China wholesale or China manufacturer – what is better for my business?

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A lot of entrepreneurs, especially these who want to start importing goods from China, are considering if it is better to establish cooperation with the wholesale in China or with a producer. The decision is quite hard, because both options have some advantages and disadvantages. In the following article, we will try to consider good and bad sides of both solutions and decide which option is the better one for the particular groups of customers.

China wholesale as a supplier

What are the advantages and disadvantages connected with this choice?

Advantages Disadvantages
1. There is no need to have large capital. Wholesalers usually sell single items of products in a higher price or they set a low minimal order quantity.
2. Due to the fact the wholesalers allow to order a low quantity of the particular product, it is possible to order goods from a few sources in order to check their quality and check if they meet customers’ expectations.
3. If one is cheated, the loss is not very big (considering it as good news after all), because the order value is not high while buying goods from wholesalers.
4. Short time of fulfilling the order. Wholesalers usually keep some products in stock, so if our order does not cover a big quantity of goods, the package will be send after receiving the payment. However, it sometimes happens, especially while buying goods from smaller warehouses, that they collect orders for a few weeks before fulfilling them. In such a case, the time of fulfilling the order is quite long.
1. The biggest disadvantage of wholesale in China is a unit price of products. It is usually higher than the one offered by a producer due to the fact that a wholesaler is an additional agent that charges the commission. However, there are sometimes some discounts or sales, and the price is lower.
2. Unfortunately, while buying products from a Chinese wholesale, it is not possible to modify it and order products with a logo of one’s company.
3. It is hard to find wholesale in China whose products fulfil norms required by foreign markets (the USA, Canada, Australia, the EU). It happens, because the attention is paid to the specification of a product, its price and quality, not to the product certificates. Chinese wholesalers buy products from manufacturers that produce goods targeted at Chinese market, that is way they don’t have to fulfil norms required by different countries.

Who can take advantage of buying goods from the Chinese wholesale?

Establishing cooperation with wholesale in China can be beneficial for the companies that:

  • want to purchase different groups of products in small quantities,
  • don’t have big capital but want to start purchasing goods directly from China,
  • want to check the demand for the particular product before they order it in a big quantity.

China manufacturer as a supplier

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this option?

Advantages Disadvantages
1. The cooperation is established directly with a producer of the particular product. It is an obvious advantage, because this way we can negotiate some better conditions, e.g. modifications of a product, ordering a product and its packaging with the logo of the company etc.
2. Most of producers offer the possibility of ordering samples before placing the whole order. It is a very good option, because then it is possible to check the quality of product before making a decision of purchasing goods from the manufacturer.
3. The goods are bought directly from their producer, what makes the price significantly lower than while buying goods by China wholesale. You eliminate all agents if you purchase goods from manufacture.
4. It is easier to find a producer that fulfils norms required in different markets, e.g. in the USA, Canada, Australia, the EU countries (although it is not a simple task, because most producers don’t pay attention to these aspects. It happens, because a good and reliable manufacturer focuses on a particular import direction and tries to adjust their products to the requirements of the particular country, and the wholesale in China, as we have mentioned before, usually offers variety of products and most of them do not fulfil norms required in the USA, Canada, Australia or the EU.
1. It is needed to have much larger capital while cooperating with the Chinese manufacturer than while purchasing goods by Chinese wholesale, because almost all Chinese manufacturers set the minimal order quantity.
2. Due to the big amount of money that needs to be invested considering the minimal order quantity, in case of being cheated by the Chinese manufacturer, a money loss is much more significant.
3. Long time of fulfilling the order (usually 2-6 weeks), because the manufacture starts producing goods after placing an order and paying the advance.
4. Due to the minimal order quantity, it is hard to order a big number of different products.

Who can take advantage of buying goods from the Chinese manufacturer?

Establishing cooperation with a manufacture is the best solution for the companies that:

  • have large capital,
  • want to buy a relatively small range of products in bigger quantities, keeping the lowest possible unit price,
  • want to include their own logo on products and their packaging,
  • have checked if there is enough demand for products they want to order from the Chinese manufacture.

How to find wholesale in China or manufacture?

There are 3 ways to find a manufacturer or wholesaler in China:

  1. Using the Internet. It is the most common option, chosen by people who want to start their business adventure with Chinese companies, because one needs only a computer and the Internet connection. However, the biggest drawback of this way is the fact that some suppliers found on Chinese websites are unreliable, and they do not have product certificates. What is more, it often happens that Chinese manufactures cheat their customers and the contact after paying the advance is lost. We recommend looking for suppliers and checking their offer in this way, however an appropriate verification of the supplier is always needed.
  2. Going to China. Due to high costs and time needed to do that, it is a less popular option, however business trips to China to find a supplier are still common. Some people visit the trade events in China such as the Canton Fair to find suppliers. It is a good way, because there is a possibility of checking how the product looks and in what conditions it is produced before placing the order. Of course, like in the previous case, it needs to be verified if the Chinese wholesaler or manufacture is reliable and if the products have all needed certificates.
  3. Using services of some company that deals with looking for suppliers in China like our portal. It is the safest option, because when one commissions us to do that, they are provided with a a list of verified suppliers for the particular product, including detailed information about every supplier. We are also willing to verify suppliers found on your own, on the Internet or personally in China. We always do our best to discover all inaccuracies.


There is no clear answer for the question included in the topic of this article – “China wholesale or China manufacturer – which option is better for my business?”, because everything depends on the current situation and type of our business. For some companies, a better option is establishing cooperation with a Chinese wholesale, for others – with a Chinese manufacturer. No matter which option is chosen, one needs to be especially careful. The price and product specification aren’t the only factors to be considered. The most important is to check if the company we found is reliable and if it has all needed product certifications. It helps to avoid malpractice and to import goods in a safe way.

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About ChinaSafeImport Blog
Our blog contains articles about trade with China. Publications available on this blog allow you to find very important information and practical tips about import from China. We add new articles every Wednesday.

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