• Are you being educated about the process involved?
Importing products across borders can present many difficulties, including quality control of products ordered, timing of deliveries, insurance, product specifications and claims. When importers tell you to simply “leave it to them,” then your organization isn’t learning. Learning how to import from International Suppliers is crucial. And if it keeps you in the dark, you have less freedom to change or negotiate with suppliers.
• How can you lodge a complaint against your trading company (and collect if awarded damages)?
Does it have a legal presence in the United States? Does this firm work strictly out of China (you probably won’t win a judgment in China, and if you did, wouldn’t collect a thing). Are you able to withhold their success fee until you’re satisfied with your purchase?
• Are you able to meet and develop a relationship with your supplier?
The trading company should be facilitating that for you, instead of the American model of ensuring that the buyer and seller never meet. You need to be able to understand your ultimate supplier’s business, and the supplier needs to understand its customer (you). After all, you will be partners.