China is the world’s factory. All the same, not every supplier you will find is genuine.
You have to be very keen when sourcing inventory. So many fake suppliers claim they are the best. If you do your footwork well, you will get a great supplier.
There are so many suppliers in China. It could be hard to weed out the bad ones from the good ones. Many people have lost their money to unscrupulous dealers.
There is a bad one for every one genuine and good supplier. Is it your first time shopping for inventory in China? The chances of finding a lousy supplier are 50 percent.
Here, we will share some tips to help you identify a good supplier. Likewise, we will look at a few indications of a wrong supplier. Keep reading!
How do you identify high-quality suppliers?
There are tons of ways to help you find a good supplier in China, but the most outstanding of them are as follows:
1. Has been in business for some time and has many reviews
When shipping your inventory from China, the last thing you want is to work with a new supplier.
Avoid a supplier who is only a year or so old in the business. You want to work with suppliers who have the experience.
It is better to pay more money in fees to work with a supplier who has decades of experience.
Experience is a sign that your money will be safe and that you will get the actual value. No one survives in such a competitive business space without giving the best.
Once you find out the experience, check the reviews that their clients leave for them. It is best to find a mix of many positive and negative thoughts rather than no reviews at all.
Beware of working with suppliers who only get positive reviews. While it is not harmful to have all positive experiences, such a supplier can be a nasty liar.
Too many negative reviews are also not good. If you find negative reviews from clients in the past, you should find another supplier. The positive reviews should be more than the negative ones.
2. A good quality control process
Ensure the manufacturer has proper quality control processes in place. From pre to post-production, there must be appropriate controls.
If you intend to work with this supplier for a long time, you can arrange for a factory visit to China. That will enable you to see the kinds of controls they have in place.
While you cannot check everything, some processes are very vital. The end-of-line inspection ensures that inferior quality goods do not get to the market.
Most manufacturers prefer to recycle such goods rather than sell them. They do this to avoid ruining their reputation.
Some items such as diesel or gasoline generators are susceptible. They must meet specific international standards before they can enter many markets.
Remove the guesswork from the picture. Work with a manufacturer or brand name known for high quality.
3. Decide whether to work with a wholesaler or manufacturer
When you buy inventory from China, you get it from the manufacturer or wholesaler.
The wholesaler buys goods from the manufacturer at a lower price, marks them up, and sells to you at a profit.
There’s nothing wrong with working with a wholesaler. They should disclose that they are a trading company and not the manufacturer.
When a trading company lies that they are the manufacturer, the problem arises.
If you agree to buy from a trading company, you must ensure two things.
They should have an avenue for returning and replacing goods that do not meet the right quality. Two, they must be able to source these goods from a manufacturer who sells at the right price.
4. Verifiable address, phone number, and email
It is possible to create a company on paper and purport to sell things on the internet. With some effort, you can verify that the company exists. You can do this without traveling to China.
The first place to check is on the internet. They must have a website. Check their “about us” page to see where they claim to be located.
You can then use a service such as Google Map to determine whether there is such an establishment in that location.
The second thing is that they should have an official telephone number. If you call the number, someone should answer.
They should also have at least one person who speaks English. It is the language of international trade.
Check their bank details. If you do business with the supplier, you will have to pay them.
It is easy to verify bank details with other sources. For a start, check whether such a bank exists in China. If it does, It’s good to go.
A good supplier also has a social media presence. An excellent place to check what other people say about them. If you find many complaints on social media, avoid that supplier.
5. Must have a big production capacity
Chinese suppliers and manufacturers are so business-oriented. Even if one cannot produce the items that you need in bulk, they will still say they can
This can mean they will ask for a deposit if you place the order. They will then go on to subcontract another manufacturer to produce the goods.
This makes the chain of production longer, and many mistakes can occur.
Check whether they have a suitable production capacity. The best way to do this is to find out on their website. They should show the production floor space and the team of engineers.
Check the factory workers in their teams. The more, the better since it signifies their capacity to meet big orders.
Factories with small production capacity rush through orders. They might not have quality control measures. They will also delay you too much.
Look for large production capacity, experience in business, and high revenue turnover.
There is no danger that the company can go bust with your orders and deposits.
6. A good supplier must have the correct documentation
If you decide to go for a factory visit in China, you must insist on seeing some documentation.
These include things such as licenses. Every manufacturer, wholesaler, trading company, or supplier in China must have a permit.
Other documentation includes the VAT invoice. The government requires all businesses to submit their VAT returns. Ask for your VAT invoice, and they will provide one if they are genuine.
To maintain a competitive edge, most companies work towards compliance and certification. ISO 9001 certification is a sign of quality and good business ethics. For a company to get ISO 9001 certification, there is thorough auditing.
China also offers different compliance certifications for other businesses.
The most popular one is the China Compulsory Certification Mark. A manufacturer or trading company with this certification is easy to trust.
How to tell a wrong supplier in China
There are many signs of a good supplier. A lousy supplier is easy to spot if you know what to look for.
Here are a few essential red flags that you should not miss:
1. Low price that is below the market rates
Getting low-quality goods is very high if they agree to a meager price on items.
In China, you can get both high and low-quality items. Some manufacturers can supply you with substandard items if you bargain too hard.
Before you make your order, find out the current market rate for the items you want to order. The price the Chinese supplier is quoting must be close to or at the same level. You cannot eat your cake and have it too.
2. Too many signs of disorganization
If there is any disorganization in the factory, this is the wrong supplier.
Signs of poor management start with little things such as poor communication. There should be an English speaker to reply to emails and so on.
Call the customer care team. If they cannot answer simple questions about the products, avoid such as a supplier if the boss is never in.
3. Offers free samples
As a buyer, you would love to get a few free samples. These take time to produce, so many manufacturers charge for these.
Does your potential supplier offer all the free samples you ask for? They might be setting you up for swindling.
They use the free samples to lure you into depositing as disappear or supply low-quality items.
4. Fast communication
Fast communication from the manufacturer is good. But if it is fast, there could be a problem.
If you communicate with the factory, they might take longer to get to you.
They get so many orders, focusing on how the inquiries come in. Many suppliers will also give priority to buyers they know.
A scammer is likely to communicate, replying to emails within hours.
5. There is not much information about them online
A supplier must have an online presence in this internet of everything age.
This can be through a website, blog, or social media. If they are not online, something is wrong.
Buyers look for information about the products they need online. Many business people are not able to travel to China. No business entity wants to miss out on this opportunity.
Even new businesses try to establish an online presence as soon as they start operating.
How do I know if a Chinese supplier is legit? This is a popular question on the internet. You now know how to find a good supplier.
With some due diligence, you should get a supplier you can work with for a long time.
Remember the price too. You will get “befitting” quality goods if you want to pay the lowest. Low price equals low quality.
A rogue manufacturer will agree to sell to you if you bargain too hard, but their goods may not be good.
It is best to know what your market needs. Establish a good rapport with a few manufacturers that you will work with for a long time.
You can also work with a sourcing agent when your business is a start-up. These ensure you get goods of the highest quality only.