6 Common Problems And Challenges of Sourcing Products From China

If you’re thinking about starting an online or brick-and-mortar business, you might also be thinking about ordering the goods you need from the Chinese market. Although this particular market offers a wide array of opportunities and benefits for start-up companies, the reality is, there are some risks of choosing to source products from China.

Because of this, you might want to learn what are some of the most common problems of sourcing products from China. Luckily for all entrepreneurs that are wondering the same thing, our list below can help! Here are the six most common problems and challenges of sourcing products from China, as well as how you can avoid them:

1. Lack of Communication


One of the first mistakes that you could end up making is not communicating effectively with the sourcing company you’re thinking about working with. Because of this, you should ensure that you keep things simple and explain exactly what you want from them, which is why you must choose to communicate with one person only so that you can build a relationship with them. Though it might not be possible to meet them in person, you could, for instance, arrange a video call.

Why should you do this? Well, by arranging a video call, the company representative will be capable of putting a face to a name, and it’ll also be easier for you to explain what you require by speaking to the person directly instead of sending an email and hoping that the same person will read it every time. Also, you should always confirm what you’ve talked about in writing, especially since this will help you if any issues arise in the future.

2. Not Calculating Your Profit And Expenses Correctly

You might not realize this, but, there is more to sourcing various goods than just the expenses you’ll have to purchase them. What does this mean? Well, it means that you must also think about the landing price. The landing price is basically the cost of a particular product in our local currency once it arrives in your country. This, of course, includes the cost of it, as well as a few other ones including the shipping expenses, duty rate which will be charged on the goods, and the VAT amount owned.

But, besides these basic things, you must also think about where you’ll store the goods once they arrive, as well as how you’ll get them to the storing unit. Also, you’ll have to consider the platform you’ll be marketing and selling your products on, which means that there is a wide range of things to consider and do before you can actually make a profit. Hence, you should factor in all of these things and determine what your expenses and profits will be.

3. Not Using a Sourcing Agent


If there is one thing that you should take away from our article, it’s the fact that you should use a China sourcing agent such as the ones employed by What can these agents help with? It’s simple, they can help you lower the expenses you’ll have, they’ll be able to provide you with exact warehouse charges, and more importantly, they’ll know how to ship the products to you at the best and most affordable price.

4. Not Verifying The Suppliers


When you, for example, purchase appliances online, it’s highly possible that you read the reviews from other consumers and that you compare different brands so that you can find the best one for yourself. The same needs to be done when choosing a sourcing company for your business. After all, you’ll want to ensure that you get the best deals possible, but you’ll also want the delivery to be on time and that the items you receive are as shown on the website of the supplier.

Because of this, some of the most important tasks that you must do is to find various suppliers online, verify that they’re legit and that they actually have clients, as well as learn what payment gateways and options they offer to their clients. Additionally, don’t neglect to check the testimonials and reviews left by previous consumers, mostly because this will tell you whether or not you should do business with them.

5. Not Getting Anything in Writing

If you truly want to protect the investment you’ll be making, you must ensure that you get a written statement from the Chinese supplier you’re thinking about working with. Now, it might not be possible for you to get a contract, however, if you, for example, speak to the person over a video call, you should send them an email with all the things you’ve arranged and talked about, and ask them to confirm it.

Why should you do this? Well, by doing so, you’ll have the exact terms of the agreement – such as the product quantity, expenses, shipment & payment options, and so on – thus, if you have any issues in the future, you’ll have the agreement in writing, which is something that’ll, of course, help you protect your investment. Hence, don’t neglect to do this, especially since it can save you from losing a lot of money.

6. Not Knowing Your Product Options


Besides checking the suppliers you can choose to work with, you should also ensure that you know which products you can opt for. There is a wide range of online sourcing companies that offer the same products, but for a different price, thus, you should do some digging and determine which goods and rates are the best for you. Again, don’t forget to check the product reviews since they can reveal whether they’re worth investing in.


Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or if you already have one that you want to expand, sourcing products from China might be the best thing you can do. However, to ensure that you’re successful, you must try and avoid all of the mistakes we’ve mentioned above, and if not, you could end up losing more money than you initially planned.

Since you now know what are some of the top mistakes that you could make – as well as what you can do to avoid making them – you shouldn’t lose any more time reading articles similar to this one. Instead, you should start researching all the different sourcing suppliers, so that you can choose one that suits your needs and requirements best.

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