1. Sourcing completely through phone, email, and web search.
This is probably the riskiest way to source, but I am familiar with many people who source this way. Typically these are people with limited resources, but still want to get a product business started. (Sourcing from China) The best way for these people to source is the following:
Find Suppliers: Look through the big platforms such as Alibaba, Manufacturers, Suppliers & Products in China, and Global Sources and start to connect with the suppliers that supply the product that they are looking for. Contact many suppliers and see if they can meet the product and price requirements. Narrow down the suppliers to 2-3 potential suppliers. (Sourcing from China)
Buy Samples: Order samples from the 2-3 suppliers that have been chosen. Have the supplier ship the samples to your house or office for evaluation. Try to make sure that the supplier will send the desired packaging with the products so that you can evaluate both at the same time.
Provide instructions for modification: If you would like to modify or improve the product then provide the details to the supplier on what you would like changed. (Sourcing from China) Work with your chosen supplier to finalize design.
Order final production samples: Have the supplier make a final product sample of what they will manufacture for you during batch production.
Approve the final sample and issue a purchase order (PO): Approve the final sample and issue a PO to the supplier. Most common payment terms are 30% paid up front to the supplier and 70% when the Bill of Lading is released.
(Sourcing from China) Ship your goods: Choose a Freight Forwarder to help you ship your goods from China to your home country.
This is the simplest and most cost effective way to manufacture goods without going to China, but this method will sometimes but now always create the following problems for importers:
Communication problems: When discussing a more complicated product sometimes it is difficult to convey your message to the factory. Sometimes the factories English ability is less than perfect and things get lost in translation.
(Sourcing from China) Trust problems: Is the person you are talking to over the internet really the factory? This is hard to tell when you are just having phone and email conversations.
Quality problems: Although the samples that you received looked good, it still doesn’t mean that the final batch production order is of the same high quality.