China sourcing ultimate guide Part 1 - find suppliers

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China sourcing makes the headline in every main media. One fact can indicate how hot it is. Chinawhy have recently launched a ppc campaign on Adwords to promote China product sourcing service, we didn't make to first page when raising the bidding price to 1USD/click. In this article, we will try to cover all the issues and challenges you are facing when sourcing from China, including: find suppliers, screen and verify suppliers, price negotiation, contract negotiation, production coordination(follow-on), quality inspection, shipping arrangement, etc.

1. Find China suppliers
a.Chinese Trade fair
The best place to find reliable China suppliers is to attend Canton Fair, which is the biggest trade fair in China. In 2008, more than 10,000 Chinese companies have attended Canton fair(spring session). The Canton fair organization committee set a very high threshold for exhibition companies, let us take textile industry for example, only companies with more than 3 million USD export turnover in last year are qualified to attend Canton fair(For companies from eastern part of China, the limit for western China company is 1 million USD).

So the suppliers you met in Canton fair are mostly big and authentic suppliers that selected and recommended by local government. So the big buyers can always find ideal suppliers from Canton fair. But if you are smaller buyers, I would suggest you choose smaller while rapid-developing companies instead of big suppliers. The big buyers like Wal-mart, Target etc are on their top priority, smaller buyers' interest will be sacrificed first if they don't have enough production capacity to fulfill all the orders at peak season. However, your orders are always taken care well by the smaller suppliers. The other reason I recommend smaller but quality suppliers from Canton fair is that they are fast responding to your questions and concerns, that is very important especially when your order is really complicated.

Other than Canton fair, the East China fair is a large scale trade fair in China that is only next to Canton fair. Also if you are geographically connected with China, for example, if you are buyer from Russia, you might be interested to attend Harbin fair which is close to Russia.

b.B2B website
I have worked in several trade companies, when I received an inquiry from foreign buyers, the first thing I do is go to alibaba.com to compile a list of suppliers and then compare price and narrow down the list. That fact shows how useful it is to use B2B website to find a good supplier.

There are many B2B website out there, like Alibaba, made-in-China, globalsources, tradekey etc. Globalsources set the highest threshold by charging for expensive membership fee, so the supplier quality are relatively higher than the other platform. Alibaba, made-in-china and tradekey are also good resources to find suppliers, especially Alibaba. Most company in Alibaba are real companies(except for counterfeited brand products sellers). But one thing I need to stress is that gold supplier and trustpass members in Alibaba don't necessarily mean they are real, Alibaba said they have verified those companies, but don't promise those companies are real. Check our article on "alibaba gold supplier scam", and then you will figure out why.

c.Search engine
Use search engine Google or Baidu to search China suppliers. Vary the the search term to put up a list of suppliers showing up in the search results. Besides, many suppliers launch pay per click advertising on Google and Baidu, the AD appears on the side of organic search results. PPC advertising is pretty new in China, companies pioneered to use this advertising method definitely worth you to have a look at.

d. Industry association
It is always a good method to search the industry association websites or buy industrial publication from those industry associations to search for reliable suppliers and buyers. We have written an article on Chinese industry association list, where you can find the industry association website related to your business. One thing I might add is that they are mostly very bureaucratic, do a DIY search on their website to find the information and resources useful, don't expect they will answer your email.

 

Related articles:

China sourcing ultimate guide  Part 2 - screen suppliers

China sourcing ultimate guide  Part 1 - price negotiation

 

Chinawhy offers sourcing service for foreign small and medium sized companies. Please call us on 0086 451 8333 0781 or email us at support@chinawhy.net.

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Comments

13 Responses to " China sourcing ultimate guide Part 1 - find suppliers "

  1. DINESH on  AUG   19th , 2012 8:53 AM

    HELLO,
    I AM PLANNING TO GO CCANTON IN THIS OCT,2012 FAIR AND I WANT TO ORDER A SMALL QUANTITY SAY 1000 US DOLLAR CAN I FIND THE SUITABLE SUPPLIER THERE FOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS.

  2. Mark Evans on  MAR   8th , 2012 0:18 AM

    Dear Sir

    I have been trying for some time now to find a reliable supplier of Sodium Cyanide briquetts. We have a mininng company in Zimababwe and this product is used in the gold minning industry. Please can let me know if you are able to sourcre the product for us.

    Regards

    Mark Evans

  3. RUIS L on  DEC   15th , 2010 16:8 PM

    To be honest, the industry association doesn't prove much use. In most of the time, we don't even feel its existence.

    Actually, finding a product supplier in China is not difficult. Yourself is the first step: What do you need and want; then the internet search; then the contact. And the most effective way? Stay in China for a while, then you will see. Take myself for example, I am doing business of household appliances like rice cooker, kettle, induction cooker and so on. There are a bunch of good plants in Canton Province, which can really offer good price and world class quality. Ironically, I could not find them on Alibaba.


    RUIS L
    ruislwr@sina.cn
    Shanghai

  4. RUIS on  DEC   15th , 2010 16:7 PM

    To be honest, the industry association doesn't prove much use. In most of the time, we don't even feel its existence.

    Actually, finding a product supplier in China is not difficult. Yourself is the first step: What do you need and want; then the internet search; then the contact. And the most effective way? Stay in China for a while, then you will see. Take myself for example, I am doing business of household appliances like rice cooker, kettle, induction cooker and so on. There are a bunch of good plants in Canton Province, which can really offer good price and world class quality. Ironically, I could not find them on Alibaba.


    RUIS L
    ruislwr@sina.cn
    Shanghai

  5. samuel on  NOV   9th , 2010 16:51 PM

    Hi Ricky,

    Please assist me in locating clothes & lingerie suppliers in China who can take small quantity order.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Regards,
    Samuel

  6. Abnue K Jalali on  MAR   18th , 2010 20:26 PM

    We are interested in thremocouple elements.
    as OEM purchase. We want only internal elements, various types.

    please let us have contact details of various suppliers from China.

    Thanks

    Abnue K Jalali

    WORKS ADDRESS:
    JAYCEE TECHNOLOGIES PVT. LTD.
    SHED NO.7, NANEKAR INDUSTRIES BUILDING
    SURVEY NO. 79/2, DANGAT INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
    SHIVANE , PUNE -411 023, INDIA

    Phone: +91-20-64703186; 25290744
    /Fax: +91-20-25290744
    Mobile: +919371068669
    e-mail: jayceetech@vsnl.net
    Alternate e mail: jayceetech@gmail.com

  7. Steven on  NOV   4th , 2009 17:7 PM

    Hi Georgia, I suppose you are asking me questions, not Ricky:)

    Many small suppliers attend Canton fair too, they will accept small minimum order. East China fair, and Yiwu fair also worth a visit.

    Regards,

  8. Georgia on  OCT   4th , 2009 19:36 PM

    Hello Ricky, thank you for the good information. We are thinking about going to the next fair but we are a very small company and we are worried if we will find suppliers to accept small quantities there. How can we locate smaller suppliers as they do not take part to the Canton Fair?
    Are there any other fairs for smaller quantities?

  9. sourcingchina on  OCT   1th , 2009 21:12 PM

    China is an importance source of imports for foreign companies or countries in what manufacturing goods, or even people or services are concerned. Sourcing is an important step for a business.

  10. Steven on  JUN   13th , 2009 17:8 PM

    Small suppliers you find in Guangzhou fair will set a relative low MOQ, and like I mentioned in Part 3, for small quantity purchase, you can say it is a trial order:)

  11. china sourcing service on  JUN   12th , 2009 10:53 AM

    Hello , good information ; however i would like to suggest for smaller purchasing orders the canton fair is not very suitable. The large suppliers are not interested in smaller orders. ( however maybe now with the financial crisis, they are). Smaller local fairs are a good alternative to start with.
    If you really want to do it quick and well, select a few suppliers from alibaba and global sources by usin your own important selection criteria, and than visit thme in China.

  12. Steven on  MAR   13th , 2009 16:24 PM

    Hi Ricky, I am happy you enjoy reading it. Thanks for the nice words, it really means A LOT!!

  13. Ricky on  MAR   12th , 2009 23:18 PM

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Ricky

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