How to quickly get detailed quotation from Chinese supplier? (3 Inquiry Templates)

By justchinait
April 19, 2021

Once you’ve found a few suitable suppliers, you can approach them.
Your biggest question is “How much?” But before you rush to send your invitation to vendors (often referred to as RFQ), plan out what you want to say and what questions you need to ask. Asking for a quote from a supplier is not as simple as getting one from a local store.

The best channel to send quotation applications is email. Although email is not as fast as Ali online chat, WhatsApp or Skype, communicating with suppliers through email has the following advantages:

  • You can send them exactly what you want and need in writing. That way there is no room for confusion.
  • Vendors will write down price quotes so that they are not free to change prices later (unless, of course, you change what you want).
  • Sending quotes by mail is not easy to ignore. Because suppliers usually manage customers mainly by email, they will be more careful to check emails.

So we recommend that you post your inquiry via email to the suppliers you are interested in. Then what should you write about your inquiry? How can you quickly get an accurate quote? We will introduce them to you below.

Why can’t you always get accurate quotes quickly?

Be judged as junk mail

Suppliers will receive inquiries from all over the world every day. Buyers ask for product specifications, some ask for product quotations, and some ask for samples directly. However, many international buyers do not really want to purchase products, so some low-quality inquiries will be filtered out by suppliers. How do suppliers judge spam inquiries?

1. Judging by the title of the inquiry
In the inquiry email, the title is their first content. If the title of an inquiry is irrelevant to their product or an obvious advertisement, they will directly remove it from the email. In addition, by checking the email subject, they can also see whether international buyers are sending inquiries in groups or individually.

2. Judge according to the end of the inquiry
In general, a real inquiry from a regular company will leave a complete signature, company name, detailed address and contact information at the end, and even some will leave the company’s website.
And some junk inquiries, not the name of the company is no contact information. When the supplier sees such inquiries, although the supplier will not immediately remove them, it will be put to the last to deal with.

3. According to the content of the inquiry
After reading the title and end of the inquiry, the supplier will judge the authenticity of the inquiry according to the specific content of the inquiry email.

After reading the title and end of the inquiry, the supplier will judge the authenticity of the inquiry according to the specific content of the inquiry email.

  • See if the email asks for detailed product information, such as product name, specific model, delivery date, function, technical parameters, etc.;
  • look at the inquiry content whether to ask about the product order quantity and price;
  • look at the inquiry whether to mention the problem of product certification, if you require products to obtain a certain industry product certification, they will guess that the goods you purchase may go to the supermarket or other channels;
  • See if your inquiry mentions the time of delivery and terms of payment. If you include this in your inquiry, they can usually tell that you are anxious to buy the product.
  • See if you have sent any attachments in the inquiry email. Many people for the first time to send inquiries in the mail to show what products are interested in, and then send an attachment to the supplier to let the supplier offer. If you send an attachment to the supplier in the first inquiry, they are very cautious.

Chinese suppliers can generally judge the psychological status of some international buyers and determine the quality of the inquiry through some details of the inquiry email. In addition, it is worth mentioning that while judging the quality of the inquiry according to the content of the inquiry, they will also use Google and other search engines to inquire whether the other company exists and its detailed information to help judge the authenticity.

Through the above 3 methods, they can basically distinguish the vast majority of true and false inquiries. As a seller, you can avoid being ignored as a junk inquiry by the supplier based on the above information.

There is no clear need

Just like you want to receive detailed quotations, suppliers also want to receive detailed inquiries. Below we show you through a case.

Poland buyer Marta asked us to help design, make samples and purchase from China. We found many problems when inquiring with Chinese suppliers.

This is the picture we sent to the supplier during the inquiry process. However, most suppliers ask us a question: What is the quantity?

It is strange that we have marked the “MOQ for each color” on the picture, why the supplier still asks for the quantity? Shouldn’t the supplier directly tell us his MOQ when replying to us? This is a problem for many Chinese suppliers.

The supplier asks: How much do you want?
The buyer says: 100units
The supplier said: Sorry, the quantity is too small
The buyer says: 200units
The supplier said: Sorry, the quantity is still too small
Why didn’t the supplier tell us the MOQ directly? This kind of communication efficiency is really too low.

Why don’t the suppliers give you their MOQ directly?
This is usually because the supplier may have already made a similar product, but has not yet made the product. They need to know the size of your order to make sure it’s worth it. But you are likely to encounter very professional suppliers.
Their answer:
Hello, thank you for your inquiry.
We have made this product. Attached are the photos of the product we made. Molds are available, so the minimum order quantity is about 200 units. The price for 200 units is ** and for 500 units is **, FOB Shanghai. Of course, the wall thickness is optional, and we can discuss the details further.

The answer gives us the information we need. As for the quotation from MOQ, they informed us that they have already manufactured the product with the mold. This is the difference between professional suppliers and ordinary suppliers. Make a difference in the details. But most vendors are ordinary and want to get accurate requirements right from the start. This phenomenon is by no means an exception, it is a common problem for Chinese suppliers.

What is a professional inquiry like?

You need to ask questions about when inquiring:

  • The company’s background (and request references)
  • The product/s you’re interested in (availability, warranty/guarantee)
  • What services they provide (manufacturing, OEM, ODM)
  • Placing an order (price, discounts, MOQ, quantity, quality, packaging, samples)
  • Shipping (trade terms, destination, cost, delivery time, tracking numbers)
  • Payment (terms and method)
  • Support services (return and refund policies)

Planning your initial inquiry can increase your chances of receiving a response and the correct information. Here are a few important questions to consider for your email:

What is your minimum order quantity?
Also referred to as a MOQ, you want to make sure the minimum order quantity is manageable for you, and that you can afford them. This minimum order quantity can vary wildly depending on the product and the supplier, so it’s important to ask upfront.

Is the sample available?
While requesting product samples isn’t explicitly related to asking for a quote, it’s something you should definitely do before deciding on a supplier. This is an important part of quality control. Whether you visit the factory or wholesale depot, or you get the dropshipper to send you samples, you should always test the product before you start selling it.

What is your sample pricing?
Sample pricing ranges, depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers that receive many requests may charge the full retail pricing, others will offer you samples at a discounted rate, and some may even send you samples for free.

What’s the price of your products?
One of the most important questions is how much your product will cost.
You may want to ask for a few volume prices to see if and how they discount bulk orders. We suggest that you ask your supplier to quote ex-factory prices. Because FOB price is not a pure product price, it also includes the freight from the factory to the port and other costs.
Factories usually charge this much more. Only the ex-factory price is the real product price. Even if you wish the terms to be FOB, you can ask the EXW price first. If you are satisfied with the ex-factory price, it is also acceptable to ask the supplier to add the FOB fee. This prevents suppliers from earning extra fees.

How about the turnaround time?
Knowing how long it will take to produce your order is an important consideration. Depending your exact business, time can be critical.

What are your payment terms?
Many suppliers require new businesses to pay the full amount of the order up front.
This is important to understand, because inventory is a major cost for e-commerce startups. You can also ask if they offer payment terms for future orders. The most common payment method is 30% deposit, balance against B/L copy. Click here for our suggestions on payment methods.

Generally speaking, price, quality and delivery time are the issues you must pay attention to when purchasing from China.

So how do you avoid being ignored?

There are a few things that you should avoid when you reach out to suppliers for the first time:

Long emails: Your first email to a manufacturer should be clear and concise. Avoid telling too much about your story and background and a brief self-introduction is enough. The first email should purely assess potential fit at a high level. Focus on what suppliers care about the most, like the details of what you’re trying to source.

Asking for too much: Requests aren’t always easy for the supplier to produce. It’s important to ask for a few prices for multiple quantities, but avoid asking for too much or too many quotes. Stick to asking for what you absolutely need to assess fit between you and the supplier.

Asking for too little: If you ask for a quote well below the supplier’s minimum order you risk being met with silence. If you’re unsure whether your request is too small, consider giving them a quick call or send a one question email prior to ask what their minimum order is. In many cases, suppliers may be using programs to translate your email as well as their reply. Keeping your emails short, concise, well-formatted and error-free will not only help the manufacturer but ultimately provide you with better replies and answers. Also, when asking your questions, it’s best to number them. This way, they can easily reply to each number, keeping the questions and communication clean and organized.

This script is quite specific, which is fine if you’ve done plenty of prior research. If you haven’t identified the specific products you are interested in you don’t have to list them.

False Case:

Hello, I am [YOUR FULL NAME], purchasing assistant for [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. Our company director has asked me to kindly inquire quotes for quantity [XXX] of your product [PRODUCT DESCRIPTION]. We are a company that sells products related to [INSERT NICHE HERE] and we do over 1.5 million dollars in sales each year. We’re looking to expand our product range and create a profitable partnership between your company and ours. We have been researching different companies in China that manufacture [INSERT ITEM] and we think that your company could be a great supplier for it. We have a few questions that we would like you to please answer:

  • What types of packaging do you usually use for this product?
  • How long does it take to manufacture once an order has been placed?
  • What is the product-per-unit cost including shipping via Air Express to the United States, ZIP code [INSERT YOUR ZIP CODE]?
  • What methods of payment do you accept for the full-order?
  • Is it possible to put our logo on your product or product packaging? If so, what is the cost?

We would be very grateful if you would contact us with answers to the above questions as well as any additional policies that we may need to know. We would also like to discuss with you further about doing a sample order for the product. We are hopeful that we can start a mutually beneficial relationship. The email address that you can contact me at is: [OPTIONAL ]


On the whole, this is not an inquiry that will attract suppliers.
First of all, its content is not concise enough, and the self-introduction in front is too complicated. In fact, you don’t need to introduce too much information about the company, just make sure your company information is included in the email. Because the supplier will be in receipt of the inquiry to understand the specific situation of your company. The Internet is powerful. Too many introductions will make you very unfamiliar.

Secondly, the supplier is not given clear requirements. Even the most basic quantity is not provided, so the supplier is unable to check the production time and calculate the freight. It is better to send the picture of the logo to the supplier or tell the supplier how many colors your logo includes. The cost of a Logo depends on its size, color, quantity and craftsmanship. Without these, suppliers cannot provide accurate quotes immediately.

If your inquiry is missing a lot of information, the supplier will ask you again, which will waste a lot of time and cost. You will find that it usually takes at least 3 days or so to get an accurate quote. If you can explain your specific requirements at the first or second inquiry, I believe your efficiency will be improved. Next time we have put together 3 very useful inquiry templates for you.

Inquiry template

Template 1:

Subject: “I am interested in (product name)” or “Inquiry for (product name)”

To Justchinait ,
I am Little J, the purchasing manager of Justchinait Limited, which is headquartered in California, USA. I sell liquid silicone mobile phone cases online and I am currently looking for new suppliers.
Please provide the prices, lead time of the following products:
Item 1: Black liquid silicone mobile phone cases , 3000unit. With poly bag + color card pakage. The picture is attached.
Item 2: Silicone mobile phone cases with cartoon pattern, 2000units. With poly bag + color card pakage. The picture is attached.

If you can send more information and your product catalog, then we are very grateful.

Thank you,
Little J
Juschinait Ltd


Template 2:
Subject: “I am interested in (product name)” or “Inquiry for (product name)”

Dear Sir Or Madam,
My name is [name]. I run Amazon Japan. My main products are…
I have a new product plan and I saw it on your website. I would like to inquire the following details about your products:
Your product catalog
Is it possible to put our logo on your product or product package?
If so, what is the MOQ and the cost?
My logo is attached. If possible, I would like you to send the entire package of information we requested into one file.

Thank you
I look forward to receiving the message.
[Your name] [Company Name]


Template 3:
Inquiry sheet.
With an inquiry form, you do not need to state your requirements in the body of the email. When you ask all suppliers to quote in accordance with your template, all the quotations in one eye, convenient for you to compare and screen.

Get the Excel template.

Inquiry is the first step to get in touch with the supplier. It is also a skill to get the accurate quotation from the supplier quickly. Try our suggestions now and your purchasing efficiency will be greatly improved!

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