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How to tell a real factory from a trading company in China

Reseller companies in China often present themselves as manufacturers. After receiving an order for production, they pass it to some factory, often being oriented towards the domestic market and having very vague knowledge about western quality standards, let alone Amazon requirements. This is a common practice among Chinese companies, one of their business traditions.

The following hints may help you distinguish a reseller company from a real manufacturer:

Wide range of goods

Generally Chinese factories produce homogeneous products, items made of silicone for example. Variety of the manufactured goods usually is a sign of a reseller company.  

Competence in technical matters

In most cases factory managers have sufficient knowledge about manufacturing process and product characteristics. Inability to provide detailed answers to such questions hints that you are dealing with a trading company.  

Possibility to visit the factory

You can tell the manager that you would like to visit the factory yourself in order to check its production capacities. In case the factory is interested in doing business with you, it will gladly accept your proposition. However, if the manager turns down the idea under any pretext – chances are high that he is a reseller company representative.  

Presence of a business license

Any company in China must have a business license. So, it makes sense to ask the supplier send you a copy. Nature of its business will be stated there (naturally, in Chinese). It must be noted, however, that Chinese companies tend to overstate their capabilities, so a “manufacturer” status may mean just assembling goods from components bought elsewhere, for example.  

Factory audit

Factory audit, performed by a specialized company, is by far the best way to determine the degree of reliability and trustworthiness of the manufacturer. FBAHELP focuses on such services, conducting all kinds of factory inspections in LIVE format. This approach allows you to join the inspection virtually and control the process, if such need arises.

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