4 Reasons Why Engaging a Furniture Sourcing Agent is Better Than Online B2B Platforms
With the rapid growth of the Internet, searching for a China furniture supplier directly on B2B online platforms is one of the most common ways for a furniture business outside China to source their furniture from China. But is this really the best way to find a supplier for your business? Not really. A better way is to engage a professional sourcing agent that will give quality advice and assistance on every single aspects in the process of supplier sourcing.
Below we are going to explore 4 reasons why engaging a professional sourcing agent can be a better option than sourcing from online B2B platforms.
1. They handle all your communications and save your time
When you are sourcing through an online B2B platform, you are dealing with multiple representatives from multiple furniture suppliers in China, all at the same time. This process is very tedious, time-consuming and inefficient. You could have channeled these valuable time and energy into other more important part of your business, such as your sales activities. A solution for this inefficiency is to engage a sourcing agent who can handle all communication and consolidate all information for you to make an effective decision. A furniture sourcing agent is essentially your personal sourcing adviser and assistant, who helps you throughout the whole furniture sourcing process, from the initial stage of selecting the best supplier for you, right to the very end when you receive your furniture.
Furthermore, the issue of a communication barrier is inevitable when dealing with a China counterpart. This is a very important aspect when you are trying to source your furniture from China as the slightest miscommunication might lead to a situation whereby furniture is manufactured to the wrong specifications. A good sourcing agent eliminates all that risk by conducting effective discussions with the suppliers on your behalf.
2. They are experts in the furniture industry
On B2B platform, the sheer amount of companies, each with their own differing offers in terms of materials, shape, and sizes, can be overwhelming to you. It is hard for you to identify a suitable supplier that can fulfill your needs on every aspect, including price, quantity, and quality. When you wholesale furniture from China, you need to be absolutely certain about the quality of the furniture purchased as the quantity involved is large. Furniture from different furniture suppliers may or may not meet your requirements.
Furniture sourcing agents mitigate this risk and expedite the selection process with their familiarity with the China furniture market. They can quickly recommend suppliers that are best suited for your requirements, with an optimal level of pricing and quality. With their specialized knowledge on the furniture industry, they can even conduct discussions that involved specialized information on your behalf. They understand the products offered by different furniture suppliers and their respective manufacturing capability to ensure that the factory can fulfill your order quantity. Therefore, a good sourcing agent will make the process of sourcing from China a much easier task, as compared to using a B2B platform.
3.They are familiar with the China market
The business norms and regulations in China can be very different than those of other countries. When you deal directly with a furniture supplier in China through B2B platform, a difference in culture or expectations might lead to conflicts. Wholesale of furniture involves the delivery of large and heavy objects, which might subject to a long list of regulations before they are cleared to be shipped out of the country. If regulatory problem arises, some smaller suppliers might not have the resources or manpower to help you resolve the issue in a timely manner. Having a sourcing agent to give you relevant advise regarding the business cultures of China can be highly beneficial.
Another risk that exist when sourcing is that, the reliability or legitimacy of the furniture supplier might be questionable. Although B2B platforms do perform verification on the entities, nothing beats an “insider information” from the local sourcing agent regarding the reliability of certain suppliers. For example, a bad reputation of a furniture supplier might not be reflected on the B2B platform.
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4.They can help you monitor the whole process
The purchasing process involves a long period of time, the full cycle of selection, confirmation, production, and delivery might take weeks or months to complete. Yes, you might have visited your supplier’s factory during the early stages, but later on you might not want to have frequent visits just to check on the production. In this case, the sourcing agent act as a local independent party to help you monitor the progress in China, while you are away at the other side of the world. For example, periodical visits to the supplier’s factory in order to supervise the production and for quality inspection purposes. It is important to have someone local who can check and confirm something in a timely manner during the different stages of the production. This is something that a B2B platform cannot offer.
Although B2B platforms offer comparisons between different furniture suppliers, they are unable to give industry-specific advice. This is where sourcing agent comes in, they give valuable advice in accordance to your specific requirements that can help you to make an informed decision.
Not only does your sourcing agent helps you to supervise the production, they also ensure a smooth delivery process by making sure all the relevant documents and regulation are fulfilled.
A valuable investment over the long-term
Furniture businesses all over the world are sourcing their products from China. Many prefer to wholesale furniture from China due to their manufacturing capability and affordability as compared to other parts of the world.
With the list of reasons stated above, I am sure you now realize that a sourcing agent is your business partner. They give you support and advice that B2B platforms cannot offer. Therefore, choosing a knowledgeable agent with a reasonable fee that you are comfortable with is crucial in your search for the perfect furniture supplier in China.
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