Is finding a good China vendor worth a bottle of fine wine ?

What people are saying about Mulberry Fields
“I have already learned a great deal about China and your business through your website and blog posts. Very impressive.” -Company in Toronto.

Someone came to me a couple of months ago inquiring about a project in China. They had been asked by a major global retailer to source a popular product. The QTYS are good. 4000-6000 units a week. I would think that many vendors would be interested in this business because of the QTYs and the retailer involved . The person who emailed me said he had gone on alibaba and DHgate and made some contact with suppliers there. But as the individual himself wrote to me “ I have the connection with ( name of retailer) but don’t have the expertise to source for myself.” I imagine he also does not have much experience with China.

I told him how I would go about sourcing this item for him, what I call my Five Step Process which is aimed at getting to know as much about potential vendors before you give them any money. I see my role as substantially reducing risk. Not elimitating it altogether ( that cannot be done). I also quoted him my flat rate for sourcing projects which is a three-figure sum, as low as you will find rates for 3rd party China sourcing or consulting or so I would think. I am not an agent and do not charge commissions. But I never heard from him again. Just another who came into the store, so to speak, looked around asked a couple of questions and left.

For me it is a no-brainer: If you have the opportunity to fulfill an order that will put you on the map, it is worth a minimal investment to have someone with 25 years of experience in China help you. Of course I understand what people are thinking. Why pay someone to source something for you when you can find it yourself for nothing on alibaba ? But where is the real risk? Is it in the fee you pay to the consultant or is it in the container of product you get from China? The answer is obvious. The real risk is in the vendor you select. If you don’t select the right vendor, then your business may come to a screeching halt. Don’t you think that substantially reducing that risk is worth the cost of, say, a bottle of 1972 Chateau Mouton Rothschild ?



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