How to Find a Manufacturer in China and Then Contact Them?
There is no magic formula for find a manufacturer in China. There is a way to do this, but it’s not an easy and straightforward way.
Following the right process will most likely take you from “no supplier” to “right supplier”. It would be best if you did your homework, provided the right information, and collected the right data simultaneously.
How to Find a Manufacturer in China?
Following these points, you and potential Chinese suppliers should be in a good position to have a productive relationship.
Provide clear quality standards to suppliers
It’s your job as the buyer. What matters to you (e.g., correct type of finish, very precise dimensions…) is not what other importers need (e.g., the exact color of the logo).
If you articulate this early in the process, and they know it before starting the sampling effort, you improve the odds of getting what you want.
Understand the supplier’s current customer base
Especially the number one customer, if you can get that information (usually it will be clearer after a factory tour). Because it shows that they have been pursuing and optimizing the standards of their organization, even if you pay them handsomely, they probably won’t be able to improve their game significantly.
Explore What Quality Systems, Process Controls, etc. they have
Suppose a factory is disorganized and only does end-of-line inspections without trying to put in place systems to prevent these problems. In that case, it will struggle to deliver high-quality products consistently.
Provide Enough Order Quantity
This is important for the following reasons:
Large factories (often more consistent quality) reject small orders
Small orders aren’t worth doing much engineering upfront, so typical Chinese factories tend to jump right into production, let problems arise, and (hopefully) find and fix them. This is inherently risky.
In many cases, low-volume work tends to be done in a more manual way and with less consistent quality.
All of these are compounded if you have a supplier that makes a different product than they already make. This should affect the type of suppliers you work with.
Understand How Price Affects the Quality
The lower the price, the less profit the supplier makes, and the less willing he is to go the extra mile to provide you with the perfect product.
Also, in most Chinese (manufacturers, traders, judges…), a buyer paying a particularly low price should not expect high quality, even if it is clearly stated. In their view, this is common sense and basic fairness.
Demonstrate Stable Potential Business
Likewise, if a supplier sees a clear benefit, they will invest more time and effort. Influenced by the following factors:
volume – see above
Buy-side communication vision – I’ve seen some suppliers work really hard on a project right after an hour-long meeting with a prospect (obviously a good salesperson).
External sources of trust – you raised $300k on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you were assigned by 3 famous supermarket chains, you sold to GE, all of which helped.
Experience – If they think you’ve been doing this type of work for years and you know the game well, they’ll think you know how to bring in a lot of orders. A contract can make you look more legitimate.
Business convenience – they should find it easy to communicate with you. They don’t want to suffer very expensive chargebacks, etc. In this case, if the contract is too favorable for the buyer, it will take them out of a lot of motivation.
Where to Find a Manufacturer in China?
How about getting a list of good Chinese suppliers? There must be, right?
Yes, of course. Go to the Alibaba website, search among gold suppliers, and choose the best one in your product category.
No no. just kidding. In my opinion, it’s better than going all-out. As mentioned above, following the correct process is the most important thing. There are some things that many buyers will not accept. There is no good or bad supplier.
The general find suppliers in China is mainly the following 6 channels.
They are convenient when you are setting up. Each country has its favorites. The best you can do is keep checking them regularly. Always be aware of the pieces that wholesale clothing suppliers offer. You can buy from the sellers for your business to grow. However, make sure that all your merchandise is of high quality. The suppliers may try to scam you at times, so always exercise caution.
There are still many outstanding Chinese wholesale manufacturers that have not appeared on B2B websites. These excellent manufacturers are renowned in manufacturing, but unfortunately, they don’t know how to promote marketing effectively.
Visit local trade shows in your area
Trade shows are a great place to meet and socialize with people who are in the same trade. Discuss with them their journey as beginners and learn. They will give you great advice that you can apply to grow your business. You can learn more about money management and how to run your business.
Join forums for boutique businesses
Such forums are very educational. They will help you learn more about business and customer expectations. You can find such forums on social media platforms such as Facebook(group) or Shopify.
Do you know someone who is in the same business as you want to start? Contact them before getting started. Let them tell you the ups and downs of the industry, and share with you some tips. That way, you will begin in the right direction.
Even if vendor reviews of Alibaba and Global Resources help evaluate potential suppliers, a faster way to find a good Chinese manufacture is to monitor who your competitors are using.
For example, you can easily steal wholesale suppliers from your competitor by using Jungle Scouts.
Every shipping container entering the United States must be recorded before it can cross the border. In this process, each shipment information is detailed recorded at U.S. Customs.
All of this information is made available to the public free of charge. The tools for supplier data allow you to quickly browse every company’s shipments information when it be imported into the United States by sea shipping.
From this document, you can easily find your competitors’ supplier and their shipments’ size and weight. I think this information is beneficial to quickly and easily find the exact wholesale suppliers used by your competitors.
How to Verify a Chinese Manufacturer?
Sometimes you may find a Chinese manufacturer online, and you may have your doubts about his legitimacy. The firm he works with may look true and trustworthy, but you need to beware of scams.
The process of ensuring that you are in business with the right person can be tricky, and you should look at two main aspects. These are the aspects to look out for how to verify Chinese manufacturer.
- The suppliers capacity to supply the goods or service you need.
- The legitimacy of the business and the business’s financial capacity- You need to find out if the suppliers’ firm is on the verge of going broke.
1. Find out more about the supplier from the directories of Chinese suppliers and search engines like Google
There are many Chinese supplier websites and directories to find out details of their policies, backorders, damages, and returns. These are the platforms that can help you find out more about a supplier’s legitimacy.
The sites have suppliers’ contact details and location, so if a site doesn’t have the info you need, it may be suspicious. The search engines where you can find detailed information about a supplier include Bing and google.
You can open Bing or google and type the company name + scam + dishonest, among other search engine variations. You will get all scandals, news, and other details of a company from the site. You can’t lack any traces on the internet once you search for the information you need.
You will find many supplier profiles on the internet, and there are B2B directories that contain all the supplier details. The renowned directories where you can find legit information include; global source, Alibaba, Hong Kong trade growth council’s, etc.
Through such directories and platforms, you can find reliable data about a supplier. The data is illustrated in reviews from other vendors. However, reviews say a lot about a supplier; you need to beware of self-promoters.
Many B2Bs are a good marketplace for verifying suppliers. Through these sources, you can tell whether a supplier is reliable or not. Through a platform like global sources, you can find out whether a supplier has a stable business.
The details to determine the stability of suppliers will be available on the platform. The data you will be looking for include suppliers’ start date in the business, brand name, number of staff, total sales, etc.
Through other search engines like Google or Bing, you may find data like the supplier’s previous trades. The trades a supplier has participated in will tell you a lot about the reputation of their company. That’s the secret to telling how reputable a Chinese supplier is before sourcing their services.
You can use it to tell the abilities of a supplier to check their booths during trade shows because they use the rental booths to invest in gaining customers. If a supplier has been attending the trade shows frequently, it means that their customer relationships are 100% earnest.
2. Confirm supplier details through a phone call
A safe way of verifying how genuine suppliers’ services are is by making a phone call. Nowadays, fake suppliers evade being tracked by the law by providing false data when registering for supplier permits.
The data they lie mostly about is their fax number, phone number, and emails. The trick to finding out if the Chinese supplier is genuine is by making a call to the provided contact information.
Now, if you have been wondering about how to verify a Chinese manufacturer, it’s that easy. Through a phone call, you can tell if they are scammers.
Chinese manufacturers’ landlines are the best ways of reaching out to them for inquiries about their services and test their authenticity.
If you wonder why the landline is safer than a phone call, in china, you can find that one Chinese manufacturer has hundreds of mobile numbers. That why calling a landline is the best way of verifying a supplier’s genuineness.
It’s hard for scammers to use a landline for scams; most use phone numbers. Conduct basic checks before calling any Chinese manufacturers’ number.
3. Check the suppliers’ business licenses
If you are wondering how to easily verify a Chinese manufacturer, the business license will save you the struggle. All Chinese manufacturers register their businesses in their government because it’s a part of the policy.
If you notice any suspicious activity on the license, the supplier may be a fake Chinese manufacturer. The business registration numbers are unique for each Chinese manufacturer, so if you notice a supplier has an average number, their business is questionable.
It would be best if you didn’t deal with a supplier who has risky or suspicious activities on their license. They could probably be dealing in illegal businesses, and this can leave negative impacts on your business. If you doubt a supplier’s license, you can call the nearest administrative unit for further verification.
You can also contact a local Chinese bureau of commerce to inquire about more details of a supplier.
4. Ask for suppliers’ references
If you doubt a Chinese supplier’s legitimacy, you can ask for references before sourcing the Chinese manufacturer. An easy way of verifying a supplier is through references. Through suppliers’ reference letters, you can easily appraise the quality of output from their business. The previous customer reviews can also tell you about a supplier’s capacity to give you quality products.
You can also contact their previous customers and enquire about the service providence from the Chinese manufacturer.
5. Ask for a sample from the manufacturer
Whenever you are sourcing for products, especially from online Chinese manufacturers, ensure that you have seen a sample before buying. Many disappointments come after sourcing for suppliers, and they deliver poor quality goods.
For instance, when you buy clothes in bulk, you need to ask for a sample because the fabric of a garment posted online may have a different color or texture when you physically see the fabric.
Quality differs; hence, to be sure of the brand you need and your supplier’s one, you have to ensure that they are matching. Quality matters a lot as long as you are in the supply and distribution business. You have to see whether products conform to specifications before making a purchase.
When you notice that a product doesn’t conform to quality expectations, you will source your products somewhere else. A serious manufacturer will not have issues with providing you with the sample.
If a supplier acts weird after you ask for a sample, then he or she isn’t a legal supplier. As soon as you notice suspicious activities in a supplier, you should avoid doing business with them.
For better verification of a supplier’s genuineness, you can ask for their audit reports to see the supplier’s stability.
6. Talk about Cash matters with your supplier
Test your potential supplier by asking them about money matters to see if you are on the same page. When it comes to money, you will easily tell if your supplier is legit. A good way of testing the supplier is by telling them that your agent will pick the goods and pay on delivery. If the supplier refuses, then he is probably a scammer.
If you are doing wireless transactions, beware of fraudulent suppliers. The common way of paying for goods to a Chinese manufacturer is through MoneyGram, TT, or western union.
7. Carry out a factory audit
Pretend to be checking the manufacturers’ audit reports and check his behavior or reaction. If you see him getting all tense, he has a lot to hide, and he is a suspicious dealer. That’s how you verify Chinese manufacturers easily.
You can mention to the Chinese manufacturer that you will conduct an audit before buying their products through an email address. If the supplier gives you lame excuses, you should take it as a red flag. The best tool to verify a supplier’s legitimacy is through a factory audit.
8. Use the Chinese court databases to find out more about a supplier
Through a supreme court database search, you can find all the details of a supplier and decide whether you will do business with them or not. The process involved isn’t even hard; all you have to do is type a supplier’s name in the Searching tool, and you will get all the information you need about the supplier.
Through the database, you can see all the supplier’s history and easily tell if they are legit or not. Accessing the site is easy, but you need to understand Chinese because the data is available only in chines language.
9. Conduct some Background drafts on the cheap
When you are busy with how to verify Chinese manufacturers, this is among the best ways to investigate a supplier’s capacity. Many service providers can verify suppliers for you at a price. These include the GLoBIS, who gives you a detailed report about a supplier once you give them a name. They give a report with the details of the suppliers’ scope of work, business representatives, legal compliance, licenses, shareholders, and financial records, among others. Easy-peasy right?
There is another platform called China checkup, which you can use to verify your Chinese manufacturer before sourcing goods.
10. Go to the company personally
If you are a doubting Thomas, the best way to verify if the manufacturer is legit is by traveling to their factory. Conduct a factory visit and talk to the Chinese manufacturer face to face about the quality of the products, prices, and quality assurance, among other things like delivery and shipment.
The majority of vendors love this method because it’s easy to tell about suppliers’ due diligence. Through the process, you can tell if you can trust the supplier after your conversation. Supplier negotiations can also be conducted best when you meet face to face with the Chinese manufacturer.
As soon as you build a stable working relationship with the Chinese manufacturer, you can keep track of your activities through frequent supplier checks.
How to Contact Chinese Manufacturers
So, for finding a Chinese manufacturer or supplier, you generally consider what issues and steps to follow when creating your brands, finding suitable Chinese manufacturers, or managing the production process?
First of all, one of the most frequently asked questions by foreign sellers is: “Are you a factory?”
Secondly, the next question they are most concerned about is: “How much does it cost?”
Then you will calculate the specific manufacturing costs from multiple suppliers.
When you start to produce products in China, You will wonder if you have found a perfect factory? Once sellers get quotations from Chinese factories, you may need to know why the prices differ between different manufacturers.
“Why did one factory quote $3, while another factory quoted $6?”
There are differences in the quotations of Chinese factories, and the main reasons may be attributed to the following four reasons:
- There is another cooperative factory behind the supplier
- Chinese suppliers think that you don’t know exactly how much you should pay
- The factory usually does not produce this product
- The quality of the products they have is much lower than the standard level
To understand the cost of manufacturing products, you should collect quotations from 3 or 5 factories.
It takes a long process to arrange logistics and obtain quotations, which is why many foreign sellers prefer to use supplyia (a platform dedicated to helping foreign companies find suitable factories). Checking whether the factory is legal is another completely different step, and foreign sellers need to take some investigation measures to confirm it.
If you use Alibaba to find factories, When you check whether the factory is legal, you may consider the following questions:
- 1.Does their factory name have words like trading, industry, or technology?
- 2. How many types of products do they produce?
- 3.What is their business license?
When communicating with the factory, you should ask a completely different set of more specific questions. Here are some of the questions you might like to ask the factory the most:
Which companies have you worked with in the past? Where do most of these companies come from?
Although many good factories will not disclose who they have worked with, if sellers can understand most of the factory’s customer companies’ geographic location, they will have a good understanding of this factory’s quality standards. Because most factories’ products are sold in the United States or Europe, their quality is generally higher than those sold in Asia or Africa.
Can I see your business license?
Although you may not understand Chinese, you can find someone who understands Chinese to review and check the Administration for Industry and Commerce of each province in China to see if the company is registered there.
Generally, what is your MOQ?
Most factories want to produce more products because large orders can bring them more profits. However, if factories trust your brands enough, they are usually willing to start with a lower MOQ.
So the numbers given by the factory at the beginning may not be unchangeable.
How long on average can your samples be made?
Most people think that it takes several weeks to make a sample. In fact, for simple apparel products like shirts or hats, samples can be completed in less than a week. Depending on the type of product produced, the sample production time will vary greatly.
What is your typical payment method?
Most factories’ payment method is 30% before production and the remaining 70% before shipment. In other words, before you actually receive your product, you need to pay 100% of your product. To better control the product’s quality before shipment, you may visit the factory by yourself or send a quality control team. For large orders, wise foreign sellers usually hire a quality control team to inspect before paying 70% of the balance.
After knowing what questions to ask Chinese factories, you still need to learn how to manage production processes.
Request the factory to provide samples and start production
Foreign sellers will require the factory to provide at least one sample for each product to be produced.
Explain product details to the factory
Generally speaking, sellers know the specific specifications of the products they want to produce, including colors, materials, and logos. When they start discussing with the factory, they can discover the richness of product choices.
For example, you may want to customize the crown’s logo to the entire dial for a watch. Suppose you know the details of the design you want. This can save a lot of time and cost for the factory, including you, because the factory does not want to produce multiple samples because you forget the design details.
Maintain active contact with the factory, and strive not to fall behind in production
Once the seller confirms the sample, the next step is the production process. Even if the factory does not spend too much time on sample production, the formal production will also take a lot of time. In order not to fall behind in the production process, you need to be aware of the following two points:
1. The cooperative factory has its own supply chain. Each part of the product produced by the buyer may come from a different factory. For example, for shoes, the laces and soles may come from other factories; for bracelets, the raw materials and gems may come from other factories.
2. You are not the only customer of the factory and may not be the most important customer. To stay ahead in production, you need to keep in touch with factories and build relationships with them. You need to deal with the sales representatives and start to pay attention to things other than production.
In the next step, You generally ask the factory to send photos to update the production progress. You want to know the schedule for the factory to produce each part.
6 Steps to Making Contractual Supply Agreement with Chinese Company
When making any deals with Chinese contract manufacturers, you must be cautious about several tips to enter a legal, contractual agreement.
You may end up in serious trouble in case there are any contractual breaches. Business law has severe repercussions when compared to other types of law. You need to follow several tips when sign contract in China.
How to create a valid Chinese manufacture contract. The tips are:
1. Ensure that You Entered in a Contractual Agreement with the Right Party
Before signing any business contract, you should read it carefully. Check all the financial requirements and resources in the contract because these are the things that may land you in serious trouble.
It would be best if you contracted with a company with sufficient financial resources when things go south. Many vendors overlook this factor because they contract through third-party firms that are unaffiliated by actual CMs.
In case defects are found in the goods, the vendor can report the agents, and the CM will be free from the case.
When signing the contract, look out because several Chinese manufacturers’ businesses go by their Chinese names, making sure that they identify with legal names. The agreement should entail their Chinese and English legal names.
2. Ensure that All Pricing Provisions and the BOM is included in the Agreement
The Bill of materials should be included because it’s usually the list containing materials used in the product fabrication process.
With a BOM, you can get all the information about the product you are procuring, and discretion is required because the manufacturer may have some secret products for competitive advantage.
The BOM is necessary because in case the products become defective, you can substitute them easily.
Pricing provisions are essential because you need to know unit prices, inflation matters, and labor costs. Know all transfer rules and regulations as well as VAT impacts before signing the contract.
3. State Your Quality Specifications, Requirements, Packaging, and Warranty
Ensure that you have included details of your quality expectations and other factors that help in quality control.
During inspection processes, this helps a lot so make sure it’s entailed in the supplier agreement. Please do not go for any products that lack a warranty because they can be defective anytime.
All products need to be sampled upon delivery via inspection; hence, you can ask for the replacement of defective products with your agreement.
If a supplier refuses to give you a warranty, they may be a fake Chinese manufacturer, and the products may be fake. The only way to tell if a supplier has suspicious activities is when they don’t offer quality assurance.
Through warranty, you get an assurance that the products are made of high-quality components; hence they can’t get defective.
Before signing the agreement, check your shipment agreements with the Chinese manufacturer because you may be frustrated on the other side of the bay during delivery. Dates are very important in every contract. When signing a contract, look out for all these factors.
4. Check on Clarification of Ownership Rights of Molds
Look out when going into a contractual agreement with a Chinese manufacturer because they can easily hold you hostage or tooling.
Consider all the information on tooling lists and prices included in the transfer agreements. It would help if you had liquidated damage provisions for your safety or ended up stranded in a Chinese court later.
These factors can damage a vendor easily without their knowledge. Don’t be in a hurry to sign any contractual agreements with a Chinese manufacturer.
5. Ensure that Your Intellectual Property Rights are Protected in the Contract.
How to protect your intellectual property?
All products have patents and other protection rights of the market, vendor, and Chinese manufacturer. When you register for trademarks and copyrights, you get protection as a vendor, and the manufacturer will get protected.
Beware when signing the contract because you can easily end up in prison for breaching the patents rights. Many Chinese manufacturers and generally all companies have their top secrets, which they protect because it’s their strategy of gaining competitive advantage.
When a company protects its products through trademarks, they prevent scandals from counterfeit goods production. You may have heard about something like the top secrets of Coca-Cola company products.
Patents protect Their data, and an employee in the company cannot breach the information. Breach of copyrights and trademarks may land you in jail as a vendor.
You will be safe as a vendor through these protection rights even when counterfeit products emerge later after you’ve made your purchase.
The disposal of the defective products will not affect you as a vendor because you will be protected under the liquidated provisions of damages.
6. Be cautious About Dispute Resolution Matters.
When you resolve disputes in any Chinese contractual agreement, you need to be careful because the resolutions depend on the dispute type.
It’s normal for disputes to arise between contractors and buyers, especially when you are sourcing for goods from Chinese manufacturers. Nobody is perfect; hence some disputes may arise, and the jurisdiction of china’s government will be involved.
Some disputes that may arise include failure to meet delivery deadlines, product damages, and monetary damages.
Solving such disputes may be hard because you are in international business; hence the supplier may take you in circles.
Be cautious when signing the contractual agreements for your safety as a vendor. It’s essential to look out because when some disputes arise, the Chinese government may not be obligated to recognize or enforce their court judgments in your state government; hence, you will lose.
If this is the first time you find a manufacturer in China for your product, this process might seem very scary. Ideally, When you first start a new product manufacturing project, you will have (mostly) done all of this (mostly) correctly. That’s the goal of this article. But- it can be a long journey.
Apple works with a well-known contract manufacturer (everyone has heard of them). Their products for Apple are truly top-notch – millions of parts, very fast lift, and virtually no defects.
The same Chinese manufacturers make batches for other customers that can’t be sold at Walmart or Tesco and sometimes even cheat on parts. I know this because we have identified these issues while acting in the interests of our clients.
How is that possible? On the one hand, Apple’s business is something they value. Perhaps more importantly, Apple puts a lot of effort into validating production and testing processes before mass production, not to mention monitoring during production.
On the other hand, if an unknown buyer shows up, places them a $50,000 order, and waits patiently for delivery, they may be disappointed. A second-rate (or third-rate) team will process your order and will apply completely different business rules.
In this case, a small buyer, who is actually better off finding and vetting an unknown manufacturer, accepts a balanced contract.
With no particular confidence in find a reliable Chinese manufacturer, the buyer took precautions. Trust, but be sure to verify. Contact us if you need any help to find a Chinese supplier.