China Sourcing Agent Fees – How Much Does It Cost?

Made in China. Sourced from China

  • Have no prior experience sourcing and importing goods from that country
  • Need a large inventory of goods
  • Need to source multiple products
  • A local presence in China, as in an office or a team
  • An office close to you, which makes them easily accessible when a problem arises with your order
  • Excellent communication skills, including fluency in Mandarin — the most-spoken language in China — and English
  • Experience as a China sourcing agent
  • Expertise in sourcing your particular product
  • Common fee structures
  • Fee size
  • Most beneficial fee model

Common fee structures

It can be tricky to navigate sourcing fees as there is no general industry standard.

How much will it cost me?

  • Audit Package — We verify the supplier by checking their location and legal status, whether they supply your product/products and have done so in the past, whether they are a manufacturer or a trading company. We do this by checking their website or their profile on the online B2B platform Alibaba, or through a phone call if you provide us with their contact details. Cost: $100 per supplier.
  • Single Product Package — We conduct a phone audit to verify the supplier’s manufacturing capabilities, size, and experience. We also help you communicate your product requirements and place your order with the supplier. Additionally, we help you track your shipment once it has been dispatched. Cost: $300 per product.
  • Sourcing Package — We help you source up to five products as part of a three-month contract. The services offered includes a physical audit, which means that a member of our team visits the factory to verify its location, manufacturing abilities and experience among other things. We also communicate your requirements, help you place an order and track it, ship the goods, and track that as well. Cost: $500 per month.
  • Boots on the Ground Package — An annual contract for an unlimited number of products, this package includes a physical audit of the supplier, assistance in communicating your requirements, order tracking and shipping tracking. Cost: $1,000 per month.

What is the best fee model for me?


  • Pick the package that helps you cultivate a long-term business relationship with the supplier as well as the sourcing agent. Lasting partnerships are more beneficial to all three parties involved than one-time deals. This is especially important if you are in the sourcing business for the long haul.
  • Minimize your risks. Pick a package that spells out its supplier verification methods. For example, will the sourcing agent physically visit the factory, and how many times? Will they make sure the supplier’s licenses are valid and up to date?
  • Go for a continuous production management package (as discussed above) if you don’t have much experience sourcing from China. Entrusting an experienced sourcing agent who has a local presence in China with the procurement process is better than fumbling through it yourself. This is the preferred service package among Sourcing Allies’ clients, who have the option of choosing between two fee models — manufacturing plus shipping or manufacturing minus shipping.
  • Make sure value-added services are included in the package. These could range from troubleshooting at any stage of the production process to taking photographs of your product for an e-commerce platform or even designing custom test equipment to make sure your product meets the required quality standards. At Sourcing Allies, value-added services are a part of our packages and do not invite additional charges.


  • Don’t go for the cheapest rates. If the price is too low, it almost always means your product quality will be low as well.
  • Don’t be taken in by sourcing agents who offer “free services”. There is no such thing. The agent’s fee and profit margin are built into the package, but you might not get the full range of services you require for such a fee.
  • Don’t focus purely on price, is what all of this means. Finding a sourcing agent who understands your requirements, is committed to finding you the right supplier after going through multiple candidates, and is upfront and transparent about the entire procurement process is more beneficial in the long run.

The right price




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