How to find the right suppliers in Asia? It’s actually easier than you think, with just 8 simple steps to follow before you start sourcing your products or services. You’ll find that this guide on finding the right suppliers in Asia will prove invaluable as you begin your own import/export business and get ready to expand overseas. This step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know about finding the right suppliers in Asia, including where to look, what to look for, and how to make contact and start working with them.
Baidu is one of China’s most popular search engines. It uses a lot of technology that you would recognize from Google and Yahoo, but it has been localized to work better for Chinese users. Because Baidu was originally created with Chinese users in mind, it is far more effective than many other search engines at delivering relevant results based on a user’s location and intent. One tool that Baidu offers is access to statistics on trending keywords, which can be very helpful if you are interested in identifying new trends or products that are seeing growth.
Many people start their search for suppliers on Alibaba, and that’s a good place to start. However, there are quite a few downsides with an all-Alibaba-everything approach. One main problem is that you’ll find many manufacturers who only produce small quantities—which isn’t going to be of much use if you need a lot of them.
Additionally, not every business model or the item is available on Alibaba; some types of products just don’t lend themselves well to China-based manufacturing or selling, meaning they won’t have any factories offering up these products. Still, it can be useful for finding companies with factories abroad where your desired items are made. Also, don’t forget to avail pre-shipment inspection while ordering your products from any online sites.
There are plenty of websites out there that can assist you with finding vendors. One of my favorites is Quora. Quora allows you to ask questions and get answers from people all over, so if you have a question regarding which suppliers are trustworthy and effective, it’s probably been asked before and someone has written an answer on it. I’d also recommend using Baidu.
4) Local Online Communities
Online Communities are a great way to engage with people who share similar interests. If you have questions about finding suppliers in Asia, don’t hesitate to join and post them there, too. And if you find helpful information—such as blogs, articles, or YouTube videos—don’t forget to mention them to other members of your community. Once you’ve reached out and found some interesting contacts on online communities, try connecting with them outside the community. You never know when an individual may turn into a strong lead for your business.
5) Facebook Groups
Getting involved in a Facebook group with companies operating in your niche will help you understand what suppliers are out there and where they’re located. When you sign up for a Facebook group, make sure it’s active and has members that contribute. Ideally, someone who’s already familiar with these suppliers can point you to specific Facebook groups so you don’t have to waste time digging through general ones that don’t really apply. (For example, if your business is on Amazon or Etsy, there are specific groups for those.) The communities I’ve found most helpful when getting started are Asian Supply Communities on Facebook.
6) Instagram & Twitter Hashtags
#FindRightSupplierInAsia #RIGHTSUPPLIERINASIA – Search on Instagram & Twitter for your hashtags. This will give you a sense of what kind of photos are associated with them. You might want to test a few different versions or try a new hashtag altogether!
7) Forums & Groups on Reddit
Forums and Groups are fantastic resources for finding suppliers. You can find a group on just about any subject, but I’ve had good luck with subreddits like r/China, r/MadeInChina, and r/Manufacturing. It’s amazing how many manufacturers will come out of hiding when they see you’re serious about getting work done and you aren’t going to try ripping them off. I recommend spending time lurking on these boards; don’t post until you have solid questions that need answering or your business is up and running.
A Tip of Finding Supplier
When you’re writing, don’t just look at what you’re trying to say—look at how you are saying it. If English isn’t your first language, use a spell-checker and have someone proofread your work for mistakes. Google Docs has a built-in spell check that automatically looks over your document for any errors as you type; however, I highly recommend having someone else read it as well.
The grammar gods will probably smite me for telling people not to proofread their own work, but when you write online or create content on purpose and with intention, there are certain stylistic guidelines that should be adhered to. For example, Keywords should be used appropriately and frequently throughout the body of text. The best thing is that you can take inspection service in China to ensure you get only pre-vetted suppliers.