In our last post, I introduced the main types of ways that you can find Chinese suppliers online. But the fact is the number of people who find products or find suppliers by coming over to China is much larger than just sourcing products online, such as using Alibaba.

Most importers, especially those who purchase large quantities, don’t trust suppliers from the Internet and they prefer to come over to China to talk to a manufacturer face-to-face and see their manufacturers, see the production lines, then they can decide if the supplier is worthy to start the business.

However, for people who haven’t been to China or haven’t purchased any product from China yet, it’s a big challenge for them to come here to find suppliers because there’s a big language barrier and cultural differences. And also they have no idea about which place in China they can go to find suppliers.

Visit the trade shows to Find Chinese Suppliers

Participating in trade shows is the best way to find suppliers offline. This is true for any business, as long as you can make purchases exceeding $500 or $1000 for a single product.

At Chinese trade shows, suppliers are usually manufacturers or trading companies. Many of them set a minimum order quantity of $500 to $1000 to make buying easier.

You may encounter many Chinese suppliers at foreign trade shows. But, they are only a small fraction of what you can find at Chinese trade shows. Chinese supplier find it costly to attend trade shows in other countries. This can lead to higher prices for buyers.

So, if you want suppliers with good prices or to explore more new Chinese products, go to trade shows in China.

In China, there are two main types of trade shows available for visitors.

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Comprehensive trade shows

The first kind involves trade exhibitions that encompass an array of product types. These events are designed for individuals, with businesses that operate across sectors or those looking to explore opportunities in industries.

In China comprehensive trade shows are not very common with the Canton Fair standing out as the most well known example. If you participate in the Canton Fair, which takes place in April or October you might not feel the need to attend any trade shows since it provides thorough coverage of different industries.

Another significant gathering is the East China Fair, which concentrates on a selection of product categories, like machinery, electronics, furniture and medical supplies.

Specific industries trade shows

The second type of trade show in China focuses on specific industries. Hundreds or even over a thousand of these events take place throughout the country. If your business specializes in a particular product category, these trade shows are for that industry. They are better for you. They are better for you than comprehensive ones like the Canton Fair.

Many trade shows are available. It’s crucial to prioritize the best and largest. Smaller events may not offer as many valuable opportunities.

Canton Fair

The top recommendation is the Canton Fair, one of the world’s largest trade shows, held in Guangzhou. Most major airports have flights to Guangzhou. They are direct. So, it’s easy to get to.

The Canton Fair takes place twice a year. It happens in April and October. Each session has three phases, each with different product categories. The fair’s fixed schedule allows for easy trip planning.

But, the Canton Fair has a disadvantage: there is a four-day gap between each phase. For example, if you want to explore electronics in Phase 1 and home products in Phase 2, you’ll need to spend about four days in China between the phases. If you’re also interested in Phase 3 products, your stay in China may extend to at least half a month.

Now the Canton Fair in 2024 is coming in, and everyone is looking forward to the Canton Fair 2024.

Canton Fair Complex
canton fair complex

Hong Kong Tradeing Fair

Besides visiting the Canton Fair in Guangzhou. You should also visit Hong Kong. It is good for finding Chinese supplier at trade shows. But, it does not host a fair like the Canton Fair.

Hong Kong hosts many trade shows. They cater to specific industries. This makes Hong Kong a top choice for many Chinese manufacturers. It is also a top choice for traders. Also, most visitors do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong for short stays. This is unlike mainland China.

Chinese supplier love Hong Kong trade shows. They attract many foreign buyers. The Hong Kong Electronics Fair is one of the most favored trade shows. It displays a wide range of electronic products. It happens twice a year. The spring edition is from April 13th to 16th, before Phase 1 of the Canton Fair. The autumn edition is from October 13th to 16th, before Phase 2 of the Canton Fair.

Hong Kong Gifts & Premiere Fairs

Another renowned trade show in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Gifts & Premiere Fairs, held from April 27th to 30th. This event strategically occurs during the three-day gap between Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Canton Fair.

Trade shows in the gift industry typically offer a diverse range of product categories, including electronics, toys, gifts, party products, and more. This breadth of offerings ensures that visitors have access to a wide array of products to explore and source for their businesses.

Mega Show

Another notable trade show in the gift industry is the Mega Show, which has gained popularity in recent years.

It’s a top choice among Chinese suppliers. It is on October 20th to 23rd. This fits in the three-day gap between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Canton Fair autumn edition.

Many popular trade shows in Hong Kong are timed strategically. They happen a few days before or during the gap between the two phases of the Canton Fair. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to apply for a Chinese visa. This lets you attend trade shows in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The shows are during the Canton Fair in April and October. In addition, the train ride between these two cities is quick. It takes only one hour. So, you can explore both places.

Other Trade Shows

Except for the Canton Fair and trade shows in Hong Kong, how can you find other trade show information in other cities in China? This post is a comprehensive China Trade Show.

Tips in Trade Shows

If you haven’t been to any trade show before, let me tell you what is the correct way to deal with the Chinese supplier on trade shows and start the corporation on business.

At trade shows, your main task is to view suppliers’ products. You do this to get their product catalogs and contact info. You can discuss product specs with suppliers at their booths. But, the key info to note is the minimum order quantity and price. For more details, you can ask the salesman to email product info to you.

After the trade show ends, you can stay in touch with the supplier. You will do this to negotiate the final price and quantity. In many cases, negotiating after the show often leads to lower prices. This is compared to ordering directly at the trade show.

If you’re interested in purchasing product samples, it’s advisable to wait until the end of the trade show. During this time, many suppliers are willing to sell their samples. They would rather do this than transport them back home. But, at the start of the trade show, suppliers may be reluctant to sell samples. They need to show them to other potential customers.

Visit the wholesale markets

You can’t visit China during the trade show or prefer to buy fewer products. But, you still want to finish the buying project during your visit. The best option is to explore suppliers in the wholesale market.

While your country may also have a wholesale market, those in China offer distinct advantages. Suppliers in these markets are either manufacturers or trading companies. They have direct access to manufacturers. They have this access through long relationships. Both types of suppliers can offer low wholesale prices. Sometimes, they are even lower than at trade shows or on Alibaba.

Wholesale markets are common in almost every city in China. But, most serve local small-quantity sellers and may not work for importers. So, I recommend focusing on the wholesale market in Yiwu or Guangzhou. These cities are renowned for their vast and reputable wholesale market.

Yiwu wholesale market

Yiwu Market China
yiwu market china

Yiwu wholesale market is famous for Yiwu International Trade City. It is the top place to visit.

It holds the largest wholesale market and has over 50,000 suppliers offering a wide range of product categories.

The market is open for all years from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. It only closes for about 15 days during the New Year’s holiday.

the market located in Yiwu City, Zhejiang province, is about 200 kilometers away from Shanghai. You can take direct trains or flights from most major cities in China to Yiwu.

The Yiwu market’s clients include 50% overseas buyers and 50% domestic clients. It’s a popular place for foreign importers from around the world. Many of these buyers have lived here. They ship large quantities of products back to their home countries each month.

One notable feature that sets the Yiwu market apart from others in China is its immense size. It spans about 5.5 kilometers and has 4 floors. It offers many products in every category. Visitors can move through the market. The store classifies products by section.

This market is a year-round Canton Fair. It’s a good choice for those who can’t attend the fair in person. Yiwu International Trade City has lots of choices of products.

Yiwu Market Sourcing Agent
yiwu market sourcing agent

In addition to the expansive Yiwu International Trade City, Yiwu also hosts numerous other wholesale market catering to specific product categories such as overstock items, machinery, and fabrics.

There is much more information to share about Yiwu and its markets. You can read the post “Yiwu Market China” for further information.

Guangzhou wholesale market

Yiwu wholesale market offers many products. These include apparel, shoes, bags, cosmetics, and watches. Focusing on these categories warrants a visit to Guangzhou.

Most such product manufacturers are near Guangzhou. The city has over 100 wholesale markets for these categories. Guangzhou has many markets. They offer more products and supply opportunities than Yiwu.

But, one notable challenge is that the Guangzhou wholesale market is hard to navigate. The city’s layout is decentralized. The markets are scattered throughout the city. This creates difficulty for newcomers trying to navigate. It can be hard to find the best prices.

So, before going to Guangzhou’s wholesale market, you need to do thorough research and prepare. Or, newcomers may need to spend extra time learning the market during their stay.

Like Yiwu, Guangzhou also appeals to many foreign buyers from various countries, they have lived in the city for years.

Seeking more information on Guangzhou’s wholesale market, read the following post.

“Guangzhou Electronic and Digital City”

“Huaqiangbei Electronics Markets”

What Markets are there in Guangzhou Wholesale Market?

Other wholesale markets

For cities other than Yiwu and Guangzhou, wholesale market typically specialize in specific industries. For instance, if you’re looking to purchase fabrics, the fabric wholesale market in Shaoxing Keqiao are your best bet. Shaoxing Keqiao boasts the largest fabric trading business globally.

Similarly, if you’re specifically interested in electronic products, the Huaqiangbei area in Shenzhen is the go-to destination. While electronic products are available in the Yiwu wholesale market, prices there tend to be approximately 10% higher compared to Huaqiangbei.

In summary, if you have a particular product category in mind, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research before visiting China. Determine if there are any cities in China with wholesale market specializing in your desired product category.

Some buyers prefer to source directly from original manufacturers to secure the lowest possible prices. They avoid dealing with sourcing companies or middlemen found in wholesale market or at trade shows. Instead, they seek out manufacturers who do not participate in trade shows or utilize platforms like Alibaba.

More wholesale market in China, you can read this comprehensive post. — China Wholesale Market Guide

Exploring Industrial Clusters

Chinese manufacturers producing similar products often cluster together in the same area. This clustering enables them to share common supply chains and streamline production processes, ultimately reducing costs. Additionally, locating in proximity to one another makes it easier to hire workers with relevant experience, further optimizing production efficiency.

How to find industrial clusters

Find Supplier On Alibaba
find supplier on Alibaba

To make sure the industrial clusters for specific products in China, research is essential. Let’s make cotton socks as an example. One easy way is to search for this product on Alibaba and filter by province to find the region with the most suppliers. Pay attention to the first word of each supplier’s name, which means the city or province of their location. If many suppliers are from the same city, we can investigate their real addresses. We will check if they are in the same industrial area.

If time allows, we recommend to visit these industrial clusters in person. These can allow you to explore more manufacturers with similar products. This first-hand experience can greatly improve sourcing.

Moreover, you can work with local individuals within the industrial cluster. They can guide you to discover more manufacturers for the products you seek. This method will take lots of time. But, it is the best way to find the original manufacturer with the lowest price.

Many large quantity buyers use this method a lot. This includes Chinese buyers. They may dedicate several weeks to finding the best manufacturer for a single product.

If you have any questions regarding the methods discussed for finding Chinese supplier Offline, feel free to leave a comment. Additionally, if you have alternative methods or suggestions for finding Chinese suppliers, please share them in the comments section. If you want to find online chinese suppliers, please read our previous post.


How to Find Online Chinese Suppliers

How to Do Product Research

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