How to find China wholesale products

How to find China wholesale products

Shanghai, China

Finding good China wholesale deals isn’t pretty much difficult. The real deal is about handling the transaction is a secure way, so the big savings do end as unrecoverable losses. In this article you will learn how to go shopping in the world’s factory.

A brief overview

When you start looking for China wholesale offers, you should follow a simple plan like the following:

  1. Define exactly what you’re looking for
  2. Find a customs agent
  3. Find suppliers
  4. Request quotations
  5. Determine the most attractive offer
  6. Estimate costs
  7. Be insured
  8. Follow-up production and shipment
  9. Clear customs
  10. Do delivery inspection

1. Defining your China wholesale product

Before going shopping you should have a clear definition of your desired product. It should be as most detailed as you can: measurements, materials, regulations it should comply, colors, chemical composition, resistences and whatever you can come up with. This will be important later on.

2. Find a customs agent to clear your China wholesale purchase

The last step before looking for the suppliers themselves is to look for a customs agent. The customs agent is who will do the necessary paperwork when your cargo arrives from abroad. At this point, you should ask under which HTS Code your product falls within. If they don’t want to do the search for you, you can search by yourself at the HTS Code Schedule search or you can later ask your supplier for the code.

The goal here is the ask if your product has any kind of extra regulation that it should meet. Like an FDA registration. If so, you should be aware of the costs to do such regulation and the time-frame expected to complete it. Change your plans to accommodate these requisites.

China wholesale seaport

3. Find your China wholesale suppliers

With the internet, it’s pretty easy to find companies doing what you want. The main portal today are,, and You should be careful when using these sites because they are also a meetup point for scammers and middlemen, which will either rip you off or increase costs without adding any value. It is also a good practice to create a temporary e-mail address because your inbox will be flooded with all sorts of messages.

An alternative is to search “abc producer China” or “abc manufacturer China” in Google and get to work. It may take more time but can yield good results. A third option is to use a third party sourcing agent which can handle all the process for you, like our own internationalization service.

4. Request quotations

Now that you’ve found at least 3 different suppliers, it’s time to start talking with them. If you’re using a suppliers portal you should use the internal communication service of the website. At first you should separate those who are a potential supplier and discard the ones that don’t meet your criteria or are scammers or middlemen.

A few important points to ask when making a quotation:

  • Define an quantity that you want to buy, like a pallet or a full container.
  • Ask them to quote FOB (which includes freight up to the ship, or airport).
  • Request to include the HTS Codes
  • Time needed before shipping
  • Payment conditions

5. Define the most attractive offer

It should take 2-3 days before you have all of your quotations. Now it’s time to compare them. To do so, first you should make sure that they are offering the exact same thing, make sure the product is equivalent and that it is quoted in the same unit (e.g. units, crates, cartons, pounds, kilograms, etc.).

Check if the HTS Code are all the same if the product is the same they should have the same HTS Code. If they don’t, do a little research, ask the suppliers or your customs agent about it to find which one is the right.

Check the freight cost from the origin to your closest seaport or airport. You can use a tool like for a quick search, but ultimately you should ask for real quotations. Your customs agent should be able to provide you with a list of freight agents that operate in your area.

6. Estimate final costs for the China wholesale product

With all that info, you must be able to calculate the cost per unit. Be sure to include all custom expenses. Again, talk to your customs agent for a breakdown. Things that you can’t forget are:

  • Freight costs for both the international and domestic segments
  • Customs agent fees
  • Import bonds
  • Import duties
  • Seaport or other expenses

7. Get a performance insurance

Your China wholesale supplier is somebody which you haven’t met, was not refereed by anyone and you’ve never done business with. As there are people willing to do good business deals there are also those who want to cash out quickly, so be prepared.

Getting insurance on performance against delays, faulty or incorrect products is an important security step when developing a relationship with a new China wholesale supplier.

If you need help getting such insurance, contact us so we can help you with more information on this.

When you’re all set, you can place your order!

8. Follow up production and shipment

Before placing your order and making the first payment, you should have a estimated delivery time agreed with the supplier. Depending on the product, this can range from no time at all to 1 or 2 months. As a rule of thumb, you should expect from 15 to 30 days to be reasonable for most situations.

When the down payment is done, send an e-mail every now and then to ask about your order and check if there are any changes in the expected delivery date. This can avoid surprises on the delivery date and also servers as a indicator if your supplier can be trusted and if they are honest.

About a week before the delivery date, confirm once again that the delivery will take place as expected and confirm with your freight broker all the details and wait for boarding and transit time to the destination port.

9. Clear customs

Once your cargo arrives at the destination port, it’s time to clear customs and proceed with all the necessary paperwork to have your products legally enter the USA (or your country).

This is the time where all the work will be done by your customs agent, you just need to provide the paperwork and the cash to pay for the duties. If everything was done correctly it should yield no extra expenses or fines.

From there, the last part of the journey is to take your cargo from the port to your warehouse for final inspection.

10. Inspect your China wholesale products

When the goods arrives at your company it’s time to carry the final product inspection on the China wholesale goods. Make sure that every single unit matches the description, specifications and quality that were agreed upon with the supplier. The sampling percentage can decrease as trust with the supplier grows.

If there’s anything out of order, use your insurance ASAP. It’s best to start a claim and later on settle an agreement with the supplier than risk losing the complaint filling deadline.

In the other hand, if all of your China wholesale products are as specified, you can clear the payment to the supplier early, as a demonstration of appreciation for them fulfilling their part on the deal.

Final Considerations

The first time you outsource from a supplier thousands of miles away can be intimidating. But keep in mind that this is a regular purchasing process with additional steps to ensure your security and to fulfill mostly government requirements. If you have any questions about details on how to proceed, feel free to contact us with no obligation.

Getting good external advice is key to keep things running smoothly. A good customs broker, freight agent and even an external consultant may help at the first processes, so you can understand how things work hands on. If you choose to go solo from the beginning, just make sure to go the safe path to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Today the world is a single marketplace and opportunities can be found almost anywhere. Every country and state has their economic specialty and navigating through these water can yield great results that can improve your bottom line significantly.


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