When it comes to finding products to sell online, your profit margins are amplified by how low you can drive your sourcing costs down.
For example, the typical retail markup for an online store is 4X. As a result, for every dollar it costs you to source an item, you need to charge 4 dollars!
On the flip side if you can shave a dollar off your costs, then you can potentially mark down your prices by 4 dollars or pocket the extra profit!
Because labor is an order of magnitude cheaper in China, it’s in your best interests to find China wholesale suppliers and import direct from Chinese factories.
Today, Trendsville Media will teach you where to find China wholesale suppliers and what to expect when importing direct from Chinese factories.
This post will be broken down into 3 sections
- Where To Find China Wholesale Suppliers
- What To Expect When Importing From China
- How To Prepare Your First Shipment
We Know Where to find the wholesale Suppliers in china as we have our officials on ground at attend the Canton Import And Export Fair and other trade fairs in china.
The Canton Fair is held in GuangZhou, China twice a year (Usually during the end of May and the beginning of November) and is one of the largest sourcing shows (if not the biggest) in the world.
It easily trumps any trade show in the US and it’s so large that they have to split it into 3 phases.
The first phase covers electronics, the second phase covers consumer goods, gifts and home decor and the third phase covers textiles, garments, shoes and office supplies.
To give you an idea of the magnitude of the fairgrounds, the Canton Fair is equivalent in size to 218 football fields. Crazy right?
Now if you’ve ever tried to find a Chinese vendor or factory using an online directory like Alibaba, you probably know how time consuming it can be and you probably wont get the right answer.
There are many companies to go through and it’s hard to gauge product quality by just looking at photos online.
In addition, language and cultural barriers can make communication challenging over email and text.
The best part about the Canton Fair is that it’s a place where suppliers and factory owners from all over Asia congregate and we easily find vendor that either carries what you want to sell or can make what you want to sell.
In addition, all of the vendors bring in samples of what they make so touch and feel all of the merchandise first hand before committing to a purchase.
Most of the suppliers at the fair are used to dealing with American and European companies so we have the experience and infrastructure to export products to wherever you live.
The other good news is that a good number of these vendors speak English…not good English mind you, but enough to communicate at a basic level but we are here to translate and better their communications with you.
You don’t need an interpreter, we are always at your service to serve you better.
Attending the Canton Fair sounds intimidating but it’s actually not that bad and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as you think.
First off, the Canton Fair is free to attend and the cost of living is much lower in China than in the US, we will attend for you.
Similar to the Canton Fair, the Global Sources Tradeshow is another gigantic fair where factory owners from all over the world congregate twice per year.
What’s nice about the Global Sources Tradeshow is that it takes place just BEFORE the Canton Fair in Hong Kong so we can easily hit both shows during the same trip!
While the Global Sources show is not as large as the Canton Fair, there are a few key differences that make the Global Sources show a must attend event.
First off, while there is some overlap with the Canton Fair in terms of suppliers, many of the vendors that attend the Global Sources tradeshow are unique.
Because Global Sources is a search engine for Chinese vendors like Alibaba, they also have a gigantic searchable database of manufacturers that establish contact with prior to attending the event.
In addition, Global Sources contains a much larger contingent of suppliers in certain key categories such as electronics and fashion accessories. So if you plan on selling anything electronic, Global Sources is the best show to attend and source for you.
The other key difference is that Global Sources provides a strong focus on education. During their show, they simulaneously run a conference that teaches us how to run a successful importing business.
The content of the event is fantastic and they invite successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from all over the world to speak.
But perhaps the best part about the Global Sources trade show is that there’s a very low language barrier!
Unlike China, everyone speaks English in Hong Kong and it’s generally much easier to get around as a result.
My advice if you decide to travel all the way to Asia is to attend both the Global Sources show and the Canton Fair during the same trip. Canton is only a 2 hour train ride away and it costs $30.
Contact Us on more information on Both Fair and if you are interested in attending.
Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace
The Yiwu wholesale market is one of the largest wholesale markets in China where we find a variety of different products at really low prices.
Unlike China wholesale tradeshows like the Canton Fair or Global Sources which only occur twice per year, the Yiwu market is open everyday of the year except for certain Chinese holidays.
What’s also different is that the Yiwu marketplace is literally a place where one can physically walk away with goods that are ready to sell or have them shipped directly to your warehouse in bulk.
In other words, many of the goods are off the shelf and ready for sale.
In terms of products, you can find a bunch of suppliers that sell everyday goods like handbags, textiles, accessories, watches…basically commodity products that can complement goods that you already carry in your shop at really low prices.
It’s also important to note that the wholesalers at the Yiwu market are not manufacturers. Instead, most merchants in the market are trading companies or small retailers.
One thing that you have to be aware of is that one may find fake or knock-off brands at the Yiwu market so we are very careful when sourcing Yiwu Market.
In general, none of the products at Yiwu will have a brand and any “well known brand name” that you see there will likely be inauthentic.
Overall, the products at Yiwu tend to be cheap, commonplace items that you can use as upsells or cross sells for your existing portfolio. They also make great items for a free plus ship offer or a giveaway.
What To Expect When Communicating With Asian Suppliers At A Tradeshow
Running our online wedding linens business for the past 10 years has required me to deal with many vendors across China, India and other parts of Asia.
And I’ve discovered that working with Asians is a lot different than working with Americans or Europeans:) Here’s a short list of what you need to be aware of when dealing with Asian suppliers.
Expect A Language Barrier
The key thing to keep in mind when communicating with Chinese suppliers is that they probably studied English in school.
They might not be able to speak or understand English that well, but they can probably read it much better than they can listen.
So when you are visiting your vendors, it helps to have everything written down or typed in English. If you go in there and start blabbing away, chances are that the vendor will only be able to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation.
They might nod and go “uh huh”, but in reality they probably have no clue what you are talking about.
The same goes for taxi drivers and directions. Have someone write everything down in Chinese if possible and if you have to speak, speak slowly and enunciate every word.
Expect Cultural Differences
One of the main cultural differences between the US and China is that Chinese people tend to be non-confrontational.
For example, Chinese vendors will rarely correct you, interrupt you, or let you know that they don’t completely understand you.
It is part of their culture to be polite and accepting. But if you are not careful, this one simple cultural difference can cause you a ton of grief when placing orders.
The biggest obstacle to overcome is that you might think you are communicating when in fact you are not.
For example, I could be discussing something with my vendor and they might be nodding and acknowledging everything that I’m saying but then turn around and do the complete opposite once the conversation is done.
The key is to ask direct questions and make sure that there is no misunderstanding. Ask, clarify and reiterate all of your points as many times as necessary and be sure to write everything down as well.