The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Reducing MOQs: Insider Secrets for Dealing with Chinese Suppliers

Nov 28, 2023 | 0 comments

Looking to get lower MOQs with your Chinese suppliers? 

Here are 10 tips we’ve used with our brand and our clients to negotiate lower MOQs from Chinese suppliers.

Whether testing a new product or wanting to reduce inventory risk, there’s no better country to source lower MOQ (minimum order quantity) from than China. 

Important to note: For some products, such as makeup or custom clothing, ordering a small MOQ can be extremely challenging due to the specific nature of these items.

Let’s dive in: 

✅ 1. Build a Relationship First

Before diving into negotiations, establish a rapport.

Communicate regularly, showing interest in their business too.

The best place is on WeChat. After your initial 1-2 communications ask to add them on WeChat.

Do a video call if possible. 

✅ 2. Understand Their Constraints

Recognize their production costs and limitations.

This knowledge shows respect and aids in finding common ground. Oftentimes they have their own MOQ constraints when buying raw materials. 

If they push back on your initial request, ask them what their challenges are.

✅ 3. Present Your Business Case

Clearly share how having lower MOQs benefits them long-term. Emphasize potential for future larger orders and ongoing partnership.

Demonstrate you are in it for the long-haul.

Stand in the shoes of your supplier; they are flooded with new client requests—many of which are not serious in nature. 

✅ 4. Offer Higher Unit Prices

Propose paying slightly more per unit for lower MOQs.

It’s a win-win: they maintain profit margins, you reduce inventory risk.

✅ 5. Be Open to Piggybacking

Consider flexibility in your production schedule to piggyback on one of their client’s production runs.

This shows you know your stuff and can really help them with their production efficiencies. 

✅ 6. Leverage Your Market Insights

Share insights about your target market that might benefit them.

Position yourself as a valuable partner, not just a customer.

Just be prepared to protect your IP if sharing unique designs or functionality.

✅ 7. Be Flexible with Product Specs

Consider simplifying your product specs to lower production complexity and cost.

This can make smaller orders more feasible for the supplier. 

✅ 8. Discuss Packaging and Shipping Options

Explore creative methods in packaging and shipping.

Box or packaging sub-suppliers have their own MOQs.

If you have a very complex box, consider either offering to pay more or be open to simplifying your packaging design for the first order. 

✅ 9. Know When to Walk Away

Be prepared to look for alternative suppliers if terms don’t meet your needs.

Not all negotiations will be successful, and that’s okay

✅ 10. Always Maintain Professionalism

Keep communications respectful and professional.

Strong relationships are built on mutual respect and understanding. 

Navigating the complexities of MOQ negotiations with Chinese suppliers doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

By building solid relationships, understanding their constraints, and presenting a well-thought-out business case, you can effectively negotiate terms that are beneficial for both parties

Remember, flexibility, respect, and professionalism are your key allies in this journey.

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