How to identify trading companies on Alibaba?

Follow the below steps to identify trading companies on Alibaba


  1. If a company is displaying too many different product categories on their Alibaba/website, then most probably they are a trading company.
  2. Check if their Business license copy which usually is in Chinese has mentioned them to be a trading company or not.




  3. Check if their address is in an industrial area. A local Chinese company too can help you in finding this.
  4. Is the company welcoming your request to visit their factory and are they open to inspections? If yes, that is a positive sign they are the actual manufacturer themselves.
  5. Do they reply to your inquiries quickly? Sometimes a trading company takes longer to respond because they have to check the prices and details from the actual manufacturer.
  6. Add their WeChat, and try to find clues in their WeChat moments (page) to see if they have pictures of their factory in it.
  7. Check their city and address and try sourcing other suppliers nearby or ask their competitors if they are a trading company or factory.
  8. Use a Sourcing company to do your due diligence.
  9. Compare their pricing to other suppliers. Remember, manufacturers should supply for a 10% to 40% cheaper price than trading companies.
  10. Ask for a live video call and request them to show you their manufacturing premises.
  11. Try contacting the Sales, Sales Manager, and boss of the company and talk to all of them to find out more about their company.
  12. Ask them if they have a 1688.com website. If yes, then there is a higher possibility that they are a manufacturer because the 1688.com website normally lists down only manufacturers. Trading companies also don't opt for it as the selling price is lower on this website.
  13. Ask them several questions about your product in detail (manufacturing process, packaging, production time, pricing, Moqs) and see if they have a deeper knowledge of their products. Sometimes trading companies deal with so many products that they don't have deep knowledge about the products they are selling. A good Manufacturer, on the other hand, would try to educate you about your product thoroughly.



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