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Mischelle
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Hi Bianca,

That is a very common issue, communication is the key, and the language barrier causes many problems for many people, even when they provide sample products.

I normally have a golden rule, if a supplier is a “business critical” supplier, you should speak to them face to face. I have traveled to India and the Philippines a few times to see all my providers (Mine are service providers), but the same principal applies.

I know sometimes this is not possible for many people, so maybe an agent might be able to help you instead.

The agent must speak the dialect you require, but when using an agent, it will increase your COG, so you will need to factor that in.

For example: http://www.myshipper.com.au/china-sourcing-agent

I am NOT saying to use these people, I have never used them, they are just an example :)

Cheers
Mischelle