China Sourcing Agent

China is known as the “World’s Factory” for a reason. It is the largest producer of commercial and industrial products and provides them at a very affordable cost. But, to do business with Chinese Suppliers/manufacturers, you need to find right China buying Agent. The reasons for this are the different business practices and language barrier that still exists with Chinese suppliers/manufacturers.

In case you are wondering how to find China Buying Agent, that is not the first step. Firstly, you need to understand why you need a buying/sourcing agent. For this, read our blog in detail. Sourcing agents are third-party agents that help you search for suppliers in a specific country. Generally, the sourcing agents are present in the country you are sourcing goods from. Secondly, they are familiar with the language and customs of that particular country.

Chapter 1: 10 Reasons Why You Need to Look for a China Buying Agent

Why you need a China Sourcing Agent

With the internet, everything has become easier. A simple Google search can give you a list of hundreds of buying agents in China. Moreover, you can find hundreds and thousands of suppliers/manufacturers on websites like Alibaba, Aliexpress and others. Hence, people feel very reluctant of doing business with China buying agents. They think it can be an additional cost but that is not true.

We always recommend that you do business through a sourcing/buying agent. There are unlimited advantages to hiring a buying agent. The top 10 advantages of working with a buying agent are discussed in detail in this chapter.

1) Helps You Find the Right Suppliers/Manufacturers

One of the reasons why buyers from all over the world are looking for suppliers in China is the sheer number of options they have. These options include both diversity of products and hundreds and thousands of manufacturers that are making the same product. If you search on any e-commerce marketplace, you will see that there are thousands of names that pop up when you search for suppliers for a specific product.

So, which of these suppliers/manufacturers is the best for you? How will you know which one is reliable and which one is not? Are you even sure that the supplier you are talking with or thinking of shortlisting is actually legitimate? All these ambiguities can be solved easily by hiring a China buying Agent. These agents are physically present in the area and can easily check on the reliability and legitimacy of the suppliers.

Be careful when you are looking for buying agents in China. If you are a first-time buyer, you can get confused between mediators and buying agents. Mediators are middlemen who buy from Chinese Suppliers and sell to international buyers for a profit. A buying/sourcing agent provides sourcing, shipping and other logistic services to clients and does not directly sell any product to them.

The biggest advantage that you get is that you overcome the language barrier. The buying agent can help you conduct business easily with Chinese suppliers. They are familiar with the Chinese way of doing business. So, it becomes much easier to do business.

2) Save Valuable Time

The market is full of different suppliers and manufacturers that are offering the same products. The price and quality of these products differ from each other. Undoubtedly, this is good news for international and domestic buyers. The choice allows them to find a product of their choice at the price they want. But, this can also become a big hurdle for them. The number of suppliers can leave you confused. Even for the more polished buyers, finding new suppliers/manufacturers can become a hassle!

If you talk to a supplier, they will never say that they offer low-quality products. Some suppliers offer very low prices. Upon inquiry, they have many reasons for doing so. Generally, if a supplier is offering a very low price as compared to the market, it is mostly due to low quality. Additionally, it is impossible to check the product quality of hundreds of suppliers by asking and paying for samples.

A reliable China buying agent will help you with all of this. With them, you will get high-quality items on time as they are already in the business and are aware of all the procedures. No more looking for suppliers on different forums or communicating with multiple suppliers. All you need to do is tell your sourcing agent what you are looking for and sit back and relax!

3) Buying Agents are Negotiation Experts

Buying Agent

If you get your hands on the right buying agent, your business with Chinese suppliers is going to become a breeze. Buying agents have a large network of different suppliers, manufacturers and retailers as they have been in the business for quite some time. They also know how to negotiate with them. Some of the suppliers are already on board with them and doing business with them so they automatically offer them lower than market prices without compromising on product quality.

With ample experience in the field, a good buying agent/agency knows what is the lowest price a legitimate supplier will ask for a product. If the price is too low, they will understand that the supplier is cutting down on quality and not do business with them.

Secondly, the agents speak both the local Chinese language and the foreign language of the buyer. This makes dealing with both parties much easier. Moreover, they are aware of Chinese customs, culture, norms of business and much more. The reason we say this, again and again, is that the Chinese work very differently from people all over the globe. This understanding allows the sourcing agent to negotiate better.

4) Helps in Verifying Supplier Credentials

Every supplier you will come across will claim that they have something that makes them the best. In China, all business dealings are done either in Chinese or Mandarin. It has been seen that even suppliers that know English don’t like conversing in it. Therefore, a lot of information can be lost or misunderstood during translation.

Hence, it is a good idea to hire a buying agent. One of the services they offer is to verify the credentials of manufacturers and suppliers. Not only can they check and cross-check all the certifications, licenses and quality assurance standards, but they can also physically go and examine the production capacity. Sometimes, suppliers claim that they have scaling options and can increase production if required.

For instance, you might be ordering 1000 units of a good from them and the demand increases. Now, you need 10000 units of the same good in a month. If the supplier is unable to manufacture that, you will end up losing clientage. Often, supplies claim they can produce as many products as required. A China buying agent can go and verify this claim by looking at the production unit.

5) Product Inspection Services

Quality Control

The biggest hurdles importers face while doing international trade are quality checks. A supplier might be having an excellent record, thousands of buyers and amazing reviews. Still, when you order samples from them, it might not be something that you are looking for.

Remember, this does not mean always mean that the quality is not good. Rather, it is not something that you are looking for!

All the reliable manufacturers offer product samples to the clients. But, it can get very time-consuming and expensive to wait for samples to reach you, evaluate them and then move on. With a China buying agent on board, you can save yourself all this hassle. They have proper inspection teams that first talk to you to understand what your needs are. Once they understand what you require, they go ahead and look for suppliers providing the needed.

6) Greater Networking

As buying agents are mostly in the same country that you are sourcing products from, they have a wide network of suppliers and manufacturers. They understand the culture and language. Hence, making it easier for them to connect with the manufacturers and make relationships with them. Secondly, they already have been working with many of the same manufacturers and can hire the same ones for you.

As a result, you can get an excellent deal just by hiring the right buying agent. Because of the connections of the agents, they might be able to get a fantastic price for you which you could never have done.

7) Offers Multiple Services


When hiring a buying agent, you can choose from a list of services they offer. The best deal is to leave everything on them. They offer multiple services including:

  • Product Sourcing
  • Product customization
  • Quality assurance
  • Inspection checks
  • Production Capacity checks
  • Product warehousing
  • Negotiations with suppliers and much more

Even though you have an option of selecting one or multiple services, it is recommended to let the buying agent handle all your sourcing needs. It is easier, cost-effective and successful in the longer run.

If you want to know more about the role of a sourcing agency, you can talk to our Sourcing Representative today. Book a free consultation and let her clear away all your queries regarding the sourcing process and the services we offer. 


8) Reduce the Risk of Getting Scammed

Sadly, there are many scammers sitting in the market looking for easy targets. Even the big e-commerce platforms don’t have a 100% way of checking whether the manufacturers that are present on the platform are reliable or not. Even the ones with trade assurance, gold standard etc. can’t be thought of as being 100% legitimate.

China buying agent, avoid scam, don't get scammed

illustration of no scams abstract concept background

Therefore, finding these scammers on your own, sitting in another country, is not easy. In fact, it is almost impossible. Buying agents help identify the credentials of the suppliers. Not only that, they can easily go and visit the factory/business and check what is going on there. When you physically visit a place and see that production is going on, there are very less chances that you can get scammed.

On the other hand, when a supplier/manufacturer refuses a physical visit or does not give you an official address/website, there is a huge chance they are scamming you. If this is the case, the buying agent has enough experience to understand not to do business with them. If you want to know about what types of scams can occur and how to avoid them, read our blog on “Scams to Avoid While Importing from China

9) Affordable Pricing in the Long Run

Does it seem that the buying agent is asking for too much for the services they are offering? Some people argue that the cost of hiring a buying agent is high. This can be true if you just look at the price tag. The agent’s fee does look like an additional cost but you need to understand that they are charging for all the hassle. Your entire sourcing process will be handled by them professionally, promptly and quickly.

Individual buyers can’t even come close to the efficiency and effectiveness of the sourcing agents. So, if you look at it in the long run, hiring a buying agent is going to be cost effective and time-saving. Secondly, they can further get you the best prices from the suppliers. Buying through these agents is cheaper as they already have relations with multiple suppliers and can get you very low prices without compromising on the quality.

10) Helps You Focus on Business

When all your sourcing needs are being handled by professionals, you don’t need to go through the headache of worrying. At this point, you can sit back and focus on the other business processes without worrying about your product and the shipment. Therefore, you can focus on expanding, growing and improving your business processes.

Chapter 2: 10 Steps to Finding a China Buying Agent 

Now that you know why it is important to find a good Buying agent from China, you need to understand how to find one. Just like manufacturers, there are hundreds of buying agents when you start looking for one. So, how do you know which one is good for you and which is not? No need to worry. We will give you 10 fool-proof steps through which you can find the best sourcing agent in China.

1) Document What You Require

Sourcing Agent

Before you start looking for a buying/sourcing agent, you need to know what your requirements are. There are many options in the market. Every agent will be offering more or less the same services so how would you know which one is the right one? The first thing is to make a list of the requirements that you have from a buying agent. Some things that you need to include in the list are:

  • Scope of the services offered
  • What type of services are you looking for
  • Location of the agent
  • Experience of the agent (some buyers are fine working with new agents while some are looking for seasoned professionals)
  • Communication frequency
  • Transparency of services
  • Fee
  • Payment options etc.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that the work ethic of your country may be different from the work ethic of the buying agent. Hence, don’t assume that they will understand what the norm in your region is. Try to be as transparent and precise with your requirements as possible.

2) Make a List – Do Preliminary Research

list of China buying agent

Always do proper research whenever you are looking for a buying agent or supplier. You can compile a list of around 20-30 sourcing agents to make the work easier for you. Upon further research and communication, you can further shortlist the potential ones. Initial elimination is very easy. Some agents don’t communicate professionally, some are not prompt with their communications and others might not have the time for you. So, you can easily shortlist the original list to the top 5 sourcing agents in China.

Never keep the price as the final decision for shortlisting a China buying agent. Some buying agents use low-price as a tactic to attract buyers and trap them.

There are many forums through which you can choose a buying agent. Firstly, referrals are an excellent way to get your hands on reliable ones. Secondly, you can search on Google and read the reviews of the agents to see which have a good clientage. Next, you can also look up different Facebook groups and social media accounts. Lastly, trade fairs are also good places to meet with many buying agents.

3) Set Your Budget

Budget is another big consideration that can affect the choice you make when it comes to selecting a buying agent on your behalf. The budget is not restricted to the buying agent only. You need to be very clear about the number of units of products you need and how much you can pay for them. Secondly, you should also know what the exact share of the agent will be. This will make things easier for you.

Ready to be flexible with your budget? You can always meet with different expenses that can arise. So, don’t be very strict with your budget and be realistic.

4) Decide Which Category of Sourcing Agent You Want to go With

When you search for buying agents, you will come across three different categories. Each has its advantages and services which they offer. You need to decide which one you want to go with.

  • Single Sourcing Agent: These are buying/sourcing agents that work alone and are not affiliated with anyone or any company. The best thing about them is that they take on a limited number of clients at one time. This means that you will be getting their full attention and can build a personal relationship with them. This makes communication easier, swift and prompt. On the other hand, the only drawback is that their resources and connections are limited. Moreover, it becomes difficult in verifying the credentials of the individual sourcing agents.
  • Logistic and Sourcing Companies: These are huge sourcing companies that are working on a large scale. Additional services that they offer include quality inspection, logistics, shipping and much more. The best thing about these companies is that all you need to do is tell them your requirements and they will do all the tasks for you. From finding product suppliers to warehousing to delivering the product, everything will be handled by them. On the contrary, for the services they offer, they will also charge a lot. It might seem that they are expensive on the pocket and for smaller buyers, it can be too much.
  • Sourcing Agencies: The sourcing agencies have different sourcing agents employed with them. Each sourcing/buying agent has a specific speciality in which they are experts. They have more resources than the individual agents and have a vast network of people onboard. When compared to these agents, they are on the expensive side.

5) Research the Buying Agent Well

China buying agent

Don’t rely on Google only when it comes to looking for a buying agent. You can make the initial list with the help of Google, but deep research is also required. You need to use other platforms for deeper research. Always check the official website. Next, look at the reviews on different forums. You can also talk to previous and current clients.  These testimonials and reviews will help you significantly in shortlisting the best buying/sourcing agent.

6) Judge the Knowledge of the Sourcing/Buying Agent

Importing products from China is not the same as importing products from around the world. The business customs in China are different from the rest of the world. Moreover, different products have different import processes. When buying electronics, bulky goods and other technical items, there are many rules and regulations that you need to follow.

Finding a China buying agent that has the relevant knowledge is important. The sheer choice can make or break your business. You can check the professional knowledge and experience of the buying agent by discussing some clients and how they helped them. Nevertheless, the best way to judge the knowledge of the agent is to talk to clients to find out how satisfied they are.

7) Get Everything in Writing

Once you are on the verge of finalizing the buying agent, you need to get everything on paper. Before finalizing an agent, you need to get a written quotation from all of them. Try to include as much information as you can. For instance, the price that the agent will charge for individual services, the price that they will charge for all services, the payment structure etc.

Next, you need to get a written copy of all the certificates, legal documents and business licenses of the sourcing agent relevant to your business. Other considerations need to be written down too. To avoid any future issues, log all important factors. For example, what happens if the product does not meet the quality requirements you put forth or what happens when there is a significant delay in the shipment reaching you? You need to clear out different scenarios beforehand to avoid ambiguity.

8) Price Negotiation


Negotiation works everywhere. You need to negotiate the price that the buying agent puts forth. Generally, large companies have fixed prices for their services. However, there is no harm in trying and talking to tailor a package for you. The best people to negotiate with are the individual sourcing agents and some sourcing agencies are flexible in negotiations too. Over time, when you keep doing business with a particular buying agent, they might offer you discounts and lower prices in the long run.

9) Check the Legal Status of the Company

Any sourcing agent, agency or company needs to have a legal footprint. Even the individual sourcing agents are registered legally and have an office in the city. You need to be sure that you are dealing with a legitimate buying agent and that can be done by checking the license and legal status of that particular agent.

10) Some Questions to Ask Your Sourcing Agent

When dealing with sourcing agents in another country, the communication needs to be very transparent, clear and precise. They will be handling your sourcing process and you need to be in constant touch with them. There are some questions that you can ask the sourcing agent and evaluate the best ones based on their answers.

  • How does a sourcing agent identify whether a supplier is skilled or unskilled?
  • What are the different factors that a supplier/manufacturer has to have to be eligible for doing business?
  • Is the payment going to be made through the buying agent or the supplier/manufacturer will conduct transactions directly with the buyer?
  • How can the buying agent confirm that there will be no payment fraud?
  • In case of payment fraud, how will the buying agent move forward?
  • Does the buying agent control and conduct the entire procurement process or does he/she outsource a part of it? Which part and how much is outsourced to whom?
  • How much market experience does the buying agent have?
  • Is the agent open to looking for new suppliers/manufacturers or will work only with the ones that they have already worked with?
  • Does the agent have any current or previous clients in your country?
  • How long does the buying agent take in making deals and delivering your shipment?
  • Will the buying agent provide you with freight forwarding services or not?
  • Who will be responsible for any shipment delays and who will pay the cost associated with these delays?

Once you have answers to these questions, you can evaluate which buying agent will work best for you.  Now that you have several options, you can pick the right one.

Chapter 3: 5 Things You Need to Beware of When Looking For A China Buying Agent 

You need to be aware of five major red flags to look out for when looking for a China buying agent. Even with proper research, some agents can fool buyers and scam them for their money. Some things that can easily give away a scammer are discussed below.

1) Never Settle for A Very Low Price

Undoubtedly, whenever you are doing business, price is a big deciding factor in most things. We can say that we prefer quality over price but at the end of the day, the price also plays a major role in the final selection of a buying agent. To avoid being scammed, you need to take quotations from multiple agents. Even if you have one in mind, check other agents too. This will give you an idea about the prevailing market price.

Generally, if a buying agent is willing to work for a price much cheaper than the one being offered in the market, that is a big red flag. Do you need to think about how can he offer the same services that others are offering at such a low price without cutting corners?

2) If the Agent is Being Paid by a Supplier

If you find out that a buying agent is being paid by a supplier, you should back off immediately. This is because the agent will have their loyalty set out for the particular supplier. Moreover, the agent will only be doing business on the behalf of that seller and you can easily get scammed.

3) Commission-Based Work

commission based pay, sourcing agent

Try to avoid agents who are working on a set commission. This can work against you. Sometimes, the buyer and agents agree that the agent will only be paid when the buyer receives the goods. In this case, the agent will not tell you of any defects or issues that the product has. Otherwise, you will not accept the shipment and the agent will end up with nothing.

4) Delayed Communication

When dealing with international buyers, rapid communication is the key. As you are not face-to-face with the agent, things can get difficult if they don’t communicate with you. Communication should be prompt from both sides. Even with the time difference, the reliable and big buying agents always have a 2-3 hours response rate.

If you see that the agent does not communicate professionally and promptly, that is a red flag. However, it does not mean that the agent is a scammer; it can mean that they have too many current clients that they are not replying to you. Furthermore, it can also mean that they are not professional enough.

5) Zero Transparency

When you sense that a sourcing agent is not being transparent with you, you should back off immediately. The first thing agents need to do is show all their trading licenses and registration as they also want to make new clients. Therefore, they must satisfy you by showing that they are legitimate.

If you are still confused about what to look for in the best China buying agent, you can always set up a consultation with our Sourcing Representative. She is here to help you out with all the queries and confusions that you might have, So, book a free consultation today and relieve yourself of all your sourcing worries. 


Chapter 4: FAQs Regarding How To Find A China Buying Agent

1) How Important is It to Hire a Buying Agent to Source Products from China?

It is very important to hire a buying agent if you want to source products from China. These sourcing agents can do everything for you for a fee. For instance, from finding suppliers for your products to product customization to the final shipment, they can handle everything very professionally. Moreover, they can act as a link between the manufacturer and you. Not only this, but they can also handle difficult situations like delayed orders, product quality inspection and much more. You can be an individual buyer or have a company, it is important to hire a good sourcing agent or agency if you want to thrive in the international market.

2) How Do You Pay a China Buying Agent?

Every agent/agency has its payment system. It is important to check with them before you lock in a deal. Most companies have a fixed fee that they charge. Additionally, they also have set fees for different services that they offer. It depends on which services the buyers take. So, you pay for what service you avail. The different payment methods include pay per hour, commission-based pay, salary and fixed cost.

3) Is the China Buying Agent Same As A Sourcing Agent?

The sourcing agent can also be called a buying agent or purchasing agent. They offer to buy the goods on behalf of a buyer and charge a fee for that. Some other services that they offer include product quality inspection, price negotiations, logistics, warehousing and much more. It depends on the scope of their job.

4) Do the Chinese Suppliers Meet the Quality Requirements of the West?

Many Western buyers worry about product quality when it comes to Chinese suppliers/manufacturers. They have this misconception that China does not produce quality products. In fact, this is not true. On the contrary, the world is turning towards China to source multiple products. This is because the quality and price being offered are one of the best in the world.


To some people, it might seem that a sourcing agent is an additional cost that they have to incur. This is not true. It might look like that but the benefit outweighs the cost on a large scale. There are risks associated with hiring the right sourcing agent, but you don’t need to look any further. With Ejet Sourcing, you are covered and all your logistic and procurement needs will be met in the best way possible. So, leave us a message today and we will connect with you.