Beware of dishonest sourcing agents
A vendor of our decided to order lamps without knowing the regulations. Long story short, the sample lamps contain light bulbs with EU spec but actual supply does not. Because it was ship along with the lamps it was return as a hold and supplier does not want to accept liability. They said the sample was Philips Bulbs and the shipment is also Philips Bulbs but the problem is that Philips bulb for China domestic market is different from USA market and EU market in terms of quality and regulation requirement.
PS: I don't work for sourcing company and don't have any good one to recommend.
Nevermore, your post is hard to understand in some ways so I have some questions.
1) Who specified what was required?
2) Who 'signed off' that the Chinese bulb was OK?
3) Did the buyer in the the other country (not sure where that is) even see samples of the delivery before shipment/payment was made?
From what I can understand from your post, the customer also played a part in this error and not fully specifying or not understanding the requirements and for not checking the shipment prior to delivery & it would seem payment? You don't just take it as red that the shipment is perfect, especially if it comes from China.
Sorry China but that is true, from my experience of working with Chinese suppliers (and Indian ones for that matter!). If you don't stipulate EXACTLY what you want down to the letter, what is expected, when you expect it and request samples, you will get something else! Generally, Chinese suppliers/sourcing agents will not ask questions, just assume they are right, so it is the job of the end user/customer/buyer to ensure that the specification is exact and shipments are checked prior to delivery.
These days when dealing with international markets, the focus of buyers/customers should be more towards the total acquisition cost as opposed to the piece part price - anyone can make it cheaper, but can they deliver; right price, cost, quality, time etc! It seems that the buyer /customer/end user themselves should take some responsibility for this and not just blame the sourcing agent for being dishonest.
Sounds like a right mess Nevermore! What is going to happen to the lamps? Have they been paid for? Where are they now?
Can you not try a different approach with the supplier and ask him rather than pay for the re-shipment penalties to send the correct bulbs to the buyer and the buyer swap them over. Otherwise you have a shipment of lamps with the incorrect bulbs sitting in a warehouse with the two or three parties (buyer/sourcing agent/supplier) fighting over costs. That will just cause more costs as the buyer cannot sell them and if there is a set time that they need to get them out into the market they need to accept partial responsibility for the mess that is created
If they used this supplier for the first time, shouting and threatening them will not really help matters. The buyer has no leverage really so personally I would have gone with the softly softly approach that involved a meeting face to face in a restaurant with some beer and a long chat about how to put it right so that the supplier can 'potentially' gain more business in the future if he helps to resolve this issue.
Caveat emptor - Let the Buyer beware!
Good luck in resolving this!
Or ... or ... bring my baseball bat to the peace meal, the one I use to fend off cars in intersections!!! :-)
Honestly you and your baseball bat Toby! Ok you can bring it to the meal and knee cap the buggers (after the meal) if they refuse to supply the correct bulbs!!
Thanks. The bat goes well with your "softly softly" approach, don't you think?
Good cop, bad cop, I like it!! Essentials in any negotiation............
You got it Nevermore!
Do your homework and assess the risk.
Your supply chain is only as strong as your weakest link!
Shipment without inspection: pre-programmed trouble if you don't know the supplier well!
It is always good to ask for a reference before you turn to a sourcing agent for help/;
Personally I prefer the baseball bat approach..this is the only way to get things done right!