It’s no secret that (when done right) business owners can save a significant amount of money and improve profit margins by importing products from Asia, and specifically China. In fact, if you look at the products being sold by almost every major retailer you will see that oftentimes a large percentage of their goods are manufactured in China. So naturally anyone who is looking to improve their wholesale business profits, whether it be a traditional brick and mortar storefront or an e-commerce website, will probably at some point spend time looking into importing goods from China.
While it is relatively easy to use the Internet in order to find Chinese suppliers, it is imperative that you do adequate research and due diligence before placing an order. The truth is that more than a few eager buyers have jumped into a sales deal in the past for a legitimate sounding transaction, only to be ripped off by a shady supplier or con artist. Unfortunately, there is oftentimes little recourse for the buyer in these situations.
Perhaps the most popular website used to find Chinese manufacturers is Alibaba.com. In fact, Alibaba has products from all over the world, so you can use them to find all kind of international suppliers. Of course, the site is not free of fraud, so it is up to you to use the tools Alibaba supply along with your own commonsense and discretion when choosing who to do business with. Whenever possible, it is recommended to start with an order of samples in order to gauge product quality as well as create a base relationship with the supplier.
Another site that is frequently used to find reputable Chinese suppliers is EC21. EC21 offers a layer of protection by performing credit checks on the companies listed, and ensuring that they are registered businesses. There may of course be other similar websites, but these (Alibaba and Ec21) are two of the biggest and the ones I would recommend to start with.
I would certainly not recommended starting out with a large order when dealing with a supplier you do not have experience with. A few small orders will allow you to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company that meets your quality requirements. After this is established you can negotiate better rates for larger orders. Also stay away from listings for commonly counterfeit goods such as brand name handbags, as you will almost certainly end up with illegal items.
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