Vietnam Country Manager
MBA in Grenoble Business School (TOP 6 French Business School)
5 year experience in Quality Control industry
Multiple languages speaking (French, English, Spanish, Mandarin)
Apr 22, 2019
The whole point is not to find suppliers, today everyone with an internet connection can do it. We will rather focus on how you can find the right supplier and how you can judge if he is the right supplier!
The 1st article will explain how to build a database of potential suppliers (online platform and tradeshows).
While the 2nd article will show you how to select the 10 suppliers you will compare and how you can select the final supplier you will work with.
We know you are certainly an experienced buyer with years of practice. We still hope and are confident you can find some useful tips from these 2 articles and benefit from V-Trust 15 years’ experience in Asia!
Each part (1 and 2) takes around 8 minutes to read (≈ 1300 words for this 1st part).
A 3rd party like an agent or a sourcing company can definitely help you source and find the right supplier. Choosing the right agent would actually deserve a whole article.
A trading company may for example be a good choice if your time is limited, you don’t have much experience in import-export, you buy seasonal product with large assortment that can be consolidated (X-mas decorations, etc) or if your order is small (agents can often have better negotiation power than a single small buyer). Now that we have mentioned this option you know it exists, if you still decide to deal directly with a factory, then go please ahead with the rest of our article!
Another step before looking to deal directly with a factory is to perfectly know your product. You should be 100% familiar with the material options, production process, cost calculation, different level of qualities, dimensions, colors, quantities you need, your maximum lead time. The more you know, the more you look professional and the more the factory will respect you, consider you and propose a fair quotation.
Be advised that preparing your requirements and a clear quotation takes time and energy. But it is a crucial step, don’t ruin your reputation by not knowing your product and requirements.
Be also aware that not any method to find the correct supplier is the perfect one. However these 2 articles can certainly give you some clues and tips.
Bigger and more generalist tradeshows
Let’s start by listing the biggest and most general tradeshows.
Of course the biggest of all is the Canton Fair with 3 phases every time and 2 sessions every year (April and October).
We can also mention Global Source in Hong-Kong in October and April with different phases (Lighting, Electronic, Textile and Giftware).
Another big one would be HKTDC tradeshows (Hong Kong Trade Development Council), also in October and April with different phases as Electronic, Textile, Gifts or Home.
Last one would be the ECF in Shanghai. Mainly for suppliers from Shanghai province, Anhui or Zhejiang provinces. A more limited tradeshow (compared to the 3 other ones), taking place in March.
As you can notice, all these fairs are usually held in October and April. Buyers generally do few fairs at the same time to maximize their time and money
Below, please find a table to compare the main tradeshows in China.
Smaller and more specialized tradeshows
Let’s now have a look at smaller and more specialized fairs. They can also be very interesting! Below, please find is a list. This list of is definitely not exhaustive.
These specialized tradeshows are a great way to avoid trading companies and deal directly with factories that have strong expertise in their respective field.
How to find smaller fairs dedicated to your product category?
A very effective way is to ask your existing suppliers (or the one you can meet on Canton Fair) if they attend any other tradeshow. Many product categories often have very specialized fairs with specialist suppliers. For example for pet products (CIPS), for furniture (CIFF), Lighting (HKTDC lighting), etc.
If you have any question, we can also recommend tradeshows dedicated to your product category, please just feel free to ask us!
With this 1st part you now know more about online platforms and tradeshows. In the 2nd part of our article we will focus on ways to assess your supplier.
Hope to see you reading our 2nd part!
Thank you for reading our article! Do not hesitate to share.
Since 2003, V-Trust provides Quality Control solutions in China, Vietnam and India: Product Inspection, Social Audit, Factory audit and Laboratory Testing.
All our V-Trust Vietnam inspectors are our full time inspectors only, hired by us, trained by us and working for us only. In 2018 our +230 full time inspectors performed +5800 inspections per month for +2300 customers.
Mobile and WhatsApp: +84-58.2999.233