Whether you are an importer, distributor, or trader, whether you are a new or an experienced purchasing person, finding the right source of goods is always as important as finding a customer. I have been engaged in foreign trade for more than ten years, and get lots of complaints from my clients, customers who basically trust us very much, and I often give them advice on how to find suitable suppliers. I hope it also can help you.
Here are 7 tips for finding Chinese suppliers:
1. Meet directly.
First, attending an exhibition or fair. Pls, type “trade shows in USA 2021” or “fair in USA 2021” in google, the result is as below:
Click the first link as I marked in red, then you can see lots of trade shows or fairs in the USA 2021.
At the fair, you will meet lots of suppliers face-to-face which can provide you with greater confidence and peace of mind than emailing back-and-forth with a faceless company overseas. Also, it’s easy for you to ask any question about the samples, delivery time, and payment terms. If you are satisfied with the products and all terms, it is not a bad idea to place a small order on the spot, as I know, lots of suppliers will offer some discount for their on-site orders at the fair.
Second, going directly to a place where suppliers gather is the most direct way to get in touch with suppliers, although you will be very tired of dragging suitcases full of catalogs and samples, going lots of places by keep changing trains or cars from morning to evening, it’s the best way to know your potential suppliers. You can visit lots of factories or offices, compare their price and service and check a large number of the samples before you determine your final suppliers.
But both of these two ways are not easy during the coronavirus period.
2. Search on the Internet.
Looking for supplier lists from your local fair organizer’s website or magazine information they provided, sometimes you may need to pay some money to get this list, but I think it’s worth it. You can also search the website of Chinese fairs organizers. Like Canton fair, For example, you type “Canton fair supplier list”, can get the below result:
Open the first link, you need to type the products you need to get the matched suppliers.
The more keywords you use, the more different results will show you, it’s easy to get lots of related suppliers’ contact information.
Or direct type “your products ‘ keywords +factory/supplier China/Chinese” in Google, you can also get a big list of suppliers, then re-study them and select them. Here, I need to remind you, those who rank at the top of the first page do not mean they are the biggest or best suppliers. Now lots of small companies do SEO well in the google search engine, they use certain technical methods to let their pages rank in front of others. So you need to turn in a few more result pages after the first page, maybe some better suppliers are waiting for you there. If suppliers have their own website, this way is better. Sometimes you may find out a series of them on B2B platforms. Famous platforms in China are Alibaba, made in China, Global Resources, TradeWheel, ECVV, DHgate, and so on. They have plenty of registered suppliers. No matter what kinds of suppliers you may meet, they may be direct factories, trading companies, or individual traders, just contact them, and find out what is suitable for you.
Facebook or Linkedin is also a good place to find suppliers, now more and more Chinese suppliers write something or show the products’ pics on them, try to contact them, then get more information.
3. From your local data
The first one is Customs data. Searching your local customs data with keywords to see which suppliers your peer are importing from, or which companies are exporting to your country. Custom data is not free here in China, it’s even a little expensive for a whole year’s data, I am not sure what is the situation in your countries, if it’s similar to ours, paying one month’s data is enough for your doing research. And after getting the companies’ names, throw them into google, soon you will get another list of real suppliers. When you find an appropriate supplier, for example, their website is www.supplier1.com, you can type “related: supplier1.com” or “link:www.supplier1.com” in google to get similar pages or directly go to such web “www.similarweb.com”. Try them, you may find some amazing results.
Use “yellow pages”. The yellow page is a traditional term that includes any telephone directory of businesses, now also applied to online directories of businesses. Below is the result after I type yellow page china.
Then search what products you are looking for, I type automation, here is the result:
A large number of supplier names appear in front of you，exciting? And if you can select them by choosing the province’s name (as I marked in red).
4. Select suppliers.
Now you must have a big list of suppliers, there are company name, address, website, contact information including phone and email. First, browse their website one by one carefully(some may not have a website, but most will have one), you can get the most basic information on the page of Home and About, how they introduce themselves, how many people in their company, which countries they mainly export. If there is a complete video on the website, it shows that the scale of the factory is OK, Or it means that they have marketing awareness. this way, you also have a general view of their factory. Sometimes the video can not show the factory completely if you are really interested in knowing more, you can make an appointment with them to make a video call （by SKYPE or Whatapp or WeChat, or any other Apps that are familiar for both of you, let him show you around the factory online, most of them will be happy to support you. Those who don’t agree to do so mean they don’t cooperate sincerely, you need to give them up.
5. Inspect the factory
If you finally select a few suitable suppliers, next you are planning to find someone you are familiar with to inspect the factories, it will be even better if your friend is familiar with the products. Ask him to take some pics or videos of the factory or the products for your reference. If you don’t have such a friend, the Third-party testing company is a good choice for you. I think there will be lots of such companies in every country. Pay some money and get the test report from them. Then you can ask the suppliers to send samples
6. Ask for samples
Choose some factories with medium price, not the lowest, and ask for samples. Don’t buy or ask for the cheapest samples, it will a waste of time and money. You know “Good goods are not cheap”, “You get what you paid” are famous saying. Ask whether they can offer the free samples, it never hurts to ask, right?
When you read here, congratulations, you have got a series of real suppliers, that’s a good start of your business.
7. Share information with your peers
This is the adding point that I would like to share, sometimes when you share some suppliers’ information with your peers, you also will get other information from them, the list of your suppliers grows longer, right? Sharing knowledge is mutual, both of you get an advantage from each other by sharing. And this is an endorsement you can trust.
These are 7 main points that I always advise my customers, hope it can help you a little, if you have any other different ways, welcome to add them in the comments section below the article.
We don’t only sell our own factory’s normal products but also help customers to find other suitable suppliers in China.
I will share what I know here Continuously.