Mar 22, 2012

In some cases it’s not hard to get a bottom of the barrel, dirt cheap price from a manufacturer in China. Some suppliers will nod their head “yes” when asked to hit a certain price point and smile… without showing you the fine print, which always comes out after the order is placed.

Maybe they cut corners with the quality of the first sample, or, suddenly there is a request for a “new price”… or worst, maybe they disappear. I’ve had customers who’ve worked with vendors they found on “that Chinese e-commerce site” who’ve experienced the last one.

The trick is to get a quality product, delivered on time, at a competitive price. Quality, delivery time and price all have to be taken into consideration when negotiating with a new factory. This means measuring their capabilities, learning about their equipment to do the work, asking questions about the materials they will use, and looking at all the options available. We recently quoted a job for a simple product made from 2 materials. The customer hadn’t originally requested the more expensive material but we provided that option; they ended up going with the better quality product.

Our approach isn’t to scrape the bottom of the barrel, fighting for the last penny so the the factory either doesn’t want the work or they ship junk product. We look for manufacturers in China who can make a product that you and your customers will be satisfied with.