Learn How To Find A Reliable Sourcing Agent And Avoid Bad Ones

by Procurement Freelancers Team

Do you need to locate a manufacturing partner at this stage of your product development process? One may find hundreds of results for offshore providers by conducting a fast web search. Finding suppliers or a list of manufacturers in numerous nations with a strong outsourcing industry is not difficult. In fact, you could frequently receive messages from possible business partners on LinkedIn. However, finding the ideal candidate is challenging.

Due to the abundance of possibilities, entrepreneurs struggle to identify and evaluate a manufacturing partner abroad. Moreover, entrepreneurs can lack knowledge of the uncertainties they will face and experience, contacts, and workplace language hurdles. Using sourcing agents is one choice that might make locating and managing a manufacturing partner quite simpler. Having one point of contact who is familiar with the available solutions in the area offers many benefits, but it also has some inherent hazards. Understanding what a sourcing agent is and some of the dangers associated are necessary to reduce the risk factor.

What Is A Sourcing Agent?

You need to select a manufacturer, negotiate costs, oversee production, manage quality control, and arrange shipping when creating a supply chain that involves manufacturing in China, Mexico, or any other foreign nation. If you have never completed any of those stages, the learning curve might be severe and expensive.

You need to pick intelligently among four popular choices for having your product created.

Direct Factory Engagement – You may avoid paying middlemen or agencies by working directly with a factory if you have the time and expertise.
Work With A Third-Party Source A third-party source will locate your factory, oversee everything and handle practically all of the purchases.
Using A Trading Company – A trader fills your order by acting as a middleman and takes care of everything and then bills you for the finished item.
Make Use Of A Sourcing Agent Sourcing agents serve as your resource locally. They search for your factory, offer assistance during negotiations, and aid in troubleshooting.

Due to the possibility that you lack the expertise or internal resources to deal directly with the factory, using agents is a common alternative. A distributor, whether they are traders or third parties, might be pricey. Compensation for sourcing agents is straightforward because they are paid a portion of what the factory is paid. In a nutshell, they act as your representative in the nation where you have decided to work and are compensated for resolving issues, locating resources, and promoting your interests. For a first-time business owner searching for a solution to manufacture their product affordably while maintaining market competitiveness, the agent may be a desirable choice. Yet, hiring a product sourcing agency has a number of dangers.

Risks Associated With Using A Sourcing Agent

Not every sourcing agent is as unselfish as they may appear to be. On the one hand, he gives business owners access to a pool of excellent, well-screened factories, which will help them save time and money. They act as your advocate and guide you through the procedure. The business model calls for the sourcing agents to be compensated on the basis of the amount you pay the factory. Yet, manufacturers that are seeking clients are sometimes motivated to persuade agents to send work their way. 90% of sourcing agencies reportedly receive covert fees from manufacturing, according to reliable sources. Further to increasing your expenditures, giving such a fee separates the agent’s allegiance.

Purchasing agents sometimes take advantage of uneducated business owners by manipulating prices in the factory’s favour and, because they receive a fee, their own. They bypass factory inspections and might not be negotiating prices with your best interests in mind. Finding a cheap, frequently low-quality manufacturer, charging you what better suppliers would price, and splitting the difference with the factory are additional ways sourcing agents might profit.


A right partner is someone with whom you collaborate, with whom you exchange information, and who always has your best interests in mind. The choice of partners you make will frequently have a greater impact on the success or failure of your company than the quality of your product concept. Be careful to pick sourcing agents that you can trust in the case you decide to hire a sourcing agency and consider it the best approach to produce your goods. Do not be averse to following up with the factory directly as well. Finding the greatest sourcing agent involves more than just figuring out who speaks English or getting the best deal. It is important to select a cost-effective advocate for your interests who is also familiar with the regional economy, including where to find the most dependable manufacturers, how to export goods, and how to complete tasks in general.

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