How to Make a Good Enquiry Part 4

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  • Packaging
Packaging can sometimes be very important in the composition of the price. The buyer should be aware of the following issues and raise requirements on packaging where necessary:

  1. Characteristics of the goods
  2. Shipping methods (by sea or air, by bulk or by container)
  3. Shipping period
  4. Policy in force at the destination, such as regulations on imported wood
  5. Storage needs

  • After Sales and Warranty
For some goods it is necessary to know what type of after sales service the seller can provide, especially when the sellers do not have a presence in the buyer's home country. The quality of after sales is also a key consideration when choosing the best supplier. If a buyer has a specific requirement on the warranty, the seller should be notified so they can take account of this when calculating prices.

  • Quotation Deadlines and Validity Period
An enquiry should include a reasonable deadline for the sellers to quote by, and should also remind them to include valid by information in their quotations. Usually, a quotation's validity period could range from three working days to three months depending on the goods. If the buyer requires a longer period to do more filtering work, they should state this requirement clearly in the enquiry.

  • Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA)
When buyers send enquiries that contain sensitive information, such as designs with IP or new product information, they should prepare an NDA and ask the potential seller to sign it before they transmit confidential information.

  • Contact Details
As the last part of an enquiry, the buyer's contact details should be clearly provided with the contact person's full name, title, department, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.


In this series we have talked about a lot of elements which together make a good enquiry. These elements can reduce risk, increase sellers' and therefore buyers' efficiency, and of course help in getting the quotation you want.

We welcome any feedback should there be further questions or suggestions.

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1 Comments

Dear Diana! Very necessary and useful information about making a right kind of enquiry!
But is it possible to see in near future (or even on e-mail) an article or some more details about warranty and after sales service? Although it's a highly importnat point for any foreign customer, who want buy directly from Chinese manufacturer or supplier, there is still not enough info on that subject.

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