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Product Sourcing from Vietnam - Top Tips and Best Practices for Importers

Product sourcing from Vietnam has emerged as a popular option for importers across the world, thanks to the country's rapid industrialisation and manufacturing growth. Vietnam boasts a thriving mix of local and foreign suppliers, offering a diverse range of cost-effective products and a surge in foreign direct investment.

Product Sourcing from Vietnam Top Tips and Best Practices for Importers
February 6, 2024

Product sourcing from Vietnam has emerged as a popular option for importers across the world, thanks to the country's rapid industrialisation and manufacturing growth. Vietnam boasts a thriving mix of local and foreign suppliers, offering a diverse range of cost-effective products and a surge in foreign direct investment. For businesses looking to tap into the advantages of the Vietnamese manufacturing industry, understanding the ins and outs of product sourcing is crucial to ensuring success.

In this blog, we will delve into the aspects of product sourcing from Vietnam, covering topics from sourcing strategies to supplier selection, negotiations, quality control, and shipping. Our aim is to equip you with essential knowledge and best practices that will help smoothen your product-sourcing journey and boost your business' competitiveness in the global market.

The Lure of the Vietnamese Manufacturing Industry

In recent years, Vietnam has evolved into a manufacturing powerhouse, proving itself an increasingly attractive alternative to China. This Southeast Asian nation offers a plethora of opportunities for importers looking to source cost-effective, high-quality products. 

Vietnam's participation in various trade agreements has further enhanced its appeal as a sourcing partner for New Zealand. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has provided New Zealand businesses with preferential access to Vietnamese markets, reducing trade barriers and facilitating smoother business transactions. This agreement not only benefits New Zealand importers but also opens up opportunities for exporters to tap into the rapidly growing Vietnamese market.

Also, sourcing products solely from a single country like China might lead to over-reliance on a single market, making businesses vulnerable to disruptions caused by geopolitical tensions or unforeseen circumstances, as demonstrated by recent trade disputes. By diversifying their sourcing base to include Vietnam, New Zealand businesses can mitigate such risks and ensure a more resilient supply chain.

One challenge that some companies may face when sourcing from Vietnam, however, is the potential language and cultural barriers that may arise when dealing with Vietnamese suppliers. While English is increasingly spoken in Vietnam, there may still be instances where language barriers hinder effective communication. As such, it's best to work with Epic Sourcing New Zealand to ensure communication is clear and all processes run smoothly.

Understanding the Market and Suppliers

As with any new venture, the key to successful product sourcing is to familiarise yourself with the local market conditions, customs, regulatory landscape, and manufacturing capabilities. Accordingly, take the time to research the industries and sectors that thrive in Vietnam. Some prominent sectors include:

1. Textiles and apparel

2. Footwear

3. Furniture and home décor

4. Electronics and technology

5. Agriculture and food products

Having a clear understanding of the manufacturing industry in Vietnam enables you to align your business objectives with your product sourcing strategy. Furthermore, this knowledge places you in a better position to identify reliable and reputable suppliers – a crucial aspect of your overall sourcing success.

Ways to Source Products from Vietnam

Once you have a handle on the market and suppliers, it's time to explore the various methods of sourcing products from Vietnam. Here are four tried-and-tested approaches:

1. Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows are an excellent way to meet suppliers and manufacturers in person, allowing you to network and gauge their capabilities first-hand. Every year, Vietnam hosts several trade shows and expos related to various industries. Examples of such events include the Vietnam International Furniture & Home Accessories Fair, Vietnam International Textile & Apparel Accessories Exhibition, and Saigon Fabric & Garment Accessories Expo. While travel restrictions may currently limit accessibility, attending virtual trade shows is another viable option.

2. Utilising Online Platforms

Online sourcing platforms such as Alibaba, Global Sources, and VietnamManufacturers are incredibly helpful in connecting importers with Vietnamese suppliers. These platforms allow you to filter your search by industry, product category, and supplier qualifications. By utilising these online resources, you can reach out to suppliers, request quotations, and even order product samples without leaving the comfort of your office.

3. Working with Sourcing Agents

Hiring a competent and reliable sourcing agent can be a game-changer, especially for first-time importers. Sourcing agents possess an exhaustive knowledge of the local language, customs, regulations, and industries and can offer invaluable assistance throughout the sourcing process. They handle tasks such as finding suppliers, managing negotiations, facilitating communication, ensuring quality control, and overseeing logistics. Just ensure you research your chosen sourcing agent's background and reputation before entering into any agreements.

4. Conducting On-Site Factory Visits

Visiting a factory in person establishes a deeper connection and trust between you and your supplier. On-site factory visits enable you to witness the production process, assess the factory's capabilities, and gauge the quality of the finished product. It also provides an opportunity to communicate your exact requirements, expectations, and quality standards. Be aware that current travel restrictions may limit the feasibility of this approach.

Negotiating Terms and Ensuring Quality

Building a healthy, long-term relationship with a supplier often begins at the negotiation stage. To negotiate favourable pricing, payment terms, and order quantities, you should approach discussions with flexibility, a clear understanding of market prices, and a genuine interest in a mutually beneficial outcome. It might take time to build trust, so be patient and maintain open lines of communication.

Quality control is integral to ensuring the success of your imports. Conduct regular quality inspections, either through your sourcing agent or a third-party inspection service. These inspections should take place at different stages of the production process. Factory audits, lab testing, and final product sampling are just a few examples of quality control measures you might implement to protect your investment.

Shipping and Logistics

Upon receiving a shipment of goods from your supplier, it's crucial to arrange proper transportation and shipping to New Zealand. Familiarise yourself with various incoterms, select a reliable freight forwarder, and calculate import duties and taxes applicable to the products you're sourcing.


Product sourcing from Vietnam may seem daunting at first, but with the right research, planning, and execution, it can prove profitable for your business. By understanding the market, supplier landscape, and best practices for negotiation and quality control, you'll have every chance to succeed in the world of importing and exporting. The growth of Vietnam's manufacturing industry means that the window of opportunity is wide open for New Zealand importers, so now's the time to harness the potential of product sourcing from this rapidly growing economy.

That said, if you are looking for expert sourcing solutions, reach out to us at Epic Sourcing today!

0800 88 EPIC

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