With the development of AI, IoT and alike, it’s easy to imagine that buyers around the world won’t need to seek out middlemen to source and make their products. Of course, we can imagine each manufacturer to be linked directly with the buyer or the final user and we are seeing this trend quite often with platforms such as AliExpress and AliBaba.
At DTL Sourcing, we have been in the industry for over 15 years and have seen the evolution and revolution of online sourcing. In the past, we received many enquiries for all sorts of products, both simple or sophisticated. Buyers did not trust companies online and wanted to be reassured by a middleman who had easy access to China or who had experiences with buying from Chinese companies.
Following this, we started to have fewer enquiries for simple products because buyers could go on platforms such as Alibaba and check out reviews of each seller and as a result of this, could easily order smaller quantities than in the past so the overall risk had become more limited.
Luckily, this has not affected business for us. Our enquiries have become more complex and interesting. Now we’re managing purchases for a client with multiple suppliers at the same time and the client often does not want to deal with this. As their agent, we handle all the ins and outs making the experience easy and hassle-free. We also control and manage production for tailor made products (OEM).
Often, buyers try to go through e-platforms and negotiate on their own, however the result was not as desired as a result, they approach us to handle these issues. Even though it is much simpler to talk directly with a factory does not necessarily mean that it is easy to secure deals and understand how to work with Chinese companies. This is why buyers still need to use our services as our teams are made up of both Westerners and locals. We understand the global mindset whilst also possessing the know-how of dealing with Chinese manufacturers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are unable to travel as easily as they did in the past. Due to this, we act as the client’s eyes and ears in the factories as we are right at the source. Sourcing agents such as ourselves have many years ahead of them before being replaced by AI!