“Do I need a sourcing agent in China?” Many people who plan to buy direct from China consider this question regularly. After all, you can get suppliers to deliver products to your doorstep with a few mouse clicks on China sourcing websites like Alibaba. Is it really necessary to hire a sourcing agent when you can find suppliers independently?

Consider this.  Large retailers like Wal-Mart still need to use purchasing agents – even though they have a large purchasing department in China. This is because professional buyers know that hiring a buying agent service is not a waste of money but a great investment.

A professional china sourcing agent can bring a lot of value to buyers.  We help you:

  • Find the best manufacturer for your products;
  • Free up your time to run your business;
  • Reduce mistakes in the purchasing process;
  • Bring you a great competitive advantage.

Let’s dive in.

why do you need a sourcing agent infographic


Help you quickly find the best manufacturer

Finding a manufacturer is easy.

Finding the right one is hard.

Finding a manufacturer you can trust is even harder.

China is a very big country and finding a good manufacturer here is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Warning: Why look for the best possible manufacturer?

The best manufacturer means high-quality products, loyal customers, rave reviews and more orders. If you find a bad manufacturer, then you face poor quality goods, unhappy customers, bad reviews, returns and a bad reputation.

Worst of all, your business will eventually fail.

Finding a good manufacturer for your business is the most critical step in the purchasing process. If you choose to search independently, you may only sift through limited candidates on sites like Alibaba.

Many of these manufacturers only provide mediocre results.

A sourcing company knows the best suppliers and what suppliers to avoid. This reduces the time it takes to identify a quality supplier.

Experienced product sourcing companies have a large number of trusted manufacturers and can choose one from their database according to your specific product needs. These sourcing companies have a rich history and experience of working with reliable manufacturers.  Moreover, they have grown and compiled a list of tried and tested manufacturers after years of cooperation.

Buying agents maintain relationships with quality manufacturers across a wide range of industries.  This means the agents find the best products for buyers’ needs.

There are a lot of good factories that do not register on platforms like Alibaba (click here to learn why).  Sourcing agents help you find manufacturers that you cannot find in directories like Alibaba or Global Sources.

This is a huge competitive advantage for you over your direct competition.

The best manufacturers have over 30 years of experience in the trading industry and have customers from all over the world. European and American clients tend to have very high standards. If the manufacturers worked with these clientele in the past, they are aware of the quality they need to match and deliver a consistent product time after time.

Tip: SourcingNova focuses on building relationships with some of the best suppliers and factories. You rest easy knowing that our recommended suppliers are verified and trustworthy.

Use a vast network to your advantage.

Better sourcing companies are well versed in China’s supply chain. A good product sourcing company  has strong connections within many industries. In addition to establishing connections with trustworthy factories, purchasing agents actively form a strong network with freight forwarders, customs, third-party inspection companies and warehousing service companies – all for you and your product order.

Note: Using a buying agent service means you pay for vast experience and industry connections.

Help you save time dealing with details.

With a sourcing agent, you save time maintaining your business. The sourcing agent handles specifics of finding a manufacturer, controlling product quality and ensuring on-time delivery. Meanwhile, you focus on other aspects of your business.

You can streamline business processes with ease. You ensure that everything runs smoothly and your customers get the best possible service. You also do not have to worry about spending more money than necessary either. Your agent finds the best manufacturer with the best price and still within your budget.

You handle other aspects of the business, and the sourcing agent handles the workload on the other side of the world. A quality procurement agent minimizes red tape and streamlines your global supply chain.

Your work is easy because of the hard work of the sourcing agent.

Helps you submit the correct design files for production

Many novice business owners do not know how much help a standardized product requirements document brings to their procurement business.

Novice business owners often express their needs in piecemeal ways. For example, they may submit some requirements through an online form, deliver some other requirements by email and Whatsapp and finally supplement other requirements by phone. This creates headaches for manufacturers and, worse, leaves room for error.

The product sourcing agency compiles all of your requirements into a PRD document.  This goes to the manufacturer after supplementing with other details. This level of attention to the PRD minimizes the chance of error in production.

Visit the manufacturing site for you

Purchasing agents visit the production site on buyers’ behalf to monitor the quality and production progress.

If you have a Chinese sourcing agent, the manufacturer you choose takes the deal more seriously and more closley abides by the contract.

Many manufacturers in China act as middlemen: they take orders from overseas customers and outsource production to smaller manufacturers for greater profit. Third-party manufacturers often have old and outdated equipment, which lead to hidden dangers in product quality.

A sourcing agent in china ensures that the manufacturer selected is the actual manufacturer and not an outsourcing your order to a third-party supplier. Product sourcing companies visit manufacturers frequently and report problems to buyers in a timely manner.

Note: It is especially important to choose a purchasing agent near the manufacturer. You should not ask a Yiwu purchasing agent to go to Guangdong to supervise the manufacturer’s production line. There is a distance of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) between Zhejiang and Guangdong. This is not logisically feasible for you or the purchasing agent.

Get samples from different factories

Since the purchasing agent cooperates with different manufacturers, the procurement agent collects samples from each manufacturer, combines the samples into a single package and sends the samples to you. If the sourcing agent labels the samples correctly, it is easy for you to select the best factory.

A sourcing agent saves on air freight with combining samples. Without a sourcing agent bundling your samples, you bear the shipping costs of samples. Each sample order ships seperately, and shipping costs add up when you request samples from different manufacturers.

Experienced buyers inspect samples personally before placing an order.

Order samples first.  When you are satisfied, purchase small quantities to check reproducibility and consistency.

Only order large quantities after you trust the buying agent and manufacturer.

Warning: Many do not know this important fact. In B2B business, relying on manufacturer images to judge product quality is unreliable. Leading manufacturers do not prepare clear and detailed product photos. Middlemen (including trading companies and distributors) instead provide very detailed product photos.

Negotiate effective price

Buying agents work along side of manufacturers for years, and the buying agents know how manufacturers set prices for their products. By researching supplier perceptions, buying agents maintain the balance of power between buyers and manufacturers, and you will form strategic partnerships that are beneficial to both parties.

The core idea of bargaining is to work with suppliers to reduce costs by reducing waste and not exploiting the manufacturer’s profits.

Integrity is the cornerstone of cooperation.  Neither buyers nor manufacturers should achieve their goals through deception.

Identify illegal suppliers

With the development of e-commerce, dishonesty is everywhere. For example, some manufacturers will steal pictures of other companies’ products and claim those products as their own. In addition, some manufacturers falsely advertise that they are OEMs of a certain big brand. Other manufacturers offer fake certificates.

Sourcing agents always confirm manufacturer legitimacy. A sourcing agent greatly reduces the chances of being cheated by bad suppliers.

Bridging the culture and communication gap

When it comes to global sourcing, cultural and language barriers are a chasm. We often find that what the buyer says is inconsistent with what the supplier understands. This is by no means intentional – differences in language and cultural factors are responsible. We always assist the buyer in writing down everything about their products.  This leaves no room for assumptions.  Your supplier knows exactly what you want, and there are no mistakes because of communication gaps.

Chinese New Year is the largest of all the culture gaps. Purchasing agents keep an eye on production lines during this time.  You continue to attend to other important matters of the business.

We always ask buyers to place additional orders before Chinese New Year.  This ensures that product quality does not drop, and you have stock on hand during the shutdown period.

Reduce payment risk

Imagine paying a large sum of money to a factory in China only to hear later that it has filed for bankruptcy protection. It is almost impossible for you to get your own money back from a bankrupt Chinese company.

China shut down millions of businesses during the pandemic.

Contracting a sourcing agent can help you alleviate this problem.  Sourcing agents keep an eye the health of the factory with regular visits.

Other sudden crises also lead to insufficient supply or stop production.

For example, the sudden Chinese Power Shortage in China in 2021, a large number of small and medium-sized manufacturers did not have adequate production.  Only a few leading manufacturers earned priority to stay open.

It is nearly impossible for Western buyers to know which manufacturers are affected by such a crisis.  Only sourcing agents familiar with local supply chains can obtain accurate information about any closures.

Reduce import risk

China import agent understand the legalities of importing and exporting.  They make sure your documents, permits and other legal paperwork is in place. They foresee mistakes that cause delays.

Relax and have peace of mind under the supervision of experts

Problems inevitably arise during the procurement process, especially when dealing with foreign suppliers.

A good purchasing agent not only solves impending problems, they also anticipates potential problems before they arise. Years of experience sourcing products and working with suppliers means the agency has keen insight into the most common obstacles.

Buying agents provide buyers with a “firewall of safety.”   The buying agents oversee the entire production process and ensure that all of your guidelines are followed correctly. The purchasing agents make sure that the product is high quality material and the quantity is correct. Purchasing agents arrange quality inspection for each order before shipping.  This provides you with 100% quality assurance. If something goes wrong, the sourcing agents correct the problem before the goods leave China.

Relying on a purchasing agent can give business owners peace of mind.

Ready to find your sourcing agent?

Hiring a sourcing agent is not a waste of money but a great investment. Working with an agent improves a large part of your business process.  Always hire an agency with considerable experience.


If you are looking for agents in Guangdong and Shenzhen to source your products, check out Sourcing Nova. While you focus on your business, we take care of your products.


SourcingNova only cooperates with the most high-end manufacturers in China and never mediocre manufacturers. We also provide services such as warehousing, quality control, product photography, shipping, pre-shipment inspection and Amazon FBA preparation.

Your business is in safe hands, and we will be with you every step of the way.

Welcome to our purchasing services!