17 Dec 2019

Sourcing Retail Products from China

China is one of the most popular places in the world for retailers and suppliers to source retail products from. It is known for its quick turnaround of products, at a relatively low price. However, China is quite far to travel to for a lot of people in the West, so we’ve rounded up the different ways you can source products from China for your business without the hassle and cost of traveling overseas.

The Internet

Searching for overseas suppliers on the internet is one of the easiest ways of sourcing products from China if you are really short on time. Sites like Alibaba and Global Sources are handy platforms for retailers and suppliers that are just starting out. They will list thousands of suppliers and products that you can choose from. The downfall of this method is that you won’t get the opportunity to touch and see the product in person, so if it arrives and it isn’t great quality, or it isn’t what was pictured you are back to square one.

sourcing products

Trade Shows

Trade shows are the best way to find legitimate suppliers without having to travel overseas. They will give you the change to talk to manufacturers face to face and see their product offering in person. Direct interaction will help you evaluate your suppliers and ask them key questions. This year at Spring Fair, the international market is coming to the UK to mitigate the need for retailers to travel far distances to meet with manufacturers. You can register for your free ticket here to meet them.

Commission Based Sourcing Agent

If you are short on time and don’t want the effort of finding a manufacturer for your business, you can hire a sourcing agent to help you find a suitable supplier. While they may do a lot of the work you still need to stay closely involved because they are often not sophisticated enough to manage production and quality control effectively. They will also charge a fee of around 3 to 10 per cent of your purchasing price.

Asian manufacturers

Trading Company

If you are only looking to source a limited number of products you can source them using a trading company. Your costs will be higher with this option because they will take a cut, but it will remove the hassle of sourcing from China yourself. It can also be hard to find out information about the supply chain of the products when you are sourcing them this way which a lot of retailers find can be a risky move.

If you are looking to visit the Sourcing sector at our February show Spring Fair this year you can get your free ticket here. You can also apply to get benefits including free accommodation and travel. 

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