Conduct preliminary research on the Internet
Unsurprisingly, the Internet is the perfect place to begin your search. You should use it to conduct preliminary research and get an overview of what kind of supplier options are available.
You can do a quick Google search with keywords such as “suppliers in China”. Remember to narrow down the keywords with any specific types of suppliers you need. For example, “clothing suppliers in China”.
Browse B2B websites
Popular B2B websites and business directories provide plenty of supplier options. You should visit websites such as:
The key is to remember there are a number of B2B websites and business directories out there, but not all of them are legitimate. Deal only with trustworthy and credited websites. In addition, you should ensure the suppliers are verified.
Talk to trade organizations and business chambers
Another great source for finding suppliers and additional information are your country’s trade organizations and business chambers. These organizations can provide you contact details and establish first contacts in the country. You can find them by searching for “[country] business chamber China” or “[country] trade organization China”.
Make a phone call
In order to avoid being traced by law enforcement authorities, most scammers do not provide genuine registration information online. For example, they will provide a false company address, telephone numberandfax number, or persuade buyers to contact them by mobile phone only.
Visit the company or factory in person
This is the best way to verify your suppliers – you can’t know much about an organization unless you visit it. You can also discuss your products, prices, quality inspection, and delivery time face to face. However, it would be impossible for you to go visit every potential supplier you have in mind, so go through the earlier steps outlined in this article, and narrow down your selections before making the decision to visit their office or factory in person.
Conduct factory audits (or at least pretend to)
Tell potential suppliers that you’ll have their factory audited before any Purchase Order is issued, and later their production inspected before any shipment is authorized. Mention it right away in your first encounter or email. If the supplier refuses or looks flaky, it’s a red flag!
Find a Chinese local business to help you. The local men know how to check the supplier, some special business manner is unknown by the foreign ones, once you have a local guide, all your business work will be easy.
Ask for references
Don’t be shy about that. To verify the supplier’s financial credit worthiness, ask for their bank’s reference letters. To check up on the supplier’s track record in producing top-quality items, ask for their previous customers for reference.