When you plan to create your own business or add more products to your business selling list, the most important point is to find and source good manufacturers rather than products because good manufacturers offer you good quality products in good price and provide with good packages, shipping and service. In other words, manufacturers play a extremely important role in your business. They can help you get profits or destroy you. So if you want to start sourcing on Alibaba, I would like to share some tips with you about finding direct and reliable Chinese manufacturers from plenty of suppliers including middlemen who cut your profits and manufacturers with different qualifications.
As what I said above, in order to find the best direct Chinese manufacturers, it’ s essential to follow the shopping guides below:
- Source for suppliers manufacturer instead of products and do not spend time on price or MOQ. For example, if we search product kids sleepwear, it will show 17,429 results. But if searching by supplier, there are only 1,130 results. Out of those results, there are about 157 gold or verified suppliers with trade assurance. Gold supplier is a paid membership. Verified supplier is audited and verified by either Alibaba team or third-party company that have been to the factory and claimed their tooling and equipment do exist. Trade assurance is a free service by Alibaba protecting your order from payment to delivery. If your order doesn’t meet the specification, you can dispute payment through Alibaba.
- Know who are the suppliers by checking supplier’s name, the business type, number of years of selling on Alibaba and company certificate. Supplier’s name consists of four elements including city-level registration location, company name, main product and partnership type. Business type is for checking whether the supplier is manufacturer or trading company. The one who discloses them as manufacturer and trading company has the export license to directly sell products to overseas countries. As for number of years on Alibaba, I recommend at least three years because they are more experienced, professional and mature on communication and production so that you don’t need to always monitor or worry about your order. Company certificate is a tool for showing supplier’s qualification. ISO 9000 certifies company’s quality system and ISO 14000 certifies the company’s environmental system. If the supplier has these certificate, it will bea nice business partner to have.
- Figure out what they produce. You can check their main products or click on product categories to see if they concentrate on the products that related to the products you want to buy. The more concentrated the company does the more advantage they have on the raw material purchase and the more skillful workers they have because workers always repeat what they do. In that case, the quality is also guaranteed. What’s more, you can check what product certificate you must have or nice to have such as UL, CE, FDA,MSDS, RoHS.
- Source out where are the suppliers/manufacturer . First of all, you can discover whether the supplier is middleman or manufacturer or not by checking the address. If the address shows like office room, that may be the middleman. If they claim they are manufacturer, it’s better question them. However, if the address indicates industrial area, it’s more like manufacturer. Secondly, it’s a smart choice to check whether the suppliers are located outside five major coastal provinces for the reason that most of the manufacturing activities are done in coastal provinces. The five major coastal provinces are Zhe Jiang(city: YiWu, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Taizhou, etc), Guangdong(city: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Zhongshan, etc), Jiang Su/Shanghai, Fu Jian and Shan Dong. If you purchase products from inner cities, you need to pay much transportation fee to send them to the port or to the suppliers who are in coastal provinces. And it will be hard and complicated to coordinate with those suppliers from inner cities and coastal cities.
- Do the surprise check. If you still doubt the suppliers you found, you can contact your suppliers and tell them you have purchasing agent in China near by the factory and can have a quick visit. Another way is to give a video call with the suppliers to check out what does the factory look like and how they produce products. Following these methods, you will know whether the suppliers are middlemen or not and whether they are reliable enough and qualified enough.
After those five tips, we can begin the practice on Alibaba. Let’s try women bag as an example.
Step 1: As you can see, if I search it by product, it will have 977,516 results for it.
Step 2: If I search by supplier, there are 1,243 suppliers for choosing.
Step 3: After clicking trade assurance and verified supplier, the number becomes 1,171.
Step 4: What we can do is to look at the detailed information of the companies and compare them.
This company was established for long locating in Guangzhou and specializing in leather products. It’s manufacturer and trading company so it can produce products and export them to overseas. Main products are leather wallet, leather bag, handbag and so on. This information is also displayed in the product categories part. So we can tell this company is very concentrated on bag products. It doesn’t show any certificate of the company so if you are interested in them, you can contact the supplier to ask more details. For the product certificate, you can go to the product pages to check or ask the supplier directly.
When it comes to contact the suppliers, there is one convenient way for you. That’s to click the favorites button of the suppliers you like and add them to favorite folder first. Then you open the folder, click on all your favorite suppliers and click on “contact supplier” on the top. After that, you can send one RFQ and inquiry to all those suppliers at the same time. Everyone knows time is money. This method will definitely help you save lots of time.
If you need other sourcing tips you can read this： Sourcing Tips
Hope my share can help your business be successful. Thank you very much for reading.
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