How Can We Tell Whether They Are Traders Or Manufacturers When Sourcing In Import Export Business?

tendata blogTrade Data Provider

ten data blog26-06-2023

As an importer or exporter, you will encounter many difficulties in import export business. One of these difficulties is very common: when you are just starting out in the foreign trade industry, distinguishing between traders and manufacturers when sourcing is a major problem. When you encounter such difficulties, we offer you some solutions:



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1. Conduct thorough supplier research: Invest time and effort in researching potential suppliers in import export business. Look for information about their business history, background, production capabilities, and supply chain structure. Check their website, online presence, and social media profiles to gather information about their manufacturing capabilities and production processes. Look for certifications or accreditations that indicate their manufacturing capabilities.


2. Request product samples: Request product samples from potential suppliers in import export business to assess the quality, design, and manufacturing processes of their products. Manufacturers typically have more control over the quality and design of their products compared to traders who source products from various manufacturers. Evaluate the samples for consistency, durability, and overall quality.


3. Ask for production capacity and lead time: Inquire about the production capacity and lead time of potential suppliers in import export business. Manufacturers usually have higher production capacity and can provide shorter lead times compared to traders who rely on other manufacturers for their products. Manufacturers also have better control over production timelines and can provide more accurate lead time estimates.


4. Visit the supplier's facility: Consider visiting the supplier's facility to gain firsthand knowledge of their manufacturing capabilities. A factory visit can provide insights into their production processes, equipment, workforce, and overall manufacturing setup. Look for signs of in-house production capabilities, such as production lines, raw material storage, and quality control measures.


5. Request production documentation: Ask potential suppliers in import export business for production documentation, such as manufacturing process flowcharts, quality control procedures, and product testing reports. Manufacturers typically have well-documented production processes and quality control measures in place, while traders may not have such detailed documentation.


6. Inquire about customization options: Manufacturers usually have the ability to customize products based on specific requirements, while traders typically offer standard products without much customization. Inquire about customization options, such as product design, size, color, or packaging, to assess the supplier's manufacturing capabilities.


7. Check for OEM/ODM capabilities: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) are terms commonly used for manufacturers. Inquire about the supplier's OEM/ODM capabilities to determine if they have the ability to design and produce products based on your specifications, which is typically indicative of a manufacturer.


8. Check trade show participation: Manufacturers often participate in industry trade shows or exhibitions to showcase their products and capabilities. Check if the supplier has participated in relevant trade shows, as this can indicate that they are a manufacturer with a physical presence in the industry.


By conducting thorough supplier research, requesting product samples, asking for production capacity and lead time, visiting the supplier's facility, requesting production documentation, inquiring about customization options, checking for OEM/ODM capabilities, and checking trade show participation, you can gather evidence to determine whether a supplier is a trader or a manufacturer when sourcing. It's important to use a combination of these methods and exercise due diligence to make an informed decision.


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