Best China Sourcing company
That Drives Profit Growth
I'm John Lu, from Shenzhen, China. I'm the founder of JustChinait, the most trustworthy China supply chain optimization company. Offering a one-stop sourcing solution for foreign buyers to help them buy from China safely, efficiently, and profitably.
China is the world's factory; Countless foreigners are purchasing from China! Because of China's culture, rapid growth, national conditions, and language barrier, many foreign buyers love and hate sourcing from China. It is full of challenges, such as often receiving low-quality products and getting cheated by unreliable suppliers.
These are the same problems I have encountered as a Chinese working and doing business in China for the past 12 years. It's more severe for a foreigner. I created JustChinait to help buyers connect to reliable suppliers, avoid being cheated, and let the world enjoy Made in China.
I want to share my story, what I heard, what I saw, and what I learned. I hope you understand Made in China and Chinese suppliers' essence from these stories. So, you can source from China more efficiently and avoid being scammed.
My parents are workers and live better because of Made in China.
At that time, China's manufacturing was booming, and factories had a massive demand for workers. Luckily, they could earn roughly $300 a month as a worker, even if they can hardly read. It was not nearly as hard as farming, and they didn't have to worry about the weather anymore.
Because of being in this extreme poverty, my parents wanted to send me to college and change my destiny. 92% of rural children fail to go to college. My parent did it with only an 8% chance. What a great parent!
To earn money in the future and improve my and my parent's life, I chose the most popular major in 2005, international economics and trade.
What I learned:
1) A lot of things are different from what you think. 8% probability, it seems impossible, but if you persist and do not give up, eventually, you will get it!
2) It is essential to work in the right industry! You can't feed yourself even working 12 hours 7 days weekly at farming. But working as a worker can earn even 10 times as much.
I love working because I can learn, and it's paid.
Through 4 years of study, I graduated in 2009. I couldn't wait to go to the southern city, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, the most economically developed and active city in foreign trade. My initial idea was to be a foreign trade salesman because I heard that the industry prospects were excellent.
I believed I was qualified to work as a foreign trade salesman. I had all the trading certificates, passed the highest English level test, and graduated with excellent grades.
However, it was not the case. All company requires you must have work experience. But I just left college. I came to Shenzhen with $150 cash, no credit card, and no friend. And I need to pay rent, food, traveling fee, and everything. I had to get a job as soon as possible. Strategy changed. Any foreign trade-related job was acceptable.
I went to interviews in the daytime and submitted my resume at night. Finally, on the afternoon of the third Friday, when I was dragging my tired body to return to my temporary residence, I received a call from an international logistics company. Yes, I got hired. Very happy! It was the brightest day of my life!
What I learned:
1) Working experience is a must even today! Nobody can change it, survive first, then grow!
2) Whatever you do, make sure you never give up! Be patient!
1) Freight forwarding company that wants to avoid the middlemen.
The company is an excellent international freight forwarder. They found out that most of its customers are trading companies. As their office is in the city, factories are in the suburbs, and the city and suburbs are very far away. It may take 2-3 hours to travel.
They wanted to cooperate with factories directly. So, the company thinks they can build a new department directly in the suburbs, which is convenient for visiting the factory and building business relations with them. I guess because I was motivated and not afraid of hard work, I was hired. After 2 weeks of training in the city, I was sent to the suburbs.
I made many foreign trade salesman friends and found most of them their basic salary is $600. Still, my basic salary is only $300. After paying all the bills, I had nothing left. I didn't care about money. But I knew it was vital to work in the right industry.
I learned the trade at college and so many things about international logistics and factories these months. I believe I can do the same as them, even better. Maybe it's time to be an export salesman now. So, after working in the forwarder company for 2 months, I firmly handed in my resignation letter. The company paid me my salary after I left.
What I learned:
1) The harder it is, the faster it grows!
2) In China, rich people and trading companies live in the city. Only the poor and factories live in the suburbs.
2) Solar charger factory tried to make a great product, but their quality is lousy.
I quickly joined a solar charger factory to work as a foreign trade salesman. The boss is mainly responsible for manufacturing and does not know English. He used to work as a technician and is a typical manufacturing boss.
First, learn product knowledge at the workshop and business skills from the sales manager. After passing the test, the company assigned some old customers to me. I closed a few small orders very soon. I know quality is the key. So, I insist on testing the products personally to ensure their quality.
I found some issues during the first-time testing, and I helped the production department fix them, then shipped them to the clients. However, the customer complained the quality failed soon after the customer received the goods. I felt strange and promised to give the customer a solution.
I discussed with the production department about the quality solution and communicated with the boss if we could provide any guarantee to customers or a refund to the buyers. I thought the boss would agree because it is responsible for the customer and the company's long-term development of good advice.
As a result, the boss did not agree to a refund and could only offer a discount on the customer's next order. But the customer is unsatisfied with this order; how can they place a second order? It is very unfair to the customer.
To avoid failing more customers, I insisted on doing deeper tests and checking each product more carefully before delivery. Make sure everything is ok. Even so, the complaints continue.
So, I went to the boss again. The boss was unwilling to refund or give any compensation unless the clients sent the failed cargo back, but it was impossible to return. The customers are very disappointed. Of course, the most disappointed one is me.
I continued communicating with the production department and helped them strengthen quality control. As a salesman, my main job should be to deal with customers. But, working at the production line took up close to 80% of my time, and the problem is still there.
Worse, the more you sell, the more complaints you receive. I think it's time to leave, the boss wants to do things right, but he can't. In total, I have been working in the factory for 1.5 months. I resigned! The boss also paid my salary, and I was very grateful!
What I learned:
1) The manufacturing industry is challenging; the process, production, quality control, worker management, efficiency, etc., are not very complicated.
2) Both Willingness and ability are essential for success. None is dispensable. Willingness means whether they are willing to do it well, their character, and morality. Ability means whether they have the appropriate methods and experience. Looking for partners must be an in-depth examination of these two. An irresponsible and dishonest supplier is disastrous for buyers.
3) Inspection of goods is an afterthought control and is inefficient. What is effective should be, spending time on screening suppliers. Fire prevention is more important than firefighting is the same reason.
4) About 50% of Chinese factories' bosses are technicians, and the other 50% are salespeople. Most of them can’t speak English. If you want to have the best deal, you have to find a way to discuss with the boss directly.
3) USB flash drive trading companies pretend to be a factory, and they make money by cheating.
I think it is better to go to a trading company, no headaches about quality.
A friend told me that Huaqiang North is China's biggest electronic products wholesale market.
There were more than 0.1 million trading companies located there. They were purchased from Huaqiang North and then resold to foreign customers. They can get about 50% profit even more. And they only need to speak English and focus on marketing. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to try.
I soon joined a trading company near Huaqiang North, mainly selling USB flash drives, Mp3, Mp4, and memory cards. All goods are sourced 100% from the Huaqiang North wholesale market. My base salary is $500, plus the commission of 1% of sales. It's good.
The boss was a middle-aged man who used to work as a domestic salesman. He heard that the foreign trade business was growing, so he hired English-spoken graduates to enter the foreign trade industry. He does not know English but likes to ask about the clients' situations and teach us how to respond. But not to teach us how to do business in good faith skills, to put it badly, how to cheat.
For example, if the customer tries to negotiate the best deal, he will tell us to agree with whatever the price. By upgrading the product, the company can still make a good profit.
What is the upgrade?
For example, a customer buys a 4GB flash drive, and the company's procurement cost may be $3. But the customer does not know how much should be reasonable. He can only compare the price between multiple suppliers.
Some suppliers would cheat as they want to beat their competitors with lower prices. They may sell for $3.00, even lower. Then no profit at all.
Do you believe that some people do business without making money? Then, how could they still make a profit? Very simple, cheating and upgrading. Give customers a 512MB or 256MB flash drive to replace 4GB. With the software rewriting, it shows 4GB. The clients won't find it out easily.
In this way, the company just paid 256MB or 512MB USB flash drives; the cost may be $2 or even lower. Even if you sell for $3, there is also a $1 profit. Because the company is a complete trader and does not do any production, this is net profit.
I disagreed with what the boss taught me. I don't want to sell any upgraded products to my customers. So, I asked other colleagues if it was common to cheat customers like this or if it was occasionally. The answer was often.
Like me, most of my colleagues were fresh graduates with little money or savings. Even if they knew cheating was wrong, they couldn't do anything about it. Not to mention their bonuses and commissions were probably being withheld by the boss.
I thought I couldn't do it by working in a dishonest company, making money by deception. So, I quit after working for one month. When I left, the boss promised me my salary would be paid on the 15th of the following month. Finally, I was cheated too. I tried to get my salary back, but he lied repeatedly.
What I learned:
1) The boss is the soul of the company! What kind of values and character the boss has is too important. The boss is the initiator of everything. A dishonest boss can ruin everything.
2) Sellers are always shrewder than buyers. They have too many ways to cheat customers if they want. Cutting corners and fudging are commonplace for dishonest suppliers.
What did I learn from my 3 business tries?
1) 50,000 pieces sold in the first business.
After these few months of tossing and turning, I was confident to work or try something different. However, the days were tough but full of rewards.
Occasionally, I saw someone selling self-heating body stickers. My hometown was winter and cold, with no air conditioning or heating, so I thought selling it could be a good business. Because this product is still relatively new, I bought a few pieces to try, which were terrific. So, I borrowed $6,000 from my aunt. Through many products comparison, I finally selected the brand "BB Bear."
Reached to the source manufacturers and bought 50,000 pieces. The cost is $ 0.1, and I am selling it for $ 0.50. I designed my first advertising and hired people to distribute them. It is an easy product that can warm your body for about 10 hours. As I expected, it gained success and finally earned more than $10,000.
But because the product is based on cold, there is no way to continue once the winter is over.
But I am still pleased with what I dared to try, and I learned along the way. Selling point. Team management. Cooperation. I am thrilled with the quality because it is directly purchased from the source manufacturer.
What I learned:
1) If you find a new product before others, you can create wealth.
2) What is the Chinese best at? Copy and makes it cheaper. The manufacturers often hurt the quality significantly because of competition, so they can sell cheaper. The more popular the product, the more rampant fakes are. The easiest way to ensure quality is to find the source manufacturer.
3) The essential thing in doing business is quality. Once product quality is guaranteed, the difference is how much money you can make, more or less, at least not lose money!
2) 1,200 computers were posting our ads.
When selling self-heating body stickers, I found that the Internet cafe was a good place for business. People like to go online, but the winter is freezing, no air conditioning. I thought I could sell the sticker at the Internet cafe.
So, I visited the Internet cafe and talked to the management; I could design a desktop wallpaper and then put the advertisement on the wallpaper. As nobody used to want to buy the wallpaper, we got it for a meager price of 0.05USD/Computer per day. Using the same price, finally, we got more than 1200 computers.
What I learned:
1) Finding demand is undoubtedly essential but making full use of the opportunity is more important.
2) The nature of competition is not to compete but to monopolize. you must constantly innovate to prevent competitors
3) Selling mobile phones is much cooler business.
I thought of something bigger after the self-heating body sticker and internet cafe. Since I was in Shenzhen, why not take advantage of the world's largest source of electronic products, Huaqiang North? So, I did some market research and decided to sell mobile phones.
Directly earning the price difference is effortless; the gross profit on each cell phone can be $40. Opening a physical store can cost more than $50,000; I didn't want to invest so much, so I spent $1000 to hire someone to build a website. Once the framework is set up, I only need to upload product images, parameters, and prices on the line.
At that time, I did not know anything about Online marketing and did not do any paid promotions. A few days after uploading the products, it was surprising that we received orders.
It's a great business model. To be honest, we didn't think through how to do it.
Suddenly I did not receive any orders for days. It turned out my site had been hacked; there was only a cell phone number and some words saying "$ 5,000 to restore". I contacted the technician who built the site before, and they told me he couldn't get it back. $5,000 seems unworthy, so a thought, give up.
What I learned:
1) Many years later, I carefully made many websites again but with no traffic. I realized that do everything as early as you see there is an opportunity. You do not understand, and your competitors do not understand either. Never give up easily!
2) You should make good use of the surrounding resources, such as Huaqiang North, the world's largest wholesale electronics market, which contains countless opportunities!
Getting a job and restarting the business.
Half a year passed. Three tries were down finally for many reasons. Of course, I was thrilled I tried them. The most crucial gain is to dare to follow my heart and self-management!
When you start your own business, it is very different from getting a job. You are the boss, with no one to manage you. When you want to start and when to end are your ideas.
All things need to be driven by you. You are the engine of the company. If you don't move, everything stays. In a job, you have a team to work with. You only need to be responsible for one of the links, and the pressure will be much less.
I realized there were many things I should learn, and I needed to get a job again!
1) Honest trading company that pretends to be a factory too.
Against my experience, I thought getting a job was the best thing in the world, as you can learn and grow, you can work with a team, and it was paid. I chose Huaqiang North again! I want to find an easy product. Good or bad quality is easy to find and not easy to falsify.
Finally, I joined a trading company at Huaqiang North. Their main products are phone cases, protective film, chargers, etc.
I knew I was learning with pay, working for myself. So, I gave my best and worked hard.
The boss is also a young man, about 5 years older than me, don't speak English either. In addition to pretending that he had a factory, other aspects are honest. No one will defraud customers.
Because everything was purchased from Huaqiang North, and the product is simple, the efficiency is also very high. I progressed quickly, passed the probationary period smoothly, and the average monthly income soon exceeded $2000. I was pleased about that.
What I learned:
1) Are you a factory or trading company? 99% of suppliers are lying about it.
2) You can make more money once you can make your decision cautiously.
3) There is no straight road to life. The detours and setbacks ahead are a necessary process.
2) We were lucky to work with the top 500 companies.
I frequently visited Huaqiang North wholesale market to see the market trend after working 8 months at the trading company. I made some foreign buyer friends who built the sourcing office in China. They were looking for a partner to help them with their sourcing business in China because most Chinese people do not speak English and don't want to work with trading companies.
I was happy with my job; I only needed to focus on selling, it was easy, and the salary was rising. Anyway, I quit my job again! And I set up a small foreign trade company in the living room of my apartment.
As I got to know more and more foreign friends, procurement needs skyrocketed, and more categories were involved. There are shoes, clothes, bags, machinery, jewelry, sock, toys, electrical appliances, furniture, etc. We were initially under a lot of pressure because we had not purchased these products before.
We had to keep visiting the production base and local wholesale market to learn from the factories and wholesalers. After some twists and turns, finally, we made most of the project successful and refunded for the failed ones. Our client was pleased.
Although we are a small company, we have been lucky to work with Falabella, Concosud, Walmart, Disney, and Carrefour. This is something we never dared to imagine before.
I know it's because we rely on the strong manufacturing capacity in China, and we can speak Chinese. So, we can avoid middlemen, reach the source suppliers, and communicate and negotiate with them effectively. Finally, we offer a guarantee for our services. These made an excellent value for our clients.
On the other hand, our hard work has gained the big sellers' trust. Although these companies are big, they are still far from our knowledge of the Chinese market, industry, culture, and sourcing. We believe we can do more; we can help many small and middle-size businesses.
What I learned:
1) You should dare to take the step of trying if there is an opportunity.
2) Small companies can also do big business, relying on Made-in-China and building trust.
3) China local wholesale market is a gold mine.
Every time our clients come to China, they ask us to guide them to the Canton Fair, HKTDC fair, and global source trade fair. But they always were not so happy with what they found.
Yes, I knew I could show you the local wholesale market. But the local wholesaler didn't speak English. And I was worried that if buyers knew the wholesale market might impact our own business. So, I was not enthusiastic about taking customers to the wholesale market.
There is an afternoon. One of my best friends is also a customer, he asked me to help him negotiate with his suppliers, but the supplier could not come to the meeting. So, we were free that afternoon. Then I asked him if he wanted to visit the local wholesale market.
After finding countless suppliers, categories, and products, the customer was utterly shocked. He asked me why I didn't guide him here before? Why? Why John? It's paradise. You can buy anything you like here. But at the fair, the suppliers would tell you sorry, it's the sample, not for sale. If you like it, you can come to get it on the last day afternoon of the fair.
He bought more than $ 2,000 in samples that afternoon. And then started to buy from the wholesale market crazily, Of course, with our help.
So, we understood nothing to hide anymore; we would share the complete picture of Made in China. Since then, once customers come to China, we suggest visiting the wholesale market, without exception, finding a bigger world, customers are pleased. And they bought from the wholesale market, repeated more frequently.
The wholesale market is an exhibition open 365 days a year; what you see is what you get! It's the place the new product was first launched. So, it's definitely worth visiting and buying from there. Among the most famous Yiwu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen wholesale markets!
What I learned:
1) I was deeply shocked by the foreign buyers' reaction the first time they visited the whole market. Many trading companies are purchased from these wholesale markets, then sold to foreign customers. Because of the conflict of interest, they will not even mention the existence of these wholesale markets. When we worked as trading companies, we feared sharing the wholesale market with our customers would affect our business! It's wrong. Openness creates more.
2) Most foreign buyers utilized only 30% made in China. If they could find a trusted partner in China who could fully use Chinese manufacturing, it would change their business dramatically.
3) China's wholesale market is a big gold mine; countless opportunities are hidden there. Huaqiang North is the best for electronic products.
Time to dream of creating JustChinait
More and more new customers complained to us about their terrible sourcing and shipping experience with China suppliers. There are many frauds, counterfeits, cutting corners, and receiving money without delivery.
Yes, I fully understand and familiarize their experience. As a Chinese, I often encounter many dishonest suppliers when purchasing too.
Not to mention foreigners who do not understand China can't speak Chinese. Foreign buyers had no idea about the Chinese culture, the rapid development in the past 30 years, the China manufacturing base, and the China wholesale market.
To make matters worse, scammers usually are very good at marketing. They are often the first contact that foreign buyers reach.
However, most of the source factories are very professional and honest. They can indeed provide good quality goods at reasonable prices. But they are burying their heads in creating and producing products. Usually, they don't export directly, so foreign buyers do not easily access them.
The dishonest Chinese suppliers keep cheating foreign buyers.
Nobody cares about the benefit of foreign buyers.
By 2017, Through 8 years of hard work, I immigrated to Shenzhen. My Business keeps growing, and life is also good. I felt it was time. I had to do something. Otherwise, the reputation of Made-in-China would be completely rotten. Customers would never come to China to purchase again.
Workers like my parents are going to lose their job, they can only go back to their hometown to farm, and their life will fall into poverty again. But they didn’t do anything wrong or cheat anyone; they worked hard. Scammers and some trading companies did, and they made big money by cheating. It's unfair.
So, I sold my export business and created JustChinait, dedicated to helping foreign buyers source from China by providing a one-stop China sourcing solution, from finding the best suppliers to shipping.
It was a much more challenging road than we thought. Because many foreign buyers still don't know the truth, they may have a good profit now. They don't care if they work with dishonest suppliers who pretend to be a factory; they simply don't want to dig deeper.
Anyway, we insist on being open to making more foreign friends. We are welcoming our foreign friends buying from China. We would help them avoid cheating and get the best deal from China. Share our stories, our values, and our mission with the world. Let the world enjoy Made in China.
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