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What is a China sourcing agent?

China sourcing companies or agents play a crucial role on the international market. A sourcing agent’s job, in simple terms, is to find the right supplier. Product sourcing refers to finding the right source (i.e. supplier) for the products you wish to sell. They act as third-party service providers to help you find the right source.
These agents are essential, especially for global trade. China is the ideal country for finding the right product at an affordable price. This is because nearly all products can be manufactured in China and are available at a cheaper price than other countries. Therefore, the sourcing agent must communicate directly with local suppliers in their native language and understand local customs.
Purchasing agent

The purchasing office or purchasing agent helps you find the products you want. While both purchasing agents and sourcing agents are similar, the sourcing agency takes commissions and the purchasing office does the work of a trader. He purchases items from local vendors, then sells them back to the buyer. If you are looking for a lower purchase quantity, purchasing from a purchasing agent might be an option.
Sourcing Agency vs. Sourcing Company: What’s the difference between them?

Many people use sourcing agencies and sourcing firms interchangeably in the international market. Someone might ask for help finding suppliers in China. They may say “Find me either a sourcing company or the best China sourcing agent“. It is wrong because there are so many differences between the two entities. Let us now understand these differences.
Sourcing Agent

A sourcing agent is a person who assists you in sourcing the product. Sourcers are usually individuals who work alone or with an assistant. They can work in small offices, or they may use their home office as their office. Many people might have had the opportunity to work for sourcing or trading companies. These types of China-sourcing agents can be found easily on freelancing sites such as Upwork and Fiverr. Some sourcing websites can also be found through their websites.
Sourcing Companies

These sourcing companies also know as sourcing agencies. They assist in sourcing and quality inspections, shipping, and storage. This company is supported with a team that includes experts who can efficiently handle all these activities. These companies are more efficient and can offer services to different customers simultaneously. These sourcing companies are typically located in industrial zones. There are sourcing companies located in China’s Guangzhou, Yiwu and Shenzhen.
Why choose a sourcing company instead?

There are many reasons why you should choose a supplier company. Many online platforms have multiple suppliers and sourcing companies can help you source the products that you require in your area. Here are some reasons to consider a sourcing firm.
Briefings

You don’t have to worry about language when you work with a trusted sourcing company. Experts from sourcing companies will help you describe every detail or product that you would like to purchase from a supplier. They can also verify that the product is complete.
To save time

A sourcing company can help you save valuable time. Sourcers help you to find suppliers quickly and get the job done. Sourcing firms help you to start things immediately and in the correct way. The sourcing company handles all the negotiations and briefings for you.
It is easy to verify certificates

You must verify all certificates and licenses before you hire a supplier to supply your products. This ensures that the supplier is operating in accordance with local laws. You can’t do everything because these certificates will be in native languages. This information can be verified and prevented from being used by scammers. Sourcing companies can help you avoid getting scammed.
Negotiating is simple

Negotiation is the most difficult job foreigners have to do in China or other unknown countries. This will be handled easily by local sourcing firms, who will be familiar with the local customs and practices. Once they have a good idea of the price and the best negotiation techniques, they will be able to help you obtain the products you need at a lower cost without compromising on the specifications.
Amazing network and experience

Experience is your best friend. A sourcing company can provide sourcing agents with more experience and access to a wider network. Because they have likely worked with many manufacturers in the past, they might be familiar with where to search for the products that you require. Their market experience and knowledge about the manufacturers will help you find the right supplier.
You can search for a supplier yourself.

There are many options to find the right supplier according to your requirements. You can either search for them on freelancing websites like Fiverr or Upwork, or simply google them. Many companies have their websites. You can connect to them through these websites and get what you need.
China sourcing agent: Advantages

You need to choose the right supplier

China has thousands of manufacturers. It can be difficult for new suppliers to find the right supplier. The biggest barrier to communication is lack of communication. A sourcing agent will help you overcome this obstacle. Communication is a challenge because many suppliers don’t know the shipment. This can lead to delays. However, the right agent will help you in all aspects. They can help you choose the right supplier by verifying the authenticity. There are many people who can be found online. Although they may appear to be suppliers, they are actually intermediaries. They buy products from other manufacturers, then make a profit by selling them to their customers. However, sourcing agents assist you by picking the products at the factory outlet. You will receive the products directly from the factory.
Provides inspection services

The problem with international trade is that you are not able to inspect everything on your own. While many manufacturers offer inspection services through third parties, these inspectors might not be familiar with your requirements and may not be fully qualified. Hiring a China sourcing agent will help you overcome all of these problems. A China sourcing agent helps reduce loss by inspecting qualified people. Plus, their experience can help you select the right supplier out of the variety options.
Save time

Buyers look forward to receiving the best products possible from their sellers. But choosing the best supplier from thousands is no easy task. This takes a lot more time and expertise. Every supplier claims they are the real suppliers and provide high quality products. However, it is not possible to verify all suppliers from the thousands of options. It is important to find a trustworthy supplier who will deliver the goods on time. You need a reliable China sourcing agent that can deliver the products promptly. The Chinese purchasing agent will know what steps to take and how to get there.
It all comes together

If you are able to deal directly with the supplier then they will only take care of production and shipment. For many international buyers, this is not sufficient as there are many other things to consider. Sourcing agents provide all the services that buyers need in one place. This includes visiting the market, placing orders on your behalf and collecting the products. Custom clearance, shipping, and many other services are included. These services reduce the overall cost of the product for the buyer and help you save time.
Offers product gathering services

As a buyer it can be challenging to find the right products and ship them. You will have to spend more time gathering the products. The sourcing agents will have a wider network and can work for multiple buyers simultaneously. The sourcing agents can transport the products and arrange for their collection at a low cost. They can do multiple tasks like product gathering, warehouse, shipping, and international freight. This helps buyers tremendously. Source agents are able to ship the products quicker than other container services, even if your order is small.
Greater connection with suppliers

The sourcing agents are all from the same place so they can communicate in the local language and help you navigate the culture. You can trust them to make the connections and negotiate a good deal. Because they have a strong relationship with suppliers, they might be able offer products at a lower cost.
More Flexibility

China sourcing agents allow for greater flexibility in selecting and purchasing the product as well as receiving the product. They can tailor their services to your requirements and charge only for the portion of work. This allows you to do what you are capable of and leaves the more difficult tasks to the experts.
You should immediately spot any scams

Scams are the number one problem in international trade. Check the certificate and license of the supplier before purchasing the product. The majority of these certificates are in Chinese and therefore difficult to read. Because of their vast experience in these types jobs, they are able to easily identify authentic suppliers and assess whether the product’s authenticity.
Better Pricing

It is common for sourcing agents to charge more if they are dealing with buyers from other countries. However, it is possible to save money by using sourcing agents. After changing their commissions, experienced professionals purchase the products at a fair price and sell them on your behalf.
Reducing overall expenditure and risk

They can reduce risk by helping you to source the right sourcing agent. Because they can do many different jobs, you can feel confident that you have hired the right sourcing agent. They will take care of all your worries. It also includes quality control/reducing the risk of your product being of inferior quality.
Sourcing and procurement compliance services

Also, it is crucial to follow all applicable laws and regulations. Although you can handle the compliance for the receiving entity yourself, an expert sourcing agent is required to manage China’s compliance. Because they are all professionals, they can help you comply with all compliance standards.