Online Sourcing: Finding Suppliers in China & Asia

Covid has made it harder to visit suppliers, so sourcing good suppliers online has become more important than ever. In this article we’re going to cover 7 top tips for finding suppliers in China & Asia.

Tip 1 Alibaba 

Head over to Alibaba.com and sign up. 

The site lists millions of factories around the world for every product you can imagine. It’s also the biggest database of Chinese Factories & Global Suppliers.

You can quickly get an estimated price by searching for your product. There is huge variation in price and quality, so contact as many factories as possible to find the best deals for your products. 

You can also filter by country to select suppliers in different markets. It is a good idea to get costs in several markets to ensure you have the best possible price. 

Tip 2 Globalsources.com & Other Sites

Global sources is also one of the leading databases of Chinese & Asian suppliers. Sometimes it’s better than Alibaba, so I recommend using both.  There are many other sites specific to different markets too. I recommend searching for additional sites for your niche of product too. 

Tip 3 Magazines 

There are lots of sourcing magazines for every industry.

Global sources and HKTDC.com have great electronic magazines sharing many new products and suppliers. You can download them directly from their websites. The magazines sometimes show more new products and details then websites do – especially in the electronics or home product sectors – so they are a great way to get new product ideas. 

Tip 4 Trade Shows 

Another great way to find suppliers is to go to trade shows in Hong Kong and China. Right now most trade shows are cancelled but they will be back. And many are moving to online versions due to Corona. 

If you search Google you can find the dates and locations of upcoming shows. For example, in Hong Kong twice a year there are electronics, household, toy and other shows with 1000 to 6000 factories all in one place.

A famous show in China is the Canton fair which has 10,000+ suppliers across multiple categories. 

Look out for virtual tradeshows in the coming weeks. Again, these are a great way to find new products. 

Tip 5 Agents 

You can use an agent to find suppliers for you. 

There are American companies with Chinese offices, foreigners living in China who provide these services, and Chinese locals who can also source for you. I recommend testing them with one item to begin with and see how they do.

For recommendations on how to find a good agent, join the CashCowPro Facebook group. 

Tip 6 Importer Databases 

There are databases that show the factories used by major brands.

The problem is that often these factories won’t work with new clients unless the order quantity is large, such as $20,000 and upwards. You can check out Zepol and Piers for more info.

These databases cost $5000 or more to access, and you can’t always find the source factory using them. It’s better to use these services when you are a more established seller on Amazon. 

Tip 7 Buyer Services 

The sourcing websites mentioned earlier also provide sourcing services for buyers.

You give them your specification, and they look for factories that match your requirements. I recommend using these services in addition to doing your own sourcing. 

It may take 2 to 3 weeks to finalize a good supplier. Make sure you contact as many factories as possible and evaluate all the options.

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