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How to Source Products from China

When you think of sourcing from China, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Take a flight and flying to China to find a factory?

Here I give you some suggestions about sourcing products from China


Alibaba is a good place to search the products and source products from China. In fact, Alibaba it’s called Chinese Amazon. Founded in 1999, Alibaba had more than 960 million active customers while close to 1.3 billion businesses.

When start searching for suppliers, you should create your Alibaba account. The next step is to go to “Sourcing Solutions” where you need to supply with your request for quotations by filling in with the relevant details. These details include:

• Keywords of products is most important- Put few keywords related to your product that might attract the attention of some suppliers. On the other hand, if you have a complex product, using specific keywords can help attract the attention of those who do manufacture the product.

• Detailed product description as more as possible- Give the exact description of the product you want,always include the size, materials, descrition and other request.

• Quantity- The more the order quantity, price will have big different. If the order quantity iis low, suppliers will be not showing interest.

• Pictures- good quality photos also important too . Take more angles to give suppliers a clear pictures of what you are looking for.

Source products from China in Alibaba
Source products from China in Alibaba


1688 is owned by Alibaba too. The difference about is as an Alibaba alternative, is that suppliers on 1688 cater to the domestic Chinese market.

Why does that matter?the quality standards in China always lower than those found in the most western countries. So, suppliers on 1688 always producing lower quality and lower price products.

Another issue is that almost of the suppliers on don’t have export licenses. This means that they can’t ship products outside China by legally way, and will have to deal with an intermediary company who have the export license. This adds extra costs and complexity to the supply chain.

Finally, the website is entirely in Chinese language. The suppliers usually can’t speak English, because they are only cater to the local market. The language make difficult to communications, unless you happen to know Chinese.

On the other hand, 1688 can offer some benefits. First, you can find some directly Chinese suppliers that you are not find on Alibaba. However, their products may not be a good fit for those markets. Prices can be very low, as suppliers are very willing to survive on wafer-thin profit margins.

Overall, I am really not recommend 1688 for most businesses sourcing products.

Source products from China in Alibaba
Source products from China in

3. Canton Fair

This is the largest trade show in China and is held twice by yearly and covers every industry. There are three phases of the trade fair:

Phase 1: you can find building materials, chemical products, machinery and electronics,toys etc…

Phase 2:it is about gifts,home decor,  and consumer goods.

Phase 3: deals with stationery,office supplies, health and premium skincare products, textiles, shoes and medical products

The entrance is free and you can check the samples which suppliers bring to get an idea of the quality. You can check the products quality and negotiation the price in the booth,also always will have many new items display in the booth.

The Canton Fair is a good choice to find good suppliers.

Source products from China in Contain Fair
Source products from China in Contain Fair

4.Global Sources

Global Sources has more than 45 years’ experience in international trade. They offer an online directory of suppliers similar like Alibaba.

What’s the difference between Alibaba and Global Sources? Overall,almost of the quality of suppliers on Global Sources are higher than those on Alibaba. They often have good experience in the export market, so they’re more likely to understand what’s your needs. In fact, many big customer  use Global Sources as part of their sourcing strategy.

On the other hand, the suppliers on Global Sources expect more from you. Normally they will ask about your company’s background and your purchase volumes. They want to see if you are the right fit for the business. So, sourcing from Global Sources always take more initial works to build trust and get thorough replies from the suppliers.

Many suppliers listed in Global Source’s online directory also exhibit at their offline fairs too, which will adds to their credibility.

Source products from China in Global Sources
Source products from China in Global Sources
Source Products from China Market
Source Products from China Market

5.Yiwu Market

Where is Yiwu market? Yiwu market is located in Zhejiang Province, which is close to Ningbo Port and Shanghai Port.

Yiwu is really a multicultural city. It attracts many foreign procurers who come here every year to develop their businesses. Yiwu also has more than 14, 000 foreign businessmen from over 100 different countries who reside there.All of them come to Yiwu for the biggest wholesale market in the world, which is “Yiwu Wholesale market”.

Here, you will find a wide of products there.There’re more than 70, 000 booths in this market exhibiting with different products. Yiwu makes more of a huge fair instead of a market. And what distinguishes it from all the other open fairs is that Yiwu market always is open all year round, except new year holiday.  

In the Yiwu market, you can find suppliers with a various of products. Suppliers are from all parts of China. And their factories maybe not in Yiwu, but from the surrounding cities of Yiwu such as Shaoxing,Wenzhou or farther, like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc.

But all of them are concentrated in the Yiwu wholesale market for sales. This makes easier for customers at home or from abroad to make centralized purchases.

Sourcing Products from China, Yiwu Market
Sourcing Products from China, Yiwu Market

Above small tips hope can help you sourcing goods from China more ealier.

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