Sourcing products from China are becoming more popular especially with smaller companies in the US who are on a budget and trying to save money. In recent years the cost of producing goods in the country has increased, but China remains the cheapest place to source for products.
Sourcing goods from China can be a daunting task, particularly for small companies and first-time buyers who might not have the resources to establish full-scale overseas operation the way big companies do. That is where knowing how to source goods from China comes into play. Today, we will focus on the various options available out there for small U.S. companies to go about locating suppliers in China.
Internet search is one of the easiest ways to start sourcing for suppliers in China. An internet search on sites like Google is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate great sourcing leads to reliable suppliers. Also, remember to try another search engine like Yahoo or Bing as every option for suppliers may not be available on Google because it has been blocked in China.
Business-to-business sourcing platforms like Alibaba, Made-in-China.com, and Global Sources are also valuable web pages. There are millions of products available on these platforms, and with these products, there are lots of suppliers. However, you have to watch out because, despite the countless opportunities, there are a lot of fraudulent activities on these platforms.
To get buyers closer to reputable suppliers, some eCommerce sites like Alibaba allow you to filter your search result by separating the suppliers into categories. For instance, you can only search for classes like Gold supplier, Verified supplier, accredited supplier and more. A verified supplier status means the seller’s company has been verified to exist. While gold suppliers are people who have paid to have additional verification completed and they have passed the Onsite check or the A&V check.
However, a supplier shouldn’t be trusted based on these statuses because the fact that a company is verified or has is a gold member doesn’t mean they have an excellent reputation, quality products, or has the required production capacity.
This platform is not the most suitable place to find a supplier because China has already placed a ban on most popular social media platforms from working in the country. Luckily, some suppliers have a social media presence. Fancy, Wanelo, and Pinterest are some of the top-rated social media platforms you can contact reliable suppliers. And you can also check out the conversation about a particular product and see if most of the words about the goods are positive or negative.
Be careful when relying on the information from these social media platforms and don’t forget to dig deeper and research. You can also subscribe to any or all of these platforms for more guides on how to source for goods in China.
- China Sourcing
- China Sourcing Forum
- China Sourcing, Networking, Import, Export, Trading, Manufacturing
- China Sourcing Group
- China Trade Group
Visit Trade Shows
One of the best ways to find an honest supplier is visiting trade shows. With this, you have the opportunity to meet any supplier in person. And you also have the chance to evaluate the company’s products, production capacity, quality control, and more factors that are important to you. There are several trade shows in, but the biggest one is the Canton Fair. This show takes place twice a year and has just about everything under one roof including automobiles, electronics, parts, goods, clothing, medicine, and more.
There are also other regional trade fairs when focus on specific categories such as gifts and consumer goods. In the instance you don’t want to travel out the United States, there are local trade fairs that Chinese suppliers come to showcase their products. However, this type of show can’t boast of a large number of Chinese suppliers, so you only have access to limited goods.
Buy Directly from Suppliers
Well, the upsides of buying directly from suppliers are that you can avoid the risk of been scammed. Nowadays, it is too easy to have an elaborate fake company website, profile, and number. So the old-fashion way of buying directly from suppliers may be the best option sometimes.
Additionally, buying directly from suppliers also saves you money because you have eliminated the cost of hiring a middle man for the job. However, you can face issue with the way payments are made. The available payment method includes wire transfer, credit cards, PayPal and more, but these methods don’t always provide a guarantee.
Hire Commission-Based Sourcing Agent
If you would like more input in sourcing goods processes, you can hire a commission-based sourcing agent for your small business, I would recommend you use Smart Sourcing. These consultants typically charge between 3 to 10 percent of your purchase price. They save you money and time when it comes to getting reliable manufacturer best suited for all your business needs.
If you have essentially outsourced your entire supply chain to them, they can also take care of documentation and certification, and finally, they can arrange international freight shipping. However, in some cases, some of these agents may not have enough experience to ensure the processes are carried out according to your specific requirements.