In this article, I will introduce to you the different types of suppliers from China, and analyze the ways of finding one that is suitable for you.
Types of Suppliers
1. Trading companies: A middleman that sells a wide range of products to customers. If customers need a variety of products, sometimes it is difficult to get from one supplier. But if the customers choose to buy from a trading company, they can buy all at one time, which can also save a lot of labor and freight costs. Trading companies have more qualified personnel which makes communication easier. However, choosing to import from a trading company would be the most expensive way.
2. Wholesalers: Also named distributors. A business that buys products from manufacturers and sells them to other businesses. Compared with normal trading companies, product distributors have fewer types of products for they can only sell products of one or several specific brands. The MOQ of the products can be lower, but the price will be a little more expensive.
3. Manufacturers: A company that has its own factory and sells the product directly to you. Normally, though the product price is relatively lower than other suppliers, the MOQ is larger. So the factory is not a good choice for buyers with less order quantity. In addition, if you want to import goods directly from the factory, you may need field investigation to avoid being cheated, thus your communication costs will increase accordingly.
Therefore, it is important to select an appropriate supplier from the three types mentioned above based on products and actual conditions.
Sources of Finding Chinese Suppliers
1. Online sourcing.
Alibaba, MIC, and global sourcing are all the large B2B online sourcing marketplaces, and you can find a large number of suppliers online easily.
2. Trade shows.
You are able to talk to suppliers face-to-face, get information on the spot, ask questions, and compare suppliers in person.
3. Trade forum.
Share information about the same target suppliers or get feedback from other people about the suppliers you are interested in.
Magazines can offer you a potential list of suppliers.
So, What’s Next?
Knowing the sourcing channels is the first step in finding a suitable Chinese supplier. Next, you need to contact all possible suppliers found from the aforementioned sourcing channels and make a shortlist of your preferred ones. Try to screen these suppliers from the following aspects:
1. Product price.
4. Shipment options.
5. Payment method.
6. Delivery time.
7. Customer service: consulting service, after-sales service, quality inspection, and so on.
8. Check the company’s credit background (This is where we can help).
After the first round of screening, you need to further screen your suppliers and negotiate with them to decide which one you’d like to choose.
Following are some factors you need to concern in this step:
1. Sample quality
2. Affordable cost
You can decide on payment methods and sign a contract with the supplier. After that, you just need to wait for the cargo and arrange the balance payment.
These are the general steps of how to source suppliers from China. However, when you actually decide to import from China, you will see the real situation is more complicated. We will try our best to write more articles on this topic in our blog. If you have any questions about importing from China, feel free to leave a comment.