8 Foolproof Ways to Source a Legit China Supplier

You finally got a loan or your savings, and you decide to import products in China to make money.

You have the exact products, your market is ready, and all the strategies are set.

There is only one problem; you don’t know how to get a trustworthy Chinese supplier.

Are you paranoid? Certainly not. There are very many scammers and fakes online. 

In fact, if you had not thought of taking any precautions, you should rethink your path and strategy.

Luckily, I have several things you can do to be sure your supplier is genuine and legit.

1. Make Good Use of Search Engines

It is true what they say, “the angry customers are always the loudest’. If you type “company name” + scam or any other close variation, you are likely to find anything fishy the firm has done.

Also, be sure to visit the supplier’s website and see if their policies are favorable (e.g., return and damage policy). 

Other things to look out for is if they have their contact information and physical shop location on the site.

Lastly, search to see their most recent activities. Have they had any trade shows? 

I will intentionally leave out that an older firm is more reputable than a new firm because a supplier may be new in the market but still have a sense of integrity.

2. Call the Suppliers

This may sound a bit lame, but hear me out. 

In China, people can register as many phone numbers as they want – there are no limitations. This is why many fake suppliers will use mobile phones.

Once you talk with the supplier, ask them to give you the landline of the business, their license number, and the company’s registration number.

If they cannot provide this information, there is a high probability that they are scammers. 

The country code of China is 86, so a landline number should be something like 86 10 3333 3333.

3. Inspect Their Business Licences

Chinese government authorities require that the supplies register with them. You may, therefore, decide to hold on to your money if your supplier cannot supply you with a unique registration number.

For verification, you can contact their local Bureau of Industry Commerce.

4. Ask for References

Ask for contacts from their past customers and reach out to them to know how the experience with the supplier. If they are genuine, this will not be a problem.

You can also approach the “big boys” of your industry and ask them for recommendations.

5. Don’t Buy Anything in Bulk Without a Sample

Regardless of how fast you want to do business and earn those coins, you don’t want to rush in the wrong direction.

Ask for a sample – pay for it if you have to. This will give you time to check out the material and decide if it is what you want.

Also, make the payment through the supplier’s company bank account. If they have a problem with the terms, it may be time to rethink your decision.

6. Ask for Help

If all this seems like a lot, know that there is no shame in asking for help from a third party. 

The cost of outsourcing the task does not equate half the losses you could incur doing business with the wrong supplier.

There are multiple Chinese sourcing agents who will help you land the right suppliers at a reasonable fee.

This way, you can be sure not to enter into business with any scammers.

7. Money Issues

Money matters are sensitive, and you want to do everything to be on the right side. 

Tell your suppliers that your products will be collected by a local agent, who will pay on delivery.

Genuine suppliers will be fine with this arrangement, but the scammers will bail out at this point.

The other mistake you don’t want to make is wiring money to a new supplier through untraceable payment methods.

The most common modes of payments in China include; MoneyGram, Western Union, TT, and Paypal.

8. Conduct a Factory Audit

I know this will sound a bit devious, but you really don’t have to conduct the audit, you can just pretend you will.

In your first email, mention that you will audit the firm before making any purchase, as well as have the goods inspected before shipment.

If a firm is not genuine, they will give you excuses on why that doesn’t sound like a brilliant idea. 

You can also get an actual factory audit at $300-$900 per day.

To Conclude

It’s not easy to trust a stranger with your fortune. Other people have lost all their money in a day, and you don’t want the same thing happening to you.

You have to do your homework well before making any huge deposits in any accounts, whether they are in your country or not.

We hope this article makes your quest to picking the right china supplier for your business easier. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.