It would seem quite easy to get a quotation from a China supplier. Tell them what you are looking for, provide related information and then you expect the supplier to give you quotation, shipping terms. However, there is really nothing to it for an accurate quotation.
To be realistic, things are much complex and trickier just like many other aspects of doing business in China. There are many reasons why buyers do not get accurate quotation from their short-listed suppliers.
The supplier thinks you only get quotation for reference
Sometimes you wait for a long time and didn’t get any news about the quotation from the China suppliers. You would think that they are not interested in your business.
Usually Chinese manufacturers with good marketing skills will receive many pricing requests, in which most are benchmarking purpose for price reference. The reason why you can’t get an accurate pricing is that the supplier thinks you are not serious in purchasing any products and you are just getting price reference.
If you had contacted with the supplier before via email, phone or meeting in person, this would not happen. They know that you are interested in doing business with them and the quotation given out will seldom be benchmark quotation as long as you state clearly your requirement.
Misunderstanding Order Requirement
Another reason leading to inaccurate quotation is misunderstanding order requirement. It could probably cause by buyers as they simply described part of their expectations with implicit expectation for quality control, inspection report, packing, etc.
It would lead to misunderstandings with the suppliers and further negotiation for price increases in later stage. It is highly recommended to list every aspect that needs to be covered in the quotation.
A simple list with the following things may be enough:
Price of the product
Quality control and inspection
Cost of any certification document necessary for export
In some more complex cases, it is better to specify your expectation in details such as what kind of certification, what kind of material should be used for packing, etc.
The 1st quotation usually leaves room for rounds of negotiation
If you are a frequent visitor to China, you might know it well that in most cases merchants and potential buyers negotiate at length. As a result, it is not strange to leave negotiation margins in the first quotation.