From China – Trading With the Far East

It’s a well-known fact that more and more people are ordering goods from China. High levels of production and low wages mean there are cost benefits to be had for most companies in most industries. However, there are positives and negatives to most things in business, and ordering from China is no exception.

To ensure a successful and secure order process there are several things to consider. Whether ordering as a business or as an end-user, the following steps and considerations will help you avoid the mistakes others have made before you.

Establishing contacts and building relationships As with everything in life establishing a relationship and trust with someone can be the key to success. Here is more info regarding shanghai china business stop by our website. Trust your supplier – while you may be able to find cheaper prices from an unknown manufacturer there are risks and scams that can be avoided by having a source you know well.
It’s all about ‘mutual trust’ – Working with the same factory regularly will result in a good understanding of each others wants and needs.

Inevitably there can be frustrations and disappointments when having any bespoke product manufactured. Often, the product your customer receives may not be exactly what they expected. Producing goods doesn’t always go smoothly and frustrations can be heightened when you’re not able to pop into the factory and see what’s going on. Having the right source in China and building a relationship with them can dramatically reduce the risks involved. In fact it’s vital.

Communication Breakdown

There are several factors here that may seem simple and obvious but can often be over looked.

Time Zone – China has a time zone of GMT +8 hours

Contact with China during UK working hours can be very limited. This can be a problem and it might seem unprofessional if you can’t answer your client’s questions until the following day.

Language Barrier

English is a very colloquial language and it’s easy to confuse suppliers by not being clear enough with your instructions. If you have to wait until the following day to get answers to your questions, make sure you get all the information right first time around – otherwise you’ll face further delays.

ProductionUnderstand the manufacturing process Just because you’re not making the product d oesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what’s going on. If it’s metal, is it stamped? Is it moulded? Is it laser cut? Good knowledge of the production processes being used could help you get things right first time.

Lead Times and Turnaround

It can often be difficult to confirm exact lead times and dispatch dates from Chinese suppliers. Anticipate this. If you can’t provide a reliable service it doesn’t matter how cheaply you source goods, your customers won’t come back.


Tax and import duty can dramatically increase the cost of your order. Tax varies greatly depending on the product and material. HM Revenue and Customs website provides great help and guidelines on this.

Things to consider

Business will always be business and making a profit is a vital part of that. However it’s surely important to take into account questions of morality and sustainability of business ventures. The use of child labour, poor working conditions and bad environmental practices can be a fact of life in China. It is your responsibility to check it’s not happening in your factory. Global warming is happening and having a global economy is certainly not helping. Perhaps schemes such as the ‘Planet Alliance of Businesses’ will help to redress the balance.

For now though, it’s worth remembering that doing business with China can provide an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to compete with the buying power of business giants. This in itself must surely be of benefit to our home economy.

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