Visiting suppliers. Any advice/experiences?

Full Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 26 Jan 10
2 Feb 10 08:31:06 pm
I am interested in possibly visiting suppliers. I am in the planning stages of opening a business and I want to take a trip to China/Hong Kong and Mexico to get acquainted with suppliers before I start to purchase large quantities. Are most suppliers receptive of having customers visit them? I think this would also prove useful in weeding out the wannabees as i am looking for a legitimate manufacturer and not a wholesaler/trading agent. Anything I should know before I visit suppliers in China/Hong Kong/Mexico?


Full Member
Posts: 331
Joined: 15 Jun 06
2 Feb 10 10:02:03 pm
Hi buddy714,

It's definitely a great idea to visit your suppliers first and most should be receptive to a visit. Have you already found and contacted some suppliers? Or are you going to visit Trade Shows in those countries first?

Understanding something of the business culture before you go is pretty important to getting off on a good footing.

This is a great article about preparing to deal with Chinese suppliers:
[link no longer available]


Site Admin
Posts: 5798
Joined: 27 Jul 07
2 Feb 10 10:32:11 pm
As Grace has said, can be a great idea, in fact if you have the ability to visit in person, I think it's the absolute best idea, especially when dealing with China suppliers.

Definitely great idea to visit trade shows, that's where you will make all the right contacts, and when you make that contact in person you are showing them respect, and respect when doing business in China is paramount to building a solid business relationship, and will serve you well into the future.

Mark (fudjj)

Community Manager

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Posts: 839
Joined: 19 Jul 07
3 Feb 10 06:23:11 am
Use your local Chinese embassy as a starting point. I remember seeing a Chinese government website devoted to this but I cant remember the name.

Find the company names first and make a contact first, asking permission to visit. Don't just show up. Also ask if they offer a translation service or know of one.

Asians can be incredibly accommodating and don't be surprised if some of your trip gets comped if they feel you are serious about doing business with them. Ask for samples or at least a very good price on samples.

Don't say, you are going to be visiting a lot of businesses. Make it seem you are there for them, unless of course they ask. DO as much research as you can so you know something about the company. Learn things about them that they might not expect you to know. Imagine if you owned a business here in the states and an Asian were visiting you to do business and they asked if the new machines you recently bought were improving production. You would be impressed right? Especially from a foreigner.

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