Here is Jacob’s piece of advice to Chinese suppliers:
I’d advise suppliers “not to fill in the blanks”. This is as much the importers’ fault as the suppliers. Let me give a scenario.
The importer has left off a vital piece of detail or the supplier has a question. Many times, instead of asking the question and NOT BUDGING until they get an answer; the supplier instead makes a choice, fills in the blank and proceeds w/out confirming with the buyer.
One of the main reasons they do this is because of timing, but there are other reasons as well.
So what should the supplier do?
They need to not be shy to ask questions. Then let the client clearly and boldly know that if the client doesn’t provide the info we need by such and such date, your order WILL delay and it will be your fault. If they must proceed because of timing (ie LC payment terms), then let the buyer know in writing “we had this question, you didn’t answer, therefore we’re doing this”. If they are to deal internationally, then suppliers need to get more confirmations in professional writing (avoid too much skype or qq…utilize email more)
Also, the suppliers need to slow down before the start of production and assure all possible questions have been answered.
Usually if the suppliers fills in the blank without asking the client, coincidentally, it’s the cheapest, quickest and worse possible solution they could’ve picked…
From my observations, when something is not specified by the importer and is left up to the supplier’s choice, the supplier will go for what is easiest and cheapest (for him).
For example, if you don’t specify the type of export cartons you want, don’t be surprised if the bottom row of cartons is crushed when you receive the shipment. It is up to you, if you buy in China, to think of all these details.
What do you think?