When quoting an offshore campaign, be as thorough as possible in the initial inquiry. In China sourcing, there’s already going to be sufficient questions and emails back-and-forth between you and your Chinese supplier. Minimize misunderstandings by being thorough in that first RFQ or inquiry out the gate.

You’ll save time with a thorough inquiry

A lot of time that’s lost in the beginning stages of communication..doesn’t have to be.

In the world of promotional product quotes and timelines, you don’t want to lose time over something that should’ve been there.

China sourcing is already fraught with it’s own flavor of inefficiencies. Don’t add to it.

By being complete in your RFQ, you’ll avoid the supplier coming back to you and asking questions.

Don’t get me wrong, a vendor who asks questions is a good vendor and they should do this.

What I’m talking about is when you lose an entire day because the vendor had to come back and say, “what quantity to quote?”

Or when you asked for an item and then attached images that showed different items. The vendor has to come back and ask for clarification. 

A thorough inquiry acts as a running checklist

If you’ve laid out the RFQ in a professional manner, the entire initial inquiry can now become sort of a running checklist list between you and the vendor.

Once you receive the vendor’s price quote in response, you can now go through your initial inquiry (because you’ve laid it out professional, clear and loaded with necessary points) to make sure the vendor quoted everything that you asked.

If the initial request is not thorough and clear, you’ll have trouble comparing to see if vendor quoted everything necessary.

A thorough inquiry is the antithesis of a jumbled inquiry.

A thorough inquiry shows seriousness

You want your supplier to receive the RFQ and see a serious customer.

A vendor should see an inquiry and think, “this customer means business”. This causes the supplier to put better focus on the quote. The hard truth is that many vendors are careless with their quoting because they doubt the client’s ability to close the deal.

Buyers and suppliers bring value to one another.

Ask yourself: if you received this inquiry from an overseas client, one you couldn’t necessarily call to hash out the details, would you be interested in quoting?

Or would you let it just fall by the wayside?

A thorough inquiry gives you a standard to follow

If you require your own effort to be complete, then you’ll know more about your own project before you send the RFQ to the vendor. You’ll be on top of your game!

What typically happens is a potential buyer sends a bare bones inquiry to a vendor in China.

The supplier comes back with questions.

The buyer has no concept how to answer and has to go to their client to ask questions or return to the drawing board to figure this out.

A few things you can do to avoid a wide-open inquiry:

  • Ask yourself; if I was quoting this product, would I have everything I need?
  • Was there a key point that my client specified that I haven’t included?
  • Are there functionality / hard aspects about the product I haven’t considered? Are there different levels or parameters that the supplier needs to know about.
  • Make a checklist of things that you must include every time you send an RFQ to an offshore vendor.

Being thorough, helps to eliminate (as much as possible) this phase of needless back-and-forth. China sourcing is already full of it’s own required back-and-forth, don’t add to it by not informing the supplier things that SHOULD HAVE ALREADY been included.