How to Find a Manufacturer in China

How to Find a Manufacturer in China

Here I will outline a few of the best ways to find a manufacturer in China.

While there are several methods, usually ChinaFind will employ a combination of all methods in order to find the ideal China manufacturer and I highly recommend you do the same.


Attend a China Trade fair

Imagine being able to meet face to face with hundreds of Chinese manufacturers in a single day, see their product and discuss their ability to produce and even pricing.

In 2008 over 10,000 Chinese manufacturers attended the Canton Fair, which is the biggest trade fair in China.

The Canton Fair is an extreme example where the organizers set a very high threshold on exhibitors and a waiting list ensures that only the largest Chinese manufacturers are present.

It also covers a very broad range of exhibits so buyers are able to spend up to two weeks meeting manufacturers from different industries.


Different Kinds of China Trade Shows, so do Your Research

Furthermore there are many trade shows of various shapes and sizes spread throughout the year and most are focused on a specific product group or industry.

It can also be useful for buyers to visit trade shows to learn more about international developments, product and buyer trends in your specific industry.

When you attend a trade show, ensure you do your research first. Often there are multiple trade shows for each industry to ensure you attend the best one to maximise the benefit.

Usually trade shows in larger cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen will have the most exhibitors, however Chinese factories of a similar industry tend to group together in China so attending a trade show in a city closer to the factories may mean you can find better factories and have the chance to visit the factory after the show.

A China electronics manufacturer can be found around Shenzhen for example.

Make sure you register for the China trade show in advance, this will not only save you time when you arrive at the show but organisers will usually send you useful information and advice for hotels, visas and other requirements for entering China and attending China trade shows.


Online China B2B and China Trade Portals

Talk to any sourcing agent and they will tell you their first stop is almost always a China trade website and almost always at the top of the list is Alibaba.

There are many websites such as Alibaba, made-in-China, globalsources and tradekey.

I don't want to get too much into ranking the different websites.

However I will admit that personally I find I use Alibaba the most, but have the most respect for Globalsources manufacturers.

Why? Global Sources charges a much higher membership fee and has a more rigorous verification procedure so the Chinese manufacturers are more likely to be larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers.

This has its own drawbacks though, less manufacturers and bigger manufacturers means you have to be big in order to deal with them.

Most Chinese manufacturers in Alibaba are real companies as well and there are many more manufacturers on Alibaba.

Small doesn't necessary mean bad, it may mean lower price, better communication as you are higher priority and they are more likely to accept smaller or more complex orders.

Alibaba has a "Gold Manufacturer" membership and verification service where they verify the company details which provides some deterrent to scammers or rouge operators.

Unfortunately, in China, just as you can find anywhere else, there are those that find ways around the system or a prepared to front the membership fees in order to scam you.

With any potential China manufacturer you will need to verify them, which I will cover in the next article.


Chinese manufacturers association

A good idea is to go directly to the relevant association for the manufacturing industry in china you are looking for.

I have an article with a list of Chinese manufacturers associations, where you can find the industry association website relevant to you.

Sometimes you can find some very useful information by browsing these websites.


Search engines

You can use Google and other search engines to find Chinese manufacturers, in fact more and more factories in China are beginning to promote themselves with campaigns on the various search engines.

I strongly recommend caution when using this method as it is also the most open to scammers.


In conclusion

All methods outlined above have their merits however usually the more research the better.

A China sourcing company will often use one method such as Alibaba to quickly research manufacturers so keep this in mind and allow them time to look deeper and perhaps find a higher quality or lower price Chinese manufacturer that can be a long term partner.

Finally, once you have your short-listed manufacturers you have only begun the process, the next step is often overlooked but it is ESSENTIAL you verify and check the China company.

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Related articles:

How to Buy From China
How to Verify and Check China Company
How to Negotiate with a Chinese Manufacturer
How to Oversee and Control Production in China
How to Arrange Quality Inspections in China
How to Arrange Shipping and Customs Brokerage from China

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