Buying from Turkey
In the case of purchasing from Turkey, after a little research most probably you will find manifold manufacturers and suppliers for the product you are looking for. However, I believe that what matters most is to choose the right manufacturer or supplier for you. This is the key point which will define the success of your business interaction.
In this blog post I am going to present some tips on purchasing from Turkey.
Make your research well
This is a part on which you should spend more time. Turkey has a strong manufacturing industry that consists of numerous small and medium size producer companies, especially in construction materials & equipment, furniture, machinery, automotive, textile, food, and many other fields. Therefore, before going into any transaction, take your time to research well. It is always better to have a lot of options to consider.
Your research can be done by visiting trade fairs, checking online and printed business directories or asking help from Turkish commercial counselor in your country.
Know the manufacturer well as possible as you can
So, after having conducted a careful research, you will have some information of manufacturers and suppliers to contact. When you are checking companies online, be aware of that many of SMEs have got poorly designed websites. Such a website may give you a wrong idea about the company. So note that it is a general situation for small size manufacturers.
You may send an inquiry to them by e-mail. In your e-mail it will be wise to give enough information about your company in order to demonstrate that you are a serious buyer. That will almost guarantee a quick response. And in your following correspondence, you may also request information such as technical specifications of the product, packing specifications, minimum order quantity, price (which is linked to delivery term and your order quantity), payment term, delivery term, estimated delivery time, quality certificates, maybe service and spare parts issues, references, and so on. Additionally you may ask photos and videos.
Finally, if you feel that you are close to what you are looking for, ask a sample. If the product is not pretty expensive, most of Turkish manufacturers don’t even charge for sample. In some cases, you may need to send them your sample.
In case the manufacturer has got an exclusive distributor in your country, most probably they will forward your email to them or suggest you to directly contact them.
Visit the factory you will deal with
If what you are looking for is a long-term regular supply, it would be certainly wise for you to visit producer’s plant and make a face-to-face contact with them. Hence you will have an excellent opportunity to see how their manufacturing process automated is and what their quality control procedures are.
Make sure their quality control process works without problem. That will enable you sleep well at night after placing your order.
Another good thing about face-to-face contact is that you can know your prospective partner’s character. This is really important. I value this information very much. For instance, what are their character traits? Are they a type of person who is a man of his words?
Have an agent or representative
This tip is actually included as an update to original post. I wanted to add this, because I consider it as a tip of crucial importance in this type of business.
In my professional life I met people with good character traits like integrity and honesty. Conversely, I also met some people who don’t care about integrity and honesty or any ethical rules. They can easily send trash to their customers who wait to receive new products. They can lie and cheat with no hesitation. Only what they do care is quick and easy money. Therefore, if you are an international buyer, I suggest you to hire a local agent or representative who will do some tasks for you like finding right manufacturers, negotiating with them, checking their products, packaging, shipment, and in short, protecting your rights or fighting for them when in need. If you find a good agent, you will be already ahead in many aspects.
Make a valid contract
Many global buyers generally tend to work on a long term basis with manufacturers. This is certainly a good policy. In most cases, buyers invest in manufacturer’s brand simply by marketing and distributing their products.
Therefore, it will be wise to make some kind of a long-term partnership agreement with the manufacturer.
If exclusive selling rights are important for your business, always include an article in the agreement that protects you in case the manufacturer is tempted to sell their goods to third parties like your competitors in your country.
Duplicate the process
Turkey is a quickly changing and developing industrial country where you can find a lot of business opportunities. Just spend more time to know the market and people. Joining or registering on some business networks and communities, like Bizbey.com, can be very helpful.
I have tried to highlight some important points about purchasing from Turkish suppliers. If you have any opinion, tips or experience to share or question to pose about buying from Turkey, please write them in the comments below.