what are the criteria of a long term relationship supplier?

Once you’ve established contact, due diligence is paramount. It is important to verify that the person you are speaking with is actually who they claim to be. Look at their LinkedIn profile. It is one of the few social media websites that China allows. Anyone who works with international customers or is a salesperson should have a verified LinkedIn profile. Check out the company website. Is it professional looking? Does it look professional? Do not be fooled by badges that say “trusted” or “accredited”. They can easily be copied or purchased from other sources. Is the registered business address of the company? Google the company name to get any good or bad news about it.

Next, you can connect to them online via Skype. Ask them to show their products on the webcam, unless they deal in industrial power generators. WeChat is a popular Chinese chat platform and social media site. Keep the business conversation going! Your gut feeling and their tone will help importing from china to usa you determine if they can be trusted. It is a good idea to attend trade fairs, meet suppliers face-to-face, and visit their factories and offices. Face-to face interaction is more effective than emailing and calling the office.

The Canton Fair, also known by the China Import and Export Fair is China’s most important trade show. It’s held twice a year in Guangzhou. The Canton Fair has almost everything under one roof. Other regional trade fairs focus on particular categories like consumer goods or gifts. They are more affordable and may have smaller suppliers, which could allow them to take smaller, customisable orders. ChinaExhibition.com lists all upcoming trade fairs.

Trade shows can be dangerous because not all attendees are manufacturers. Some trade companies are wholesalers or retailers. Trading companies tend to charge higher prices, but will take a lower MOQ. Prices are generally lower when dealing with manufacturers, but they will still require a minimum order quantity.

Opportunities Costs of not visiting Suppliers

I can hear you saying, “I don’t have the time to go to China!” And I have to take Natalie to her dentist next week.” You have to remember that it is your business. Find reliable, trustworthy suppliers to supply the goods you need.

While there might be Chinese trade fairs within your country of residence, they will be less frequent and have a smaller number of suppliers. This smaller market may not provide a complete picture of the available products. You won’t find much success if you don’t limit your business efforts and send out a few emails. Face time is crucial. Keep in mind that if your competitors aren’t already there, you will be!

While it is possible to book the next flight to meet a single supplier, this does not mean that you will. It’s best to schedule your business trip around a major trade fair in Hong Kong. Then, cross over to Shenzhen and meet up with some suppliers. Or, you could spend a week in Guangzhou to chill at The Canton Fair.

This is where you will need to refresh your geography knowledge. China is almost the same size and the flying distance from Shenzhen to Shanghai, two Chinese industrial powerhouses, is the same distance as between San Francisco and Tucson in Arizona. You don’t need to make a grand cross-country trip. It is important to be able to schedule meetings and visits in each city sensibly before you move on to the next.

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