Info Center
Location: HOME > INFO CENTER >

The 4 ways to find suppliers in China

Date:2021-07-24 14:53

The 4 ways to find suppliers in China
When you decide to create your own electric toothbrush brand, you need to consider how to find an electric toothbrush supplier in China. I tell you that you basically have 4 ways to do it. 3 of these ways use an external agent.

  • Direct purchase
  • Buy through a trading company
  • Buy through a purchasing agent
  • Purchase through a company established in China

1. Direct purchase

Of the different ways to locate suppliers in China , it is currently the most traditional and used method. But this was not always so. When I started buying in China, I did it through a trading company that at the same time acted as purchasing agent in China. If I needed to find a specific product, I would go to this same company to find it for me and quote it for me. They were different times. Alibaba didn't exist yet and most providers didn't even have a website.

Today most of us go to any marketplace in search of suppliers, mainly Alibaba ,  you can source almost any product on it, such as electric toothbrushes, oral irrigator, etc. Most of the providers I work with are a click away.

With this purchase method you avoid paying commissions to intermediaries or purchasing agents and at the same time you control 100% of the purchase process.

Obviously of all the ways to locate suppliers in China , this is the most recommended option. However, it is not always the most interesting option for a company that is just started and its purchase volume is not high enough.

Let's now look at the other 3 purchase options that external companies use.

2. Buy through a trading company

We like to buy directly from the factory. It is normal. In this way we know that we obtain the best prices without intermediaries. But is this true? Are we always interested in buying directly from the factory? Are we always going to get the best prices?

It will depend on how big your order is. If you are a buyer with a medium-low purchase volume, you will notice that many of the manufacturers that appear on Alibaba require minimum purchase requirements that are too high for you. In these cases, going to a trading company may be a good option for you.

Trading companies do not work with manufacturers listed on Alibaba. They generally work with small companies with few employees who will be happy to receive your orders that do not reach the minimum production of the large factories. These trading companies have a large number of small orders from different clients from all over the world and their bargaining power with the small manufacturer is always greater than if you went alone on your own.

Trading prices are generally higher than a manufacturing company. If your order does not reach the minimum production of large companies, it is possible that the price of the trading company is the same or better than if you had to work with a manufacturing company placing an order below its MOQ (minimum purchase order) .

Summarizing. If you are a buyer with a medium-low purchase potential, never rule out a trading company because it may be the best option for you among all the ways to locate suppliers in China .

3. Buy through a buying agent

There are hundreds of buying agents on Alibaba , but in my opinion it is a profession that is totally out of date. You will be paying a commission to a third party for work that you can do on your own.

Although it is true that a good buying agent can save you a lot of time if you really find an agent who knows your sector perfectly.

There are multisectoral purchasing agents who ask you: "Tell me you want to buy that I offer you the best supplier with the best quality and the best price . " These are the buying agents that you should avoid at all costs. If you want to find a good buying agent, you should look for someone who truly understands your niche. The more specific the better . Better to look for a specialist sports shoe agent than a specialist shoe agent.

You must bear in mind that by working with a purchasing agent you risk paying commission to the agent and that the agent at the same time is collecting commission from the company with which you finally work. It is a common way of “doing business in China”. The problem comes when there is some quality problem in production. In general, the buying agent will take the side of the company and make you see that the problems that have been found are not such or that they have been due to a lack of understanding between the parties.

4. Purchase through a company established in China

We generally talk about foreign companies that have been operating in China for several years and offer their infrastructure so that you can work through them. They have Chinese employees who are the ones who get in touch with the suppliers and those who stand up on behalf of your company, but the management is usually in the hands of foreigners.

They are reliable companies and their entire process is 100% transparent and open. They use their office to give guarantees to suppliers. Presenting yourself to a supplier as an international buyer is not the same as presenting yourself as an international buyer with a purchasing office in China.

This form of purchase requires a high initial investment but it is a good option if your medium-long-term prospects are to place large orders in China.

How you should value an external agent

Regardless of which option you choose from among the different ways to find suppliers in China (apart from direct purchase), these should be the questions you should ask the company or external agent with whom you are going to work:

  • How do you get your income and who is going to pay you? You must clearly know who is going to pay for your services and in what way.
  • Will we be able to visit the companies during production? If they do not allow you to visit the company, you should immediately discard it.
  • Can we obtain information from other companies in the same sector as ours that are buying through them? If possible, we should talk to one of them and ask their opinion about the services of this agent.
  • Do you carry out quality controls on your own or do you hire an external company?
  • Do they have an automated system to inform you weekly of the progress in production?
  • What type of guarantees do you offer? What happens if you are scammed by one of the providers that they have selected for you? What happens if when you receive the container in your warehouse it is not what you expected?
  • Where is the agent or company located? Is it in the same area where your products will be manufactured?
  • Do you have a commission escalation in your rates? Will you pay less commission if you make a repeat of the initial order?

These are elementary questions that you should ask any external company with which you are going to work.


As a China Manufacturer, supplier, factory of electric toothbrush and oral irrigator/water flosser, Shenzhen Relish provides various types of electric toothbrush wholesale, dropshipping and OEM services. You can also wholesale water flosser/oral irrigator from Relish at factory price. We look forward to working with you.