How to Find China Wholesale Suppliers? – 8 Methods

Jul 27, 2023 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Any experienced Amazon seller will acknowledge that the risk of encountering dishonest Chinese suppliers or receiving low-quality shipments is significant.

Whether you explore online B2B marketplaces, supplier directories, or attend trade shows or wholesale markets, it’s crucial to be cautious of unreliable suppliers.

In this post, we discuss various sourcing options and recommend the most reliable approach to find China wholesale suppliers for long-term business relationships.

 

 

 

 

How to Find China Wholesale Suppliers?

 

 

 

1. The Canton Fair

China hosts the largest import/export convention twice a year, covering a wide range of industries that produce physical products.

The fair is divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: Electronics, machinery, building materials, and chemical products.
  • Phase 2: Consumer goods, home decor, and gifts.
  • Phase 3: Textiles, recreational products, office supplies, shoes, medical devices, and health products.

 

Although entry is free, once inside, you need to be prepared for what lies ahead. Here are some important points to consider:

  • – Sales representatives at the fair usually have basic business English skills, and some may be temporary hires and not official company employees. Thus, you might only get limited information about minimum order quantities (MOQs) and product details.
  • – Interpreters are available for hire at the fair, typically costing around 400-500 RMB or $60-$75 per day. Fees may be higher for less common languages.
  • – Suppliers showcase product samples at the fair, allowing you to assess the quality through hands-on inspection.
  • – Be aware that lower prices often come with lower product quality. Unless you are willing to pay more than the advertised price, you might not get the desired level of quality.
  • – After speaking with suppliers, they may ask for your business card to follow up after the fair. Some sellers are cautious about sharing their business cards with every vendor, as they fear their information could be sold to others. As a result, they may hand out fake cards to everyone except the suppliers they are genuinely interested in.

 

The Canton Fair is enormous, and you can find a list of exhibitors and booth locations on the trade show’s website beforehand to save time and energy.

 

Keep in mind that the same suppliers often participate each year, leading to a lack of novelty.

Moreover, don’t expect to see much innovation, as companies with newer designs or products might only be seeking distributors and not interested in OEM or private label manufacturing.

 

 

 

2. Yiwu Market

Please note that Yiwu wholesalers are trading companies, not manufacturers.

The Yiwu Market in Zhejiang operates year-round, boasting 40,000 shops, primarily catering to buyers from India, Africa, and the Middle East. The products found here might not adhere to regulations and safety standards required in the EU or USA.

 

If you are looking for bags, shoes, textiles, watches, and accessories at low prices, this market might be suitable for you.

However, for toys, cosmetics, or medical devices, you’ll need to explore other options.

 

In Yiwu Market, prices can vary widely, and the quality often correlates with the price. If your target market is diverse, and you sell through multiple channels or to other sellers, Yiwu Market could be considered as an option. Some sellers use it as a complementary supplier to fill their stores when needed.

 

Yiwu wholesalers work with factories in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. They offer off-the-shelf products for immediate purchase or can arrange bulk shipments to your location.

If the goods you require are not readily available, make sure to communicate your quality requirements clearly so that your supplier can place the order with a matching factory. Negotiating solely on price may lead the factory to use cheaper materials, resulting in compromised quality.

 

To simplify sourcing, you can hire a purchase manager. Yiwu agent services typically include picking you up from your hotel, taking you to meet wholesalers, negotiating prices and order terms, and coordinating procurement, including consolidating different orders for shipment.

However, agents are usually not responsible for reviewing quality control at factories.

 

Keep in mind that you may come across fake products in the market, particularly famous brands, which are likely knock-offs. While Yiwu can be part of your sourcing strategy for equivalent products at low prices, be cautious about counterfeit items.

 

 

 

3. B2B Marketplaces

You can initiate your search for Chinese suppliers online through popular B2B marketplaces such as Alibaba, Made in China, and Global Sources.

However, be cautious to avoid scams and unreliable suppliers:

– Some resellers may falsely advertise as manufacturers, which might not be an issue if you’re sourcing toys, clothing, accessories, or inexpensive electronics.

However, for products requiring specific technical requirements, you’ll need a genuine manufacturer. These websites rate their suppliers, but transparency isn’t always guaranteed.

For example, suppliers can become premium members on Alibaba by paying an annual fee, which grants them gold supplier status, increasing visibility on the site. However, this status doesn’t necessarily indicate ethical behavior or quality standards, so thorough vetting is still necessary.

 

– The process of contacting a supplier, requesting samples, and placing an order can be time-consuming, taking weeks rather than days to complete.

– Communication with suppliers on major B2B sites can be challenging due to language barriers, especially when explaining precise requirements via email or live chat.

– These marketplaces are heavily saturated, and many quality vendors may opt out due to the abundance of suppliers.

 

Other China supplier directories include DHGate, suitable for bulk purchases, and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), which lists fewer companies compared to other directories.

 

 

A Reminder:

– Trading companies may pose as suppliers on online directories, ranking higher in search results due to fees, regardless of buyer feedback and ratings.

– Finding reliable suppliers on B2B marketplaces can be daunting. Each supplier needs to be individually screened, ideally involving a factory visit.

– Beware of excessively low prices or MOQs, as they might indicate compromised product quality. Costs can change during production, so the initially massive price advantage is not guaranteed. If a supplier has never produced the advertised product, the quality might suffer.

– Compare the offer price to the market price or price floor of the product-offers 20%-30% below this price should raise concerns.

 

 

 

4. Sourcing Agents

A China sourcing agent is invaluable when you need products manufactured to precise technical specifications. Agents based in China can closely inspect quality controls at factories. After approving mass production, they can re-visit the factory to inspect raw materials and the initial product batches for quality.

Agents fluent in Mandarin can overcome communication barriers and ensure clear communication of your requirements to Chinese suppliers. Since Chinese suppliers are often cautious about sharing certain information, having a sourcing agent can ensure that both parties are on the same page before production begins.

When partnering with a sourcing agent, you gain comprehensive support throughout the sourcing process. If you aim to get things right from the start and establish long-term relationships with suppliers, engaging a sourcing agent is the recommended approach.

 

5. Google

Conducting a Google search for Chinese suppliers might seem like a logical first step for new Amazon sellers. Many Chinese suppliers have business websites and a presence on social media, often with generic names like “China Direct Supplier” or “China Wholesale Market.” Some of these suppliers may act as agents offering assistance in finding other suppliers.

As mentioned earlier, many of the English websites are of trading companies, not manufacturers. If you find a genuine manufacturer’s site, feel free to make inquiries. You might receive quick quotes, obtain samples without much delay, and even plan a visit to China for a factory tour.

Using specific keywords for products or locations (e.g., “Langfang furniture suppliers” or “Shenzhen electronics products”) can yield relevant supplier pages on directories and B2B websites.

 

 

6. Baidu

Most Chinese individuals use Baidu, and you can utilize translation tools to find leads or verify if those suppliers are also present on Google or Alibaba. You may find additional corporate details or information, such as any involvement in legal disputes.

 

 

7. Your Industry Network

Leveraging your business contacts may lead you to Chinese suppliers or individuals who can provide guidance along the way.

Additionally, check with local trade bodies and Chambers of Commerce. Networking can be just as crucial as knowledge in your search for suppliers.

 

 

8. Customs Data

Finding competing suppliers using customs data can be a valuable strategy to gain insights into the market and identify potential competitors.

some tools you can use:

  • Panjiva
  • ImportGenius
  • Trade Data Monitor
  • WorldTradeAnalyzer
  • Global Trade Manager

 

 

 

 

Trading Company vs. Factory

When searching for suppliers in China, it’s essential to distinguish between genuine manufacturers and trading companies pretending to be manufacturers.

 

Here are some tips to help you differentiate:

– Manufacturers often specialize in specific types of products or manufacturing processes to reduce costs. If a company advertises a wide range of items, it’s more likely to be a middleman (trading company) rather than a manufacturer.

– Pay attention to the business name. Manufacturers typically include the town or city they are based in within their company name, while trading companies may have names designed to appeal to global buyers.

– Check the business card for the factory address. If it’s located in a downtown area or on a high floor of a building, it could be a trading company. Look for a separate office address, as it might be their sales office in the city.

– Trading company websites are often in English to attract foreign buyers. Smaller Chinese manufacturers may not have a website or may have a basic one with inadequate Chinese to English translation. In contrast, larger manufacturers may have more sophisticated websites.

– Ask for the company’s quality certificates (e.g., CE, UL, and other certifications). A genuine factory will be listed as the ‘owner’ on the certificate.

 

These checks become necessary when sourcing from China without the assistance of a sourcing agent. A reliable agent with strong relationships with Chinese factories can be a safe bet to ensure quality goods without hassle.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

Building a strong relationship with your supplier is essential for the success of your business. Overcoming language and culture barriers is easier when you have a sourcing agent.

However, you can also manage on your own if you are willing to travel to China occasionally and invest in the relationship.

‍Supplyia sourcing is a team of expert China sourcing agents that has been assisting Western customers in manufacturing and find China wholesale suppliers from low-cost regions since 2013.

For more information on China sourcing, visit our website or contact us at support@supplyia.com.

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