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:
In my work at IMEX Sourcing Services, I regularly work with a lot of new importers, especially new e-commerce sellers selling through the Amazon or eBay platforms. Most importers, when first starting out are very excited & charged up about the new venture & want to get things moving as quickly as possible.
When first importing from China or from any other country for that matter, there is a steep learning curve & it normally takes 2-3 shipments for an importer to understand the process flow & all the terminology & acronyms involved in International trade.
With limited understanding of the import processes & that of the working style of Chinese factories, comes increased risk, especially quality risk as well as the increased likelihood of incurring losses on the first import from China due to getting the numbers wrong.
Here I look at 5 common mistakes, I often see with new importers first starting out of China.