Buying goods from manufacturers in China can take a great deal of work. In some cases, it would take you months to even get your hands on a sample, not to mention the need to purchase hundreds of units of a single product design or sometimes even products of the same colour. What is a cash strapped startup to do when high MOQs and long lead times are preventing them to break ground? The advice of veteran business owners—skip the factories and turn to wholesalers instead.
With a wholesale supplier, there is usually a lower MOQ (minimum order quantity) to worry about and you have the freedom to pick and mix products as you please. Even better, you need not wait months to see your purchase. All these sound great, but there are certain things you should remember when dealing with wholesale suppliers in China:
• Wholesalers abound all over the country, but if you want one specialising in export markets, Yiwu is the best place to start. This old trading city in Zhejiang province is home to literally thousands of small to huge trading companies and wholesale suppliers. It is established as a main hub for export-oriented suppliers with a trading structure that is far more developed for this type of trade than elsewhere in the country.
• Minimum order quantities from wholesalers are much lower compared to factories. Some even allow ordering few pieces of a certain product.
• Many wholesalers lack proper export licenses, without which, they can’t export directly or sometimes even sell goods to foreign buyers. Fortunately, there are legal ways by which you can work around exporting goods even when your seller operates without the required export license. You may ask your manufacturing service solutions provider about these options should you be faced with these kinds of complications
• Some wholesale products may also not be compliant with some overseas product regulations so make sure to procure only those that meet the necessary requirements. It is also important to know whether or not the wholesale product/products you are purchasing can be branded or customised to fit your need.