• Manufacturers & Wholesalers in Vietnam: A Complete Guide

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    Importing from Vietnamese suppliers has become a serious alternative to China. In recent months, we’ve seen a significant number of clients source products from Vietnamese suppliers.

    So significant, in fact, that I am writing this post from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

    In this article, I what I’ve learned through customers, and on the ground here in Vietnam, about finding qualified factories in Vietnam, what kind of products you can find and whether they offer lower prices.

    In addition, I will also share what every importer should know about MOQ requirements, business visas, shipping options and trade shows in Vietnam.

    How to find Vietnam suppliers online using Alibaba

    There are multiple supplier directories in Vietnam. Yet, Alibaba.com is the largest online supplier directory for those looking for Vietnam based factories.

    Alibaba.com has a dedicated section for Vietnamese suppliers, and they are becoming increasingly prominent when searching for many product types.

    Alibaba.com allows users to filter suppliers based on country. Thus, you can decide to limit your sourcing to Vietnamese suppliers only.

    Alibaba.com also verifies all Gold Suppliers, including those based in Vietnam. Thus, they provide one of the few reliable sources of supplier data in the country, including the following:

    • Company name
    • Registered address
    • Legal form
    • Registration No.
    • Issuing Authority
    • Date of issue
    • Applicant name
    • Applicant job title

    Globalsources.com also have Vietnamese suppliers listed in their directory. However, the number of suppliers is far lower than on Alibaba.

    Some of them also attend the Globalsources trade shows in Hong Kong.

    Despite having relatively few suppliers from the country, Globalsources.com does actually provide more data on Vietnamese suppliers than anyone else does:

    • Registered Address
    • Incorporation date
    • Legal form
    • Registration No.
    • Authorized Capital
    • Paid-Up Capital
    • Legal Representative
    • Import & Export License Status
    • Business Scope

    The business scope, legal representative and registered capital (i.e., paid up capital) is very important to know, when selecting a supplier.

    Then there are the local supplier directories. I have never used these myself, but they could perhaps be of interest:

    • Vietnam-manufacturing.com
    • Vietaz.com
    • Vietnamesemade.com

    I still feel that Vietnamese suppliers have some catching up to do when it comes to making themselves accessible online.

    vietnam manufacturer

    What kind of products can I import from Vietnam?

    Vietnam’s manufacturing base is not as large as that of China. However, it’s possibly a strong second in the world, when it comes to OEM production.

    If you are importing products in one of the following product categories, then Vietnam might be a good manufacturing destination:

    • Apparel
    • Home textiles
    • Luggage & Bags
    • Furniture
    • Packaging & Printing
    • Promotional Products & Gifts
    • Food & Agricultural Products
    • PVC Plastic
    • HDPE & LDPE Plastic
    • Tarpaulins
    • Wood Products
    • Hair Extensions

    There are also suppliers in many other categories, including watches, jewelry and accessories.

    The high tech industries still have some way to go before they can match Guangdong province (which also has a long way to go before reaching the same level as advanced countries) – electronics is now one of the biggest exports of Vietnam.

    So far, the bulk Vietnam’s technology exports, such as phone and tablet parts, are on behalf of multinationals.

    However, as the supply chain develops, we will likely see more OEM electronics manufacturers in the coming years in Vietnam.

    saigon port terminal
    Saigon Port Terminal

    Are Vietnamese factories cheaper than Chinese suppliers?

    Generally, Vietnamese manufacturers and wholesalers offer lower prices than their Chinese competitors.

    Labor costs are lower in Vietnam. The average factory worker only earns around US$250 per month – while a worker in Guangdong province can expect to earn at least US$500 to 600.

    That said, wages in Vietnam are rapidly catching up. Further, worker salaries don’t have such a huge impact on the product price as you might think.

    In many cases, wages make up less than 20% of the final unit price, when material costs are factored in.

    Also keep in mind that many of the materials and components, especially molded plastic parts and electrical components, are imported from China to Vietnam.

    Yet, Vietnamese suppliers are consistently cheaper than those in China, and that assumes the quality is comparable.

    There is some to gain, but you’re probably not looking at savings beyond 15 to 20%.

    Are Vietnamese suppliers easier to work with?

    So far, my impression is that Vietnamese suppliers are a bit more forthcoming and clear, compared to those in China.

    That being said, it’s not night or day.

    China and Vietnam share history, and many cultural traits.

    But at least they seem to be less intentionally vague, which is a big plus. And, their English proficiency is beyond that of most sales reps in China.

    Still, Vietnamese suppliers suffer from the same delays and issues. Don’t expect to get everything delivered on time.

    And, you must always be overly clear in your communication, and provide a bill of materials and design drawings that your supplier can understand.

    How to manage quality control and lab testing in Vietnam

    Most quality inspection companies, including our partner Sofeast in Shenzhen, have offices in Vietnam.

    Many agencies use subcontract quality inspections to Vietnamese subcontractors. Thus, the average quality inspection fee is slightly higher than what you might be used to.

    Expect to pay around $400 to $500 per inspection, compared to $300 in Mainland China.

    I think this will go down to the level in the coming year or so.

    When it comes to lab testing, all the major compliance companies are present.

    SGS, Bureau Veritas, Intertek and TUV have offices all over the country, including Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hanoi, Can Tho and Hai Phong.

    You can also instruct your Vietnamese supplier to send samples to compliance testing labs in Hong Kong, Europe or the US.

    Ordering small volumes and MOQ requirements

    Vietnamese manufacturers and trading companies are, in my experience, more willing to accept smaller orders than those in China.

    However, don’t expect an MOQ of 40 or 50 pcs.

    At best, factories in Vietnam offer an MOQ at 250 to 300 pcs – while a Chinese supplier might require 500 to 1000 pcs.

    Primary industrial cities and clusters

    In Asian countries, it tends to be the southern parts that dominate economically. Vietnam is not exception, as Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the nation’s economic center.

    Most manufacturers, wholesalers and trading companies are also located in the south. In fact, many are even based in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.

    There are also industrial areas in north. Especially in, and around, the capital Hanoi and the port city of Hai Phong.

    Click on the map below to get a better understanding of the geography in Vietnam

    Vietnam Map (Click for large version)

    Port facilities, sea freight and air freight

    As mentioned, Vietnam’s economic center is in the southern parts, making up 70% of all exports. Saigon New Port is naturally the largest container terminal in the country.

    That said, there are suppliers all over Vietnam, from north to south.

    If you start importing goods from Vietnam, it’s likely that your cargo will pass through one of the following ports:

    • Hai Phong Port (North)
    • Da Nang (Central)
    • Saigon New Port (South)
    • Cai Mep International Terminal (South)

    Most air freight cargo pass through Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, and Tan Son Nhat International Airport, in Ho Chi Minh City.

    All major freight forwarders and air couriers, such as DHL and Fedex, are present in Vietnam.

    Further, there is no difference in terms of shipping and customs process, compared to other countries.

    Do I need a visa to visit suppliers in Vietnam?

    Most nationalities don’t need a visa to enter Vietnam. And, if you do, you can get a 2 weeks visa on arrival. No need to go through the hassle with invitation letters and hotel bookings, before you even know if you’re granted a visa.

    If you plan to visit suppliers on a regular basis, or stay in the country for several weeks or even months, you can also apply for a business visa.

    Business visas can be issued in one of the main airports, in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, for 3, 6 or 12 months.

    You will need an invitation letter to get a business visa, but it can be issued by your Vietnamese supplier, with relative ease.

    This makes it a lot easier for importers to visit suppliers and check up on orders.

    Trade Shows in Vietnam 2018

    As mentioned, Vietnamese manufacturers and wholesalers are not as keen on using online supplier directories are their competitors in Mainland China.

    If you’re serious about sourcing products in Vietnam, you might want to attend one of the following trade shows:

    Textiles & Accessories

    • Saigontex
    • Vietnam textile & garment expo
    • Vietnam International Maternity, Baby & Kid Fair
    • Vietnam International Jewelry Exhibition Fair

    Furniture & Home

    • VIFA Expo
    • VIETNAMWOOD

    Electronics

    • NEPCON Vietnam
    • The Solar Show Vietnam
    • Wire & Cable Vietnam

    Materials

    • Complast Vietnam

    Summary

    Vietnam has definitely arrived as a serious alternative to China, for sourcing products. Here, you will find a wide range of products, in everything from packaging and promotional products – to textiles and OEM electronics.

    The production base is not as big as China, but it’s rapidly expanding.

    In addition, the country is easier to access than Mainland China, as no visas are required. Or, at the very least, they can be obtained on arrival.

    Last, but not least, Vietnamese suppliers tend to offer both lower prices and lower MOQs.

    What’s not to like?

    Well, China is still the only option for many product categories, and that will remain the case for many years to come.

    Further, Vietnamese suppliers are not as easy to find online, as many still rely on trade shows to find overseas customers.

    How we can help you import products from Vietnam

    For us, everything started in Mainland China. But, it’s not where we will end.

    Our Starter Package includes tutorial, task lists and document templates that you can use when importing products from Vietnam.

    We can also assist you with sourcing qualified suppliers in Vietnam, book quality inspections and lab testing.

    Visit this page to find out more.

  • We help eCommerce companies import quality products from Asia

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  • 26 Responses to “Manufacturers & Wholesalers in Vietnam: A Complete Guide

    1. Bob Strickland at 9:20 am

      I am interested in finding OEM manufacturer in Vietnam or Thailand to mfg/export (to our dwgs/specs )product to existing high quality customers. Product is BBQ grills/griddles. Product currently mfg/exported from China to USA. High volumns. Manufacturer should have experience in metal cutting/forming/painting/assembly. Mtls involved are HRS CRS Alum.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:34 am

        Hi Bob,

        I just sent you an email

      2. Kaye at 3:24 am

        Hi Fred. Because of the USA tariffs for goods out of
        China
        Am looking to find an factory in Vietnam.
        Are there any tariffs into the USA on good imported from
        Vietnam

        1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 8:08 pm

          Hi Kaye,

          Yes, there are tariffs on goods imported from Vietnam. However, products made in Vietnam are not subject to the 25% additional tariffs.

          That said, a big share of the materials used by Vietnamese factories are purchased from China. I am not sure how the US customs will deal with that.

    2. Mark Hughes at 4:20 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      Im looking into importing reproduction antique items from Vietnam to sell in auction rooms in Australia but can’t find any wholesalers online. Do you think it would be better for me to visit to make contacts what would you recommend ?.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:04 pm

        Hi Mark,

        I think there are restrictions in place for antique items. I suggest you read this article on Vietnam-briefing.com: https://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/a-guide-to-vietnams-import-and-export-restrictions.html/

        1. Michael Li Donne at 5:14 am

          Fredrik,
          You are correct about the export of the antique items, but Mark inquired about replicas or reproduced antique items. These wouldn’t be categorized as an authentic antique. I know that South Korea doesn’t have a problem with reproduced antique items because they have a museum store in the airport that sells them.

          Being that this article is a year old and a lot happens in a year. Fredrik – Is there an updated version of the publications offered on this website? A lot of them date back as far as 2011.

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:36 pm

            Hi Michael,

            No, we have not updated this article since publication. We will do so later this year, but not as a separate page.

    3. FLORA PHAM at 7:47 pm

      Hi, We are a manufacturer in Vietnam. We can provide FOB, OEM, ODM services for woman clothing. Email us though kinhdoanh@vinhtai.vn for more information. Thank you very much

    4. srinivas paidiwar at 7:56 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      we are looking for sports footwear oem manufacturer in vietnam, , i fyou have a list please do share with us .

      Thankyou and regards
      srinivas

    5. Simone Salandy at 12:09 pm

      Hi Fredrick,
      I am looking for a supplier of specialized dog/pet equipment I.e leashes.

      Thanks you.
      Simone

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:54 pm

        Hi Simone,

        We include supplier sourcing services as part of our Starter Package. You can learn more on http://www.chinaimportal.com/accessories

    6. Pamela at 5:30 am

      Hello Fredrik
      I’m Pamela from uganda, I would like to buy clothings and shoes for kids for sale from Vietnam but I don’t know which city to travel to specifically. May you please assist me

      1. Ivan Malloci at 6:00 pm

        Hello Pamela, probably Ho Chi Minh City is your best bet!

    7. Tessy at 1:19 pm

      Hi i am Tessy from Nigeria, amlooking for raw virgin hair manufacturing company in Vietnam for wholesale supply and i will like to come over to Vietnam this February

      1. Michael Li Donne at 5:18 am

        Hi Tessy,
        I’m following Ivan’s lead on this one and suggesting Saigon (the locals prefer to use the old name of the city vs. Ho Chi Minh City), because they have more hair salons per block than there are wire cables coming from each pole on that block. More salons than you can imagine.

    8. Nazli at 5:07 am

      Hi im interested in bags.and import to south africa.

      1. Michael Li Donne at 5:23 am

        Hi
        I may get banned from this site for mentioning this, but be sure you have a reply that mentions a reliable factory in Vietnam (VN) vs. a warehouse to get accessories, because you’ll see a lot of counterfeit items throughout VN and Vietnamese come out of the woodwork to sell these items. You have to keep in mind that the average income per family is roughly $500 US dollars per year. So counterfeit is all that people can afford and if it makes them feel good, then good for them. But not good for you if your country frowns upon this.

        1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:34 pm

          Hello Michael,

          A factory will not ship counterfeit items to a customer that orders OEM products.

    9. Julie manganelli at 2:21 pm

      Looking for a manufacturer that does Sleep robes and Loungewear. As well as a custom quilted silk fabric

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:54 pm

        Hello Julie,

        We can help you identify suppliers. Please learn more on http://www.chinaimportal.com/apparel

    10. KOWIDE OUTDOORS at 2:52 pm

      This article covers pretty much all the points a brand needs to look into before searching for a manufacturer. But as stated under “what products to import from Vietnam?”, some products are better left to the Vietnamese. For example, Vietnam bag manufacturers are known for their quality of end product. For those brands who put quality ahead of cost, Vietnam is the place to go for the products mentioned in the above stated point. Do contact us at kowideoutdoors.com if you’ve decided to manufacture in Vietnam. We will back to you with all the information you need as soon as possible.

    11. Shubho M at 3:39 pm

      Hi
      I am a manufacturer of Cleaning Items Like Mops and Brushes from India and i wish to Export the same to Vietnam . Help me understand the market and where can i find the importer for this Line of business

    12. Chi at 12:34 pm

      I just designed a set of scrubs and am looking for a manufacturer from Vietnema that will work with me and mass produce it in different colors and sizes including my logo/trademark; please I need help on this.
      Thanks

    13. Jona Fields at 4:40 am

      I am looking for ceramic and glass supplier in Vietnam. Items would be containers suitable for use as candle jars and candle holders.

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