Yiwu Market Guide

Facts You Need to Know Before Buying From Yiwu Market Suppliers 

Getting started on your China sourcing journey can feel like a challenge, but it gives your business the opportunity to cut costs, add value, and then turn a larger profit than would be possible by domestic trading alone. Although it’s a tempting option for many businesses, buying from Yiwu market suppliers is a complicated process that requires lots of planning and relationship building; and knowing certain facts beforehand, will make your Yiwu sourcing process smoother.

This detailed guide will help you on your way to make Yiwu importing a winning strategy, with up-to-date guidance for navigating a COVID-restricted market:

 

1. What is Yiwu Market?

Well-known for its commodity products, Yiwu market is the world’s largest wholesale market for small commodities. Formed in the 1970s, the market has now grown into 5 “districts” comprising around 70000+ shops in total. We give a detailed tour of Yiwu’s 5 districts in this blog post.

Yiwu market suppliers focus on every niche imaginable, from home decor to hair extensions, with each outlet displaying a few dozen to hundred items — the catch is that you don’t engage in immediate purchase, but place a bulk order and get it delivered to you at a later date.

2. Where is Yiwu market?

Location 

Located in the Central Zhejiang province, Yiwu is a city in the eastern part of China. As some importers prefer traveling to China for procurement, it is important to mention the distance of Yiwu market from China’s commercial hubs:

Distance from Beijing: 1422 km 

Distance  from Guangzhou: 1174 km

Distance  from Shenzhen : 1204 km

Distance from Shanghai : 284 km 

Navigation

Being massive, the market is organized into different sections and is difficult to navigate for newcomers. Most Yiwu suppliers also have limited or zero English or Spanish language skills. The difficulty in navigating the markets combined with language barriers is why many importers prefer to hire a guide. An Yiwu market guide will help you :

  • Navigate the market like a pro

  • Translate and negotiate with shopkeepers

  • Photograph and document products you’re interested in

  • Consolidate shipments and arrange shipping

Visiting Yiwu Virtually

Due to COVID restrictions and recent lockdowns in Yiwu, physically traveling to the markets for China sourcing is not possible. However, you can still book a virtual Yiwu market tour with Logistics 9’s virtual guide services.

All you have to do is make an appointment via email (inquiries@chinayiwuagent.logistics-9.com) or phone/whatsapp/wechat (+8613676803399), and our sales consultant will confirm the schedule and note down your items of interest. This is the easiest way to tour Yiwu remotely from the comfort of your home or office!

3. What Products to Import from Yiwu Market Suppliers?

With around 75000 shops, the market sells almost every single commodity you can think of. There’s an entire floor for home decor items, a whole district dedicated to fashion apparel & accessories, and too many outlets for stationery products. Yiwu’s slogan is “a city of small commodities” — think relatively inexpensive, mass-market items like gadgets & phone accessories, fashion apparel, festive & home decorations, gifting items, suitcases & bags, toys, stationery, etc.

Deciding on which products to buy from Yiwu suppliers can be a stressful ordeal for beginner importers. That’s why to make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of Top 10 Profitable Products To Buy at Yiwu Markets!

4. Product Pricing

Unlike the familiar FOB quotations you normally get in USD, prices quoted by Yiwu market suppliers are EXW YIWU prices. EXW or Ex works is a shipping arrangement in which a seller makes a product available at a specific location, but the buyer has to pay the transport costs. In simple terms, this means your products’ Yiwu price covers all costs (product cost + freight) till the products are delivered to a warehouse in Yiwu; and you will need to pay the costs from the said Yiwu warehouse to your own warehouse.

When you inquire about an item at Yiwu market, you’ll find that prices are relatively fixed. Even if you’re buying an entire container of goods, you can expect a 5-10% discount at most.

Partnering with Logistics 9 you don’t have to worry about these minute calculations, negotiations and discounts, as we handle it all for you. We not only help you with product sourcing but take care of all operations within the process — right up to the final delivery at your location.

5. Yiwu Agent Pros & Cons

You might ask, why do I even need a China sourcing agent ? Hiring an agent makes the entire sourcing process easier and simpler for you. Unless you are based in China or have someone managing Yiwu suppliers full time we’d suggest you partner with an agency, because at some point outsourcing work allows you to focus on higher value tasks. 

Even if you’re in China and are able to visit the market you may find that many Yiwu suppliers cannot speak English or Spanish. After the purchase, you’ll realize you don’t have a warehouse to collect all the orders and there isn’t anyone to inspect your orders directly. Moreover, agencies also help you get the best deals and stunning discounts, as they are in connection with different Yiwu market suppliers.

A reliable and efficient Yiwu agent makes the difference when importing from China. An ideal agency will understand your needs and then plan your sourcing process. However, a bad agency can do the exact opposite and be detrimental to your business. 

The cons of hiring an agent are only faced when you hire the wrong one. While sounding promising, most agents turn out to be incapable, non-authentic, inexperienced, lacking connections or warehouses. 

But don’t worry, we’ve curated special posts that give you a detailed guide on:

6. Common Tricks of Yiwu Agents

When dealing with Yiwu Agents, it’s handy to know some of their common tricks to stay safe and source products at the best prices.

Trick #1 Switching Suppliers:

Due to the abundance of suppliers in the Yiwu market, some sourcing agents will choose the one that offers the cheapest prices. To make the process even profitable, they will constantly switch suppliers throughout your contract. The result? You can never be sure of the quality of the products nor the overall consistency of your order.

Trick #2 Receiving Kickbacks From Suppliers:

Some Yiwu suppliers in the market offer commissions to certain Yiwu agents. The agents then source their products from these suppliers, no matter the quality or price of the products they offer.


One of the biggest challenges faced by Yiwu importers is product quality, as consumers are often doubtful about the quality of goods coming out of China. But at Logistics 9, we import only the best quality products at affordable prices. We do this by making sure to source items from only those suppliers which adhere to the highest standard of professionalism and quality. Our team evaluates all factories for their manufacturing capabilities so that we can match our customers with products that meet their expectations. Though unbelievably nominal prices make way for unbelievable deals, we only handpick the best products from the top Yiwu suppliers.

7. Discount Differences and Consolidation

When you’re sourcing from Yiwu market suppliers you’ll notice upto a 10% price difference for the same product in different shops, which is acceptable. However, if you notice a more than 10% gap, we’d advise you to inspect the quality of the products and other order details carefully, as it’s not common for such a big price gap for the same product in a competitive market like Yiwu.

When you settle on products for your shipment, payment will generally be made in full and you will be responsible for arranging logistics. Most people end up buying several products from several different shops – this again is where an experienced Logistics partner will help unless you have a freight forwarder who can help you with consolidation. Besides taking care of all your China sourcing needs, logistics 9 also helps you with Pre-shipment Inspections (PSI) as part of our stringent quality control process.

8. Catalogs & Samples

Most Yiwu shops won’t offer you catalogs, usually because of trend updates, fast stock turnovers and too many available varieties. Most shops also don’t offer samples easily. Whether you can get samples depends on how “genuine” you are, how much sample fee you are willing to pay, and your business relations with the supplier. This is where a sourcing partner with a strong network and market experience comes in handy and makes the process smoother for you. 

You can check out our product catalog here.

 9. Deposit

Importers should pay a deposit only after confirming all details of the order, like MOQs, labels, packaging, customization,etc. Due to cultural differences and language barriers, misunderstandings are common when dealing with China suppliers. Therefore, it’s best to have your China sourcing agent handle the deposit payments.

10. Mixed Lots

Yiwu suppliers are known to offer mixed lots with different designs/ varieties of one item. To avoid any tricks or complications in future it’s best to confirm by mentioning clear specifications in the  contract, for eg: you can specify a random mix (where suppliers mix whatever is available according to their choice)  or certain designs mix (where you select the designs) or certain designs unacceptable, according to your requirements.

11. Made-in-China Label

A small label can cost you a lot if your country’s customs ask you to re-label all your products at your port, as a made in China label is usually required by most countries. You need to specify this requirement with the supplier before placing the order.

12. Factory Outlets vs Distributors

Only 20% of suppliers in Yiwu are direct factory/ manufacturer outlets. Dealing with direct factories may not be a good option when your quantity is small, as a distributor is at a better position to offer lower MOQ and higher quality service, which is very helpful for small buyers.

13. The Yiwu Benefit Over Other Marketplaces

You can find the following advantages when you purchase from Yiwu instead of going to the Canton Fair or shopping off online marketplaces like Alibaba:

  • The biggest benefit Yiwu markets have over Canton fair are the small order quantities. Rarely will you be quoted more than 50 pieces for an MOQ, whereas at the Canton fair you have to order at least 10 or100 times higher quantities.
  • The common China sourcing strategy is to buy several products from different shops and have them all shipped together in one shipment. With online marketplaces, like Alibaba, you may be able to buy any number of pieces from a single buyer but you can’t buy multiple items from multiple buyers (as easily as you can at Yiwu).

 

The sheer size of the Yiwu market is astounding! Apart from China, no other country has a wholesale market like Yiwu. But before importing anything from Yiwu suppliers, make sure to use the above market guide to see that you are set on most of the requirements.

If you face any doubts or have more questions about buying from Yiwu markets, feel free to reach us at +8613676803399 or inquiries@chinayiwuagent.logistics-9.com, and we’ll try to respond ASAP. For more information on Yiwu Market, or sourcing & logistics guidance in general, please check out our blog.

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