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  • #997060
    matt_business
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    Hi all,

    What are the best ways to verify your supplier? Could there be better ways to verify overseas suppliers than perhaps trial and error, or other methods currently used at the moment?

    #1210197
    Johny
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    There are two distinct answers to your question. Most get the first one, but many miss the second part.

    Verification of suppliers is actually quite easy. Verifying who they are, where they are, what they do, whether they are real etc., there are a whole heap of ways to do that, both by using the resources of online platforms (although not always reliable), and your own methods.

    By far something much harder to verify is things like whether supplier actually can do what you want them to do, whether they can consistently provide the quality you want, whether they will assist in the event of problems etc.

    There are things like online reviews, but I can’t recall ever taking these types of reviews at face value.

    This is the part that requires some trial and error. You can use a factory for 3 orders and the 4th will be wrong, you can ask for something and miscommunication (by either side) will mean not getting the end result you want.

    It is those things that you cannot know at the outset. It takes time to understand and it is an ongoing process. To understand it well is to have experienced it so there will always be trial and error.

    #1210198
    bb1
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    Johny, post: 250890, member: 34822 wrote:
    There are two distinct answers to your question. Most get the first one, but many miss the second part.

    Verification of suppliers is actually quite easy. Verifying who they are, where they are, what they do, whether they are real etc., there are a whole heap of ways to do that, both by using the resources of online platforms (although not always reliable), and your own methods.

    By far something much harder to verify is things like whether supplier actually can do what you want them to do, whether they can consistently provide the quality you want, whether they will assist in the event of problems etc.

    There are things like online reviews, but I can’t recall ever taking these types of reviews at face value.

    This is the part that requires some trial and error. You can use a factory for 3 orders and the 4th will be wrong, you can ask for something and miscommunication (by either side) will mean not getting the end result you want.

    It is those things that you cannot know at the outset. It takes time to understand and it is an ongoing process. To understand it well is to have experienced it so there will always be trial and error.

    [USER=34822]@Johny[/USER] great answer, but I think it applies to overseas or Australian suppliers.

    #1210199
    Johny
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    That’s a fair comment Bert, but also I was thinking about my reply after I wrote it.

    Interestingly, I have found that many seem to do less due diligence for a prospective supplier in places like China than they may do for someone more local. That seems quite strange to me, but I put it down to lack of understanding of how to do it / the consequences of not doing it, and the costs.

    #1210200
    Iris2004spring
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    I will give some simple advices about this issue if related to China.

    1. The easiet way is to use the verification pages/documents on B2B sites, such as alibaba, made-in-china. Most suppliers in exporting business in China use this 2 websites, and most members must pay the websites to get a 3rd party verification to prove they are real. there are online verification (check registration information) and onsite verification( inspectors audit the factories on site) . The verification proves the supplier is a real one (However, there might be boasting or exaggerating, with the help of the inspectors, by nice makingup and posing nice photos etc…. But at least it really exists).

    2. Run a seach online to find if there are bad reviews.

    3. Check goverment business registration data base for registration infromation and credit information(Its free, but it is in Chinese). Check whois for the website registration information…etc

    4. Check if it is a manufacturer or a trader (since many traders pretend to be a manufactuer). The registration information indicates the company business scope; Check the business address, call the landlines to verify if it is the real office or company (African frands sometimes pretend they are from some companies)

    5. Payment should be made to the Chinese company account. If the company cannot accept foreign payment, and you have to pay to a HK account or a personal account, make sure it is confirmed by the company statements. But in this situation better ask them to get an exporting agent company within China mainland.

    6. Ask the sales to show you their workshops, production lines even entire factory via photos or webcam.

    The hardest and most important, is the quality issues. Technology and skills are good enough in most manufacturers now, but there are always careless and irresponsible factories. Even they are ISO Certified ( in many cases, the certification means nothing except being presented to the customers). But if a factory is certified, and has sufficient equipments, very orgnized and clean workshops and production lines, efficiently working workers (not posing for the inspection), and varies of half finished/finished products on production lines, which you can see clearly from the photos the factory send to you whenever you ask, that might be a very good factory indeed.

    The easiest way is to come to check the factory and production yourself; if cannot, find local agents or inspectors to audit the factories, follow up production and have goods inspection. The cheapest price might be 100USD/man/day.
    If you do not want to get a 3rd party involved, you will have to follow up closely yourself. Check to which brands they supply, ask for many samples (both your own products and other buyers’ products) and production photos from them to confirm the quality before placing orders. Contact them every week or even everyday for progress; keep an eye on the production lines everyday when your production starts and ask for detailed photos of the production/products to find obvious or potential mistakes. Finally, before shipment, if there would be no on site inspection, ask for delivery samples for confirmation……Thats what we usually do in following up production if cannot stay in the workshops.

    In the end, you may find a 3rd parties service might be better, if you ae really concerned about the quality.

    #1210201
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    [USER=79331]@Iris2004spring[/USER] thank you for the detailed and informative reply.

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