Before you ask your Chinese factory for a discount, make sure you won't be kidnapped and/or have your product cloned

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If I had a dime…

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… I would want to produce a bad b grade action movie about this with tons of product placement for alibabba. especially all the weird inflatable stuffimage


This could possibly happen with books also I suspect… a lot of larger/hardback/coffeetable runs, or kids’ books with special characteristics, are done in China, aren’t they? Relatively easy to copyright/trademark those during the first printing, then if they take off and come back for more and bigger reprints, the crooks are quids in.


Or, you know, treat your suppliers well wherever they are located and they will treat you well in return.

It’s not rocket surgery.


Ya, that was my first thought too. The Chinese government is offering 12% in tax incentives to offset tariffs and keep factories afloat and prevent them from having to raise the price they charge me. Personally, I wouldn’t be thinking “how can I get my hands on 10% of that?” I’d make a lousy capitalist, I guess.


Bless your heart…


I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of this statement, but the Chinese have a really different outlook on fair business practices. Can’t speak to the kidnapping aspect, but the cloning part has been a huge problem since way before the current trade debacle.

Right now I’m working with two of our suppliers to try and stop Chinese counterfeiting of their products. As far as I can tell, it’s going to be impossible. The minute we knock one seller offline, two more pop up in their place. Or else we can’t knock them offline at all because Amazon has starting buying the counterfeit product from the Chinese manufacturer and refuses to even acknowledge our complaints. There seems to be no recourse. The American factory isn’t willing to sue Amazon. Their owner says he’d bankrupt the company AND die of old age before he got anywhere with that lawsuit.


Or if you select a supplier based on cheap, exploitable labor with no civil rights kept obedient and non-unionized by an unaccountable repressive dictatorship that regularly imprisons and executes labor and environmental activists… there may be downsides for your business.

It’s not rocket ethics.


If you wanted suppliers that treated their workers and clients ethically you probably wouldn’t be in China in the first place. You might also find your lunch being eaten by your competitor who doesn’t give a shit about human rights and just goes with the cheapest supplier he can find. Then he’ll amass a big fat pocketbook to buy you out and slap your name over his crappy products to ride on your hard won reputation for quality.


Some huge jumping to conclusions in the responses to my post above, some of which seem to come from no direct knowledge of sourcing, much less sourcing in China.

  1. There are great suppliers in China that treat their employees well and do business ethically. There are bad ones, too. Just like anywhere.

  2. There are some components that can only be sourced from China. While some other countries are catching up, you’re not getting away from the problems with cloning or IP by moving to these alternatives.

  3. If you are getting your whole product made in China, then you’re in trouble from the get go. One of the reasons the trade war has damaged US manufacturing so much is that US businesses have shifted over time from raw material production to improved material production and component production to the current state of highly-engineered systems that source lower level components from low-cost manufacturing regions. The end product tends to be high-performance, high-margin but lower volume. The trade war is a double-whammy because such businesses get hit with a share of the tariff on their components and then with a share of the tariff on exported finished goods.


Unforeseen consequences of Trump’s childish behaviour? Quelle surprise.


I still find it amazing to find Chinese knockoff fursuits showing up of various peoples personal fursonas … as the manufactures of said knock offs miss the whole effing point of the things to begin with.

The owner should seek out a class action lawsuit group. Must exist, or be coalescing as we speak.


Well, I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he’ll be very keen.

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Amazon is such a sewer, a real shame. There’s a way round this! I’m sure a lot of other companies are also annoyed at them.

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All other companies are annoyed at them. They’re running the retail industry into the ground. Initially it meant great prices, but now there’s no more discounting to give without reducing quality. And so product quality is crashing. Check out the most recent reviews on Amazon’s house-brand iPhone cables, for instance. Lots of people experiencing fires and melting.

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For more on the importance of mold agreements, check out How Not To Lose Your Molds In China and Want Your China-Based Molds? You’re Probably Too Late For That.

Great article, even better recommendations

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