How to Source Products from China

There are millions of products out there to choose from when starting your business. However, getting started can be a steep road if you aren’t sure what you’re doing.

You can waste a lot of money and time if you aren’t careful. Luckily, there’s a solution to all of your sourcing needs – import and export data.

With import and export data, you’ll be able to verify suppliers before using your hard-earned money for investing in products in China.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the best site to source products from China, how to verify suppliers, as well as how import and export data can help you. Also, how to use our platform ImportKey to source products from China. Let’s get started!

Using Alibaba to Source Chinese Goods

The most popular website to source Chinese goods is through Alibaba.

Why Alibaba? It’s the largest Chinese manufacturer to date, with countless categories and items to select. 

When you’re on Alibaba, there are many things to look for in a supplier to make your sourcing experience simpler. For instance, look for the following:

  • Verified Supplier or Gold Supplier: Alibaba does an onsite inspection to ensure the supplier has real business operations.
  • Trade Assurance: Protects your investment; acts as an insurance.
  • Rating: Based on reviews from 1 to 5 stars.
  • Transaction Level: The number of units the company has supplied to businesses; transaction volume.
  • Longevity: How many years the supplier has been active.
  • On-time delivery rate: The percentage of goods delivered based on agreed lead time.

How to Verify Alibaba Supplier’s with ImportKey

When you go onto Alibaba.com, the homepage has tons of information (shown below). Ranging from monthly deals, categories, top-rated suppliers, top-rated products, and more.

ImportKey Alibaba

As we’re browsing the top-rated suppliers for the most repeat buyers, we come across a wide range of products to choose from. For this example, we selected “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.”

ImportKey Alibaba Product listing

As we click the company profile (shown below), we can see it’s a gold supplier, supports trade assurance, and has pictures of its staff and operations.

ImportKey  gold supplier, ImportKey supports trade assurance

The ratings and reviews aren’t so bad, but let’s say you liked the products, how would you be so sure you can trust this company?

Simple – using ImportKey to verify there are legitimate transactions between this supplier and outside buyers.

ImportKey Dashboard

Let’s head over the ImportKey, where you’ll see our dashboard with the latest news, shipments, and research articles by us.

Next, we’ll go ahead and search for “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.”

ImportKey  Shipment Overview

Success!

Above, we can see the top products are “speaker,” and this company is known for stereo equipment, further legitimatizing this is the company we saw on Alibaba.

Down below, we’re going to sift through the bill of lading, which documents the transactions between the supplier and buyer. As we can see, “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.” has been doing business with a company in Texas, supplying speakers and other equipment.

ImportKey Supplier shipments

Next, we’re going to look at the buyers. We can see the same company in the recent bill of lading, which is in the buyer records. The company “I G DESIGN AND LOGISTICS DBA” has 29 shipments, and a subsidiary that also does business with our searched supplier. It’s safe to conclude this supplier has excellent enough products and services to have repeat buyers.

ImportKey Buer Shipments

We’re going to skip “Suppliers,” as “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.” is the supplier already.

The next tab is “Relationships,” which allows us to see who else “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.” supplies and its competitors.

ImportKey buyer supplier shipment relationship

In a nutshell, that’s how to verify a supplier on Alibaba using our platform, ImportKey.

Advantages of Import and Export Data for Sourcing

Even though Alibaba is a trusted website amongst those looking for suppliers, there’s still a possibility of being scammed or being thrown in a loop that you didn’t see coming. That’s why you need the power of import and export data, through our platform, ImportKey.

Import and export data has its advantages for sourcing, which include:

  • Verifying a supplier’s activity.
  • Providing legitimacy for a merchant.
  • Bill of Lading, legal documentation between a supplier and buyer, which proves a transaction took place.
  • Insight into other items suppliers manufacture.
  • Confidence in a supplier’s claims.

Using ImportKey to Source Products from China

The best website to do any product research is Amazon. Their website provides product rankings, competition, and ratings.

Let’s say you wanted to get into the aromatherapy space. If you don’t know, aromatherapy is incredibly vast, yet any device will get lots of sales because the demand is so high. We even saw an aromatherapy diffuser on Amazon’s “Lightning Deals.”

ImportKey Amazon Product details

While the reviews aren’t that impressive, as striving for five stars is any one’s accomplishment, but the product is still in demand and good enough to be on “Lightning Deals.”  Every minute, 1% on the percentage claimed moved, that’s how hot this product was selling!

The next step is to head over to Alibaba.com and search for “aromatherapy diffuser.”

ImportKey Amazon Product listing

On the first page with some scrolling, we can already see diffusers that look like the product on Amazon. What are the chances this is the same product? If so, would we be able to source the product too?

We clicked “Shenzhen Jingxintai Houseware Co. Ltd.” because it had seven years in business, as opposed to the company below that had four years. Also, the transaction level was higher, citing this company has been making a lot of shipments.

The company profile (down below) looks great, as it’s a verified supplier, supports trade assurance, decent reviews, and a suitable longevity length.

ImportKey Alibaba verified supplier

For the moment of truth, we will go to ImportKey and put in “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.”

Once again, we’re able to find out information on our chosen supplier (shown below). Oddly enough, the top customer shown is “Radha Beauty,” which is the same company on the Amazon “Lightning Deal” from before.

Also, the top products are “AROMA” and “DIFFUSER,” showing this is the correct supplier from Alibaba.

ImportKey Supplier Overview

As we look through the bill of lading on “Shipments,” we see other buyers and the cargo description. This supplier has been manufacturing aromatherapy devices for other businesses overseas.

ImportKey Supplier Shipments

We move on to “Buyers,” and the company “Radha Beauty” shows up once again. Our sophisticated platform ImportKey gave you the source and the exact supplier of potential competition.

ImportKey Supplier Buer list

Lastly, down below, we view the “Relationships” tab to see the competition and other buyers that are associated with “Shenzhen Senshao Technology Co. Ltd.”

ImportKey Supplier buyer relational graph

There you have it. We found a product on Amazon we wanted to source from China in no time at all.  

You can use the same process for any item you want to source from China, with research from Amazon and using Alibaba as your supplier database. For the cherry on top, ImportKey legitimizes the supplier with import and export data, giving you the confidence to do business with Chinese suppliers.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to source products from China. Thousands of business owners go through this process of using import and export data. At first, it may sound complicated. However, you will realize it’s a straightforward process, and you will save lots of time while accomplishing your business goals.

Remember to always do market research before choosing a product to source. When sourcing products from China, take into account the lead time, as products will take weeks to arrive from vessels. Also, some suppliers provide samples and will work with you to create the product you desire.

In all, using import and export data from ImportKey provides you with valuable information in very little time. You will source products from China faster by verifying suppliers, and before you know it, your product will reach the hands of customers.

Explore your options today with ImportKey!

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