How to tell a factory from a trading company? Four quick ways to spot middlemen from real manufacturers

How can you tell a Chinese factory from a trading company?  Often times when sourcing for a product from China using Alibaba, you’re not sure if the supplier is a middleman or a manufacturer.  For example one of my readers had this question:

“We have found a product and ready to place a order. But before that, we are dealing with a supplier and we are not sure if the supplier is just a “Trading Company” or a manufacturer.  More...

2017 Predictions – The Trump effect on China trade, Rising material and labor costs, and Currency depreciation (or manipulation?)

As we turn the calendar page to 2017, now is a good time to review the forecast from China from a sourcing perspective.  Here what we are seeing on the ground in Shanghai.

UNPREDICTABLE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

One of the biggest changes in 2017 is the impact of the incoming Trump administration.  If we look at the series of events involving China leading up to his inauguration, the relationship is off to a rocky start.… More...

As we turn the calendar page to 2017, now is a good time to review the forecast from China from a sourcing perspective.  Here what we are seeing on the ground in Shanghai.

UNPREDICTABLE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

One of the biggest changes in 2017 is the impact of the incoming Trump administration.  If we look at the series of events involving China leading up to his inauguration, the relationship is off to a rocky start.… More...

Is your supplier asking you to transfer money to a personal account in China – RED FLAG

When making a payment to a Chinese supplier for the first time, you probably are at least a little concerned about getting scammed.  There are a number of ways that you can reduce this risk when making payments which I’ve written about here.

But I’d like to highlight one major red flag which is wiring money to a PERSONAL account.  … More...

2017 Chinese Holiday Schedule

China has just released the dates of the official holidays observed in 2017.  Here’s a calendar so you can plan ahead!

The two longest holidays are Chinese New Year, where businesses may be closed up to ONE MONTH (though the “official” holiday is only one week), and National Day in October where businesses are closed for a week.… More...

China has just released the dates of the official holidays observed in 2017.  Here’s a calendar so you can plan ahead!

The two longest holidays are Chinese New Year, where businesses may be closed up to ONE MONTH (though the “official” holiday is only one week), and National Day in October where businesses are closed for a week.… More...

Shipping by air? Two weeks before Christmas, Fedex’s International Economy sadly offers a TWENTY (20) day delivery lead time

Hatchimals, this year’s “Furby”, are one of the hottest selling toys of the year.  They are sold out everywhere, going for 2x retail on eBay, and the manufacturer, or actually the private label owner, cannot keep up with demand.  So what do they do?

Instead of shipping by sea like they normally do, they are resorting to expensive air freight to desperately try to get them on store shelves in time for Christmas.  … More...

Chinese New Year Sourcing Best Practices from China

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the biggest holiday of the year in China.  If you are an Amazon seller or importer and source from China, then this time of year can be a huge headache because Chinese factories will shut down anywhere from two weeks to a month.  I’d like to share two stories with you of what can happen and what you can do to minimize the disruption to your shipments.… More...

Why do factories charge significantly more for product samples than FOB quotations?

Why are factory samples more expensive than their FOB quotations?  If they quoted me $5.00 FOB then why is the sample fee $50?  While you may think that they are trying to rip you off, there are a couple of reasons behind this:

  • Higher labor and handling fees to make one unit and prepare it for shipment vs economies of scale for a large order
  • Quick way to filter out the non-serious buyers – 80/20 rule
  • Company policies
$5.00 FOB but $50 Sample Fee!
$5.00 FOB but $50 Sample Fee!
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Went to the Canton Fair? How to follow up with suppliers AFTER the trade show so you don’t waste your trip

It’s trade show season and some of you may have went to the Canton Fair or one of the trade shows in Hong Kong.  So you met up with potential suppliers for your product at the fair but now what?

Did you know that many online sellers go to trade shows and meet a supplier that they have a “good feeling” with.  … More...

Heads up – Weeklong National Holiday in China from Oct 1-7, 2016… Expect delays

Heads up – there is a weeklong holiday in China coming up from Oct 1st to 7th. The National Day or Golden Week holiday in China is the second longest holiday after Chinese New Year.  How does this affect you?

  • Factories may be closed a portion of or up to the entire SEVEN DAYS
  • Logistics providers such as freight forwarders, trucking companies, and the Port may be affected as well

TAKEAWAY: Often times suppliers will “forget” to tell you about holidays in advance.  

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Shipping by sea? Your ocean freight costs may go up by 50% as 45 ships are stranded with over half a million containers as one of the largest shipping companies just filed for bankruptcy

Breaking news!  Hanjin, one of the world’s largest shipping company’s has just filed for bankruptcy protection.  Apparently they ran into financial troubles.  But the key point is this.

45 of their ships are “stranded at sea”.  Ports are not willing to let their ships dock because of their financial uncertainty.  As a result over 500,000 containers are in limbo now.  More...