Complete Guide 2022: How to Buy Wholesale from China?

Table of Contents

how to buy wholesale from china

Buying wholesale from China is a good option, as the country’s cheap labor market allows Chinese manufacturers to offer products at relatively low prices.

However, for those unfamiliar with buying from China, it can sound both complicated and risky.

So, this blog will help you understand what mistakes you should be aware of as a buyer before buying wholesale from China. At the same time, we will provide you with a list of the best ways to buy wholesale from China.

Why Should You Buy Wholesale from China?

buy wholesale from china

Buying wholesale from China means importing products from China. The Chinese government has many policies in place to support export trade.

You can buy anything you want, from a piece of paper to equipment. When you do business in China, you will build your brand and make more profit.

Because manufacturing and labor are cheap, products cost less in China compared to any other country.

In addition, they have a low tax rate and the compliance process is very easy. Because of this, many tech giants have shifted their production base to China.

Almost all everyday products are manufactured in China. Logistics service providers can also deliver from anywhere in the world.

What Are the Risks When Buying Wholesale from China?

Let’s look at the potential risks and solutions for buying wholesale from China:

1. Wholesale supplier scammers

If you’ve heard that people can get scammed on overseas retail sites, I can tell you that buying wholesale overseas is even riskier.

You pay for the goods but never receive them, or receive something completely different from what you initially agreed to.

Fraud Prevention Solutions

Conduct a thorough background check on your wholesale supplier before choosing one. Appointing a sourcing agent as your representative in China can reduce supply chain risk.

2. Wholesale products from China may not comply with your country’s product regulations

wholesale products from china

If you are from Europe or the United States, you need to be careful when purchasing wholesale goods from China. The products you purchase may not comply with your country’s compliance regulations.

For example, let’s say you plan to wholesale electronics from China to the United Kingdom.

In this case, the product may need to have CE, ROHS, or REACH certification, which wholesalers often cannot obtain, or the certificate provided may be false.

Compliance Solutions

When you plan to import from overseas, you need to understand the regulations for imported products in your country/region to avoid certification issues that prevent goods from being sold in the destination country.

3. Your wholesaler cannot customize product packaging or labeling

The biggest advantage of buying from a wholesaler is that their products are in stock, so you can pick them up immediately.

In addition, because it is in stock and the packaging is already done, you cannot customize the boxes and labels for your brand, especially if you are just starting out and have a small order quantity.

Custom Packaging Solutions

Generally, Chinese wholesale suppliers are not willing to customize packaging for small orders, but you can find a local packaging factory to make the boxes or bags you want.

4. The high risk and cost of mixing goods from different suppliers in one container

mixing goods from different suppliers in one container

Many buyers who come to the wholesale market in China buy different types of products and then consolidate them in one container for shipping.

The problem is that suppliers are often far apart, often creating all kinds of problems as follows:

  • Loss of goods due to improper supplier handover
  • Delays in local logistics causing delays in shipping
  • Suppliers charging higher than normal local shipping costs
  • Sea freight consolidation solution

Consolidate Goods Solutions

Appoint a third party to take care of local logistics, keep evidence of the supplier’s handover of the goods, and arrange for shipment at least three weeks before the goods are produced.

In addition, you should consider conducting a container loading inspection to ensure that your goods are fully loaded into the correct container.

5. Product defects and insufficient quantity

We often encounter the question of whether small wholesale quantities are safer than buying in bulk from the factory and whether we should inspect the goods.

The fact is that pre-shipment inspections are always necessary. Small quantities of wholesale products do not necessarily mean they are of good quality.

You may find very few non-conforming products, but the non-conformity rate is still high.

Wholesale product quality control solutions

  • Put all your requirements in writing on the contract or invoice before you pay the deposit.
  • Inform the wholesale supplier that your agent will inspect the shipment when it is ready.
  • Maintain a good relationship with the wholesaler and let them know that this is not a one-time business.

How to Buy Wholesale from China?

1. Understand your role in the process

Whenever you buy products from a foreign country (like China), you are an importer. All you need to do is give the supplier your address information and they will do the rest. The goods may be shipped by air or sea.

Smaller packages of lesser value will be delivered directly to your door. Then you won’t have to go to the nearest shipping store to pick up the package.

2. Find good products

Chinese factories make a lot of great products, but they also make a lot of bad products.

There are many Chinese suppliers who sell cheap, low-quality products. You must avoid these products, especially if you are going to resell them to your customers.

So, you should know how to identify good products and bad products based on two key differences between China and the West:

  • China has different quality standards than the West
  • China has different norms regarding intellectual property and there are many counterfeit products

Buy only good quality products to resell to your customers. This is the way to grow your business.

You may learn more about Sourcing Products from China for details below:
5 Tips on Sourcing Products from China

3. Check the import laws in your country

Before you buy a product from overseas, make sure you are legally allowed to import it into your country. Some countries have import restrictions on certain types of products.

If you try to import these restricted items, then they may be returned to the shipper. You may even be fined by the government as well.

4. Find the classification number (HS code) of the product

Each imported item has its own tariff classification number, which is 10 digits in length.

The tariff classification number and the certificate of origin are necessary to calculate the tariff rate, which is what you must pay for the import. Also, the cost of land must be calculated.

Incoterms are of particular concern. Before you submit your order to the supplier, make sure you calculate the landed cost.

You can find the FOB (free on board) rate by adding together the product price, China freight, customs clearance, land freight costs, and duty charges.

5. Find Chinese suppliers

If you know what products you want to buy in bulk from China, the next step is to find a supplier that can fulfill your order. Make sure you understand their shipping terms, especially regarding delivery times.

If you have found a supplier that looks good, then ask them for a pro forma invoice. It is also known as a quotation.

This document will provide you with specific information about your purchase, such as the weight, package size, value, and description of each product.

You may learn more about Finding Reliable Suppliers in China for details below:
6 Tips for Finding Reliable Suppliers in China

6. Calculate the total shipping cost

International shipping has a large number of additional costs. In addition to standard shipping costs, you have container fees, brokerage fees, packaging fees, and terminal handling fees.

Add up the total cost of all these fees so you know what your shipping costs will be. You can study the complete guide. How to ship from China to the USA

Before you arrange your shipment, you should ask your supplier for the following documents. These will be required for customs clearance:

  • Commercial invoice – declared value of your product
  • Packing list – dimensions, weight, quantity…
  • Schedule – outlining how the product was manufactured so that customs can determine the tariff classification
  • Bill of Lading – legal document between the shipper and the carrier of the goods, detailing the type, quantity, and destination of the goods shipped

Top 6 Websites to Buy Wholesale from China

Here are the top 6 best websites to buy wholesale from China:

1. Alibaba


Alibaba is one of the most popular B2B and B2C supplier platforms in the world. It was founded in 1999 and is growing very fast. It is a platform for manufacturers and suppliers to showcase their products.

You can find suppliers of any product you can think of. Almost all categories of products you need are available. The platform serves millions of suppliers and buyers worldwide.

The main suppliers are from China, but not only from China. It has suppliers from over 190 countries. It is very simple and has become increasingly user-friendly from the beginning.

What makes Alibaba unique is that there are no fixed prices. You can negotiate with as many manufacturers as possible.

You may learn more about Alibaba Vs. AliExpress for details below:
Alibaba Vs. AliExpress: Which Is Best for Dropshipping in 2022?

2. Made-in-China

made in china

Made-in-China is also a B2B platform founded in 1998 that aims to change trade around the world. Everything here is original and high quality, without counterfeits.

Made-in-China has 27 categories and 3600 subcategories. You can access the site in 11 different languages for a better user experience.

It contains any product you can think of. From cars to manufacturing plants, Made-in-China has it all.

3. Global Sources


Global Sources is another equal B2B provider in China. The clear and concise supplier and product catalog make it easy to search and find the type of “qualified” manufacturer you want to use.

The company has over 49 years of history in the industry. It has gained the trust of 1.5 million active buyers worldwide.

It is bringing potential customers to retailers and can lead you to buyers from over 240 countries.

There is professionalism in all procedures. Even if something happens and you need a refund, it’s easy. All you need to do is follow the process and meet the terms. You will buy with confidence at Global Sources.

4. DHgate


DHgate is one of the best suppliers in China. It is a business-oriented global marketplace.

It connects manufacturers throughout China with the rest of the world. According to DHgate, they have over 30 million products from all categories.

As the number of orders increases, prices change. Shipping time is easy. Your order will be delivered directly to your warehouse, but the price is a bit high. The shopping experience is safe.

If you have any problems with your order, please contact their sales agent. They will solve your problem. The sales team can also help you with refunds.

However, certain terms and conditions may apply. Ultimately, if you deserve it, you will receive a refund.

You may learn more about Alibaba Vs. DHgate for details below:
Alibaba Vs. DHgate: Which Is Better for Sourcing Products from China?

5. AliExpress


AliExpress is another online retail store owned by Alibaba Group in China. It started in 2010. Keep in mind the small business platform in China and other countries. It is the most visited e-commerce site in Russia.

Many people ask: Is AliExpress secure? AliExpress started as B2B, but now it supports all business models such as B2C, C2C, etc. AliExpress is currently available in 17 different languages.

It is well known among users who use the direct sales business model. It is carefully designed for international buyers.

AliExpress does not allow mainland Chinese customers to buy from the platform. Affiliate marketing programs are also available to reward commissions for sending visitors.

6. 1688


1688 is a subsidiary of Alibaba in China. 1688 is only available in Chinese. It also provides services for the domestic Chinese market. It supports B2B, B2C, and wholesale product models.

Many Chinese merchants prefer 1688 to find products. Other business owners also show interest due to lower prices.

To buy products at 1688, you need the full help of a sourcing agent. These sourcing agents will help you through the whole process. Since 1688 is in Chinese, hiring a China sourcing agent will help you save a lot of time.

Yansourcing can help you find and deliver quality products at very competitive prices. Yansourcing provides you with 1688 agent services. For more information, please visit here.

You may learn more about 1688 for details below:
What is How to Buy from 1688?

Top 3 Fairs to Buy Wholesale from China

If you have the resources to visit China, then attending a trade fair is almost always the best option for finding reputable suppliers. There are three main trade fairs to consider.

1. Canton Fair

canton fair

Held twice a year in Guangzhou, usually in April / May and again in November, Canton is one of the largest sourcing fairs in the world.

In fact, it is so big that it operates on three different stages, covering electronics, consumer goods, and home décor, as well as anything “else”.

For dates and details, please visit the English version of the Canton Fair website.

You may learn more about Canton Fair for details below:
How to Attend the Canton Fair? | The Best Guide for Beginners

2. Global Sources Exhibitions

Similar to the Canton Fair, with many of the same exhibitors, GST is held annually in Hong Kong.

This show tends to focus on certain product categories, so if you’re looking to buy electronics or fashion accessories, this may be the best show to attend.

Another attraction is the low language barrier. Unlike mainland China, almost everyone in Hong Kong speaks English, so it’s much easier to get around.

While you will have to budget for flights, hotels, interpreters, etc., both shows are free to attend. For the connections you might make with reliable local manufacturers, this could be a modest investment.

You may learn more about China Trade Fairs for details below:
Complete Guide 2022: Top 5 Best China Trade Fairs

3. Yiwu Wholesale Market (or Small Commodity Fair)

As the name implies, this Chinese international trade fair is located in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province. Like the previous one, it specializes in consumer products. You can buy wholesale products from China at the Yiwu market.

It is organized once a year. Although it is not too famous among international buyers, it is one of the biggest markets in China.

So, you can expect to get cheap deals there, especially if you’re buying a lot of supplies! See more information on how to buy wholesale from Yiwu market.

You may learn more about Yiwu Market for details below:
Ultimate Guide 2022: How to Buy Wholesale from Yiwu Market?

How to Communicate When Buying Wholesale from China?

Poor communication always produces poor results. Effective communication is essential for successful transactions in any field.

1. Use WeChat and email

Across China, WeChat is an essential tool for instant messaging and business purposes. Its video and voice features help to communicate effectively. The tool is helpful because it is used by most people.

Email is another effective way to communicate for business purposes. And use simple sentences that the provider can understand or even if he translates into Chinese, the translation can be accurate. Avoid using complex sentences.

When sending emails to deal with Chinese suppliers, don’t send lengthy emails. Make sure the email is concise and contains all necessary product details.

2. Pay attention to the time specification

It is a mistake to assume that Chinese suppliers are available 24/7. Typically, Chinese professionals operate in the time zone of 9 am to 5 pm.

You should be aware of the time difference when you are contracting from the West. This is for direct calls or sending messages.

However, you can always use the email channel during off hours, which will be official and considered polite.

3. Negotiate fairly with suppliers

Negotiate fairly before proceeding with a transaction, especially when purchasing wholesale from a Chinese supplier. This will help you buy high-quality wholesale cheaply from China.

However, if the deal seems too good to be true, then reconsider your decision. You may have made a mistake in identifying a supplier.

It is also wise to always consider the supplier’s challenges and issues as you make the deal.

He will respect you for it, and you will be in a better position to get a good deal. Make sure he understands that you care about his business too, not just yours.

4. Don’t use a Western mindset

One mistake Western buyers make when dealing with Chinese suppliers is that they do not accept cultural differences.

It is common for Chinese people to speak loudly, and for foreign buyers, this is considered hostile.

The Chinese prioritize ethical issues over legal approaches. But in the Western system, the legal approach is considered for more than just moral issues.

The Chinese are non-confrontational and so avoid direct accusations and try to avoid direct confrontation. Always bring them to the problem in an indirect way.

The Chinese are very patient and expect the same from their buyers. Sometimes buyers will push them hard. This can create stress and pressure and can lead to a bad deal for you.

One must forget about the Western mentality and understand the Chinese mentality in order to buy wholesale goods from China. Only then will you be more successful.

Hire a Sourcing Agent to Help You Buy Wholesale from China

china sourcing agent

A China Sourcing Agent is a good choice for your import problems. If you have no experience in importing, you’d better hire a China sourcing agent.

They provide you with efficient service, quality sourcing, reliable suppliers, low-cost manufacturing, and safe shipping. One thing you should take seriously is to provide them with extra money for satisfactory service.

1. Securing your business in China

The biggest benefit of hiring a sourcing agent is that they can guarantee the security of your business in China. They guarantee every procedure before your products are delivered to your country.

The security of your products, shipping, and payment will eliminate time wasted in misunderstandings in communication and reduce costs.

2. Help you define your products and suppliers

If you still don’t know your products, a sourcing agent is a good suggestion. They help you customize your products. They can also help you check the quantity and quality of your products.

They will provide you with experienced suppliers at the lowest cost. You have more time and energy to make sales.

3. Refer you to an agent

To make buying wholesale from China more profitable is the goal of Yansourcing with 12 years of sourcing experience.

Yansourcing provides you with an attentive team to find competent suppliers and quality products for you. They make the import process easier for you through legal and specific contacts.

As a result, you will get the best products at the best prices, on-time delivery, and profitable growth of your business.

You may learn more about China Sourcing Agent for details below:
Complete List 2022: Top 100 Best Sourcing Agent in China

Buying Wholesale from China FAQ

1. Is it legal to buy from China and resell?

If the product is authentic and not counterfeit, it is legal. However, if you run an online store, it is your responsibility to ensure that the products you sell are legal.

2. Do I need a license to import from China?

There is no general import permit or license to import products from China. However, you may need a license to import certain goods from China from a federal agency.

Different federal agencies regulate different imported products and the terms may vary.

3. Can I buy directly from China?

Yes, you can buy directly from China without any hassle. All you need is to simplify the order you want to buy from China. If you are unable to be present in person, the purchasing company will assist you in the purchasing process.

For more information, please visit our services section or contact us directly.

4. Is it safe to buy from China?

Yes, it is very safe to buy from China. Before buying from anywhere in the world, you must confirm the authenticity of the supplier. Again, background checks are very important in China.

5. How can I buy directly from a Chinese factory instead of a middleman?

You can search for factories online or visit China in person. This is the best way to find factories directly and order through them.

However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s business license or do a factory audit to make sure they are indeed the manufacturer and not just a trading company.

Buying Wholesale from China Conclusion

There are many advantages to buying wholesale from China. You are getting mass production at very affordable prices. In addition, you can get the items you want in varying degrees of quality.

If you are a new seller and planning to start a wholesale business from scratch. Just contact us and let us know. We will guide you through the rest of the process. We can provide the best solution for your wholesale business.

I am Yan, the founder of Yansourcing, the best sourcing agent in China, who can quickly and safely help you buy and import from China. If you have any questions about importing from China, don’t hesitate to contact us.

0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Hi, I'm the author of this post, and I have been in the sourcing field for more than 10 years. If you are interested in importing from China, feel free to ask me any questions.

Connect with me ➜

Submit Inquiry

Tell us what kind of product you want to import from China. We will assign you an agent to reach out to you in a few hours.

The Newest & Hottest Products In Last Month

All your answers are in Yansourcing’s monthly report last month.
We picked up the most popular items from 1,000+ orders of our clients, to help you find your winning product.

yansourcing monthly report 2023

The Newest & Hottest Products In Last Month

All your answers are in Yansourcing’s monthly report last month.

We picked up the most popular items from 1,000+ orders of our clients, to help you find your winning product.

Note: Your private information will be kept strictly confidential.