As I have 2 different product lines I sell on line, I also have 2 methods of exploring buying from China.
My main business is in the advertising area. In April, I began the process to get a product developed in China. On this product, I chose to work with one of my suppliers and to have them interface with the Chinese manufacturer for me. What follows are the steps thus far:
- I signed the contract which listed the features and paid the development costs in early April. I was told it would be mid-June when the product was completed.
- I was told early June that the delivery date was wrong. The delivery date was incorrectly calculated based on contract date PLUS 45 days. It failed to take into consideration weekends (or so I was told), so the delivery of the sample was delayed.
- The sample was delivered late June. It met my expectations. But, as we discussed small changes, my supplier found justification to raise the EACH price. Some increase may have been appropriate, but I believe the exchange rate of the dollar also played a part.
- The supplier worked with the Chinese manufacturer to confirm the changes. It was determined I would have one of my order shipped by AIR. Once I approved, the rest would be sent by ship. I was told I could expect my final sample late August.
- I contacted my supplier before the Olympics. He said the Olympics would not impact the delivery.
- After contacting my US supplier today, he confirmed that my product was delayed due to parts from other plants.
I do not yet have my product. And, by the time I do, it would have been at least 6 months from the beginning to the end of the process.
Of course, the second option is contacting the supplier directly. And, the main issue here is the cost and time of shipping a product directly from China to customers. I am exploring the flexibility of the Chinese supplier. And, depending how it turns out, other posts may follow……