How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Import Direct From Chinese Factories

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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!

How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Import Direct From Chinese Factories

Because labor is an order of magnitude cheaper in China, it’s in your best interests to source your goods from Chinese factories.

Today, I 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

Canton Fair

canton fair

One of the best ways to find Chinese vendors is by attending the Canton Import And Export Fair.

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.

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 you can easily find a 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 you can 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 they 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.

If you require an interpreter, you can easily hire one for a very reasonable price (100 yuan = 15 bucks for the day).

Going to 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.

Second of all, I’ve published my full itinerary and a complete guide to the Canton Fair below. If you plan on going, you can simply copy my travel plans.

Global Sources Tradeshow

Global Sources

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 you 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 you can 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.

The other key difference is that Global Sources provides a strong focus on education. During their show, they simulaneously run a conference that teaches you 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.

Editor’s Note: Here’s an interview that I conducted with the CIO of Global Sources if you are curious. How To Find Legit Chinese Vendors Online With Peter Zapf Of GlobalSources.com

What To Expect When Communicating With Asian Suppliers At A Tradeshow

negotiation

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.

The important thing to realize is that your vendor is just trying to be polite so you can never assume that anything is clear unless it has been thoroughly discussed.

Contracts Are Not Final

In the United States, contracts are considered final. After a series of negotiations, the final contract is supposed to represent an agreement and acknowledgment of terms.

In Asia however, a contract is almost meaningless. When I deal with Chinese vendors, drafting an official agreement can often seem like a waste of time.

We might spend a day negotiating and agreeing on terms and pricing only to have everything change the very next day.

For example, one time we drafted a written agreement for a large handkerchief order only to have the supplier contact us a week later to tell us that they couldn’t manufacture some of the items we requested.

On another occasion, a supplier tried to raise prices on us after the fact even though we agreed on pricing long ago.

The key takeaway here is that the definition of a contract is different in Asia than it is in the US.

Don’t expect a written document to be the end all and be all of your negotiations. In fact, I would argue that drafting an agreement is just the beginning.

Don’t Make Assumptions – Be Specific

Here’s a general rule of thumb that needs to be ingrained into your head when importing from China. Never assume that the vendor knows what you want.

If it’s not spelled out in a document, then your vendor will get it wrong or cut corners.

For example, we import plain white handkerchiefs and you would think that it would be straightforward to describe.

After all, it’s just a piece of fabric right? But one time we negotiated a lower price and the vendor sent us handkerchiefs with paper thin fabric.

Because we didn’t specify the exact thickness of the material, the vendor met our price by cutting corners on the fabric.

Bottom line, go through your samples and specify every last detail of what you want. Assume that any aspect that is not explicitly spelled out will be made incorrectly.

The Main Benefit Of Going To A Live Tradeshow

canton fair

Cultural differences aside, the key benefit of going to a trade show like the Canton Fair or Global Sources is that it allows you to make face to face contact with a large number of vendors and establish real relationships.

This is invaluable! By going to the fair, you can easily meet hundreds of factory owners in just a few days.

In fact, your relationship with your vendor is one of the key components to your success and face to face contact is essential.

For example when my wife and I first started our business, we communicated with our suppliers solely through email.

And many of these vendors didn’t give us the time of day until we physically visited them in their home country.

The difference was night and day and the overall demeanor of our suppliers changed once we met them in person.

Miraculously, our product quality improved and they became eager to help us out with special requests and designs.

The other thing to keep in mind is that most of the vendors who attend the tradeshows do not have a web presence so it’s next to impossible to find them otherwise.

While it can be intimidating to travel to China and attend the fair, it’s well worth your time. If you plan on going, then check out my itinerary!

The Online Directories – Alibaba And Global Sources

Chinese Directories

If you are unable to travel to China or Hong Kong to attend the tradeshows, the next best way to find Chinese vendors is to use an online directory like Alibaba or GlobalSources.com.

Alibaba and GlobalSources are search engines for Chinese suppliers and you can instantly have access to tens of thousands of vendors at your fingertips.

Here’s an example of how easy it is to find a vendor using Alibaba.

Simply type in what you are looking for in the search bar and Alibaba will return a bunch of suppliers, prices and minimum order quantities.

alibaba

By clicking a button, you can then send the vendor a message and establish contact. Here’s an example script that I use when contacting suppliers for the first time.

Hi “vendor name”,

My name is “name” and I’m a buyer for “store name”, a store in “your country” that sells “the products you want to carry”. We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.

Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability for the following items

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

If you could send us more info as well as your product catalogs and MOQ requirements we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,
“your name”

Once you’ve established contact, you can ask for samples, place orders etc…

In addition, Alibaba offers a service called trade assurance which acts like an escrow service so you don’t ever get scammed.

Sounds easy right? So what’s the catch?

The biggest caveat is that this process can take a while and communicating back and forth with suppliers requires patience.

For example, the time it takes from initial contact to obtaining samples can easily take weeks.

In addition, the language barrier can make communication challenging because you must describe exactly what you want to manufacture via email and live chat.

The other key difference between using a directory like Alibaba versus going to a tradeshow is that services like Alibaba tend to contain a lot of middlemen.

Because there is such a low signal to noise ratio for vendors on Alibaba, many of the higher quality suppliers don’t list themselves in the directories.

For example, none of our primary vendors advertise on Alibaba or Global Sources.

But that being said, as long you can make a profit with your suppliers, then that’s all that matters!

The Main Difference Between Alibaba And Global Sources

The two biggest online directories for Chinese suppliers are Alibaba and Global Sources. But there are some key differences between the two.

First off, Alibaba has many more supplier listings than Global Sources but it comes at the cost of quality. In my experience, there’s a lot more noise on Alibaba.

In general, Global Sources has a more involved vetting process which allows them to attract higher quality vendors.

In addition, I’ve found that the MOQs (minimum order quantities) for Global Sources vendors tend to be much higher than Alibaba as well.

But bottom line, your mileage will vary depending on what you want to sell. Give both services a try and see where it takes you!

Panjiva And Import Genius

panjiva

Most people are not aware of this but every single shipment imported by sea is documented on the public record. And if you search this public record, you can easily find out where companies are sourcing their products from.

There are two main companies that allow you to conduct import searches for a monthly fee, Panjiva and Import Genius.

By typing in a business name, Panjiva will tell you every single sea shipment that company has made, where the shipment originated from and the manufacturer.

For example, here’s a sample bill of lading from The North Face that I obtained from Panjiva for free.

bill lading

Crazy right?

So if you see a product online and you want to make something similar, you can easily find out where it was made and reach out to the exact same manufacturer!

What To Expect When Importing And Manufacturing Your Goods In China

cargo ship

While importing your goods from overseas is the best way to obtain quality products at rock bottom prices, there are several logistical issues you have to work out in order to be successful.

Below is a brief overview of what to expect when importing goods from overseas along with some tips on getting your goods to your warehouse.

First off, here’s what you should expect…

Long Lead Times

Most overseas vendors won’t even begin making your products until you actually place an order and put down a small down payment to cover the cost of materials.

Depending on the nature of your items, expect to wait anywhere from one to four months to get your products manufactured.

Very rarely will a vendor carry inventory and most goods are made to order so you must plan ahead.

When we order linens for our online store, the lead times are typically 3 months long so we always have to predict our demand way in advance.

A Large Minimum Order

If you are ordering products to be manufactured overseas, expect to place a fairly large minimum order. Every manufacturer will have their own MOQs(minimum order quantity) but don’t be embarrassed to ask before ordering.

If you are just starting out, make sure that you obtain samples first and validate that your product will actually sell BEFORE you place a large order.

These days, I rarely purchase less than 300 pieces of any new product but you can often negotiate lower minimum order quantities if the vendor believes that you are a serious customer.

Payment Terms

Most manufacturers expect to be paid by wire transfer. Also, you usually have to put down some money upfront(usually 30%) to cover the initial costs and then pay the balance once the items are ready to be shipped.

If you are worried about fraud, there are escrow services like Alibaba trade assurance that will facilitate the exchange of goods and services.

But in general, transactions go much faster when there’s mutual trust between you and your vendor.

For example, we pay for all of our orders via wire transfer and our vendors don’t make us put up the initial 30% down payment.

However if you are just starting out, don’t be afraid of wire transfers. If you are apprehensive about sending your money overseas, consider asking to pay by Paypal instead.

Some vendors will accept Paypal if you cover all the fees but don’t count on it.

Quality Control

Quality control will often be an issue and you have to be very specific in telling the vendor EXACTLY what you want. In general, it ALWAYS pays to hire an inspector to inspect your goods at the factory.

After all, once your products get shipped to you, there’s not much you can do if you receive defective merchandise.

For the price of around $300, you can get a statistical sampling of your shipment directly at the factory and know what percentage of your goods are defective.

Catching manufacturing issues at the source will save you lots of headaches. It also keeps your vendors honest.

Below are some of the more popular inspection companies.

Language Barriers

Many vendors in Asia do not speak English very well. But as long as you restrict your communication to email and live chat, things will go much smoother.

Most vendors are able to read English much better than they can understand the spoken language. As a result, ask to communicate with your supplier via WeChat and Skype.

Preparing For Your Shipment

boxes

Once you’ve ordered your products and they are ready to be shipped, there are two main ways to get your goods into your home country, by air and by sea.

But before you initiate your shipment, make sure you ask for the following documents from your vendor. These will be required in order to clear customs.

  • A Commercial Invoice – The declared value of the items
  • A Packing List – What you are importing
  • A Detail Sheet – Outlines how the products are manufactured so customs can determine the duty classification
  • Bill of Lading – A legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried.

Note: Are you unsure which shipping method to use and how much it will cost? Do you want a good estimate of your real landed cost of goods? Click here to use my free import calculator

Shipping By Air

Shipping your items by air is by far the easiest option but also the most expensive. Expect to pay between 5-6x more to ship by air versus shipping by sea.

Personally, we use DHL for all of our international air shipments. Our vendors all have accounts with DHL and shipping with them is a breeze because they take care of everything.

Basically, the vendor provides DHL with all of the materials mentioned above and then DHL transports all of your goods directly to the address that you specify. You do NOT need a customs agent!

If this is your first time importing goods from overseas, you will be contacted by customs to provide your social security card or a company id number. Have this information handy once your goods have shipped and you are all set.

DHL will also send you a customs bill so that you can pay any and all duties associated with your imported goods.

Shipping By Sea

Shipping by sea is a much bigger headache but totally worth it if you are importing a large volume of goods. As mentioned before you can easily save between 5-6x compared to shipping by air.

The key to accepting shipments by sea is to hire a good customs agent. This is absolutely required especially if this is your first time importing by sea.

Do not try and do things on your own unless you know exactly what you are doing. This is what the customs agent will take care of for you.

  • Customs Documentation – They will take care of any and all documentation required in the entire process
  • Customs Entry – They will take care of getting your goods from the port directly to your office
  • Customs Duty – They will take care of calculating and billing you for any duties associated with your goods.
  • Customs Entry Bond – You are required to buy a bond that acts as insurance with Customs in the event you should default on the customs duties. Your customs agent will take care of this for you .

Of course all of these services come at a cost. Right now, we are using a company called Toll Forwarding as our freight forwarder and customs agent.

For our last sea shipment, we paid about 1800 dollars to transport over 6100 pounds worth of goods to our warehouse and the whole process took about 3 weeks.

To give you an idea of the difference in price, shipping a 35 pound box via air courier costs about $170 which makes it cost prohibitive for large shipments.

In general, it makes sense to ship your products by sea if your shipment exceeds 200lbs in weight. The tradeoff of course is time.

Whereas sea shipments can take over 3 weeks to arrive, shipping by air typically takes 3-5 days.

Conclusion

Because the cost of manpower is so much cheaper in developing countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam, it makes sense to source most goods from Asia.

Any product that requires a lot of labor to assemble like textiles and electronics can often be purchased at a fraction of the price.

As a result, you should definitely consider importing from China as a sourcing strategy. With higher margins, you can focus more of your dollars towards marketing and customer service.

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107 thoughts on “How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Import Direct From Chinese Factories”

  1. DaddyWorkFromHome says:

    I use Alibaba and purchase my goods with a fair number of Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ).

    I purchase some very high-end goods and assemble them here in the States and then place them online on ebay and make a tidy profit (not millions, but OK). I shot for high-end niche merchandise that is my hobby and instead of sourcing it here Stateside, I went Alibaba (China mainland or Hong Kong) and do very well with that.

    1. Steve says:

      @Daddy
      Alibaba is great if you take the time to go through and contact each vendor, request samples etc… But going to a tradeshow will save you a lot of time. I know several people that use Alibaba with mixed results.

      1. Brittany Osborne says:

        Hello,
        I’m trying to find a good wholesaler in China for my Boutique and Monogramming Vinyal business. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to find vendors without google. All I get on Google is US whole company’s but they’ve marked all the merchandise up so it’s hard to sale to make a decent profit. I’ve been to Atlanta, GA for whole sale but haven’t been able to find any outside that area. HELP PLEASE! I love this article and I’m hoping one year soon I will be able to plan a trip to this event. Any advice on buying / searching wholesale would be greatly appreciated!
        Thanks in advance!
        Brittany

  2. Marshall says:

    Would have loved to meet up. I live in Shenzhen and was at the Canton Fair Phase 3 as well. I find that if you can pull together an order for even just $5,000USD~ the smaller factories will be willing to give it a shot. I’ve done some direct sourcing and it is much better and cheaper than dropshipping. Of course you do need to warehouse and have the logistics in place!

    1. Steve says:

      @marshall
      We actually visited Shenzhen as well for fun. Maybe next time I should send out some mail to see if readers want to meet up. I just assumed that no one was going.

    2. Jessica Downes says:

      Hi,

      I am opening a new womens fashion boutiqu. Looking to spend about $5000 to start up with. Can anyone recommend any wholeseller I can purchase from?

    3. Natalija says:

      Marshall, would you share some info regards logistics once you made the purchase? I would like to go to a fair and make an order but the logistics are my concern. Thanks

    4. Robert D. Farren says:

      I am looking for help buying factory direct from china. I need help fast, very fast. I have an order 65K – 85k (CIF shipping). Too many “China” everthing websites and people to contact.

      If you can help, I would gladly compensate for your time.

      Thank you.

    5. Robert D. Farren says:

      I am looking for help buying factory direct from china. I need help fast, very fast. I have an order 65K – 85k (CIF shipping). Too many “China” everthing websites and people to contact.

      If you can help, I would gladly compensate for your time.

      Thank you.

      1. K. Thompson says:

        Anyone interested in attending the first phase canton fair in China in April.email @ kvtt3075@Yahoo.com

  3. Jason Chiu says:

    Steve, thanks for giving us aspiring entrepreneurs such a candid and insightful view into the world of trade shows in China! Your write-up couldn’t come at a better time for me. I’ve been working on creating a franchise for a premium children’s furniture line, and I’ve booked my first overseas trade show in Shanghai in January. Despite all the pre-show planning from making appointments with factories, to planning my route using the show floor plans, I have to admit that I’ve been a little bit nervous on what I should expect being that I can only speak Cantonese (which doesn’t), and have never been to Shanghai. Thanks for the tips (e.g. rent-a-translator, etc), you’ve instilled a little more confidence in my upcoming adventure!

    1. Steve says:

      @Jason
      Awesome! Good luck at the show. I don’t think that most of the vendors will speak Cantonese there but I’ll bet you’ll be able to get by just fine with English. If not, just grab a translator! Should be a fun trip for you!

  4. Cynthia says:

    Is Worldwide Brands really a good deal? It seems like I’m paying for the same info/vendors that I can get on Alibaba.com for free?

    1. Steve says:

      @Cynthia
      Worldwide Brands is a different beast than Alibaba in that they specialize in light bulk and dropshipping vendors. WWB has already gone through the effort of screening out only legitimate vendors and have an elegant interface to search for them. Alibaba is for finding vendors in Asia. If you are having good luck with Alibaba, then stick with it. But if you are looking for lower volume merchandise, then WWB is probably better and much easier to use.

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Canton Fair – How To Buy Wholesale Direct From Chinese Factories | MyWifeQuitHerJob.com -- Topsy.com
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  7. Tom says:

    Wow, what a great article! Thank you for sharing this information. My wife and I have always wanted to visit the canton fair, but I am not sure we could justify the costs involved with travelling so far away. I was also concerned with the language barrier, but from what you mentioned this is not as large of a problem as I had thought. I would have to say I have been one to find factories via Alibaba, but I rarely use it any longer. I have had my bad and good experiences with Alibaba. Without alibaba, initially I would have never been able to find the factories so easily. Recently, it seems the factories fortunately find me through our website. I would like to caution all who place orders through alibaba. You could receive and be stuck with a very poor quality product. Don’t ask me how I know.haha I have also noticed many “factories” on alibaba are actually only trade companies. Some of these trade companies are charging a hefty fees and may even be located within the USA or elsewhere outside of Asia. In other words, they are drop shipping container loads from the factory to you! But trade companies can also benefit you if they have modest fees and high quality control.

    Anyway, in order to help me make a decision on whether or not the expense could be considered a wise investment, could you please share the costs of you and your wife’s trip? If so, please break down the expenses as best as possible. Such as airfare, hotel expenses, transportation expenses while in China (subway, taxi, other airfare, etc…), meals, and unforeseen expenses. I believe this information will help us make a decision on whether to visit the show in the coming spring or fall.

    Again, thank you for your post. My wife and I are jealous and cannot wait to explore the Canton trade show, visit with factories we have dealt with for years, and have a little fun travelling to the tourist spots.

    Tom

    wwwAHIdistribution.com

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  12. Micaela says:

    Thanks for introducing me to the Canton Fair! Last week, my husband invited me to accompany him on a qtrly business trip to Beijing. As I considered how best to spend the time while he’s in meetings, I revisited the niche research that I began a month ago before I was downsized from my corporate marketing position. As luck would have it, I literally Stumbleupon your site the other day, and here you are giving me a great way to optimize the time overseas!! The trip is 3-4 wks from now and may not coincide with Phase 3, but at least the timing is perfect for me to sketch a short-term and long-term sourcing strategy. Attending the Canton Fair may be very ambitious for next month, but I definitely will consider going in Spring 2012.

    Thanks so much for bringing this into view for me, Steve!

    1. Steve says:

      @Micaela
      Yeah the Canton Fair is incredible and easily the largest fair I’ve ever attended in my life by about 10X. You should definitely check it out if you get a chance.

      1. joe says:

        hey can you email me @yousif.said@aol.com

  13. Paige says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for this gem of an article. Lately my hubby and I have been thinking of opening an online store, but without any knowledge of how to source the products.

    After reading your post we’ve decided to do some test runs with suppliers from websites like Worldwide Brands. However, we are so excited about the Canton Fair already. It sounds really exciting. Plus we need a holiday 🙂

  14. Bear River Insurance says:

    I had the opportunity to visit China a couple years ago. I can’t believe what you can get there and for how cheap.

  15. sandra says:

    We are planning on attending the Fall Canton Fair this year, any recommendations on good translators? Do most of the booths have English speaking personnel?

    1. luisa says:

      Hi Sandra, I am planning to go this year too, and it is my first time, so please feel free to send me your email and we can communicate and help each other if we find useful information. About the english dont worry most speak and you also can download a translating applications. The one I have is free it is call “Translate voice”, it is amazing. I am leaving Sep 22 and staying 40 days.

      Best luck and please dont do not hesitate to contact me,
      luisafolmos@gmail.com

  16. rhona says:

    thank you for this article! i was wondering if we can attend the canton fair if we don’t have any business? we are just planning to have one that’s why we want to go and scout for potential business. thank you for the reply.

  17. Joshua says:

    Going to Canton Fair for the first time this year, very exciting just want to hear some experiences you have had and tips about dealing with the vendors and the event.

    Any info would help, looking for a good group of people to meet up with there as well.

    Best,

    Joshua

  18. roxy says:

    I found your article so helpful are there any more trade shows like that that are geared more towards fashion development? and maybe some that I can attend that are sooner I dont want to wait till may. thank you

  19. Steven W. says:

    Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to say that this was an awesome Article. I am currently 20 years old, and am searching diligently into opening up an online business and pursuing this line of work. I had started my first business at age 15, and stopped it at age 19. The hunger of being an entrepreneur does not stop. I have been eagerly searching for factories located in Asia that can supply my company with goods, and this has been a great read for me. I would love to have some one-on-one chats with you and learn a bit from you; just some common stuff. Thanks again for the insight on this, I will have to attend this show sometime in my life.

  20. Lin says:

    I stumbled on your site while searching for more info regarding the Canton Fair in China. I’ve been there 2 times but in the Bejing area. I currently wholesale several products but would like to go more direct with companies in China that make jewelry and scarves, etc. (women’s accessories) I don’t know what session to attend ~ I think it would be phase 2. If anybody has any ideas and hints to make this trip less stressful and more informative on how to go about everything please let me know as I’m always looking at how to expand my business.

  21. Hazeleyes says:

    Hi
    I really liked your article ,i am also amom of two and always wanted to do something and at same time wanted to give the kids proper attention si never went out to lok for a job ,recently i started to sell small things on an online auction place and since then have been looking for ideas what to sell.I really wanted to go to the canon fair this year with my family but i was just worried because taking kids might not give us what we are looking to get from the fair.do you know do they have any facilities over there for the kids or will we b able to suceed from the fair with the kids,hope you get what i am trying to say.Also we wanted to get ideas of what to sell were focussing more on phase 2 and phase 3 ,will you please advice that if we want to buy small quantities of few items to try which is the best place ? Can you please help or give ideas as which items will be best to make profit on?

  22. Natalie says:

    Hi! Nice article you’ve written. Do you know by any chance a vendor who is fair trade in hair weave or extensions?

    Thanks!

  23. ekta says:

    Hi, thanks for such a gud article, pls advise if children are allowed in the fair .my three yr old will accompany me and if pure vegetarians will hav any problem in finding food thr.
    Thnks

    1. Kanika says:

      Hi Ekta,

      Did you end up going to the fair with your 3 years old? I am also planning to travel with my 2 years old? Can you please share your experience?

  24. Faisal says:

    Hello Steve!

    Do you think the exhibitors/suppliers attending the Canton Fair are all legit? Like I started an advertising business recently and looking for potential Chinese suppliers for my products which I sell. I have gone through alibaba.com, globalsources.com and few others but doing a bit of research on Google shows me all of these sites had mixed outcomes for importers as most scams also use these sites. So, should I completely “trust” the suppliers mentioned on the Canton Fair sites? (cantonfair.org, cantonfair.net, cantonfair.org.cn).

    1. wayne jameson says:

      need name brand shoes and purses are knock-off please contact Wayne Jameson59 gmail.com

  25. Basil says:

    Hi,
    I can only appreciate the great advice. I am planing to travel to this trade shows in China, make contacts and if possible purchase electronics and house goods for sell in Africa (Cameroon). Do you have any Idea on how to ship to Cameroon from China. Secondly any ideas on accommodation for the period of the trade shows (say 2 weeks)? Any recommendations will be appreciated.

  26. Bev Bradley says:

    I can well recommend the Canton Fair. Everything on here is true, it is an enormous buying opportunity.
    You can organise everything yourself or take the strain out of it all and book through ourselves.
    Happy trip!

    Beverley Bradley.

  27. Lily says:

    Hi Steve,

    Could we purchase products directly from the exhibitors at the Canton fair?

    Thanks.

    1. jack says:

      yes you can!

  28. Esther says:

    Im really interested in attending the carton fair I also have afew products to exhibit and after that export from China Kindly advice on how to go about it.

  29. 11posmeuae says:

    From any type of companies or any product the the owner of the company the new in
    market they should by the items in bulk in wholesale the person who bought the item for business the product should be bought in bulk so the minimum rate will be assign for the product.

  30. Amir says:

    Hey,

    I Will be visiting phase 3 of the canton fair this coming month and had some questions.

    1. Do you think i need to be there for the entire phase 3 or is doing 2-3 days out of the 5 suffice?

    2. You mentioned it was a 2 hour train from HK. I’m staying in Kowloon so that seems great however someone mentioned to me with the travel time from HK to the train, waiting for the train, going through customs, then from Guangzhou station to the fair can be about 4 hours one way, is this true? If so i was thinking maybe i should double book and get a hotel in Guangzhou for phase 3 but i would like to avoid this additional expense being my hotel in HK is already paid for and non refundable.

    3. I am a clothing company looking to bring my own patterns for manufacturing. I already have a invitation from a factory that I have been working with previously. Do I need a badge to enter the fair? Do I need to register online to be an attendee?

    Thanks for the insightful advice and the open invitation to contact you.

  31. bill shen says:

    Dear all,
    Do you need interpreter, sourcing consultant, liaison officer with your suppliers and you, quality control staff in china for your purchasing? i would like to do it for you at a reasonable price.

    Thank you again and best regards,

    Bill

  32. Jon says:

    Great article, but I wouldn’t commute from HK!! Just stay at one of the hotels next to it (Langham, Westin) so you can be fully fresh. In fact you can pop back to your hotel room for lunch and to rest your legs.

    Oh, and they all seem to speak english in my experience. And if they didn’t would you want to work with the supplier anyway?

    Hope that helps!

  33. Nasser says:

    Thank you Mr.Steve for this great article
    I just wanna Ask you in one thing about what you’ve been said
    of the beginner saler should start with dropshipping and/or a light bulk wholesale vendor how i can find the light bulk wholesale vendors
    i hope you please replay me coz i was for the one who will guide me to start
    of my small business of T-shirt and clothing
    thank u again and im waiting for ur replay ^_^

  34. linkpromotions says:

    Thank u for sharing this wonderful information and We distribute wholesale promotional products, custom logo products, printed promo items, corporate promotional gifts at the best price in Australia.

  35. Cory allred says:

    I am looking for nice quality hoodies , sweat pants, joggers, tshirts, and button up flannels in bulk. I need good quality trying to start clothing line. I do silk screening so was looking for a supplier in China can anyone help???????????

    1. jACK says:

      Hi, we are the high quality clothing suppliers on the Chinese side hope to have the opportunity to mail in touch with you

    2. luisa says:

      Hi Cory, I am going to china for 40 and I will be looking for a factory with similar characteristics. feel free to contact me I can help you giving you information of vendor that I find.

      luisaolmos@gmail.com

  36. A.J. says:

    Hi Steve, I wanted to thank you for the information, it is very helpful! I do have a couple of questions i was hoping you could answer for me….I sell AUTHENTIC brand name items such as (just to name a few) Beats, The North Face, Ugg Australia, etc… Does the Canton Fair offer these items? and if so, are they Authentic? Also, would i find wholesale vendors on the WorldWide Brands website that offer authentic items such as these? I am interested in a membership but i do not want to waste my time or money if they do not offer what i sell. Thank you very much, A.J.

  37. daron whitfield says:

    Did you find any quality wholesale hair distributors??

  38. Ryma says:

    When it comes to dealing with China we should have a prospective business.We should always deal with the company directly. I know whole sale products are not always good but sometimes they are very valuable.

  39. wallis says:

    HI I NEED HELP,
    THESE WILL BE MY FIRST TIME IN CANTON FAIR IN OCTOBER. IM PLANING IN STAYING 20 DAYS . COULD YOU HELP ME ADVISING ME HOTELS WHERE TO STAY?. IM LOOKING LESS THAN 75 DOLARS A NIGHT, AND IT HAS TO BE CLEAN AND WITH A WINDOW.

  40. shubh says:

    I would like to know what product we could buy …. any prefences plzzzz

  41. shubh says:

    And yes is it good to buy gadgets like mobiles ????and sanitary goods plzz suggest me something …

    1. Johan says:

      Canton Fair, created a B2B website where all suppliers from the fair are available online. thus, it is no longer necessary to visit the fair to a trustworthy purchase.
      The sourcing can be done on that page, you just have to register and obtained direct access to the suppliers of the fair. here the URL http://www.e-cantonfair.com

  42. Tara says:

    Hello

    Does anyone know any reliable Lace wig manufactures. I will be supplying my own supply of hair.. so just need a company to make the wig to spec?

    Thanks
    Tara

  43. Yonela says:

    Hi there, I have a clothing store and want to grow in the business and I’m in china guandzhou at the moment, to buy clothes from the markets. but I would love to buy from the factory direct and create my own brand please advise.I am original from South Africa. Thank you for showing us that it’s possible. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards Yonela

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  45. ricky says:

    it does not tell people. that canton fair management is greedy and just want money to give badge which you need to do on site. they just do not want to approve any one badge on website. you need whole day or night to sit front on computer and wait for their website link to be work. the only part people i hate is to get the badge. suppliers are awesome inside and get sources. personal i hate canton fair management. they also have people standing outside of convention center to sell badge. so beware of that and make sure you have extra money out of your budge. so you can pay for nonsense badge.ohhhhhhhhhhhhh

    1. blyne says:

      Yeah I agree with you. We used to go to fairtrades but for the last 5 years, we made a very good strategy to save us a lot of money and efforts.
      Now every 2 months we are in China and can buy good quantity for quality and price. Trade fairs are definitely one way of meeting suppliers, but far from the best.

  46. MBH says:

    HI, I organized the trip in phase 3, 30 Oct to 6 Nov, interested in the cleaning cloth. But I think I made a mistake, the cleaning cloth is in phase 2. You confirm or my choice is right?

  47. Gyan Raj Khatri says:

    Great article,Really inspired be a lot and I am thinking of coming China as soon possible. Can anyone give me contact number of china vendors?

  48. Pingback: How To Find The Best Products To Sell Online – The Ultimate Step By Step Guide
  49. Maria says:

    Very interesting article and comments. I am a small fry trying to do some online business. Not in the league of going to the Canton Fair. You are extremely knowledgeable and would appreciate your advice. I would like direction as to where best to buy, in small lots, cellphone accessories, etc. to resell online. Maybe later I would love to be in the position to visit the Canton Fair. Right now I am at the bottom of the totem pole.

  50. kossi says:

    Dear Sir

    Can you handle a project to supply any of this product Drilling Pipes and water pipes or T-shirt,Carpet Backing, Laminating Machines,safety boot,Hospital equipment, Led Light.

    With Regard

    Mr KOSSI

  51. Michelle says:

    Any travel advise. I’m looking to go to the next canton show for hair factories .. Looking for as much information as possible!

  52. Danielle stallings says:

    Hello I’m interested in buying wholesale about 10k worth I have a small boutique that is going great and I want to expand my business can someone please email who is the best wholesaler in China to go through. I’m planning a trip in October to go to China to visit if all goes well but I need this asap. Thanks

    1. Lizzy says:

      Hi, please I want to go into clothing 100% human hair and shoes. Please can you tell me how to go about it?

    2. alex says:

      i am a chinese, what’s products do you want to buy ? I think i can do some help for you , we have much experience in buying for customers. you can contact with me , my skype is focuslighter

      1. farjana akhtar says:

        i have furniture and fabrics with home decor business
        i need to know about genuine supplier about related this product.

    3. Grace says:

      there are many wholesale markets in china for the women fashion, for sure you can find the right styles

    4. Adewunmi says:

      Good day, am working with a Chinese man that is into Cargo from China to Nigeria he has been in Nigeria for 5 to 10 year and always help people buying from China and have it delivered to Nigeria. To get more info about him or to start using our cargo service call me 08118618804.

  53. Pingback: Canton Fair – How To Buy Wholesale Direct From Chinese Factories | Saver6 Magazine
  54. Angela says:

    Hi there,

    I’m not too sure if you can help me but my husband and I have a manufacturing business here in nz where we manufacture wiring looms for trucks and trailers. We currently import some of our parts from China through Alibaba but we are wanting to travel to China to buy in bulk. We are unsure of where and how to start. Are you able to help with this at all please?

    Thank you
    Angela

  55. Sivakumar says:

    Hello Sir,

    I’m planning to visit Canton Trade fair this October. I’m not sure if its really necessary. I tried to use Alibaba but i see that lot of suppliers out there are not trustworth and make fake supplier accounts. With my digging so far I checked out the e-cantonfair.com website which looks more trustworth i guess. And to my surprise I see that lot of suppliers listed on canton fair seems to accept L/C payment terms which i rarely see in alibaba.com (never remember seeing one). So if the suppliers listed here at e-cantonfair.com are trustworth the I can see the trip to the trade fair and buy with some confidence directly. If you or anyone can share your thoughts on this it would be really appreciated.

    Thanks again
    Siva

  56. Gabriel Lance says:

    Thanks for sharing your information with us.

  57. ANGELA-PHILIPPA AMEH says:

    Dear Sir, BLESS you for this timely information on the canton fair particularly for greens as I embarking on international business on a small scale with growth expectations. I’m interested in going into the shoes, bags, clothing, household as well as any other that could be in high demand in my country Nigeria with a minimal amount. I seek your advise, do I start with the canton fair in onto – November for goods purchase!? Thank you.

    1. Bolanle Abudu says:

      Hello,I am also from Nigeria,a young business woman. I am planning to visit China in April for clothes, shoes handbags etc I was wondering if you eventually went to China as you planned,would love to ask you a few questions please oblige me and send me your email address please
      Thank you

      1. Adewunmi says:

        Good day, am working with a Chinese man that is into Cargo from China to Nigeria he has been in Nigeria for 5 to 10 year and always help people buying from China and have it delivered to Nigeria. To get more info about him or to start using our cargo service call me 08118618804.

  58. Pingback: The Best Way To Find Vendors And Suppliers For Your Online Store
  59. Nadya says:

    I am looking to go to china to find vendors for clothing and hair .

    1. JOSS says:

      Hello, I am a Chinese manufacturer and wholesaler. I hope we can have further exchanges and cooperation. This is my e-mail address: 1750340503@qq.com; Looking forward to your reply, I believe we will cooperate happily

    2. sahil says:

      hi nadya i am also plane go to china to find vendors for clothing

  60. JAN says:

    Hello, I’m a Chinese manufacturer and wholesaler. I hope we can have further communication and cooperation. This is my email address: 345178127@qq.com; here is my WhatsApp account: +86 18613172812. Looking forward to your reply, I am sure we will cooperate happily

    1. Karthik S says:

      can you please throw some light on how do B2B apparel suppliers like “Hanes” source clothes and supply them to other retail apparel companies like Banana Republic and so on.

    2. Masompe m mweba says:

      hi Jan my name is Masompe from Zambia I want to start ordering things from you….

  61. Siphokazi says:

    I am looking to go to china to find vendors for clothing,handbags,shades and weaves 100% human hair.

  62. Samir jung thapa says:

    I am thinking of opening an good online store and market directly in my country nepal capital city colleges for students.So can you give me a run down and hook me up with someone to attend this fair next time.Thanks//

  63. Pingback: How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Import Direct From Chinese Factories - Your Topstore Finest E-commerce solutions
  64. Thirith neov says:

    Hi
    I want to have an online sales business, selling to Cambodia. Where should I find products and what company can help to ship it to Cambodia and help with my own page?
    Any products that can supply from the company?

  65. Sanja says:

    You can go to Alibaba.com to search the Beauty product.
    I am a oversea student studying in LA and start up my online selling business 2 years ago.
    I start with the Bath bomb but it isn’t went well because the supplier provide bad quality and they speak really bad English therefore I search for another one, but this time I earn thousand USD in a month (isn’t that much I know but a student who just start up a business is huge) and by the good quality and good reputation. I earn more than 5 thousand USD by purchase other product like beard oil, herbal vagina whitening cream and sell it on amazon&ebay. For these want to know the supplier I have been use, you can search Oscarspa on Alibaba

  66. Louis Li says:

    Hi There,
    we are a Chinese manufacturer and wholesaler in Hotel Amenities, Facial mask, body care, hair care and facial care area.
    We hope that we can have further communication and cooperation with people who want to find the right supplier with good reputation and with absolutely NO Language Barriers as most of our employee are study aboard before so that they will easy to understand what you need.
    By knowing how to respect our customers and provide the fast respond, we will offer you the most friendly and satisfy service ever.

    Please free feel to discover our amazing service experience with the best quality product and reasonable price.

    Regards
    Louis Li
    Email: bodycare02@oscarscosmetics.com
    Whatsapp : +852 5132 3636
    We are Looking for you! Cheers!

  67. Aziz says:

    I am looking for linen and hospitality supplies

  68. Sidney says:

    I already live in china for 2 years constintllyngoing ti many shows and update my suppliers, it’s not easy and competition is big so prices and quality ranges from edge to edge… though luckily some clients like personal judgment and attention to details so they let me shop for their needs with full trust.

  69. Fernanda dias says:

    I’m looking from a company that can manufacture fashion T shirts .

  70. Loranny M. says:

    Never write reviews but thought I’d say that your website has been incredibly helpful. I’ve been doing turns in my head about starting and online business focusing on home goods but I had no idea where to start. I know people that have successful online business but as you may know not many like to share any tips… anyway I will definitely look into this trade show and other recommendations. Just a random question: how much did you invest and how much lose your first year. I’m one of those that scared of investing so much money and I’ve heard whenever you start a business you may not gain much the first year. Thanks!

  71. Melvin says:

    I want to go into clothing and Brazilian hair….. How do I begin?

  72. Melvin says:

    How do I get a supplier?

  73. sisanda says:

    i want to buy staff online but i need to speak to some via whats up

  74. Original Sourcing Pro says:

    After going through your post, I found it useful how we find the wholesale suppliers while importing products directly Chinese factories. It’s also nice to know how one can exploit the fairs and sourcing tradeshows because they really are a good source to fulfill one’s needs.
    Thank you for posting…

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