When it comes to importing from China, finding the right suppliers is critical. It determines whether it will be a good start of the entire procurement process or not.

After you have found out some candidate suppliers, you need to figure out which one is your right fit. There’s no one-size-fits-all supplier. That’s why you want to find a supplier that matches the portrait you draw in the groundwork for supplier evaluation.

So, what to look to verify suppliers in China?

1). Company background

Is the supplier legitimate?

Is the product compliant with importing country regulations?

Ask suppliers whether they can send you copies of these official documents like below:

Business license, Business registration, Certificates, Patents, and so on.

Check the company presence on the internet. Are there any reviews about this company online?

Can the company provide any references from their real clients?

2). Business model

Check the product range on their official website or other directories where you find them.

Do they display one niche product or multi-category products?

What products do they display in the eye appealing areas?

Is the business scope correspondent with what they are promoting?

3) . Supplier scale

Your desired supplier scale should match your business and order scale. Take a look at how they rank in different metrics.

Price level: Big scale supplier > medium scale supplier > small supplier

Quality stability: Big scale supplier > medium scale supplier > small supplier

Flexibility (design alternative, service in place): Small supplier > medium supplier > Big supplier

Lead time: Big supplier > small supplier > medium supplier

Bigger manufacturers have higher pricing because of the equipment and management etc. cost higher, for which reason they have more stable quality and fewer quality issues.

The flexibility for a big supplier is usually not good because they have a system in place. A big company have to follow the system and can’t change things easily and conveniently.

4). Is the supplier pro-active? 

How the potential suppliers are interacting with you can be seen as a signal for follow-ups.

Being pro-active before the order is placed doesn’t mean they will do it well in the entire process, but if they are not doing a good job at the first place, there’s little chance they will change after taking your money.

Are they responding what you are asking and what you care about?

Do they take it seriously to communicate with you?

5). Price, quality level, lead time

These are core factors you want to check whether the potential supplier can meet your baseline or not. Price can be the very one biggest factor that drives you to import from China. Good price is surely important but it is not the only factor. Try to look all aspects and judge based on their overall performance.

6). Are they professional?

The professionalism of product knowledge is a basis. Factory capability, product strength, R&D skills, market trends, and other knowledges are also important.

It is very difficult to find a perfect sales or supplier, but please pay attention to spot them and see whether they have good service traits. It will help a lot along the entire import process. The mindsets do matter.

7). Factory Visit

A face to face talk with the supplier in the factory plays a vital role. Apart from telling the good and bad of the supplier from virtual interactions by emails and calls, what the supplier performs in real life can give you a clearer picture, and help you better understand the actual situation.

If flying to China to visit the suppliers by yourself is time-consuming and not cost-effective, you can find a third-party sourcing company to help you with it. It can save you time and efforts.


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