One of the pet peeves of importers importing from China is that Chinese suppliers don’t reply to email requests for quotations or are generally slow at responding to emails.
This issue has come up in so many discussions I have had in the past that it deserves a post.
I won’t go into too much detail about why Chinese suppliers don’t reply to emails as my fellow China business blogger, Mike Michelini has done an excellent job of that in his post “Why Chinese Don’t reply to my emails”.
To summarise, there are both cultural & practical reasons as to why Chinese suppliers are slow at responding to emails or do not bother to reply at all. Mike mentions:
China Import and Export Fair -by Taro Taylor from Sydney, Australia
We have a lot of existing and new clients visiting our office every time the Canton Fair is on. Quite a number of them are taking some time-off the hustle and bustle of the fair for a one-on-one consultation that we offer for free at this time. Every year during these meetings, one of the questions that many importers, especially new importers tend to ask, goes something like this:
“I have heard there are lots of trading companies at the Canton Fair, how do I ensure I am dealing with genuine manufacturers only.”
This question stems from the belief that it is better to deal with manufacturers than traders. This is true in many cases, however under many circumstances it is better to deal with traders than manufacturers but that’s a whole post in itself so I will leave that for another day.
With the help of this post however, I would like to share some pointers an importer can use to differentiate between manufacturers and traders at most Chinese sourcing fairs and not just the Canton Fair. But before you book your China ticket, you may want to make sure if Canton Fair is right for you.
In the last post we looked at 8 payment methods you can use to pay your Chinese suppliers. In this post, I will look at “Payment Terms” that go along with the choice of payment method & factors influencing the negotiation of payment terms.
It is important not to confuse “Payment Terms” here with “Trade Terms” (FOB, CIF, etc.). “Payment Terms” include:
- The choice of payment method
- The timing of the payment
- Whether there is a pre-payment required & the percentage of the pre-payment
The combination of the factors above dictates the proportion of risk each party takes & the negotiation power buyers have in case disputes arise. Ideally, in every transaction there would be a 50-50 sharing of risk but in practice, that is hardly the case.