How do you verify a good manufacturer in China?

11 replies
I'm doing my market research and developing a supply chain to bring a common product to the market via a website. I've been burned in the past by a person claiming to be a reputable manufacturer.

How do you verify that the person is who they say they are? BTW I'm using Alibaba.com to find the manufacturers... if it matters.

Any help or advise would really help me out a lot, I dont want to loose any more money just trying to find a decent person to do business with.
#china #goo #manufacturer #verify
  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    I hate to sound like an elitist jerk here... but Alibaba is for complete noobs.

    99% of people on Alibaba are people that have the ability to purchase bulk amounts from factories in countries such as China. These are middlemen, and several aren't even from the area where the products are coming from. I know, because I do it. Those high MOQ's are a great way for middlemen to make a large amount of money with almost no effort. Many like me, take an order, we get the payment from people like you, then a percentage of that (and its usually a pretty small percentage) goes towards getting the product and having the factory or a shipping agent ship it to you.

    For example, those silly bands that someone mentioned in this thread. I can purchase One package of those for $0.02 USD (2 cents) per package. Or, I could buy 600 packages of those for $8.00 USD in bulk. But, because I'm a middleman, Im going to charge you $0.10 per package, maybe even $0.25 if I can sense you are completely new to this. Of course Im not going to sell you just one, I'm going to make you buy a "Minimum" of 600 of these things. I may even coax you into thinking Im giving you an amazing price, instead of you paying $0.29 per package, I'm charging you $0.25. per package and the total is $150, maybe I'll charge you a $10 processing fee. Now, these things weigh next to nothing. So of course, I could probably make someone pay nearly twice as much, or nearly U.S. shipping prices, for a box of 600 of these to be shipped to you. I could probably get all 600 shipped from China to the U.S. for $60 with a tracking number, but with such a large quantity, you would be understanding in having to pay $120.00

    Just made $208.00 USD off of one transaction, profit, that I never even had to see or warehouse the products.

    Also, most manufacturers don't use Alibaba, and for several reasons.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christian Sawyer
      Originally Posted by FaJeeb View Post

      I hate to sound like an elitist jerk here... but Alibaba is for complete noobs.

      99% of people on Alibaba are people that have the ability to purchase bulk amounts from factories in countries such as China. These are middlemen, and several aren't even from the area where the products are coming from. I know, because I do it. Those high MOQ's are a great way for middlemen to make a large amount of money with almost no effort. Many like me, take an order, we get the payment from people like you, then a percentage of that (and its usually a pretty small percentage) goes towards getting the product and having the factory or a shipping agent ship it to you.

      For example, those silly bands that someone mentioned in this thread. I can purchase One package of those for $0.02 USD (2 cents) per package. Or, I could buy 600 packages of those for $8.00 USD in bulk. But, because I'm a middleman, Im going to charge you $0.10 per package, maybe even $0.25 if I can sense you are completely new to this. Of course Im not going to sell you just one, I'm going to make you buy a "Minimum" of 600 of these things. I may even coax you into thinking Im giving you an amazing price, instead of you paying $0.29 per package, I'm charging you $0.25. per package and the total is $150, maybe I'll charge you a $10 processing fee. Now, these things weigh next to nothing. So of course, I could probably make someone pay nearly twice as much, or nearly U.S. shipping prices, for a box of 600 of these to be shipped to you. I could probably get all 600 shipped from China to the U.S. for $60 with a tracking number, but with such a large quantity, you would be understanding in having to pay $120.00

      Just made $208.00 USD off of one transaction, profit, that I never even had to see or warehouse the products.

      Also, most manufacturers don't use Alibaba, and for several reasons.
      Posts like this really make me angry. Definitely a good point, but you still chose not to give the OP a good alternative to what he is doing wrong.

      -Christian
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      • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
        Originally Posted by Christian Sawyer View Post

        Posts like this really make me angry. Definitely a good point, but you still chose not to give the OP a good alternative to what he is doing wrong.

        -Christian
        Why would anybody who does this work? I had to burn myself several times before I found out what worked. I would have been HAPPY to read a post like my previous one before I lost a couple grand on crap from Alibaba. Sometimes the best thing another person can do is close the doors the lead to nothing, or lead to failure.

        But really, peoples sources and contact information is sometimes their financial security. I sure as heck wouldn't tell people how I buy amazing quality shoes in South Korea, much less the phone number or address to the factory that makes them. But if someone comes to me and says "I want to start a business selling shoes, and someone from Alibaba who says their shoes are all handmade in Italy for $5.00 USD a pair and I have to buy $4,000 USD worth"... I'm going to tell them its a bad idea. I couldn't just read something like that and not offer to at least close a door that will give them a better chance of reaching their goals. Expecting me to freely list alternatives is..., well, I don't understand that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    Also, whats this common product? I'll be more than happy to try to find the product and get a price. Also let me know how much you are wanting to purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author sambakker
    Ive done quite a bit of importing from Alibaba. I always would ask for a sample order first to verify the goods. If that went well then I would purchase a larger load and just build on it. Alibaba do have quite a bit in place to help verify people though.

    Another option would be that you could hire someone from elance etc to visit the factory and take photos for you. Then send them to you and advise you on the quality of good etc
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  • Profile picture of the author yuzecheng
    It's funny, I'm browsing the warrior forum to upgrade my knowledge on internet marketing, because I've spend last halve year in China searching for the best manufacturers. You're actually the opposite of what I'm doing

    But if you want to have quality Chinese products, you have to go to China!

    During my time in China, I've seen locals operating their own online-shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of ebay. Most of them have an account on Alibaba and dozens of other sites like Alibaba.
    It's difficult to find a good partner on Alibaba, especially if you are a starter in doing import from China.
    The best way is to buy from different Alibaba manufacturers to see the quality of their products. But then again, you could also use your money to buy a ticket to China.

    The sample products they send you is to show you the quality they are capable of making, not the actual quality you get when ordering at large. The quality of the products those manufacturers make can fluctuate heavily.
    The reason for that is because the manufacturer never says "NO", never! The result of this is that you might negotiate yourself into lower quality

    You will end up with a cheap ass low quality product. Because the manufacturer must bring work for the employees.

    The most important goal for a manufacturer is continuity of the plant. second comes profit. If there is no order, the experienced workers leave, some start their own Alibaba manufacturing business and the original manufacturer has an empty factory. He has to start from zero again, with inexperienced workers.

    It's like the digital pet, as long as it's not dying, it's ok if it doesn't grow.

    Manufacturers that do become skilled at controlling their quality and start to grow their business, often they outgrow their Alibaba presence and go offline.
    They open offices in wholesale centers and places like Yiwu, the real-life version of Alibaba.
    Just type in "Yiwu China" in google.

    That's why I say, go to China. And see the samples, instead of buying them.

    If you still want to find manufacturers online, then at least you know you can negotiate to the point where they don't make profit. Don't go beyond that, or your quality will suffer. Let them know that quality is the most important!
    Chinese manufacturers don't understand this, they think they can help you and themselves save money by making the quality a little less.

    pm me if you have questions
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    • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
      Originally Posted by yuzecheng View Post

      It's funny, I'm browsing the warrior forum to upgrade my knowledge on internet marketing, because I've spend last halve year in China searching for the best manufacturers. You're actually the opposite of what I'm doing

      But if you want to have quality Chinese products, you have to go to China!

      During my time in China, I've seen locals operating their own online-shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of ebay. Most of them have an account on Alibaba and dozens of other sites like Alibaba.
      It's difficult to find a good partner on Alibaba, especially if you are a starter in doing import from China.
      The best way is to buy from different Alibaba manufacturers to see the quality of their products. But then again, you could also use your money to buy a ticket to China.

      The sample products they send you is to show you the quality they are capable of making, not the actual quality you get when ordering at large. The quality of the products those manufacturers make can fluctuate heavily.
      The reason for that is because the manufacturer never says "NO", never! The result of this is that you might negotiate yourself into lower quality

      You will end up with a cheap ass low quality product. Because the manufacturer must bring work for the employees.

      The most important goal for a manufacturer is continuity of the plant. second comes profit. If there is no order, the experienced workers leave, some start their own Alibaba manufacturing business and the original manufacturer has an empty factory. He has to start from zero again, with inexperienced workers.

      It's like the digital pet, as long as it's not dying, it's ok if it doesn't grow.

      Manufacturers that do become skilled at controlling their quality and start to grow their business, often they outgrow their Alibaba presence and go offline.
      They open offices in wholesale centers and places like Yiwu, the real-life version of Alibaba.
      Just type in "Yiwu China" in google.

      That's why I say, go to China. And see the samples, instead of buying them.

      If you still want to find manufacturers online, then at least you know you can negotiate to the point where they don't make profit. Don't go beyond that, or your quality will suffer. Let them know that quality is the most important!
      Chinese manufacturers don't understand this, they think they can help you and themselves save money by making the quality a little less.

      pm me if you have questions
      Amazingly great post.
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    • Profile picture of the author MoneyMonster
      Originally Posted by yuzecheng View Post

      It's funny, I'm browsing the warrior forum to upgrade my knowledge on internet marketing, because I've spend last halve year in China searching for the best manufacturers. You're actually the opposite of what I'm doing

      But if you want to have quality Chinese products, you have to go to China!

      During my time in China, I've seen locals operating their own online-shop on Taobao, the Chinese version of ebay. Most of them have an account on Alibaba and dozens of other sites like Alibaba.
      It's difficult to find a good partner on Alibaba, especially if you are a starter in doing import from China.
      The best way is to buy from different Alibaba manufacturers to see the quality of their products. But then again, you could also use your money to buy a ticket to China.

      The sample products they send you is to show you the quality they are capable of making, not the actual quality you get when ordering at large. The quality of the products those manufacturers make can fluctuate heavily.
      The reason for that is because the manufacturer never says "NO", never! The result of this is that you might negotiate yourself into lower quality

      You will end up with a cheap ass low quality product. Because the manufacturer must bring work for the employees.

      The most important goal for a manufacturer is continuity of the plant. second comes profit. If there is no order, the experienced workers leave, some start their own Alibaba manufacturing business and the original manufacturer has an empty factory. He has to start from zero again, with inexperienced workers.

      It's like the digital pet, as long as it's not dying, it's ok if it doesn't grow.

      Manufacturers that do become skilled at controlling their quality and start to grow their business, often they outgrow their Alibaba presence and go offline.
      They open offices in wholesale centers and places like Yiwu, the real-life version of Alibaba.
      Just type in "Yiwu China" in google.

      That's why I say, go to China. And see the samples, instead of buying them.

      If you still want to find manufacturers online, then at least you know you can negotiate to the point where they don't make profit. Don't go beyond that, or your quality will suffer. Let them know that quality is the most important!
      Chinese manufacturers don't understand this, they think they can help you and themselves save money by making the quality a little less.

      pm me if you have questions

      Someone give this guy a trophy, he laid it out excellently ,,i wish i could pm you cos i have some questions since you obviously have so much experience about the terrain in china. I recently invented a computer gadget that is currently patent pending, and i would like to have a reputable chinese company manufacture the product for me. Problem now is i dont even know where to start and i have no idea which company i can trust with both producing my invention and most importantly not secretly sellout my idea to their partners n stuff like that
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  • Profile picture of the author millionebook
    Ask for a sample order and be prepared to check it out. Do a test so start small and dont overspend on that one product
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  • Profile picture of the author peglegtrading
    Really depends on the product range you are after. Many goods can be bought from wholesalers for better prices than if you contact the factory directly. Not to mention you will not have to deal with the headache of QC from the other side of the world. I live in Vietnam and travel to China constantly and I find that without on-site QC for my products, I almost never get exactly what I ordered. Chinese factories make 90% of their profit on the small details you forget to include in your original order requirements. It is here where you will be given inferior materials and production corners will be cut producing an inferior product. If you are just starting out buy from a wholesaler outside of China and you can be sure the quality will be consistent enough to make a decent business out of the product.
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