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Basics of Product Sourcing From China

Sourcing product is the first step of any retail business, maybe you already have a retail business or probably you are first time sellers who is looking to learn more about product sourcing to start your own online selling business, Well you have landed at right place. China sourcing is easy to understand and complex to execute specially at initial stages, but don’t worry, in this series of posts we will cover all aspects of product sourcing from China.

Manufacturing products yourself is expensive idea, specially if you live in developed countries like Australia, England, Europe or USA. A cheaper solution is to import low-cost products from somewhere else. In the situation, you don’t need to spend out much money at the beginning and you can also experiment the market prior to making a larger investment. And here comes the name of China, as China is well-known for the main worldwide manufacturer of low-cost products. You can source products from China in a marginal price.

Here, we will show you how and where to source products from China to sell them in Australia, Europe, USA or for that matter anywhere.

Where to source products?

Actually, sourcing products direct from China yourself is not as simple as picking up the receiver of the phone and requesting for a quotation. In China, there are thousands of manufacturers and looking over all of them separately at a time certainly needs huge time which you may not have in your hand. Luckily, here is a solution for you. There are quite a lot of major websites which will let you share through the huge collection of products that Chinese suppliers and manufacturers offer. Some of these sourcing platforms include:

Ali Baba

Ali Baba is China’s,  and by some measures, the world’s biggest online marketplace. It is the #1 source for people looking for product sourcing worldwide. Its three main sites are Taobao, Tmall and which have hundreds of millions of users, and host millions of merchants as well as businesses. Alibaba controls more business than many other e-commerce companies. For sourcing purposes, we need to refer only to which connects suppliers to sellers (that is you!)

Global Sources

Global Sources is a Hong-Kong based business-to-business (B2B) media company. It facilitates sourcing products from Greater China to the world, using a wide range of English-language media and facilitates sourcing products from the world to Greater China, using Chinese-language media. This marketplace provides sourcing information to volume buyers and integrated marketing services to suppliers.In addition, Global Sources verifies the quality of the manufacturer. The special feature of Global Sources online marketplaces ( is that it allows buyers to contact manufacturers directly for inquiries and purchases.


Made-in-China is considered as China’s luxury marketplace. It is a platform for sourcing China products and one stop sourcing service. There are four steps to sourcing on The four steps are –

1. Search products
2. Screen results
3. Contact suppliers
4. Trade safety.


Joybuy which is operated by Chinese eCommerce giant, offers a wide selection of authentic, high-quality Chinese products at competitive prices and delivers them to customers’ doors in a speedy and dependable manner. aims to provide consumers around the world with an innovative and robust eCommerce platform through close cooperation with domestic suppliers in China. As China’s largest eCommerce platform by revenue, offers a world-class set of online retail services to its legion of users, who now number close to 200 million in total.


Chinavasion is a Hong Kong-based e-commerce marketplace that offers selling items in small quantities. Unlike most Chinese export /trading companies, or factories, there is no minimum order restriction. You can buy products in any order quantity – even 1 piece samples – from a wide selection of the latest electronics products. So you can test products and find out about the details of importing from Chinavasion before you’re committed to any large orders. [4]


TradeKey is one of the largest b2b marketplaces in China. Tradekey is a global company established in 2006 and has presence in many countries. It’s considered one of the largest International Electronic Marketplaces worldwide for both exporting and importing countries. It connects traders with global whole sellers, buyers, importers & exporters, manufacturers and distributors in over 240 countries, quickly and cost effectively. Millions of people visits TradeKey every month.

Research First – Buy Later

The first thing that you need is to identify what products you actually want to source. Carry on some market research, discuss with your existing customers, and search what trends are prevailing in Australia’s home market. Visit trade shows, observe what products your peers and rivals are selling, carry on research and read online market reports. Try to find out a type of product you are interested in.

China Sourcing – The Process

Now you know about the popular marketplaces to source products from China. Next comes the process that you need to follow if you like to source from China.

  • Research and decide about the type of product you should source. Carry out in-depth market research.
  • Check out different marketplaces of manufacturers as well as suppliers to source the products that you want.
  • Don’t jump to order placement, First investigate your supplier and see if they are trust worthy. This is not like placing order on Amazon, many first time importers have been scammed. Understand the marketplace, for example, Gold Members on Alibaba are generally trust worthy.
  • Discuss shipping terms with your supplier. Generally your supplier will arrange shipping for you but remember to discuss the terms.
  • Understand different regulations, tariffs, and licenses involved with import.
  • After you received the products in Australia, you have to pay the necessary duty, tariffs, and any other importing fees.
  • Finally, you have to be ready to market the products for sale in Australia.

Dealing with some tasks such as sourcing, international shipping, tariffs, licenses, etc that you have to do can be slightly tricky.  So, we robustly suggest bringing somebody who has practical experience and knowledge in the field into your business.


Sourcing products from China may involve hard work to achieve success but it is not a very complex task. We highly recommend that this should be done methodically while having a clear sourcing policy by drawing its business plan, resources and market situation. Then, you should do homework so that you can categorize experienced and committed suppliers and/or manufacturing partners. After sourcing the products, next step is selling the merchandise and in that regard do check out selling on eBay article on this blog.

Do share your resources or tools that you know of or if you have any queries through the comments below. Also do not forget to sign up for weekly ForwardToFBA newsletter for more articles and up to date news.





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