A Supplier Refund 530,000 for a Customer to Fulfill their promise

Share my Refund story, Signifying a loss of ¥530,000($75000), we’re concluding the deal with my client during 148 days.

A Pleasant Beginning

The month of May greeted us with beautiful weather and warm conversations. On May 15th at 20:49, I initiated my first conversation with a Russian client, Sergei. We were preparing to participate in an #exhibition in Russia, so I had learned some basic Russian in anticipation. The prospect of interacting with a Russian client excited me.

Through our initial exchange, I learned that Sergei needed 2,000 pieces of children’s #skiwear. I showed him similar products we had previously manufactured, and he seemed impressed with our production experience. Sergei provided some technical specifications for the fabric, emphasizing the need for waterproofing, wind resistance, and breathability. Given our extensive production experience spanning over a decade, we understood these requirements and had worked with similar materials. To ensure the quality matched his expectations, we suggested he send us samples for review. Sergei also mentioned that he needed to make some #design changes, asking if we had appropriate designs available. We provided the relevant designs, but due to differing aesthetic preferences between our countries, he mentioned he would handle the design himself. After confirming initial details, he shipped the samples to us on May 23rd, and we received them promptly on May 29th.

Throughout our communication, we used three languages: Sergei spoke Russian, I used my limited Russian with the assistance of translation tools, and at times, I switched to English for more technical terms.

  • A Glimpse of the Sample


Upon receiving the samples, we immediately noticed the discrepancy in technical specifications compared to what Sergei needed. It was significantly cheaper in quality, with only basic waterproofing and no breathability as required. This suggested deceptive practices, and we wondered whether this was a common procedure or if someone had misled Sergei.  Thankfully, Sergei insisted on using honest specifications, indicating that we should proceed based on the parameters he provided. This not only ensured we maintained our integrity but also earned our respect and admiration for Sergei’s commitment to honest business practices.

  • A Speedy Sample Completion


On June 2nd, we finalized the sample’s color, and for certain details, we decided to use readily available components. We planned to replace them with custom-made components once the initial sample was approved. This was a cost-effective approach that Sergei accepted wholeheartedly. The garment was incredibly heavy, weighing 1.2 kg, and we were amazed at its quality. To test its waterproofing, we even splashed water on it, and it remained unaffected. We promptly shared photos and details with Sergei, expressing our confidence. He was also looking forward to meeting us at the exhibition.


  • Using Ten Photos to Confirm Details and Secure the Official Order


Sergei, accompanied by his wife, who was also a designer, visited our exhibition. They were highly satisfied with our products and our pricing, which was even better than expected. Sergei had a new product line he was launching this year, and this was his first attempt. However, he had faith in the quality and details, serving an existing client. His confidence was apparent at the exhibition.

During the exhibition, Sergei mentioned some changes he wanted to make. We noted them through a translator and documented them. After returning to the office, I wrote to him in English, explaining my understanding of the changes based on our discussion. However, Sergei pointed out that it was entirely different from what he had in mind. This left me in a state of panic, as I contemplated arranging a video conference with a translator. However, I managed to convey all the changes accurately by using ten #photos, which made the modifications perfectly clear to Sergei, and he approved of them wholeheartedly.

  • Payments from Russia to China Challenges Abound

After we confirmed the order details with each other, we found that payment was a headache. The customer originally wanted to find an agent to pay. As a result, the exchange rate difference for payment was very high, with extra cost of 15%. Later, we finally found a way to solve this problem. The customer initiated the payment process on July 5th, and I received the first payment on July 11th. Over the course of the next month, I gradually received the remaining deposit amounts from the customer.

  • First Sample for Bulk Production

Due to the extensive customization required in many aspects, and the customer’s need to see the first sample to ensure it aligns with their vision, we began the process of tailoring all the details. This included the leather label on the back, the PVC label on the sleeves, the logo on the reflective strips, the logos on the zippers, the collar label, wash labels, hang tags, and customizing the fabric colors, among other things. Crafting a single piece of clothing became a significant project in itself.

Throughout this period, the customer only shared their vision with us, and we translated it into rough sketches based on our understanding, sending them for approval. Fortunately, our communication was relatively smooth, and we completed the initial sample in just over two weeks, which was a reasonably quick turnaround. However, by this point, we had already reached August. The customer provided their confirmation on the afternoon of August 9th.


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