Sourcing Manufacturers

by antis
15 replies
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Does anyone know a good way to find legitimate wholesalers? From my experience searching on internet is a bad idea, because there are a lot of people that sell fake products, or just aren't true manufacturers but middlemen (or I just don't know how to search properly). I also don't like public wholesale sites like globalsources, alibaba and etc. Everyone are buying from these sites, so you wont have any advantage if you purchase from there. Anyway, I hope I will find some other good ideas here, thanks in advance.
#manufacturers #sourcing
  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by antis View Post

    Does anyone know a good way to find legitimate wholesalers? From my experience searching on internet is a bad idea, because there are a lot of people that sell fake products, or just aren't true manufacturers but middlemen (or I just don't know how to search properly). I also don't like public wholesale sites like globalsources, alibaba and etc. Everyone are buying from these sites, so you wont have any advantage if you purchase from there. Anyway, I hope I will find some other good ideas here, thanks in advance.
    Hi antis,

    Your thread subject was sourcing manufacturers. Please don't confuse them with wholesalers. Wholesalers buy from manufacturers, add a margin, then sell to you at a price that is usually a lot higher than what they paid.

    You are quite right about the sourcing sites such as you mention. They list thousands of suppliers masquerading as manufacturers, but in reality they are wholesalers, traders, dropship suppliers and other middle men.

    I teach how to buy small quantities (or large) direct from real manufacturers at genuine ex factory prices. The extra profit available by doing that is well worth the effort, but very few people know how to do it.

    Some who do know are beating all their competitors on eBay and still making high profits. One such person on a recent thread said he/she was buying a product for $1, adding another $1 for packaging costs, and selling for $25.

    I recommend just a handful of safe sites where you can be sure that the suppliers are what they say they are.
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    Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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  • Profile picture of the author StevenWatanabe
    All of the manufacturers I have found have been online. It takes time to filter through them, but eventually I find what i'm looking for at a reasonable rate.

    I first check out Google, then World Wide Brands, Then I ask around the forums as a last resort. Usually the first two will yield a great amount of results that will keep me busy and filtering for a while.

    One last thing to mention is the Chinese wholesalers you can find on alibaba.com and other similar sites. I always ask for samples first -- some will send them to you for free, others charge a base rate. You can usually get much better deals from overseas, just make sure you calculate ALL costs before purchasing!
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by StevenWatanabe View Post

      All of the manufacturers I have found have been online. It takes time to filter through them, but eventually I find what i'm looking for at a reasonable rate.

      I first check out Google, then World Wide Brands, Then I ask around the forums as a last resort. Usually the first two will yield a great amount of results that will keep me busy and filtering for a while.

      One last thing to mention is the Chinese wholesalers you can find on alibaba.com and other similar sites. I always ask for samples first -- some will send them to you for free, others charge a base rate. You can usually get much better deals from overseas, just make sure you calculate ALL costs before purchasing!
      If you are looking for local manufacturers, then Google is probably your best friend. World Wide Brands will show you a list of wholesalers, not necessarily manufacturers.

      As I wrote in my post above,: "Your thread subject was sourcing manufacturers. Please don't confuse them with wholesalers. Wholesalers buy from manufacturers, add a margin, then sell to you at a price that is usually a lot higher than what they paid."

      Chinese wholesalers will do the same as local ones, that is, they will add a big margin to the prices they pay to the manufacturers, so why not buy from the manufacturers yourself?

      Before searching on Alibaba, you might like to check the thread: How Trustworthy is Alibaba.com?

      You also say: "Usually the first two will yield a great amount of results that will keep me busy and filtering for a while." Well you can save yourself a lot of time by using only safe sourcing sites where genuine manufacturers are listed, not the traders, wholesalers, agents, and middle men that are listed on the popular sourcing sites as manufacturers.

      Importantly, you will also save yourself heaps of money by buying direct. The profit margins possible when you buy from Chinese factories (REAL ONES) are so high that they would be beyond the wildest dreams of the person who buys from wholesalers.
      Signature
      Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by lisa360 View Post

    If you want to wholesale lingerie, wholesale from this site I recommend to buy, the price is very attractive, varied and every day new product updates.
    Of course Lisa recommends that you buy from that site, she is one of the sales people on the site. This site is listed on a number of sites including ones that have bad reviews online.

    This site is typical of ones that I would steer clear of. Free email addresses and no business address are warning flags. So is the absence of an ICP number on the website.

    If you want to buy anything in China I recommend using a safe sourcing site where you can locate genuine manufacturers. I don't recommend any of the popular sourcing sites because you will almost certainly be dealing with wholesalers or resellers and they will charge you a lot more than genuine manufacturers will.
    Signature
    Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Vahalla
    Stay away from items you know is to good to be true like Apple products.
    Next thing to do is to Google the sources personal information to see if anyone else has any experience dealing with them. Buy first in small quantity using PayPal and check them out.
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    eBay & PayPal Accounts For Sale!

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  • Profile picture of the author James1212
    What are you selling?
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    Mike Schlecht

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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Originally Posted by antis View Post

    Does anyone know a good way to find legitimate wholesalers? From my experience searching on internet is a bad idea, because there are a lot of people that sell fake products, or just aren't true manufacturers but middlemen (or I just don't know how to search properly). I also don't like public wholesale sites like globalsources, alibaba and etc. Everyone are buying from these sites, so you wont have any advantage if you purchase from there. Anyway, I hope I will find some other good ideas here, thanks in advance.
    What I did was pick a niche that I'm interested in, then searched for small manufacturing businesses in the US (I'm in the US) that sell a good product that's not branded. I then marked that product up 50% from the original price (which includes shipping to my location). When I sell the product the buyer pays the 50% markup + shipping.

    I researched about 10 businesses/products/prices/etc... before I settled on my current product supplier.

    If you search for small manufactures instead of wholesalers you'll open the door to a bunch of untapped opportunities because everyone & their brother is doing what your doing, looking for wholesalers.

    I ended up finding my supplier on ebay, they're based in Georgia (US). I don't sell on ebay, I have a less competitive traffic source.

    I'm intentionally not selling branded products. It's like If I was selling kitchen chairs (example), most buyers don't care about branding, they just want a product that fills their needs.

    Do market research first. Prove buyers exist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Lin
    Stay away from Alibaba and Aliexpress, there are too many scams on these sites. Sourcing a genius factory in China to place order from isn't easy. this is because mostly can't speak English would make the communication difficult. Most Chinese manufacturers don't bother with overseas buyers since they can sell millions of items in quantity quickly to local re-sellers than having the obstacle in communication with foreign buyers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Alex Lin View Post

      Stay away from Alibaba and Aliexpress, there are too many scams on these sites. Sourcing a genius factory in China to place order from isn't easy. this is because mostly can't speak English would make the communication difficult. Most Chinese manufacturers don't bother with overseas buyers since they can sell millions of items in quantity quickly to local re-sellers than having the obstacle in communication with foreign buyers.
      @Alex Lin, you are quite right about staying away from the popular sourcing sites, but I disagree when you say that "Sourcing a genius factory in China to place order from isn't easy."

      By genius I think you mean genuine, and it is very easy to find genuine manufacturers in China if you know where to look.

      There are many thousands of genuine manufacturers in China actively looking for new business, and unlike local manufacturers in western countries they are keen to do business with small businesses.

      There is a lot of misinformation on forums about buying direct from China and other overseas countries such as:
      • Huge minimum orders. Wrong. Only those who don't understand how to negotiate with Chinese businesses give up when they see big MOQs.
      • Haggle for best prices. Wrong. That's fun when you are a tourist in Hong Kong, but try it with a genuine manufacturer and you will suddenly find that your emails are not answered any more. There are better ways to be sure of getting the best price.
      • Communication is a problem. Wrong. Most Chinese manufacturers who are exporting have English speaking staff and provided you don't use terms that are only understood by native English speakers you will have no problems.
      • Importing is complicated. Wrong. It can be as easy as buying from a local manufacturer, and in many cases easier once you learn a few tricks of the trade.
      • Quality is a problem. Wrong but can be true if you don't know how to make sure you are getting good quality. I have visited many factories in China where they produce top quality and trash depending on what the customer demands.
      To the OP antis and others who visit this thread I say: Don't let the myths stop you from entering the extremely profitable world of direct importing, even if you are a newbie one person operation. Just don't tell your prospective suppliers that you are a newbie sole trader.
      Signature
      Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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      • Profile picture of the author Lomi
        Alot of great information here. We are new into e-commerce and we were looking for suppliers through alibaba. Reading this thread made us think...

        You guys mentioned that there are other sites ... could you provide names of those trust worthy sites where we can find real manufacturers from china?

        Thank you very much!
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  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    If you can find it, it probably isn't worth it. Everything is moving to trust, and there are so many fake products, look at the deal between eBay & LVMH. So where do you find them, well it depends on the industry, take fashion, it is completely behind the times and everything is word of mouth. It is the $1million question, basically a lot of hard work and bit by bit over years going to shows, etc.. We use a different method to bypass it but we have special circumstances which isn't applicable to most.
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  • Profile picture of the author WilliamVillagran
    My favorite trick is to look at trade shows lists of vendors and start to email them about selling their products. Works like a charm every time
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  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    Good advice, the main problem we found were the exclusions - which in our case were 80-95% of what we were trying to do. We were speaking to a bridal shop and they are only allowed by the designers to sell within a 20mile or so radius. Not very helpful when you want to go international, they have all these distributor agreements and if you're sales are low, which invariably they will be as a startup and/or new distributor, you have zero leverage. So you have to spend 7-10yrs building the whole thing up bit by bit like a house of cards, and it is as fragile as one too. The secondary market is easier but the products are 9-12mths+ old so that causes another set of problems. Then your margins are so low these days and with increasing fraud that you need to sell 5-10 products for every fraud sale just to break even. Guess the problem we have is that we are used to dealing with 2:1 to 5:1 revenue:effort like the Medium size companies (Large enterprise works on 5:1 to 10:1 revenue:effort), haven't yet been able to bring ourselves to 1:1 revenue:effort that SMEs work on - not sure if that is a good thing or not - time will tell.
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  • Profile picture of the author LABEShops
    Best way I've found is trade shows. There are a lot for wholesale buyers you can register for, usually for free, and go see the products, talk to the manufacturers (or distributors - these shows usually have both) and find products from companies that often don't have websites.
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    Owner of LABEShops.com & 20+ Niche Online Stores as well as Scifispace.com and other sites. Recommended Host: Evolve

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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by Lomi View Post

    Alot of great information here. We are new into e-commerce and we were looking for suppliers through alibaba. Reading this thread made us think...

    You guys mentioned that there are other sites ... could you provide names of those trust worthy sites where we can find real manufacturers from china?

    Thank you very much!
    Regardless of which sourcing platform you use, if you start in blind you will likely strike problems. This is why I don't disclose online which sourcing sites I recommend. People need to know something about safe sourcing practice before they even open up Google.

    If I sent everyone to the sites that I regard as safe, I know that many of them, maybe even most of them, would make a mess of choosing suppliers, starting to communicate with them, negotiating with them, and organizing the import process.

    I don't want to be the cause of people losing their shirts.


    See my thread: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? for reasons why I don't publish the sites online, but you will also find ther a lot of helpful information.



    Originally Posted by LABEShops View Post

    Best way I've found is trade shows. There are a lot for wholesale buyers you can register for, usually for free, and go see the products, talk to the manufacturers (or distributors - these shows usually have both) and find products from companies that often don't have websites.
    Exhibitors at trade shows are most often traders or wholesalers, although they will usually say they are manufacturers. It is the same as the situation on the big B2B sites, where thousands of traders masquerade as manufacturers.

    There will be some genuine manufacturers there, but it is not easy to be sure which is which. If you buy from wholesalers you will pay more. See my posts #2 and #4 above.

    Walter Hay.
    "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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    Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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