The Chinese suppliers research is a crucial step in your supply in China. It is recommended to choose your suppliers well to avoid bad experiences. Discover in this article how to find good Chinese suppliers.
China is the main manufacturing hub in the world, it is possible to find a wide range of products or even any type of products. China offers millions of manufacturers with possible customizations. But not all Chinese suppliers are reliable.
Find a Chinese supplier in 4 steps
1 - Search for Chinese suppliers
Before even starting to contact Chinese suppliers massively, it is necessary to start by defining precisely your need in a written specification.
You must have defined :
- The type of product required (composition, quantity, quality)
- The delivery times
- The norms of your product
- The budget
Once your specifications are well defined, you can start your research and you have a wide choice of sources to find a good Chinese supplier.
Find a Chinese supplier on the internet
It is nowadays quite easy to buy goods from China and to find Chinese suppliers with the development of online platforms like Alibaba, Global Sources or Made in China.
You can contact them easily by typing the name of your product in the research bar to find the best price.
However, it is important to be careful with attractive prices to avoid scams.
Find a Chinese supplier at a tradeshow
To find Chinese suppliers you can also go to trade fairs like the Canton Fair which takes place twice a year in Guangzhou.
Those kind of events gather many suppliers exhibiting and many visitors, mainly trading companies. These exhibitions give you plenty of choice to find the Chinese goods you need.
You can choose the most relevant exhibition according to the categories of products exhibited. The main objective is to come out with a large contact list or/and to meet the suppliers you have been in contact with before.
Find a Chinese supplier with a sourcing agency in China
You can also outsource the sourcing service to a sourcing agency in China like ASIACTION.
The purchasing office identifies and validates Chinese suppliers, providing you with a complete sourcing solution in China.
2 - Call for tender to Chinese suppliers
Once your list of potential Chinese suppliers is established, you must launch a call for tender to all the Chinese suppliers you have found.
The call for tender consists in making the same request to the different manufacturers in order to be able to compare them according to identical criteria. It is generally done by making a file in which you explain your request as precisely as possible so that each supplier can give you a feedback with its prices and conditions.
This step will help you to select your Chinese supplier.
3 - Select a Chinese supplier
By comparing the feedback from different suppliers, you will be able to choose the best manufacturer for your purchasing project in China. This step allows you to make a technical comparison of the products offered, the product costs and the responsiveness of the pre-selected Chinese suppliers.
The criteria for selecting your manufacturer may change depending on your needs. It can be if the product meets your specifications, the quality certifications, the flexibility to adapt to a modification, the reputation of the supplier in the sector.
We advise you to focus your criteria mainly on:
- Payment terms,
- Shipping costs and incoterms,
- Social responsibility
Take the time to carefully analyze each proposal to ensure that the terms and conditions of each supplier are in line with your expectations.
Once your supplier in China is selected after reviewing all of these elements, all you have to do is make sure that he is reliable. This list that we have established is not a guarantee that the Chinese supplier found is reliable.
4 - Validate the Chinese supplier
One of the fundamental steps in your supplier research is the evaluation of the reliability of the manufacturer. Checking the company’s existing documents such as certificates is an important step, but checking the Chinese supplier in person is essential. To avoid scams, we advise you to check the supplier on site or to have a direct view in the factory via a camera for example (a solution which remains unreliable).
It is essential to audit your Chinese supplier before placing any order. Once the order is placed and you have paid your manufacturer, it is already too late to check the reliability and you are not sure that you will receive the goods.
The supplier validation goes through the verifications of:
- Years of existence
- Ongoing litigation
- Experience in manufacturing the product
- Main markets they work in (do they know the standards in your market?)
If you are not able to perform a company audit by yourself, you can outsource this service to a purchasing office specialized in sourcing in China like ASIACTION.
Your agent is able to operate on any type of factory, anywhere in China, at any time and deliver you a complete audit report on your supplier in China.
After this validation step, you are finally ready to negotiate and place an order with your Chinese supplier.
The 3 main websites to find Chinese suppliers
Alibaba is one of the largest wholesale trading platforms in the world. This marketplace allows buyers and sellers to communicate and conclude sales. Just type your product in the search bar and you will find a list of suppliers from different cities.
Our advice on Alibaba is to focus only on GOLD members.
However, you have to be vigilant on this platform because it is full of counterfeits and scams. To be sure of the authenticity of a product we recommend you to ask for a certificate of authenticity. To verify the reliability of the seller we recommend a factory audit.
Global Sources is a wholesale platform that lists a wide range of B2B suppliers. They are also known for their trade fairs in Hong Kong where international companies can meet reliable Chinese suppliers.
Made In China is one of the oldest Chinese wholesale platforms. As their slogan states, this website connects Chinese buyers and suppliers. Like Alibaba, sellers have a company profile with their products listed.
Questions to ask Chinese suppliers
During your research of Chinese suppliers, you should state clearly your needs and product specifications. It is important to ask as many questions as possible to the Chinese supplier in order to know more about its production capacities and its conditions.
ASIACTION has listed the top 5 questions to ask the supplier for a first contact:
- Are you a manufacturer or a trading company? Generally if the proposed catalog contains many different references, then you are dealing with a trading company
- What is your experience in manufacturing these products?
- What are your MOQs (minimum order quantities)? It varies from one supplier to another
- What are your production times and delivery times?
- What are your payment terms?
These questions are not enough to consider this supplier as reliable but they allow you, during the first exchange, to have a global idea on the capacity of the Chinese supplier.
ASIACTION advises you to use the services of a sourcing company in China to secure your purchases and to ensure the reliability of the Chinese supplier. Indeed, the answering delays can be long and there is a risk of misunderstanding in your request.
The challenges of finding a Chinese supplier on your own
We have seen in this article the steps to find a Chinese supplier.
It is important to take into consideration the difficulties that can be faced in the research of Chinese suppliers.
ASIACTION has established a top 3 of the cons of sourcing a Chinese manufacturer by yourself.
- Incomprehension due to language or culture
- Uncertainties on the reliability of the manufacturer
- Considerable loss of time due to lack of knowledge and visibility
Considering the challenges, finding a supplier in China by yourself is not the best option for professionals who want to buy in bulk in China.
The best way to find a good Chinese supplier
Use a sourcing company
To find a good Chinese supplier, many sourcing agents offer services from supplier identification to company evaluation.
With a sourcing expert company in China like ASIACTION, you get a complete solution that allows you to place an order directly after receiving and validating the sourcing study.
Many buyers make the mistake to start sourcing products on the Chinese market with no visibility and thinking that finding a reliable Chinese supplier is not a challenge.
The result is often the same: they lose their money since either the goods never arrived or they arrived but did not meet the initial specifications.
We know the players in the market and have a trustworthy relationship with them. We know how to quickly identify those who can meet your requirements. By using a sourcing agent located both in China and in France, you guarantee the success of your purchasing project. Indeed, the supplier, previously identified and validated by ASIACTION, perfectly meets your expectations and does not present any dispute. One of the most important steps in your purchasing process is now secured, you can proceed with the order placement.
If you want to import goods from China, contact our experts. We will support you in your procurement from China.