Follow the below steps to identify trading companies on Alibaba
- If a company is displaying too many different product categories on their Alibaba/website, then most probably they are a trading company.
- Check if their Business license copy which usually is in Chinese has mentioned them to be a trading company or not.
- Check if their address is in an industrial area. A local Chinese company too can help you in finding this.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add their WeChat, and try to find clues in their WeChat moments (page) to see if they have pictures of their factory in it.
- Check their city and address and try sourcing other suppliers nearby or ask their competitors if they are a trading company or factory.
- Use a Sourcing company to do your due diligence.
- Compare their pricing to other suppliers. Remember, manufacturers should supply for a 10% to 40% cheaper price than trading companies.
- Ask for a live video call and request them to show you their manufacturing premises.
- Try contacting the Sales, Sales Manager, and boss of the company and talk to all of them to find out more about their company.
- 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.
- 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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