Properly categorizing your sourcing need will help you a lot in finding suppliers in China. For instance, if you need to import products in a narrow range, you may choose a manufacturer other than a 3rd-party China supplier. If you are a small business and need dedicated attention, you may want to develop a good relationship with a small family-owned business. Finding a China supplier for your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make.
Here are five great starting points that will help you find a supplier in China:
- Alibaba – arguably the world’s largest business-to-business (B2B) portal
- China Sources – another popular website that arranges connections between businesses as well as Chinese manufacturers and suppliers
- HKDC – this site offers an extensive directory of suppliers in China with over one million listings and offers other services like business matching.
- Smart China Sourcing – lists 80 sourcing experts and is ISO9000 certified.
- Made-in-China – a leading B2B portal that offers access to sourcing experts and claims quality products and companies.
Attending Trade Fairs in China–
Chinese trade fairs are becoming increasingly important as the size of the economy increases and the technology level improves. Hundreds of thousands of businesspeople attend these trade fairs from basically every country in the world hoping to buy or sell needed products and scouting for the best China suppliers. The venues of most trade shows, conventions, and exhibitions in China are held in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guanzhou due to the fact that most of the Chinese headquarters of domestic and international enterprises are situated in those main cities. Find a supplier through your network or just visit the local trade fairs and go hunting for the perfect products! In China the most famous fair to start is CANTON FAIR in Guangzhou (2 times a year). Or Yiwu fair for cheap commodities (in Yiwu town). Research the vendors that are scheduled to be there ahead of time so that you know what you can expect, and to get an idea about which ones you’d like to see. Write down the China suppliers that you’d definitely like to see, as well as the ones that may be nice to see. Some of the trade shows are huge, and you’ll want to avoid cramming in too much. Make use of a floor map, if you can find one.
Partnered with a trading company–
Generally, it is good to work with a manufacturer for any given product but sometimes it’s very hard for you to source from the manufacturer. This is why you might have to go through a trading company that provides you the products based on all your requirements, quality standard, and target pricing. A maximum number of trading houses in China have a good number of reliable suppliers. It is a huge business advantage in terms of importing products to your country. So, it’s often a good idea to have an open mind and many times things can work out for both parties even when working with a trading company.
If your supplier screws up, it’s your responsibility to make it up to your customer, not theirs. You want to make sure you choose someone who will have your back. When it comes to finding suppliers from China, you need a good strategy that consists of awareness, knowledge, and a decent amount of homework.