Introduction

The Product Specification is the foundation of the whole purchase process. When you plan to purchase a product, you need to specify its specifications before you proceed to communication.

Good product specifications include product name, photo, material, dimensions, packing and labeling requirements and color codes or something else to define the product. More details you give, more accurate the price will be and more efficiently the project will move on.

The part aims to detail one Request for Quotation step by step, which you can send to your supplier later. A good RFQ will gain more attention from your suppliers and get a better response from them. For more, it can also be a check list when purchasing. And you don’t have to do a second job in your later process.

Finishing the whole article is best for trade newbies or entrepreneurs with no experience at all. If you are importing from China for your first time, you need to focus on every part of the article. As for those experienced buyers, you may just start with the second part, which can be more helpful.

RFQ step-by-step guide

Steps How
I. Draft a specification sheet The first step is to include all product specifications on the sheet.
II. Research Product Safety Standards & Labeling Requirements The second step is to look up the safety standards and labeling requirements according to local law and customs.
III. Make the RFQ file The last step is to finish the RFQ file, and make it readily available to your suppliers.

I. Draft a specification sheet

Provide useful information as much as you can while you are drafting a product specification sheet. That decides the final product quality and price you will get. Please be aware that there is no exact formula or template for an acceptable specification sheet. We assume these following 7 parts spec are very important to make a specification sheet from our experiences for years.

Spec. Description
a. Product Name The product name indicates what you are looking for, and even the functions of the product.
b. Photo One photo can save a lot of time. Of course, if possible, provide some more details.
c. Dimensions Length, width, height, weight and diameter; any parameter to measure the product.
d. Material & Color Specify what the product is made of and the key component, plating technique, even the whole production process.
e. Packing & Labeling Declare in what way we should pack the product including retail packaging, inner box, pcs of per carton, and labeling.
f. Safety Standards & Certification Such as CE, Rohs, UL, FCC and EN71 etc. required by local law and customs.
g. Extra Requirement Personal logo or OEM design or any other requirements.

Case Study: Product Specification: 6.5 inch Hoverboard

Spec. Description
a. Product Name 6.5 inch Hoverboard
b. Photo
c. Dimensions a. size: 584*186*178mm
b. wheel size: 6.5 inch
c. driving mileage: about 10km
d. bearing capacity: 125kg
d. Material & Color a. material: ABS+PC
b. power: 250W/350W double system
c. battery: 36V/2.2A rechargeable lithium battery
d. with Bluetooth and color lamp
e. Packing & Labeling a. color retailer box
b. 1 pcs per carton
c. with CE mark on retailer box
d. sale box in Spanish and English version manual
f. Safety Standards & Certification a. CE marking
b. MSDS marking
g. Extra Requirement Personal logo or OEM design or any other requirements.

Ⅱ. Research Product Safety Standards & Labeling Requirements

1. Product Safety Standards

Safety Standard Certificates, such as CE, ROHS are basic quality requirements applied to different countries and regions, where products should be mandatory or voluntary compliant to those rules.

Those requirements should be specifically pointed out in your specification sheet. Followings are some reference.

Countries and Regions Certification Directive or Test Standards
EU a. CE
b. IECEE(EMC)
c. ROHS
d. REACH
e. E-Mark
a. EN71
b. PED
c. LVD
d. MDD
e. R&TTE
US a. FCC
b. UL
c. FDA
d. Energy Star
e. EPA
f. ETL
a. FCC Part 15
b. FCC Part 18
c. VCRP
Australia a. C-Tick
b. SAA
c. MEPS
d. RCM
a. AS/NZS4417.2
b. AS/NZS CISPR 22: 2002

Notice: Above cases are for your reference only. We didn’t conclude all regional quality standards, and different product has its own quality compliance requirement in a specific country. Thus, we suggest you directly contact local Customs Department or Clearance Agent for any further information.

1. Labeling Requirements

The following summarizes the labeling requirements in some countries only as a guide. It is important to check with your custom clearance agency or the appropriate authorities to confirm the current labeling requirements.

Country Language Fiber Content Origin Care Manufacturer / Importer Info. Size
Argentina Spanish Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Importer Mandatory
Australia English Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory N/A Optional
Canada English and French Mandatory Mandatory Optional Either Optional
France French Mandatory N/A Optional Either Optional
Germany German Mandatory N/A Optional N/A N/A
Mexico Spanish Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Either Mandatory
Pakistan English or Urdu Optional Mandatory Optional Manufacturer Optional
Peru Spanish Mandatory Mandatory N/A Both N/A
Russia Russian Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Either Mandatory
Saudi Arabia Arabic Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory N/A Mandatory
Switzerland German, French, or Italian Optional Optional Optional N/A Optional
UK English, multilingual Mandatory Optional Optional N/A Optional
USA English Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Either Optional

III. Make the RFQ file

Since the RFQ file will come to suppliers, you’d better make it in a common format such as Excel and Word. According to the International Trade Rules, a qualified RFQ file is based on your original Product Spec. Sheet, including essentials like Trade Terms and Documents. Followings Parts are suggested to be included in your RFQ file:

Product Specification Trade Terms Required Documents
a. Product name
b. Photo
c. Dimensions
d. Material & color
e. Packing & Labeling
f. Safety standards & Certification
g. Extra requirement
a. Unit price
b. Delivery terms & Destination
c. Deadline for shipment
d. Payment terms
a. Test report
b. Supplier’s license
c. Product certificate
d. ISO certificate
e. 3rd party Audit

Case Study: Product Specification: 6.5 inch Hoverboard

Tips:

1. Try to include as many information as possible in your product specification sheet. It’s better to proceed to the next follow-up phase and get a professional quotation price later. Your suppliers will quote prices based upon your specification sheet, and you can also get a clear picture of product’s quality level during this whole process.

2. Concerning about product’s safety and certificates, as well as some importing rules, we strongly suggest you contact local authorities, the Customs in particular. Another solution is to find several professional Customs Clearance Agents for your help.

3. If you are a trade newbie and have no idea about your niche product, you can search it on Google.com, or other trade-concerned websites such as alibaba.com, Globalsources.com, Made-in-China.com, select several suppliers, and inquiry of them. Taken together, a complete product specification sheet, styled in a piece of professional RFQ, will help you through the first-time sourcing experience.

Hope you find this article helpful for your importing business.Let us know if we have further to improve! Please leave your sweet suggestions on comments. Thanks for helping us to get better!

And you please download the RFQ Template here.