8 Questions to Ask When Sourcing from China

by swinxpress
Sourcing from China

Do you want to make sure that the product you order from China will be of high quality and free of defects? It’s important to ensure quality control when outsourcing, especially if you want to keep your customers happy and coming back for more. Make sure that you are asking the right questions before finalizing your order so that the product will come out exactly how you envisioned it.

1) Will you visit my factory?

One of your biggest concerns is likely that a manufacturer is misrepresenting its facilities, but you can learn a lot by taking an in-person tour. If you’re not comfortable visiting yourself, consider working with a sourcing agent who can inspect on your behalf. Regardless of how or when you visit, it’s important to ask specific questions and conduct due diligence during factory audits and pre-shipment inspections.

2) What are your payment terms?

If you’re thinking about taking a long-term relationship with your supplier, then establishing payment terms is a key step in that process. Your supplier may have their own policies, but it’s worth making sure they cover standard practices like paying net-30 or even net-60. What happens if they don’t pay within 60 days? Is there a penalty fee? Who pays for shipping delays?

3) What happens when there is a quality issue with the order?

It’s crucial that you pay attention to factory audit and pre shipment inspection during your sourcing process. This step is where problems are addressed before they get out of hand, so if you discover an issue, it can be solved by working with your supplier. This can save time and money for both parties in preventing a major problem down the road.

4) How can I ensure I get paid on time?

To ensure you receive your payment in a timely manner, it’s best practice to require an advanced deposit. This can protect you both financially and logistically; while you may need money to conduct your factory audit and pre-shipment inspection, you certainly don’t want to fork over a lump sum before receiving your goods.

5) Can you help me inspect my goods at the port?

The best way to avoid quality issues is by making sure you receive exactly what you asked for. Before your goods are even shipped, ask your supplier if they can provide a factory audit or pre-shipment inspection. An audit is an independent quality check of your goods, while a pre-shipment inspection is performed once your goods have already arrived at port and are ready for distribution.

6) Do you have QC in the house?

In most cases you will need a QC department in your factory that can provide a pre-shipment inspection. If you don’t have one, one is included in every order we source for our clients at no extra cost. Contact us for more information about quality control services China when sourcing products from China.

7) How do you ship my goods?

Chinese suppliers differ on how they handle shipping. Some are set up to handle international shipments directly, while others will ship goods directly through a freight forwarder, who takes care of all of your customs and paperwork. To avoid last-minute complications with your shipment, be sure you understand how your supplier plans to get your goods across borders. Then work with them (or a third party) early on in the process for an effective pre-shipment inspection.

8) Do you offer any guarantee on products?

Although many companies offer a warranty, it’s important to ask if you can have products inspected before shipping. If your supplier has no pre-shipment inspection procedure in place or doesn’t agree to perform one for you, then it may be time to find a new supplier. The inspection should include quality control checks on all raw materials, as well as final product samples that they send over.


In conclusion, importing from China can be a profitable venture but only if you know what you’re doing. If there are problems with your product once it arrives in the country, it’s likely that you won’t be able to fix them yourself and will have to pay for new product(s) as well as any damages incurred by freight. To avoid these costly issues, we recommend finding a reputable supplier who offers pre-shipment inspection services.

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