Are China vendor attitudes improving ?

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I was reading another China blog today in which it was said vendor attitudes are improving in China. This has been an observation of mine as well. The attitude of some of the vendors I deal with seems unusually cooperative at times (although I would still not go so far as to say this is the rule). For example I have one toy vendor now who at first put up strong resistance to a client’s high product standards but then he came back a week later and seemed more willing to work with us. The abrupt about face was a little puzzling – knowing how a lot of vendors are – but I suspect business is down for this company and the vendor sees the value of keeping what customers he has even if the margins for this order are low ( which they are). And a lot of economic data out of China these days supports this. Many 2nd and 3rd tier vendors are still struggling as the Global Economy has yet to recover and orders from abroad are down in many industries. If some of these vendors do not keep their customers they will not survive. So they have to be more flexible and more willing to work together with their customers. In spite of rising prices in China, one issue many importers face, it is still a very good time to look for vendors.

At the same time I would not go so far as to say vendors are being more cooperative for the sole reason they want to keep their customers during harsh economic times. I think there is a gradual gentrification of attitudes in China and this effects everyone. You can see this dynamic at work on, China’s largest online marketplace, where if you are not satisfied with something you buy you can return it or leave negative feedback for the seller just as you would on EBAY or Buyers and sellers are encouraged to work together. People get used to this, come to see it as “normal” and then that is how they transact their own business. It is a good way to do business wherever you are.



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