Finding a Good Supplier to Import from China


If you want to start a business, there is no better way than to import from China. To do that, however, it is imperative that you find a good supplier. To do that, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make a list of Chinese suppliers – Look for those who can provide you with your product. Some good places to start include:
    • Made-in-China.com – This is a directory of Chinese suppliers It will give you product listings, complete company information, contact details, information on the company’s culture, and factory photo tours.
    • China Yellow Pages – This is an outsourcing directory containing listings of products along with provider website URL’s and contact details.
    • China.cn – Anoutsourcing directory with thousands of Chinese products. It gives you complete contact information for each listed supplier. It gives buying and selling leads, tradeshow information, and trading resources for buyers and sellers.
    • Analema International – A professional sourcing company with services like help finding suitable suppliers, help negotiating with suppliers, and quality inspections both during manufacturing and before shipment.
  1. Contact the suppliers on your list – Once you have a list of suppliers you feel will meet your needs, you need to ask questions and narrow it down to the one that is right for you. You want to ask things such as:
    • Client references – If the supplier is reputable, they should be able to give you client references. Make sure you check them.
    • Business licensing information – Working with a business that is properly licensed and in compliance with trade laws is imperative to avoid future legal issues.
    • Name and location of factory – If they can’t give you this information, they may not only not be reputable, they may be scammers.
    • Their experience producing your type product – Don’t just think about cost. Quality is equally important. The more experience they have producing what you want produced, the more likely the quality is to be high.
    • Request samples – Unless your product is unique, they should be able to give you samples. This will give you an idea of the quality of the product you are paying for.
  1. Negotiate a deal – Once you select your supplier, you can begin negotiations so you can begin to import from China. You should remember that Chinese culture and customs govern business interactions with Chinese exporters. Because of this, different negotiation skills and tactics may be required. When negotiation, keep these things in mind:
    • Relationships are the focus – Chinese do business with peopleā€¦not companies. Each negotiation creates a new relationship with the other person. Chinese suppliers don’t jump into a deal until they have had the chance to get to know you.
    • They don’t rely on legal practices, but moral influence – Chinese executives tend to rely more on our moral obligation, rather than your legal obligation. You still need to get a signed contract, but that should be secondary to building a trusting relationship. Each party needs to feel morally obligated to perform with or without the contract.
    • Hierarchy – Pay close attention to how executives address each other. You should follow their lead. If you shake hands with a low-ranking executive first or you call an executive that is high-ranking by his first name, it can hinder your relationship and affect their willingness to negotiate a deal with you.

Once you have found the perfect supplier and worked out a deal that is beneficial for both parties, you can begin to import from China. This is your first step to success in the import/export business.


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