Complete Guide: How to Buy Wholesale from China?

May 03, 2023 Chapter 1. Sourcing

How to Buy Wholesale from China Directly? Importing from China is very much a cash-dependent game! The current digital age can help us experience many buy in bulk from China services without going out. 

Below, we’ll provide you a list of the best way to buy wholesale from China. Check it out, and learn how to buy bulk from China!




How to Buy Wholesale from China in 7 Steps


1. Understand Your Role in the Process

amazon how to buy wholesale from China

You are an importer whenever you purchase products from foreign countries, such as China. All you need to do is give the supplier your address information, and they will do the rest. The shipment will likely come via air or ocean shipping.

Smaller packages with a lesser value will be delivered right to your door. Then you won’t have to pick up your packages from the nearest shipping store.


2. Find Good Products

Chinese factories make a lot of excellent products but also make a lot of bad products.

There are a lot of Chinese suppliers who sell cheap, low-quality products. You must avoid these products, especially if you’re going to resell them to your customers.

So you should know how to identify good and bad products according to two critical differences between China and Western countries:

      • China has different quality standards from the West countries.
      • China has different norms around intellectual property, and there are a lot of counterfeit products

Only purchase good quality products to resell to your customers. That is how your business will grow. 


3. Check the Import Laws of your Country 

Before you purchase an overseas product, make sure you are legally allowed to import it into your country. Some countries have import restrictions on certain types of products.

If you try to import one of these restricted items, then it might get sent back to the shipper. You may even get fined by the government too.


4. Find the Classification Number of the Product(HS CODE)

Each imported item will have its own tariff classification number that is ten digits long. The tariff classification number and the Certificate of Origin are necessary to calculate the rate of duty, which is an import fee you must pay. A calculation of the land cost must be done as well.


The Incoterms are particularly essential to focus on. Before you submit your order to the supplier, make sure the landed cost is calculated.

You can find the FOB (free on board) rate by adding together the product price, Chinese shipping charges, customs clearance fee, land transport costs, and Duty & Tax costs. 

Shipment Terms



5. Locating the Chinese Supplier

If you know which products you want to buy bulk from China, the next step is to find a supplier who can fulfill your order. Make sure you understand their shipping terms, especially regarding the delivery time.

If you’ve found a supplier who looks good, then request a Proforma Invoice from them. It is also called a Quote Sheet. This documentation will give you specific information about your purchases, such as the weight, packed dimensions, value, and description of each product. There is the a complete guide for: how to find a Chinese wholesaler.


Here’s an example script that I use when reaching out to suppliers for the first time.

Hi “supplier name,”

My name is “your name,” and I’m a buyer for “store name”, a store in “your country” that sells “the products you want to carry.” We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.

Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability for the following items…

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

If you could send us more info and your product catalogs and MOQ requirements, we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much,


Once you’ve built contact, you can ask for samples, place orders, etc. The most relevant warning is that this process can take a while, and communicate back and forth with suppliers requires patience. For example, it takes from initial contact to get samples can easily take weeks.



6. Calculate the Total Shipping Costs

International shipments have a plethora of fees attached to them. Aside from the standard shipping costs, you also have container fees, broker fees, packaging fees, and terminal handling fees.

Add up the total cost of all these fee so that you know what to expect for your shipping expenses. You can learn the complete guide for:  How to ship from China to the US


Before you arrange your shipment, you should ask for the following documents from your suppliers. These will be required to clear customs.

      • A Commercial Invoice – The declared value of your products
      • A Packing List – Size, weight, quantity…
      • A Detail Sheet – Outlines how the products are manufactured so customs can determine the duty classification
      • Bill of Lading – A legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity, and destination of the goods being carried.



How to shipping from China

Ocean shipping is a much bigger headache but totally worth it. If you are importing a large production volume, you can easily save between 5-6x compared to shipping by air.

Here is 6 ways to shipping Chinese merchandise wholesale products: 

  • 1. Air express
  • 2. Air freight (DDP)
  • 3. Regular post
  • 4. Ocean expedited freight (DDP)
  • 5. Ocean freight (FCL/LCL)
  • 6. Train (DDP)



7. Track the Shipment

International shipments will not come quickly. If you’re on the East Coast of the United States and you order a product from China, then you probably won’t get the shipment for about 30 days. If you’re on the West Coast, then it will only take about 13 days or so. 

Save the freight documents related to the shipment, such as the bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list. You can use this documentation to understand the customs clearance process that your shipment will go through after it arrives in your country. 

 Ask your customs broker to accept the shipment when it arrives at the customs facility. If there are no discrepancies with the paperwork, then your shipment should be available for pick up after customs clear it. For smaller orders, your shipment will be delivered to the address that you specified initially.





Where to Find Buying Bulk from China Supplier?

If you cannot travel to China, the best way to find Chinese wholesale suppliers is to use an online directory like Alibaba or



12 Best China Websites to Buy Wholesale from China Directly:

Actually, the main Chinese wholesale websites existing now are only 6: Alibaba, AliExpress, Global Source, Lightinthebox, DHgate, Made-in-China.

You can find the best one to buy bulk items from China according to your requirement., check this post for how to find a supplier in China


Company Product Category Sign Up   Business Type


Sourcing Free Product Sourcing Company


General Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


General Free Wholesale & Dropship sites

Global Sources

General Free Directory


Limited category Free Wholesale & Dropship sites

Limited category Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


Machinery, Electronics Free Directory


Electronic, Gadgets Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


Electronic, Gadgets Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


Electronic Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


Electronic, Gadgets Free Wholesale & Dropship sites


Electronic Free Wholesale & Dropship sites





Top 7 Trade Fairs to Buy Direct from China Wholesale

Canton Fair Aside – Have a Good Fair to buy wholesale from China?


By the way, China is a very safe country, and you can travel with confidence. The top 6 China trade fair as follow:

#1 – The Canton Fair.

We’ll start with the most basic fair.

This fair is performed twice/year. It’s located in one of China’s most popular cities, that being Guangzhou.

This is a China international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, electronics, consumer goods, home décor, office supplies and shoes, and much more!

It’s actually quite a large market, and you can expect many quality factory products. So it’s not fair you should miss it!

#2 – Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace (or Commodities Fair).

As the name implies, this China international trade fair is located in Zhejiang, Yiwu. And like the previous, it specializes in consumer products. You can buy wholesale from China in the Yiwu market.

It’s organized once/year. While it isn’t too famous among international buyers, it’s one of the largest in China.

As a result, you can expect to get bargain deals there, especially if you’re buying supplies in bulk! Check more how to buy wholesale from the Yiwu market

#3 – (ECF) East China Import and Export Commodity Fair.

This is located in of China’s largest business cities, this being Shanghai.

It’s hosted one per year. This is a China international trade fair for household products and accessories, textiles, clothes, gifts, and arts.

This fair gets an extremely high turnover, and it has some of the best deals of the seven fairs.

#4 – Global Sources Tradeshow.

Hosted twice a year, this fair is also located in the Chinese megacity of Hong Kong.

The main items of its catalogs include fashion accessories and electronics.

This fair is similar to the Canton Fair. It doesn’t have language barriers, making it perfect for international visitors.

It’s an excellent place to find quality products. And as a startup business, it’s an excellent place to give yourself a name!

#5 – Bauma China.

Similar to ECF, this tradeshow is set in Shanghai – being hosted twice per year.

But unlike most trade fairs, it strays somewhat from consumer products. It focuses on the construction industry, displaying equipment and machinery, and building materials.

It also has a large international attendance. Over 200,000 people show up to this fair and from around 150 countries!

#6 – Beijing International Auto Show.

Located in Beijing, this is hosted twice per year.

As the name implies, this show is for cars, automobiles, and any parts or accessories that suit those products.

A variety of worldwide sellers show up at this event. So if you’re looking to get accessories and parts for your cars, this is the place to be!

#7 – A Search Engine For all Chinese trade Fairs

For that, we have a unique recommendation for you to buy wholesale from China to attend the China trade fairs. You can use the 10times to find out all the trade fairs information. 




buy wholesale from China





Buy Bulk from China Tips– Some Notes on Dealing with Chinese Wholesale Suppliers


Many Chinese fairs try to attract an international audience. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re walking into a frictionless environment.

Like many businesses events, there is a cultural and locational factor to consider.

We’ll mention them below (which you should keep in consideration for the next time you buy wholesale from China)!


(A) Commuting Issues.

China is the world’s most populated country, and its major cities are dense (especially if you’re taking public transport).

Those are facts to consider since you might be from a less populated region – where shorter distances can be traveled instantly.

In China’s major cities, expect traffic congestion, and more time in general to reach your targeted locations!


(B) Cultural Differences.

Culture impacts business. It impacts how each side negotiates and communicates its demands.

As a rule, Chinese people are less confrontational than other cultures. This is necessary to keep in mind, especially if you come from a more direct culture (like the US).

Also, Chinese individuals tend to be more polite and accommodating in conversation. This often gets to the point of pretending to understand what foreigners are saying (when the reality is the opposite).

To circumvent that, we recommend communicating through direct questions. It’ll help you clarify and avoid misunderstandings, especially when it’s time to place orders.

Writing everything down is of the essence here. And if possible, you can try to get your orders written down in Chinese!


(C) Language Barriers.

Your best bet for communication is English. Most Chinese vendors have studied (or known English) to an extent from school.

However, you might want to simplify your communication with those vendors. We recommend slow speech with shorter sentences and avoiding excess babble.

Also, typing out your needs on paper goes a long way. Most Chinese vendors can read better than they listen, so they’ll better fulfill your needs if it’s on paper.


(D) Written Contracts Aren’t Final.

Writing is good for overcoming language and cultural barriers. But when it comes to setting contracts in stone, the situation changes.

In China, contracts are not final. They might change tomorrow, next week, often with a set of rational excuses.

However, that doesn’t mean that the Chinese aren’t trustworthy. It simply takes time to get consistency. And on the way, you can expect slight hiccups.

Overall, drafting a contract (if it isn’t for a massive order) is somewhat meaningless, and it’s best to not overly depend on the written agreement.


(E) Be Specific – Avoid Assumptions.

As we’ve established, writing is good for communication. But we’d like to emphasize that point.

Include as many details as possible in your writing. Because if it isn’t spelled outright, then you can assume that vendors will cut corners to fulfill your orders.

For example, you might get less material in your final product. Or, certain aesthetic details might end up being omitted.

Through writing (while you’re not getting a final agreement), you still get full communication to ensure that what you want is what you get.



bulk buy products from china



6 Tips for Bulk Buy Products from China


1. Don’t Always Choose the Cheapest Products. 

Products that are priced too cheaply are probably bad products. If you don’t see a lot of other vendors selling similar products for the same price, then something must be wrong. Remember that purchasing quality products is essential, even if you have to pay a little more to get them.


2. Explain Your Specifications to The Supplier.

If you have specific requirements or specifications for the products or shipping, then you must discuss them with the supplier before anything gets shipped out. Otherwise, you might end up with products or materials that you did not want. 


3. Don’t Act Suspicious of the Supplier Upfront

When doing business with a new supplier, try to show a level of trust and respect when you communicate with them. Don’t act rude or suspicious with them if they haven’t done anything wrong. You need to have a good relationship with your supplier so that they will treat your products well and give you high-quality customer support.


4. Verify FOB Terms. 

Please verify that your supplier accepts the FOB terms associated with their closest airport or port. If so, then you will have lower shipping expenses and more control of the shipment. 


5. Be Mindful of Shipping Times.

It takes a long time to ship products over the ocean from one country to another. Make sure you plan for shipping times that could take up to 30 days. In fact, it could take seven days just for the supplier to prepare the documentation, ship the product, and clear it through customs.


6. Commercial Import Regulations.

You only have to concern yourself with import regulations if you are importing products for resale or commercial purposes. If you claim a shipment is for personal use, the customs authority has the final say in determining whether that is true or not. They will look inside the packaging and evaluate the shipment. If they see a bunch of products inside the packaging, they might consider it for business purposes rather than for personal use. Then the import regulations would apply. 






10 Tips for Order from China in Bulk

Here is the 10 tips importer should care about when order bulk from China.

#1: Don’t think that a factory, trading company, sourcing agent, manufacturer, and supplier are all the same thing.

There are a lot of terms to keep track of in this industry, and a lot of them have some overlap, but knowing what’s what will save you a lot of frustration.

A factory is a location where your product is built, whether by people or machines.

A trading company is a middleman. They find the supplier for you and they ship you the product, but before they ship it, they raise the price a bit to make their own profit.

A sourcing agent is similar to a trading company, but not the same. They’re more like a liaison. Sourcing agents might put you in direct contact with different factories, or vet multiple suppliers to find you the best price. They also usually provide factory and product inspections, and shipping and logistics opportunities.

The terms manufacturer and supplier are used very loosely. They could overlap with any of the previous three terms.

Then we have what they call manufacturers and suppliers. These are used very loosely. As a general rule of thumb, they could be any of the previous three. Often a manufacturer is synonymous with the factory, while the supplier is even broader.


difference between trade company and factory



#2: – Don’t evaluate the price only

With all quotations in hand, it’s time to select the suppliers. Although prices impact business profitability, it’s important to consider that the cheapest supplier isn’t always the right one. On the other hand, the most expensive supplier isn’t a guarantee of the best possible services.

Instead, it’s better to address issues related to quality, flexibility, and delivery experience in that particular area. This will provide a fuller idea of how the provided service will be and will prevent you from receiving something cheap, but very unsatisfactory.

Beware also of those not-to-be-missed offers. If the product proves to be of quality and the provider company is a large-sized one, a price far below the market’s may be a sign that there is something wrong.


 #3:  Don’t try to negotiate on shipping.

There’s a big difference between comparing shipping prices and trying to negotiate on shipping. There are only so many suppliers who will be willing to negotiate with you on the shipping because they have to charge a minimum price.

Sometimes, they’ll charge you exactly what shipping costs them, and sometimes they’ll charge you a little extra, because they have to make money, too.

Trying to negotiate on shipping might make a supplier think you don’t know what you’re talking about, and then they’ll be less likely to want to continue working with you. So, don’t negotiate on shipping; just compare shipping prices between a few different suppliers to find the best deal.


 #4: Don’t think that most suppliers on Alibaba are factories.

A lot of suppliers on Alibaba will tell you they’re factories, even if they’re not, and that’s normal. For them, it’s just good business. But the majority of them are probably just trading companies who have bought their products directly from factories and raised the price a bit to make a profit when reselling them.


 #5: Don’t assume a supplier must be a factory because they call themselves a factory.

Just because a supplier shows you pictures of a factory doesn’t mean they’re really a factory. Nowadays, you can build a website and put whatever you want on it – and so can suppliers.

But that doesn’t mean they’re trying to cheat you or scam you. They just know that Western brains think going directly to the factory will get them the best price. However, that isn’t always the case.


#6: Don’t think that working directly with a factory means you’ll be paying less.

Often, trading companies can offer you better prices than factories. Why? Because they have great relationships with factories, so factories give them better deals. If you’re new to working with a particular factory, it’s going to take time for you to earn their trust and build a good relationship with them.

Factories won’t start giving you better deals on products until they trust you. However, factories already have good relationships with trading companies, so trading companies get better deals. Then, those trading companies pass those deals on to you.


 #7:  Don’t think it will only take a month to get your product sourced and shipped to Amazon’s warehouse.

If you’re building a highly customized product, it’s obviously going to take time to build. Expect custom products to take up to six months, easily, from the start of product research all the way to the day you ship your product to Amazon FBA. In this case, I highly recommended using a sourcing agent to help walk you through the process.

Even if you’re not building a brand new product, research, differentiation, production, and shipping still take time. Budget at least two to three months for sourcing and shipping your product.


 #8:  Don’t not working with a sourcing agent

Particularly when you are starting out with your Amazon selling a business, it is important to get guidance and support from the right experts. Failing to do so can expose your business to serious risks, including fraud, product quality issues, and legal risks.

China sourcing agent is well-versed in all aspects of sourcing products from China for Amazon sellers and offers assistance throughout the process. Starting with selecting the right supplier, negotiating the best price, and shipping the order; even experienced sellers benefit by working with a reputed sourcing agent.

As the sourcing agent has an office in China, not only can they carry out a visual inspection of the manufacturer’s facility but they can ensure a fair deal while building a strong relationship with the local supplier.

The sourcing agent also conducts a factory audit and performs an objective assessment of the staff, equipment, processes, automation, and management structure, as well as other factors such as social responsibility or sustainable sourcing.


#9: Don’t assume that just because you signed a contract with a supplier that they won’t share your idea.

What if, a month after you launch your newest product, you see it being advertised by your supplier, and by twenty other suppliers on Alibaba? Don’t ever assume suppliers are going to honor your contract. Instead, find ways to de-risk yourself.

One way to stop your product from getting hijacked is to have one supplier build all the pieces of the product separately. Then, have those pieces shipped to you and assemble the product yourself. That way, your supplier doesn’t know what the product actually looks like. The final product is yours alone.

Another easy way to de-risk yourself is, of course, by differentiating. Add accessories and extras to your products, and they’ll be harder to duplicate.


#10: Don’t assume there is something wrong with a supplier who won’t drop the price until you meet a certain MOQ.

Imagine you’re shopping for coffee. You go to Wal-Mart and you buy a bag of coffee beans. Then, you go to Sam’s Club and buy a massive bucket of coffee beans. When you break the price down, the cost per bean at Sam’s Club will be much lower than the cost per bean at Walmart.


Because you’re buying a greater quantity of beans. Buying things in bulk is cheaper. The supplier wants to know the time and labor spent building your product is going to yield a big enough scale to be worthwhile. Suppliers won’t lower their MOQ if it isn’t worth their time.





Buying Bulk from China Final Words

The most important part of bulk buy products from china is the quality control. Undoubtedly, these are the continuous accumulation of experience and the understanding of price and quality.

Buy wholesale from China has a multitude of advantages. You’re getting mass production and at extremely affordable rates. Plus, you can get the items you want at varying degrees of quality.

Essentially, you’ll never encounter troubles shopping for what you want. So when heading there for a business agreement, it is best if you keep in mind a long-term perspective.

You should negotiate, inspect, and ship in a manner that guarantees that you make loyal connections, even if things go awry the first time. Also, you could always hire an agent to help you with the communication and tracking of the orders you place.

The previous guide should’ve provided insight on how to buy wholesale from China. But if you need product sourcing company and have any more questions for how to buy things in bulk from China, then simply contact us!

Now, it’s time for you to leave a comment about your experience when you buy wholesale from China.




Buy Wholesale from China FAQ

Is it legal to buy from China and resell?

It is legal if the products are authentic and not counterfeit. But if you operate an online store, you have a duty to make sure that your sell products are legitimate.

How do I buy wholesale directly from the manufacturer?

Contact brand manufacturers. Generally, brand manufacturers only sell directly to large businesses. But, you can still ask who you can buy from as a small business. The manufacturer can give you the names of distributors or small wholesalers.

How can I buy shoes wholesale from China?

The simplest way to get into Chinese shoe wholesalers is through online China wholesale websites like AliExpress and Alibaba. These stores are trendy and have a convenient shopping experience. Both of these stores’ shoes are available at a decently low price.

Do I need a permit to import from China?

There is no general import permit or license for importing products from China. However, you might need a permit to import from a federal agency certain goods from China. Different federal agencies supervise different imported products, and terms can vary.

How can I translate Chinese to 1688 English?

Right-click to translate into English on google chrome. You can learn more for how to buy on1688.

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