Reliable Chinese Suppliers
Top 5 tips for Finding Reliable Chinese Suppliers "the easy way".
This article is really a head start for beginners or those of you who may have had an unfortunate experience while engaging with suppliers online from a remote location. I'm hoping below offers some valuable tips on finding reliable Chinese suppliers. So what's it all about?
Having reliable supply partners is not just a good thing to have, it's absolutely essential. When you deal with or want to deal in buying products from a manufacturer or a trading company in China then when it boils down to it “reliability” will be a keyword. The responsibility in choosing those suppliers rests with us as buyers, business owners and entrepreneurs. So finding reliable Chinese suppliers, how do we do that the easy way? I apologise it might be a bit misleading to say “the easy way”! We all know nothing comes super easy but what we can say is you can make it a lot easier by following a few rules and best practices. Ensure you are bringing risk to the lowest level you can and pumping up your chances of success to a high level with inevitable success. Makes sense right. Where do I start?
Pretty much all first timers and plenty of old hands use B2B sites like Alibaba.com, globalsources.com where you can find an endless amount of products of which there are a myriad of suppliers. You can communicate with these suppliers instantly using messaging tools and email. Get information quickly like product prices, pictures, e-catalogs etc. So far so easy right? Well yes and no, we need to be a bit more systematic about what it is we are looking for in a potential supplier and digest that before getting into a conversation that can take on a life of its own. Trust me I've made the mistake, it will serve you far better in the long run to make some clear assessment on the information in front of you.
Take Alibaba the most popular of these B2B sourcing from China sites. When you click on a supplier ideally what do you want to see? For a start…
A Company profile which isn't just fluffy business speak. It doesn't matter too much about the quality of the writing but it's nice to see companies talk about when they formed, who is the president, and what they are passionate about.
Images of factory or offices along with real people (often the sales guys & girls). It's nice to see images of workers together and company signage on the factory gates or buildings. It helps you to at least understand that this is a real company with a real address.
Video explainer about the company and what they do. Sometimes these are hit and miss and it is understandable if companies don't have one as it can be a bit of bother and expense to engage. However if you do see one look for a genuine connection between the video and a company or people. Anyone can get a video of a large printer or CNC machine working away nicely.
Gold Membership while this status can be paid for it is still encouraging to see a company keep this membership up for 5 years +. It's better to have your shortlist of suppliers tick this box.
Trade Assurance support is a free service for buyers and suppliers from Alibaba.com that is designed to create trust between the buyer & seller. Trade Assurance covers buyers on Alibaba.com with 100% payment protection with their selected TA suppliers. You will be covered if:
- Your products are not shipped on time as per the contract with your supplier.
- The quality of your products is not up to the standard as per the contract with your supplier.
This is a really good start to a much greater list worth addressing, if you are struggling to tick the boxes on above, then don't worry that a really, really attractive price is being listed. It won't exist.