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GOLD! Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.

Walter Hay

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Hi Walter, I was browsing Alibaba and notice that some of these manufacturer's profile pages there on the site have photos of themselves shaking hands and posing with their other clients. Is this a reliable factor in determining how reliable they are (e.g: it shows that they're a factory and not some middleman)?
I would not take those photos on face value. They could still be traders, visiting someone else's factory with clients.

I recall in my early days of importing being taken to more than one factory, supposedly belonging to the one company, but the Chinese names on the factory signs didn't match. Maybe one was a manufacturer, possibly even both, but they had sown the seed of doubt, so I did not deal with them.

Walter
 

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LPPC

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You can't apply for Trade Assurance after the deposit for the order has been paid.

Walter
How can that be? Trade Assurance is meant for protection after having paid for the order.

Or is it different if you place a deposit first and then the full amount after inspection? I have read the Trade Assurance rules but can not remember ever having read that. Care to point me to the relevant clause?

Thank you!
 
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Walter Hay

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Trade Assurance cover kicks in after you have paid the full amount, but you must reach agreement with the supplier before ordering otherwise you could find that they won't use Trade Assurance on that particular order.

Although they advertise that they offer that service, they are not required to do so. It's their prerogative to decide with each order.

Walter
 

LPPC

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Trade Assurance cover kicks in after you have paid the full amount, but you must reach agreement with the supplier before ordering otherwise you could find that they won't use Trade Assurance on that particular order.

Although they advertise that they offer that service, they are not required to do so. It's their prerogative to decide with each order.

Walter
Thank you very much Walter.

In that case, if I'm correct it still does not matter whether 1st inspection will be done by the cheaper inspection service or by the big 3. The reason for this is that at the moment I have paid 30% upfront on Alibaba. If I can only apply for Trade Assurance after full order has been paid, then after the inspection company rejects the batch, I would first have to pay the remaining 70% in order to be able to apply for Trade Assurance. I think it would not be wise to pay the remaining 70% if the batch is not good, just to be able to apply for Trade Assurance. In that case I would rather lose 30% than take the chance of losing another 70%, because as you said Trade Assurance is not what they promise it to be.

Just a recap, my original theory was that it would not matter whether for the first inspection of the batch you would choose the cheaper inspection company or one of the 3 big inspection companies chosen by Alibaba. Reason for this is that after the cheaper inspection company rejects the batch, I will give the supplier another chance to fix the batch and then do a second inspection. Only this second inspection should be done by one of the big 3 because this inspection report would be used to apply for Trade Assurance.

Sorry if I seem stubborn or sound like a smartass. I just like to have this figured out so that I know for all future orders which inspection company to choose.

Thank you for your time and efforts!
 

Xeon

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I have found quality of products from Vietnam is generally better than those from China. This is probably due to a different work ethic. Labor in Chinese factories has been conditioned to finish the job at a very fast rate in order to maintain profit levels for the factory owners.

Workers in Vietnamese factories that I have seen appear to have been under less stress. That might change but so far it looks good.

You will need to provide very detailed and precise specifications before you even get a quote. With the products being so fragile it is worthwhile to include packaging requirements.
From the few Vietnamese manufacturers I've contacted in the past, the general feeling I got was that all of them only take (very) high MOQs. At least with the Chinese manus, it's still possible for some of them to give a bit of leeway.

Also, regarding Chinese manus, when you get a product made there, do you ask them to sign a contract stating they cannot sell your product or counterfeit it? Does it actually help though, or is it just a waste of time and I should just let it be?

Thanks!
 

Walter Hay

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In that case, if I'm correct it still does not matter whether 1st inspection will be done by the cheaper inspection service or by the big 3. The reason for this is that at the moment I have paid 30% upfront on Alibaba. If I can only apply for Trade Assurance after full order has been paid, then after the inspection company rejects the batch, I would first have to pay the remaining 70% in order to be able to apply for Trade Assurance. I think it would not be wise to pay the remaining 70% if the batch is not good, just to be able to apply for Trade Assurance. In that case I would rather lose 30% than take the chance of losing another 70%, because as you said Trade Assurance is not what they promise it to be.
I might not have made that clear. You can apply for Trade Assurance once you have agreement from the supplier that the order will be covered by Trade Assurance. Then, when you have paid your deposit, you can make a claim if inspection shows the product to be faulty and the supplier refuses to replace or refund.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

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From the few Vietnamese manufacturers I've contacted in the past, the general feeling I got was that all of them only take (very) high MOQs. At least with the Chinese manus, it's still possible for some of them to give a bit of leeway.

Also, regarding Chinese manus, when you get a product made there, do you ask them to sign a contract stating they cannot sell your product or counterfeit it? Does it actually help though, or is it just a waste of time and I should just let it be?

Thanks!
Unfortunately, the only benefit in getting such a contract signed is that they might feel some slight pressure to abide by it.

If they think it can make them a lot of money by copying your product, chances are they will still do that.

Chinese manufacturers have signed such agreements with big brands, but there are copies everywhere. The contracted manufacturer might not be producing the fakes, but might have sold the designs or shared them with a friend in the same line of business.

Walter
 
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Tourmaline

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@Walter Hay This thread is amazing, you're really doing a lot for so many people.

I'm looking for manufacturers for my business located in Africa and South America. Searching, I have not been able to find almost any, mostly I have only come across wholesalers. Do you have any ideas of how to locate manufacturers in these regions? I know they must exist!

The only thing coming to me as searching on google and bing is not being fruitful, is to hire a local agent where the goods are being made. But I am trying to avoid going through an agent if possible.
 

LPPC

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I might not have made that clear. You can apply for Trade Assurance once you have agreement from the supplier that the order will be covered by Trade Assurance. Then, when you have paid your deposit, you can make a claim if inspection shows the product to be faulty and the supplier refuses to replace or refund.

Walter
That is indeed what I thought too. My order page with the 30% deposit also mentions that it is covered by trade assurance.

But, I still decided to go with one of the big 3 inspection companies. I thought that since inspection is so important, I might as well pay more for quality inspection. I found 1 error with the cheaper one the last time I did an inspection with them. When I got the shipment home, I found out that they answered 1 question of mine wrong. Maybe they didn't check it or did not have time to check it and just gave an answer. Might also just be human error.

Thank you so much for your support!
 

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