It’s not simple, or is it?
It would have been glorious to ask about finding a factory in China, but we stop ourselves from posting a question that hasn’t been gratifying to the best of its terms.
The perception of dealing with “dubious entities” has hiked in the last few years. Why is that? Well, the importers seek real manufacturers and not some sort of brokerage company or middlemen or similar people. Unfortunately, the internet also hasn’t been helpful enough via forums or social networking sites (Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn) in providing even remotely accurate answers.
What really makes it hard to find these manufacturing factories?
Random answers are presented on the forums, but with a lackadaisical approach that is neither conclusive nor productive. We have noticed the trends and presenting a view in the following post that may provide some help.
Read on to know more…
1. Unusual products that big factories won’t produce and small factories that aren’t getting enough publicity in the industry
Despite having a great exposure and international linking, some “big” factories don’t produce the uncommon products that people aren’t generally accustomed to.
If you want the manufacturing of an “unusual” or “uncommon” product, then you need to search in the right areas instead of the big areas. Practically, the small factories are the ones which produce eccentric products. Big factories prefer manufacturing common products. For example, you can search Google and Alibaba to find T-shirt suppliers in plenty. Now, search for a “self-stirring mug” and you will find a less than a handful of trading companies, not factories. Only small factories with a lean staff manufacture these products.
The reasons for not finding factories continues in the next few points.
2. Language barriers create major problems in communications
Be it America, Spanish or any other importer from a foreign nation, they have the flexibility to pick an agent for China product sourcing via internet sources. Mainly, Google and Alibaba connect suppliers with importers due to the B2B platform. It is possible when there isn’t any language barrier. Communications work speedily when the channels are same or similar to a certain extent, but not more than that.
On the other hand, the factories that aren’t able to furnish their product information in English would have the rare chance of finding an audience with the foreign importers. When a barrier is hit due to language, the communications would suffer instantly. Since small-scale Chinese factories spend most of their trade with domestic companies, they don’t find any reason of having an English sales team at all. Moreover, it would add more costs to their business. If they are easily found in domestic companies to trade with, why would they even bother about foreign importers?
3. Online marketing… What?
Yes, that would be the answer from a good majority of them. Online marketing is an umbrella term for many of the activities performed on the internet to get a good online exposure or visibility. Though some factories are Alibaba Members, they don’t apply too much in the areas of online marketing, whether it’s Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization or Social Media Optimization. In fact, the trading companies know a lot better than them and have the capability of getting access to the foreign importers.
The trading companies have notched several deals via English searches by importers due to these reasons. As of now, the factories that have an English web portal and does online marketing has more potential in driving the traffic of importers. Some small-scale factories may have opened profiles with Alibaba, but their not-so-interactive facet might have displeased importers. Considering you are importer yourself, we request you to check for the suppliers on Alibaba that aren’t fast with communication, but maybe they are offering manufacturing services.
4. Patent/Copyright issues, Secrecy and more
The entire world acknowledges Made in China products. And they also know some other aspects of it. Yes, we are discussing the duplicate products that Chinese factories are quick to manufacture, especially considering the popularity of the segment. Basically, the electronics department gains from it. But, there are more products, such as toothbrush, toys, and others that are manufactured and sold at a cheap price. The intriguing part here is, some of the importers aren’t able to distinguish between the original and duplicate.
The factories that produce these copycat products refrain themselves from gaining publicity in the light of patent or copyright issue. Mostly, they prefer working with trading companies than going out with the importers. They would literally violate their code of conduct of “secrecy” if they entertain importers directly. Therefore, the importers will have to communicate the trading companies for business because there’s a rare chance to find the real factories on their own. It is quite likely that a reliable China sourcing company would help overseas buyers in finding products from trustworthy manufacturers.
At a point of time when importers want to engage with factories directly, but don’t find anyone except the middlemen and trading companies, it is better to find the suppliers – the reliable ones. The scenario isn’t suggestive enough to say that foreign importers can seek products from the factories in any straight way. Running a comparison among suppliers has a fair chance at generating quality results. Besides, overseas buyers can check for trade fairs, such as Global Sources Fair, Canton Fair, and others to discover the factories of China.
If you have a product idea and want to find a reliable manufacturer, here's another article for you: How to Find a Manufacturer for Your Product Idea.
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