As a result of the HUGE market in Yiwu, a huge number of export agents (over 3,000 estimated) also scattered in every corner of Yiwu.
They're located inside market, inside office buildings around market, and inside residential buildings in Yiwu city. Some are even scattered in the villages and towns around Yiwu city.
We have to admit, without continuous efforts from these export agents, Yiwu market exportation couldn't have expanded so fast in last 20 years.
These agents are of ALL scales, from 1 person to several person, from dozens staff to hundreds of staff. Over 90% of them are from staff 1-5. Another 5% have 6-100 staff. There are only about 3 Yiwu export agents have over 100 staff.
Regard export volume, these 90% agents only export about 60% of total volume. The biggest agent, like SellersUnion, can ship out dozens of containers each week.
A large amount of these 1-2 person export agents registered at NOWHERE.
That means these agents are literately non-exist. We call these people SOHO businessmen. They don't register, don't have an office or share an office with someone else. When comes to payment, they usually offer you a personal account, or their friend's company account.
Then comes to the medium-sized agents. These agents are usually either registered offshore or registered both offshore and in China.
In Yiwu, it makes not that much difference if you only registered offshore or you registered both in China and offshore. The only thing matters is it's easier for China policemen to find these agents registered in China when crime happens.
For the few big boys like SellerUnion and ONCCC Trade, they're legitimate companies for sure. They have to register both in China and offshore.
One interesting question of the Yiwu agent is, when you ask them a question "what are you specialized in?" 90% of them would say "we can help you with all products on Yiwu market".
That basically means they're specialized in everything. (but you know, no one can be specialized in everything)
For sure this huge market in Yiwu greatly enhanced agents' sourcing ability. But as a sourcing agent, it's always better to focus on a certain range of products. Like SellerUnion, they are mainly focused on kitchenware, hardware and tools, and supermarket items.
There are also a small percentage of agents that're only specialized in a certain products or a range of products.
The first thing has to be Safety
You have to find at least a company, not just a guy named Jack or Ben. This company has to be registered at least somewhere.
This can be easily found out by the bank account names they offer you. If the bank account name is identical with the company name, this means it is a company registered somewhere. Because before granting a company account, the bank has to check company papers to make sure they're legal.
Secondly, i think has to be loyalty and honesty.
This can also be easily found out from the way they approaching to you.
For those agent has a slogan like "low to 1% commission", "1% commission", "Free service, free translators, free car...", established last year, but already claimed they're "the best agent in Yiwu",or "No.1 Yiwu agent in Yiwu".
They don't state all their terms clearly in advance, just using lots of the"bait-and-switch" strategy... For these agents, you'd better have a second thought before contacting.
Before i forget, a typical "bait-and-switch" strategy is to send you a price list with extremely low prices. But after you come to Yiwu, they will have dozens of reasons that you can't get the exact same products as the same price in the list.
The third thing i think should be "professionalism".
This can be easily found out from their marketing way, from the way they answering your emails and answer your telephone. They should know clearly what they're doing and what they can't do.
Also it's better to find an agent if they're specialized in your products. For example, we're very cautious about your inquiry of LCD TVs because we're specialized in fashion accessories an home decors.
In my opinion: business is finally all about the "people" behind it. No matter how big or how small a company is. If you find the right people, your business should be on a right track.
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May.30: Duanwu holiday; Market opens, stores 50% close/half-close. Visiting not suggested.