Some buyer often ask: how to find Manufacturers on Alibaba? How to find high-quality suppliers on Alibaba? How to find a good manufacturer on Alibaba?
In this post, we will teach you how to source products from Alibaba. Some advice you can try next time
The go place for people sourcing for products from China is typically Alibaba.com. The reason for that is because it is the largest B2B trading platform there is in the world with millions of Chinese suppliers from across many industries.
Under the categories the platform has, there are still thousands of suppliers to choose from. That’s where it gets confusing because people don’t know which supplier is best.
We have been selling on Alibaba for 7 years, so we know the ins and outs of Alibaba
In this article is designed to give you some tips on how to find the right supplier on Alibaba. For clarity, we are using ‘ fashion jewelry’ as an example of a product you’d be sourcing for.
Disclaimer: There is no relationship between the companies mentioned and the author.
Step 1. Gather all relevant information about the product
A. Find keywords relating to your product and use them to research
Using the example of ‘fashion jewelry’, Alibaba will bring up all the products related to fashion jewelry’ available. Look through the search results and see if there are particular words that suppliers are using to market ‘fashion jewelry.’
While some will opt for fashion jewelry’ others might have other names they’ve used to describe the same product. For example, you’ll find that other suppliers are using ‘imitation jewelry’ or ‘fashion accessories’ to describe the same product you’re looking for.
Once you’ve picked out the keywords they are using, use them to search and get additional results on supplier selling ‘fashion jewelry’ in China.
B. Identifying where the product is manufactured to narrow down on suppliers
Upon examining ‘fashion jewelry’ on Alibaba, you’ll notice that most of the plants that make fashion jewelry are primarily found in two areas in China. They are Zhejiang Province and Guangdong Province.
These areas have 215745( increasing every day) and 1991141 ( increasing every day) products of ‘fashion jewelry’ respectively. There are 1,469 fashion jewelry suppliers, mainly located in the two provinces
From the results, you’ll also notice that there are very few suppliers available on Alibaba who are outside of these two China provinces.
Now that we have established that the two places ‘fashion jewelry’ gets manufactured in Zhejiang Province and Guangdong Province, you want to avoid dealing with suppliers that don’t fall within these two locations. The reason for that is that they are usually middlemen and they tend to offer their goods for higher prices as compared to other suppliers.
Pro tip: Something to keep in mind to help you with your future searches on Alibaba is that most products that people use daily are predominantly manufactured in Zhejiang and Guangdong, and a few of them Fujian. Other areas of China produce machines, chemicals, and farm products.
When we compare the suppliers from Zhejiang with those in Guangdong, you’ll note that that have more suppliers there. Based on knowledge about China, most of the suppliers based in Guangdong are not factories or manufacturers.
Instead, they are trading companies that purchase all their products from manufacturers in Zhejiang. Even though you’ll be getting the same quality of products of you to opt for these trading companies, the downside is that you’ll pay 10 to 20 percent more for the same item than if you purchased straight from the manufacturer.
Suppliers based in Guangdong typically tout that their products are of superior quality than those of areas where the manufacturing takes place.
That’s, however, an impossible claim to make given that Zhejiang has unlimited access to low-cost material and cheap labor. In areas outside of Zhejiang, the cost of materials and labor are high, making it harder to produce quality products and still sell them at competing prices.
From our research, most suppliers found in Guangdong, only two or three are manufacturers. The rest are trading companies and thus sell the same ‘fashion jewelry’ and other products at a higher price.
Zhejiang Province-based manufactures, therefore, have a competitive advantage because they produce excellent quality goods at lower prices.
Step 2. Identify the product quantity to help select the best supplier
Now, before making a purchase, you’ll have already established the demand in your home market so that when searching for ‘fashion jewelry’ on Alibaba(let’s take fashion earrings for examples), you know how many pieces to order.
Your choices are purchasing from a manufacturer or a trading company. If you want to order a large amount of ‘ fashion earrings,’ for example, 3,000 pieces and above, you ought to purchase from a manufacturer.
However, if you want about 200 pieces, one is typically advised to buy from a trading company instead. That is despite their prices being higher than if you got them directly from the maker of ‘ fashion earrings.’
Here are suggestions to help narrow down your search.
A. Search for the company’s name and address
Typically, companies choose their business name based on the product they sell. Let us look at the example of two companies.
One is called ‘Yiwu Skysweet Jewelry Factory ’ and the other Yiwu Fengshang Jewelry Co., Ltd.’. Based on the names, we can establish that the former is likely to produce fashion earrings.
The reason for this association is because the business name has ‘factory’ and Alibaba had checked their factory. It also means they can produce the product at a lower cost because the company already has the content. ( if you want to make 3000 or more at the lowest price, you can try this company) Yiwu Fengshang Jewelry Co., Ltd. is likely to to be a trading company. If you buy 200pieces, this kind of company will be the best choice.
B. Find out what other products the company sells
It is common practice for a trading company to sell products of a similar type. That means if a trading company is dealing with ‘fashion jewelry,’ they are likely to have other products in its portfolio that are related to the hose.
Trading companies selling a mix of products not related to each other come across as unprofessional. You don’t want to buy from a company that sells ‘fashion jewelry’ along with toys and cosmetics.
C. Read the products descriptions carefully
Another giveaway of whether you are working with a professional trading company or not is in the product description. Professional trading companies give detailed product descriptions, while others provide straightforward explanations.
You want to opt for the one that describes the product well as it is an indication that they are supplying a quality product. It also shows that they are well versed with the product and have been making it for years.
Related reading: How to Check Chinese Company Registration Number(2023 Updated)
Step 3. Communicate with a potential supplier to determine the most appropriate one for you
Once you get to this point of the journey to choosing the ideal trading company, you will find that you still have a long list of the supplier. Narrow it down further by communicating with the potential suppliers on your list.
From the communication you have, you’ll be able to judge for yourself who is the right supplier for the ‘ fashion jewelry products’ that you want to buy. Let’s look at a few suggestions you can follow to narrow down on the supplier you’ll end up ordering from.
A. Ask for additional information about the product
It may be that you’re not fully aware of the specifications of the product you want to buy from the supplier. Form a list of questions and send them to the supplier. Their response should answer your queries and give you more understanding about the product and its features.
The best suppliers will enthusiastically respond, giving details about the process, the product’s quality, and the pricing. Though this is the kind of supplier you’re looking for, be prepared to part with extra cash as they charge higher than their unprofessional counterparts.
B.Create a list of questions that will help you judge a supplier’s expertise
To find out if you’re working with the best company, don’t be afraid to ask additional questions about the manufacturing process.
From the response you get, you’ll be able to tell if the company you’re dealing with is a factory or if they are middlemen.
It is in the asking of questions that you’re ready to confirm a supplier’s claims that they are involved in manufacturing; a lot of suppliers on Alibaba make this claim.
Another reason to ask questions about the producing process is that the person on the other end will assume you’re an expert on the product and thus give you a lower quotation.
Let’s see the example below.
If you are going to make 1000 rings, you can ask the supplier the prices for 100,500, 1000, and 5000 pieces. Ask about the width and weight of the rings, what kind of metals they use. What the price would be if made different metals? Details about private labeling, etc.
If they are inexperienced, the person won’t be able to answer these questions well as they have little to no knowledge of what they are selling.
Pro tips: MOQ is a great way to tell if they are a trading company or a direct factory. If you want to make a product, a trading company has lower MOQ. 200 will be OK for fashion jewelry. If you want to make 200 PCS, the direct manufacturer will say NO to you. The profit for 200 PCS is not enough to start the machine. So they will say no. But the trading company have a better business relationship with the factory, so, they will do it for a trading company.
C. Compare the price before settling on a supplier
From the questions you’ve asked, you’ll have a rough idea of the price range of ‘fashion jewelry’ or the product you’re looking for in relation to quality. The professional suppliers will have helped you come up with an estimated cost, allow you to ignore anyone that gives you a higher quote.
The prices will, by default, be higher, but they are the best option if you don’t want to risk getting something at a lower price and finding out the quality is poor.
If you’re not comfortable with the price and want to purchase for less, opt for suppliers that are selling the product for 10 percent less than the professional trading companies.
The reason they can charge less is that they tend to be small companies with lower profit margins.
However, if you opt for these companies, be prepared to give them all the specifications you need to get the product you desire. It is something you’ll have to do because they are somewhat inexperienced but still do a good job.
If you see a supplier is selling the same product for 15 percent or more less than professional suppliers, be prepared to receive goods that are different from what you expect.
Because this problem is rampant, you first want to make an order a few samples to confirm that it’s the quality you want before making a bulk purchase.
We hope these tips will help you land a reliable and professional supplier on Alibaba.