8 Points You Need to Know before Working with Chinese Suppliers

by Stanley

8 Points You Need to Know before Working with Chinese Suppliers

Dropshipping is essentially a concept that purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. 

Make a Dropshipper profitable by benefiting from the price difference of the products. 

Thus it is natural to find a reliable supplier along with the business. If you took one step wrong, you might lose a tremendous amount of money.

We’ve extracted eight points you may want to get a hold of before working with a Chinese supplier. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Store Reputation

The first tip is, if you are targeting to find a supplier on Alibaba, Always remember to check out their profile. 

You should check how long they have been open for business, their verification, and more. Typically stores with bad reputations can not last over two years in this industry.

Often a brand or product verified by the website itself holds a decent reputation.

It is common knowledge that the price marked on the products is not accurate. Manufacturers use this kind of ploy to attract you in. The price you saw was the price they gave for orders with considerable MOQ. Moreover, the processing time could be dreadful.

Discuss specific prices with manufacturers on a case-by-case basis to filter your choices.

people talking

Catalog Investigation

One of the investigations you can do to the supplier is to inspect their company name and catalogs.

First, the company name always consists of registration location, company name, leading product, and partnership type.

For example, Changzhou Lamjo Household Technology Co., Ltd. Here you can see the company name, opening time, manufacturer, or only middleman.

company name

See the picture attached above. The title of this company indicates it’s a manufacturer. It can ship to global countries, and it has a professional slipper catalog. From the title alone, you can consider it as a decent supplier alternative. 

Second, check the store catalog. If you find a store that contains numerous unrelated products, they are highly likely to be a middleman but not the manufacturer.

Many suppliers are trying to profit from this industry, making money without any input. Spot them and work with them discreetly.

Comparison between Platforms

There are several major platforms where you can source suppliers like Alibaba, Taobao, and 1688.

Suppliers from Alibaba can ship goods directly to countries worldwide. But if you want to get preferential prices, you need to fulfill their minimum order quantity.

1688 is China’s domestic supplier platform. Most of Taobao’s products come from 1688. You can see it as the most cost-effective procurement platform there is.

Yet, most of the 1688 suppliers can’t reach a worldwide transaction. Because part of the business, there is a small workshop production that does not have the scale and ability to send products worldwide.

As I’ve mentioned, most prices marked are not accurate; more so, the inventory displayed on 1688 and Taobao is not correct.

Although the product page may show enough inventory, it may only be a few dozen pieces of merchandise or out of stock.

So you need to communicate with customer service the exact number of inventory.

Many foreign sellers choose to find products on their own. As a result, it leads to countless misunderstandings.

Chinese suppliers expect to communicate in mandarin, and most are doing poorly on English speaking. In order to avoid misunderstandings that may cause your financial loss, it’s better to communicate through an agent.

Tradeshow Experience

You must validate a supplier before working with them. 

You want to make sure they can supply sturdy and well-made products for you to sell in the long run.

There are several ways to prove if a supplier is trustworthy. Most Dropshippers will check if they have had tradeshow experiences.

To participate in a tradeshow requires money as well as resources and stability. Especially if the trade show they went to is the Canton fair. However, most suppliers have never been to a Tradeshow, which does not instantly put them in a questionable position.

canton fair

If that’s the case, you can gather other information like their experiences, price, and product quality. The tradeshow is not a decisive factor.

Quality Inspection

All pictures presented by the manufacturers are over-embellished. Even worse, some may use copyrighted photos for their products. So this makes our ability to pick the right product much more difficult. It is recommended that you ask the supplier to take pictures and videos so that you can see the product from multiple angles.

After you make up your mind about the most preferred manufacturers, you wanna work with. It is the safest choice to conduct a quality inspection. Sellers who want to get a true sense of the product’s quality are also recommended to buy three to four samples to compare and choose one most suitable for your need. Ensure yourself with the exact color you saw in the photo.

If you choose us as your sourcing agent, we can get samples of your goods and send a sample inspection video within TWO to THREE days.

Choose Products with Multiple Manufactures

Avoid selecting products that were only produced by a few manufacturers. I would not suggest doing so, and the reason is that once the supplier goes out of business or stops working with you, there is no backup plan for that product.

If orders were made under such circumstances and you can’t fulfill them in such an emergency, it will be a huge loss.

Plus, choosing a product produced by various suppliers puts you in a more favorable scenario, whereas you can eliminate those suppliers with a higher price or worse quality.

Sign Your Contract Circumspectly

I shouldn’t be the one that mumbles about the importance of signing a contract, whether it’s legal or business-related, contracts big and small, you need to tread carefully—Double-check on the contract for anything that has not been discussed in advance.

signing contract

Most Chinese suppliers will demand a deposit pay upfront. It is suggested to complete online transactions through 1688, Alibaba, or a third party like PayPal.

Some suppliers may express the idea of using E-Wire transfer, which will put dropshippers in a bumpy situation. Once you make a transfer through E-Wire, you can’t undo it. Even if the products do not meet your standards, it’s hard to issue a refund against suppliers.

Recruit Sourcing Agent

Suppose you are swamped by the information already. You can consistently recruit a sourcing agent for help. A Chinese agent is a much better choice for communicating matters. To help you narrate suppliers, do sample inspections, and draft contracts.

A Dropshipper only needs to select the products they want, check the samples and review the contract.

Suppose you are looking for a reliable sourcing agent for all these complications and have trouble finding one. We can offer help at NicheDropshipping. To help you decide suppliers among dozens of choices, to do

Reassuring quality inspections and helping you communicate.


Finding the correct supplier for your needs is a difficult undertaking.

You’ll have to put in a lot of effort and time. But it’ll all be worth it once you locate the proper one for your business.

NicheDropshipping would gladly assist you if you are still having trouble choosing the correct supplier.

Contact us today and let’s work together to build a successful business. 

About the Author

stanley nieh ceo


Over 10 years of experience in foreign trade
Helped 2k+ customers improve their dropshipping businesses

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