Yiwu is a large country-style city in the central Zhejiang Province, East China. The city is a habitat for over 1.3 million people and is known for its trading capacities. Yiwu has developed a market that deals with small commodity businesses; the market has been named the “largest small commodity market worldwide by United Nations and World bank.
The marketplace benefits from its location, the Province of Zhejiang, which is responsible for 12 percent of China’s international trade. Since Yiwu market has a cluster of markets, it deals with all sorts of products such as jewelry, flowers, cosmetics, Textile, sportswear, and many other products from different categories.
This article aims to familiarize the reader with the concept of a sourcing agent, the need to hire one, and all the details related to sourcing agents in Yiwu.
1. What Do Sourcing Agents Do?
Many international buyers look forward to purchasing/importing goods or raw materials from cost-effective countries such as China, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, but there is not adequate information regarding suppliers based in these countries.
A sourcing agent or company would help a buyer locate the supplier in a cost-effective country and seal the deal. This practice would help the buyers/importers focus on other business activities without fretting about the sourcing problems.
Predominantly, a sourcing agent works as an intermediary between the importer and exporter. The importer needs to purchase goods from an international market while an exporter hopes to sell his offerings. With the help of a sourcing agent, the buyer can locate just the right kind of seller, and both parties can synergize.
These sourcing agents or companies must be based in the country of the manufacturer so that they can assess the effectiveness closely and know the native language to deal with language barriers.
2. Types of Sourcing Agents in Yiwu
· Independent sourcing agents
An independent sourcing agent works alone or with the support of 1 or 2 employees but is not backed by a big company. Since an independent sourcing agent in Yiwu works alone, he may have a small set-up of office or a website to reach clients.
Hiring an independent sourcing agent can have both positive and negative aspects. They may be more cost-effective than hiring a company, but at the same time, there are more chances of frauds or scams while working with an independent person because of a lack of information.
These sourcing agents can be hired through platforms such as fiver, truelancer, upwork, or even at international tradeshows etc.
· Sourcing Agencies
A sourcing agency, also called a sourcing company, may have a proper company set-up with several sourcing agents to assist the buyers with their services.
The benefit of hiring a sourcing agency is that they have a proper setup and a stronger network than independent agents, but they tend to charge more in return.
· Full Service Sourcing Companies
These are huge sourcing companies that will assist you through the entire process of logistics. The company has a huge network and all the services that a client may need such as quality control, manufacturing, shipping, distribution can be managed in-house.
3. How to Differentiate a Good Yiwu Sourcing Agent and a Bad One
The following table aims to set good Yiwu sourcing agents aside from the bad ones as a heads-up for the readers.
|Qualities of Good sourcing agents||Shortcomings of a Bad sourcing agent|
A good sourcing agent has good linguistic skills and speaks the native language of the country you are sourcing products from; because the agent is an intermediary.A good sourcing agent must have a license for the services they are providing along with experience in the field. A good agent usually has a vast network enabling him to find a supplier for his client in time effectively.
A bad sourcing agent is unlikely to have good communication skills. The job of an agent involves carrying out conversations swiftly and avoids miscommunication, but if your sourcing agent does not possess the quality, you must re-hire. A bad sourcing may neither have a license for the services they are providing nor relevant skills and experience in the field. A bad sourcing agent may be lousy and take longer time in finding a supplier which would ultimately impact a buyer negatively.
4. List of 10 Yiwu Sourcing Agents
1. Ejet Sourcing Company
This sourcing company was founded in 2005 and helps people to source products from China. The services they provide include: quality control, Logistics, procurement, customized packaging, and consultancy.
2. Jingsourcing Company
This is the best sourcing agency/company in Yiwu that would assist you to locate reliable suppliers that are cost-effective. The services they provide are: quality assurance, manufacturing, Photography for e-commerce product marketing, logistics, warehousing, and home deliveries.
3. Amanda Intl Group
Compared to many other sourcing companies in Yiwu, this one is a smaller entity with 10 years of experience; therefore the services they provide are reasonable as well. They offer the services of transportation, quality assurance, and sourcing suppliers and manufacturers etc.
4. Goodcantrading Company
The sourcing company is based in Yiwu city. The services they provide are: quality assurance, procurement, shipping and transportation, and product sourcing.
5. Union Service Agent
It is one of the members of Sellers union groups. The services they provide include customs clearance services, quality assurance, logistics, insurance on goods etc.
6. Yiwu Hopeful Company
This Company works mostly for small businesses, aiming to assist them in improvising their online business services. The services they provide are: International shipping, customs warehousing, product sourcing etc.
7. Yiwu Market Guide Agent
The Company is located in Yiwu city, and provides basic services such as product sourcing, quality control, and shipping solutions.
8. Top Ease Sourcing Agent
The Company was founded in 2014 and deals with basic products such as kitchenware, cosmetics, toys, clothes etc. The sourcing company provides following services: customization, business consultation, insurance, shipping solutions and the like.
9. KMH Promo Company
KMH sourcing company has 2 offices in China one of which is in Yiwu. The company aims to be the eyes and ears of a buyer/exporter in China and help the buyer in locating the right kind of supplier.
Their focus is to make the client’s company more competitive in the online market by delivering services such as online order tracking, warehouses, and quick shipping services.
10. YaChina sourcing agent
This Company was established in 2000, making it one of the most experienced sourcing agent in Yiwu city. The services they provide are pretty basic such as product sourcing, customization, manufacturing, shipping solutions, and consultation.
5. Why Do You Need a Yiwu Sourcing Agent?
A lot of people who are looking forward to importing products from China may find the entire process cumbersome because they do not know the correct procedure to approach an importer/supplier.
Also, the Yiwu market is a diverse platform with many suppliers resulting in frauds, scams, and unjustified prices. In the lieu of such technicalities hiring a sourcing agent in Yiwu is a buyer’s best bet.
A sourcing agent based in Yiwu would help an importer to locate a supplier with the least amount of effort. The benefit of this would be that the sourcing agent will perform the major chunk of activities in the meantime; the business can focus on other pressing issues.
Moreover, sourcing agents do not only provide the usual product sourcing services but also render other services such as procurement, shipping, hotel booking services, and quality control.
6. What Services Do Yiwu sourcing Agents Offer?
Following are the different types of services that Yiwu sourcing agents provide to their customers:
- Sourcing agents would help you to locate suppliers in China that are cost effective to the international buyers.
- They also assess the quality of products with the help of quality control system. This also involves marketing the products as honestly as possible and with least amount of editing and effects that may deceive a buyer.
- Yiwu sourcing agents also provide translators to the buyers on their visit to markets so that the communication can be smooth.
- Sourcing agents such as EJET also provide warehousing services. Warehousing is a part of logistics and it is very important for the business as it may reduce the lead time and increase efficiency.
- Sourcing agents also provide services of shipping goods to the host country for the ease of the buyer/exporter.
7. How Much Is the Commission for a Sourcing Agent in Yiwu?
Many sourcing agents in Yiwu charge a commission as low as 1% which means if a buyer is purchasing a container of goods worth 1000 USD, the commission paid to the supplier is 100 USD.
The commission of a Yiwu sourcing agent may seem to be very low, but they also earn through other ways to make more money. For instance, many agents quote 5-10% more prices of goods to their buyers than the actual price quoted by the exporter/seller.
Agents that do not charge commission have other payment methods such as hourly or monthly rates, fixed fee per project, free quote and other commission rate models.
8. Do Yiwu Sourcing Agents Check Quality as Well?
YES, the sourcing agents make sure the quality of the products is up to the mark. At the beginning of the contract, when the sourcing agents find a supplier, they send a physical sample of the goods to the buyer to receive confirmation.
Similarly, when the products are shipped to the host country, each package has a sticker of ‘very fragile’ to ensure that the products are handled with care.
9. Can Yiwu Sourcing Agents Repack Products?
Many Yiwu agents provide Amazon package repacking services to the buyers. Accustomed to saving time and money on packaging, many suppliers tend to ignore the importance of good packaging of products.
To avoid any product breakage many agents also provide customized packaging services that would suit the nature of different types of products.
10. What Are Some Drawbacks and Risks When Dealing with Sourcing Agent in Yiwu?
- While hiring sourcing agent for your company you may come across many agents who may deceive you or commit frauds.
- Similarly, some agents may accept bribes from suppliers and in exchange the agent will choose that supplier over other suppliers in the field irrespective of quality. In such a case the buyer may receive below average quality goods and poor service.
- When a company hires an agent it may expect that one agent to deal with all affairs in the host country where the exported goods are coming from. In such a scenario, two problems may occur;
- Firstly, the buyer now fully depends on the agent
- Secondly, the agent may not have experience of purchasing a certain type of product that the buyer requires which may result in glitches.
11. Do Yiwu Sourcing Agents Help with Negotiation as Well?
YES, the sourcing agents in Yiwu help their clients with negotiations as well. As discussed earlier throughout the article that the responsibilities of a sourcing agent go beyond just finding the supplier, they also act as intermediaries and have to make the deal successful.
Therefore, they may be required to negotiate on pricing, shipment, quality and other logistic issues on the behalf of the buyer.
12. Can Yiwu Sourcing Agents Do Shipping as Well?
YES, shipping is one of the responsibilities of a sourcing agent. Yiwu market guide agent and TOP ease sourcing agent are among many other sourcing agents that provide shipping facilities to their clients.
Shipping can be by different means such as air freight, ocean, land, or rail depending on the budget and preference of the buyers. They also make sure that the shipping procedure is as safe as possible.
The key takeaways of the article emphasized the benefits of sourcing agents working in the Yiwu market that is the ‘largest small commodity market in the world’. Yiwu is a large and competitive market having thousands of suppliers in it.
In such a competitive market a buyer may not be able to locate the best supplier to serve the purpose. That is why hiring a Yiwu sourcing agent could break many shackles for the business, and enables the buyer to focus on other focal business activities while the agents do their job.