costs when buying from Asia – A complete guide

Posted: June 29, 2015

This article guides you through the different types of compliance test and their respective cost structure.

Indonesia's fashion industry continues to be top contributor among the country's creative sectors

Posted: June 25, 2015

The fashion accessory sector in Indonesia remains to be a top contributor to the country's fashion industry.

Furniture suppliers in Indonesia investing in marketing amid stiff industry competition

Posted: June 25, 2015

Indonesia furniture makers are trying to expand their market reach by participating in more trade shows and online marketing.

Responsibility in China manufacturing

Posted: June 24, 2015

Responsibility in China manufacturing is primarily an on-going, over-arching thought pattern and motivation behind your decisions.

Home decor suppliers in India explore marketing venues to remain competitive

Posted: June 23, 2015

The home decor suppliers in India are exploring other venues to expand their clientele due to increasingly tough competition from other sourcing hubs in Asia.

REACH compliance & restricted chemicals when importing from China

Posted: June 22, 2015

This article explains how you can determine if REACH testing is necessary, and how you can ensure compliance.

Product labeling regulations in the US, EU and Australia

Posted: June 19, 2015

Neglecting labeling regulations can result in your products being refused entry by the customs authorities, or subject to a forced recall.

Price change shock in China sourcing

Posted: June 18, 2015

Make it you duty to hover over that price. Watch over your quote, question your quote, make sure what was quoted is what’s being implemented.

Product testing and certification when buying from China

Posted: June 17, 2015

This article explains why testing is critical when importing from China, when the time is right to test your product and how you should manage a failed test.

China signs of fraud

Posted: June 05, 2015

We see so much fraud/attempted fraud in our practice that we can usually (but not always) spot a fraud within minutes just by looking at the documents the victim or potential victim has been provided.

CE marking when importing from China: A complete guide

Posted: June 04, 2015

In this article, we explain the basics of CE marking, including documentation, labeling requirements, regulated products and major EN/EC directives.

Restricted substances: 5 challenges when buying from China

Posted: May 29, 2015

In this article, we explain how your business is affected by substance restrictions, and how you can migrate your risks when buying from China and other Asian countries.

Factory role during an inspection

Posted: May 28, 2015

The Quality Inspector needs manpower in order to proceed with the inspection within the limited amount of time available.

WEEE directive: What EU electronics importers must know

Posted: May 27, 2015

The WEEE directive requires products to be designed in a way that simplifies the dismantling, for either recycling or further usage.

Three steps to staying profitable as China labor rates increase

Posted: May 25, 2015

Stop counting individual worker productivity and start counting overall output.

10 causes of shipping delays from China

Posted: May 22, 2015

Some of these causes are avoidable and we look at what we can do to avoid or minimise the risk of these delays while others are simply unavoidable.

5 alternatives to sourcing from China

Posted: May 21, 2015

The real question is which country is best – or, more to the point, which country is best for you?

All you need to know about the new BIS regulation on importing LED lights to India

Posted: May 20, 2015

The BIS product certificate scheme provides QA certification and the use of ISI marks to producers who conform to the quality standards mandated by BIS.

Build of pre-production tooling – Part 11

Posted: May 18, 2015

In many cases, manufacturing a new product necessitates the preparation of custom tooling. This is an important step.

Importing commercial goods into Canada

Posted: May 15, 2015

Canada has strict rules and procedures that you must adhere to when importing commercial goods. Here we will outline the key aspects to consider when importing into Canada.

8 phrases to eliminate in your China sourcing

Posted: May 13, 2015

These phrases are reflective of problematic patterns from buyers that hurt the success of an import project.

Design review iterations (New product development) – Part 10

Posted: May 11, 2015

An iterative cycle would include a design review where all the test data are presented and analyzed.

Minimizing risk through payment terms negotiation with Chinese suppliers

Posted: May 08, 2015

Ideally, in every transaction there would be a 50-50 sharing of risk but in practice, that is hardly the case.

China consultant or all knowing China expert

Posted: May 06, 2015

Many China consultants are falling dangerously short in various other legal aspects of their business as well.

Product functional testing before China production – Part 9

Posted: May 04, 2015

Functional testing should be carried out at a sub-system level that tests the functionality of the small bits and a full system test for the entire product functionality.

China IP: Is your barn door open?

Posted: May 01, 2015

The initial meetings when the US company is euphoric about its China opportunities is where my firm's China lawyers most often see IP go out the window.

Quality of ceramic products: grade A, B, C

Posted: April 29, 2015

The quality of ceramic products is difficult to gauge because there will almost certainly be defects.

The importance of prototype build before production – Part 8

Posted: April 27, 2015

Having a prototype produced will allow the Engineering and the Design teams to review best practice techniques

5 top tests for tablet PCs (slideshow)

Posted: April 24, 2015

To compete with big industry brands such as Apple, Samsung and Lenovo, tablet PC suppliers must have a solid plan that hinges on high product quality.

Case study: Dealing with MOQ barriers when sourcing customized electronics from China

Posted: April 24, 2015

A China direct option isn't always economically feasible on small order runs.

Beware of brand name scam from China

Posted: April 23, 2015

If you are finding pricing from China that is below what you can find back home, be very careful. Scam artists on the Internet prey on foreign buyers who think they are getting a great deal on genuine products.

China contracts, but with whom?

Posted: April 23, 2015

One of the most important things to determine before entering into a contract with a Chinese company is to make sure that you are contracting with the right company.

Designing physical mechanical parts for China production – Part 7

Posted: April 22, 2015

When it comes to developing hard goods, there are often mechanical parts. They need to be designed before prototypes start to be made.

Unrealistic requests in China sourcing

Posted: April 15, 2015

In China sourcing, a good way to hurt your credibility with factories and potential supplier partners is to make unrealistic requests.

Developing the PCB for a product made in China – Part 6

Posted: April 13, 2015

Let's keep going with the series of articles on new product development. This sub-step is dedicated to products that contain electronics.

Don't make these common mistakes when sourcing from China [Infographic]

Posted: April 10, 2015

You can take advantage of the many opportunities in China and ensure a profitable business relationship with prospective suppliers by managing the risks involved. China sourcing expert Adam Guilbourne lists five common mistakes to avoid when sourcing from China.

Reliability of the tension test for toys

Posted: April 10, 2015

The tension test for toys is part of the EN 71 regulation. It is one of the most commonly performed test during a product inspection and at a laboratory. How reliable are those tests? Is one better than the other?

China factory problems: Always YOUR fault?

Posted: April 08, 2015

What about where the Chinese company just up and suddenly shuts down. How can the American or European buyer be blamed for that?

Developing the product – Part 5

Posted: April 06, 2015

During the product development phase the product is designed, built, tested and finalized ready for mass production.

My factory does the QC - Trust the cat to keep the cream?

Posted: April 01, 2015

Most manufacturers in China are ISO 9001 certified and should have trustworthy QA systems in place, including final QC. But in the end, the question remains: When can we trust the cat to keep the cream?

Testing the concept (new product development) – Part 4

Posted: March 30, 2015

This installment in the series of articles helping you through the New Product Development process will focus on concept testing.

How the ChAFTA will affect imports from China to Australia

Posted: March 27, 2015

Importing Chinese goods into Australia has just got a whole lot easier with the implementation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and China.

China's golden age for foreign companies is over

Posted: March 25, 2015

China today is just not nearly as favorable or easy for foreign companies as it was ten years ago. It just isn't.

The stage 'gate' review meeting in the NPD process – Part 3

Posted: March 23, 2015

In the previous article we mentioned that there should be a Stage Gate Review meeting between each of the development phases. Here we will look at the guidelines for these Stage Gate Reviews.

How to control color fastness on garments

Posted: March 20, 2015

It is compulsory to identify any potential risks of color fastness prior to the production. To do so, the buyer should check the samples received for approval.

Sourcing from Cambodia: Settling trade disputes

Posted: March 20, 2015

This article provides information on resolving disagreements that may arise when purchasing from Cambodia.

Sourcing from Cambodia: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: March 20, 2015

This article provides information on Cambodia's banking system and the necessary procedures in purchasing and export documentation.

Sourcing from Cambodia: Finding the right supplier

Posted: March 19, 2015

This article provides information on how to qualify and select suitable export manufacturers in Cambodia.

Sourcing from Cambodia: Industries and products

Posted: March 19, 2015

This article provides information on Cambodia's major export industries.

Sourcing from Myanmar: Settling trade disputes

Posted: March 18, 2015

This article provides information on resolving disagreements that may arise when purchasing from Myanmar.

Sourcing from Myanmar: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: March 18, 2015

This article provides information on Myanmar's banking system and the necessary procedures in purchasing and export documentation.

Question your quotes from China

Posted: March 18, 2015

If the buyer starts out from the assumption that their supplier is human and prone to mistakes, this would cause the buyer to proceed with caution in sourcing and buying, leading to fewer quoting (and eventual) quality errors.

Sourcing from Myanmar: Finding the right supplier

Posted: March 17, 2015

This article provides information on how to qualify and select suitable export manufacturers in Myanmar.

Sourcing from Myanmar: Industries and manufacturing centers

Posted: March 17, 2015

This article provides information on Myanmar's major export industries and most important production hubs.

Screening ideas for new product launch – Part 2

Posted: March 16, 2015

The goal is to identify one or two solid potential ideas that can move into Phase 3 and eventually made in China and sold on your target market.

Sourcing from Nepal: Settling trade disputes

Posted: March 16, 2015

This article provides information on resolving disagreements that may arise when purchasing from Nepal.

Sourcing from Nepal: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: March 16, 2015

This article provides information on Nepal's banking system and the necessary procedures in purchasing and export documentation.

Sourcing from Nepal: Finding the right supplier

Posted: March 13, 2015

This article provides information on how to qualify and select suitable export manufacturers in Nepal.

Sourcing from Nepal: Industries and manufacturing centers

Posted: March 13, 2015

This article provides information on Nepal's major export industries and most important production hubs.

Don't buy from China if you fit this description

Posted: March 13, 2015

Buying direct from China is not for everybody. This Q&A helps manage expectations.

Developing your own product and getting it to market – Part 1

Posted: March 11, 2015

We are kicking off a series of articles that will take us though each phase and highlight the key aspects and what you should be doing to ensure your product successfully gets to market.

Helping the supplier in improving the quality of goods: Production monitoring

Posted: March 09, 2015

Production monitoring is probably the best solution if the supplier is unable to implement the right corrective actions in order to improve the quality of the manufactured goods.

Drop test of loaded containers (cartons), ASTM D5276

Posted: March 06, 2015

General guidelines exist but the importer is usually asked to define what is acceptable – and what is not.

Sourcing from India: Settling trade disputes

Posted: March 4, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: India, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

8 Chinese New Year resolutions

Posted: March 04, 2015

If you frequently source and import from China, here are 8 Chinese New Year Resolutions to consider.

China contracts: Calling a table a chair is not clever

Posted: March 02, 2015

No government, including the one in China, is going to treat a table as a chair just because you call it that, and the same holds true for contracts.

Sourcing from India: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: March 3, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: India, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Sourcing from India: Finding the right supplier

Posted: March 2, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: India, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

3 signs your man in China might be on the take and what you can do about it now

Posted: February 27, 2015

Innumerable pitfalls await the unwary in China. But there are ways to safeguard yourself and your company.

Sourcing from India: Industries and manufacturing centers

Posted: February 27, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: India, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Sourcing from Vietnam: Settling trade disputes

Posted: February 26, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: Vietnam, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Sourcing from Vietnam: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: February 25, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: Vietnam, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Comparing wages across Asia to make sourcing decisions

Posted: February 25, 2015

Most companies that want to compare Asian countries tend to do so on the basis of easy-to-find numbers: minimum wage levels.

Polybag packaging for goods produced in China, is it enough?

Posted: February 23, 2015

The polybag packaging for goods produced in China is the most commonly used; however, is it actually enough to protect the goods?

Sourcing from Vietnam: Finding the right supplier

Posted: February 23, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: Vietnam, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

A high price from your China supplier may mean…

Posted: February 20, 2015

Many importers miss out on opportunities to work with quality suppliers because the buyer perceives their quote to be a high price.

Basic China compliance rules For SMEs

Posted: February 18, 2015

The full article is worth a read, but the "money" section is the following bullet point list of what every small company doing in business should be doing by way of a China compliance program.

Sourcing from Vietnam: Industries and manufacturing centers

Posted: February 18, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: Vietnam, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Tempered glass protection: The hot new product in China

Posted: February 16, 2015

Any Chinese manufacturers are starting to make this product, which is fast replacing regular plastic protection.

Responsible sourcing in China

Posted: February 13, 2015

International brands and retailers understand that responsibility has a price and there are high risks in buying without carefully checking who the supplier is and the working conditions it offers.

How to avoid logistical delays to your shipment during the Chinese New Year?

Posted: February 12, 2015

In this part of the series on Chinese New Year, we look at the logistics situation in China during this period & how it impacts the entire supply chain, especially in regard to “delivery times” & “logistics costs”.

Challenges in managing quality inspectors in China

Posted: February 04, 2015

It seems at least half the companies that employ their own inspectors in China are unhappy about the behavior and/or their working methods of some of their QC staff.

Sourcing from the Philippines: Industries and manufacturing centers

Posted: February 04, 2015

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: the Philippines, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

How does the Chinese New Year impact product quality and production time?

Posted: February 02, 2015

"Production timings" are often longer during the Chinese New Year period, especially after the holiday due to the pile up of orders during the holidays.

What happens in Chinese factories during the Chinese New Year?

Posted: January 30, 2015

We are once again at that time of the year where we have to try & convince new importers & sometimes existing importers to speed up their decision making due to the approaching Chinese New year holiday.

How to draft a contract for China

Posted: January 28, 2015

It is a much deeper issue than language. Chinese courts, Chinese lawyers, and Chinese business people are not going to agree to legal provisions that have no meaning under Chinese law.

The advanced product quality planning process

Posted: January 26, 2015

The objective is to maximize the probability that the new product will fulfill the customer’s requirements.

4 telltale signs of a bad supplier

Posted: January 23, 2015

No supplier relationship is perfect, and there will always be hiccups along the way. However, you may want to think twice if you repeatedly encounter one or more “red” flags.

Writing down measurement findings during an inspection

Posted: January 16, 2015

At the end of the day, the question is: how much time can be saved by not writing all the details? And would that time be more wisely spent on other tasks?

China WFOEs: Don't let this happen to you

Posted: January 14, 2015

Form your WFOE correctly or don’t bother forming one at all. If your WFOE is not living up to its registration requirements/promises, you are at risk and you should act now to clean up.

Problem solving with the eight disciplines

Posted: January 09, 2015

This article provides a step-by-step approach to solving and preventing quality problems with 8D.

Importing your China product: Its own special mess

Posted: January 07, 2015

About once a month my law firm gets a call from someone whose product is being held up at the U.S. border for one problem or another.

ISO and SAI standards for inspection and audit companies

Posted: January 05, 2015

In essence, a standard is an agreed way of doing something. It could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials.

Tips for doing business in China

Posted: December 29, 2014

The biggest mistake is believing that China has no laws. American companies that believe China has no laws fail to take the legal steps necessary to protect themselves in China.

8 top tips for successful product development

Posted: December 26, 2014

Just because it is difficult, doesn’t mean that new product development should be impossible. Here are a few tips that can make a difference when it comes to the successful development of a product.

Sourcing from the Philippines: Settling trade disputes

Posted: December 24, 2014

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: the Philippines, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Inspecting during production vs monitoring production

Posted: December 22, 2014

Some buyers realize that they need to keep a close eye on production is important, and that catching problems earlier is far cheaper than later.

Sourcing from the Philippines: Banking, payments & export documentation

Posted: December 22, 2014

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: the Philippines, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Risks when reworking or replacing goods

Posted: December 19, 2014

Time is precious and when inspecting the goods only at the end via the pre-shipment inspection, some issues can’t be solved so easily, specially if the goods should be reworked or replaced.

Sourcing from the Philippines: Finding the right supplier

Posted: December 18, 2014

This article is an excerpt from Sourcing From: the Philippines, a series of reports that provides buyers sourcing information from alternative manufacturing hubs in Asia.

A guide to business etiquette in China

Posted: December 17, 2014

With Chinese business representing an increasingly large, if not dominant, portion of the world’s trade, it is necessary that business travellers learn the appropriate etiquette before conducting business in China.

China manufacturing: How to hang on to your molds

Posted: December 15, 2014

Make sure you require the manufacture to sign and seal a contract preferably in Chinese that makes clear to whom the molds belong to you.

Lack of understanding magnifies product problems

Posted: December 12, 2014

Understand your product and the manufacturing processes. Normal variations become perceived problems, when in actuality, no problem exists.

WEEE regulation for importers and manufacturers in China

Posted: December 10, 2014

The WEEE regulation is represented by the black and white crossed bin, which means that the product should be subject to a separate collection at the end of life.

What does quality mean to Chinese manufacturers?

Posted: December 08, 2014

Unfortunately, most Chinese companies are still at the micro level. Producing a quality product means complying with rules imposed by a customer.

Social compliance audits in factories: What you need to know

Posted: December 03, 2014

The audits are conducted by experienced professionals and are conducted in line with the SA8000 standard, which is an international benchmark.

How to terminate your China supplier: Very carefully

Posted: December 01, 2014

You should always plan ahead for pulling your production from your Chinese manufacturer.

Negotiate like a boss in China

Posted: November 28, 2014

Tailored advice is needed when working in a place with a completely different business culture.

Inspection limitation for glued products

Posted: November 26, 2014

The on-site test for glued products is usually related to the abuse test. This means that the QC inspector will put the product into the condition of an “angry” customer, using with force and sometimes violence on the product on a special level sample size based on the AQL table.

Best practices for choosing the right Chinese factory

Posted: November 24, 2014

Maybe you are looking for a new Chinese factory and you are not sure how to find a good one. You’d like to get inspiration from those companies that have the best supplier screening process.

Don't make these common mistakes when sourcing from China

Posted: November 21, 2014

Much of the risk can be managed and this article will outline some of the most common mistakes that people make when sourcing products, so that you can avoid making them.

Why this supplier won't accept a letter of credit?

Posted: November 19, 2014

If it is the first order, the supplier may not yet have a handle on the expected lead time. If their production delays cause the shipment to miss the target dates specified in the L/C, the buy side has the right to refuse payment and cancel the order.

Want good China product? Use a good China spec sheet

Posted: November 17, 2014

There are all sorts of things you should be doing to increase your odds of securing good products from China and that includes having a good specs sheet.

Negotiating in a slowing China

Posted: November 14, 2014

International negotiators who believe that a slowing Chinese economy gives foreigners more leverage are, however, over-optimistic at best.

Your supplier didn't sign up for this

Posted: November 12, 2014

China suppliers view the order as more of a mutual partnership, whereas the Western importer views the supplier as having more of a 1-sided responsibility.

Tips for sourcing toys in China – Q&A with an expert

Posted: November 10, 2014

I had the chance to ask Michael Blanc a few questions. Michael is the Regional Manager at Supply Chain Analysis Centre, Tradegood. He offers free sourcing services for buyers. He focuses on the toys and furniture industries.

China company indemnification from product defects. Yeah, whatever

Posted: November 07, 2014

Foreign judges generally, and China judges in particular, think US courts are out of control with the damages they impose in product liability cases.

6 questions to answer before buying anything from a Chinese supplier

Posted: November 05, 2014

Many of these questions need to be asked face to face. Because when you’re trying to attain detailed information, the salesperson is not usually the best one to answer.

Supplier requirements for a corporate social audit based on SA 8000

Posted: November 03, 2014

The purpose of the CSA is to check the factory’s social accountability management system based on the standard SA 8000 and local laws requirements.

Timing considerations in China manufacturing

Posted: October 29, 2014

Here are some things for you to ponder whenever you are mapping out the timing aspects of your offshore order.

Do Chinese factories really migrate to inland provinces?

Posted: October 27, 2014

In many industries, it makes more sense to be located within the existing cluster of competitors rather than far away from them.

Is it still worth it to do business in China? Conclusion

Posted: October 24, 2014

The answer depends on who you are and what you want from the market – and that’s a problem.

7 reasons it's difficult to start small when buying from China

Posted: October 22, 2014

For one, if your order is small the factory will never give you its full attention, time and resources.

Preventing China counterfeiting: The basics

Posted: October 20, 2014

The real trick to reduce counterfeiting is to do the things earlier in the year that can help to prevent it.

Solve your production issues In 24 hours With QRQC

Posted: October 17, 2014

QRQC focuses on quality control to ensure that any problem is identified and isolated and that a solution is found and implemented quickly and effectively.

Supplier requirements for a factory audit based on ISO 9001

Posted: October 15, 2014

For the success of the audit, the supplier requirements for a factory audit should be clearly defined, as well as the audit scope.

3 types of factory evaluations for purchasing in China

Posted: October 13, 2014

More and more importers discover that they can appoint an auditing agency to evaluate factories before they issue an order. But not all these evaluation services are equally helpful.

Can my China supplier's liability insurance cover me if there is a recall in USA?

Posted: October 10, 2014

It’s hard for a Chinese company to get overseas coverage in the first place, let alone for a product they manufacture but didn’t design or brand.nt.

When it helps to have a China lawyer: China trademarks

Posted: October 08, 2014

Securing a US trademark registration is more complicated than most people realize and that is even truer of China trademark registrations. You really should use the right China lawyer for China trademarks.

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control

Posted: October 03, 2014

Many suppliers in Asia want to work independently, so the importer has to strike the right balance in the equation: quality assurance vs. quality control.

China business cross-talk: Two views on doing business in today's China

Posted: October 01, 2014

Mario Cavolo and Andrew Hupert take two different views on China’s emerging business environment.

What QC tools to use for problem resolution?

Posted: September 29, 2014

How does one integrate the seven basic quality tools in a problem resolution method that follows the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) logic?

Don't be suckered in by the lowest price offer

Posted: September 26, 2014

If you get unbelievably good pricing (relative to all other suppliers & material costs) it's normally a big red flag.

Changing your China factory? Be careful

Posted: September 24, 2014

Bad things nearly always happen when Chinese manufacturers discover that their American product buyers will soon be ceasing to buy product from it.

China factory production before Chinese national holiday 2014

Posted: September 22, 2014

In an instant, it becomes difficult to reach factory representatives, products are ready early (or not), and the ratio of passed vs. failed pre-shipment inspections drops quickly.

Beware of China factories' pre-Christmas rush

Posted: September 19, 2014

Products typically need to be in stores by November, which means they need to be produced in a period spanning from June to September.

Toys standards and the EN 71 regulation part 1-2-3 of 13

Posted: September 17, 2014

The EN 71 regulation for the safety of toys made or imported into the European Union specifies the safety standards for toys.

Is it still worth it to do business in China? Part 4 -- Different earnings models, different bureaucratic challenges

Posted: September 15, 2014

The Chinese bureaucracy is much more tolerant of overseas companies that spend than of overseas companies that earn in China. That means integrated MNCs must adjust their business models – and their approach to regulators – when they are selling.

Compliance in China -- Challenges of transparency, interpretation & enforcement

Posted: September 12, 2014

Compliance is one of the biggest challenges facing foreign companies operating in China.

Is it still worth it to do business in China? Part 3 -- Myths about the new China economy

Posted: September 10, 2014

China bears and the Chinapologists are spreading myths that lead to terrible business decisions. The truth lies somewhere between these two extreme – and dangerous viewpoints.

China Joint Ventures: A Warning

Posted: September 08, 2014

Many foreign investors still wish to enter the Chinese market through equity joint ventures, and the particular risks involved with this type of arrangement require careful planning.

Suppliers ignoring the seemingly obvious

Posted: September 05, 2014

The biggest hurdle is not necessarily the language barriers but differences in thinking and mindset.

Why does making a mold in China take a month?

Posted: September 03, 2014

Primarily, the more complex the part, the longer it takes to manufacture the mold.

Is it still worth it to do business in China? Part 2 – Myths and realities

Posted: September 01, 2014

China business reality check – It’s not fair and isn’t getting better. Deal with it.

Is it still worth it to do business in China? (Part 1)

Posted: August 29, 2014

Guanxi-building gifts, premium pricing for prestige brands, and closely guarded trade secrets used to be the hallmarks of a savvy international management team in China – now they are prosecutable offenses.

How to return defective merchandise to China

Posted: August 27, 2014

Audit suppliers before placing the order and inspect products before the goods ship out and before final payment is made. Have clear terms in your contracts about how defective merchandise is to be handled.

How to get legal in China. Now

Posted: August 26, 2014

The first thing to do is to figure out how the foreign SMEs are currently operating in China (illegally) then fnd out the best way to get them operating legally.

How factory audits, inspections and lab tests fit together

Posted: August 22, 2014

What is the difference between audits and inspections? Why are lab tests necessary if you send an inspector? This article will show how these three types of services fit together.

Factory audits on China trader suppliers: their reluctance

Posted: August 20, 2014

Factory audits on China trader suppliers can be difficult to arrange because traders are reluctant. Here are some arguments to convince them.

Tips for e-mailing Chinese suppliers

Posted: August 19, 2014

As an importer, you want to assure your emails are effective. Written communication can make or break the order.

In Chinese negotiation, don't confuse polite rhetoric with concerted strategy

Posted: August 15, 2014

American and European negotiators treat their Chinese counterparties' "general principles" discussion like the "terms and conditions" screen – we just check the box and look for the real content. Big mistake.

China due diligence: The most basic things to do

Posted: August 13, 2014

The odds of having problems with a Chinese company will be substantially lower if you are dealing with a “legitimate” Chinese company.

Why excessive stock is a big problem in a factory

Posted: August 11, 2014

A factory with large amounts of stock on the shop floor probably needs a long time to ship finished products.

What to do after a failed inspection

Posted: August 08, 2014

Buyers can reject lots before they are shipped but there are other alternatives to take into consideration.

How to select Chinese electronic manufacturing services

Posted: August 07, 2014

Here are a few hints on where Chinese EMS are competitive and some tips on how to select them depending on your specific situation.

Jewelry QC: Stone placement and setting

Posted: August 04, 2014

A ring with the best casting work and the most highly-prized gemstones can really take a tumble in terms of quality if those gemstones are not properly set.

Mr. Chen said…

Posted: August 01, 2014

The best vendors to work with are those that know their trade and don't require you to wait for a response from down the supply chain.

When buying in China becomes both cheaper and more expensive

Posted: July 31, 2014

Prosperous China is in the news again with a sustained high inflation rate, rising incomes and stronger regulations. Surprisingly, as a consequence, producer prices are decreasing while consumer prices are rising.

Reset your mental models when buying in China

Posted: July 30, 2014

The key to successful China sourcing is not a set of tools — it is primarily a change in mental models.

When does it make sense to process Chinese VAT rebates in-house?

Posted: July 25, 2014

Once a company running a business in China achieves normal tax payer status, it can get registered to process the VAT rebate in-house.

Negotiating in China means talking about the relationship

Posted: July 23, 2014

To us Westerners, "relationships" are emotional. In China, relationships are more like a due diligence investigation – and you definitely have to negotiate for access and openness.

China IP protection is possible

Posted: July 22, 2014

Far too many companies treat their IP in China as optional or secondary when it really should be one of the first issues they consider.

Tips for selecting Chinese suppliers of injection molded products

Posted: July 16, 2014

When it comes to purchasing injection or rubber injection-molded products, buyers generally want to qualify potential suppliers before sharing confidential information and requesting quotations.

Why suppliers in China quote incorrectly

Posted: July 14, 2014

The mindset is that the initial quote is not something that is going to make or break the project. It is viewed as sort of the starting point of discussion.

Knowledge-based sourcing

Posted: July 11, 2014

Published by Booz & Co, Knowledge-Based Sourcing describes how buyers will get the most our of their Chinese supplier base when they commit themselves to understanding most aspects of their suppliers.

Official CE logo and fake laboratory CE certificate

Posted: July 09, 2014

The rumor saying there are two CE logos, one for the EU and one for “China Export” is wrong. Only one CE logo exists.

Jewelry QC: Casting, soldering and glue assembly

Posted: July 07, 2014

Have you ever spent a significant amount of money on an item of jewelry only to be ripped off by poor quality materials or workmanship?

3 essential steps to protect yourself when buying from China

Posted: July 04, 2014

Put simply, if buyers take the following three actions, they will avoid 90 percent of the common China sourcing problems.

New China; new Vietnam

Posted: July 02, 2014

China is not bad these days, it is just different. Those who pretend it is not different are going to get killed financially.

Difficulties of relocating production in the US

Posted: July 01, 2014

Rebuilding manufacturing capabilities and a network of component suppliers will take many years.

How to source when there is a lack of trust and ethics

Posted: June 27, 2014

On one hand, there is so much competition in China that sales people will say just about anything to get your business. On the other hand, buyers need to take some of the blame.

Red flags buyers wave in China sourcing

Posted: June 25, 2014

In China sourcing and manufacturing endeavors, buyers also wave big red, ominous banners that scream alert! danger! time and money loss lurking around the corner!

Global trade evolution and China

Posted: June 24, 2014

Standard Chartered Bank's “Global trade unbundled” gives views on how global trade will evolve after the great financial crisis, and interesting data and views on China trade itself.

What information do I need to file my trademark application In China?

Posted: June 20, 2014

Generally there are six requirements that the client must provide to the firm, including the logo, and the English and Chinese text of the trademark.

Make it easy for your supplier in China to contact you

Posted: June 19, 2014

This goes without saying, but you need to make it easy for your supplier to receive email responses and confirmations from you, especially if you have open projects.

China price inflation: Where are cost reduction opportunities?

Posted: June 18, 2014

When sourcing in China, price increases are often presented as a law of nature. Fortunately, there are solutions to this challenge.

Exclusivity negotiation cheat sheet

Posted: June 13, 2014

Before negotiating for product exclusivity, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

Overview of China's electronic assembly industry

Posted: June 11, 2014

China is where most EMS companies of CEMs have large production capabilities.

Western strategies and tactics in Chinese negotiation

Posted: June 09, 2014

Western negotiators in China shouldn’t try to decide on tactical issues before they develop workable strategies.

Reasons for non-compliance and recalls of products made in China

Posted: June 06, 2014

RAPEX and other sources publish long lists of products that are found unsafe and need to be recalled. Here are the most common reasons for non-compliance and recalls of products made in China.

Chairs: 6 essential quality assurance tests and checks

Posted: June 05, 2014

Quality Wars is bringing you the six essential chair QA tests and checks that you can perform anywhere, even on-site at the factory.

Keeping your wits about you on China supplier visits: Another story

Posted: June 02, 2014

The story goes to show that basic language skills and a little bit of China knowledge can go a long way. Also, just about anything can happen, so it pays to be on your toes.

China sourcing requires a different way of thinking

Posted: May 30, 2014

You have to change your thought process when dealing with China and in turn Chinese vendors.

China WFOE Formation: The 'new' rules on minimum capital

Posted: May 29, 2014

Registered capital is an initial investment intended to be immediately used in operating the China-based WFOE. It need not just sit in a bank and never be touched.

An update on the 'China Plus One' sourcing strategy for SMEs

Posted: May 28, 2014

Is China real estate overvalued? Sure. Would it be easy for China to slip into a serious economic crisis? Yes. But are China manufacturers losing competitiveness across the board? Certainly not.

Quality inspection report: Draft or final version?

Posted: May 23, 2014

After a quality inspection, an inspector prepares a draft report on-site and reviews it with the factory manager. This draft report is a first overview of the goods' quality and should not be confused with the final report.

3 pillars to getting quality goods from China

Posted: May 21, 2014

In order to secure on time delivery of quality goods from China suppliers, you will need to consider 3 areas: Select the right supplier; Take control of quality control; and Put in place the right inspection plan.

7 common mistakes revealed by factory org charts

Posted: May 20, 2014

One of the first things to look at during factory audits is the organization chart, which can often point to serious operational dysfunctions.

7 red flags in China manufacturing

Posted: May 16, 2014

Watch out for these red flags during sampling and mass production.

A China manufacturing term sheet

Posted: May 15, 2014

Here is a term sheet template that lists the bulk of the terms most companies should be concerning themselves with when outsourcing their manufacturing to China.

Is it normal for buying agents to be paid by Chinese factories?

Posted: May 13, 2014

The problem with agents getting a commission from suppliers is that it distorts the agent’s incentives. When things go wrong, the agent will naturally tend to defend the current relationship at the expense of the buyer’s interests.

Cultural caveats: On wining and dining

Posted: April 25, 2014

Have you ever been in the position of a guest who tries graciously to refuse a lavish gift or over-generous act of kindness from a host? How about the sometimes awkward task of declining an invitation?

4 common China law mistakes to avoid

Posted: April 24, 2014

Here are four common and egregious mistakes American domestic lawyers make when representing their clients in doing business with or in China.

Auditing assembly and packing operations in China

Posted: April 23, 2014

The subject of ‘product assembly’ is a complex one with many different methods and techniques required for different products.

The art of finding the right sampling plan [Infographic]

Posted: April 11, 2014

Inspections that involve one or two products can be conducted easily in one man-day. But when there are multiple products to check, creating a sampling plan can be complicated.

Footwear: 10 essential quality assurance tests and checks

Posted: April 10, 2014

From size measurements check to needle detection and rocking tests, here are the 10 essential QA tests and checks for footwear.

How to negotiate for slower price increases with your China factory

Posted: April 8, 2014

Here are a few tips on what to say when your China manufacturer asks for a price increase.

How to avoid fake test certificates from your China manufacturer

Posted: April 4, 2014

By getting a product certified themselves, buyers can reduce the chances of fake approvals.

Are Chinese negotiators long-term or short-term? Yes

Posted: April 3, 2014

Chinese negotiators can be chess-match slow, or lightning fast. The pace of your Chinese counterparty says a lot about your deal and relationship.

What a social auditor should check in China factories

Posted: April 2, 2014

Social auditors should focus on the worst practices that are common in China.

The unintended results of order control

Posted: March 21, 2014

With a constant barrage of emotional-filled emails, skype calls, an overload of repetitious detail to sift through and unprofessional threats, buyers can be overbearing in giving feedback to their Chinese supplier.

Auditing a plastic injection molding process in China

Posted: March 20, 2014

Injection mold machines have become sophisticated pieces of equipment with closed loop control systems monitoring every aspect of the process you can think of.

8 key inspection tests for leather bags

Posted: March 19, 2014

Here are 8 essential inspection tests that are carried out on leather bags made from real leather or imitations, such as PU.

10 warning signs your China deal is too complicated

Posted: March 14, 2014

Deals in China can go off the rails easily and early. The key to success in China is to walk away from bad deals and find good ones.

Cheated by China. Check your insurance

Posted: March 13, 2014

If you have been a victim of the "new bank account to pay us" scam, you should check your insurance policy and call an insurance coverage lawyer because all may not be lost.

Auditing a die casting process in China

Posted: March 12, 2014

The basic principle of die casting is the process of injecting molten metal under high pressure into a mold called a die. Learn how to evaluate a factory’s die casting process.

Do sourcing agents have a future in China?

Posted: March 7, 2014

How will agents conduct their business in the future? Many still act as traders these days, and some of them pretend to own factories.

Cookware: 11 essential QA tests and checks

Posted: March 7, 2014

Hot out of the frying pan, Quality Wars is serving up eleven essential QA tests and checks for cookware.

How to avoid a sourcing disaster

Posted: March 6, 2014

Do your due diligence and audits on potential suppliers before you send money and make sure you check the quality before the goods ship out of China.

Key factors impacting the duration of an inspection

Posted: March 4, 2014

While the inspection scope, product type and order quantity may be similar, the hours spent on an inspection can fluctuate dramatically due to a range of factors.

Color confusion in China manufacturing

Posted: February 21, 2014

“But I gave the factory the Pantone number!” In the trials and tribulations of China manufacturing when a buyer finds out the color of their sample, or, even worse their production is “off”, this is a common exclamation.

A new approach to preparing for a Chinese negotiation

Posted: February 20, 2014

In the West, negotiation is the prelude to business. In China, negotiation is the business.

What to do when a supplier can’t provide product certificates?

Posted: February 18, 2014

How buyers can get a real and legitimate product certificate if the supplier has not already obtained it

Supplier quality management system: Selection criteria

Posted: February 13, 2014

Today most companies in the world are implementing quality management systems based on the globally recognized international standard ISO 9001.

Built-in unreliability: Our special award

Posted: February 10, 2014

If you wanted to make sure your system failed quickly, you would do exactly like the supplier where we took these photos.

Importing from China to sell online? Things you need to know

Posted: February 6, 2014

Online selling is big and only getting bigger. Every day people want to “import from China” and sell online – particularly on Ebay & Amazon.

The dangers of miscommunication: 4 examples to learn from

Posted: February 3, 2014

Here are four real-life examples of how things can go wrong when the supplier misunderstands instructions.

Do importers need trading companies to buy in China?

Posted: January 30, 2014

The trend over the past 20 years has been more direct trade between the manufacturer and importer.

How to sell in China

Posted: January 28, 2014

Many international companies -- whether they are multinational corporations or small- to medium-sized enterprises -- see China as a sales market that offers great potential.

China's courts compile first ever blacklist

Posted: January 24, 2014

Courts in China are now allowed to make public the names of companies and individuals who have defaulted on court-ordered payments. Avoid doing business with this group.

Giving feedback to China suppliers

Posted: January 22, 2014

In your importing and manufacturing sagas, there is a right way and wrong way in giving feedback to China suppliers.

10 common China negotiating mistakes

Posted: January 20, 2014

This list of common negotiating mistakes will help both newcomers and experienced China hands adjust their negotiating practices to be more successful and effective.

What are laboratory certifications worth in China?

Posted: January 17, 2014

As an importer, you take responsibility for the safety of the products you sell in your market. In many countries, you hold the same liability as if you had manufactured the products yourself.

Levels of China sourcing [Infographic]

Posted: January 16, 2014

This infographic summarizes four levels of sourcing, based on its scope, commitment of the organization to it and the return that can be expected.

Preparing for the Chinese New Year production stoppage

Posted: January 15, 2014

It is this time of year again when factories don’t know how long their employees will stay, and when all buyers say "you must ship my order before the holiday."

10 safe assumptions in China sourcing

Posted: January 10, 2014

Here are 10 safe assumptions to make during your China manufacturing and sourcing projects. These assumptions help you stay on top of surprises, avoid pitfalls and keep a piece of your sanity.

Where to locate in China? Or why Weifang isn’t Suzhou

Posted: January 8, 2014

I am constantly telling our clients that just because something happens one way in Shanghai does not mean it is going to happen the same way in Datong. It is more than cliché to say that China is a big and diverse country.

Using the high-speed train network to move inside China

Posted: January 7, 2014

I just took the newly opened high-speed train (gaotie / ??) line between Shenzhen and Xiamen. And I have been riding other lines regularly, around Guangzhou and around Shanghai/Ningbo. I thought I should write about my experiences.

Packaging: How to protect your shipment effectively?

Posted: January 3, 2014

Many importers forget to specify how their products should be packed. And, every year, tons of products arriving from China are thrown away because they were not adequately protected.

Purchase Agreements vs. Purchase Orders

Posted: January 2, 2014

More than once, when I review Purchase Agreements that buyers have already signed with his or her supplier, I have found that actually what he signed is a Purchase Order. What are the differences between a PO and a PA?

Tightened intellectual property related border measures by Chinese Customs

Posted: January 2, 2014

The border measures taken by the Chinese Customs has been ever increasing. Recently starting in late October, export shipments involving UL, HDMI, Bluetooth, SD marks were heavily inspected by customs officials.

The art of giving business cards in China

Posted: December 27, 2013

In order to better communicate with your Chinese supplier or Chinese vendor, you should know how to give and receive business cards in China.

My China factory has gone bankrupt: How to get my deposit back?

Posted: December 26, 2013

If the factory is really bankrupt, consult the lawyer who drafted the contract used for this purchase. If you did not do business with a contract, forget about this deal and move on.

What is the main thing learned in 10 years trading with the Chinese?

Posted: December 23, 2013

Focus a large amount of initial energy on finding the right factory

The four major steps of product sourcing

Posted: December 19, 2013

Procurement from China is not a job for a lazy person. It is time consuming and requires experience to do effectively. Here are 4 steps to get better results when procuring product from China:

Difference between audit and inspection

Posted: December 18, 2013

A buyer needs to evaluate the capacity of a supplier to fulfill his requirements.

Is it safe to send payments to a Hong Kong company for China productions?

Posted: December 17, 2013

Many small importers wonder if sending money to a Hong Kong company is safe.

Timing your China trademark

Posted: December 12, 2013

A client wanted to know if it should register a China trademark for the brand name and the logo even though there is a good chance that China will not allow that product into China for some time, if ever.

Negotiating online with Chinese counterparts (part 3 of 3)

Posted: December 11, 2013

Chinese negotiators value relationships more highly than western negotiators do, which presents a unique set of challenges when deals are being discussed long distance.

Quality procedure for your orders in China – a practical guide

Posted: December 10, 2013

Define in professional words and numbers what the supplier and the customer should agree upon, assure compliance and deal with breaches.

Doing business in China. Not that bad.

Posted: December 05, 2013

Back in April last year, I spoke at an Economist Magazine Business Without Borders event on China. I mostly spoke about intellectual property protections in China, but my introduction dealt with China’s legal system as a whole.

Negotiating online with Chinese counterparts (part 2 of 3)

Posted: December 04, 2013

Chinese negotiation often requires Americans to engage in long distance, online and email communication. These methods can work just fine – but the rules of distance negotiation are different from face-to-face communicating.

Is it safe to produce children's apparel in China?

Posted: December 03, 2013

Yes, but not just any factory will do.

Safety compliance: Major risks for European importers

Posted: November 28, 2013

Most importers in Europe and in the US under-estimate the risks they are running, when it comes to compliance to safety standards.

Negotiating online with Chinese counterparts (part 1 of 3)

Posted: November 27, 2013

Whether you are based in New York, Shanghai or Frankfort, you are probably conducting much of your negotiation online – particularly email, but also via SMS, fax, video-chat, and conference calls.

Why am I paying 6% for VAT?

Posted: November 26, 2013

As of 1st August, we (in Australia) are being charged 6% VAT for all export clearance formalities and freights prepaid in China.

Inspections of moulds and tools in China

Posted: November 21, 2013

Many buyers want to have a Chinese manufacturer work on their own designs. And, very often, it means mould(s) need to be created for each new product design.

Suing a Chinese company for breach of contract

Posted: November 20, 2013

Got the following email the other day (which email I have modified so as to strip it of any identifiers):

Fake suppliers in China: Scammers within the law

Posted: November 19, 2013

The typical fake supplier in China registers a company, draws up documents under some peasant’s name, creates a website with a professional look and hires a few English speaking sales people (unaware their employer is a scam).

What an unmotivated contact tells you about a Chinese supplier

Posted: November 14, 2013

Have you ever worked with a Chinese supplier contact who seems to be very unresponsive to your concerns? He might be causing you a lot of headaches but you had to continue working with him.

Tips for China sourcing trade shows

Posted: November 13, 2013

China sourcing trade shows such as Global sources, MEGA SHOW, Canton fair… connect millions of buyers with dozens of thousands of suppliers at the same place at the same time.

China fraud season starts early this year

Posted: November 12, 2013

Last December, in a post entitled, Payment Fraud In China. This Season’s Edition, we wrote of how it has “become somewhat of a December tradition to write about China payment scams in December because history shows this is the biggest month for those.

3 protections registering your trademark in China will grant you

Posted: November 7, 2013

We all know we must register our trademark in China to get any legal protection. But what specific protection can be expected? According to the revised Trademark Law, there are three protections:

The five types of product testing laboratories in China

Posted: November 6, 2013

A few months ago, I wrote a list of testing labs that has proven helpful to many importers.

How to conduct China due diligence. Just ask.

Posted: November 5, 2013

Buying a Chinese company? Looking to do a China Joint Venture? Looking to use a Chinese company to distribute your product in China? Licensing your technology? Just want some good widgets from a reliable China supplier?

Supplier evaluation: What should I look for during my visit?

Posted: October 31, 2013

It is probably clear to most now that we strongly recommend on-site supplier evaluation prior to any purchase from a Chinese factory.

Sourcing in China more securely: The purchase order role

Posted: October 30, 2013

We all know that sourcing in China starts by selecting the right supplier. However, even the best supplier is able to manufacture the wrong product quality with an incomplete purchase order.

10 China management risks you can eliminate by training

Posted: October 29, 2013

Doing business in China is hard enough when you get everything right. Western managers often end up repeating the mistakes that others have made before. The bad news is that any one of these can undermine your efforts in China.

Best practices for management of China inspectors

Posted: October 23, 2013

A few weeks ago, we held a seminar about the best way to hire, train, and manage inspectors.

China reality check. Please.

Posted: October 22, 2013

Got an email today in response to our post, When NOT To Fire Your “China Guy.” The email was from my friend and China hand, Kurt Braybrook, owner of Fatwater Consultancy.

How to stay on top of your production in China

Posted: October 17, 2013

Many importers negotiate a shipment date (ETD) with their Chinese suppliers before orders are issued, and then fail to follow up on the production schedule.

Tips from a Chinese lawyer about contract and PO

Posted: October 16, 2013

Sometimes buyers sign a PO instead of a written contract. It is very risky. I strongly recommend that a bilingual contract must be signed before any PO is placed and in the contract make the responsibilities, rights and remedy for breach of contract very clear.

The one time China product purchase. No.

Posted: October 15, 2013

I am tired of feeling bad for people/companies who call or email me to say that they just bought this or that from China and they did not receive it or what they received is not even close to what they ordered and paid for.

Naughty tactics some suppliers use to maximize profits

Posted: October 10, 2013

Stephen Ashcroft, from the procurement and supply chain consultancy Brian Farrington, has written an interesting post listing naughty tactics some Western suppliers are using to maximize their profits:

Can I get compensation for a missed delivery?

Posted: October 09, 2013

We were told the delivery of the shipment on our order was 30 days and it made 60 days. Are we allowed any compensation? How can we claim it? Of course the supplier is unwilling saying he is not the shipping company. our contract was clear buy and deliver from the supplier side.

The problem with auditing factories in China

Posted: October 08, 2013

Here you go, straight from a China Social Accountability Expert with 12 years experience (in China):

Beware of MANAGER inflation in your China buying office

Posted: October 03, 2013

Sometimes I visit a buying office with a dozen people, and most of them have “manager” somewhere in their title.

Sampling for inspection: Packed, unpacked goods

Posted: October 02, 2013

We already learned about the production level limits during a pre-shipment inspection to ensure its reliability: “Pre-shipment inspection: production level“. There is another important condition to take into consideration: the way the sampling for inspection is done.

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