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Practical Ways to Work with Asian Wholesale Suppliers



The Asian market has undergone tremendous growth over the last few decades, transforming the region into a global economic powerhouse. The rise of countries like China, India, and South Korea has resulted in unprecedented economic growth and development, and the region now accounts for a significant share of global economic output.

One of the primary drivers of this growth has been the expansion of trade and investment in the region. Asian countries have become major players in the global supply chain, with many specializing in the production of goods and services for export. The region's expanding trade and investment, rising middle class, and technological advancements have fueled economic growth and development, transforming the region into a global economic powerhouse.

Asian wholesale suppliers are at the forefront of this growth. These suppliers offer a wide range of products, from electronics and electrical to household items and furniture.

However, working with such wholesale suppliers in Asia can be daunting for new entrepreneurs, as cultural differences and language barriers may pose a challenge.

In this article, we will discuss some tips and best practices for wholesale sourcing in Asian effectively.

1. Find a reputable supplier

The first step in working with wholesale suppliers in Asia is to find a reputable supplier. Start by looking via internet directories like Alibaba or Global Sources.

These directories allow you to search for suppliers based on their location, product categories, and minimum order quantity. Or you can arrange visit to these Asian countries to meet the factories. There are lots of famous markets like Yiwu wholesale market, Huaqiangbei electronics market, where you can find lots of suppliers. It is essential to do your due diligence and research potential suppliers thoroughly. Look for reviews from other buyers, ask for references, and verify the supplier's business registration and licenses.

2. Communicate clearly

Clear communication is critical when working with wholesale suppliers in Asia. As language barriers may exist, it is essential to use simple language and avoid using idioms or colloquialisms that may be difficult to translate.

Additionally, consider using procurement agents in China who can help you find suitable supplier and keep smooth communication.

3. Build relationships

Building relationships with wholesale suppliers of Asia is crucial to long-term success. Take the time to get to know your suppliers and understand their business culture.

This can involve visiting their factory or attending trade shows in their region. Additionally, maintaining a positive and professional relationship can lead to better pricing, faster delivery times, and more favorable payment terms.

4. Negotiate pricing and payment terms

Negotiating price is an essential aspect of working with wholesale suppliers in Asia. It is important to understand that suppliers may offer different prices based on:

- Order quantity

- Product specifications

- Shipping terms.

Additionally, suppliers may prefer different payment methods, such as bank transfers or letters of credit. Be prepared to negotiate these terms and find a mutually beneficial solution.

5. Quality control

Quality control is critical when working with Asian wholesale suppliers. Before placing an order, ensure that you have received samples and are satisfied with the product quality.

Additionally, consider hiring a third-party China inspection company to verify the product quality and ensure that it meets your specifications. This can prevent costly returns and improve customer satisfaction.

6. Minimum order quantities

Minimum order quantities (MOQ) are a requirement to buy a certain minimum number of units from the manufacturer.

MOQ differ by product type. A product that costs more to buy may have a smaller MOQ and vice-versa. MOQ requirements for electronics are typically 500-1000 pieces per order. Textile manufacturers normally have an MOQ of 100-300 pieces per colour, which can again differ based on standard and custom colors. Products that have a lower profit margin have a higher MOQ.

Manufacturers are not generally willing to negotiate MOQs, and more so for products that have a small profit margin. Asking for a reduction would be futile. You can negotiate on price though, and manufacturers will be willing to match the lower quotes from competitors to get your business. Asking for a price reduction and lower MOQ is unfair to the manufacturer and you're not likely to hear back from them.

You may also be able to negotiate MOQs for specific requirements within an order list. For example, if you're sourcing serving trays, you can ask for a lower MOQ per colour or size, which will allow you to offer a larger variety to your customers. The supplier will be willing to negotiate based on your total order volume.

How to choose Asian wholesale products to sell on Amazon?

Efforts to identify the right manufacturer or wholesaler, and negotiations on MOQ and price can go to waste if you choose a product that doesn't sell. A timeless tip for Amazon buyers is to do product research. Market reports reveal the demand for a product while Amazon data shows demand and sales potential.

Product research and competitor research go hand in hand. After all, as a part of your research, you'll be looking at seller pages. The information will give your ideas on pricing your product and making it better and therefore more attractive to your market. Read reviews and see ratings to identify improvements in product development. Your product can address those flaws and include those missing features that make it more competitive in the Amazon marketplace.

Where to find a wholesale supplier?

Where do you find a Chinese wholesale distributor for your chosen product? You can find one from the comfort of your chair on an Asian wholesale website or make the trip to a major trade show in China to meet suppliers in person. You could do both - identify a few suppliers that fit your requirements and fly to China for further talks.

The most convenient and cost-effective method would be to conduct all the business online and hire a service to evaluate the supplier on your behalf. A business contact in China to verify the supplier's location and factory. A quality inspection agency to conduct a factory audit and after production is under way, check the quality of your product.

Or you could focus on your business and let a Chinese sourcing company do the heavy lifting for you. Sourcing agents essentially serve as your procurement team, helping you find a manufacturer with the capabilities to make your product. They usually also offer factory audit and quality inspection services.

Sourcing agents usually serve small and mid-sized importers that have fewer resources to manage all aspects of procuring products from China. They're also a solution to the language barrier and cultural differences that tend to make communications and relationship-building between importers and their Chinese suppliers.

Asian wholesale websites

China manufacturers and trading companies offering every conceivable product are on B2B websites like Alibaba, DHgate, Global Sources and HKTDC. The trick is to find the right supplier. This is better understood by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of popular China wholesale websites.


Alibaba pioneered B2B wholesale ecommerce. The platform connects buyers and sellers, who can communicate and conduct business on it. Alibaba also does factory inspections and handles trade disputes. Alibaba can work very well for you if you're able to manage sourcing and relationship-building on your own, without any outside professional assistance.

What's good.

- Large product and supplier base

- Buyer safety features like Trade Assurance (money-back guarantee for defective quality or late delivery), Gold suppliers (checked and verified by Alibaba's third-party auditors) and supplier profile (buyer reviews, transaction levels, trade capacity, production capacity and so on)

- Quality inspection service

- Supports multiple payment modes

- Bulk request for quote (RFQ)

What's not so good.

- Drawn-out ordering process (browse > contact suppliers > compare quotes > trade assurance order > payment)

- Outdated prices based on past raw material or production costs

- Decent user interface, but can be better.

Global Sources

Global Sources is a Hong Kong-based B2B multichannel media company connecting buyers with verified suppliers in China and Asia through its website. It is also a trade show facilitator, helping importers register for upcoming trade fairs in China. Services it offers include sourcing, sourcing news, private sourcing events, sample preparation and bulk RFQs.

What's good.

- Large supplier base

- Buyer safety (Verified Manufacturer badge, Online-to-Offline suppliers who are sellers with  comprehensive online profiles and active trade show participation, verified company and product certificates from independent verification agencies)

- Easily navigable website

What's not so good.

- No support for payment and delivery

- More suitable for experienced rather than beginner importers.


DHGate is a leading Asian wholesale website serving small and medium-sized businesses. It has over 31 million registered buyers from more than 220 countries.

What's good.

- Tiered pricing structure means the more you buy, the more you save

- Buyer safety (escrow payment, supplier certification from third-party inspectors, extended warranty on electronics products, Premium and Top Merchant tags based on sales volume and customer service quality, return and refund)

- Quick ordering process (like B2C)

- Large supplier base

- Great for beginners

What's not so good.

- Search feature needs to be better

- Old sellers have more exposure than new businesses.

Trade Shows

China hosts multiple expos a year that give buyers worldwide to tap into one of the world's largest markets. Anyone interested in Asian wholesale purchases should consider attending a trade show where they can meet manufacturers' representatives, review products, and have face-to-face discussions. Factory audits, QC inspection bookings and business meetings can all occur during the trip.

The biggest China trade shows for sourcing products and finding suppliers are.

- Canton Fair

- East China Fair

- Yiwu Fair

- Hong Kong Electronics Fair

- China Electronics Fair

- Asia Outdoor Trade Show

- China Hi-Tech Fair

Some tips:

- Register online in advance to avoid paying more in registration fee when you register in-person at the fair

- Go through the fairgrounds map on the trade fair website for help in planning your days and managing your time

- Collect business cards, literature, brochures, and anything else that can help you evaluate the supplier better

- Prepare a list of questions to ask suppliers

- Follow up later and do additional due diligence

Sourcing agents

The architect of a successful Asian wholesale strategy may very well be the knowledgeable sourcing agent you engage to manage end-to-end procurement. Normally, sourcing agents are the go-to intermediaries for custom and original design manufacturing for their industry specialization, strong on-the-ground contacts and English-speaking account managers and QC inspectors.

How to evaluate a China sourcing agent

- Do they have a local presence in China?

- Do they have experience direct sourcing from China?

- Does their experience cover the product you want to manufacture?

- What services do they offer (can they provide end-to-end procurement)?

- Can they meet your custom manufacturing needs?

Depending on how much importing experience you have and time you can devote to the procurement side of the business, you may have a smooth trying experience. As the success of your Amazon business depends on acquiring supplies on time and of acceptable quality, you need to work with the reliable China product manufacturers. Reputable sourcing agents can help you find the right supplier for your Asian wholesale requirements and build a strong foundation for your business.


Working with wholesale suppliers in Asia can be a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs. By following these tips and best practices, you can establish a successful relationship with your suppliers, negotiate favorable terms, and ensure that your products meet quality standards.

Finding a reputable supplier, communicating clearly, building relationships, negotiating pricing and payment terms, and quality control are all essential aspects of working with Asian wholesale suppliers effectively.

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