How To Find the Right Chinese Supplier for Your Business

Kragujevac, SU, Serbia - September 23, 2012: industrial building interior at cars factory, the photo was taken at FIAT car factory during the open day and presentation of a new land vehicle model FIAT 500L


Congratulations! You’ve come up with a great business idea and you can’t wait to get started. Now that you know which products you want to sell, it’s time to find a supplier. Finding a supplier you can trust is very important, especially if they are overseas. Here are several tips you can use that will show you how to find a great Chinese supplier and avoid fraudulent ones.

1. Use A Trustworthy Source to Find Overseas Manufacturers

When you are on the hunt for a good manufacturer you should only use legitimate sources. Alibaba is considered one of the best places to find an overseas supplier. The Chinese company was founded in 1999 and has one of the large databases of manufacturers and wholesalers around the globe. Alibaba is a great way to connect with Chinese suppliers if you are just starting out.

You can use the search filter on Alibaba‘s website to find the best possible suppliers for your product category. First, look for companies that offer Trade Assurance. Manufacturers that offer Trade Assurance guarantee buyers that they will ship their products on time and offer secure payment options. We also recommend you search for Gold certified suppliers. The businesses that sign up for this premium subscription are personally inspected by Alibaba and verified by a third-party inspection company. You can also filter the website’s database based on the company’s manufacturing and management certificates, revenue and typical customer market. The tighter your restrictions, the more you increase your chances of finding a supplier you can trust.

2. Visit The Supplier’s Facility In Person

If you have the resources and the extra time, you can also visit the facility in person. This is one of the best ways to verify that a company is legitimate and can consistently manufacture quality products according to your specifications.

After you have narrowed your list down to a few potential suppliers, contact them and arrange a personal tour of their premises. You can make an educated decision after you get a closer look at their facility, employees, and manufacturing process. Although a personal visit is unnecessary if you only want to place a small order, it can be a wise investment if you plan to spend lots of money on inventory.

One of the benefits of traveling to China is that you will be able to meet the person who is in charge of your account in person and establish a relationship. A visit also communicates to the supplier that you are serious about your business enough to hop on a plane and fly to China and inspect their company yourself.

3. Use A Third-Party Inspection Agency or Sourcing Agent

Another way you can find a good supplier is to use a sourcing agent or inspection agency. A sourcing agent can recommend some great companies that they have worked with in the past. Meanwhile, a third-party inspection agency can visit the facility and investigate it. Both options can help you decide which manufacturer is the best one for your startup.

4. Assess Their Communication Skills

You can also differentiate between legitimate companies and fraudulent ones by monitoring their communication skills. Does your account representative respond to your calls and emails on time? Do they ask clarifying questions? Can they show you what their facility looks like through a Skype call? A reputable company will have a director or a representative that doesn’t hesitate to answer your questions and send you a sample of their products. Try to avoid companies that are unreliable or not transparent when they communicate.

There are many suppliers out there, so it is important to do your due diligence before you choose to work with one.