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Tips for Finding the Right Suppliers on B2B eCommerce Sites


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Finding suppliers shouldn’t happen as a clichéd practice of trading. Some importers do not apply ideas to find the reliable suppliers due to many reasons. Lack of information is one of them. The guiding tips in this piece of writing will prove helpful in several ways.

Most of the importers deduce to an idea of buying only at Alibaba.com, which is world’s largest online B2B trading platform. However, to let you know, there are similar popular B2B online marketplaces as well, which include Global Sources, Made-in-China, everychina and China.cn.
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For each product category in these websites, you will find numerous suppliers, which could be a rare combination of problem and opportunity altogether. Opportunity, because you will have a thousand of suppliers to choose from. And the problem is because you are confused to find the suitable supplier for yourself.

That’s why here comes the blog to help you pick the top-grade supplier for your business. Follow on to know the useful tips and tricks for the same.

  1. Research & collate relevant information about the products
  • Right keywords & related searches – key to getting clear results
Are you using the right keywords for searches? For example, you might be searching “Vacuum Bottles” on an online trading platform, and the results would show products with same or similar tags. It may happen that you are unable to find more products because of using a limited phrase or wrong phrase. For instance, the “vacuum bottles” may have been a word associated with particular suppliers, and on the other hand, there may be an availability of “Sport Bottles”, “Outdoor Bottles”, and so on. Therefore, you must explore for such keyword phrases that direct you to a number of suppliers. As a result, you can scan through more products to find the desirable ones.

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  • Reduce the supplier list by identifying the product manufacturing locations
Generally, a China buying agent who has a familiarity with buying from Chinese suppliers know that the most commonly used products are manufactured in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. Wenzhou Ningbo, Yongkang, Jinhua and Suzhou are among the popular cities for production. Apart from these provinces and cities, if you are finding any other party claiming as a supplier, just know that they’re not manufacturers, but traders. Moreover, their unit price would be comparatively higher than that of the actual manufacturers.
 
In Zhejiang, you can find a massive number of suppliers as compared to those in Jiangsu. Practically, there are more trading companies in Jiangsu that buy products from Zhejiang and sell them at 10-20% higher rates. Though Jiangsu traders may claim of providing higher quality products, that isn’t true at all! The cost of materials and labor in Zhejiang is far cheaper. Not just that, you would find only excellent quality products at cheaper rates from Zhejiang suppliers. So, if you are given an option to choose between Jiangsu and Zhejiang, go for the latter.

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  1. Know your requirements and choose the manufacturer/trading company accordingly
You may have already known the traditional dialogue of “Demand & Supply”, and this is what matters the most. What is the actual demand for your product? How big is your market? Knowing that a product is simple and easy to produce, the manufacturers are aplenty in China for the same.
 
You now have to take a decision on buying from manufacturers or trading companies based on the order quantity. Basically, if you have a higher order quantity, suppose 2000+ number of bottles, then you must choose the manufacturers since they have an MOQ (minimum order quantity) policy. However, if you have an order quantity of 200-500 units, then you should go for a trading company.
 
To choose the best trading companies, you will need to verify the company’s name and address. Next, you should look for precise product details available on the B2B eCommerce site and if it isn’t there, skip it. The trading companies may offer a myriad of similar products that you need, hence, you should check for the same.
 
While searching for manufacturers, it would be better if you take the help of a professional China sourcing company who can get you the right products at the right prices. This cuts down the never-ending research you were to get indulged with.
 
  1. Stronger communication for effective trading/sourcing
Obtaining a long list of suppliers is easy, but scanning through them and picking the right one will need you to perform some steps. Communication would play a key role here. You’ll be able to decide on a supplier for your chosen product based on that.
 
Therefore, check the following suggestions for taking a decision:
 
a)   Product description and details from professional suppliers
 
Do you know the product well? You may or may not. But, you can seek pertinent information from the suppliers on that. Generally, the suppliers would be enthusiastic to provide such information and would do it willingly.
 
b)   Ask questions to check the supplier’s authenticity
 
You already know how important it is to understand a product, its features and other details before you place an order. Since you will be making an investment, the scale and scope are much higher than buying a grocery product at a departmental store. Thus, you should ask variable questions to the supplier to verify if they’re qualified enough or inexperienced traders or suppliers.

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c)   Check how many years the supplier has been the member of the B2B eCommerce sites (Alibaba/Globalsources/Made-in-China etc.)
 
Normally, longer membership means better quality and more professional. Small suppliers are always knocked out from the market within 5 years. If possible, you’d better choose a supplier with longer membership years. 5+ years will be good.
 
d)   Compare both supplier and price
 
Yes, that’s hugely important. You can’t deal with an inexperienced supplier who offers a lower price because it might create certain issues later. Rather, go on partnering with professional traders who offer the products for a bit higher price. At the same time, you should ignore the suppliers who quote higher prices as compared to that of the traders. If your order quantity is high, you’d better choose a manufacturer.
 
No matter you choose manufacturer or trader, you need to order samples to check the quality and do testing before placing large orders. Check the product quality and check the certificate of the products such as CE, ETL, UL, REACH, ROHS, CA65 etc.

 
Hope these guiding tips prove beneficial in choosing the right supplier for your business.