Any socks seller will tell you that the risk of finding dishonest Chinese suppliers or falling into poor-quality goods is high. Whether you are delving into online B2B marketplaces, online supplier directories, or visiting trade shows or wholesale marketplaces, you need to beware of a few bad apples. In this article, we’ll recommend the best ways to find reliable Socks suppliers to build long-term relationships.
Why Should I Source From China?
As the Chinese economy is in its formative years, manufacturing costs are very low compared to other parts of the world.
This provides you with excellent opportunities as a seller! By sourcing your goods directly from China you can get meager prices per unit and high profits in your own country/region.
Take Apple (one of the richest companies globally and the maker of the iPhone and iPad) as an example.
Apple initially produced iPhones at a cost of $40 in assembly plants across the U.S. However, they were dealing with efficiency issues that were causing them to lose money.
They realized they needed to do something different (and fast) in order to meet customer demand and, of course, remain a profitable company.
So they partnered with Chinese manufacturers because the Chinese had the infrastructure to make the products Apple wanted. And the best part is that Apple can produce iPhones there at a manufacturing cost of $8 per unit!
You must be wondering how China is able to price and manufacture goods at such low prices.
The reason behind this is simple:
Materials are readily available
Wages are much cheaper in China
The Chinese are masters when it comes to mass production
Chinese production lines are fine-tuned and organized
In short, the Chinese just know what to do when making things!
Career Expos Like Canton Fairs
Let’s take the Canton Fair, China’s largest import and export conference, as an example
It is held twice a year and covers almost every industry that produces physical products. It is so huge that it operates in three phases.
Stage 1: electronics, machinery, building materials, and chemicals
Phase 2: consumer goods, home décor, and gifts
Phase 3: textiles, leisure products, office supplies, shoes, medical devices, and healthcare products
You can attend for free, but once you’re in, be prepared for what’s to come. This is a trailer for.
– Sales representatives will speak basic business English. Some are hired for the show and may not apply to the company. You will only learn about minimum order quantities and some product details.
– You can hire an interpreter at the show for 400-500 RMB or 60-75 USD per day. Minority languages have a higher service fee.
– Suppliers bring samples so that you can see and touch the products to get an idea of the quality.
– Low prices go hand in hand with less than stellar quality. Unless you are willing to pay more than the advertised price, you will not see the quality you want.
– After you have spoken to a supplier, they will ask for your business card so that they can contact you after the show. Some Amazon sellers are reluctant to hand out business cards to every supplier they meet because they are worried that their details will be sold to other suppliers. As a courtesy, they may hand out fake cards to everyone except the suppliers they are interested in.
The Canton Fair is huge. Look up the list of exhibitors and their stand locations on the show website in advance to save time and effort. The same suppliers participate every year, so the novelty is lacking. Don’t expect to see innovation either – companies with newer designs or features may show prototypes and only look for distributors rather than OEM or private label manufacturing.
Find China Socks Factory Using B2B Websites
The first and easiest thing you can do is to turn on your laptop/computer and use B2B sites such as Alibaba and Global Selling Post to find suppliers in China. These sites contain many suppliers operating in China.
We recommend these sites for one more reason. That is that they need a secure payment method like Alipay (Alibaba and Sizzler). With this feature, you will not be scammed as your money will be refunded to you if you create an invitation.
When you need a product manufactured to exact specifications, a China sourcing agent is the ideal choice. Agents based in China visit factories to closely check quality control. After you have approved mass production, the agent will visit the factory again to check the raw materials and even check the quality of previous batches.
Agents with boots in China are fluent in Mandarin, so you can overcome the language barrier and communicate your requirements clearly. Chinese suppliers are very careful about what they share – if they are unsure of your product specifications, they are unlikely to inform you of production delays or ask questions. Sourcing agents are also helpful here to ensure that suppliers are on the same page as you before production begins.
When you work with an agent, you’ll have full support throughout the purchasing process. If you want to do it right the first time and build a long-term relationship with your suppliers, then hiring a sourcing agent is the right choice.
For new Amazon sellers, a Google search for Chinese suppliers seems like a logical first step. Chinese suppliers have commercial websites and a presence on social media. Often, they have generic names on social channels, such as China Direct Suppliers or China Wholesale Marketplace. Some of these suppliers may actually be agents offering to help you find suppliers.
As mentioned earlier, many English supplier websites are traders rather than manufacturers. If you find a manufacturer’s website that appears to be genuine, go ahead and make an inquiry. You may be able to get a quick quote, get a sample without a long wait, and then get on a plane to China to visit the factory.
Search for products or locations using specific keywords, such as “DaTang Socks”. A Google search using key terms is also a quick way to find relevant supplier pages in catalogs and on B2B websites.
Most Chinese use Baidu and you can use the translation tool to find potential customers or to see if these suppliers are on Google or Alibaba and follow up if they look promising. You may find more details or information about the company, for example, if they are involved in a legal dispute.
Recommendations From Companions and Past Purchasers
A final strategy for finding potential sock suppliers in China is to get advice from a fellow sock manufacturer or supplier who is currently located nearby. They have been managing Chinese sock manufacturers and can provide you with contact details and some tips here.
Over the last few years, China has experienced a rapid climb. Due to the demand, Chinese suppliers have also acquired important certifications that enable goods to be sold in other countries.
If you want to get involved in the socks industry, then China is the right place for you.