Producing Area Of Coffee Bean

Producing Area Of Coffee Bean

The most sensible and practical way to understand coffee-producing countries is to categorize them into the world’s three main coffee-growing regions: Africa, Indonesia, and Central and South America. In general, coffees grown adjacent to each other have similar characteristics. If a particular bean is out of stock, buyers of manufacturers who make composites typically look to nearby countries. Those who do comprehensive products will say: I want to use a “middle” one. That means light, flavorful, vibrant Central American beans. Or maybe adding “Africa” ​​is more flavorful. Africa is the land of game beans; another example is “Indonesia” as a base. Because no other bean has such a powerful, full-bodied taste.

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Beans taste different depending on where they are grown. The factors that affect the taste are the type of coffee tree, the soil properties in which it is grown, the climate and altitude of the garden, the care with which the fruit is picked, and the process of handling the beans. These elements vary from region to region, and bakers and integrators look for the characteristics of each region to give the integrative its unique, typical flavor. You can try to pursue the coffee of your dreams.

North America

Cuba

Cuban Crystal Mountain Coffee – Cubata

In Cuba, coffee cultivation is managed by the state. The best coffee-growing areas in Cuba are located in the Central Mountains. This area is also known as Crystal Mountain because, besides the cultivation of coffee, precious minerals such as quartz and crystal are also produced. Crystal Mountain is geographically adjacent to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, with similar climatic conditions and tastes similar to Blue Mountain coffee, comparable to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. Therefore, the Cuban Crystal Mountain has become the object of comparison with the Jamaica Blue Mountains, which is also known as the “Blue Mountains of Cuba”.

The representative coffee of Cuba’s Crystal Mountain is Cubita, Chinese name: Hujue coffee. Cubirta is like a graceful princess. Crystal Mountain Cubata coffee is synonymous with premium Cuban coffee.

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Cubita has become the designated coffee of the Cuban Embassy, ​​known as “unique Caribbean coffee” and “special coffee beans among island coffee beans”.

Africa

Ivory Coast

Some say it is the third-largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil and Colombia, but others say it is Indonesia. But what is certain is that its Robusta stock production volume ranks first in the world.

The main production area is in the southern regions, producing medium-sized coffee beans of the original Robusta species.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is an agricultural country with a history and tradition that can be called the origin of coffee. The place where the name “coffee” is considered to originate is Kaffa in the southwest, and the Hitamo region in the south is the main producing area. East Highland Halla is also as famous as the coffee name “Hara”.

Asia

India

The southwestern state of Karnataka is the main producing area, and the coffee bean particles are large. The coffee beans produced in the southeastern state of Tamilna Texas, although the particles are small, are high-end products in India.

Indonesia

The origin of coffee in Indonesia is mainly limited to the three small islands of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. Robusta stock accounts for 90% of its coffee production.

A small amount of Arabica original coffee beans produced on the island of Java, with small particles, are high-quality coffee beans with a sour taste. The original Arabicam species on this island was once a world-class quality product, but in 1920, due to large-scale pests and diseases, it was changed to the original Robusta species. Today, the original Robusta coffee beans it produces are the best in the world. Personalized bitter “Java”, widely used for blending.

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The “Mandheling” produced on Sumatra is a very few Arabica species. The particles are quite large, but the production management is not ideal and the roasting quality is immediately reflected on the coffee beans, so it will be criticized, but it comes from Toyo. Its rich, mellow, syrup-like taste made it considered the best before the Blue Mountains, and many people still love it and put it down. “Ankara” is a small, rounded coffee bean that represents Indonesia’s coffee.

Mandheling, Indonesia is a large coffee-producing country. The origin of coffee is mainly in Java, Sumatra and Sulawi, and ROBUSTA species account for 90% of the total production. Mandheling is one of the few Arbica species. Mandheling’s granules are large, and the beans are very hard. The rate of defects during the planting process is high. After harvesting, it is usually selected manually. If the control process is not strict enough, it is easy to cause uneven quality, and the degree of roasting is also different. It affects the taste, so it has become a single product with more controversy. Before the Blue Mountains were discovered, Mandheling was regarded as the best coffee, because of its rich and mellow taste, neither astringent nor sour, the body and bitterness can be fully revealed; moderate roasting will leave a little moderate The sour taste has a unique flavor; if the baking is too light, there will be a powdery and astringent taste.

Yemen

There is a saying that coffee was brought to Yemen from Ethiopia, and it was used as a stronghold to spread to all parts of the world. Because it is the birthplace of the original name of Arabica, it was once made a lot of noise for the mocha coffee it produced, but now it is no longer the grand occasion of that year.

Central and South America

Mexico

Coffee production is concentrated in the southern part closer to Guatemala, and mountains are running through it on the east and west sides, making its sloping mountains an ideal terrain for coffee cultivation, and coffee cultivation is still common.

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From the highlands, they are classified into three types of high-yielding coffees: Aldera, Prima, Rabad, and Baan Rabad. The coffee beans range in size from medium to large, and the appearance and aroma are generally good.

Jamaica

The island of Jamaica, famous for its coffee and the topic of the world, is a small republic located in the Caribbean Sea. The mountain slopes running through the island are the main producing areas of Jamaica coffee. The most famous one is Blue Mountain, located in the northeast of the capital Kingston. It is named after the Blue Mountains, which is known as the best “Blue Mountain Coffee” in coffee. The granules are large and have good quality, harmonious taste, and at the same time have appropriate acidity, bitterness, aroma, alcohol and sweetness. It is recognized as the best quality in the world. Usually, it is accompanied by other signs and guarantees of exquisite factories and then packed into a similar large beer wood. Outlet inside the vat of the barrel. There are NO.1, NO.2, NO.3, round beans and other grades.

Blue Mountain coffee is produced in the Blue Mountains in western Jamaica, hence the name. The Blue Mountains are a mountain range with an altitude of 2256 meters, and coffee trees are planted on the steep slopes of about 1000 meters above sea level. The annual production of Blue Mountain Coffee is only about 700 tons. Blue Mountain coffee beans are plump in shape and slightly larger than regular beans. The sour, fragrant, mellow and sweet taste is uniform and strong, slightly bitter, the taste is harmonious, and the flavor is excellent. It is suitable for single-origin coffee. Due to the low output, most of the products sold on the market are “special blue mountain”, which is a comprehensive coffee with the blue mountain as the base and other coffee beans mixed.

Brazil

One of the world’s largest coffee-producing and exporting countries can be called the “coffee continent”. Since there are about ten states in the vast territory of the country, there are about ten states for mass production, so to compensate for the regional and quality gaps, Brazil has set its grading standard to stabilize the quality.

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The quality of the coffee produced is very good, and it has been regarded as an indispensable coffee bean for blending since ancient times. The processing is also relatively easy, and it is widely accepted by the world. In particular, coffee beans that meet the four conditions of Brazil, Sandoz, quality similar to NO.2, Screen18, Screen19, and mild taste are the most praised and widely used. Brazil is the most important coffee-producing area in the world, and the total output accounts for 1/3 of the world’s total. There are 10 states in Brazil producing coffee beans. Due to differences in regions and climates, the quality is inevitably mixed. Therefore, Brazilian coffee beans are classified as No. .1-No.3, Screen 18, Screen 19, to keep the quality neat and stable, and it can also have better results when processing and baking. The aroma, acidity, and alcohol of Brazilian coffee are all moderate, and the bitterness is less, and it is known for its smooth taste. Among all kinds of Brazilian coffee varieties, Santos Coffee is the most famous. Santos Coffee can also be called Bourbon Santos. Bourbon Santos is of good quality, with a rounded mouthfeel, moderate acidity, and a strong sweetness. Bourbon Santos is considered an indispensable ingredient for making coffee blends.

Colombia

The world’s second-largest coffee producer after Brazil. It is the leader in the country that produces “Colombian mild”. The place of origin has become a well-known coffee name, such as Medenne, Manizares, Bogota, Armenia, etc., all have their own opinions. The coffee beans are light green, have large grains, and have a unique heavy taste, so they are very suitable for pure coffee or for blending.

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Colombia is the second-largest coffee producer in the world, producing 12% of the world’s total, second only to Brazil and first among the countries producing Colombian Mild. Colombian coffee trees are planted in the highlands, and the cultivation area is not large, to take care of the harvest. The harvested coffee beans are processed by washing (wet method). Colombian coffee beans are of uniform quality and can be called the standard beans among coffee beans. The taste is sour with sweetness and low bitterness. With the different roasting degrees, it can lead to multi-layered flavors. A medium roast brings out the sweetness of the beans, with mellow acidity and bitterness; a dark roast increases the bitterness without losing too much sweetness. Generally speaking, a medium-dark roast will make the taste more individual, not only can it be drunk as a single product, but it is also suitable for blended coffee.

Hawaii

The coffee beans used in Kona Coffee from Hawaii are grown on volcanic terrain. At the same time, there is high-density artificial cultivation agronomy, so each bean can be said to be pampered, and its worth is naturally high, second only to Blue Mountain in price. Hawaiian Kona beans are average and neat in shape, with a strong sour and sweet taste. On the palate moist and smooth. Moderate roasting imparts acidity to the beans, while dark roasting increases both bitterness and body. This coffee bean grows at altitudes from sea level to 6,000 feet. Premium coffee generally only grows in mountainous areas, growing at a height of about 4000-6000 feet, requiring annual rainfall of about 80 feet and the need for dry and wet seasons to be very pronounced. The soil quality required to grow the best coffee beans is very fertile and usually volcanic, and light clouds or cloudy weather are also required in the growing environment of high-quality coffee beans. The temperature during the day needs to be 15-20°C. This climate results in a longer growing process, unique growing and climatic conditions resulting in a more intense coffee flavor.

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Sourcing Agent: Who are They? How They Work? How They Charge?

Nowadays, sourcing agents/companies play an increasingly important role in managing international supply chains. However, many small businesses are still confused about sourcing agents, especially there is ambiguous and outdated information online misleading them. Therefore, I sorted out 8 buyers’ most concerned and confused questions about sourcing agencies and gave you the most objective answers.

A sourcing agent is a person or agency that represents a buyer to source commodities, buy products that are out of the buyer’s reach. Sourcing agents/companies are often needed in international trade.

In the traditional sense of the term, a sourcing agent is only to source suppliers for his client. Indeed, the services provided by sourcing agents can include selecting the right supplier, price negotiation, following up production, quality control, product compliance & testing, shipping & logistics.etc.

It’s not said that sourcing agents/companies are due to provide the full range of services. The work scope depends on the agreement/consensus reached by both sides.

Three advantages of sourcing agents/companies

A reliable sourcing agent/company plays an important role in international trade purchasing.

a. They can find suppliers who offer a competitive price and good quality. A good sourcing agent can help you find capable and reliable manufacturers. Because a good agent/company has accumulated a lot of qualified factories’ resources already that you may not find online.

b. They can improve sourcing efficiency. A local sourcing agent/company can help you overcome barriers of culture and languages. He knows exactly what you want, and negotiate with suppliers about the details of the products, and in turn deliver the message to you in fluent English, which greatly reduces the communication cost.

c. Reduce your risk of importing from overseas. A good sourcing agent/company must be experienced in dealing with product production, quality control, compliance certifications, import and export process rules, and international shipping.

1. People who have no experience in importing

Importing from overseas involves too many complicated aspects, like sourcing the right suppliers, following up production, product testing and quality control, and dealing with shipping, etc.

If you have no experience in overseas purchasing, you can find a sourcing agent/company to help you start your first importing journey.

2. People who have multiple product categories to deal with

Selecting 2 reliable suppliers for 1 product may need you to contact 10+ suppliers. Suppose you are looking for 10 products, then you need to contact at least 100 suppliers and verify them. In this case, a sourcing agent/company can not only do the tedious job more efficiently but also consolidate all the goods you required.

3. Large retailers, supermarkets

Is it saying that a large importer with abundant funds and experiences doesn’t need a sourcing agent? Certainly not! Large enterprises also need them in order to manage their supply chains better.

Take the chain supermarkets as an example, they will need to buy thousands of product categories. It is almost impossible for them to go to each factory and purchase every product by themselves.

Retail giants such as Walmart and Target are all procured their products by sourcing agents or trading companies.

4. People who deal in special product categories

Besides daily necessities, there are some special product categories such as building materials, chemistry, medicine and so on. Take the Chinese chemistry & medicine industry as an example, it is quite difficult to find suppliers neither at the exhibition or online. So you have to entrust a sourcing agency or trading company who is specialized in the industry to help with your business.

Do you know this is an interesting question-how does a sourcing agent charge? There is no specific charge standard as there are thousands of sourcing companies and individual sourcing agents around the world. The sourcing agent fees vary greatly according to the service scope, the cooperation methods, the product category, and the amount of the order.

Many purchasing agents/companies attract customers with low service fees even free service for trial order, but the buyer will finally find that the overall procurement cost (product cost + shipping cost + time cost) is not low at all. And the buyer may receive unsatisfying goods even the agent declaim they did the quality inspection.

To give a general idea about the sourcing service fees, I introduced 4 common charging methods of sourcing agents in the following.

1. Fixed salary for each project or a certain period

Many individual sourcing agents charge a fixed salary for each product or a certain period (week/month). They usually charge less than $50 for each product. Pretty cheap, right? And you can talk to your suppliers about your products and build a business relationship directly. The disadvantage is that these agents are usually not professional, and the suppliers they find are usually not the most cost-effective ones.

Some experienced buyers prefer to hire an individual full-time sourcing agent for weeks or months, to do some simple sourcing work like finding suppliers, translating and communicating with the suppliers. If you want to import from China, you can hire a full-time China buying agent around $800 a month to work only for you.

2. No extra charge but gain from the price difference

Many individual sourcing agents or sourcing companies use this charge method. Usually in this situation, the sourcing agent can provide good suppliers with more competitive prices or better product quality, which is impossible for the buyer to find these suppliers through normal channels, like some B2B websites.

In turn, if the buyers could find their competitive prices on their own, they would never consider such sourcing agents.

3. Percentage service fee based on product value

Charging for a certain percentage of the whole order value is the most common method among sourcing agents or companies. Why? Because usually they provide other services like follow-up the production, quality control, shipping arrangement, consolidation and so on. So, they will charge a certain percentage of the value of the goods as the service fee.

In China, the common service charge is around 5-10% of the total order value. Another point, the product categories and the size of the order also greatly affect this percentage. For example, if the order is for some products with high price competition and high demand like rolled steel, or the value of the order is over $50 0,000, the service charge may be about 3% of the order value or maybe less.

Usually few sourcing companies willing to accept service fees less than 5% for the daily consumer products. It does exist some sourcing companies may try to attract you with 3% or less service fees, but you’ll end up finding that product prices are much higher than most online suppliers(like Alibaba suppliers). Or you can be delivered with poor quality goods even you get the perfect sample at the beginning.

Takeaway: No matter what the charging method is, you should evaluate whether the agent can reduce the overall procurement cost, improve the sourcing efficiency and ensure the quality of goods and so on.

You may ask me, where can I find a reliable purchasing agent? Don’t worry, I’ll show you three places to find a sourcing agent/company.

1. Google

Searching on Google is always the first thought for most people when encountering problems. In fact, Google does help in most cases, it gives useful information. If you want to find a sourcing agent in one country, such as China, you can just type in “China sourcing agent”, and there will be a list of Chinese sourcing companies in the search results.

When you are checking out one of the sourcing websites, pay attention to the content, the years of establishment, company photos, contact information, the team size, infrastructure, customer reviews and testimonials, blogs, etc. Only a professional team will invest enough money and energy to optimize its websites on Google.

2. Upwork / Fiverr

Upwork and Fiverr are freelancing websites where you can find some individual sourcing agents. Some of them are doing it as a part-time job, they will help you find a supplier and provide you with a supplier’s report. You will then need to contact the supplier and dealing with follow-up processes by yourself.

As this individual sourcing agent can pop up quickly, they can also disappear quickly. So you should be more careful with your individual agents when it comes to paying services fees issues.

3. Fairs

In addition to looking for sourcing agents online, you can also pay a visit to trade fairs. For example, if you want to import from China and get a China import agent, you can visit Canton fair, Hong Kong fair, and the Yiwu international fair, etc.

But looking for a sourcing company at a fair is more suitable for large importers, who are more likely to spend millions of dollars in purchasing every year and need to import hundreds or thousands of different types of products.

If you are just a small or medium-sized importer budget only tens of thousands of dollars in purchases per year, the suppliers on fairs may not accept your order, or they may arrange an unprofessional sourcing agent for you.

In the global market, people often take these two words as one meaning. For example, if you want to find someone sourcing for you, you can say – I need a “sourcing agent” or a “sourcing company “, it doesn’t matter. But actually, these are two different concepts.

1. Sourcing agent

A sourcing agent can be an individual sourcing agent, who can be hired as a full-time agent for you. This individual sourcing agent usually has only one or two people, they usually work at a small office or home office.

Some of them may have several years of experience working in a trading company or sourcing company. These individual sourcing agents can be found on some freelancing platforms (like fiverr, Upwork, etc.), and a few of them may have also set up their own websites on Google.

2. Sourcing company

Sourcing company, also known as sourcing agency. It is easy to understand, a sourcing company is supported by a team of expert sourcing agents and organized apartments, like sourcing, quality inspecting, warehousing, and shipping systems. They can integrate supplier resources more efficiently and can serve many different buyers at the same time.

Sourcing companies generally locate in industrial clusters. For example, most China sourcing agents/companies are located in Yiwu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen in China.

Conclusion: Both sourcing agents and sourcing companies are essentially a link between buyers and suppliers, and it’s all about which one you prefer to choose to serve you.

Sourcing service fees vary according to the work scope you order from the agent. So make sure you have made it clear about the service scope and charges before you start cooperation, in case some potential disputes occur. That’s why I cover one chapter to introduce the service of sourcing agent/company services.

Following are the main services most sourcing agent provide:

1. Sourcing product suppliers

It is the basic service of every sourcing agent to verify and select the supplier that meets the requirements of their clients. And they will negotiate with the supplier on behalf of the buyer to get the best price and confirm the details of production.

However, some buyers may be entangled in whether the sourcing agent/company should give the supplier information to them. Some even think the agent is cheating them or making shady money by not giving the supplier information to them.

Let me explain to you here, whether the supplier information is provided to the buyer depends on the service model of the sourcing agent.

Individual sourcing agent

Some individual sourcing agents can be found on Fiverr or Upwork, who are usually paid a fixed salary (by hour/day) or can be paid a fixed commission for one project. This mode of cooperation is just like finding yourself a sourcing assistant in a foreign country.

Essentially, the buyer pays the salary to get the supplier information, so it is the obligation for the agent to provide the supplier’s contacts to his boss–the buyer and the buyers themselves will communicate with the suppliers to negotiate the price.

Sourcing company/agency

If it is a sourcing company/agency, they will not give the supplier information directly to the buyer. The following are the two core reasons.

Firstly, these quality suppliers are their accumulated resources (including those can’t be found on B2B websites), which is why you can get a competitive price from the sourcing company.

Secondly, they charge their service fees by a certain percentage of the total value of goods, that is to say, this is their profit model. (I will discuss the sourcing agent/company charge methods further in question 5 later).

Although they are not telling the buyer the factory contact information, they are willing to take the buyer to visit the factory and let the buyer have a certain understanding of the production ability of the factory. But this usually happens with larger orders. If the buyers order small value like $1,000 shoes or $1,000 hats, they are less likely to take buyers to visit the factory overseas.

2. Follow-up production, inspect the quality, and arrange shipment

After finding a suitable supplier, it’s time to arrange the production of goods. Sourcing agents/companies will help coordinate with the factory, monitoring the whole production process and make sure the factory finishes the production on time and the goods are of fine quality.

They will also provide a quality inspection service. They will cooperate with the quality inspection company to inspect the finished products and minimize the defective rate before shipment.

Then comes the last step-shipping arrangement, which requires a high level of expertise. Because apart from a bargain for the most competitive shipping prices, they will also need to inform you what documents and product certificates you should prepare for the custom.

These services are also available by most sourcing agents/companies. You can choose any part of their services based on your own situation.

3. Other services

In addition to the mainstream services mentioned above, some large professional sourcing companies also offer private label solutions, including but not limited to the following aspects:

Customize the product
Customize packaging/labels
Free product photography for eCommerce
In a word, there are good as well as bad sourcing agents in this industry. This leads to the result that many buyers afraid to try the sourcing service. Therefore, it is important to find a reliable sourcing agent for long-term cooperation and a stable supply chain.

Now finally to the part that everyone CARES about. You may have heard a lot about the dark side of sourcing agent/company, such as accept kickback or bribe from the supplier, which make the buyers are afraid to use the sourcing agent. I will now reveal the common sourcing agent tricks in the following.

Kickback and bribe from suppliers

First of all, kickbacks or bribes happen to either individual sourcing agents or sourcing companies. If the buyer and sourcing agent/company have agreed on product price and supplier information transparency at the beginning of cooperation, the agent still asks the supplier for a kickback, it becomes illegal/unethical acts.

For example, suppose now you get two equal prices from supplier A and supplier B, if the B supplier offer kickback to the sourcing agent, then the agent is likely to choose the B no matter if the product quality from B is good or not. If your sourcing agent accepts kickback, you may end up with the following situations:

The goods you received are not to meet your quality requirements, or product that is in non-compliance with the certification requirements in your market and thus illegal to import and sell.
If there is a dispute over product quality, your sourcing agent will not stand on your side or try to defend your interests for you, but more likely to excuse the supplier for various reasons.
Objectively speaking, kickback usually happens in large orders with tens of thousands of dollars. For small orders with thousands of dollars, most sourcing agents will not bother to get involved in kickback or the bribe.

The kickback phenomenon is much less now compared with 4-5 years ago, especially in the daily products industry. Because the buyers can find suppliers directly through many channels, such as B2B websites like Alibaba, Made in China, etc. They can make a comprehensive comparison on their own, and then weigh if the product price and service commission provided by the sourcing agent is reasonable.

So, a good sourcing agent/company plays an important role in your supply chain management. In addition to helping you to obtain competitive product prices, they also devote to take care of the follow-up processes, because the good service is the core competitiveness of their business model. As to some individual sourcing agents who might do a one-time business, I can’t guarantee the service quality.

Tip 1: Choose Chinese sourcing agent VS sourcing agent based in other countries (USA, UK, India, etc.)

As China is the largest consumer goods exporting country, Chinese sourcing agents account for a majority of the world’s agents. So I will divide sourcing agents into two types, China sourcing agents, and non-Chinese sourcing agents. What’re the differences between them? Which one to choose? Let’s see the pros and cons of them separately.

The pros and cons of Non-Chinese sourcing agents

How do the sourcing agents based in other countries operate? Generally, they are natives of a certain country and help buyers in their own country purchase from other Asian or Southeast Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, etc.

They usually have their own offices in both the purchasing country and their own country. The team usually has several people, they mainly service for some large buyers.

If you are in the USA, choose a local sourcing agent and you don’t have to worry about language and culture barriers between you and the sourcing agent, the communication efficiency is improved.

If you purchase a large order, you can consider finding a sourcing agent in your own country. However, they are not very friendly to some small businesses, because their service commissions or their own profit is high.

The pros and cons of China sourcing agents

Compared with Non-Chinese sourcing agents, obviously service commission or profit of China sourcing agents is much lower. Besides, they have more professional sourcing teams and richer Chinese supplier resources than non-Chinese sourcing agents.

However, they might be unable to communicate with you as smooth as your native agents due to language differences. In addition, the Chinese sourcing industry mixed with good and bad agents, which makes it hard to distinguish the good ones.

Tip 2: Choose the sourcing agents specialized in a certain item

If you want to import a lot of different types of daily consumer products, choose a sourcing company that has already sourced a lot of daily consumer goods for previous buyers.

If you specialize in importing certain industrial products, then find the sourcing agent specialized in this industry like building materials, medical products. Because these sourcing agents must have accumulated a lot of good suppliers in this industry and can give you sound purchasing and production advice.

Tip 3: Choose the sourcing agent located close to the industry cluster

Each country has its own industrial clusters, which are groups of similar and related firms in a defined geographic area.

For example, if you want to purchase daily commodities from China, the sourcing agent of Yiwu is a good choice. And for clothes, the sourcing agent in Guangzhou will have more advantages.

Locating close to the industry cluster is convenient to contact with factories and reduce intermediate costs, like freight cost, quality supervision fees and so on. For example, If you want to purchase electronic products, the sourcing agents in Yiwu will not have better price advantage than the sourcing agent in Shenzhen.

Tip 4: Ask the sourcing agent/company if he can provide happy clients’ referrals

A good sourcing agent that provides value would have a lot of happy customers, and they will be happy and proud to provide you the happy customer contacts. So you can check out what the sourcing agent most good at-are they good at finding the best price or inspecting the product? Can they provide a good service?

Tip 5: Choose the sourcing agent with longer sourcing experience

Sourcing experience is a vital factor you should take into consideration. An individual agent who works as an agent for 10 years can be much more resourceful and more reliable than a sourcing company that only established only several months.

The number of years he has been in business is proof of his track record. This means he has continuously provided his clients with a good quality business. Other than being knowledgeable in choosing suppliers he should also be extremely capable in the areas of quality control, logistics and audit.

For instance, CX-STAR is a reliable sourcing agent company that has been in business for more than 10 years and has 30+ employees on board, along with numerous long-term partners.

Introduction of Our Services & Charges

For supporting different people’s needs in China importing business, we offered 4 plans to meet all your needs. You can first start with Free Services to start sourcing products, then choose the Pro Plan that we help you handle all things from manufacturing to shipping. If you have your suppliers but need us for quality inspection and shipping, choose Basic Plan. If you have a high requirement for photography, packaging design, full inspection, you can learn more about Extra Services.

Free Services

Free For all following services
  • Product sourcing, get quotes from suppliers.
  • Consult on project cost, manufacturing solutions.
  • Arrange product samples, customize samples.
  • Consult on import-export, compliance certifications, etc.

Pro Plan

5%~10% By paying service fee, you can enjoy all the following services
  • Follow up production.
  • Customize products and packagings.
  • Offer private-label solutions.
  • Free product photography for eCommerce.
  • Free general quality inspection.
  • Free warehouse 1 months.
  • Arrange delivery to door via courier, sea/air freight.
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Basic Plan

5% By paying service fee, you can enjoy all the following services
  • Follow up production.
  • Customize products and packagings.
  • Offer private-label solutions.
  • Free product photography.
  • Free general quality inspection.
  • Free warehouse 1 month.
  • Arrange delivery to door via courier, sea/air freight.

Extra Services

Start from $20 All these services will be quoted by each inquiry
  • 1 by 1 inspection.
  • Travel to factory for inspection.
  • Hire labor in China.
  • Design packaging, labels, etc.
  • Lifestyle photography.
  • Website building and SEO support.

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Free Services (80% of clients start with this)

Want to import from China but don’t know how to start? Want to get a competitive price but don’t know which factory is reliable? Don’t worry; our Free Plan will help you out.

Firstly you need to submit an inquiry, telling us what products you want or how we can help you. Then we will assign you an agent to provide you with the following services for free.

Product Sourcing, cost evaluation: Your agent will help you search as many suppliers in China and get you the most competitive price according to your product requirements. He can also help you evaluate the total cost for mass production, shipping, and customs duty to your country.

Product Sample, Customization: Your agent helps you collect product samples from different suppliers (could be your suppliers), check the quality, and ship them to you in one box; thus, you can save a lot of shipping fees. He can also help you customize samples with your logos, requirements, making them look the same as your bulk order.

Consulting on Import, Export, Compliance: We offer free consulting for any pieces of knowledge related to import, export, compliances, certifications, etc.

Pro Plan (90% of clients choose this, instead of Basic Plan)

After the Free Plan, you probably get competitive product prices from our suppliers. Then you can enjoy our Pro Plan that your agent will handle all things from manufacturing to delivery. You can choose either to purchase from our suppliers or yours.

You can enjoy all the following services by paying a 5-10% service fee based on the product value of each order.

Production Follow-up: Sourcing suppliers for a product takes a few hours, but following up production will usually last 20-60 days. Our agent helps you coordinate with factories all the time to ensure products are made according to your requirements. This is the best value of the Pro Plan because we help you save huge time.

Customize packaging, private label solutions: For people who want to make own-brand products, your agent will assist you in making all kinds of packaging, even purchasing quantity is small. You will always get competitive packaging prices, as we have many packaging suppliers cooperated for a long time.

Free Photography: We can offer 5 white background photos of each product for free, thus you can upload them to Amazon or other E-commerce platforms directly. We help you save $100 by doing this when compared with asking a Fiverr freelancer to do it.

(Note: Lifestyle photography needs extra cost. 5 free photos are only for ordering at least $1,000 each product. For ordering $500~$1,000 for each product, only 3 photos are free. Extra white background photos charge $5 each)

General Quality Inspection: This inspection service is free for people who use our Pro or Basic Plan. We open 20-30% numbers of cartons and randomly inspect numbers in each carton. If there are defective products found, your agent will help negotiate with suppliers to fix the problem on your behalf. Or we can also hire workers to repair defects in our warehouse before shipping out of China.

By charging a 5% service fee, we can do unlimited inspection times until the defect issue is solved. Comparably, if you hire 3rd party inspection companies by yourself, they usually charge $200-$300/person/day, and they can only report problems without helping you fix them. They typically inspect minimal numbers of products of each batch unless you hire more inspectors.

Free Warehouse: Our warehouse in China can be 1 month free of use. You can take time to send more products to us, and we help you collect all products, consolidate them into one shipment for your cost. We will charge a $10/CBM/month warehousing fee from the 3rd month.

Arrange shipment: We help you ship products from China to your address in any countries, or Amazon warehouses and handle all import & export processes. You always get a competitive shipping quote from us, no matter its courier service, sea freight, or air freight.

Basic Plan (If you have your suppliers but need QC and shipping)

If you have your product suppliers but need someone in China to help you inspect the quality and arrange to ship to your country or Amazon fulfillment centers, our Basic Plan works perfectly for you. By paying a 5% service fee (minimum charge of $100), you can enjoy all the following services for free.

General Quality Inspection: We open 20-30% of cartons and randomly inspect numbers in each carton. If there are defective products found, your agent will help negotiate with suppliers to fix the problem on your behalf. Or we can also hire workers to repair defects in our warehouse before shipping out of China.

By charging a 5% service fee, we can do unlimited inspection times until the defect issue is solved. Comparably, if you hire 3rd party inspection companies by yourself, they usually charge $200-$300/person/day, and they can only report problems without helping you fix them. They typically inspect a very little number of products of each batch unless you hire more inspectors.

Free Warehouse: Our warehouse in China can be 1 month free of use. You can take time to send more products to us, and we help you collect all products, consolidate them into one shipment to save your cost. We will charge a $10/CBM/month warehousing fee from the 2nd month.

Product Shipping: We help you get a very competitive shipping price for most shipping methods, whether courier, sea freight, air freight, or train. We can help ship your products to your address or 3rd party fulfillment centers and handle importing and custom processes.

Arrange shipment: We help you ship products from China to your address in any countries, or Amazon warehouses and handle all import & export processes. You always get a competitive shipping quote from us, no matter its courier service, sea freight, or air freight.

Extra Services (Quoted case by case)

Although the services of our Pro and Basic plan can meet most people’s needs, we can still offer many extra services to make your China importing experience more convenient. All the following additional services will be quoted case by case.

1 by 1 product inspection: Our workers can help you inspect every product according to your requirement, and we only charge $5/hour. Using this service, we help you reduce the defect rate to 0, which means you won’t get any bad reviews from customers. Strongly recommend Amazon sellers.

Travel to the factory for inspection: For general review included in the Pro and Basic plan, we inspect our warehouse. If you want us to travel to the factory for inspection, you only need to pay the traveling cost. As this cost is quoted case by case, you can inquire about your agent for details. You probably get a big discount or even free.

Any labor work: Our workers can help you do all of the labor ($5/hour) like packing products, bundling products, putting FNSKU stickers, etc. Putting FNSKU starts from $0.03/each.

Warehouse in China: After the free warehouse period, we will charge a $10/CBM/month warehouse fee. Our warehouse is located in Yiwu Zhejiang, around 200km away from Ningbo or Shanghai seaport.

Graphic Design for packaging, label, etc: Our company has in-house graphic designers to help you design all kinds of packaging boxes, labels. It’s more cost-effective and efficient than you finding a designer on Fiverr. Learn more about our design works and charges.

Lifestyle Photography: If free photos in the Pro plan are not enough, our designers can help you make lifestyle photos by applying low-cost solutions. The price starts at $50. Learn more about our photograph works and charges.

Website building and SEO support: If you want customers to find you on the Internet, or you need to increase your visibility on the Internet, we can provide website building and SEO support.