With the technology we have, sourcing from overseas has never been easier. I currently source products from Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, and of course the motherland China. I've compiled a list of things to do when you're sourcing overseas. Hope this helps.
1. Know the difference between FOB, CIF, CNF, and EXW. This will save you thousands of dollars.
2. NEGOTIATE! but not to a point where it gets annoying.
3. Find a reliable agent. They can help you contact vendors, arrange shipments, etc.
4. Find a responsible freight forwarder near you who can take care of all of your oversea shipments.
5. If you're ordering from multiple factories, have your agent consolidate everything into a container. You will save so much money.
6. Be friendly and respectful to everyone you talk to.
7. If you find a factory you trust, be loyal to them. I admit I don't pay the lowest price for a lot of products. But to me trust and relationship is more important than cheaper cost.
8. And if you get the chance go pay them a visit, you'll be treated like family, you'll experience the local culture, none of that Great Wall forbidden city bullshit. Plus it's a good way to write off a mini vacation.
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