When manufacturing and exporting from China don’t assume anything. I can’t stress that enough.
There are so many details to confirm and things that can go wrong, we (manufacturer and buyer) need to be in a very synchronized routine of communication for orders to go smoothly.
But then to import a batch of goods from that far away it needs to be a sizable order. Let’s say $30k for example. Why wouldn’t you be in constant communication with the person in charge of producing the order? The clients that do well in China are the ones who have unfortunately been burned once or twice, learned from their mistakes and now profit from the process. It takes time. Believe me, you’re not the first foreigner with the idea of exporting from China. But there are a lot of moving pieces. So you have to communicate frequently to iron them out. I would even lean towards over-communication in the beginning to establish the best ways (Skype, email, voice chat, etc) and best times (morning, noon, evening) to talk. This will help a lot in emergency situations.
China is unpredictable. But if you learn the ropes, you’ll see the same problems over and over again. Yeah, it’s slightly different this time but the root cause is the same. Someone miscommunicated and didn’t confirm a detail. A necessary step was skipped….
(My opinion) If you take manufacturing in China as a chance to make items quickly and cheaply, you will not last long. But if you have a strategic plan to execute and China has an advantage in that area, you have the chance to do well in the medium to long term.
There’s over a billion people here!