The market in China is similar to Google’s search. It can give you everything. From every item, you can think of, through every possible raw material, to the top hi-tech solutions. Depending on how accurate your query is, there are as many quality solutions you can find.
After a number of years of doing business with China, especially in the outsourcing segment, several important lessons have emerged, which, like in every business, boil down to the SMART strategy.
S – SPECIFIC or Be clear with what you are looking for
M – MEASURABLE or Why quantities dictate the result?
A – ACHIEVABLE or What is actually impossible in China?
R – REALISTIC or Open your mind but make a budget
T – TIMELY or Why Time in China Eats Out Orders?
So let’s start!
S – SPECIFIC Be clear with what you are looking for
First, clearly define the specifications you expect from the goods you want. Functionality, performance, brand, price, adaptability or whatever is relevant to your procurement. It sounds banal, but it proves not to be the case, especially for people who don’t do business with China often enough. The size of this market, the dynamics, and the economy, which is more marketable in some parts than they might wish to admit, can be almost incomprehensible, so it is not uncommon for expectations and experiences to be at odds.
China, like Google, will offer everything you ask for. Again, the difference is what you will pick up out of that search. Yes, we all heard of it. China is El Dorado for goods of questionable quality, everything cheap is bad, and will fall apart after two days. Well, not really. China can be also that, but but also so much more. Just as you will find something that will fall apart in two days, you will also find goods that will leave you and your clients amazed with both price and quality. So keep a close eye on the requirements you set in front of suppliers. It is not only China that is good for bad goods and bad for good, but it is also a matter of requirements and expectations.
M – MEASURABLE Why quantities dictate the result
Factories in China produce quantities that may be several zeros above we are used to. Quantities dictate not only the price but also the quality you get. When negotiating procurement, consider this factor as well, since for some quantities you will not be able to reach an agreement at all if they are too small, while for some you will not only reach an agreement but will also significantly lower the price.
For example, when purchasing textile materials for our customers in Europe, for quantities exceeding 1000 or 5000 pieces, we get not only a discount but also the opportunity for our customers to brand the samples they have ordered for free. Whether it is microfiber clothes, towels or other textiles.
A – ACHIEVABLE Which is actually impossible in China
It will sound like an “overkill” but nothing really! As long as you know what you are looking for when you remain precise and patient enough. Remember Google 😊
R – REALISTIC Open your mind, but make a budget
Before you go looking for merchandise, think about how much you are willing to pay for what kind of goods and make a clear budget. The reason is simple. China will adjust to the budget, but you may not be flexible enough to adjust to what you get for that budget. There is everything for everyone in the Chinese market, just decide through the previous steps what you actually want and how much you are willing to pay.
T – TIMELY Why Time in China ”Eats” Orders
In the end, we’re going to be a little brutal. Why time eats your order is simple, because China doesn’t care about your order. If it is large enough and significant, of course, the time factor ceases to matter, however, if it is not, within 3 days your great offer may evaporate as if it had never been there. Conditions change, prices are dictated by market power and demand that China doesn’t lack. So, before you start purchasing, make sure you have a market and that you are a serious buyer. Because China loves serious buyers.
Years of business here, have led us to learn some lessons faster and some more slowly, but each has been golden. Now we can use our experience to help our clients in their own ventures. Quality control, proven partners, legal support, and a team of people who take care of our clients’ requirements, from market research to final product quality checks, are valuable resources that experience has brought us.
And was it worth it? The answer as big as the Shanghai Tower is – YES!