China Furniture Sourcing Agent 101: How to Find Best Furniture Sourcing Agent in China?

In recent years, the global export business has grown greatly. Many furniture sales companies were importing high quality furniture from China for profitable business. However, it is not easy to find good furniture suppliers from China. You will need to overcome language skill barriers to deal with Chinese furniture suppliers. Moreover, there are certain risks when importing furniture from China. In this case, a furniture sourcing agent in China is an alternative to sourcing ourselves. Furniture sourcing agents are experienced in handling business for furniture buyers worldwide.

However, many small businesses are still confused about furniture sourcing agent, especially since some ambiguous and outdated information on the Internet misleads them. Therefore, we will share 10 buyers’ most concerned questions about furniture sourcing agents and give you the most objective answers in this article.

1. What is a furniture sourcing agents or furniture sourcing company?

A furniture sourcing agents in China is an individual or company that provides services for global furniture buyers to source furniture suppliers in China. This furniture sourcing specialist provides a variety of services for international trade.

A reliable furniture sourcing agents will save you a lot of time, cost and troubles in the supply chain.

Previously, furniture sourcing agents only provide their clients with sourcing supplier services. In fact, the services provided by furniture sourcing agents can include selecting the right supplier, negotiating prices, following up on production, quality control, product compliance and inspection, shipping, etc.

It is not that furniture sourcing agents should provide a full range of services. The scope of work depends on the agreement reached between the both sides.

2. Furniture Sourcing Agent vs Furniture Sourcing Company

Usually, people think of “furniture sourcing agent” or “furniture sourcing company” as the same meaning. But in fact, these are two different concepts.

Furniture Sourcing Agent Company

1) Furniture Sourcing Agent

A furniture sourcing agents is generally defined as an individual furniture sourcing agent who can be hired as your full time furniture sourcing agent. This individual furniture sourcing agent is usually only one or two people who work in a small office or home office.

Some of them may have work experience in a trading or sourcing company. These individual furniture sourcing agents can be found on some freelance platforms (e.g. Fiverr, Upwork.) or on social media (e.g. Facebook, Linkedin.).

2)Furniture Sourcing Company

A furniture Sourcing company is usually a team of professional sourcing agents with different departments, such as purchasing, quality inspection, documentation, finance, warehousing and transportation. With team work, they can integrate supplier resources more effectively and can serve many different furniture buyers at the same time.

Chinese furniture sourcing companies are usually located in furniture clusters. Most Chinese furniture buying agents and companies are located in Guangzhou and Foshan. This is because Foshan Le Cong is the largest furniture trading market in China.

3. What services does the furniture sourcing agent provide?

Different furniture sourcing agents will provide different ranges of services and the sourcing service fee will depend on the range of work you order from the agent. So, in otder to prevent some potential disputes, make sure you have clarified the scope of services and fees with your furniture sourcing agent before you start working with them.

The following are the main services provided by most furniture purchasing agents.

Furniture Sourcing Agent servies

1) Sourcing furniture suppliers

Verification and selection of furniture suppliers that meet the client’s requirements is an essential service of every furniture sourcing agents. They will negotiate with furniture suppliers on behalf of the buyer to obtain the best price and confirm product details.

In addition, because many furniture factories in China usually only focus on production and do not sell online. A furniture sourcing agents who is familiar with the furniture industry can find many furniture suppliers that you can’t find online

2) Foshan furniture market guide, furniture factory guide

If you can come to China, a professional furniture sourcing agents can take you to the Foshan furniture market to shop for furniture. Foshan Furniture Market is the most professional furniture market in China, where almost all the Chinese furniture factories showcase their products here. In addition, most vendors in the Foshan Furniture Market do not require a minimum order, and you can even purchase a sofa for your home.

If you are a professional wholesale furniture buyer, the furniture sourcing agent can also take you to the furniture factory and place your order directly at the factory. In general, furniture factories require a minimum order quantity, if your purchase quantity can not reach the minimum order quantity, it is best to go to the Foshan furniture market to purchase.

3) Follow up production, quality inspection and shipping arrangement

After finding the right furniture supplier, it’s time to arrange the production of the goods. The furniture sourcing agent will help coordinate with the furniture factory and monitor the entire production process to ensure that the factory completes production on time and that the goods are of excellent quality.

They will also provide quality inspection services. They will send the professional furniture QC inspectors to the factory after the furniture production is completed and check the products. If quality issues happen, the furniture sourcing agent will help you to negotiate with the factory. Try to request the furniture factory to reproduce, or rework the product.

Then the final step is the shipping arrangement, which requires a high level of professional import/export knowledge. This is because in addition to bargaining for the most competitive shipping price, they need to inform you what documents and product certificates you should prepare for customs, such as CE, RoHS, COC, etc.

4) Other Services

In addition to the main services mentioned above, some large professional furniture sourcing companies offer customized furniture solutions, including:

  • Customized furniture service
  • Customized packaging/labeling
  • Product photography for e-commerce

4. Who needs a furniture sourcing agent?

1) Those who have no experience in furniture import

Importing furniture from China involves too many complex aspects, such as sourcing the right furniture supplier, following up on production, product testing and quality control, shipping arrangements, etc.

If you have no experience in overseas sourcing, you can find a furniture sourcing agent to help you start your first furniture import journey.

2) Those who need to deal with multiple furniture categories

Selecting a reliable supplier for 1 type of furniture may require you to contact 3 suppliers. Suppose you are looking for 10 types of furniture, then you need to contact and verify at least 30 furniture suppliers. In this case, a furniture sourcing agent not only can do the tedious job more efficiently, but can also consolidate all the furniture you need.

In the past, we have been contacted by many different clients who wanted our help in sourcing furniture in China:

  • Furniture Retail Buyers
  • Furniture wholesale buyers
  • Buyers who purchase furniture for their homes
  • Project furniture buyers (office projects, hotel projects, school projects, etc.)
  • Project Designer

One thing they had in common was the desire to have a furniture sourcing agent he could trust to help him handle his purchasing in China.

3) Large furniture retailers, building materials supermarkets

Does it mean that large furniture importers with strong capital and experience do not need furniture purchasing agents? Absolutely not! Large companies also need them to better manage their supply chains.

Take the building material supermarket for example, they need to import thousands of products from China. It is almost impossible for them to go to every factory and buy every product themselves.

Retail leaders such as Ashley and Rooms to Go import their products through furniture sourcing agents or furniture trading companies.

4) Three advantages of furniture sourcing agents

Reliable furniture sourcing agents play an important role in international trade procurement.

  1. A professional furniture sourcing agent can help you find capable and reliable furniture manufacturers. This is because an experienced furniture sourcing agent is already well familiar with the trends of the Chinese furniture market and has accumulated many qualified factory resources that you may not find online.
  2. Improve sourcing efficiency. A local furniture sourcing agent in China can help you overcome cultural and language barriers. He knows exactly what you want, negotiates the details of the product with the furniture supplier, and delivers the information to you in fluent English, greatly reducing communication costs.
  3. Reduce your risk of importing from China. A professional furniture sourcing agent must be experienced in dealing with product manufacturing, quality control, compliance certification, import/export process rules and international shipping.

5. How do furniture sourcing agents charge?

To get a general idea of sourcing service fees, I have described three common sourcing agent fee types in the following sections.

1) Fixed salary based on working hours

Many individual sourcing agents are paid a fixed salary for the hours they work. You can discuss your products and build business relationships directly with your suppliers.

However, there are two disadvantages. Furniture sourcing agents may be wasting more time than they need to in sourcing suppliers. Furniture sourcing agents may also charge unnecessary overtime. Also, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take them to complete the job.

In addition, you will be required to pay a sourcing agent even if you do not select any of the suppliers they offer. In such cases, furniture sourcing agents may not do their best to find reliable suppliers.

2) No extra charge, but profit from the difference in price

Many furniture sourcing agents use this charging method. Furniture sourcing agents can offer more competitive prices or better product quality for good suppliers that buyers are unable to find via normal channels, such as some online B2B platform websites.

This charge method is similar to purchasing from a furniture trading company. But the disadvantage is obvious, you can’t know how big the actual difference is, it’s possible that for 100USD furniture, they charge you 200USD.

3) Percentage service fee based on product value

Charging a percentage of the total order value is the most common method used in furniture sourcing agents. This is because they usually provide other services such as follow up production, quality control, shipping arrangements, consolidation, etc. Thus, they will charge a percentage of the value of the order as a service fee.

In China, the normal service charge is about 5-10% of the total order value. One more thing, product category and order size also have a big impact on this percentage. For example, if the order is for something that is competitively priced and in high demand, such as ceramic tile, or if the order value is over $50,000, the service fee may be approximately 3% or less of the order value.

Normally, only a few furniture sourcing companies are willing to accept less than 5% of the service fee. It is true that some furniture sourcing companies may try to attract you with a 3% or lower service fee, but you will end up with products priced much higher than most online suppliers (such as Alibaba suppliers). Or, you may end up receiving poor quality products that don’t match the sample.

Tips: No matter what kind of charge is used, you should evaluate whether the agent can reduce the total purchasing cost, improve the sourcing efficiency, and ensure the quality of goods, etc.

6. Analysis of furniture sourcing agent issues

You may have heard about the dark side of many furniture sourcing agents, such as lack of experience in furniture sourcing and receiving kickbacks from suppliers. This section will analyze the furniture sourcing agency issues that you are concerned about.

1) Kickbacks from suppliers

Kickbacks means that the furniture supplier returns a percentage of the order value to the furniture sourcing agent. Furniture sourcing agents will ask for kickbacks from furniture suppliers in advance, which of course is unethical.

However, the phenomenon of kickbacks is now much less than it was 4-5 years ago. Because furniture buyers can find suppliers directly through a variety of channels, such as Alibaba, Made in China, Global Sources and other B2B platform websites.

Buyers can make their own comparisons and then evaluate whether the prices and commissions offered by furniture sourcing agents are reasonable or not.

2) The service fee seems low, but the actual cost is high

Some furniture sourcing agents want more business and attract new customers with low service fees or even free trial order services, but buyers will finally find that the total purchase cost is not low at all. Although furniture sourcing agents claim they make quality inspections, buyers may also receive low-quality products.

All business needs to be profitable. While furniture sourcing agents offer low service fees, most of them fail to give the most reasonable product price and good service. So low service fees should not be your only standard for choosing a furniture sourcing agent.

3) Unprofessional or inexperienced furniture sourcing agents

In recent years, many new furniture sourcing agents have appeared, but most are not specialized or experienced in furniture sourcing. They just know very little about the furniture industry and then start their business with almost zero foundation.

They do not have the concept of sourcing services and do not expect long-term cooperation, but only one-time business, so the quality of their services cannot be guaranteed. If you are new to importing from China and have no experience in choosing a reliable furniture sourcing agent, it is no surprise that you have found an unprofessional furniture sourcing agent.

A good furniture sourcing agent needs to go through a long period of experience, a lot of cooperation with factories, trial and error. Only through the accumulation of experience, they can provide good service and good furniture factory resources to their customers. However, young or unprofessional furniture buying agents cannot provide these resources.


There are good and bad furniture sourcing agents in this industry, but you don’t have to be afraid to try furniture sourcing services. A good furniture sourcing agent plays an important role in your supply chain management, helping you to get competitive prices for your products, while taking care of the export process.

7. Practical Tips for Finding a Reliable Furniture Sourcing Agent

Tip 1: Choose a local furniture sourcing agent in China

As China is the largest furniture exporter, Chinese furniture sourcing agents make up the largest part of global sourcing agents. Therefore, I divide furniture sourcing agents into two types: Chinese furniture sourcing agents and non-Chinese furniture sourcing agents, and list the differences between them and their pros and cons respectively.

China furniture sourcing agent

Pros and Cons of Non-China Furniture Sourcing Agents

Normally, non-Chinese furniture sourcing agents are local to a particular country and help buyers in their own country to source from other Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, etc.

They usually have their own offices in both the sourcing country and the home country.


  • Local buyers have easy access to these local furniture sourcing agents.
  • You don’t have to worry about language or cultural barriers when choosing a local furniture sourcing agent.
  • If you are purchasing a large order, finding a local furniture sourcing agent will make you feel more reliable.


  • These furniture sourcing agents mainly serve large clients and are less friendly to some small businesses.
  • For large customers, their service commission is higher.

The Pros and Cons of Furniture Sourcing Agents in China

The service fees of China furniture sourcing agents are much lower. In addition, they have a more professional furniture sourcing team and richer resources of Chinese furniture suppliers than non-Chinese furniture sourcing agents.

However, due to language differences, they may not be able to communicate with you as smoothly as your local furniture agent.


  • China furniture sourcing agents have low labor costs and low service fees
  • China Furniture Sourcing Agent can provide services for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • They know more about the furniture market and furniture factories in China.
  • Their professional furniture sourcing team can offers lower prices on products.


  • Language and cultural barriers
  • Difficult to find a good Chinese furniture sourcing agent

Tip 2: Choose a professional furniture sourcing agent

If you are importing many different types of electronics, choose a sourcing company that has already sourced many electronics for previous buyers.

If you specialize in importing furniture, then look for a sourcing agent who specializes in the furniture industry. Because these sourcing agents must have accumulated many excellent suppliers in the furniture industry and can give you better service and advice.

Tip 3: Choose a furniture sourcing agent that is close to furniture industry cluster

Each region of China has its own industrial clusters, which are groups of related companies within the same area.

For example, if you want to purchase daily products from China, a sourcing agent in Yiwu is a good choice. And for furniture, furniture sourcing agents in Guangzhou and Foshan will be more competitive. Especially the furniture sourcing agent in Foshan, due to the location near the furniture industry cluster, it is convenient to contact factories and reduce intermediate costs, such as freight and quality inspection costs.

Tip 4: Choose a furniture sourcing agent with longer sourcing experience

Sourcing experience is an important factor you should consider. Compared to a furniture sourcing agent who has been in business for only a few months, a furniture sourcing agent who has been working as an agent for 10 years may be more resourceful and reliable.

For example, Rix Sourcing is a reliable furniture sourcing agent that has been in business for over 10 years, as well as numerous long-term partner furniture suppliers.

8. Where to find the best China furniture sourcing agent

You may ask me, where can I find a reliable furniture sourcing agent in China? Don’t worry, I’ll show you the three main places to find a furniture sourcing agent in China.

1) Google

Searching on Google is always the first thing most people think of when they have a problem. In fact, Google does help in most cases, and it provides useful information. If you are looking for furniture sourcing agents in China, all you have to do is type in “furniture sourcing agents in China” and a list of furniture sourcing companies in China will appear in the search results.

The key is to identify a good furniture sourcing agent. You need to pay attention to content, year of establishment, company photo, contact information, team size, customer reviews and testimonials, blogs, etc. Only a professional furniture sourcing team will invest enough money and effort to optimize their website on Google.

Google Furniture Sourcing Agent

2) Upwork & Fiverr

Upwork and Fiverr are freelance websites where you can find some individual furniture sourcing agents. Some of them are working part-time and they will help you find furniture suppliers and provide you with reports about the suppliers. Then you need to contact the supplier and handle the follow-up export process yourself.

Because such individual furniture sourcing agents can simply register an account on these websites, they can also disappear quickly. Therefore, you should be careful with your individual furniture sourcing agent before paying for the service.

Fiverr Furniture Sourcing Agent

3) Furniture Fairs

In addition to finding furniture sourcing agents online, you can also visit professional furniture fairs. For example, if you want to import furniture from China and get a China furniture sourcing agent, you can visit Canton Fair, CIFF, Foshan Furniture Fair, etc.

However, finding furniture sourcing agents at fairs is more suitable for large importers who are more likely to spend millions of dollars a year on purchases and need to import a variety of different types of furniture.

If you are only a small to medium-sized importer with an annual purchasing budget of tens of thousands of dollars, the furniture suppliers at the fair may not accept your order, or they may arrange an unprofessional furniture sourcing agent for you.

9. Will it be cheaper to purchase directly from the furniture factory than to hire a furniture sourcing agent?

The answer is no. Without a furniture sourcing agent, you will have to spend more time sourcing and dealing with suppliers. It is especially troublesome when there is a language barrier. Also, you have to make your own arrangements for shipping and payment. Some businesses even face scams and poor quality furniture.

10. What types of products can a furniture sourcing agent help purchasing?

A furniture sourcing agent in Foshan can usually source the various furniture and building material products you need. The most common products are furniture, cabinets, tiles, marble, bathrooms, lighting, wooden doors, etc.

You can also purchase air conditioners, aluminum, kitchenware, hotel supplies, and more. Simply tell your furniture sourcing agent what you need and they will source it for you.

The End

Do you have any other questions about furniture sourcing agents? If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and leave your comments in the comments section. If you are looking for a China furniture sourcing agent, you can contact us, we are the leading China furniture sourcing agent.

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