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overseasIf you?re looking to gain a significant cost savings, it may be time for you to consider sourcing your promotional products overseas. There are certainly risks associating with overseas sourcing, so knowing what you?re getting into before placing your order and finding the right partner are key to a successful overseas sourcing experience.

When you’re looking to find the right overseas sourcing partner, you should first reach out to a broker. There are many brokers in both the US and China with relationships with different factories that make different products. Most brokers work with multiples lines which is key, and add on an extra 10 to 15 percent as a fee.

Why is it Important to Find a Quality Broker?

A quality broker will speak the local language and be able to communicate. Good communication is key for quality control. They are able to communicate not just with the factory but also are able to work with auditors to make sure the product and factory standards are up to par.

Be sure to find a reputable broker with good references. There is a lot of fraud and a lot of money can be lost if you work with the wrong factory or with the wrong broker so finding a trustworthy and reputable broker is of the utmost importance.

What Traits Should I Look For In A Broker?

When looking for a broker, look at their relationships ? both with factories and clients. Look at their audits, you want to make sure the factory audits they are conducting for other partners are thorough and comprehensive. Finally, look into their reputation. It?s really easy to get cheated overseas because of the lack of regulation, so finding a broker with a good reputation is most important.

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Factory?

A broker can help you choose a quality factory, but some traits you want to be especially watchful of include:

  • Track Record. Do they have a known reputation? Do they put out quality products?
  • Communication. Do they communicate with you or your broker? Because of the lack of overseas regulation, it?s easy for a factory to go off the grid and for you to lose money. Make sure you have a factory that will communicate well with you or you representatives.
  • Don?t Go for the Lowest Price. You get what you pay for when you go for the lowest price and going back to the regulatory aspect (or lack thereof) you are more likely to get cheated by simply picking the factory with the lowest price.
  • Body of Work. Do they put out good products? Do they have a good reputation with their other partners?
  • Audits. Make sure they are audited regularly, that there are no issues regarding factory safety and worker safety.
  • Check Their Certifications. Are they certified with UL or ISO? UL is a global independent safety science company who certifies, tests, inspects and audits companies on compliance and regulatory issues across the supply chain. ISO is International Organization for Standardization. They set the standards and work with outside organizations which help create credibility.

Be sure any factory you work with is a quality factory. There is no recourse if things go wrong ? when choosing a factory make sure they?re reputable by checking references and being sure the relationships they have are solid and of good quality (especially look into other brands and businesses that they work with). If you do file a suit for whatever reason if things go wrong, be aware that the Chinese government does not have much by way of incentives for you and is notoriously unhelpful in these cases so having a reputable broker on your side to prevent these cases is helpful.

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