10 ways to find & verify Chinese suppliers you can trust (2022)

You come across a Chinese supplier online. The organization looks alright. There’s potential for a business opportunity that could really take off. BUT there are many scams, fakes, and just plain bad Chinese suppliers out there to watch out for. So how do you make sure you’re doing business with a legitimate supplier you can trust?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Most of the businesses interviewed in this survey conducted by Global Sources said that verifying Chinese suppliers is the biggest problem they face when importing products from the country.

10 ways to find & verify Chinese suppliers you can trust (1)

When you’re verifying a potential supplier you are essentially looking at these two aspects:

  1. Does the supplier have the ability to produce the products you want to buy?
  2. Is the company a legitimate business with good reputation and not a scam or business on the verge of bankruptcy?

This article offers simple and effective strategies to answer these two questions – let's get started.


1. Use search engines & Chinese suppliers’ directories

When checking out Chinese wholesale websites, go through all their policies (returns, damages, backorders), and make sure they have their contact information and physical address posted on their site.

Open Google or Bing and search “[company name] + scam,” “[company name] + dishonest,” and a few variations. Other distributors and retailers who had a bad experience with China wholesale suppliers often try to leave a trace about it on the web.

While searching the supplier’s company name, you will find the profiles they created on several B2B directories, including Alibaba, Global Sources, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and many more.

These places are a great start to look through reviews, get references and ask questions, but beware of members who are simply trying to self-promote. For example, look out for how long the supplier has been in operation (it’s good to do business with a supplier who has been in the market for at least 2-3 years).

Also, many B2B marketplaces usually offer verification services such as this one provided by Alibaba, so it makes your life a lot easier when it comes to determining if you can trust a particular supplier or not. Similarly, Global Sources checks important data of suppliers such as the start date, number of staff in each department, factory ownership, amount of sales, brand names, and so on.

Furthermore, with Google search, you might also come across information such as whether a supplier has participated in trade shows recently, which is a good sign that you’re dealing with reputable China wholesale suppliers. Renting a booth and attending trade shows can be seen as an investment in gaining new customers. Repeated presence in trade shows also means that the supplier is earnest in cultivating relationships with customers.

2. Make a phone call

To avoid being traced by law enforcement authorities, most scammers do not provide genuine registration information online. For example, they will provide a false company address, telephone and fax number, or persuade buyers to contact them by mobile phone only.

(Video) 5 Proven Steps to Finding Trusted Suppliers in China

Make a phone call to the China supplier’s landline and ask for the company registration number and business license number while you’re at it. An alarm should sound off in your mind if a supplier only has a mobile number and not a landline. In China, it is possible for people to buy hundreds of mobile phone numbers without any restriction or limitation. This is why scammers almost always use mobile phone numbers instead of landline telephones.

A standard Chinese landline will look like this: 86 10 3333 3333. “86” is the country code of China, “10” (or another 2-digit number) is the area code, and 8 digits for the telephone number. You can do a basic check on the location of the telephone number using the area code.

3. Check business licenses

Chinese suppliers have to register with the Chinese government authorities and obtain a unique company registration number. If your supplier is unable to provide you a unique company registration number, it's too risky to continue dealing with them. To verify the registration number, visit their local administrative government website or contact their local Bureau of Industry Commerce.

4. Ask for references

To verify the supplier’s financial credit worthiness, ask for their bank’s reference letters. To check up on the supplier’s track record in producing top-quality items, ask for their previous customers as a reference and don’t hesitate to contact them too.

Likewise, if you know any other brands in your industry, why not contact them and ask for recommendations of any Chinese Suppliers they have used.

5. Get a sample

Whether you’re buying wholesale clothing in China or any other product, ask for a sample item – even if you have to pay for it. When you have a sample in your hands, you can check the quality to ensure the product is exactly what you are looking for.

Also, if you have to pay for the initial sample charge, insist on wiring money to your potential supplier’s company bank account. If they can’t provide you with that information, they are probably not serious about doing business.

(Video) Find Legit Suppliers On Alibaba In 4 Easy Steps (And Avoid The Scams)

Moreover, you can refer to the supplier’s Audit Reports (if available) for an independent onsite report of their manufacturing and trading capability.

6. Money matters

While we're on the topic of money, when it comes to payment, tell your potential China suppliers that you want to get your products picked up by your local agent from their address, and that they will pay cash on delivery. See if they allow for this. Scammers will never agree to it but real legit suppliers will.

In addition, TT, Western Union, and MoneyGram are the most common mode of payment in China, but good suppliers accept PayPal as well. Always be cautious of using untraceable wire service transfers with suppliers you do not know – these are highly risky and susceptible to fraud.

7. Conduct factory audits (or at least pretend to)

Tell potential suppliers that you’ll have their factory audited before any Purchase Order is issued, and later will want their production inspected before any shipment is authorized. Mention it right away in your first encounter or email. If the supplier refuses or starts making excuses why it wouldn’t be a good idea, that’s a red flag!

Factory audits are the right tool to verify a supplier’s claims about their production capability. Most quality control firms and some sourcing agents can audit a factory based on a checklist that corresponds to your needs. Prices range from 300 to 900 USD for a day of work in the main production areas.

8. Make good use of databases

Search through this database of the Chinese Supreme Court. Type in the Chinese name of your supplier and see if you find it there. You will be able to find out if they have been given a sentence and if they failed to pay damages. Unfortunately, this site is available only in Chinese. However, a Chinese contact or your Chinese sourcing agent should be able to help you with this translation step.

9. Background checks on the cheap

You can order a report from third-party authentication services such as GloBIS, where their business credit report service will provide information on your potential Chinese supplier, including legal representatives, shareholders, business scope, financial records from the last three years, and other information.

(Video) How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Get The Lowest Price

You can also try China Checkup, which offers very similar services and caters more specifically for foreign buyers’ needs.

10. Visit the company or factory in person

This is the best way to verify your suppliers – you won’t know much about an organization unless you visit it. You can also discuss your products, prices, quality inspection, and delivery time expectations face to face. It’s impossible for you to go visit every potential supplier you have in mind, so go through the earlier steps outlined in this article, and narrow down your selections before deciding to jump on a plane and visit their office or factory in person.

The best way to reduce fraud (regardless of whether you’re trading online or offline) is for buyers and sellers to conduct proper due diligence and research before entering any transaction. Be meticulous with this verification process, and you will know if your potential supplier can be trusted.

When it comes time to start discussing prices with a China supplier, follow our guide to negotiating with suppliers so you can secure the best deal possible and ensure your profit margins remain healthy.

Lastly, once you have developed a good working relationship with a reputable Chinese supplier, don’t forget to keep track of their ongoing standards by doing regular supplier QA checks.

10 ways to find & verify Chinese suppliers you can trust (2)

(Video) How to Find Alibaba Suppliers That You Can Trust

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How do you find reliable suppliers in China? ›

How to find suppliers in China
  1. Check Online directories.
  2. Alibaba. Alibaba is the largest and most commonly used marketplace to find suppliers in China. ...
  3. Network with people who've done it before. ...
  4. Visit Trade shows & webinars. ...
  5. Local trade shows. ...
  6. Request for samples. ...
  7. Enquire about production times. ...
  8. Minimum order quantities.
29 Oct 2020

How do I verify a Chinese company? ›

  1. Check the Chinese company in the Public System.
  2. Check the Chinese company's website ICP. Find the ICP record Number. Public Search of the domain name. Enter the ICP number and Code. The result of the Company's name.
  3. Check the Chinese company by Company Verification Report.
12 Jul 2020

How do I know if a supplier is legit? ›

Look for specific things on the company's website that may give away whether or not they are truly legitimate.
  1. Check spelling and grammar. ...
  2. Check for a business address and landline number. ...
  3. Check for a Privacy Policy. ...
  4. Check for a company number. ...
  5. Check the WHOIS database.

How do I find Chinese suppliers online? ›

Alibaba. If you cannot travel to China or Hong Kong to participate in the exhibition, the best way to find Chinese wholesales suppliers list is to use online catalogs such as Alibaba. In addition, Alibaba provides a service called trade assurance, which is an escrow service to protect your order.

How do I approach a Chinese supplier? ›

How to Work with Chinese Manufacturers (11 Top Tips)
  1. Culture – it affects business, too. ...
  2. The perils of email-only contact. ...
  3. Communication – make it personal. ...
  4. “Yes” doesn't always mean yes. ...
  5. But don't forget that you are running a business. ...
  6. Be wary of middle-men. ...
  7. Don't lose your cool. ...
  8. Keep using titles respectfully.
24 Sept 2020

How do I verify a Chinese company for free? ›

Check the Chinese company's website

You can access a company's record at http://gsxt.gov.cn/index.html page. Enter the company's name or enter the registration number for company verification. You will find the Unified Social Credit Code in the upper right corner of your business license.

Can I trust products from China? ›

Some are reliable and some are not. It all depends on who you're dealing with. There are many reputable and reliable manufacturers in China that make great quality goods. Be sure to check their credentials, work history, experience, and customer satisfaction before choosing any manufacturer.

How can I verify a company details? ›

Steps to Check Company Registration Status
  1. Step 1: Go to the MCA website.
  2. Step 2: Go to the 'MCA Services' tab. In the drop-down click on 'View Company/LLP Master Data'.
  3. Step 3: Enter the company CIN. Enter the captcha code. Click on 'Submit'.
18 Apr 2022

What is the most reliable way to find an appropriate supplier? ›

6 Ways to Find the Best Suppliers
  1. Check their certifications. ...
  2. Align manufacturing and shipping locations to your organization's needs. ...
  3. Look for expertise in your product type and target market. ...
  4. Find out if they can make enough of what you need. ...
  5. Evaluate the geopolitical climate.
18 Jun 2019

Can I trust Alibaba verified supplier? ›

So, how safe is Alibaba for buyers? Well, most of the suppliers on this platform have been verified to be legitimate and trustworthy. Additionally, they provide several trade guarantees and policies that help protect the buyer against loss throughout the purchase process.

How do I find my original suppliers? ›

There are five main ways to research this:
  1. Online Manufacturer Directories.
  2. Referrals.
  3. Search by NAICS Code.
  4. Forums and Social Media.
  5. Google.
7 Oct 2020

What is the best website to buy wholesale from China? ›

Here are the 20 best China wholesale suppliers:
  1. Alibaba. Alibaba is the largest China wholesale B2B marketplace that dropshippers use for buying all types of products in bulk. ...
  2. 1688.com. ...
  3. Taobao. ...
  4. AliExpress. ...
  5. DHgate. ...
  6. Made-In-China. ...
  7. Chinabrands. ...
  8. Chinavasion.
1 Mar 2022

How do you source products directly from China? ›

How to Source and Sell Products from China Online
  1. Research the Market. Your first step to making money by selling Chinese products online is research. ...
  2. Contact Your Chinese Manufacturers. ...
  3. Negotiate. ...
  4. Order Samples. ...
  5. Create Product Posting. ...
  6. Analyze Sales. ...
  7. Re-order or Pivot.
22 Aug 2017

What's the best website to buy from China? ›

The 10 Best Chinese Shopping Sites That Ship to the US
  1. AliExpress. AliExpress is arguably the most well-known Chinese online store. ...
  2. Banggood. We spoke about Banggood when we reviewed the best sites for buying cheap electronics. ...
  3. GearBest. ...
  4. DHgate. ...
  5. YesStyle. ...
  6. LightInTheBox. ...
  7. Shein. ...
  8. GeekBuying.

How do I find suppliers on WeChat? ›

Just like Facebook or WhatsApp, you only request your supplier for their WeChat ID and add them as friends. The supplier may pick the conversation from the online B2B platforms to WeChat, reducing time. You can then quickly ask your supplier questions, and they can provide quick responses.

How do I buy things in bulk from China? ›

How To Buy In Bulk From China?
  1. Canton Fair.
  2. Global Sources Tradeshow.
  3. Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace.
  4. Panjiva and Import Genius.
  5. Jungle Scout Supplier Database.
  6. Alibaba.
  7. AliExpress.
  8. DHgate.
15 Aug 2022

What is the best way to communicate with suppliers? ›

Here are 5 tips for improving communication with your suppliers and reaping the results.
  1. Set Clear Expectations for Reporting and Supplier Communication. ...
  2. Know Your Parts. ...
  3. Establish Clear Measurement Requirements. ...
  4. Be Respectful of Their Time. ...
  5. Be Quick, But Don't Hurry.

How do you impress a supplier? ›

Like any relationship, communication is the key to success.
Talking to vendors: 10 quick tips for getting it right
  1. Be informed. ...
  2. Straight talk. ...
  3. Ask questions. ...
  4. Give your vendor time to answer. ...
  5. Broach the money subject. ...
  6. Set clear expectations.
30 Oct 2018

Can I trust made in China website? ›

MIC is a legally registered company that has been operating for more than 20 years since 1996. It is a large online B2B sourcing marketplace like Alibaba.

Is there a China company registration search website? ›

Search Online with a Chinese Company name

You can go to the ICP Registration Query: https://www.beianx.cn/ to search for the name of this company, as is shown in the picture. And then you can continue with the previous steps to look for its registration number.

How do I find a Chinese product? ›

Using online supplier platforms may be the safest way to source products from China. There are four popular product sourcing platforms: Made in China, Alibaba, AliExpress, and Global sources. Made in China platform is a top eCommerce platform in China created by Focus Technology.

What is the safest way to buy from China? ›

10 Safely Buy from China Tips
  • Cooperate with Reliable Suppliers to Source Products from China. ...
  • Buy Wholesale Products from Reliable Online China Websites. ...
  • Visit the Factory when Buying Products from China. ...
  • Hire a Third-party Supplier Audit. ...
  • Perform Proper Quality Control. ...
  • Quality Control.
30 Sept 2022

What is the safest way to pay for goods from China? ›

Bank-to-bank transfer: This is a widely accepted form of payment among suppliers in China and usually takes a few days. It is generally considered safe, though there are some risks for both the importer and supplier. To lower the element of risk, importers can opt to pay in batches.

Are all Chinese products poor quality? ›

Factories in China sometimes churn out cheap, poor-quality products. But many are indeed capable of manufacturing products that are both high tech and high quality. In fact, many importers continue to find success sourcing products from China, even as manufacturing wages continue to climb there.

How do I check a company online? ›

Check for reliability seals from consumer protection programs, such as the Better Business Bureau. Do a search for the business at bbbonline.org to find out if it has been accredited by the BBB. To view complaints made against a business, click "check out a business or charity" at bbb.org.

What are the four 4 factors in choosing a right supplier? ›

Criteria for selecting a supplier
  • price.
  • value for money.
  • quality.
  • reliability.
  • responsiveness.
  • flexibility.

Which 5 factors would you consider to be the most important when selecting a supplier? ›

5 things to consider when choosing a new supplier
  • Supplier cost. Probably the most obvious – but equally important – factor to take into consideration when looking for new suppliers, is cost. ...
  • Quality. ...
  • Reliability and previous experience. ...
  • Shared culture. ...
  • Location.

What are the 4 main ways to evaluate and measure supplier performance? ›

While the performance metrics might differ from company to company, some common gradable metrics include quality, on-time delivery, acknowledgment rate, and responsiveness.

Is there any fake supplier in Alibaba? ›

Bad suppliers and sellers exist on every platform, and they are known to be present on Alibaba. To minimize the chances of getting scammed or choosing an unreliable supplier, reach out to more than one supplier to verify them.

Are there fakes on Alibaba? ›

Today, buyers should be wary if a seller is real or fake and if the products that the seller is claiming to sell are real and legitimate. Recently the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said that sellers on Alibaba are selling fake products.

What should you avoid on Alibaba? ›

7 common types of scams on Alibaba
  • Scam 1: Selling brand name products at a very low price. ...
  • Scam 2: Supplier increases the quote after you place an order. ...
  • Scam 3: Premium quality sample, poor quality order. ...
  • Scam 4: Fake product compliance certificates. ...
  • Scam 5: Changing products without notice at the time of dispatch.

What are the 4 types of suppliers? ›

4 Types of Material Suppliers and Their Impact on Your Business
  • MANUFACTURERS AND VENDORS. When you work with manufacturers and vendors, you're working with the source of the supply chain. ...
16 Feb 2017

What are the 3 ways to look for a reputable supplier in Alibaba? ›

One of the most important parts of sourcing on Alibaba.com is knowing who you're buying from. You want to make sure that they are reliable and trustworthy. Checking for the Gold Supplier, Verified Supplier, and Trade Assurance Supplier qualifications is a good place to start.

What is a list of approved suppliers? ›

An approved supplier list (ASL) is a compiled list of all the suppliers approved by a company as sources from which to purchase parts or materials.

Who is the best sourcing agent in China? ›

50 Best Sourcing Agent in China
Company NameServicesLocation
Pinnacle SourcingGlobal sourcing companyIndia & Shanghai, China
Meeno GroupChina product buying agent in YiwuYiwu, China
AsiactionSpecialized in sourcingHongkong and Guangzhou
Baysource GlobalAccelerate your product launchUS & Shanghai, China
51 more rows
7 Oct 2022

What is the cheapest way to import from China? ›

Sea transport is the cheapest way to transport your products from China to India. It involves the carriage of goods by ship and delivery at the port of discharge. The process is complicated but much more cost-effective than air freight.

What is the cheapest shipping method from China? ›

Using an international courier, also known as express freight is generally more reliable and quicker than by mail, whether it's DHL, UPS or TNT. As a rule of thumb, at about $5 per kilo, express freight is the cheapest shipping mode for packages or small shipments up to about 150 kg.

How do I find a reliable supplier in China? ›

How to find suppliers in China
  1. Check Online directories.
  2. Alibaba. Alibaba is the largest and most commonly used marketplace to find suppliers in China. ...
  3. Network with people who've done it before. ...
  4. Visit Trade shows & webinars. ...
  5. Local trade shows. ...
  6. Request for samples. ...
  7. Enquire about production times. ...
  8. Minimum order quantities.
29 Oct 2020

How do I get direct suppliers from China? ›

China Supplier - 7 Ways to Find a Reliable Supplier
  1. The Canton Fair. China's largest import/export convention is held twice a year and covers virtually every industry that makes physical products. ...
  2. Yiwu Market. ...
  3. B2B marketplaces. ...
  4. Sourcing agents. ...
  5. Google. ...
  6. Baidu. ...
  7. Your industry network.

What are 3 items that China imported? ›

In September 2022 the top imports of China were Integrated Circuits ($39.2B), Crude Petroleum ($28.8B), Iron Ore ($10.4B), Petroleum Gas ($9.26B), and Gold ($8.36B).

Which China brand is best? ›

The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2022
Rank 2022BrandCategory
1TencentMedia and Entertainment
4DouyinMedia and Entertainment
6 more rows
25 Aug 2022

Which Chinese brand is best? ›

The Top 10 BrandZ China Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands
Rank 2019BrandCategory
4China MobileTelecom Providers
6 more rows

Who is the biggest buyer from China? ›

United States

What are the 6 sourcing strategies? ›

Six essential steps towards a successful sourcing strategy
  • Spend analysis. ...
  • Supplier market share analysis. ...
  • Supplier-spend share analysis. ...
  • Procurement organization's demand. ...
  • Category risk analysis. ...
  • Vendor qualification.
19 Jun 2019

How do I find a source in China? ›

‍A Google, Bing or Yahoo search is the default option for many people seeking to source products from China. You can also go to online sourcing platforms such as Alibaba, Global Sources and Made in China, which connect buyers to suppliers in China.

Can I trust items made in China? ›

For a long time, people have believed that Chinese products are of poor quality. However, China's modern manufacturing has enabled merchants to produce good-quality products at very attractive prices. So produce from China is safe.

Can you trust products made in China? ›

For a long time, the world believed that products from China are low quality and substandard. However, this is far from the truth. The modern development in China has enabled the manufacturers to produce high-quality products at the most attractive prices, making them the leaders in the manufacturing industry.

What are the ways on finding a supplier? ›

You can research suppliers online, but you can also join networks or search industry databases and association websites. Reach out to contacts, friends or family for recommendations. There are many factors to consider when researching a potential supplier, including: location.


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