How To Find Reliable Suppliers in China?-Recommended Methods and Wholesale Websites

Tiven Fang
2022/10/27 16:10



For the past ten years,,we have helped many e-commerce salesman who import goods from China find so many suppliers and factories. To be honest, we selected 1 or 2 reliable Chinese suppliers from at least 20~30 suppliers for most of my clients. That’s a headache indeed. But at the same time, we also gained lots of experience in dealing with suppliers.

In our usual chat with our clients, we often talk about all kinds of common and strange things they encountered before when looking for suppliers from China, such as:

Replace materials or accessories in order to save costs; The production capacity can not keep up, and the goods are often out of stock; Lack of qualification, many materials cannot be provided; There is something wrong with the Chinese supplier's bank account, unable to collect the money, so that the goods cannot be shipped.

Leaking our private models to other peers and all kinds of problems.

So, it’s necessary to share some of our personal experience in finding reliable suppliers in China. The information will be practical and surefire when your importing from China. Read through with patience, and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Let us dive right in.

    Table of Content

       1. Why Opt for Chinese Suppliers?

       2. How to find suppliers in China?

       3. What are the main types of China suppliers?

       4. Eight steps to find Reliable Supplier on China Wholesale Websites

       5. Five tips to Deal with Your Long-term China reliable Suppliers

       6. How to secure quality control of the trade process

       7. FAQS about find reliable Chinese supplier


Why Opt for Chinese Suppliers?

Tell me the meaning of it. Since China's economy is booming in a rapidly expanding period for these 20 years,the cost of production is low. Definitely an exciting opportunity for the seller. If you buy directly from China, you can get extremely low prices for your goods. According to global manufacturing labor cost data in 2022,The labor cost made in China is $8571, while in the United States the labor cost is $55292, and the labor cost made in the United States is six times that of China.

China is by far large one of the world's most substantial manufacturing markets in the world. Both by the value of the products produced, and the volume they are churned out.You can make anything in China at low prices, from cheap mechanical pencils and even the most advanced smartphones. But why can Chinese products achieve very low prices? There are three reasons:

  • Low Manufacturing Costs

  • Low Labour Cost

  • Production efficiency

Another reason labour costs are so low is that you do not need to arrange any additional training for employees.You do not have to worry about training and hiring skilled workers by simply outsourcing your supply and mass production to a factory.

How to find suppliers in China?

Clearly, you have an idea for a particular product. Is there a job available? Find Chinese suppliers. It's a very difficult step. It is important that we have a reliable China supplier. Choosing suppliers is a crucial choice that you can make.

If your supplier fails, you must take care of that for yourself and not the customers. You need to ensure that you choose someone to keep you safe. The process of acquiring suppliers in China is complex but requires awareness, knowledge and an appropriate amount of homework. Let's look into some popular methods of locating an import distributor!

Online Wholesale Websites

There are many B2B platforms where you can find wholesale suppliers such as Alibaba, Global Sources, Made in China, DHgate, AliExpress, etc. Here are several common ones for your reference:

  • Alibaba

  • Ruizhi sourcing

  • Made in China & Global Sources

  • DHgate

  • AliExpress

  • Yiwugo

  • 1688

Actually, the processes of finding wholesale suppliers on these wholesale websites are similar, which have no shortcuts for anyone. You can choose the suitable one based on your needs. if you want to know more about these China online wholesale websietes,you can click here to learn more.



Because some Chinese factories will also try to promote its manufacturing capacity or its brand online and set up their own official website or social media account.When a searcher needs information, he usually searches the Internet. It's easy to look up suplliers online through Google. Search for: [Product name] + factory+China. Google is a quick tool to find product factory.for example,you can search "slipper factory China",then you can find 2~3 factory in the first page.


Attend trade shows/trade fairs

When you visit a business show it is possible to speak directly to a potential Chinese supplier about what you want. Contacting potential suppliers is a good way to meet them personally. The China annual trade show and the East China trade fair are two of the biggest trade fairs. The Canton Fair is the biggest trade event in China that takes place twice annually in Guangzhou. This event attracts thousands of visitors and has an extensive selection of products.


Here is a list of the top six exhibitions with the largest scale and influence selected from all the exhibitions in China every year.

1.The Canton Fair

Guangzhou, China
The Canton Fair is the largest and most comprehensive trade fair in China. The fair's primary focus is on import and export products with the majority of exhibitors from foreign countries, and it is the biggest trade fair in terms of the number of exhibitors, products and visitors in the whole of China.

The world's largest trade show for physical goods is held multiple times a year in China and encompasses nearly every sector of the economy. Due to its size, it is divided into three stages:

Phase 1: Electronics, machines, building materials, or chemical products.

Phase 2: Consumer goods, house furnishings, or gifts.

Phase 3:  textiles as well as leisure, office supply, footwear, and medical equipment and supplies.

To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual Canton Fair, you can click here.


2.The Yiwu Commodities Fair

Yiwu, China

The Yiwu Commodities Fair is one of the largest wholesale markets in the world. It has over 1 million traders and wholesale suppliers and holds 2,500 booths. Yiwu is located in the Zhejiang province in China and is known for its horticultural produce, electronics, accessories, and even clothing.
To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual Yiwu Commodities Fair, you can click here.

3.China-ASEAN Expo

Shanghai, China

The China-ASEAN Expo is an exhibition based on the cooperation between China and ASEAN, which combines imports and exports, strengthens the regional economic cooperation between China and ASEAN, and invites various types of suppliers from ASEAN and China to participate in the exhibition. strengthen supply chain cooperation and market development..
To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual China-ASEAN Expo,you can click here.

4.Bauma China

Shanghai, China

Bauma China is the largest construction machinery exhibition in Asia. It is held every two years in Shanghai, China. It showcases all the latest products from leading Chinese manufacturers of construction and mining equipment. It is widely considered the best place to promote and showcase products for the construction industry in Asia, and has become a vital industry event since starting in 2002.

To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual Bauma China,you can click here.

5.East China Import and Export Commodity Fair

Shanghai, China

The East China Import and Export Commodity Fair is a major event for the export of China, which has long been held in Shanghai and has now become one of the world’s five largest import and export trade fairs. It is seen as the best platform for foreign trade enterprises to meet with Chinese suppliers, conduct business deals and import/ export products.

To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual East China Import and Export Commodity Fair, you can click here.


HongKong, China

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body that develops Hong Kong's trade, and organizes international conferences and exhibitions. It holds various types of exhibitions every year, which has a great influence throughout Asia. Like Hong Kong International Jewellery Show; Hong Kong Electronics Fair, Hong Kong Book Faire,etc. Its supplier directory lists fewer companies compared to other directories.

To know more about the exhibition time and booking tickets of the annual HKTDC, you can click here.

(Tips: Some exhibition websites need to switch to China IP to see it.)

Find a sourcing agency

Sourcing firms can sometimes go unnoticed. You can work with truly valuable partners. Perhaps you visited China, found a factory, and arranged production. However, the factory has no experience exporting goods overseas, resulting in constant delays. You might find a good manufacturer in China. But cultural and language difficulties can create more headaches.

Often, lots of time, money, and frustration are involved in going it alone. Then find a reliable sourcing agent will help you slolve this problem. if you want to know more about how to find reliabe sourcing agent, In order to facilitate your verification and verification, i list the top 30 China sourcing agent for your reference.


What are the main types of China suppliers?

1. Manufacturers

For every type of seller, manufacturers are their source of supply. As a result, they represent the vendors most likely to provide you with the best deals on your goods.

In China, there are two types of producers. English-speaking salesmen who don't work for these companies. To market their products to overseas customers, these factories often work with domestic trade companies and sourcing agencies. Such factories have the best prices.

Chinese Manufacturers with in-house English-speaking sales teams are the second option. They frequently take part in exhibitions both at home and abroad, and they also run an Alibaba store. Even the manufacturers themselves have their own web platforms and are involved in online promotion.

They're easy to look at on the web. Compared to the first group of manufacturers who deal through legitimate trading businesses, the prices you acquire from such factories maybe lower. However, their prices are less high than those of a trading firm. They also have a very large minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Manufacturers are ideal if you wish to create your own product. They can assist you design and creating your products at the lowest feasible cost.


2. Trading companies

Importers benefit from the assistance of trading firms while making purchases in China. Alibaba is home to a slew of trade enterprises, and you may even stumble across Alibaba businesses that are also trading companies.

Their English-speaking staff is a testament to their commitment to offering trading services. It's also easier to communicate with them because they're more relaxed.


3. Sourcing agent

This type of business is more concerned with providing procurement services than selling their own items. You can profit from importing services like sourcing, production monitoring, or quality control. For this, many Amazon merchants choose the services of sourcing agents. Sourcing agents are more adaptable than trading businesses.

4. Local wholesalers

A trip to China to investigate the wholesale business on your own sounds appealing, doesn't it? If you shop around, you may be able to save money by purchasing things from brick-and-mortar stores. Yiwu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen are the three most important wholesale markets in China.

The three cities are also home to a huge number of major and minor factories.

  • Yiwu market, for small products and everyday consumer goods

  • Shenzhen, for electronic products

  • Guangzhou, for Clothing, Bags & Suitcases, Beauty, Adult Products

5. Small wholesalers or dropshippers

DHgate, AliExpress, and other distribution platforms are good places to look for smaller wholesalers. Small MOQs and a wide choice of products make this a great place to buy wholesale. If you are an importer or your consumers demand consistent product quality, avoid local wholesalers and dropshippers.

6. Wholesalers with overstock

The goods that Chinese manufacturers or wholesalers have too many of are called over-stock products. Those that have some flaws but can still be used are also called overstock products. as wholesalers must get rid of such products, they usually sell them for less. Overstock markets in China are found in Guangzhou and Yiwu, two of the country's largest cities. For clothes, head over to Guangzhou. For consumer goods, visit Yiwu.

Any sourcing channel(Whether it is exhibition, online wholesale platform or offline wholesale marketplaces) will encounter the above types of suppliers, even in Yiwu Wholesale market, you may encounter factory stores, or wholesalers, more small wholesalers.


Eight steps to find Reliable Supplier on China Wholesale Websites

If you do not go to a third party like sourcing agent to verify the qualification of the supplier you are looking for, you will have to ask the supplier for verification of that choice. It's really tough, especially to get started without doing so before. Ruizhi sourcing has been helping customers achieve success for the past several years! We have collected an easy list of everything you need to find the best supplier of quality Chinese products. Lets go.

When studying a B2B online wholesale platform such as Alibaba (or any supplier, for that matter), you are looking to understand what value they bring to your business.

You should have a system in place for evaluating, selecting, and reevaluating the Chinese suppliers you want to associate your business with. Below are the steps on how you can do this effectively.

-#1 Find the exact product you want

Take alibaba as an example,There are two ways that globla buyers can find items to order on search and browse the general marketplace or post a Request for Quotation(RFQ).

Browsing the marketplace is easy because it works just like any other search engine. You input a search inquiry and browse the results. You can also “Upload Image” to more effectively perform searches with product images that you are looking for.After finding the products you are satisfied with, they can filter out the list of qualified suppliers through online platforms such as Alibaba's "Gold suppliers" / "Verified suppliers" / "Trade Assureance suppliers".Most online wholesale platform search products and select suppliers service are more or less the same.

-#2 Verify a company's background

One of the best ways to verify a company’s background is by performing an on-site check.

Performing an onsite check is no easy task. You’ll need to check a potential supplier's website for the following information.

  • Legitimate business license (The key point is the registered address of the company. )

    If you don't understand Chinese, you can find a Chinese who knows how to use the China online credit app to find out the company's credit standing, and look at when and where the company was registered. If you are looking for toughened film products, factories listed in Guangdong surely have some advantages over other regions. If the registration point is residential, pay special attention to the size of the company and avoid finding a SOHO.

  • Company or factory location

    To find whether the address and the location of the factory coincide, it is necessary to verify whether the factory photo and the words at the front desk are that of the same company, thereby avoiding misusing factory images or positioning to fool you.

  • Ownership status

  • Photos of the supplier’s operations

  • Contact information (Wechat/Whatsapp/Email)

    By registering for wechat, you can see if the supplier is really promoting their company or products through the supplier's Wechat moments, and then you can judge the supplier.

  • Certifications from subsidiaries, partners, or contractors

  • Company's quality certificate

This stuff can be mighty tricky to find (especially if the supplier is a really good fraud). Nearly everything will be perfect… but you won’t be able to find every detail listed above. Once you’ve done that, move on to...

-#3 Suppliers outreach to your shortlist

After you’ve thoroughly weeded through various Chinese suppliers, you may be thinking…

“Phew! The hard part is finally over. I finally have someone I can trust!”

While trust is key, you’re not done.

There are still questions you should ask, samples you should get, negotiations you should consider, and of course customer testimonials to take into consideration.

Not to worry, though! We’ve provided you with key information you’ll need during these next crucial steps.

First up...

-#4 Questions to ask your suppliers

Once you’ve evaluated your supplier(s) and you’re ready to make your choice, there are a few final things you need to know, such as…

  • What are the payment details? You need to know exactly how much you’re paying per unit. You’ll also want to know of any bulk discounts you might be able to get. Get this in writing, in case your supplier decides to change things up behind your back.

  • Is there a refund policy? You need to know exactly what their refund policy is. There shouldn’t be any debate when the time comes to refund a customer!

  • What to do about disputes? You’ll want to have a clear plan of action when a dispute arises. If a consumer is unhappy with a product (or with delayed shipping times) and threatens your business, will your supplier work hard to help you solve the problem?

  • Are there any seller guarantees? Both your company and your customers need to know if the supplier offers any guarantees. Will they offer a 30-day money back guarantee if the consumer doesn’t like the product they ordered? Or can they only return it if it’s defective?

After you get this information from your soon-to-be supplier, be sure to keep it handy (you never know when you might need it)!

You can also read this article, where we provide more in-depth questions to ask before choosing a reliable supplier! Next, you’ll need to...

-#5 Request samples

By ordering products and having them shipped to you, you accomplish three things:

  1. You see how long shipping times are (compared to the estimated time listed on their website).

  2. You can get an idea of how they package. Will you feel comfortable with your customers receiving the package?

  3. You see the product quality. How well does it hold up? Product quality is very important for long-term success.

As a general rule of thumb, you should order samples from at least 2-3 companies to give yourself options (and compare shipping times, product quality, communication, and price).

After you’ve done this (or even before), you should…

-#6 Ask for customer references

Reliable China wholesale suppliers will have no problem giving you testimonials from previous customers.

In fact, they’ll most likely display them directly on their website! (Although, if it’s a fraud site, there could be fake testimonials on there as well.)

If the supplier you’re looking at does not offer customer references for you, don’t feel like you need to continue talking with them. Keep looking!

And finally, when the time comes, don’t be afraid to…

-#7 Have a video call with customer support

Have a video call with customer support. Common tactic scammers use to escape detection by law enforcement agencies is to give fictitious registration information. Inquire about the firm registration and business license number by making a video call to the China supplier's landline. Watch their office environment and sales manager professionalism through video calls.

-#8 Negotiate

As with anything, there’s definitely an ‘art’ to negotiating with China suppliers (and anyone, for that matter).

Your ultimate goal when looking for suppliers should be to find one that will not only manufacture your product to the desired quality specifications, but one with which you can build a long-lasting relationship.

You want to find responsible supplier who will go the extra mile for you once you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable client. However, you should also find someone you deem worthy of friendship.

Remember that price negotiations must be done at the right time.

When your business is flourishing, and you need to order more products in order to keep customers happy, it may be a good time to negotiate.

If you’re just looking to get the best price out there (and forget that your supplier needs to make money, too), I don’t recommend negotiating too much.

Ruizhi sourcing’s tip of the day: Keep in mind that manufacturers overseas are dealing with incredibly low margins as is. If you try to bargain with them for rock-bottom prices, chances are high they’ll cut corners and send you low-quality products when they ship your orders.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate, though! Just keep in mind that quality has a price.

Five tips to Deal with Your Long-term China reliable Suppliers

In business, you should always try your best to create favorable conditions for success. Here, I will share with you some tips drawn from the experience of dealing with suppliers for years.

Ask for better payment terms

For big and small importers, steady cash flow will help your business grow fast, especially for e-commerce businesses, such as Amazon, Shopify and Independent stations.

In the case of Amazon, you pay in full when you place an order. It is expected that shipping will take between 1-1.5 months, while the goods typically sell out within 2 months, then Amazon will release them (assume 30 days). If everything goes well, your return on investment will take at least 4 months. If you borrow from a bank or never get someone else’s investment, your annual business growth is limited.

Thus, you can negotiate with your suppliers for longer payment terms, which can improve your cash flow. Getting their support, however, is difficult in the beginning. It will give you a chance to negotiate a longer payment term with your supplier if you reorder the same product more than three times.

For example, our company sources goods for a company in the UK. We have established trust in each other after six months of successful cooperation. Now, they don’t need to pay the deposit when placing the order but only pay the order off before containers arrive at the Port of London.

Usually, there are three types of payment terms:

  • Wire Transfer (Pay 30% deposit before production, pay 70% balance payment before shipment)

  • Wire Transfer (Pay 30% deposit before production, pay 70% balance payment before goods arrive at the port of your country)

  • LC and OA (Letter of credit & Open account)

-Wire Transfer 30%/70% (Before shipment)

In this way, the supplier asks you to pay a 30% deposit while placing the order and pay the balance before shipment. Then, the China suppliers will arrange to ship to your country. Most suppliers use this payment term but it doesn't help your cash flow much.

-Wire Transfer 30% 70% (Before arriving at the port)

This method also needs you to pay a 30% deposit and then 70% of the balance payment before your shipment arrives at your national port. Then you take the bill of lading that the supplier gave you to pick up your goods at the port. If your products are shipped to the west coast of the United States, it means that you have won at least one month’s shipping time. This is equivalent to an extra month's turnaround time for your funds.

-LC and OA

In brief, L/C is the payment commitment issued by the bank according to the importer’s requirements. That is to say, the importer promises to pay the supplier sometime in the future, so L/C has a potential role in financing a guarantee.

OA is not a common payment method. Under this term, you pay the suppliers after the products arrived. It demands a high credit rating for importers and a high capital flow from its suppliers. Wal-Mart generally uses OA.

In this way, most importers have a second alternative to wire transfer 30% 70% (Before arriving at the port).

Negotiate with the supplier when the exchange rate changes a lot

The exchange rate is dynamic data that changes in real-time. In May and October of 2022, the exchange rate of the US dollar against the RMB rose from 6.4 to 7.3, and the supplier's light exchange rate caused its gross profit margin to increase by 14%, which is frightening. Normally, it changes between 5%-10% in half a year or a year. You don’t need to worry if the fluctuations aren’t significant since suppliers do not adjust product prices for slight exchange rate variations.

If the exchange rate exceeds 5%~10%, you can try to discuss with the supplier to reduce the outgoing price and increase your profit. During this time, the value of the US dollar you put into the supplier can be customized. Suppliers do not provide exchange rate values, the value comes from the deposit.

Ask your regular supplier first before sourcing a new item

Your reliable and long-term cooperative supplier is also a valuable resource; you should take advantage of it. When you want to buy a new product, you can consult with your old supplier. You can let him purchase for you. It not only saves time but also reduces potential risks. Or he can provide you with some information about other reliable suppliers, which will also help you a lot.

Get suggestions from your supplier when developing a new design

You should also take the initiative to ask your supplier what the latest product is in this quarter. The suppliers always improve the product based on feedback from other customers. You should always keep an eye on trends and what products your competitors are selling.

For example, the suppliers and customers of the water cup require that the capacity and scale of the cup be increased. At this time, you may also consider whether you need to upgrade your products.

Being the first to sell the most popular products will make you earn more, particularly in the fashion industry. Ultimately, the information from your suppliers is important for your product development.

Negotiate with your supplier before Chinese holidays come

The Chinese New Year is a significant holiday that takes place over three weeks, usually between late January and late February. This holiday results in a mass shutdown of factories as workers leave the cities to celebrate with their families in other parts of the country.

Failing to account for the Chinese New Year can adversely impact your supply chain and end up costing you thousands of dollars in delayed shipments. So you should communicate their mass production plans with your Chinese suppliers 2 months before the Spring Festival to avoid the shortage caused by the Spring Festival shutdown.You can learn more about the Chinese holidays and their impact on your business from this post.

How to secure quality control of the trade process

There should be a pre-delivery inspection in place so that the manufacturer is responsible for any difficulties that arise. The following criteria should be used to enforce quality control:

Choosing the right supplier

Inquire as to which countries are the principal export destinations and why? Since the quality is better in Europe than in India, the standards are different for each country.

• Take a look at their client's review and cases, You can trust it more if it is certified or has a wealth of cases on third-party platforms such as Trustpilot.

• Request a free sample of the product


Put all of your product's specifications in writing, including the cost and delivery dates, to make a contract out of it. It's critical to document everything and record everything because many manufacturers are negligent.

Preparation for production

• Recognize issues as soon as they arise.

• Monitor production by asking for images, videos, and samples. You must be persistent in following up on your set orders.

Post-production process

• Before paying the complete factory invoice, you can arrange for an examination.

• In smaller orders, you can ask your manufacturer to inspect their own items by providing you with a sample of images of their products and their dimensions.

• You'll be in control of the game before you've paid the order invoice in full.

After delivery

• Don't focus so much on the flaws. When a product's maker makes an error, you can ask for a monetary settlement. It usually applies to the following list in that order.

• Writing a rectification plan is an option in this situation. The correct information will be included in the contract so that the manufacturer will not have to deal with this issue again.

FAQS about find reliable Chinese supplier

1. Are products made in China bad or good quality?

Products made in China are not inherently inferior in quality. China already manufactures a large number of "high quality" products. Buyers need to look beyond the pricing of a supplier to see if they have the potential to produce a high-quality product. The Chinese supplier needs to be made aware of exactly what a buyer wants and how to manufacture it, and this takes time and effort.

2.Should I hire a sourcing agent?

If you meet the following circumstances, you can go to sourcing agent to help you. You are not familiar with the process of the new product; you are not familiar with the core origin of the product; you will not be able to come to China for a short time.

Finding a Chinese sourcing agent will be more efficient during the three-year period from 2020 to 2022 for COVID-19 epidemic situation, when China's control of the epidemic will make it more difficult for foreigners to enter and leave China. Browse and learn these blogs for how to find reliable China sourcing agents.

3.How to avoid being scammed by suppliers?

If you wish to avoid any risk, you should visit China and screen each supplier separately by having a thorough due diligence process or, ideally, by visiting the factory yourself. The second is to find a Chinese friend you are familiar with or sourcing agent to help you inspect the factory.

4. What are the best ways to pay suppliers in China?

Order size determines which mode of payment you can use. 

  • If you pay a small amount(such as less than $1000), such as a sample, express fee or certification fee, etc. PayPal, Western Union, Escrow, and Letter of Credit are more reasonable choice. 

  • If you are paying a large amount of money to your supplier, such as more than $5000, it is better to use wire transfer,L/C or OA.


Are you searching how to find wholesale suppliers in China? There are a lot of good manufacturers and China suppliers capable of providing good service at a good price. The best manufacturers and suppliers in the world will pay as much attention to detail as you would anticipate from the leading manufacturers anywhere.

Copyright © Ruizhi - China Sourcing Hub

Article by:
Tiven Fang
Overseas Sales Manager: 5 years experience as a procurement consultant. Focus on one-stop consulting services for production solutions and product engineering.
Contact with me at Linkedin