How to get suppliers respond to my inquiries?

You send out your inquiry to a list of suppliers in China. 3 days passed, no one replied. Another 3 days passed, some of the suppliers sent feedback only with information that is not to your concerns.

Why don’t the suppliers reply to my emails?
Why do they take so long to get back to me?


Here are the top 9 possibilities that the suppliers don’t reply OR reply very slowly.

Case 1: The products you are looking to get manufactured in China is actually in the supplier’s product range.

Then why no feedback???

1. The factories don’t think you are a serious buyer.

Factories don’t have enough time to respond to all inquiries. Many of the “buyers” are just asking and don’t buy in the end. They’ve experienced too much of it so they don’t see any serious business coming. Most factories run their ROI to decide who are target customers and who will bring them better profits. The ROI is not necessary to be plaintext. They tend to tell from what you show them.

Factories might not at all reply one word especially when buyers are using templates from the Internet to send an inquiry. The direct impression given to the factory is that you must be a scammer or not a real buyer. Because dozens of “buyers” are using the same inquiry template. Try to talk about your particular business case to avoid the mistakes.

2. Your order quantity doesn’t arouse the factory’s interests

Factories are production-oriented so their margin relies heavily on the very quantity of each order. Different scale factories have different minimum order quantity requirement. If your order quantity is small and not to the MOQ, factories have no incentive to make production for you as they are living on mass production profit.

3. Time difference


There’s a good chance that your time zone is totally different from vendors in China. The time difference is an objective factor that most importers are going to suffer. It’s normal to get feedback half-day delayed due to the time zone problem. 

4. Salesperson mindset and skills

Another possibility is that the sales you are approaching might not be professional enough about the product knowledge. The language might be another barrier for sales to give a prompt feedback.

He or she may need to check with technicians or get help constantly in order to give you a final answer.

5. Email may not be some of the factories’ daily tool


Some factories are not focusing on international market and haven’t got used to using email as a contacting tool. If this is the case, it can be more difficult to cooperate with them because they have less experience and related compliance.

Case 2: The products you are looking for is not the vendor’s expertise now.

6. The vendor can be a manufacturing and trading company.

7. The vendor can be just a middleman or agent.

8. The vendor doesn’t produce the product you desire anymore.

In such cases, the vendor may look for some other factories to get offers and reply to you very slow at a high price. OR they don’t even plan to run this line so they won’t reply you at all.

Case 3: Mails didn’t get through.

9. Your email might be mistaken as spam by stupid email robot system.


There can be more reasons that are missed here, but instead of finding out more, let’s see how to solve the problem.

So how to get suppliers to respond to your emails efficiently?

1. Draft the product specifications with as much detail as possible

Factories are “terrified” most at general inquiries ( e.g. Can you send me a price list of products on your catalog? <without any information of your company>)

Firstly, the thoughts in their mind are like – who are you? You don’t even have a specific product requirement.

Secondly, if they do send you the price list, it is not going to be a good one in most cases.

2. Tell about your order plan and long-term prospects.


If your order is not the big first time, try to talk to the factory that this will be your test order. If your products turn out to work well, you will place your official order for xxx quantity soon.

3. Provide some background about your company and yourself.

Tell the salesperson about who you are and what your market is. Sometimes people are trying to keep some information for negotiation leverage. No problem at all. Talk about the things that you are open to let them know if you are stuck at getting offers.

 4. Make a call whenever necessary.

There’s this mindset that most sales think customers who call are more serious. Because the call shows a kind of urgency signal. Yes, you may find it so difficult to talk with Chinese on the phone due to the language barrier. But what you need to do is just a quick call, speak to them for a bit while and details can be discussed and confirmed by email. It won’t hurt.

You may also want to reach them by some instant communication tools if at your convenience like QQ, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat etc.



If you already made your good efforts but they are still so cold, just forget about it. Don’t bother to reach out to them. They are not your good fit. Nothing forcibly done is going to be agreeable. Find your best-fit suppliers to produce your products.

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