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The Process of Sampling in China

The Process of Sampling in ChinaOne of the most necessary, yet one of the trickiest aspects of importing, is making sure you get exactly what you want.  Miscommunications and other aspects of the trade can sometimes make this difficult.  In order to assure the product being made is what you want, before you waste a lot of money, is to request a sample from a supplier.  You need to be sure the product meets all of your specifications and is the quality you want.   This can be a difficult process especially for beginners in the import business.  Here are some things to consider that will help you get a good sample and find the best supplier for your needs.

  • Preparation:  Decide what you need a sample of.  If it is an original design, you should produce an exact prototype through a domestic source.  Domestic preparation of the prototype helps in these ways:
    • You will have greater control over the process and increase your chances of getting exactly what you want.
    • You avoid miscommunication problems for those reading your specifications.
    • It’s less expensive, because there are no freight or other added costs.
  • If you feel you should break the prototype down to its basic components, do it.  You can send the prototype directly to the manufacturer when you’re ready.

  • Selecting the manufacturer/supplier:  You’ll want to contact as many suppliers who do business in category and can meet your needs as possible.  An import sourcing company can help with this step.  A sourcing company can help you overcome language barriers and work with you while you are getting to know the manufacturers.

    After you’ve selected all those you feel can handle your needs, narrow the list to a short list of about six different suppliers.  Send a request for samples from the top three of them.  This will give you an idea of:

    • How quickly they respond to your request
    • The quality of the sample they send
    • How eager they are for your business
    • How well you can work with each other

    Since most suppliers charge a fee to prepare a sample, this stage can become costly.  This fee correlates to:

    • The uniqueness of your request T
    • Their costs in making the sample
    • The availability of materials needed to produce the sample including:  custom molds, requiring a certain Pantone Color code, the equipment the manufacture has, and the amount of time it takes to prepare the sample for you. 

    You’ll need to maintain good communication with each of the suppliers to get a high-quality comparison.

  • Sample making agreement:This document that consists of:
    • A comprehensive description of your product
    • The quantity of samples to be supplied to you
    • The cost of the sample-making
    • Shipping agreements or anything else relating to the manufacture of your product. 

    This document will aid in protecting both you and the possible manufacturers.  It does this by specifying the responsibilities each of the parties, and includes shipping, related costs, and the time frame.  It increases understanding between you and the manufacturer.

Choosing the right supplier is imperative!  You want to insure the end-product quality is exactly what you want.  That’s why good communication is needed with the supplier.  In the end, you’ll get the product you want at a price that will help you make a profit.  Since you need to find the right supplier, the sample product will give you an excellent idea of each supplier’s capabilities, and help you make the best decision for your business.

 

 
 
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