Is It Safe to Buy from China?- Basic Knowledge Overview

Jan 30, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Are you worried about How is it safe to buy from China? Do you think the products labeled “Made in China” are inferior? The reason why manufacturers move from China to Vietnam is low quality? 


For a long time, people have believed that Chinese products are of poor quality. However, China’s modern manufacturing has enabled merchants to produce good-quality products at very attractive prices. So produce from China is safe.


This article will be a safety post on every important aspect of safely buying goods from China and discuss the challenges you will face when importing to China, and provide the 10 best suggestions for How to buying safely from China.


is it safe to buy from china




Should You Buy Things from China?

It’s not a question of a good idea or a bad idea. It’s about whether there are other options. See if you need something exclusively made in China, then you have no choice but to buy it, but if there are other options, then I wouldn’t consider buying a Chinese product. But if the quality of Chinese products is better than others, why would anyone buy inferior products?



Is produce from China safe??

Yes, it is safe to import from China if you follow the right procedures. Buying things from China for import purposes is only as safe as you make the experience. It is safe to buy products from China, but buyers need to know the correct information during the how-to safe purchase from China process. If you do not know the challenges and methods of imported products from China, you may cause losses.




How Can I Order Goods from China?

Generally, there are 3 safe ways to buy product from China: 

Attend Chinese Trade Fairs

If you have the resources to visit China, then attending a trade show is just about the best option for finding a reputable supplier. There are two main fairs to consider:


  • Canton Import And Export Fair.
  • Global Sources Trade Show.

These are just some common China trade fairs below. In China, there is even a sizeable annual exhibition dedicated to purchasing tires. Buyers should consider what their priorities are and make a corresponding purchasing decision

Tradeshow Location Period Products
Automechanika Shanghai November Automotive
CIFF Guangzhou March/April Home/office Furniture
CIPS Guangzhou/Shanghai November Pet products
HKTDC Lighting Fair Hong-Kong April Lighting products
Canton Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each phase; 3 phases
Global Fair Guangzhou Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Lighting, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
HKTDC Hong-Kong Oct/April Depending on each specific show: Home, Electronic, Textile and Gifts
ECF Shanghai March All kinds of consumer goods




Ordering From China Through Wholesale Markets

While in China, it’s worth checking out a wholesale market where you can browse a massive selection of products at extremely with low prices. The Yiwu Market, for example, is the largest wholesale market in the world. Unlike the trade fairs, it is a physical store where you can inspect goods and walk away with them, or have them shipped to your based warehouse.

Wholesale markets are open year-round (except for Chinese holidays) so you don’t have to wait for a trade show to find a supplier. Goods are sold off the shelf so you can see exactly what you’re getting and gauge the quality of the product through physical inspection. Bear in mind that you have to verify buying through from wholesalers or the manufacturer. You’ll need to make some effort here to weed out any knock-off products and fake brands.


Wholesale Product Categories China Wholesale Markets
Bags 1. Baoding Baigou Bags & Cases Trading Market
2. Guihua Gang Leather Bags Market
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Nantai Suitcases & Bags Wholesale Market
Bridal Clothes 1. Huqiu Bridal City
Commodity 1. Yiwu International Trade City
2. Wuai Small Commodity wholesale market
Ceramics 1. Shiwan Shagang Ceramics Wholesale Market
2. Jingdezhen Ceramics Market
Clothes 1. Hangzhou evergreen clothing market
2. Guangzhou Shahe Clothing Market
3. Hangpai Boutique Costume Market
4. Xinhangpai Leisure Fushicheng
5. Guangzhou Baima clothing market
6. Guangzhou Thirteen Hongs of Canton
7. Huangyuan Clothing Market
8. Baohua Baima Costume Wholesale City
Electronic 1. Huaqiang Bei Electronic World
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
Furniture 1. Yiwu Furniture Market
Glasses 1. China Danyang Glasses City
2. Duqiao Zhejiang Glasses City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 3
Hardware 1. China Technology Hardware City
2. Shanghai Hardware City
3. Yiwu International Trade City, District 2
4. Yiwu Material Market
Jewelry 1. Shuibei International Jewellery Exchange Center
Leather 1. Haining China Leather City
Down Leather 1. Gaoyou Down Feather Economic Development Zone
Machinery & Accessories 1. Linyi Car & Motorcycle Fittings Town
2. Yiwu International Production Material Market
Shoes 1. Guangzhou Metropolis Shoes City
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Silk 1. Hangzhou Chinese Silk City
2. Eastern Silk Market China
3. China Textile Town
Socks 1. Datang Stocking Industry Market
2. Yiwu International Trade City, District 4
Stationery 1. Guangzhou Chaoyang stationery market
Toys 1. Wanling plaza
2. Shantou Chenghai Plastic City
3. Linyi Yongxing International Toy Profession Wholesale City
4. Jiuzhou Stationery Toy Wholesale Market
Textile 1. China Textile Town



Buying from China Through Online Wholesale Websites

For small businesses that don’t have the resources to fly to China, online wholesale directories are the next best avenue for buying wholesale products direct from China. You can do a general search for suppliers on Google, but most businesses head straight for the business-to-business directories that give you thousands of Chinese suppliers at your fingertips. The main directories are:

  • Alibaba.
  • Global Sources (the same people who run the trade show).
  • DHgate.
  • AliExpress, a division of Alibaba which focuses on manufacturers who sell in smaller quantities to buyers.

Here the details difference for each China wholesale websites:




Challenges Faced During Buying Products from China

When buying China products, buyers will face many challenges. This is caused by many reasons, some of which are listed below.


1. Rumors and Misunderstandings About Made in China

You often hear rumors about the low quality of cheap Chinese products. In addition, there are rumors and misleading thoughts about products not working properly (for example, mechanical products), or delayed delivery, or damaged goods.

These are rumors about Chinese goods circulating in the market. Due to China’s vast territory, there are countless manufacturers of one product. It is only natural that some manufacturers are better than others and others are worse. There is always a reason behind these problems, which can be solved. But these misconceptions often discourage new buyers.


2. Language Barriers with Suppliers when Purchasing Products from China

Most buyers outside of China usually do not speak Chinese, while some Chinese suppliers do not speak other languages ​​such as English. This means that there is a language barrier between buyers and suppliers.

This is a big problem because the import business requires clear communication between both parties. The price, quality, quantity, and manufacturing details of the goods need to be communicated. If this information is conveyed incorrectly, problems will arise.

Consider an example. For example, You tell your Chinese supplier to deliver 1,000 boxes of toys of a certain quality. If there is a language barrier, it means that the supplier did not understand your order. If the supplier subsequently sends 1,000 toys, then you will think the Chinese supplier is unreliable. It’s not the supplier’s fault, but the idea will strengthen in your mind, and you will hesitate to order from there again.


3. Difficult to Find Trustworthy Suppliers to Order Products from China

Various suppliers in the Chinese market are saturated. There are many trustworthy suppliers in this industry, but you have to do some research to find one and there are also many suppliers that provide poor-quality products. You must verify credentials, past transactions, and customer satisfaction. 

There are also communication issues, so you must find a supplier in China that can understand and accept English orders, or find a purchasing agent like supplyia sourcing to help you place the order in China.


4. Time Zone Differences Make Communication a Big Problem

The time difference between the United States and China is at most 14 hours; this is the difference between day and night. This makes communication between buyers and suppliers difficult. Only a short period is feasible, and the two parties can discuss the order.

For example, if you are in New York and the supplier is in Beijing, there is a 12-hour time difference. This means that one of you will have to communicate at an inconvenient time. Due to this big trouble, buyers are not willing to buy from China.


manufacturing contract in China




10 Safely Buy from China Tips

Can I order products from China? Despite these challenges, there are still many ways to safely buy from China. You just need to learn some skills and techniques to make it work. Here are a few things to know.


1. Cooperate with Reliable Suppliers to Source Products from China

The first thing you need to do is to find reliable and trustworthy suppliers for your business. To do this, consult the supplier’s directory and contact them directly to ask about their history and credentials. Another way is to ask someone who has been working with the supplier for a long time.

These are several factors to consider when looking for a reliable supplier.

  • Great voucher
  • Extensive business history
  • Years of experience
  • Good customer reviews
  • English listening and speaking ability.

Once you find a supplier that meets these requirements, you should work with them for a long time. Avoid changing suppliers frequently, as this will harm your business and waste time.

Another long-term way to find good suppliers is to order samples before signing the contract. Make a list of suppliers that you think are good, and then ask them to provide samples of the products you want. This will ensure that you can only select the best suppliers from the list.


2. Buy Wholesale Products from Reliable Online China Websites

To ensure safety, security, and smooth transactions and to reduce the risk of fraud, you can only purchase on reliable and safe e-commerce websites which have security controls and buyer protection.

We can see the rapid development of China’s e-commerce market, and websites like Alibaba can help foreign buyers buy from China just by clicking.

Supplyia wrote a lot of blogs before detailing online wholesale websites in China. Please check the links below for more information on how to buy from the 15 major wholesale websites in China.

I often buy thing from AliExpress, it’s cheap and most of the time you don’t pay for shipping. I think that about 97% of the sellers there are located in China. De other 3% are also Asian. AliExpress is a safe site to buy. Your purchase are covered by a purchase protection. This means that as long as the purchase protection is not expired (you can ask the seller to extend it if you haven’t received your order within the time of the purchase protection) your order will be refunded if you don’t receive it or if it arrives damaged.

Some of the sellers on Amazon are also located in China but here are the purchases protected as well. So I guess it all depends on where you buy your items from China. I never had any problems but I make sure that I check how my purchases are protected before I buy something from a site I have not used before.


3. Visit the Factory when Buying Products from China

The production process is where everything starts, so it is important to visit the factory at this stage to ensure that your products fully meet your requirements. 

  1. First, you must clearly communicate all product specifications to the manufacturer. Provide as many details and information about the product as possible, even if it looks trivial, such as materials, components and parts, design, color, function, and appearance, etc. This is to ensure that your product will be as good as you want.
  2. Secondly, the quality of the product can be guaranteed during the production process. As the design progresses, you can determine what materials are used in the product. The cost and quality of materials and the production process are all up to you, so communicate effectively.
  3. Third, inspecting the manufacturing process will give you a better understanding of how the product is manufactured and assembled. This means you will gain more experience, which will help you in future business transactions. In addition, Chinese manufacturers will know your level of participation, thereby incentivizing them to work more efficiently.


4. Hire a Third-party Supplier Audit

Once you have selected some suppliers, you should consider hiring a third party to conduct independent audits and inspections of these suppliers. Make sure you choose a reputable and reliable company; check their qualifications, work history, and reviews.

A third-party audit company will ensure that all quality controls, tests, functions, and standards of the supplier’s products are fully met. You will get a detailed and thorough review of all aspects of the supplier.

The advantage of this is that the audit company will check what you might have missed. Once you get the review, you can assess whether the supplier is doing their job right.

If so, you can continue to work with them. If not, you can choose another supplier. Therefore, it is a good idea to invest in a third-party audit company before order from China. 


5. Perform Proper Quality Control

Of course, in the entire process, manufacturing, supply, transportation, each step must maintain quality. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Why quality control is so important when buying from China?

There are several reasons why quality control is so important to your business.

-Minimize losses. First of all, as a businessman, your goal is to minimize losses. Without quality control, you will end up with low-quality products. Since you cannot resell products of poor quality and you have already paid for the goods, this means that you will suffer heavy losses.

-Build trust and confidence. One of the most important aspects of business is to build trust and confidence between suppliers and buyers. Quality control ensures that your suppliers maintain good quality standards every time, which will promote a good relationship between you and your suppliers.

-Customer satisfaction. Products that have undergone quality control will be more popular with customers. This will boost your sales and bring in more revenue.

-Security. If quality control is not carried out, there may be potential hazards related to the product. For example, if the chemicals you buy are improperly packaged, it may cause many safety issues.

-Ensure work efficiency. Quality control ensures the smoothness and efficiency of the whole process because the waste of materials and time is minimal.


5. Do Quality Control

Pre-production inspection

Pre-production inspections include checking the quality of materials. You need to check whether they are of good quality, whether they are readily available, whether the cost is reasonable, whether they are defective, and so on. You also need to verify the production process used by the factory and their machinery.

Post-Production Inspection

Post-production inspection means that you need to inspect the final product according to the requirements you set before production starts. So you have to check the design, color, surface treatment, and technical details. You must also ensure that the product is free of defects and fulfill its function.

Inspection Before Shipment

Each product requires different packaging. For example, perishable and fragile items like glassware need to be packed in many protective layers. Hazardous chemicals need to be thoroughly packaged to prevent leakage.

So quality control before shipment means that you need to ensure that the quality of the packaging is good and that the product uses the appropriate packaging. You also need to make sure that the correct shipping method is used.

Container Loading Inspection

Finally, when the goods are loaded on the carrier, quality control requires you to check whether the containers are loaded correctly, stably, and in the correct order.


6. Choose Right Way to Send Money to China

You can pay suppliers through many illegal channels, but as a good merchant, you should avoid this practice at all costs. This may bring you legal problems and backfire.

In addition, these methods have no refund mechanism, so you may incur significant losses. In addition, it may lose confidence in suppliers and may destroy your entire business.

It is wrong to use the identity of other merchants or to pay through online fraud, and you should avoid using it.

Instead, you must choose a legal, safe, and reliable payment method. If you are using an e-commerce website, check third-party payment methods, such as Alibaba Trade Assurance. This is the safest method and completely legal. Credit cards, bank transfers, and direct cash transfers are also good. If paying in person, keep the transaction record in your registry.


7. Use Alibaba Trade Assurance to Order Goods from China

The Alibaba Trade Assurance Payment System is a secure payment service provided by Alibaba, which realizes secure payment from buyers to suppliers.

It works like this: After you place an order, the funds are sent to the selected Alibaba bank account, which is your supplier. If things are up to the standard, the quality standards, and the deadlines you set are met, Alibaba will release payment information.

If the delivery is delayed or the quality of the product does not meet the promised quality, you will get a refund.

When dealing with suppliers, choosing this service is in your best interest. This is one of the best security programs of its kind. As a buyer, you already know that one of the most difficult tasks for a buyer is to successfully request a refund, but Alibaba Trade Assurance can help you avoid losses.


8. Sign Strong and Detailed Contracts with Suppliers

In this industry, one of the best practices is to sign a clear and detailed contract with your supplier. There should be clear articles for every aspect of the business.

This lists your needs and requirements-payment, payment methods, quality inspection, refund policy, contract period, conditions for termination of the contract, liability in the event of damage, etc.

As a person doing this for the first time, it is best to have a reliable third party who specializes in these contracts to ensure that you do not miss any important details.

Making these types of contracts will ensure that your business runs smoothly in all aspects and you will not suffer any losses. It can also help you avoid fraud.


9. Make Sure You Have All the Correct Customs Clearance Documents

Customs clearance is a tedious process. So you’d better prepare in advance to minimize inconvenience. All products you import from China must comply with all laws, regulations, and regulations of the customs department.

You can hire a customs broker to handle the whole process more easily. To pass customs smoothly, you need the following documents:

Commercial Invoice

It contains all necessary information about the product you are shipping, such as manufacturer, destination and place of origin, HTS code, buyer/seller identity, packaging type, product description and shipping information,

Packing List

Provided by the shipper or freight forwarding company; the packing list is used by the customs to inspect the goods. The information on the previous invoice is also included on your packing list.

Bill of Lading

It is a document issued by the carrier to the shipper of the product. If the goods are lost, delayed, or damaged, the bill of lading requires compensation. It provides a tracking number and includes international shipping details.

Arrival Notice

This is the notice provided by the carrier when you arrive in your country, and you can arrange a pick-up.


10. Use Professional Freight Forwarders to Safely Ship from China

Finally, look for a professional freight forwarder to ship your goods from China safely and efficiently. Similarly, you need to check the company’s certificates, experience, and work history. You’d better understand the basics of this industry to better decide who to hire.

Look out for companies with incomplete information, companies that claim to be able to complete the work in a short period, or companies with incredibly low costs.

These companies are probably scammers. Instead, choose a company with a reputation, a reasonable price, and reasonable timing. Don’t be afraid to ask each of the shortlisted companies these questions and details so that you can make the right decision.





Safety Issues when Shipping from China

For international transportation, the usual mode of transportation is sea or air. Each is different in terms of safety, time, and costs. How to save shipping costs?


1. The Longer the Time, the Bigger Opportunities of Risks

Between ocean freight and ocean freight, due to many reasons, ocean freight takes a long time. First of all, long sea routes are prone to unpredictability and slower speeds.

Secondly, because the ocean carriers are relatively large, they need to be completely filled before they can be shipped. So, for example, if your cargo only occupies 15% of the space in the freight, then you will have to wait until the remaining 85% is filled with other cargo, and then the entire carrier will ship.

Due to the many inconveniences caused by shipping, the cargo also has risks. Goods may be damaged, delayed, or lost during long-distance shipping. On the other hand, air transportation is safer and faster.


2. Express Delivery is by Far the Safest

Express delivery, or by air, is the fastest and safest way to deliver your goods. Can be delivered to your door within 3-5 working days. The shorter time means that your goods are less likely to be damaged or lost. But keep in mind that there is an extra charge for express delivery.


3. Too Many Middlemen May Complicate Matters

If your product is exchanged multiple times between storage and transportation, the risk of your product will increase significantly. Try to limit the number of intermediaries between the origin and destination.

For example, ideally, there should be only one freight forwarding company, and they should handle everything in the process. If there are too many middlemen, your goods are easily damaged and lost. 

For example, between a supplier and a company delivering from a warehouse to a port. Your product is likely to be misplaced because many products are processed at the same time. Of course, the extra cost is also big trouble.


4. Improper Handling of the Goods During Shipment May Cause Damage to the Product

If the goods are improperly handled or rough during transportation, they may be damaged and cause you loss. Improper handling refers to improper or insufficient packaging or placement by the carrier. This is especially true for the transportation of fragile and perishable goods such as glassware.

Sometimes this is inevitable, but you can give clear instructions when loading the ship to ensure that the goods are not damaged. In addition, it is also a good way to properly indicate the information of the goods on the cartoon, so that they can be shipped accordingly, and be careful throughout the process.





Global Views on the Safety of Buying Products from China

Due to certain factors, the view of the whole world when buying Chinese products is a bit distorted. This has a negative impact on the way buyers view the Chinese market.


1. Western Media’s Views on Buying Chinese Products

Western media has further spread the view that buying goods from China is a high-risk business because Chinese goods are said to be of low quality, cheap and defective. Many experts in this field have hinted that the Western media harbors some malice towards China. This has also transferred to China’s market and economy.

In addition, Chinese goods are compared with Western goods in many respects. This is misleading because quality control, laws, and regulations are different all over the world, not just between China and the West.


2. The Decision of the US and European Authorities on Strict Customs Inspections

In recent years, the Trade War between China and the West has remained high. This has led to strict customs inspection and clearance procedures for goods entering the United States or Europe from China.

For example, the U.S. Customs introduced a new regulation in 2020 that every product from China must be labeled “Made in China”, otherwise it will be detained by the customs, and you must pay a fine for it.

In addition, these products have undergone strict inspections, and there are more customs clearance conditions.

In recent years, the Sino-US trade war has worsened the situation. Both the US and Europe have raised tariffs and import tariffs on Chinese products.

All these restrictions are repeating because the West believes that Chinese products are inferior and are worried about safety standards and quality control. It will also control the rise of the Chinese economy because China is a competitor to the Western economy.


3. The Reservation of the Public Because of Misunderstandings About Buying Chinese Products

Due to the positions of the authorities and the media, the general public is also more vigilant about Chinese products. As mentioned in Chapter 1, there are many rumors and misunderstandings about Chinese products in the minds of buyers.

This includes attention to quality, price, functionality, and durability. Due to too much false information in these areas, the public is hesitant to buy Chinese products. This, in turn, breeds more misunderstandings.





FAQ about Purchasing Chinese Products

1. How can I ensure my safety when I buy goods from China?

There are a few things to remember. First, only deal with reliable sellers and manufacturers. Secondly, avoid the low cost, whether it is in the manufacturing process, the price of the product, the details of the supplier, or the low cost of transportation are mostly fraud alerts.

Also pay attention to some red flags, such as misinformation on the company’s website, very short delivery times, and newly established supply companies.


2. Is produce from China safe?

Like the rest of the world, China also has a variety of manufacturers. Some are reliable, some are not. It all depends on who you deal with.

Many reputable and reliable manufacturers in China produce high-quality products. Before choosing a manufacturer, be sure to check their qualifications, work history, experience, and customer satisfaction.

3. Are Chinese products substandard?

It all depends on the company and factory you are dealing with. Although some Chinese products are substandard, it is still safe to buy products from China. There are many high-quality products in the Chinese market. You only need to do your research.

4. Is it common for Chinese shipping companies to misplace packages?

It is not common for Chinese companies to misplace your parcel. Like all shipping companies in the world, there is a risk of misalignment. This is why you should make sure that you are hiring a capable and trustworthy company.


It is safe to buy from China if you verify that everything is correct before the goods are shipped. You can do this by yourself or you can hire someone to do it for you.





It Is Safe to Buy from China Conclusion

If you just select a supplier from the list on the website, place an order for the product you want, and then send the money to it. It just likes for you to put your money on their hands and let them buy for you. If you bought something from a Chinese factory without checking the factory and verifying the details of the product. The result you want to order will be some issues.

On the contrary, if you check the supplier, discuss the quality, delivery, price, inspections used in the manufacturing process, and other details, and ask the quality control staff to conduct a final inspection, you may avoid any problems.


You must always consider what might happen if the transaction fails. When you are dealing with the factory, you usually pay the deposit first and then pay the balance at that time, or the factory will ask you to pay all the transportation costs and any unnecessary quality issues in advance when placing the order. You will find that there may not be any quality issues until you check in your precautions or you start shipping goods to your customers. It is really difficult to return goods or deal with quality issues after receiving the goods.

If you eventually receive the defective products, you will lose all the commodity value, shipping costs, the possibility of you paying, and any customer trust you may have previously.

Just follow the advice given by the blog to make the most of your importing experience in China. Choose reliable manufacturers and suppliers, and research every step of the process. When it comes to shipping methods, please consider your options. At last, you will find that it is safe to buy things from China. 

If you still don’t know what to do in this special period, you can find a Chinese sourcing agent like supplyia sourcing. We can help you start looking for the best supplier, communicate directly with the factory, and even complete the delivery process. Many are under your control, so make a plan and start buying from China safely now.

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Ever Lighten
Ever Lighten
2 years ago

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.