How to Procure in China

The right supplier can provide you with real value for money
The wrong supplier can really cost you

When deciding how you want to go about procuring your product, you need to take into account the level of risk you are prepared to take and the amount of time and cost involved. China provides fantastic opportunities to increase your business profits here in Australia, but unfortunately doing business in China comes with significant risks.



Overseas suppliers can be sourced online from a number of websites dedicated to this purpose.

Sourcing products yourself gives you control over the process and can save you money by dealing direct with the supplier.

However, it comes with higher risks and the potential cost savings can quickly dissipate due to miscommunication or an unsuitable supplier.

If you can, it is a good idea to visit the factory yourself before you place an order to ensure that the products produced are suitable for your business.


Attending trade shows in China is a great way to meet new suppliers face to face. This may help you determine the reliability of the supplier and you may be able to place an order on the spot.

If you don’t want to travel, there are local trade shows. Usually they are industry specific and have suppliers from many places, including China.

Once you have verified a potential supplier, you can buy products directly from them. If everything goes well, this can save you money. But there are still risks involved if you are not overseeing the production of your products and are relying solely on the supplier to deliver a quality product.


Procurement map the sourcing factory china asia


Trading companies may be a good option if you want to buy your products in small quantities and don’t want to deal with the complexities of sourcing in China. They speak to your suppliers on your behalf. They understand the language and culture, which helps with effective communication.

Trading companies are often paid a commission by suppliers and may not recommend suppliers that are right for your business. The supplier is also likely to charge an inflated price to cover the cost of the agent’s commission.


Engaging a professional sourcing, or procurement company to take on your project is the most reliable way to ensure that your product is made to the correct quality and specifications. This is especially important if you have a custom project.

Although it may cost slightly more than doing it all yourself, it involves far less risk. The right company will have relationships with many existing suppliers and years of experience with the culture, production and logistics. This can end up saving you money in the long run.

By using an Australian owned and operated business that has established contacts in Asia with local staff, you get the benefits of clear communication in both directions.

Ensure you conduct the relevant research, because although importing from China can provide great opportunities, it does come with significant risks. Making a mistake here is likely to cost you both time and money, so be sure you make the right decision for your business. If in doubt seek professional advice.