TOP 5 – 1688 Sourcing Agent: 12 Questions to Ask

Jan 16, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

It’s easy to find a China 1688 sourcing agent to help you buy from 1688 because you can Google hundreds of results, but it takes time to sift through a reliable 1688 agent to help you buy wholesale from China. There are a few things for you to consider.




Why the 1688 Sourcing Services You May Need?

When venturing into the world of 1688 for sourcing or wholesale purchases, you may encounter various challenges, including language barriers, payment limitations, quality control concerns, and complex shipping logistics.

To streamline this process and ensure a seamless procurement experience, consider utilizing the following essential services:

  • Sourcing Services:

Language barriers can hinder effective communication with suppliers, making it difficult to identify and locate the desired products. Sourcing services bridge this gap by providing translation assistance, product research, and supplier vetting to identify the most suitable suppliers for your needs.

  • Purchasing/Sampling Services:

Once potential suppliers are identified, purchasing and sampling services play a crucial role in evaluating product quality and ensuring compliance with your specifications. These services involve placing sample orders, conducting thorough quality inspections, and providing detailed product reports.

  • QC (Quality Control) Services:

The 1688 platform’s policy restricts returns or exchanges after delivery, making quality control paramount. QC services conduct rigorous inspections to verify product quality, identify defects, and ensure adherence to your standards.

  • Repackaging Services:

To enhance product presentation and protect goods during shipping, repackaging services are essential. These services involve customizing packaging, labeling, and branding to meet your specific requirements.

  • Consolidation Services:

Managing multiple 1688 suppliers can become overwhelming. Consolidation services streamline the process by combining shipments from various suppliers, reducing handling costs and simplifying logistics.

  • Shipping Services:

Most 1688 suppliers only ship within China. International shipping services handle the complexities of cross-border shipping, providing reliable and cost-effective solutions for your global procurement needs.

  • Barcode Services:

Barcodes play a vital role in inventory management and product tracking. Barcode services generate and apply barcodes to your products, facilitating efficient tracking and identification throughout the supply chain.

  • Warehousing Services:

Storing inventory in China can be challenging for international buyers. Warehousing services provide secure storage facilities, inventory management, and order fulfillment solutions.

  • Pickup Services:

If you prefer to arrange your own shipping, pickup services can facilitate the process by coordinating with local couriers and transporting goods to your designated pickup location.


By leveraging these essential services, you can effectively navigate the 1688 sourcing landscape, ensuring a smooth and successful procurement experience.





How to Find a 1688 Sourcing Agent?

The next thing is how to find a 1688 sourcing agent. 1688 agents will not provide the above services for free because warehouse labor costs are also very high.


If you’re looking for a reliable sourcing agent on 1688, a popular Chinese B2B wholesale platform, here are some steps to consider:


1. Conduct Online Research

Utilize search engines to find 1688 sourcing agents with positive reviews and testimonials from other buyers. Check their websites and profiles on platforms like Alibaba, Global Sources, or Made-in-China.


2. Seek Recommendations

Reach out to your business network or industry peers who have experience with 1688 sourcing agents. They may be able to recommend trustworthy professionals.


3. Verify Credentials

Ensure that the 1688 sourcing agent is legitimate and possesses a valid business license. Ask for references and conduct background checks to validate their credibility.


Questions for Asking 1688 Agents:

If you don’t know how to ask a question, the following list may be helpful to you: 

    1. I am a wholesale/direct seller of women’s clothing/jewelry accessories/toys/phone cases/electronics, can you tell me how to find reliable 1688 suppliers for my business?
    2. What 1688 direct/wholesale services can you provide?
    3. How much do you charge for 1688 dropship/wholesale?
    4. What is the process of 1688 dropship/wholesale?
    5. How do I estimate the total cost before I sell direct or wholesale?
    6. How long does it take to buy and ship from 1688?
    7. How do I pay you? Bank transfer or PayPal or other ways?
    8. Can you help me to private label the products on 1688?
    9. How do you guarantee that there are no quality problems with your products? What is your after-sales policy?
    10. Where can I get reviews of your service?
    11. What countries/regions can you ship via which couriers? What are the shipping costs?
    12. Do you offer 1688 dropshipping service? What is the exact process? Which platforms do you support for order fulfillment? What is the average warehouse processing time?
    13. Depending on your business, there may be many other questions that you can also add to the list to inquire about 1688 agents.


4. Test Communication and Language

Confirm that the 1688 agent is proficient in both English and Chinese (Mandarin) to avoid any communication gaps during the sourcing process.


5. Ask Experience and Expertise

Look for a 1688 sourcing agent who has experience in your specific industry or the type of products you wish to source. A specialized agent will better understand your requirements and help you find suitable suppliers.


6. Ask Services Offered

Inquire about the range of services provided by the agent. Some 1688 agents solely assist with sourcing, while others may offer additional support such as quality control, factory visits, and logistics assistance.


7. Request Samples

Before committing to a large order, ask the 1688 agent for samples to assess both the product quality and the agent’s reliability in managing the sourcing process.


8. Settle Contract and Agreement

Once you’ve chosen a 1688 sourcing agent, establish a clear contract or agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of your partnership.



1688 buying agent review




Do 1688 Agents Charge Fees for Their Services?

Most 1688 agents charge fees for their services, which vary depending on the services offered and the complexity of the purchase.

Here are some common fees that 1688 agents may charge:

  • Service fees:

Many agents charge a service fee for handling the purchasing process on your behalf, including communication with sellers, negotiation of prices, and handling payment and shipping issues. This fee may be a percentage of the total purchase price or a flat fee.

  • Quality inspection fees:

Some agents offer quality inspection services to ensure that the products you receive are of the desired quality. These services may incur additional fees, which can vary depending on the complexity of the inspection and the number of products being inspected.

  • Shipping and handling fees:

Some agents may charge a fee for shipping and handling services, which can include coordinating with the seller, handling customs issues, and tracking the shipment.

  • Customization fees:

If you request product customization services, such as adding your own logo or modifying the product in some way, you may incur additional fees.




Can I Customize My Orders Through a 1688 Agent?

Yes, many 1688 agents offer customization services to allow you to tailor your orders to your specific needs and preferences. These services can include:

  • Adding your own logo or branding to the products
  • Modifying the products in some way
  • Creating custom products from scratch


To customize your orders through a 1688 agent, you will typically need to:

  • Communicate your specific needs and requirements to the agent.
  • Provide any necessary design or specification documents.
  • The agent will then coordinate with the seller on your behalf to have the products customized to your specifications.


Customization Fees

Customization services can be a convenient way to create unique and personalized products, but they may also incur additional fees. Be sure to clarify the cost and terms of customization services with the 1688 agent before placing your order to ensure that you understand the total cost of the purchasing process.


Customization Impact on Order Lead Time and Quantity

Customization may impact the lead time and minimum order quantity for the products. Be sure to discuss these issues with the 1688 agent to ensure that the customization can be accommodated within your desired timeline and quantity requirements.




Top 8 1688 Agents List:

Below I try to list top 8 places to find best 1688 agents, you can negotiate more with them according to your own needs.


Name Service Location

Supplyia 1688 Service

Sourcing, payment, shipping wholesale from 1688 Yiwu, Zhejiang


1688 quality inspection company Yiwu, Zhejiang


Good for small packages Hongkong


Taobao/1688 online single item buying agent Guangzhou, China


Good for drop-shipping from 1688 Fujian


You can find many 1688 shipping agents on Alibaba Hangzhou


You can find many 1688 agents services on Fiverr US


1688 payment agent(international) Hangzhou





Remember, 1688 sourcing agents can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of international trade. However, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and select a reputable and dependable best 1688 agent to ensure a successful sourcing experience.

From my personal experience, a qualified 1688 agent is nothing more than two things: carefulness and patience.  Check the products carefully and answer customers’ questions patiently


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11 months ago

How can I have a reliable agent,and supplier,and shipping company agent