The Problems with Finding Chinese Wholesalers
Offshore sourcing can be a source of much struggle for eBay sellers and other website owners looking to sell products online. The biggest problem with sellers looking for a wholesale source is that there are too many websites that claim to be wholesalers.
There is also the problem of quality of goods and services. There are too many wholesale websites out there that serve up cut-rate, poor quality products which makes consumers lose faith in the products. This is what has given Chinese imports a bad rap in the Western world. Supply may also be delayed or incomplete if the source is small or unreliable.
Yet there are plenty of good quality electronics, toys, lifestyle products, apparel and other product manufacturers that Western sellers can profit from, if they know to look in the right places. This makes it worthwhile to invest in goods sourced from China.
Sellers will usually find links to wholesale websites in directories of drop ship sources and wholesalers. However since many of these links are broken it leads to hours of wasted time spent on searching for a reliable and quality wholesaler offering better prices than those at home.
Other issues that sellers worry about when it comes to sourcing goods from China is the certainty of supply, requisite stock quantities in time for the scheduled sales season and lead times. Sellers are afraid of losing control over these elements of their business.
But there are solutions to the problem. There is a tried and tested way of sourcing Chinese wholesalers. While there is always some risk involved, there is plenty of testing along the way to ensure that the investment you will be making will give you substantial returns.
The Solution: Steps to Find Real Wholesalers in China
It is possible to develop a China sourcing strategy that will let you discover your own sources. This will ensure you are never at the mercy of an outdated wholesaler directory. You can buy in bulk from overseas and then sell each item one at a time to make significant profits on each product, despite shipping costs.
Step 1: Conduct smart searches.
If you already know what kind of products you want to sell, you can search your favorite search engine with the product name within "quotes" to narrow down your search. Look for results with phrases like 'we only sell to retailers' - these are your target manufacturers and they offer the best deals.
Searches can also be made with phrases like "minimum order $300", with '$300' being replaced by your preferred minimum order amount. Other phrases related to payment to search for include "purchase order", "payment terms", "shipping FOB", "sold by pallet", "line of credit" etc. Some dealer-related search terms include "dealer account", "dealer signup", "dealer wanted", "dealer only", "become a dealer" etc. Replace the term 'dealer' in the previous phrases with 'distributor' or 'reseller' for more variations to search with. Also search for "wholesale only", "wholesale buyers only", "wholesale account", "we do not sell to individuals", "apply for distributor", "no public sales" etc.
Also, since you're looking for Chinese wholesalers in particular, add the relevant site code parameters, which is "site:.cn" for websites based in Mainland China.
Step 2: Know to differentiate between a scammer and a Dropshipper
Know that dropshipping with big wholesalers such as Ankaka.com is only one good way of sourcing goods. Dropshipping is the process through which you sell the wholesaler's products from your website and the product is shipped directly to the customer from the wholesaler's warehouse. When an order is placed with you, you place the order with your wholesaler or dropshipper using the customer's shipping address and the product is shipped under your name with no mention of the dropshipper.
Dropshipping is only one of the business models that a distributor or manufacturer may employ to sell his goods. His primary sources of income are most likely through their retail and wholesale business. There are many small sites marketing themselves as dropshippers, you may be up against some scammers.
Step 3: Read the Info pages
In order to further ensure that you have indeed discovered a real wholesaler and not a scammer, read the 'Contact Us' page, its YouTube channel and Facebook page. Well-established wholesalers always have some well-maintained social media pages.
Step 4: Test your find
When you have zeroed in on a possible source, you should dropship some items in order to test your market. If you don't know what item to test, it's always a good idea to choose from the 'New Arrivals' section. Or sort the items by 'Newest first'. Post these on eBay and test the market. When you've found the item or items that sell, you can make a bulk order to get a discount on price and save on shipping. Post them on Amazon and eBay and anywhere else that you want to sell.