Is Yiwu market full of manufacturers?
Many importers who are purchasing products from China want to find real factory suppliers, instead of market or trading companies, for they think that direct buying from factories may be cheaper. However, Chinese factories in certain industries are so hard to find, and 90% of the suppliers you met online or at local trade fairs might be a typical trade company in China. A fact you should know that “Yiwu market is not full of manufacturers”. There is an old saying about Yiwu market that “30% manufacturers, 30% distributors, 30% only sample rooms”. Most of the suppliers in Yiwu market are distributors instead of manufacturers.
For other hundreds of thousands of small and mid-sized factories, they have a shop in the market to sell the products they manufactured, as well as the products they represented. This is smart because they can have a broader product line, at the same time, help buyer’s job easier.
"Are you a manufacturer?"
If you ask staff of the shops inside Yiwu market this question, 99% of them will answer you “yes, we’re a factory”. Most staff will try to convince you so you will need to use your own judgment here in such cases.
How to tell if a shop is a manufacturer?
This job requires a lot of expertise. You can only have better judgment if you know this industry better. Here I would like to share with you what we’ve found out just for your reference.
#1 Can I have a sample?
Usually, they will not offer a free sample. But if someone can offer a free sample, or they can offer a sample within 5 days or 7 days, this would mean that they're likely a manufacturer or they’re in good relationship with the manufacturers. If you agreed to pay them sample fees and give them a long time to deliver a sample, they still can’t cooperate, they’re mostly likely not a factory.
#2 Can I have a catalogue?
Manufactures are likely to have a big catalogue, no matter how soon they update their products. Big manufacturers regularly update their products and put them in new catalogues. Also if you find different catalogues in a same shop, that means they’re selling products from different factories.
#3 Can I have this customized?
If they’re factories/manufacturers, most likely, they know their product very well and they have strong ability to customize products. If you find someone know their product very little and can’t do much customization, most likely, they’re not a manufacturer.
Is it really important only to deal with Yiwu market manufacturers?
Well, it all depends.
If it’s the first time for you to come to Yiwu, and the order amount is less than 10,000 USD, I will suggest you go to the market. And it’s better for you to find a good agent in Yiwu.
If you have an extremely big order for one or two items or full container size orders for a single product, and the order amount is more than 10,000 USD. It’s worth finding a strong factory directly.