Tips for Start-ups Sourcing from China

People tend to source products from China for their online and offline business for its booming manufacturing business and the largest online platforms, such as Working with the right suppliers and souring the premium products marks the success of your business. Here are essential guides for sourcing from China.

Know what you are going to import. You are the one who understands the needs of your potential customer and the trending products most. Keep business goals in mind. Otherwise, you would end up finding unsatisfactory suppliers. Have a clear idea about the product, then you would know how much it costs to manufacture. This is not only to save your time, but also to prevent you from being hoaxed. The price of a product is generally proportional to its quality. If the price is too low, the products might be in poor quality.

Tips for Start-ups Sourcing from China

Where to source?

Trade shows

Trade shows are hubs to find legitimate suppliers, saving your time from commuting between cities and cities. Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China, is held twice a year. Everyone entering into Canton Fair requires the badge, so pre-register and apply invitation on its official website before you rush into the convention. By participating in the trade shows, you could talk with the suppliers face to face about their companies, products, and quality control procedures which are more productive than email and phone talking. All the attending companies to the trade shows have been verified by the convention holder, lowering the risk of being deceived. The “Golden sample” shown by the suppliers on exhibitions could assist you in assessing the qualities. Of courses, it takes time and budget for you to come to China to

Online trading platforms. For most dropshipping sellers, Alibaba & Aliexpress are frequently visited sourcing websites. Numerous buyers complain about Alibaba for permitting scammers to list on the website, while siding with their providers in case of business dispute. Different platforms provide extensive supplier data for you to refer. For instance, on, you can check the following information to select your suppliers: registered capital, legal representative and business license number. In addition, you can find uploaded audit reports and other documentation: ISO, Sedex and BSCI. The more certificates the suppliers offer, the more reliable they are.

Learn to negotiate with your suppliers. After you have shortlisted several manufacturers, it’s common to negotiate with for a lower price. Otherwise, the price would be interesting. For instance, when you go to Baima wholesale market in Guangzhou, a merchandiser sells a pair of shoes for about ¥100/pair, but after negotiation, the price can be down to ¥25/pair. Apart from price, you can negotiate anything you want, like minimum order quantity and payment terms. Along with the quotation from suppliers, you should notice the incoterms. Among the 4 incoterms, that is, FOB, CFR, CIF & DDP, FOB is common. It means the manufacturers are only responsible for transporting the products from their plants to the port, and you need to pay the rest from the port to the end consumers.

Build good rapport with suppliers. Good Communication marks the success of the business. Do not try to expect that any point of the agreement is well understood for one negotiation. There could exist cultural gaps and language gaps. Although keeping a good relationship in such a long distance can be difficult, frequent visits to your suppliers, email or phone call could overcome this.

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Things are becoming complicated with several SKUs made from various suppliers, especially for those doing dropshipping, they have to spend squeezing time negotiating with different suppliers &logistics companies about all the details. To some degree, depending on your suppliers means giving up quality control, more profit margin and the chance of giving your consumers a better experience.

NextSmartShip, an order fulfillment company, would relieve you from being tangled with suppliers and logistics companies. Once you partner with us, you don’t need to worry about inventory and fulfillment. After the suppliers send the goods to our warehouses, we would inspect products to ensure the specs are meeting your needs. As a fulfillment company, NextSmartShip emphasizes protecting your intellectual property and we would never steal your store information. With global fulfillment centers worldwide, NextSmartShip has built a logistics network, offering 2-day shipping.

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