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Welcome to the GoodLife Warrior podcast. I’m Yuping. We make sourcing easy, fun, and profitable for your business. This episode was originally aired as a video on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/goodlifewarrior. As always, high-quality professional sourcing content delivered to you with passion and my unique Chinese accent. Enjoy.
I know, I know, I know. If you’re a new Amazon FBA seller, sourcing products from overseas could be so frustrating, tedious, challenging all at once. A lot of you may have been thinking, “I need to hire a sourcing agent to do it for me so I can free up my time.” That is fine. But before you hire anybody, these are the top 10 questions you must ask your sourcing agent.
Hi, we just met. My name’s Yuping Wang. I share the best sourcing and money-making content with you to help you succeed. Back to the questions for the sourcing agent, the top one question is are you willing to share the factory address and take me to visit the real factory? The reason this is so important is because if the sourcing agent is not willing to take you to see the factory, then you have zero control when they switch out the factory and you have very little chance to develop any real relationship with the factory. This is critical when you hire a sourcing agent.
The question number two is are you a one-person service provider, or you have a team and a company? The reason you need to ask about this is that everyone thinks Amazon takes over the eCommerce world. There is a lot of sourcing agent popped up and a lot of them are individual sourcing agent. Don’t get me wrong. These individuals work very hard to please the customer because they’re trying to make a living.
The problem is these individuals can start up very quickly, but they can disappear very quickly too. So, if you are working with one single service provider of… Your sourcing agent is a one-person game, then you need to be a little bit more careful. So, question number three is how long you have been working as the sourcing agent? You could be working with the sourcing agent, one individual, but if this lady or the gentleman has been working as a sourcing agent for the past 10 years, this person would be a lot more resourceful and more dependable than the sourcing company that maybe only established for three months. Do you see what I mean?
So, ask how long you have been working as the sourcing agent is critical to know how resourceful this person is. And question number four is are you specialized in sourcing certain products, certain commodities, or specialized in certain industries? A good sourcing agent that is good in sourcing electronic product would be different from the sourcing agent that is good in sourcing injection molded product like plastic, because the inspection process is quite different.
So, ideally, you will find a sourcing agent that is good in sourcing the product that you are looking for. And so the question number five is are you able to give me a satisfied customer referral for me to check out your background? A good sourcing agent that provides value, they will have a lot of happy customers, and they will be happy to provide you with a good customer contact so you can check out what is the sourcing agent most good at.
Are they good at finding the best price, or inspecting the product? They’re very good with the communication or all of the above. So, ask the sourcing agent to see if they are willing to provide you with a reference customer contact. If you’re happy with what you hear from the question number five, from a referenced customer, you can ask your sourcing agent question number six: how do you qualify the factory to make sure their product and on-time delivery are dependable?
A good sourcing agent does factory inspection. They should have a factory inspection tech list and they should have a product inspection tech list. During the production process, they should stay on top of the communication to make sure that the production is going to be on schedule and the delivery date can be met, and they should relate that information back to you. As your sourcing agent, how do they qualify the factory?
Now question number seven is do you perform the quality inspection, or you’ll hire a third party to do the inspection when the product is done? So, the reason you need to ask about this is that some sourcing agents only does sourcing. They don’t do any inspection. You have to hire a third party to go on-site to perform the inspection, which is extra money and extra work. So, if the sourcing agent doesn’t do the inspection, you need to know upfront.
Now the question number eight is a money question for the sourcing agent. How do you wanting to charge for your service? Is that a one-time flat fee, or it’s a percentage based on my order value? One is not necessarily better than the other, depending on the type of service you want and also the type of the relationship you want with the sourcing agent. If the sourcing agent is very capable, you wanted to develop a long-term partnership, you might want to consider a percentage based on your order value.
If this is just a one-time deal, you just wanted to find someone to find a product for you, you might want you to consider the flat fee. So, it depends on what you need. You can decide which way works best for you. Question number nine is a difficult question for the sourcing agent. It asks the sourcing agent, “Do you accept a discount or referral fees from the factory? And if you do, are you going to be transparent about it?”
This is such a sensitive subject. Even if you ask the question, you may not get the honest answers back, but I would suggest you ask the question anyway because a good sourcing agent should not and they will not accept the factory kickbacks or discount at the same time charged you the commission.
So, even if it’s a hard question, you may not get the honest answers, ask anyway. So, finally, question number 10 for the sourcing agent is could you please define the survey’s scope based on the fee you will charge? Do they do sourcing? Do they do factory inspection? Do they do product inspection? Do they do shipping? Do they do consolidation?
Define it as detailed as possible, so there won’t be last-minute surprise and the sourcing agents say you have to pay an inspection fee when the product is done. I hope this is helpful, guys. If you’re contracting the sourcing part to an agent, please be super careful and do your homework.
Finding a good sourcing agent is just as important if it’s not more important than finding a good factory. So, if you have more questions, feel free to message me. I would love to hear from you. If you appreciate the content, don’t forget to give me two thumbs up and subscribe to the channel. I’ll see you soon.
Check out the link, the Sourcing Warrior Mastermind link, undertake Sourcing Warrior’s quiz to find out your sourcing IQ. Make it fun, learn something, have a great day. I’ll see you in the next episode.