How to Find Niche Suppliers in China
We’ve discussed how to find suppliers in China in one of our previous posts. The post must have given you some ideas about goods that you can import from China. In this paragraph we will discuss the topic of how to find niche suppliers in china. This process can be daunting, we hope we can make this as simple as possible for your business!
Firstly it is important to state that many importers encounter challenges when they are sourcing specific products in a geographical area that they are not familiar with. Most products will be difficult to source in this situation.
The main subject of this post is to look into how you can find niche products in china by making use of an excellent website which we will discuss later in the post.
This article will help you to find niche suppliers of products that your business may be interested in. Before we jump into the main topic of this post I have listed the top 3 websites that you can use to find niche suppliers in China:
Jd.com (also known as Jingdong Mall and formerly 360buy) is a Chinese e-commerce company with its headquarters in Beijing. If we consider the volume of revenue and transactions carried out on this site, it is one of the largest B2C online retailers in China. The English version of this website is named Joybuy, it was launched on the 18th of October, 2012.
Jd.com started as an online magneto-optical store and later diversified into electronics, computers, mobile phones and so on. The domain name of Jingdong Mall changed to 360buy.com in June, 2007 and then to JD.com in 2013. It is an excellent resource to become familiar with the Chinese marketplace.
Taobao is a Chinese e-commerce website that was founded by Alibaba Group on May 10, 2003. Its mode of operation is similar to eBay, Amazon and Rakuten.
The website aids Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) retail through the provision of a platform where small businesses and individual entrepreneurs can open online stores that meet the needs of consumers in Chinese-speaking regions like Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and other areas abroad.
As of March 2013, the website had a total of 760 million products. It’s one of the top 10 world’s most visited websites according to Alexa. Sellers can post their goods via fixed price or auction, just like Ebay. Buyers gain access to sellers’ backgrounds by making use of ratings, comments and complaints on the site.
We talked about how to find suppliers from Alibaba in a previous post. If you haven't already, Alibaba is a great website to source niche products for your business.
However, what you may not know is that most of the products sold on Alibaba were sourced on this Chinese wholesale website known as 1688.com (which is also referred to alibaba.cn). It is the biggest B2B platform for finding products in China.
1688.com is the Chinese version of Alibaba.com and Aliexpress.com. Sellers on Alibaba.com and Aliexpress.com buy all kinds of products from 1688.com, they will then simply mark up their prices and re-sell them to you.
In fact, in most cases when you place your order, they go ahead to order from 1688.com and then ship the items to you.
The shocking truth is that there are other sites that you may be familiar with which also source there goods from 1688.com. When this is compared with Alibaba.com, some factors are evident. They include:
- Time difference: The suppliers on 1688.com and Alibaba are within the same time zone.
- Communication efficiency
- MOQ: The MOQ on 1688.com are less.
- Transaction safety: Alibaba is a much safer platform to use than 1688.com. When using Alibab, my payment will be held by Alibaba until I confirm that I’ve accepted the order in good condition.
After offering you some popular websites to find niche suppliers in China we will now dive into the major focus of this article. I will walk you through how I find niche suppliers in China, these are all websites that I am familiar with. Believe it or not, this process takes me just 30 minutes!
Find Niche Suppliers in China - Guide
Below is the request I received to start the process. This is a request from one of my clients.
He asked me to find suppliers in China for this product:
As you can see, the name and features of the product were not provided. Sourcing for suppliers of this kind of product may be challenging but I’ll show you how to find your way around situations like this.
So, the basic information that we need are:
- The product name
- The product description
I have listed below the 4 steps I took to find niche suppliers in China
Step 1: Go to 1688.com and download the sourcing plugin as shown below.
Here’s the link that you can download it from:
Step 2: Scroll down to find the right version for Chrome.
Step 3: After downloading the sourcing plugin, drop to Chrome plugin page without additional settings. Once we do that, we’ll get this:
You need to log in before you can proceed with using this plugin. There are 2 conditions attached to using this plugin:
- You must be a seller on Taobao.com.
- You must have purchased at least twice above $75 within the past 3 months on 1688.com.
I’m qualified for both.
Step 4: Head over to Taobao.com. You will see a camera icon in the search bar as shown by the arrow in the image below:
Tap on the camera icon to upload the product’s image and you will find lots of the same items from different suppliers.
After clicking a few pages, a supplier list popped up under the price.
As shown above, I got 4 potential suppliers.
I went through each of them and got their locations, company names and there years of establishment on 1688.com. one of the companies is from Dongguan while others are from Shenzhen, all within Guangdong province.
Comparing these suppliers with each other should be easy at this stage.
One of the companies in Shenzhen has more styles with MOQ being 2 pieces. When you find these suppliers, you can easily check the product title to see common terms which you can use as a keyword to search and find more suppliers.
Once you confirm that the supplier meets your requirements, simply chat with the supplier via the Alibaba’s online chatting tool. They often respond quickly.
Before you chat with the supplier, ensure you do a background check on the supplier’s profile and company registration. You can learn more about how to do so in this article: how to verify a trading company or a factory.
The whole process, right from the beginning to the stage where I placed a sample order, took me just 30 minutes. You should however note that the conditions to use the sourcing plugin is not available to foreign buyers, as a result, you need to have some connections in China to make use of it. This is where Sorcingbro comes in.
We can help you source the products that your business sells. We do this at a very affordable fee and can take all the worry out of your hands. If you would like to discuss this further or simply have a question about this process, please contact me today via this link. I would be more than happy to help!
The method discussed in this article is an efficient and easy means of finding niche suppliers in China. Sourcingbro can simply speed up this process and help in any situation in relation to importing goods from China.
Choosing Sourcingbro will help make your importation business more efficient and effective when it comes to dealing directly with multiple suppliers. We are ready to help if you are ready to import from China. Thanks for reading!