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How to Source Products from China?

How to Source Products from China?

If you are Amazon or Shopify seller, it will be a good idea to source from China. China is an attractive marketplace. China can now produce high-quality and high-value goods. Before you start your google search for the best suppliers in China, you need to have a better sourcing plan. It will help you avoid getting scammed, and find a reliable supplier, and negotiate the best deal.

Here is a quick guide to source products from China

It’s not only looking for a deal, try to build relationships. Compared with others, China and most other Eastern countries have different business transactions. In China, the way to do business is through relationships. A person with plenty of relationships is in a better position to grow their business than a person who lacks it. The success of a deal depends on how well you can build a personal rapport with the Chinese supplier. The stronger your foundation, the higher the return on continued successful business relationships.

Research the supplier carefully

Sourcing products from China is a hard process for Amazon sellers who are starting out. It will take a lot of time to find the right supplier who is reliable and can meet your quality specifications.

Here are some of the most common platforms where you can look for suppliers in China:


Alibaba is a good place to source products from China, it is called the Chinese Amazon. Alibaba had more than 200,000 active shops in 2021, you can find almost all products made in China. To start searching for suppliers, you need to first create your Alibaba account.

Keywords-Input your product keywords to search, for example, pillow as below picture. There are a lot of pillow styles and sellers. You can add more keywords such as memory foam, it will show you the right product.


how to source products from china?

how to source products from china

Quantity- After the product, one of the main things China suppliers look at is the order size. The more the order quantity, the lower the per-unit price likely to be. If the order quantity is very low, suppliers may not show interest.

Photos- Ensure you have good-quality photos of the product you are looking for. Take a few close-ups from different angles to give the suppliers a clear idea of what you are looking for.

Ensure that it is a manufacturer and not a reseller before you message the supplier. Many resellers also pose as manufacturers which can be confusing to sort out. Find original suppliers are challenging for first-time Amazon resellers. Here are some tips that you can follow to find a legitimate supplier on Alibaba:

1) Look for Gold Supplier

Alibaba provides a ‘Gold Supplier’ tag for suppliers. It means they have passed Alibaba scrutiny. Trade Assurance tag means that Alibaba acts as an escrow service for the transaction.

2) Find out the product line

If the supplier offers hundreds of irrelevant products, it means that it is a trading company. A manufacturer makes a limited number of related products.

3) Ask for documents

Ask the supplier for documents and certification such as ISO 9001. If the supplier is a manufacturer, it will be shown on certificates. Some companies whose addresses in office buildings are traders usually.

4) Personalization

Manufacturers are usually able to customize your product or provide samples easily. The trader company is hard to do it.

5) Tell the supplier you plan to visit

A legitimate supplier is fine with your visit. Red flags are when a supplier makes excuses and tries to discourage you from visiting.

Global Sources

Another great platform you can source products from China is Global Sources. It is not as huge as Alibaba, but if you can’t find the supplier you want in Alibaba, you can try Global Sources.

how to source products from china

If you are looking to find more suppliers, the best way is to head to trade shows and contact the supplier in person. Here are some of the most important trade fairs in China:

The Canton Fair

Its official name is China Import and Export Fair. This is the largest trade fair in China and is held twice a year. It covers every industry related to physical products. The three phases of the trade fair are:

Phase 1 where you can find building materials, chemical products, machinery, and electronics.

Phase 2 is about home decor, gifts, and consumer goods.

Phase 3 is about textiles, health, premium skincare, shoes, and medical products.

The entrance is free and you can see the samples that suppliers bring to get an idea of the quality. Some sales representatives are not good at English listening and speaking. But you can write and draw your requirements and technical specifications. So, bring a notebook and pen, it will help you. While the Canton Fair is a massive one, the same suppliers take part in the fair each year. You can check the website of the fair to know the location of the booth of the exhibitors you interested in.
The Canton Fair is vast, it is a great source for finding suppliers. Unfortunately, starting from 2020, because of the COVID-19, it can only be online now.

how to source products from china

Yiwu Market

The Yiwu Market is for resellers and trading companies, not for manufacturers. Located in Zhejiang, the Yiwu market is open throughout the year and has forty thousand shops. If you are looking to source shoes, watches, accessories, and bags at low prices, you can consider it. Most of the products here are for buyers in Africa, India, and the Middle East. It is not meet the safety or quality standards set by the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Don’t rush to confirm the first offer

Negotiation is one of the most important tasks for sourcing products from China. The negotiations are not limited to price, quantity, it includes package, carton, etc.
Apart from local and federal laws, you can pretty much negotiate on everything else.

When it comes to price negotiations, the supplier will have a price threshold. Instead of getting stuck at price negotiations, work out other details. Explore if the supplier will be able to offer a lower price if increase the order quantity. The supplier may also give you a discount if the amount pays upfront. Ask the supplier if a lower price can agree upon if you place many orders. You can get a better deal if you check the other areas of negotiation instead of only focusing on price points. The other reason to not fixate too much on the price point is that there can be negative consequences. For example, the supplier may use poor packaging or cheaper materials for your order.

Before you negotiate with a supplier, ensure that you know the market price of your product. When you compile a list of suppliers from your research, you will know the prevailing rate. Talk to different factories even if you have found a supplier who you think is good. You can use the quotes provided by one of the factories to negotiate with the other one.

Avoid deception

Sourcing from China as an Amazon or Shopify reseller, we need to know how to avoid deception. Here are some ways you can avoid fraudsters:

1) Google the supplier

A good and legitimate company will have a web presence. Ensure there are no warnings about them on online forums.

2) Beware of very low prices

Remember the adage ‘ if it is too good to be true, it probably is.’ When it comes to sourcing from China. A supplier who offers very low prices is a red flag. If they give you a quote that is much cheaper than all other quotes in the market and is an exact match to what you want. It is suspicious.

3) Check the supplier’s email address

The supplier’s email address can give you a clue on their legitimacy. QQ email address is commonly used in China and is as reliable as Gmail or yahoo.com email address. It is better to check also if the supplier has an email id with the company name.

4) Ask detailed questions

A reliable manufacturer will have answers to all your questions. Include the process, quality standards, and timelines among others.

5) Look at pictures

An authentic supplier can usually supply detailed pictures of their factory and product. The product photo should according to your requirements. This can confirm that they have samples on hand.

6) Get a sample

Any legitimate supplier should be able to ship you a sample if it is not customized.

7) Visit the factory

It is difficult for you to visit the factory because of COVID-19 from 2020. You can work with a reputable and experienced China sourcing agent to inspect for you.

8) Beware of payment fraud

The scammer accesses the account of the supplier which is the email usually. And then gets to know which orders are being paid, provide a different bank account for payment. The unsuspecting buyer transfers the money to the account of the scammer. To avoid a payment scam, verify the bank account details before making a payment.

Work with a China sourcing agent

For Amazon and Shopify sellers, sourcing agents could be the easiest answer. Sourcing agents are a shortcut to finding your ideal supplier. They cut out all the leg-work that you would have to do and negate a lot of the risk involved in trying a new factory.

Sourcing Product Easy company established in 2008, based in Shenzhen city. As a professional China sourcing agent, we buy good products for customers. Over the past 10 years, we have visited more than 1000 factories throughout China. We have huge factories resources and logistic networks. We are good at consumer electronics, shapewear, hardware, etc. . We can provide customized products or print on demand also. We own a fulfillment center in China, provide a one-stop Shopify dropshipping solution.

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