25 Mistakes (to Avoid) When Buying Wholesale From China
March 25th, 2021
Are you running an online or physical store and buying wholesale from china? Do you want to find out the mistakes to avoid when buying wholesale from China? This blog will provide you everything you should know before sourcing products from China.
Buying wholesale from China is a complicated process that needs a lot of time and expertise. The sourcing process can go wrong and one can result in a big loss for your business.
Therefore, this blog will help you to understand what kind of mistakes you as a buyer should be aware of before buying wholesale from China and also learn how to avoid them.
The blog will include:
The 25 common mistakes that you should know before buying wholesale from China
The buying process in short
Ways to avoid these mistakes and make your business more profitable
Chapter 1: Process to buy wholesale products from China
In this section, you will get to know about all those steps that are necessary to take when buying wholesale from China. It is very important that you understand the nature of each step and the importance because any small mistake in any of these steps can have a direct negative impact on you buying from China resulting in a big loss.
1. Buy wholesale items from China by reaching out to the sourcing companies:
Sourcing companies like EJET Sourcing who are giving online facilities to buyers all over the world can be contact to start your worry free buying process from China. You get great help out of these wholesale sourcing companies. For example:
You can get all the information on a single platform.
No need to visit China for research purpose only.
You can save your time, money, and energy that must have taken for visiting Chinese factories and negotiating with suppliers.
Reach out to the market anytime, anywhere.
2. Reach the market by visiting factories and manufacturers:
Physically visiting factories and manufacturers may be time-consuming but you will get a big room to identify the products and negotiate with the suppliers. Buying wholesale from china within factories and directly from the manufacturer, you can save a lot of money. This is because you will buy the products at a factory rate.
3. Finalize the products to buy wholesale from China
When you have identified the product cost and quality either through sourcing company or physically visiting the market, finalize the products to buy wholesale from China. It is very important to check from multiple suppliers and ask for their samples.
Only after you have compared at least 3 samples of the same product, then you should finalize the product. Once the product is finalized, you should make sure that the supplier understands all the requirements of that product before production.
4. Perform price negotiation with the supplier
Now when you have finalized the product, make up your deal. Don’t directly sign up for the contract.
A good practice is to perform price negotiations with the supplier. When buying directly from the manufacturer, you will be provided a discount offer but the supplier will keep his share in dealing with you.
If the product is exactly what you want, you can increase the quantity of your order and can negotiate the price with the supplier. Remember one important point, in China if you want lower price, the supplier will request for high quantity. Best negotiation is where both the parties have a win-win situation.
5. Perform right quality control
You have to be very vigilant in buying wholesale from China, be aware in performing the right quality control. The reason is that you not only have to pay for the product but marketing cost, website fee (if buying through wholesale sourcing company) and shipping cost is also under your payment part.
It is also important to know that if the goods are still in China and you are able to perform the right quality control and find issues, this can be solved easily.
But if the goods have been shipped out of China and reach your country where you find quality issues, it will be very hard to solve this because you must send back goods to the supplier to repairing or exchange.
Always remember to perform the quality control at the following stages
Pre-Production Quality Control
Mid-Production Quality Control
Pre-Shipment Quality Control
Container Loading Inspection
6. Find the right delivery method when buying wholesale from China
You are provided with many delivery methods when buying wholesale from China but you have to opt for the one that suits you the best. For some products air shipment will be suitable, for example, mobile phones are expensive items and very delicate. You need them to arrive fast and safe and secure to your destination.
But let’s say you are buying cheap writing pens from China. If you go for air cargo for such a product, this will increase the cost price for you and it will not be possible to sell it. So for such items, you have to go for sea shipment.
-Follow this golden rule
Expensive Item + Need Quickly = Air Cargo Shipping
Expensive Item + Need Quickly + Small Quantity = Express Air Shipping
Cheap Item + Longer Shipping time is Acceptable + Large Quantity or Volume = Sea, Rail and Road
-The delivery methods are:
Dropshipping by supplier:
It is a method where a store or online shop doesn’t keep the products but when the store sells a product, it purchases it from a third party and ships it to the customer in any part of the world. So for this you do not have to keep inventory and the supplier will ship the product for you once you receive the orders from the customers.
The order is delivered by the supplier in the form of an air courier. UPS, FedEx, and DHL provide Air courier service. This is by far the fastest way to ship products but it is also very expensive. Usually such service is used for small quantities or samples.
Airfreight and sea freight:
If you have an expensive and small quantity, you should go for Airfreight and if you have large quantity and do not need the products urgently, you should go for Sea Freight. Make sure to decide very carefully on which mode of shipment to take in order to avoid any issues in your business.
Chapter 2: 25 mistakes to avoid when buying wholesale from China
You are clear about the reason to buy wholesale items from china; the steps to buying cheap wholesale products from China that are quality-oriented.
Now, Wait! Don’t rush to the market. Drive through this section and know the top 25 mistakes to avoid when buying wholesale from China. These are those ordinary mistakes that 90% of newbies and wholesale customers repeat in their business and end up facing a great loss.
The 25 mistakes have been divided into 5 parts:
Part 1: Mistakes to avoid when researching for the market (4 Mistakes)
Part 2: Mistakes to avoid when visiting the market (3 Mistakes)
Part 3: Mistakes to avoid when finalizing the product (6 Mistakes)
Part 4: Mistakes to avoid when negotiating with the supplier (7 Mistakes)
Part 5: Mistakes to avoid when shipping (5 Mistakes)
1. Part 1: Mistakes to avoid when researching for the market and supplier (4 Mistakes)
Buy wholesale from famous wholesale markets rather than famous manufacturing city
Most buyers reach China and then can’t find out the right place to visit to have the product of their demand. They don’t make any previous research.
It is very important to know that which city have the factories of the product you are looking for. You cannot find cheaper price at any other place then the factory where the product is being made.
Many buyers will go to the wholesale markets, but they are not aware that in these markets there will be mostly traders, who will buy products from the factories and ship it to you.
Hence the price will be more since the trader will also keep his profit in the price. You should directly visit the city where the factories are located, meeting the factory sales people and make a deal with them.
For the wholesale buyers, you can find your best-wanted products in Guangzhou and Yiwu, as they are famous for their wholesale markets. Wholesale markets can also offer good price if you do good negotiation and there you can buy different kinds of products.
guangzhou and yiwu
Choosing a supplier without identification and background check
New buyers usually make mistakes in the identification of a good supplier, because they opt for the one without taking any details and background checks.
You need to ask the supplier to provide their Business license. From the business license you can always check their registered capital, address, what kind of activities they can engage themselves in. You can also verify that they are the real manufacturer or not.
You can also get 3rd party factory audits to confirm that you are working with a genuine supplier. It is also important to confirm with the supplier before giving him the order about other kinds of certificates you need like CE, RoHS, FDA etc.
Unable to differentiate between manufacturers/supplier and distributors to buy wholesale items from China
When you are buying wholesale from China, you should distinguish from whom you are buying, a manufacturer or a distributor.
BUYING FROM A MANUFACTURER/SUPPLIER
BUYING FROM A DISTRIBUTOR
When you are purchasing from a manufacturer, you are buying from the creator of the product.
A distributor is the one who buys from the manufacturer and then supplies the product to you wholesale.
The product will be delivered with a great discount on factory price.
When you are buying from a distributor, the cost will be a bit high because the wholesaler will keep its share.
You must have ground-level knowledge and experience in identifying the right product, purchasing the wholesale items, dealing with payment and shipment methods.
You will be provided complete guidance by the wholesaler/distributor from product identification to product delivery.
Buying wholesale from China without having ground-level knowledge and specifications
You are at a loss when you are not having ground-level knowledge about the process and ignorant about the product specification.
Before making up the deal, be sure about the essentials of the exact material you need, its details, and ensure your best interest.
You must know the complete manufacturing process of the product, raw material costs and how to inspect the final product.
Doing this will help you to avoid any issues before placing a mass production order.
Part 2: Mistakes to avoid when visiting the market and starting the business (3 Mistakes)
Investing too much money for starting the business
When starting a business, new sellers are so enthusiastic that they invest what they have, this is a big mistake. When you start something you are learning so try to take small steps first, once you have understood the whole process, then you should invest bigger amount.
In China, every supplier provides a Minimum opening order for new customers. This is a minimum amount in which anyone can buy a bulk of product for test purposes.
Once you identify the product quality, its cost, and are confident about the method, you can buy wholesale items from China investing the right amount.
The MOQ depends on supplier to supplier. For example some suppliers will even provide 50 to 100 units of a product. Maybe they have stock or maybe they can add your small quantity with another order they have of the same product.
But some suppliers will not be able to provide you the products unless it is as per their MOQ which can even be in the thousands.
Visiting the markets and not collecting contact details
You enter the market, look around for the manufacturers and suppliers, talk about the deal, and come up without asking for the contact details. Whose loss? You lose all the efforts as communicating back is not possible.
Always ask for representative details for further communication. It can be emailed, Skype ID, WeChat, or phone number. In China all the suppliers will surely have WeChat. So make sure to create a WeChat ID before visiting the markets and save the supplier’s WeChat.
Choosing the product from an unreliable supplier within China
The unreliable supplier will make your process tiring, time-consuming, and energy-consuming.
For looking into the reliability of a supplier, you should:
Perform supplier audits
Work on your communication
Make written contracts
Ask them what they need from you and communicate to them what you need
Understand the supplier’s challenges as well
If you are upset with the deal, don’t hesitate to pull out from it and move to another supplier.
Part 3: Mistakes to avoid when buying and finalizing the product (6 Mistakes)
Making 100% payment without inspecting the order
New buyers usually make this mistake when they buy wholesale products from China; they make 100% payment without inspecting the order.
The wise approach is to make a 30% payment when signing up for the deal and then the other 70% payment after inspecting the order. If you have good negotiating skills, you can even try to reduce this amount.
For example negotiate to pay as much lower deposit as you can. Let’s say 10% deposit and the remaining 90% balance can be paid once you are satisfied with the products produced and have performed the quality control.
Only select season-specific wholesale items from China
You look around in the market, see a bundle of products that are trending, you are about to start your own physical or online store and buy the wholesale product. That season you gain huge profit and earn well but as soon as the trending season ends, you are left with a huge amount of the stock.
The products are not selling in off season and now you have to keep the prices low and pay the money from your pocket. What was it? It was a fad and this is your first mistake in buying wholesale from China.
A wise approach for a seller is to buy those wholesale products that are giving long-term sustainability and then introduce the season-specific items within the season but not in bulk.
For example, you are buying Christmas products, they will only sell during Christmas time and if you are unable to sell the stock, then you will be left with unsold inventory which no one will want to buy after the Christmas season.
Always rushing for low volume products when buying from China
Low- value products always attract customers but they may have some problems:
Strong competition: already having too many sellers.
It adds low value to your product and customers are mostly looking for high quality products.
High shipping cost ends up in non-sustainable profit resulting in loss in business.
Selecting product without requesting a sample when importing from China
Most buyers when finalizing the product, they buy in bulk immediately. This is a big mistake as when selecting the product, you are unable to identify its quality and long-term use.
A good practice is to ask your supplier for the product sample beforehand, so that you can authenticate about the product quality. Always check the final product according to the sample you received and have approved.
Buying product without getting proper certifications
The buyers who don’t recognize the quality, cost, and certificates of the product before order always see a downfall in their final dealings. Find out if you need certifications of the product in order to import it from China. For example you may need CE, RoHS, FDA certificates in order to be able to import them from China.
The best approach is:
Ask for the sample for product identification
Prioritize quality over price
Negotiate for cost
Verify product through its lab reports and certifications
Collect the certificates before placing the order
Trusting trade assurance blindly to buy wholesale items from China
When many customers buy wholesale items from China, they always assume that the trade assurance is similar to other platforms that protect buyers’ interest.
When buying wholesale from China, I am talking about millions of dollars. Putting a refunding request consumes a lot of time and energy. A wise approach is to request a refund along with certain shreds of evidence:
Contract with the supplier
Lab testing report
However, refunds can take long time and some disputes may even take months to finalize. This means your money will be blocked for all this time and fighting the dispute will cost you money as well.
Part 4: Mistakes to avoid when negotiating and making a deal with the supplier (7 Mistakes)
Opting supplier offering the cheapest quote when buying wholesale from China
Cheap prices always make buyers excited. We are not suggesting you not go for cheap quotes, but when a supplier is offering too cheap a statement, and then there must be a problem within it. As a saying goes, it is too good to be true.
You may encounter bad services, substandard product delivery, increases in the rate of shipment, or any other issue. The supplier may increase the rate after the deal and taking the deposit, by making any excuses, and then you can do nothing except accepting your loss.
Characteristics of a good supplier:
A good supplier will always:
Make the right balance between price and cost
Will be efficient in communication
Drive you all along the process
Make you aware of the possible issues and recommend solutions
Buying wholesale from China without verifying the seller’s details
When you are buying wholesale from China, you make a mistake in verifying the seller’s detail. Guess where? Most of the seller’s names don’t match their invoice name with the website names. Here you are deceived and without making you notice.
How to check the certificates are legitimate?
Follow the official websites of those certificates. Normally the website is always mentioned on the certificate.
Enter the certificate number.
The website will confirm you that the certificate is original or not.
Some certificates will come up with QR codes which you can scan and check the authenticity.
Poor communication with the supplier
Poor communication always gives poor results. For a successful deal in any field, effective communication is essential. In China, the effective way to communicate is through an instant messaging tool like WeChat.
All over China, WeChat is the basic tool for instant communication and business purposes. Its video and voice function helps to communicate effectively. The tool is helpful as it is used by the majority of the population.
Email is another effective way for business communication. And also use easy sentences which can be understood by the supplier or even if he translates to Chinese, the translation can be accurate. Avoid using complex sentences.
While making emails to deal with Chinese suppliers, don’t make lengthy emails. Make sure the email is concise and contains all the necessary product details.
Communicating with Chinese suppliers without any time specification
It is a mistake to assume that Chinese suppliers are available 24/7. Usually, the time zone for the activity of professional individuals in China is from 9 am to 5 pm.
When you are making a contract from the west, you should be aware of the time difference. This is for making direct calls or messages. However you can always use the email channel in off work time which will be official and considered polite.
Failed negotiation with supplier when you buy wholesale products from China
Before making the deal, aim for a fair negotiation especially when buying wholesale from a supplier in China. This will help you to buy cheap wholesale from China having high quality. But if the deal seems too good to be true then reconsider your decision. You may be doing a mistake in recognizing your supplier.
Also when you are making the deal, it is a wise thing to always consider the challenges and issues of the supplier as well. He will respect you for that and you will be in a better position to get a good deal. Make sure he understands that you also care for his business and not only just yours.
Dealing Chinese with a Western mind-set to buy wholesale items from China
–Western buyers make a mistake while dealing with Chinese suppliers, which is they don’t embrace the cultural difference. It is common for the Chinese to speak louder tone and for foreign buyers, it is considered hostile.
–The Chinese prioritize ethical matters more than legal methods. But in the western system legal ways are considered more than ethical matters.
–Chinese are non-confrontational, so avoid putting blames directly and try to avoid direct confrontation. Always use indirect ways to bring them to the issue.
–Chinese are very patient and expect the same from the buyers. Sometimes the buyers will push them a lot. This will create pressure and stress and can result in a bad deal for you.
One has to forget the western mindset and understand the Chinese mindset to buy wholesale items from China. Only this way you can be more successful.
Using inconvenient or illegal methods of payments to supplier while buying wholesale from China
The most common payment methods are T/T, Bank Transfer, Alibaba Trade Assurances and Paypal. Always make sure to use official channel in international trade.
Some buyers will use illegal ways, for example converting dollars to RMB in black market and sending them to suppliers by WeChat or Alipay or Cash. All this is considered illegal ways in international trade.
If you pay them using illegal channel, this will not protect you in disputes in courts.
Part 5: Mistakes to avoid when shipping (5 Mistakes)
Lacking knowledge of handling fee and arrival time
You may face a big cost loss when you lack knowledge of the handling fee and arrival time of your order from China. For example, you finalized the cost of the product but forgot to add the handling fee.
When the product reaches the port and you have to pay the handling fee, you suddenly realize that the cost have gone high and you are already in loss before you even started to sell the product.
Ignoring the latest exchange rates when buying wholesale from china:
The buyers who keep themselves updated about the latest exchange rate always enjoy the benefit of reasonable cost.
They know which payment method to use in a certain situation and relax them from snip prices. So make sure you know the exchange rates and transaction charges before making any payments.
Ignoring holiday schedule in China
A complete study about the circumstances going in China is important before buying wholesale in China. You must be aware of the peak seasons in China and the holidays. During holidays factories will close, the markets will be closed. Suppliers may not reply you and the shipments can be delayed.
During the Chinese New Year festival, because of the demand, the shipping rates of the containers will go very high. That means you should plan in advance and avoid importing products from China during these times. Similarly Qingming festival or China national holidays can also impact your import process.
Check out the holiday schedule in 2021 of China.
The cheapest way of shipping is through sea only
One of the wrong assumptions that foreign customers make is that the only cheapest way of shipment is from the sea only. Sea carriers charge per container rates for shipping in standard containers.
However, some other ways like Road and Rail are sometimes cheaper than the sea. If there are peak seasons are container rates have become expensive, you can always go for road and rail as well if it is an option for your destination.
Another challenge for sea shipping is that either you should have a full container, or if you are doing LCL then make sure that you are getting good rates by sea.
Ignoring Peak periods of high attention for shipping products
The peak periods need high attention, especially for the shipping products.
Example: Chinese New Year:
The vacations for the Chinese New Year take two weeks, at this time many products’ prices raise. Shipping price and raised as well.
A sagacious approach is to avoid the peak periods, otherwise you have to pay double the shipment charges while buying wholesale from China.
Chapter 3: Top 5 reliable China Buying Agents to buy wholesale products from China:
Now when you are familiar with the reasons to buy wholesale items from china, the way to buy wholesale products from China, and mistakes to avoid while buying wholesale from China. The next step is to find out the best sourcing company to buy wholesale items from China.
You being sitting in Europe or USA, and can’t take an immediate decision of flying to China without any prior knowledge of buying wholesale from China. Certain online sourcing companies will provide you complete information about sourcing from China. They not only help you to identify products but also walk with you all along the journey.
These top 5 reliable China buying agents to buy wholesale products from China are:
Ejet Sourcing is an emerging platform established in 2006. It is among the best agents to buy wholesale products from China. It has served a happy customer family of 2158 individuals by delivering those thousands of products.
It is linked with hundreds of qualified suppliers and ships over 2 thousand containers per year which is a huge achievement. It has a staff of more than 100 people.
When buying wholesale from china through Ejet Sourcing, you will be provided support at every step. Supplier management, new product development, product branding service, on-ground sourcing, quality control, amazon FBA prep service, warehousing and consolidation, shipping, and distribution all are services provided by Ejet Sourcing.
Fami Sourcing has 7 years of experience in the field and has sourced a total of 56 products to 48 customers. It provides great services of online sourcing to online sellers, startup brands, and importers that import from China. They are a family-based company as the name suggests. You can contact them for free advice for all your sourcing needs.
Tony Sourcing is all about sourcing toys and stationery suitable for children. It sources premium quality toys, has the best price manufacturers, and gives export and shipment services to its customers.
They specialize in toys and have many suppliers and thousands of products in this category. You may get in touch with them when you plan to import toys from China.
LeelineSourcing has a customer family of over 2000 people and its services include goods, electronics, travel products, and clothing. It provides quality inspection of the products, FBA prep services, and FBA shipping services to its customers.
They are one of the experienced sourcing companies in China and can provide you with competitive prices, follow up with the production, perform quality checks and provide door-to-door delivery.
Chapter 4: Frequently Asked Questions Buying Wholesale from China
1. How to buy wholesale products from China?
To buy wholesale products from China. You have to follow the given steps:
Research for the market
Identify the product of your demand
Negotiate for a better deal
Look for a reliable supplier
Finalize the product
Opt reasonable payment method
Find a suitable shipment method
2. On what basis a good authentic supplier is judged?
To look for a good, authentic, and reliable supplier, notice the following characteristics. If he is having these traits, you can make a deal with him for buying wholesale from china.
He must work with the right balance between quality and cost
He provides references of previous clients and their reviews
Authenticity about the certifications and other details
Effective communication skills
Guide you step-by-step
Drive you all along the process
Make you aware of the possible issues and recommend solutions
3. Is there any wholesale Chinese supplier offering free shipping?
If you are buying samples locally in China, it may be possible that the supplier will provide free shipping, however, in international trade, when you are purchase large quantities, the shipping fee is a must cost which needs to be added to the final product cost.
4. How to buy directly from a Chinese factory instead of a middleman?
You can search for factories online or visit China personally. This is the best way to find factories directly and order through them. However, make sure to check the business license of the manufacturers or perform a factory audit to make sure that they are really the manufacturer and not just a trading company.
Many foreign buyers and newbies fail their first attempt when buying wholesale from china. This is because they immediately rush for the process and make mistakes that are unable to recognize. Now by reaching the end of this guide, you will know:
The reasons to buy wholesale products from china
The essential steps to take to buy wholesale items from china
The mistakes to avoid when buying wholesale from china
Now set your physical and online store, and reach out to China for the wholesale purchase. Good Luck!