China is popular for its huge market of wholesale products. Business people from all over the world purchase Chinese merchandise and sell these at a profit in their respective regions. Most of these business owners seek the help of a China import agent to make their purchasing process easier and hassle-free.
This blog discusses the importance of import agents – also referred to as sourcing agents – and explains how you can find one.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is a China Import Agent?
Let’s begin with who is an import agent and what services they provide. Here is how we precisely define this service:
An import agent is an individual or company that acts as the middle person between an overseas buyer and domestic seller. The agent facilitates the communication and transactions between these two parties.
For instance, if you are a business owner located in the US, you can purchase wholesale items from China through a China import agent. The agent would act like a guide, adviser, and facilitator for your purchase as well as shipment and delivery.
Here are the services provided by these agents followed by tips for finding a reliable China import agent.
1) Key Responsibilities
An import agent in China acts as an intermediary between a foreign-based individual or company which is shipping merchandise from China and domestic suppliers. The primary duties of such an agent include the following.
- Matching the Client’s Requirements with Suppliers
As a foreign buyer, you are unfamiliar with the domestic market and suppliers. China’s wholesale markets are vast. These offer a massive collection of all kinds of products. An example is the Yiwu market in China which is divided into five entire districts. Similarly, there are many other enormous markets in the country, including the ones in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.
Each market offers a variety of products. It is not easy to locate suppliers who meet your exact requirements. A local guide or import agent plays an important role here. You simply provide them with details of the kind of products you are looking for. You may even define your price range or budget. The next step is then the responsibility of the import agent who begins his market research based on the requirements provided by you. The agent connects you with the suppliers or manufacturers offering your required products. The prices of these products are also low to match your budget.
To sum it up, your import agent performs a filtering processes for you to help you connect with the right sellers among an entire sea of suppliers in China.
- Negotiating and Handling Transactions between the Buyer and Seller
Once you have found the right suppliers, the next step is to communicate your requirements to them in terms of the number of products you need. You may also define a timeline or deadline for the delivery of your merchandise. The sellers, on the other hand, will quote their prices and inform you about the availability of the demanded items. This entire communication process becomes more efficient through a sourcing agent. Your China import agent will also help you negotiate effectively with the suppliers to agree on the most reasonable prices for you.
A sourcing company explains the entire process to you and makes sure the suppliers understand your requirements and demands. Your transactions are then performed more smoothly.
In a nutshell, China import agent helps communicate buyers’ requirements to the suppliers and negotiates on their behalf for the most reasonable prices.
- Handling Storage and Shipment for their Clients
Logistics is one of the most significant challenges foreign buyers face while importing goods from China. You may purchase from more than one seller. In this case, the delivery dates will differ depending on when each of the sellers dispatches your goods. Import agents like Ejet provide the most effective solution to this problem. They provide you with a warehousing facility for consolidating the goods purchased from various suppliers. Your items remain in the agent’s warehouse until all the goods have arrived. The consolidated products are then dispatched to the address provided by you.
Your import agent will also guide you regarding the best shipment options. Factors like distance, the fragility of your products, and your delivery deadline affect the mode of shipment. Keeping all of these factors in mind, your agent will provide you with the most appropriate and cost-effective for you.
2) Additional Services
The above-mentioned roles are the basic services provided by a typical import agent. Some companies extend their services to other areas that further facilitate your purchasing experience as a foreign buyer. These services are as follows:
- Facilitating your Visit to China
There are many business people who would like to visit the vibrant markets in China instead of making a remote purchase. However, you will encounter a number of challenges if you visit the country without the assistance of a China import agent. The latter will take care of everything right from booking your tickets to making hotel reservations for you. A representative from the company will also accompany you as a guide while you tour the physical wholesale markets in various locations of the country. The whole process becomes hassle-free through the help of your sourcing company. All you need to do is provide details of your budget and define a timeline for your visit so that your import agent can make appropriate arrangements accordingly.
- Ensuring you Receive High-Quality Products from Suppliers
A common issue buyers encounter while purchasing wholesale items is related to the quality of the products. Particularly, if you are buying from a remote location, you cannot evaluate the quality of the goods before being delivered to you. Some of the items might be defective or broken while some packages might get damaged during the shipment process. How can this issue be avoided? The top China import agents like Ejet carry out an extensive quality control process so that the merchandise delivered to you is intact. Their quality control measures include factory audits, pre-shipment inspections, and supervised container loading. All these steps ensure your goods are intact when delivered to you.
- Helping you with Product Development & Branding
A number of business owners turn to China’s manufacturers for new product development. An import agent will guide you and connect you with the best manufacturers and suppliers. Your design specifications are delivered to the appropriate manufacturers. It is the responsibility of the import agent to communicate your requirements effectively to the manufacturers. The agent then guides you through the entire process of mass production to packaging and sampling. At the same time, the sourcing company will also assist you with branding. This is achieved by unique package designing and logo printing.
Remember, this is an add-on service that only a handful of top import agents in China offer.
To further understand the detailed services of China Import Agent, you can visit our website: https://www.ejet.com/
On this website, you can visit the services pages and read all about it. Here are all the services EJET provides so you can read more about it and know how we can help you have a successful buying experience in China.
h) Warehousing & Consolidation
3) Finding a Reliable China Import Agent
You can find a number of companies based in China offering their services as import agents. However, before availing the services of any agent, make sure you check the following.
- Check the business license of the company to ensure it is operating as a legal service provider in China.
- Go through testimonials and ask for client references. This will give you an insight into the quality of services the agent provides.
- Ask for their service fees including all charges. There should be transparency so that you do not have to pay extra for anything you didn’t agree upon in your initial agreement.
- Ask for the set of services provided by the agent. This will give you an idea of whether a particular sourcing agent offers the specific services you are looking for or not.
- Does the company further outsource to a third party? This might not work out for you as the quality of services the third party provides is not guaranteed.
Chapter 2: Why do you Need an Import Agent in China?
China has a huge market of wholesale products which can be profitable for your business abroad. In addition, the country also offers economical and efficient manufacturing services if you wish to design and develop your own product. You need an import agent to make these processes more convenient while minimizing potential risks.
Here is how a China import agent can benefit you.
1) Import Agents are Familiar with the Local Markets
A local agent is familiar with the market, language and the country’s business laws. He can guide you effectively and help you overcome communication issues. At the same time, local import agents are also familiar with laws and other legal matters that must be considered before you enter into a business contract with any supplier or manufacturer in China.
2) They Give you the Best Business Advice through their Experience
The agent’s experience is also beneficial for you. Companies offering sourcing services have teams of experienced professionals to provide you with the most fruitful advice and guidance.
3) They Fulfil your Requirements through their Vast Business Network
Connections play a significant role in the success of a business. Import agents have a well-establish network of suppliers, manufacturers, sellers, and logistics companies. This networking is important for fulfilling your sourcing requirements including procurement, sourcing, purchasing, storage, and shipment.
4) Import Agents Find the Best Suppliers for you through Filtered Search Results
There may be thousands of suppliers in China offering the products you are looking for. For instance, if you want to purchase toys from the wholesale market for your business, you will find a vast number of suppliers selling toys. How to find out which of these suppliers has the best quality products at the most affordable prices? Similarly, as a foreign buyer, it will also be difficult for you to figure out which of these sellers are reliable.
All these issues can be resolved if you hire the services of a company as your China import agent. The company will carry out the search on your behalf and will filter the search results. The shortlisted suppliers would be the ones with the best track record and quality of products.
5) They Help you Prevent Potential Business Risks
As a foreign buyer in China, there are several ways you may be scammed unless you hire the services of an import agent. This is a common issue while dealing with suppliers through e-commerce platforms. You might not receive the same products as shown in the pictures. The quality, color, and other specifications may vary drastically. In addition, you might receive damaged or defective items. Other issues include delayed deliveries or missing tracking information.
On the other hand, an import agent can help minimize these risks or prevent them altogether. Sourcing companies maintain a database of reliable suppliers and manufacturers. Any supplier with fraudulent activity is blacklisted so that customers do not come across scammers.
6) They Facilitate your Negotiation with Local Suppliers
The success of any business lies in effective negotiations with the other party. You face challenges if you don’t speak the same language and are not familiar with the local market trends. Once again, this job can be performed like a pro by an experienced China import agent. He can make negotiations on your behalf regarding prices, delivery deadlines and contract specifications. There will be no misunderstandings if you negotiate through an import agent.
In addition, you may come across more than one wholesale supplier when you are buying from the vast markets of China. Negotiating with all the suppliers can turn out to be time-consuming and tedious. The response time of each supplier will be different and it will be a hassle dealing with several emails or phone calls. Leaving this task to an import agent will make the process hassle-free.
7) They Fulfil all your Purchasing Needs by Dealing with Various Product Categories
You may need various types of products for your business. You will have to deal with different suppliers for this purpose. However, your search and transactions will become easier if you outsource your requirements to an import agent. High-end sourcing companies can conveniently deal with different product categories. Their extensive network of suppliers will be helpful in fulfilling all your purchasing needs.
8) Import Agents can Get you Access to Restricted Products
Restricted products are known as gated products. These items have to come up to specific quality standards or an additional fee has to be paid in order to approve their sale on particular platforms. If you need to purchase any of such items, the networking and contacts of an import agent will be helpful. They will be able to get approval faster by fulfilling all the pre-requisite requirements.
9) They Consolidate your Deliveries Arriving from Multiple Sellers
Often, you make purchases from multiple wholesale suppliers. The delivery dates are going to vary for each of your consignments. Unless you have a warehouse facility where your packages can be consolidated, the deliveries will be difficult to manage. Some of your packages may even be lost. A sourcing company can help you consolidate your deliveries by providing you safe storage facilities.
10) Import Agents Help you Form Strong Business Relations with Local Suppliers
A strong business relationship requires effective and perfect communication. An import agent establishes your communication with suppliers and enables you to build a strong relationship with them. This is essential for the success of your business.
Do you have more questions about China import agent? Our sourcing representative can help you understand why you need the help of a sourcing company and how it can help you. You can book a free consultation session with her for your queries.
Chapter 3: Top China Import Agents
If you are looking for a reliable import agent in China, here is a list of recommendations for you.
1) Ejet Sourcing
Ejet is one of the best sourcing companies based in China. It was formed in 2006 and has an experience of 15 years in this field. The company aims at making the sourcing experience of its clients worthwhile through its value-added services.
Here are the services Ejet offers.
- The company offers effective supplier management. It finds the ideal suppliers for you based on your demand and specific requirements. These suppliers are reliable and their track record is up to the mark. As your China import agent, the company manages all your suppliers if you are purchasing from more than one seller. It communicates your requirements and makes negotiations on your behalf so that you don’t have to deal with these challenging tasks. The process becomes hassle-free for you.
- Eject can also act as your on-ground sourcing agent. Visiting China can be a delightful experience for business owners. There are vast wholesale markets to explore in the country. China also hosts trade fairs which are worth visiting for any business person. Being your import agent, the company takes care of your visit from managing your bookings to guiding you around the markets.
- The company carries out an extensive quality control process so that the goods you receive from China’s suppliers are the highest quality.
Fact: one of the factors that make Eject stand out from other import agents in China is that the company bears buyer’s risk for you. It takes responsibility for purchasing high quality products and delivering them to you intact.
- The company offers a warehousing facility for the safe storage of your goods. The import agent consolidates your deliveries before the entire shipment arrives and is dispatched to you.
- It is one of the few import agents in China that also help you with the development of a new product. The company connects you with manufacturers and assists you with package and logo design.
- Eject offers FBA sourcing services particularly for Amazon sellers worldwide. It finds the right suppliers, receives deliveries, performs quality check measures, labels, repacks, and ships to FBA warehouses all around the globe.
2) Leeline Sourcing
Leeline is a reliable sourcing agent in China. The company has an experience of 10 years serving over 6,000 satisfied clients to date. It focuses on providing sourcing services and storage solutions to individuals or companies in the e-commerce business.
The services provided by this China import agent are as follows.
- The company finds reliable suppliers and manufacturers to suite your requirements. It ensures that quality products are supplied to you.
- It provides a storage facility. New clients can avail of free warehouse storage for the first month.
- Leeline takes care of the shipment process. Your products are shipped safely to you.
- The company also offers drop shipment facilities. Instead of collecting your packages in its warehouse, the company would arrange for reliable shipment that would be made directly to your address. Drop shipping saves time as it speeds up the process.
- The company helps you with product development using resources and labor from China.
- Small business owners can find Leeline extremely helpful as a one-stop solution to establishing or expanding their online business.
SourceinBox is also known as Hangzhou Panda E-commerce Co. Ltd. The company was formally established in 2018. It provides sourcing services for e-commerce business. This China import agent offers the following services.
- It primarily focuses on providing dropshipping services by enabling and facilitating direct delivery from manufacturers and wholesale suppliers to local and foreign based clients.
- The company has an app that allows customers to place as many as 400 orders simultaneously. The app maintains a record of all orders and tracking numbers for the customers.
- It offers warehouse facility with a capacity of 400 meters squared. The company’s efficient warehouse management system can process as many as 20,000 packages in only a single day.
- The shipping price is cost-effective for customers as it is based on a fixed fee added to the weight fee of each package.
- The company provides reliable after-sales services for the complete satisfaction of their customers.
4) Jing Sourcing
Jing Sourcing is a company formed in 2015 near China’s biggest wholesale market – Yiwu. The company offers its sourcing expertise to clients who wish to avail the services of China’s manufacturers for product development.
Jing Sourcing offers the following main services.
- The company connects clients with reliable manufacturers.
- It helps you get competitive prices.
- Customers can follow up on production and carry out inspection regarding quality control.
- Product customization and packaging facilities are available.
- Customers can also avail product photography service for their e-commerce business.
- Droppshipping service is also available.
5) Arcadia Sourcing
Arcadia Sourcing was established in 2001. The company sources China’s manufacturing services to help clients transform their concepts into actual products. Therefore, main focus of this China import agent is on product development for foreign clients. It caters to customers from different parts of the world, including the US, Australia, Asia and Europe.
Here are the main services customers avail through Arcadia Sourcing.
- Sourcing wholesale products for Original Equipment Manufacturing and Original Design Manufacturing in China.
- The company offers in-house engineers to help customers with the product design process.
- Arcadia Sourcing helps customers by offering molding, quality management and shipment facilities.
- Customers can avail logistics services including packaging, warehouse storage and finally shipment from China to any foreign destination.
6) DTL Sourcing
DTL Sourcing is an import agent based in Hong Kong, China. The company helps business owners across the world import a variety of China’s goods. These may include electronics, small commodities, consumer goods, industrial products and much more.
Here is how DTL Sourcing can help you.
- Customers receive assistance with the purchase of different types of items from China. The company finds reliable suppliers for you and negotiates prices and deals to offer the most cost-effective solutions for your requirements.
- With an effective supplier management process, the company ensures safe storage of your merchandise and prevents shipment delays or increase in prices.
- The company facilitates customized manufacturing of goods. You can get uniquely designed products or rare items specially manufactured for your business.
- Customers have control over quality management. They are able to inspect factories, review the quality of products and assess safety and security levels.
- The company facilitates safe shipment of products to customers outside China.
7) Amanda INTL Group
Amanda INTL Group facilitates import trade for small commodities. The company provides sourcing services with extremely affordable commission rates that are as low as 1%.
The company offers these services to foreign clients.
- It provides you access to the vast market of Guangzhou and facilitates you to visit the popular Canton Fair.
- The company offers expert translators to help you overcome the language barrier no matter what part of the world you are from. In this way, you can easily communicate your exact requirements to the company.
- This import agent helps you purchase the required goods from reliable suppliers in Guangzhou.
- The company consolidates your deliveries from various suppliers and manufactures before dispatching the entire shipment to you.
- It takes responsibility for all processes related to logistics. You receive your packages on time with cost-effective shipment fees.
8) Dragon Sourcing
China’s Dragon Sourcing company was established in 2004 and has expanded to other parts of the world to grow its business.
Here is why the company can be a reliable China import agent for you.
- It performs a filtering process to help you connect with the most reliable suppliers and manufactures in China with the lowest possible business risk.
- Customers can outsource procurement processes to Dragon Sources in order to minimize their own overhead charges and potential operational risks.
- The agent provides packaging facility so that your goods can be delivered to you safely.
9) IMEX Sourcing Services
IMEX is a sourcing agent making use of technological advancement to make everything more convenient for clients. People from all over the world can focus on scaling their respective business while the company take care of sourcing, quality control and logistics.
Here is what IMEX has to offer.
- IMEX 360 portal is an online management system that lets customers keep track of every phase of their project. It allows access to all useful information about the project, provides updates and maintains a record of important dates.
- The company searches the most relevant and reliable suppliers to fulfil your requirements.
- It helps you overcome language barriers and assists you in understanding legal matters regarding formal contracts in China. This is crucial for negotiating with China’s suppliers and signing a formal contract with them.
- IMEX facilitates logistics and ensures safe shipment along with customs clearance.
10) Foshan Sourcing
Foshan Sourcing is an import agent with a primary focus on the import of building materials like tiles, stone, and sanitary equipment. The company has been serving foreign clients for 10 years.
Here is what Foshan Sourcing offers.
- The company helps customers avoid issues like scams, poor quality of products, and delivery delays while purchasing from China’s market.
- This sourcing agent allows the consolidation of orders. This is particularly useful for large orders from different suppliers.
- Foshan Sourcing enables efficient communication with suppliers and helps you save time.
- The agent provides cost-effective shipment.
Can’t decide who is the best import agent for you? Seek the guidance of our resourcing representative. Book a free consultation session with her and ask all the relevant questions that can help you find the best sourcing services.
Chapter 4: FAQs about China Import Agent
1) How can an import agent help us meet the right suppliers?
Import agents have experience and connections with sellers in the local market. First, you need to explain all of your requirements to your import agent. Once you have defined your specific requirements, the import agent will use his market knowledge and research to match the right sellers with your needs. Finally, the agent will shortlist the most suitable sellers who are offering high quality products at the most affordable prices. At the same time, the agent makes sure these sellers have a good ranking among customers in order to protect you from any kind of fraud. This is how you meet the right sellers and get the best deals.
2) Do we need an import agent for signing a deal with suppliers and manufacturers in China?
You need to seek the advice of a local import agent before entering into any legal business contract with sellers or manufacturers in China. The agent will help you communicate with the other party in a better way. At the same time, you can also get advice regarding the local business laws so that you don’t end up falling into any legal trouble.
3) How can I choose the best China import agent among several sourcing companies?
In order to select the best China import agent company, consider its experience and the number of services. For instance, Ejet is a company with 15 years of experience working as import and export agent. At the same time, it offers all services that help customers import conveniently from China. These include seller search, negotiations, warehouse and storage facilities and shipment. In addition, the company also provides some extra services, including product development, on-ground sourcing and much more. An import agent who offers such an extensive set of services is, without doubt, the one you should hire.
4) Is it possible to import goods from more than one seller in China?
Yes, it is possible to import goods from different sellers if you want to buy various kinds of products. However, it can be challenging to find the right sellers for each category of product. You can hire an import agent company to help you with this process. It can help you find all the goods you need with its large network of connections with suppliers.
5) How can I handle deliveries if I buy from more than one supplier in China?
Buying from more than one seller means your goods will be delivered on different dates. An import agent provides you storage facility. All the sellers deliver your goods at the company’s warehouse. The import agent stores your packages in a safe environment. Once all your goods have arrived, the agent ships them to your address. Import agents call this whole process “consolidation of deliveries”.
6) How can an import agent help me with my visit to China?
A China import agent can book your tickets and make arrangements for your stay in the country. The company finds the most affordable flights and books hotel rooms which are affordable, comfortable and closest to the markets you want to visit. Next, the import agents guide you when you visit China’s markets or attend business fairs.
7) How can I ensure my import agent is reliable?
Firstly, look for a sourcing company which is well-established and experienced. Then, check the validity of the company’s business license. Once you have checked these essentials, have a look at the company’s portfolio, user reviews and customer references in order to get a clear idea about its quality of services.
8) How can an import agent help me build a business relationship with China’s suppliers?
In order to form a strong business relationship, you need to have clear communication with the other party. Chinese import agents communicate with local sellers on your behalf to bypass language barriers. When there is no communication gap, your business deals with local suppliers in China become more convenient.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
Buying from the wholesale markets of China for your business can be easier through an import agent. These are companies with vast experience in this field and a team of professionals. They can help you find the right suppliers, protect you from scams, get you the best prices and make the shipment process easier.
The best China import agent is one who is based in China and offers a number of services to customers like Ejet. These include all the basic services along with add-ons like product development, on-ground sources and other relevant services. Your business can be more successful if you hire an import agent.