Suppose you come up with an idea of certain products which you have market channels, and you want to find a supplier in China because of the low product development cost and low production cost there. 

If you Google the product name, you will find tons of China suppliers. However, it is difficult to choose. Many people get frustrated because they have been communicating with suppliers in China for months, but fail to move forward. The reason, most likely, is that they did not find the suitable one at the beginning. To successfully find a suitable China supplier, you need a strategy. Below are some practical tips to find a suitable Chinese supplier for you.

1. Understand what you need. You need to first know what is available and have a way to categorize the information. For example, if you need to import products in a narrow range, you may choose a manufacturer other than a trading company. If you are a small business and need dedicated attention, you may want to develop a good relationship with a small or medium sized supplier.

2. Use search engines to search information related to your product name. The first 50 results would be the most relevant websites related to your products. You can also find your competitors’ information and develop a better sense of market segment and marketing channels.

3. Use popular business directory websites to obtain very structured information for Chinese suppliers. The directory websites are also good resource to obtain industrial knowledge.

4. Narrow down the list of suppliers to a manageable amount. At this stage, you may already know what your real needs are and what is available. Initiate contact with the suppliers you want to work with, and further develop relationships with them. Eventually, you will find the one. If you feel the process is complicated, you may use a professional sourcing agent to assist you.

Analyzing the types of suppliers will help you to understand where you are, what kind of results to expect, and what are the things you need to take care of in the mutual cooperation. You may want to have an experienced person help you to analyze the information. You may seek advice from Chinese professionals who understand the Chinese mentality, culture and business practices. 

5. Visit the Chinese supplier in person is the most reliable way to truly know its capabilities. You can check the factory organization, process flow, quality of products, assembly and packing lines, facility, workers’ training level and overall working conditions. These will give you an indication of how the company is managed. A face-to-face meeting with the supplier’s management team will also give you an idea of their experience and willingness to embark on your project. You will also be able to create a friendly relationship, which is crucial for your project.

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