For as long as people have been buying products from China, there has been this running myth that it’s all cheap, low-quality stuff. However, what some buyers don’t understand is that the quality of Chinese products has improved immensely over the last few decades.
In fact, it has never been easier than it is now, to buy superb products and materials from China. Here’s why.
How the Quality of Chinese Products Evolved Over the Years
Going from cheap, plastic products to high-quality equipment has not been an easy process. But here’s how China has managed to overcome its bad reputation, and come out the other side.
1. Advancements in Technology
Back in 2015, China opened its first unmanned factory, which was a huge step toward dropping its defect rates. Thanks to the computer-controlled robots, the company from Dongguan city has been able to manufacture much better products than ever before. That’s because robots rarely make mistakes, and the robotic arms can work continuously.
Of course, the unmanned factory is a somewhat extreme example of technological advancements. But over the last few decades, China has been following Japan’s example and investing a lot in its equipment.
Nowadays, there are more machines and devices that can weed out the good from the faulty. In turn, the quality of Chinese products has gone up, and so has customer satisfaction.
2. Higher Labor Costs
As China’s economy saw massive growth, so did the labor costs. In fact, in the past 10 years, workers have started earning more than 60% of what they used to, which is really impressive. But what does that mean for the importer?
Well, given that labor costs are now higher, Chinese manufacturers have had to improve and optimize their production processes. One good practice that they’ve taken up is to pay more attention to better quality right from the start. That way, they were able to reduce mistakes, and almost eliminate manual rework.
3. Experience and Practice
As with anything else in the world, getting product quality to where it is now was a long and bumpy road. Thankfully, over time, Chinese manufacturers started taking notes from other companies on how to make their products better.
One of the first things most companies implemented was a better factory layout that would improve efficiency. Also, manufacturers put a huge emphasis on making their organizational processes better.
4. Quality Control
Way back when, importers had issues with Chinese suppliers because they weren’t getting what they paid for. That’s because quality control was pretty much non-existent, and it was solely on the importer to hire someone.
Also, quality standards were much lower a couple of decades ago. In addition to that, a lot of suppliers would oversell their abilities because they really wanted the job.
However, times are changing pretty fast, and Chinese companies seem to have a much better understanding of what’s expected of them. So there’s a slim chance that you, as an importer, can get a product that’s not up to your standards.
Another thing that has changed the game is that importers can nowadays hire reliable companies like Jonble to do their quality control. By hiring a third-party expert, your final product will undoubtedly be much better.
5. Competitive Markets
There was a time when China was the biggest, as well as the sole, supplier for countless products and materials. So they didn’t really have to worry about their quality, or meeting deadlines.
But as the world economy began changing, more countries, like Japan, started exporting their products. Soon, their vehicles, machinery, and plastic equipment would hit markets worldwide, leaving China behind.
One of the reasons that made Japan do so well was because they began exploring ways to improve their quality. By re-evaluating their organizational processes, Japan was able to export high-quality products, at lower prices.
Of course, China took note, and the quality of Chinese products has not been the same since. Now, their materials and exports are some of the best in the world and are on-par with other giants.
Why You Should Be Importing From China
We hope that we’ve settled any doubts or questions that you had about the quality of Chinese products. But if you’re still not convinced about importing from China, here are several reasons that might change your mind.
1. Affordable Prices
Most importers enjoy the Chinese market because of its low prices. The materials, as well as the labor costs, are much lower in China than they are in most parts of the world. Also, some of the unmanned factories that we mentioned earlier can deliver products at more affordable prices.
But that’s not to say that you should always go with the lowest bidder. Remember, at the end of the day, you will get what you pay for.
So don’t expect to low-ball a price on a product, and get the superior quality that you expect. That’s just not how that works.
In addition to the basic labor and material costs, you should also include a quality inspection in your budget. It’s an essential part of the process and the only one that guarantees that you’re getting what you paid for.
2. Original Equipment Manufacturers
One of the biggest benefits of buying products from China is that you can go straight to the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). By skipping the middleman, you can save a lot of money and time, and go directly to the source.
Also, you can buy goods from China in bulk, which will not only be cheaper but will come with lower taxes as well.
One of the best things about Chinese manufacturers is that they don’t require you to hold any special license or permit to export. All you have to do is to educate yourself on trade and customs regulations.
There’s another huge plus when it comes to importing from China, and that’s being able to have direct control over the distribution model. It’s completely up to you where and how you’re going to sell your products, and you’re more flexible than bigger retail stores.
3. Massive Selection
Another thing that the Chinese market has going for it is the diverse selection. No matter what kind of industry you’re in, you’re sure to find the materials or products for it in China.
From car parts, computer equipment, textile, to home utility products, there’s literally something for everyone. Not only can you buy raw materials for lower prices, but you can also get some unique products.
Chinese designers and inventors are famous for their creativity, which is part of the reason the market is booming. Also, they put a high premium on making their products durable, once again showing the excellent quality of Chinese products.
How Importers Can Further the Cause
Currently, the quality of Chinese products has never been higher, but there’s still room for improvement. But making things better is up to the importers.
First things first, no matter what you want to import, you have to give the manufacturer clear and precise instructions. Don’t leave any room for misunderstandings because they might cost you a lot.
Another thing that you, as an importer, should do is to perform regular quality inspections. It’s even better to hire professionals to do random inspections and verify if your standards have been met.
You should also always have a checklist of the things that you expect. That way, both the manufacturer and the quality control experts have a clear picture of the final product. During this time, you should be really hands-on, and work with others to ensure the best results.
The Issues That Remain
Even though the quality of Chinese products has improved drastically, there’s still some progress to be made. While we all understand the importance of a good bargain, there’s a lot to be said for driving the prices down.
Countless importers expect incredible quality for dirt cheap, and that’s just not possible. It’s important to talk with the manufacturer to ensure that, no matter what, the quality of your product doesn’t go down. And if that means paying a bit more, it’s always well worth it.
Also, a lot of manufacturers don’t do proper in-house quality control checks. Their reports might be too biased, or just sound too good to be true. What’s more, a quality control team that works in-house will rarely give you a written report. So that segment is almost always up to the importer.
You will have to pay out of your pocket and get a third-party control team, to guarantee that you’ll get the product that you want. We’re certain that all these standards will change, but that takes time.
The quality of materials and products from China is at an all-time high, and it shows no signs of stopping. Manufacturers are working tirelessly to better their production processes and improve their quality standards.
That being said, none of that would be possible without performing year-round quality control. In fact, that’s the only way to always be sure that the products you’re buying are superb, and meet your criteria.
If you’ve got more questions about the quality of Chinese products, don’t hesitate to call Jonble. We have been in the business for a long time, we know how the market works, and we will represent you and your interests in the best ways possible.