We're here to help. Get in touch. | info@shieldworksmfg.com
China Headquarters: +86 (0)756 3828390

10 Boxes to Check Before Choosing a Product Supplier in China

If you’re serious about your business, you want to work with the best product supplier in China. A high-quality product made in China is crucial to your success, because if it isn’t up to par, then you won’t be able to compete with other businesses in your field. However, finding the right product supplier isn’t always easy – here are 10 boxes to check before choosing one to do business with.

1) Does the supplier have a good reputation?

Reputation is key when choosing a good supplier. Ask for references and read reviews from people who have used their products. If the feedback is positive, it’s likely that the supplier has a good reputation. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about their experience with the company and production quality. You want to make sure that you’re not just trusting someone based on what they say, but what they do as well.

2) How long has the supplier been in business?

A company’s longevity can be an indication of its success, so you should make sure that the supplier has been in business for at least three years. Once you’ve found a supplier with a good track record, it will be easier for you to establish trust with them and build your relationship.

Moreover, how long has the supplier been in business is often indicative of their product quality. Manufacturers that have been around for decades can afford higher-quality materials than start-ups because they’ve had time to establish themselves and develop relationships with suppliers. Therefore, when you’re choosing between two suppliers that are roughly equal on other factors, it’s generally safe to go with the one that has more experience behind them.

3) Is the supplier certified?

It’s also important that the supplier you choose is certified. You want someone who has gone through all the certification process necessary for importing and exporting goods from China, so you know they’re going to be legally compliant and up-to-date with all requirements.

Here’s a list of certificates or documentations you can check for.

1) Are there business licenses (including both Chinese and your country of import)?

2) Is there proof of customs clearance (including: export license, import license, customs declaration form)?

3) Do they have manufacturing certifications? There are three certifications that we like our manufacturers to have – ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS 18000.

4) What kind of insurance do they have in place?

4) What is the minimum order quantity?

The minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the number of units that you have to buy from the supplier. It’s important because it will affect your profitability.

There’s no hard and fast rule for how large your minimum order quantity should be, but it all depends on how much it will cost you to buy those items. Take into account any shipping costs that are applicable, as well as possible tariffs and taxes.

For example, if you’re ordering small quantities of product samples from an overseas supplier that’s relatively close by, they may offer you free shipping. If they don’t offer free international shipping, however, that could make your products prohibitively expensive.

5) What are the payment terms?

Ideally, you want an invoice that is settled within 30 days of the shipment of goods. If they don’t offer terms then it is important to find out how often they require payment and what their payment terms are.

Your payment terms should also specify how late payments are accepted. If they accept payments late (for more than 30 days), it may not be ideal. If they do not accept late payments, find out how long it takes for them to send you a reminder before sending your account to collections or blacklisting you from future business.

6) How much experience does the supplier have?

Experience is important because it reflects the supplier’s ability to produce quality products. To figure out how experienced the supplier is, you’ll need to ask about their experience. If they’ve been around for more than five years, they’re more likely to be a reliable option.

But don’t stop there. After you verify the supplier’s experience, make sure that they can handle your volume and product needs by asking if they have any examples of past projects and inquiring about the size of their team and production capacity.

Also, the type of products they have experience is crucial.  One way to know this is to check what industry awards they may have won. Awards are often indicative of an organization’s professionalism and dedication to excellence, which is always a good sign when looking for suppliers.

7) What is the lead time?

The lead time is the amount of time it will take for you to receive your order. This can vary greatly depending on what type of product you are ordering. For something as simple as pens, the lead time can be as little as two weeks. But for something more complicated like electronics, you will need much more than that and might need up to 20 weeks, if including product design and development, before your order arrives.

8) Can the supplier provide samples?

If you can’t see and touch the product, it’s hard to know how well the supplier will be able to make it. You want samples of any products you’re interested in for your own reference, but also so that you can show them off and gauge interest from potential clients.

Even if your product is unique, any buyer will expect to be able to touch and feel it for themselves. It’s important that you can get actual samples of your product before placing an order with your supplier. It may not be free, but this will give you time to check quality, so you can make changes or correct any issues with your design before you place a mass order. Make sure your contract allows for multiple revisions on prototypes so that more expensive mistakes are minimized as much as possible.

9) What is the quality control process?

A quality control process is an important step for any company. It helps identify and manage risks that may affect your product quality. The goal of the process is to ensure that your products are safe and meet certain standards. 

If you’re not sure what kind of processes to expect, then you should ask your supplier about their quality control procedures. You should also check with the manufacturer about their procedures as well.

They will be able to provide specific details on how they produce their goods. For example, if you want to know more about how they make textile items, they’ll likely tell you exactly what type of fabrics they use or what chemicals they dye their fabric with.

You can also ask for a sample of their checklist so that you have a better understanding of their system.

10) What is the warranty?

You should also ask about the warranty on the product. Is it one year or two years? If it’s one year, what is the cost for an extended warranty? A supplier may have different warranties for different types of products.

For example, if you are buying a refrigerator and there is an issue with its compressor after six months, but not with its ice maker, then the compressor would likely be covered under warranty while the ice maker would not be.

If you are buying light fixtures from your supplier that have bulbs included and you find out that the bulbs only last for three hundred hours before they burn out, ask about how many replacements will be included during your time of purchase.

Shield Works has been around for over 17 years already with industry-spanning experience. Contact us today to see how we can help!