China has received good and bad press in the media for its supply of cheap products into western markets.
There has been a concerted campaign to persuade people to move back to domestic suppliers and not send economic advantage to China.
But, what is the truth? Is it best to source from close to home or is it a good idea to access Chinese Suppliers?
The biggest advantage for buying from a domestic supplier is the speed of delivery.
However, there are a lot of downsides.
You will not get the same level of choice from domestic suppliers and it is possible you may not find what you want.
You will be expected to put in a minimum order, which may be beyond your comfort zone when starting out with a product.
It is not always possible to private label with domestic suppliers and you are likely to need business status to trade with these companies – though this is not always the case.
Although there are no customs issues – you are likely to pay a higher price with domestic suppliers.
There are some huge advantages to dealing with Chinese suppliers.
First, the products will be cheaper and there will be a low minimum order. This means you can get started with a much lower outlay of cost.
Then, you are going to find the product you want, as there is so much choice and there is no need to have a business status – meaning again you can start small and build.
Third, you will find private labeling easy from China suppliers– which is a major factor in most success stories.
The problem is that you will have to wait longer for the products to come. There is a danger that your research that prompted the purchase may be out of date by the time you make your product listing.
It also makes management of your inventory just that little more complex. Also, you may struggle to bring some products into the country due to custom issues – or get charged a lot to bring the product through customers.
Last but not least, you will make sure the manufacturer that you choose is liable. This is why you may need a business license lookup specialist to help you verify if the China supplier you working with is legal and liable.
Website #1: https://www.alibaba.com/
Alibaba is one of the world’s biggest suppliers for online commerce. It handles more business than any other eCommerce company.
It is based in China and has three websites – Taobao, Tmall and Alibaba – and have many millions of users. It also hosts millions of merchants and businesses.
In short, most people that have any connection with selling on Amazon are more likely to buy from Alibaba.com.
Learn more about from our article: Alibaba Review: All You Need To Know Before Sourcing
Website #2: https://www.aliexpress.com/
Aliexpress is not the same as Alibaba, even though Alibaba owns Aliexpress and are using it to extend its reach beyond Asia and challenge the likes of Amazon and eBay.
Aliexpress offers quality products at factory prices in small quantities. Alibaba tends to trade with those people who are reselling in large volumes.
Website #3: https://www.made-in-china.com
Made-in-China was founded in 1998 – so has a history in supplying B2B services and products. It is seen as the leading third-party B2B e-commerce platform in China.
The vision of the company is to bridge the gap between global buyers and Chinese suppliers. It offers 27 categories of products, with 3600 subcategories.
Website #4: http://www.globalsources.com/
Global Sources facilitates trade with Greater China.
The company works for business to export source – particularly in the area of electronics and mobile electronics.
The core business of Global Source is the facilitation of trade between Asia and the world using its English-language media base – both at trade shows and online.
Website #5: https://www.dhgate.com
dhgate.com offers millions of quality products to businesses at wholesale prices. They offer up to 70% off normal marketplace prices, offering a decent amount of profit for Amazon retailers.
Some note that the number of named brands available at dhgate.com do not match others but it is a site that is the easiest to use – with prompt delivery and good service.
Website #6: www.zentrada.eu
Zentrade.eu is one of the biggest European sourcing platforms for consumer goods.
It allows independent retailers to succeed by offering new ideas for products. The site encourages aggressive assortment strategies and more flexibility on pricing
It offers 400 thousand articles coming from over 500 importers, manufactures and wholesalers.
Website #7: www.koleimports.com
Kole Imports has traded since 1985 – so almost pre-dating the internet.
They are a family business based in Los Angeles in the US, and is one of the largest direct importers of general merchandisers. They also specialize in wholesale variety of goods and closeouts.
They claim to be committed to the profit of the customer and sourcing the products you need. They import directly from the manufacturers overseas and sell on to wholesalers and retailers.
As well as the website, they visit trade shows across the US showing the inventory they offer. Kole Imports exports to over 100 countries worldwide.
Website #8: www.closeoutfortune.dollardays.com
Closeoutfortune.dollardays.com offers wholesale and better than wholesale prices – mostly in the US but also as a global entity.
It offers one of the biggest assortment of items available for purchase. It offers potentially high-value items at the lowest prices.
The company caters to a diverse market – trading with non-profit partners, schools, small businesses and e-sellers.
The site works on being the most convenient way to source your products – they call themselves the secret weapon of small businesses but seem most proud of its work with non-profit making organizations.
Website #9: www.alltimetrading.com
Alltimetrading.com is a wholesale marketplace.
It offers everyday merchandise – the small things we use each day in high volume. It also offers apparel, closeout deals and seasonal bulk products.
Unlike some of its domestic competitors, the alltimetrading.com website offers a section of hard-to-find merchandise for those Amazon traders who believe there is a market for these products and can market them for a high-value mark-up.
There is a minimum order set at 1 case per product. The trade on the website it swift and advertised products are sometimes bought out in total by merchants – therefore, you won’t be charged unless the stock is confirmed.
What this also means is that you should visit the site regularly to make sure you get the best deals.
Website #10: www.mxwholesale.co.uk
Mxwholesale.co.uk is the leading supplier of pound shops.
This gives you the idea of the sort of discount and daily merchandise that it specialises in. The company supplies over 40000 UK-based customers and many others around the world.
The site offers the cheapest prices and the biggest range of products for wholesale clearance merchandise.
It also offers pallet deals for those willing to purchase items in greater volumes.
The best thing about this site is that they have scrapped the minimum wholesale order and it is possible to buy in cash from the company if you visit the showroom and warehouse.
Website #11: www.thewholesaler.co.uk
The Wholesaler UK is a free-to-use online directory, it only lists verified UK-based wholesalers. It was established in 1999 as a means of helping retailers who are looking to stock to resell.
There are hundreds of suppliers listed on the site, which are organized under different categories.
They only list those suppliers who hold stock in the UK and at quantities that are appropriate for retailers.
What is most useful about this website is that it offers information about each supplier – providing all the information you are likely to need at a glance.