When you finish the product research and decide what products to sell, then the very important step is to find a reliable suppliers in China to make your products because China has the best environment for making good-quality products, but at a very low cost.

Of course, you don’t need to come over to China market to find suppliers, there are still a lot of ways that you can find them through the internet. You might be familiar with Alibaba, a massive platform with countless suppliers, making it challenging to determine who to collaborate with. The process can be complex, and for many beginners, the minimum order quantity (MOQ) is often too high, making it unsuitable for everyone.

Now, we will introduce and also help you review all the methods available for finding Chinese suppliers online, not just only Alibaba.

All these methods can be utilized by businesses of any size, whether they have a modest budget of around $100 or belong to the middle to big size category with budgets exceeding $100,000.

DHgate

If you’re operating a small business or looking to make a purchase in very limited quantities, perhaps with a budget of only $500 or even less, there are still options available to you. DHgate will be the best option for finding Chinese suppliers and getting products imported from China, better than any other website. Dhgate Australia is a good choose too. This site is designed for small-quantity buyers, is very easy to use and cheap, just as simple as shopping online.

You won’t require extensive communication with suppliers. Simply assess their selling history and reviews, and you can complete the purchasing process with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Online Product On Dhgate
online product on DHgate

Moreover, the international shipping cost will be automatically calculated when you select the quantity to purchase or choose the shipping solutions. You won’t need any knowledge about import and export procedures, as all packages are either sent by China Post airmail or by courier companies like FedEx or DHL.

If you are not satisfied with the product quality you received, you can easily get a refund.

AliExpress

AliExpress provides a wide array of products at competitive prices, often with free or low-cost shipping options. This diverse selection caters to various needs and preferences. Moreover, AliExpress is renowned for its buyer protection policies, which safeguard purchases and ensure customer satisfaction.

Another standout feature of AliExpress is its accessibility to small-scale buyers and entrepreneurs. Unlike some other wholesale platforms that require minimum order quantities, the products on AliExpress welcomes individual shoppers and small businesses, enabling them to purchase goods in quantities that suit their needs and budgets.

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AliExpress or DHgate, which works better for you?

Firstly, AliExpress is well-suited for small orders totaling less than $100, and it’s even acceptable to purchase just one product for personal use. In many instances, the price difference between buying a single unit and buying 100 units of the same product is negligible. If you’re engaged in dropshipping, then AliExpress is undoubtedly the preferred choice.

DHgate is more suitable for orders between $100 to $1,000. It’s very easy to find many supplier on DHgate, they will set price breakdowns for different quantities, such as 10, 50, 100, or 200.

Price Breakdowns On Dhgate
price breakdowns on DHgate

If you find the minimum order quantity (MOQ) of Alibaba supplier too high and the wholesale prices on AliExpress too costly, then DHgate presents itself as an excellent alternative. DHgate is particularly suitable for small business owners, especially those operating retail stores on the street.

Another distinction between these two platforms is the size of their supplier and product bases. AliExpress boasts a larger number of suppliers and products compared to DHgate. This is largely due to the fact that AliExpress is part of the Alibaba Group, which also owns Taobao. The Alibaba Group actively encourages Chinese suppliers to migrate their products from Taobao to AliExpress, and they facilitate the translation of product descriptions from Chinese to English using various tools.

However, DHgate is just an independent company, so it’s normal that sometimes you cannot find exactly the same product that you are looking for on DHgate. But generally speaking, these two websites are not suitable for a fast-growing business,

because most sellers of these two sites are wholesalers instead of manufacturers, they usually get products from different kinds of manufacturers or trading companies. So it’s not easy to ensure that the products you are buying from them in different batches the quality is the same.

If you are planning to do a long term business for a certain product, and you probably will buy a few thousand USD for the same product in the coming months. These two websites for small quantity wholesale are still not very good options.

Alibaba

Why Is Alibaba So Cheap Products
why is alibaba so cheap products

If you intend to establish a long-term business relationship for a specific product and anticipate purchasing several thousand USD worth of the same product in the upcoming months, these two websites for small quantity wholesale may not be the most ideal options.

Different from AliExpress or DHgate, you can not finish the whole purchasing process just by clicking on the website just like online shopping. Alibaba functions somewhat like an online trade show, where you can browse supplier by viewing their product images and descriptions.

Before placing orders, you typically communicate with supplier via email or Alibaba trade messages to discuss pricing for different quantities or customization options such as designing products or packaging.

Once the terms are agreed upon, the supplier will assist in creating the invoice and contract. Upon receiving payment, they will initiate the production of your customized products. Finally, they will arrange shipping to your designated destination.

This process mirrors the traditional trading business model and is commonly followed when conducting business on Alibaba.

2 Main types of suppliers on Alibaba

On Alibaba, there are two main types of supplier, manufacturers and trading companies.

The manufacturer is the one who makes products, and they will hire a couple of salesmen who can speak English and help them sell products to foreigners directly.

While trading companies, don’t make any products by themselves, they usually get products from manufacturers that they cooperate with and resell the products to foreigners. Trading companies always choose those manufacturers who don’t have English sellers, their prices are very competitive and you can also not find them on Alibaba.

This implies that even when purchasing from trading companies on Alibaba, the prices are not significantly higher than buying directly from manufacturers on the platform. Moreover, trading companies often provide more professional and highly efficient services, further enhancing the overall purchasing experience.

2 ways to find suppliers on Alibaba

Alibaba Rfq
Alibaba RFQ

You can either directly search the product keywords and contact supplier one by one, or you can use RFQ to submit your purchasing inquiry and let the best-matched supplier reach out to you.

Payment

When placing orders, you have the option to complete the transaction through a wire transfer, akin to traditional trading. However, this method may pose some security concerns as there is no third-party company to safeguard your interests.

Alternatively, you can utilize Alibaba’s trade assurance feature to process your transaction. This provides added protection: if you fail to receive your products on time or receive items of unsatisfactory quality, you are eligible for a refund through Alibaba.

There are so many practical tips that you can learn about: How to source on Alibaba? Why is Alibaba So Cheap? Also how to avoid scams on Alibaba?

Other B2B trading platforms

But if you want to try other B2B trading platforms, then Global Source and Made in China will be the two that you can consider.

In the realm of B2B trading platforms, Made-in-China has seen a decline in competition over the past decade, particularly in comparison to Alibaba. As a result, they have shifted their focus towards the machinery industry, where they hold distinct advantages. However, you may find fewer machinery supplier on Made-in-China compared to Alibaba.

On the other hand, Global Sources specializes in gifts and electronic products. The platform tends to attract established, large-scale manufacturers, as the annual membership fee of around $30,000 is prohibitive for smaller trading companies or manufacturers. In contrast, Alibaba charges a more affordable membership fee of around $4,000 per year.

Other B2B trading platforms you can see our another post: Top 15 Best Chinese B2B platforms.

Why B2B trading platforms like Alibaba can gather so many suppliers? That’s because they have big traffic of potential buyers. So how can Alibaba get so much traffic? Some part of the reason is because it’s famous, and when people are planning to find supplier, they just recall the name of Alibaba in their mind, they have spent 20 years and countless money to build this big brand.

Google Search
Google search

Another significant factor is that Alibaba benefits from substantial traffic generated from Google, both through organic searches and paid advertisements. Alibaba then monetizes this traffic by selling it to supplier through annual membership fees ranging from $4,000 to $10,000 per year, as well as pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, which allow supplier to compete for visibility.

In essence, Alibaba profits by acquiring traffic from buyers and reselling it to suppliers.

In recent years, the competition among suppliers on Alibaba has intensified, driving up the cost of acquiring inquiries from high-quality buyers. As a result, supplier face increasing expenses to maintain visibility and attract potential customers.

So there are many smart suppliers, who realize that they can also build a company website and use Google Adwords or Google SEO to get more potential customers at a low cost. They can get more exposure to customers, and also less competition than staying on Alibaba.

How to find Chinese suppliers on Google

So how to find Chinese suppliers on Google? It’s very simple. Just search the product keywords and combine the keywords( China, factory, manufacturer, wholesale, supplier). You can look at the Top100 search results, no matter it’s organic search results or advertisements, and pick out those websites that look like Chinese manufacturers or trading companies.

You can contact them by email or send your inquiry to their websites, and usually, you can get their replies in 1 or 2 working days.

How to identify the suppliers on Google

When using Google to search for suppliers, the main challenge lies in determining their reliability since there’s no third party to vouch for their legitimacy.

One method to gauge reliability is by asking suppliers if they have an Alibaba store. Utilizing Alibaba’s trade assurance can provide added security in processing transactions. Alternatively, persuading suppliers to accept PayPal payments may also offer a level of safety, although many Chinese suppliers are reluctant to accept PayPal for transactions exceeding $1,000 due to concerns about potential scams.

Additionally, you can use the Whois website to check when the supplier’s website domain was registered. Suppliers with longer-standing domain registrations are generally deemed more trustworthy as they have been conducting business over a longer period.

When visiting supplier websites, look for real addresses in China, photos of their offices, manufacturing facilities, or team members, and evidence of their participation in trade shows. Suppliers who provide such detailed information are often considered more reliable.

You should be very careful when dealing with those suppliers that never post their company or team photos on their websites, they probably are just one person’s business that working from his home office. On Alibaba, there are too many suppliers for the same product, and many of them are wholesalers. So it’s hard to choose those professional ones from these hundreds of suppliers.

So sometimes it will be more efficient to search suppliers on Google than Alibaba, especially you don’t have a specific product that you want to buy, but you only want a professional manufacturer to help you develop a brand new product.

LinkedIn or Facebook search supplier

Chinese suppliers are eager to connect with foreign buyers, viewing platforms like Alibaba and the Canton Fair as their primary avenues to do so. However, facing stiff competition in these crowded spaces, many suppliers are exploring alternative methods to find customers.

LinkedIn and Facebook have emerged as two common platforms for this purpose due to their accessibility and cost-effectiveness. Suppliers typically search for keywords related to their products or industry to identify potential customers. They then reach out to them directly to promote their products or share company information and industry-related articles to attract more attention.

This means that you, as a potential buyer, can also utilize these platforms to find Chinese suppliers. Simply search for relevant product keywords combined with business-related terms to discover if any suppliers are actively posting related information.


If you have any questions about finding Chinese supplier, please contact us. If you have any other ways to find Chinese supplier on the internet, please also let me know in the comments. If you are in China right now, we will share with you how to find Chinese supplier offline in the next post.

FURTHER READING


How to Find Chinese Suppliers Offline

How to Do Product Research

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