Reasons Why Chinese Suppliers Ignore Your Inquiries

Global From Asia TeamBlog, Business, Ecommerce0 Comments


Are you getting frustrated that no one replies to your Alibaba messages?
Sick and tired of going around in circles with the China sourcing nightmare?

In this article, we’ll tell you few reasons why your Alibaba contract factory is not replying to your messages.

Alibaba Inquires and Why They Are Left Unanswered


1. Your inquiry lacks details: Suppliers may think you’re not a serious purchaser. Business sellers don’t bother to spend time answering questions that lack details and professionalism. A typical inquiry should contain a short introduction about yourself or your company, questions about their product, minimum order quantity, pricing, shipping costs and policies, and payment methods.

2. Language barrier: Because the majority of Alibaba suppliers are Chinese, some may be unable to understand the English language.

3. You introduce yourself as a small startup: Therefore, your order would be small, and you can only afford the lowest price for products. No one likes such orders.

4. You only contact a few suppliers: Sourcing means finding the best products from the best supplier in Alibaba, and with its immense pool of suppliers, you may want to build up a shortlist of potential suppliers to give you broader options to choose from. You simply should not limit yourself to few suppliers.

5. You send an inquiry at the wrong time: Make sure it’s not a Chinese holiday, such as Chinese New Year, National Days, etc.

6. Your email could have ended up in the supplier’s spam folder. To avoid getting your email ending up on the recipient’s Spam folder, you may want to avoid subject line that sounds misleading, especially if it has spam-trigger words like – urgent, money order, dear friend, great offer, order now, promise you, etc. To be sure, you can always use spam checkers like before sending the email to the potential supplier.

7. You are not certain with the products you are looking for. Before finding the right supplier, you must first identify the specific product you are looking for – and always make sure you’re sending the email to a supplier that carries that specific product.

Emails, WeChat, QQ. How to get your supplier to answer


Looking for the best supplier takes time and effort – especially with Alibaba where there’s a large pool of suppliers to choose from. Getting the best deal can be done through negotiations, and a negotiation means proper communication between a seller and a buyer.

If you’ve been in the e-commerce business for a long time, you may have experienced getting ignored by a supplier, in particular with Chinese suppliers not replying to messages sent via email, WeChat or QQ.

As mentioned above, there are many reasons why these suppliers don’t respond to your inquiries, but if you’re persistent and really interested in getting a certain supplier to answer you, here are a few tips to get a response:

1. Contact them by phone: Contacting a Chinese supplier via phone shows how interested you are in their products and how “invested” you are in the process. Sending an email is easy and free, and suppliers certainly get hundreds of them daily. On the other hand, phone calls are simply more personal, it gets actions and commitments, and the conversation is much more complete and direct to the point than an email.

2. Be short and concise: Be straightforward and honest. Ideally, write your inquiry in this format: a short introduction of you and what you’re exactly looking for, questions about their product: minimum order quantity, pricing, shipping costs and policies, and payment methods.

3. Get into details: Be more specific with your request – tell them exactly what products you need, the exact quantity, the country you’re shipping to, and any other relevant information that could affect the deal.

4. Follow up with a phone call: Making a follow-up phone call signifies how serious you are in doing business with them.

5. Consider hiring a local sourcing agent: Because the majority of Chinese suppliers don’t speak English well, you can always count on local sourcing agents to represent you in China and do the negotiations for you. Many companies offer this service, such as Qulito Sourcing – where bilingual agents speak both fluent English and Chinese, allowing them to convey both message and meaning without hesitation. This will secure you better contracts and pricing that works for your importing budget.

6. If all else fails, visit China: Finally, if you can’t just get your supplier to reply, and you are interested in dealing with them, paying a visit to China may be the best solution.

So what do you think? Any tips or insights you can share with others on how to better increase your response rate from factories? In my experience, many have said they cannot believe a factory doesn’t want their money, yet we need to realize they often are overwhelmed with inquiries.

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