June 29, 2020

7 Ways Suppliers Can Cheat Importers Or Cause Problems | Vetting Chinese Suppliers (Part 1)

In this mini-series of podcast episodes, we will explore the process of what it means to work with the right Chinese supplier and how to qualify them effectively, screening out the bad options and focusing only on the one or two best choices.

You can read more about this topic in the series of blog posts on QualityInspection.org which we refer to throughout - read all of those posts here.

When starting to source new suppliers, you need to be aware of the risks, and these bad behaviours are what we focus on in this episode - the 7 ways Chinese suppliers cheat or cause trouble for customers.

Show Notes

Why is vetting new Chinese suppliers so important? (Start to 1:45) - the topic is drawn from this blog post which you can read for extra information.

Introduction to the components of trust between supplier and client - firstly, do you trust them their character and truthfulness and secondly, do you trust them to be able to actually fulfil your orders correctly? The need to be careful not to put yourself in a situation where you rely too much on one supplier who may not have your best interests in mind. (1:45 to 7:38)

7 ways Chinese suppliers can cheat you!

The 5 bad behaviours

1. The supplier disappears after a deposit, or a fee for samples is wired. (7:38 to 11:25)

2. Price increases unexpectedly after a deposit is transferred and you're 'hooked.' (11:25 to 16:33)

3. Price increases from one order to the next, without relation to production cost increases. (16:33 to 18:55)

4. Lack of respect of IP rights (selling the buyer’s design to other customers). (18:55 to 25:05) - you may also enjoy this blog post related to IP theft in China, too.

5. Lack of transparency (subcontracting outside of an approved facility, changing a component without notice, etc.) includes a discussion about how face is gained when you get away with things and also the concept of chabuduo (more or less). (25:05 to 31:24)

2 lacks of competency/experience

6. Lack of reliability: late deliveries, inconsistent communication…why over-promising and underdelivering has become common among Chinese manufacturers. (31:24 to 34:50)

7. Inability/unwillingness to reach the desired quality standard. At what point do you 'pull the plug' on a supplier who is unable or unwilling to produce goods at the quality standard you are expecting? (34:50 to 37:55)

Previewing the next episode  

In part 2 of this series, we will move on to discuss how to screen out the 'bad' suppliers who are likely to cause you the problems discussed in this episode? This will include tips for better vetting, such as background checks and smart questions to ask that will help you quickly identify which candidates aren't right for your needs. (37:55 to END) 


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