When sourcing suppliers, most people will come up with Alibaba, the world’s largest B2B trading platform. There are millions of Chinese suppliers in every industry. In each product category, there’re still thousands of suppliers, and most people don’t know how to select their most suitable supplier.
As dealing with all kinds of Chinese suppliers for years, I’d like to share how to find good suppliers to enhance your safety when buying from Alibaba.
- Search your desired product using specific keywords
- Identify where the product is made, reduce suppliers’ scope
- Figure out your actual demand and screen good suppliers
- Judge whether a supplier takes you seriously or not
- Evaluate whether suppliers are professional in your target product
- Ask for quotes and samples to choose your best suppliers
- Jingsourcing connects you with real and good factories
Step1 -- Search your desired product using specific keywords
Directly using the product name to search is the easiest way. And remember to use related keywords if you want to get more Chinese suppliers for your desired product.
Take plush toys for example. You can search for “plush toy”, “plushies”, “soft toys”, “soft doll”, and “stuffed animals”. These keywords will lead you to all suppliers of “plush toys” in China.
Or if your desired product is the X hose. You can use the keywords “X hose”, “magic hose”, and “garden hose”, to search on Alibaba. Then, get all the relevant results on Alibaba.
Step2 -- Identify where the product is manufactured, and reduce suppliers’ scope
When searching for “X hose” on Alibaba, you will discover that most suppliers are concentrated in Zhejiang and Guangdong. And Zhejiang gathers several times as many suppliers as Guangdong. In this case, you can ask 5-10 suppliers in Zhejiang and Guangdong for quotations under the same quality and requirements. Then compare them to know the product’s price range and avoid unreasonable higher quotes.
For some product categories, I share a practical tip to help you judge where the industrial cluster is. For example, searching for fishing gear, you will find that more than 60% of the products are from Weihai, Shandong. This means that fishing gear is produced in this area and it is easy to find a real factory here.
Step3 -- Figure out your demand and screen good suppliers on Alibaba
I can tell you that around 80% of suppliers on Alibaba are trading companies. Do not spend too much precious time finding factories. This is challenging, even for native Chinese people.
If you source 3 types of products and order 200 pieces per type, you should buy from trading companies, even if their price per piece is a bit high as compared to manufacturers. Because trading companies have smaller MOQs and more product choices. While factories usually specialize in one product and require a large order quantity, like 2,000 pieces or more.
The following suggestions will help you in choosing a good supplier for making your purchases:
Look for the company’s name and address
Typically, manufacturers choose their names according to the product, raw materials, and production technologies.
When searching “X hose” on Alibaba, you’ll find suppliers named,
- XX Rubber And Plastic Technology Co., Ltd. — The production of magic hose requires the use of rubber. This tells you the supplier can produce it at a low material cost.
- XX Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd. — This supplier might have just uploaded the sale of magic hose on Alibaba to supply this product to two or three customers in a year.
Browse the supplier’s catalog and product description
Manufacturers specialize in one product category. For example, LED lighting factories are limited to LED and lamp production. It’s impossible for them to manufacture kitchenware or cosmetics, etc.
While trading companies usually sell many different types of products. For example, they might sell LED lighting along with related products like party supplies and totally unrelated products like garden tools.
Note that professional trading companies typically sell similar products and describe their products in detail. This is primarily due to their experience in manufacturing that particular product for years.
After carefully following the above-mentioned steps, you will have a long list of suppliers. Now, it’s very essential to communicate with suppliers and ask for samples to choose suitable, good suppliers on Alibaba.
Step4 -- Judge whether a supplier takes you seriously
Real-time communication is important. This reflects the supplier’s attitude. You’d better choose suppliers actively responding to you, for example, the ones who are enthusiastic about answering your questions about product materials, features, quality, process, etc.
If a supplier always responds to you after a long time, obviously, he doesn’t take you seriously enough. Once you place an order and problems occur, he won’t contact you on time, not to mention actively solving problems.
Step5 -- Evaluate if suppliers are professional in your target product
Ask suppliers sufficient questions about the product. Professional suppliers not only answer you in time but also supplement your problems and give you some suggestions according to your situation.
Taking Xhose as an example, you can ask the supplier what’s the price for 50FT, 75FT, 100FT, and 10FT hose, the width and weight of the textile, rubber materials, specifications related to rubber, connecting accessories available, maximum water pressure and so on. Inexperienced suppliers are not able to answer all questions well, due to a lack of product knowledge and little or no experience in selling the product.
Step6 -- Ask for quotes and samples to choose your best suppliers
Ask for quotations as much as possible. Don’t get excited about low prices too early, as you pay what you get. Suppliers quoting 15% lower prices tend to supply products that can’t reach your requirement.
There indeed exist some suppliers who would quote around 5% lower price. Usually, these are very small trading companies willing to narrow their profits to receive orders.
The same important thing is to order a few sample products to visually check the product quality and overall effects. Especially complex products like jewelry, different materials, or processing techniques, lead to different quotes. Take a look at samples at different prices and choose the one according to your budget and requirement, thereby finalizing your supplier choice. Also remember to get extra 1-2 suppliers for backup.
How Jingsourcing supports your sourcing in China
It’s easy to source suppliers on Alibaba, but the difficulty lies in getting good suppliers who can deal with your order seriously and responsibly. Finding experienced sourcing agents like Jingsourcing can resolve your concerns. Our advantages include:
The most competitive quote
We have our own supplier database to obtain factory-direct prices, at least 5%-10% lower than Alibaba’s.
Our cooperative factories are located in industrial clusters specializing in target products and can always provide the most competitive prices. For daily-use products, which are majorly manufactured in Zhejiang and Guangdong, we have gathered a lot of suppliers in the 2 areas. Suppose you want to source beauty products, we will find suitable Guangzhou factories from our database. Manufacturers in other areas will quote higher due to the higher cost of materials and labor.
MOQ friendly to small businesses and newbies
For small custom orders like several hundred pieces, many Alibaba suppliers will not take it seriously. Because the quantity can’t reach the MOQ and they can’t earn much money.
But we can do it, as we cooperate with our suppliers for a long time and have good relationships with them. Even if your order 300 pieces, they are willing to produce for us.
Rich experience in complex products and customization
When it comes to complex products that need several factories to work together, for example, remote control toy cars with many custom parts like PCB, plastic body, etc., most suppliers are not willing to do that except for very large order quantities.
We are able to do it and will ensure the product meets your expectations. The first step is to exactly understand your ideas through communication. Then, we select suitable factories from our database to make sample products and send them to you. And refine the sample until you think it is OK.
Management of the entire sourcing process, minimizing your risks
Compared to local sourcing, purchasing overseas involves more risks. We have successfully helped 4000+ clients to source products from China. Many of them are customizing products in small quantities. Some of them are purchasing multiple types of spot goods with large order values like $500,000.
Sourcing multiple product categories is time-consuming and tedious. For each product type, we will compare the price quoted by dozens of suppliers, and choose several good suppliers for your confirmation. This smoothes your process of supplier selection. And we’ll check product quality for each category, and consolidate all the goods you require for shipping to your designated place.
For custom products, we not only simplify your process of supplier selection but also help you manage the entire custom phases from a product idea to a prototype and finished product. We’ll keep you informed about each supply chain link and ensure your order time and quality, minimizing your risks.
Want to source Chinese suppliers and products in an easy, cheap, safe way?
thanks for this info, it’s really helpful. im doing research right now on Xiamen Baily Garment and Chaozhou chuanghai intelligent technology.First time ordering from alibaba through them and just waiting for my stuff to be shipped (fingers crossed).
very useful and would like to know for free agent.
Thanks have learned alot, have gotten some skills how to deal with supplier’s
Thnx. Say need alibaba to verify a supplier for mi
Hello, Aginnela, what is the supplier’s link? Please offer the Alibaba link so we can verify the supplier for you.
Suppliers link yu mean the company name or his name
Hi Aginnela, I’m not very sure about what is your question. Do you mean that you want to verify a supplier? If you mean that, please send me the supplier’s link, thank you.
I found it interesting when you said that it is important to compare prices when buying supplies. My dad loves to help neighbors to fix any plumbing issues and he is always looking for spare parts to buy. I will recommend him to read this article so that he can be aware of what to look for when buying supplies.
Great write-up! I have learned a few things from your post.
Thanks for like our post! We’ll share more good posts with your support
Thanks for the knowledge, now I understand alot more about the manufacturers that list products on the Alibaba app. Common sense suggested that before I male the buy that it be best to order a small amount at first to che k the quality of the product, and when so many are listing, well It did confuse me at first, but discernment came to me and i went in to research whom may be the better out of all of theses suppliers, and infact ,I would have never imagined the factirs listed as to whom is the better. Your post… Read more »
Really appreciated your comment and compliment! We will try our best to create more informative articles!
now find the verified supplier on alibaba.com !(which called the assessed supplier in the past)
now find the verified supplier on alibaba.com !(which called the assessed supplier in the past)
I like the tip that you gave to get enough information about your product before you contact a manufacturer. My wife and I have been talking about finding a manufacturer to help us out if we will need them. If we do, I will be sure to look for one after we get enough information about our potential product.
I would like to find Chinese suppliers of ridgid drive chain systems, comparable with GROB Lineair jacks, or SERAPID Ridgid chain technology.
Thus ridgid chain systems for lifting or moving objects.
Please, forward this message to Alibaba company, or tell me how I can write or contact them, myself.
Thanks for your comment, if you want to contact Alibaba company, you can leave your requirement on this page-https://rfq.alibaba.com/rfq/post.htm?spm=a272k.8279922-en_US.ixbdpxss.1.63f84b66Jk9ybh&tracelog=newlp_value.
And the suppliers will contact you if they can meet your requirement.
I like the tip that you gave to get all of the necessary info about a product before you choose a manufacturer. My wife and I have been talking about finding a manufacturer if we were to start a business, and it would be important for us to know that we can do so effectively. If we choose to find a manufacturer, I will be sure to get all of the necessary info first.
Thanks for your concern, wish you good luck with your business!
Great article post.Really looking forward to read more.
very interesting points you have remarked, thankyou for posting.
Very energeetic post, I loved that bit. Will there be
a part 2?
It’s an remarkable article for all the internet people;
they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.
How can I find genuine micro SD suppliers on alibaba, I heard that many memory cards are fake on alibaba and they don’t have capacity, I’m scared to purchase from them , help me please
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am
going through issues with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.
Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that
knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!
Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came
to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use some
of your ideas!!
How about the supplier outside of china and listed on Alibaba as gold supplier. What risk are there and which payment method is safe for buyers.
Hi Natila, thanks for your comments. We’ve never done any research about the suppliers out of China on alibaba, but by my experience, these gold suppliers should be same like the suppliers in China that we talked in the blog. So the most important way to verify them is talking to them to see their services, no matter normal suppliers or gold suppliers.
can I just buy like three laptop and two phones and one wrist watch and can it be delivered to me in Nigeria
I like that you suggested asking the supplier that you’re interested in about the products that you’re desiring to buy so they can explain to you its features and benefits. This is something that I will be sure to remember because one of my friends is looking to find a cardinal glass supplier. She wants to end up choosing a supplier that’s knowledgeable of their products so she can find the best type of cardinal glass. Thanks!
Hi, I am looking to visiting China October/November this year. I want to source for
1. 100% Remy hair suppliers
2. Synthetic bulk kinky
3. Suitcases and traveling box
Do you help in these areas?
Hi Sandra, I suggest you to source these products first on alibaba.com first, to get quotes from many different suppliers, then talk to them to feel how is their service. When you come to China you can visit their factories in person.
Hi. We want to produce VR headset for smartphone with our own design. We have 3D files. They are all plastic. Now we look for a factory who makes mold and assemble all parts. If we type “plastic mold” then it is too much. By typing “vr headset Zhejiang” then it shows 56 suppliers but I am not sure if they are good manufacture or not. Any tip?
Hi Keith, we can help you with your design and help you find suitable suppliers. I will email you to [email protected] to ask you for more details about your product.
I’m looking for a leather manufactures, however I find most of them have pictures on their site that’s looks like it been copied… however all of them are gold suppliers.
How would I choose appropriate supplier?
And when I ask for sample products most of them charge me double the cost of what irs listed for, is that normal?
Hi Aram, it’s normal that many suppliers online have same styles, and are using same product pictures in their online shops. One way to check the supplier and quality is to let them sending you samples. Or you cannot know what their products’ quality really are. The price they show on product’s page are usually prices in cargo,if you only need samples first, they usually charge higher, but will return sample fee to you when you place orders to them.
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hi … i am looking for LLC in Panama city south america..any recommendation?
Hi joi, i’m sorry that we don’t have this information in hand right now, hope you can find one in other ways.
Nice site, please can you guide me on how to find chinese manifacturers to represent?
Hi Prince, what kind of products you are looking for manufacturers?
Can you help me to find good supplier on alibaba
Hi, I am looking for spy/hidden cameras, can you help me get one? I am have been searching in Alibaba and somehow I can’t filter suppliers from Zhejiang Province. All i get when I search supplier location is China Mainland. Is there something I am not doing right?
Hi Nate, you can follow this three steps to find spy/hidden camera’s suppliers from Zhejiang Province, China. First, open alibaba.com and search for “spy/hidden cameras”. Second, going down of this page, and you can see a column of “Supplier Features” in the left side. Third, click the little arrows at right of the works “China (Mainland)”, and it shows several Province options, so you can choose for Zhejiang. Here are the pictures for you to understand: First: http://jingsourcing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1.png Second: http://jingsourcing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2.png Third: http://jingsourcing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/3.png
i want to download “SUPPLIER LIST” for DC Ceiling Fans, how can i do it in ALIBABA?
Plz inform me who know this. [email protected]
Hi my name is Joe Frazier jr. I am looking to start a clothing line of active and casual dress wear. Do you have any good suppliers you recommend?
Hi Joe, clothing products are really not our strength, you can search suppliers from Guangzhou City, where many suppliers of women’s clothing are gathering.
I enjoyed your article. I’m interested in children’s clothes. Your article seems very knowledgeable and helpful!
Hi, we are looking to import toys and kids games from China to India, can you suggest few best suppliers with best quality with low price and what will be certification required for import toys & kids games in India. Your valuable feedback will be highly appreciable…
Hi Ajay, your question about supplier with best quality and low price is really complicated. If you are focusing on importing toys from China, I suggest you to visit Chenghai City in China (check our another blog: How to Import Toys from China: Complete Guide). Certification required for toys are ASTM F963 (US standard) or EN71 (EU standard), which claimed by Indian ministry of commerce and industry.
Comment…I need a hair supply
How about these Gold Suppliers on Alibaba, are they better suppliers than others? Because Alibaba always recommends me Gold Suppliers when i’m sourcing, but some articles said that Gold Suppliers means nothing, could you explain this?
Hi Tarune, Alibaba Gold Supplier means nothing. Even local Chinese supplier have to pay 29,800RMB(around US$40,000) annually, then they have right to upload products on Alibaba. All Chinese suppliers are Gold Suppliers, did you notice that? You can check on Alibaba right now.
Great share, i’ll try if your methods can be helpful.
Thank you, Ayub. If you have questions or need more help, just send us an email to [email protected]. Our colleagues and I will reply you in time.
HI do you know any good Suppliers for clothing both men and women? I’m looking for Suppliers that offers quality products in this field
Hi Darrell, sorry that we currently do not help to source clothing products.
I always get confused and dizzy when finding factories on Alibaba, too too many suppliers,crazy.
Aha. Yes, Farrukh, it’s true. There are too many suppliers under each product category, and if you are not specialized in importing one product category, and looking for new items often, then it must be quite a tough job to contact suppliers all by yourself. That’s why we start our sourcing service.