How to Make a Good Enquiry Part 2

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  • Specifications
Buyers should always provide detailed specifications, including drawings, chemical analysis, material grade and sometimes samples. Text descriptions should all accord with international standards, and if the drawings or documents are in a language other than English, a bilingual version should also be provided. This is not only for the sellers to save time with translation, but also for the buyers to reduce the risk of misunderstanding.

  • Quality requirements
There are many ways to describe requirements on quality. Usually the buyer will combine several ways, depending on the product:

  1.  Brands. To use parts or raw materials with well-known brands is the easiest way to ensure that the parts or raw materials will be correct. For example, when we source gensets, if we request Cummins engines and Stamford generators, we can basically be assured we are getting the right genset. Sellers and buyers can also save time on looking for suppliers and on inspecting some parts of the products. However, for most products, to use parts or raw materials with brands will cost more.
  2. Equal/Similar products. If buyers allow the seller to recommend other parts or raw materials with equal or similar functions and specifications, this should be noted clearly in the enquiry.
  3. Standards. The buyer usually requires the product to adhere to certain standards. My clients in South Africa, Australia and Russia usually request the products to meet SABS, AS and GOST specifications. Chinese suppliers, however, are commonly familiar with the Chinese standard GB, Japanese standard JIS, and some US and European standards. It is sometimes not even helpful to include standard requirements in the enquiry, because some sellers will refuse to quote because they are unwilling to study other countries' standards.
  4. Samples. This is the most obvious way, but it will take some time for samples to arrive and to be analyzed.

In the next part we will focus on the commercial part of the enquiry.  

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yage motor said:

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