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Tips for Selecting a 3rd Party Service Provider

by Mike Bellamy in 'China Sourcing Information Center'

How do you get very good Agents in China?


There are many types of agents ranging from buying agents, to inspection agents to shipping agents. But regardless of what type you are looking for, here are some tips taken from the CSIC website.

Tips for Selecting a 3rd Party Service Provider

  1. Are they a legitimate company with proper business licensing?
  2. Do they have a clear track record of performance? If they can’t give you some client references, run away. That is a very big red flag.
  3. Are they focused on a certain set of services or do they try to everything for everybody? Yes, even the 3rd party service providers have been known to outsource to others just like some factories outsource production without telling the buyer.
  4. Is their pricing structure and service agreement well defined and transparent?
  5. It is a major pitfall to do business with a 3rd Party service provider without a clear contract in place that outlines the service, costs, time frame and other desired attributes of the partnership.

Here are a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you:

Avoiding Middlemen – a look behind the bamboo curtain

these middlemen think you are stupid!

The difference between the middleman and the actual factory

More buyers falling into the same China sourcing pitfall

For your reference, the CSIC keeps a list of agents that are in good standing with the CSIC. You can find them at

Thanks again for your question. Let us know how things work out for you.

Wishing you successful China sourcing!

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. Mike is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.

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