Yiwu Wholesale Market: 14 Facts Importers Must Know

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The Yiwu Wholesale Market is the largest in the world. Here, you’ll find thousands of Wholesaler offering all sorts of products at rock bottom prices.

Sounds fantastic? Well, not so fast.

In this article, I will explain the 13 things that every buyer must know before visiting the Yiwu Wholesale Markets, in Zhejiang province.

Keep reading, and learn how to get there, visa requirements and how to find the right agent.

You will also learn how to make payments the right way, coordinate shipments – and how to deal with disputes.

1. What is the Yiwu Wholesale Market?

There are in fact many wholesale markets in Yiwu city. Yiwu International Trade City is, however, the largest market – and often referred to when talking about the Yiwu Wholesale Market.

Unlike the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, or the Yiwu Fair, the Yiwu International Trade City is permanent, and open the whole year, apart from national holidays.

The Yiwu Wholesale Market is gigantic, and mainly catering to buyers from India, Africa and the Middle East.

Many ecommerce businesses also procure products from Yiwu wholesalers.

It’s famous for really low prices. Then again, you get what you pay for.


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2. Why Yiwu makes sense for small buyers

Yiwu is famous for its traders and they are in general quite friendly towards small buyers. If you want to find “off shelf” products ready to purchase in fairly small quantities from China, then this is the place.

While Yiwu is not a one stop solution for every product (I’ll get to that in a bit), it can be perfect as a destination to purchase products such as watches, accessories, textiles and bags.

An Yiwu based supplier can also act as a complement to your existing suppliers in China. Many small businesses, especially e-commerce companies, are in dire need of filler products to not make their stores empty. That’s one example of when Yiwu might be well worth a visit.

3. How to get to the Yiwu International Trade City

There are no international flights heading to Yiwu. The easiest way to get here is by flying to Shanghai and then take the high speed train.

It takes roughly 2.5 hours and the train tickets can be purchased at the Hongqiao railway station.

While in Yiwu, there are a number of hotels in various price ranges. Go to Motel 168 if you’re on a low budget.

If you want something more upscale, then you might want to consider the Crowne Plaza or the Tian Heng International Hotel.

Getting around in Yiwu is quite easy. There are taxis, but don’t expect them to understand a single word of English or any other language than Chinese.

If you’ve hired an Yiwu agent, it’s customary that they pick you up and drive you around to visit various wholesalers.

Yiwu Wholesale Market

4. Do I need a visa to visit Yiwu?

Yiwu is located in Mainland China, where most nationalities need a visa. The only two cities that don’t require visas are Hong Kong S.A.R (90 days) and Shenzhen (5 days).

You can either apply for a business visa or tourist visa at your local Chinese embassy or consulate.

It’s very easy to obtain a visa, but requires that you plan ahead.

5. Do I need to find an agent?

It’s one thing to find a supplier with interesting products. It’s a completely different thing to negotiate prices, settle the payment and ship the products back home.

This is when an Yiwu agent might make sense. An Yiwu agent acts as your purchasing manager and accompanies you while visiting suppliers.

After you’ve made a product selection and decided the quantity of your purchase, the Yiwu agent coordinates the procurement process and makes sure that all the cargo is collected in one single shipment.

This is especially important when buying from multiple suppliers since several small shipments can cost a lot more than one large shipment.

Apart from that, an Yiwu agent should also ensure that the wholesalers provide you with the right products and in the right quantity. This is not as obvious as it might seem to certain Chinese wholesalers.

Most Yiwu agents work on a commission rate. This means that they charge a percentage based on the order value. This usually ranges from 2 to 8%, depending on your order value. For natural reasons, the commission as a percentage is smaller the more you buy.

Now, keep in mind that that the agent’s role is only to negotiate the price and administer the order terms. It’s up to you to verify that the products match your quality requirements, safety standards and labeling requirements in your market.

yiwu-market

6. Are Yiwu Wholesalers manufacturers or traders?

Most Wholesalers are not manufacturers, but trading companies that cooperate with factories in Zhejiang and Jiangsu province.

That may not be an issue, but remember that they may not have the products in stock, but must first place an order with the manufacturer.

7. How do I make sure I get the right quality?

As always when importing products from China, you need be very clear when you communicate your quality requirements.

As mentioned in this podcast by Global from Asia, Yiwu wholesalers can match any target price – but will adjust the quality accordingly.

As such, you should be cautious when price haggling, as the supplier may accept your target price, but use cheap and low quality materials and components without telling you.

8. How do I know that the products are not fake?

For obvious reasons, you cannot buy brand name products from an Yiwu Wholesaler. International brands would never work with such vendors, and any brand name products you may find are not authentic.

That said, the Yiwu Wholesale Market is not a fake goods market.

While some shady transactions might take place in this huge complex, selling fakes is not encouraged or allowed.

But, intellectual property goes beyond brand names and logos.

What if the product is similar in design, compared to another, more well known, product?

Take the Converse looking shoes in the article image for example.

Is that allowed?

Well, it depends.

Brand copy each other all the time. Further, generic designs cannot be patented or protected. What can be protected is the following:

a. Artwork and patterns

b. New and unique designs

c. New and unique functionality / technology

An assessment must be made on a case to case basis, but make sure to avoid product designs that look very similar to those of established brands.

9. Can I trust that the suppliers know how to comply with safety standards and regulations in my country?

Absolutely not.

As said, most Yiwu Wholesalers export their products to buyers in India, Africa and the Middle East.

Hence, they have little to no incentive to develop a deep understanding for product regulations and safety standards in developed market, such as the US, EU or Australia.

The truth is that most suppliers are not even aware of overseas product regulations, and many products cannot even pass lab testing.

If you are based in Europe, North America or Australia, you should not buy products in the following categories from the Yiwu markets:

  • Cosmetics
  • Electronics
  • Toys & Children’s Products
  • Medical Devices

Keep in mind that the wholesalers will not warn you about possible regulatory issues. You will only find out once it’s too late.

Importing non-compliant products is illegal, and you will be held liable if somebody is injured by the product, or if property is damaged.

Further, the customs in your country can seize and destroy the shipment, if it’s deemed to violate local product safety standards or labeling requirements.

You have been warned.

10. How do I pay the wholesalers in Yiwu?

If you buy directly from the Wholesaler, you can wire the money to their bank account. You should at all times refuse to pay in cash, or to private bank accounts.

Only pay to business bank accounts whose beneficiary name is matching that of the wholesalers.

It’s critical that the payment can be traced to the correct seller.

If you on the other hand work with a Buying Agent, you will pay them, rather than each individual Wholesaler.

The same rules apply here. Only pay directly to their company account.

Keep in mind that you should not pay the supplier in full until you have inspected the finished products.

Many Yiwu wholesalers aren’t even proper wholesalers. Instead, they take orders from foreign buyers back to their factories, and deliver them a month or two later.

At this point, you might already be out of the country.

You must always, without exception, get your products quality inspected before paying your supplier in full.

11. What can I do if I get into a dispute with the wholesaler?

That depends on whether you hold the money or not.

If you have already paid the wholesaler in full, and you find quality issues, you will have a very hard time getting your money back – or even replacement products.

However, if you find quality issues before you have made the final payment

12. How do I coordinate the shipment?

You can either use a commission agent to manage the shipment for you, or work directly with a freight forwarder.

It’s up to you to confirm the following:

a. Incoterm

b. Forwarder warehouse address

c. Forwarder contact details

d. Customs value

13. Can I ship goods from multiple wholesalers in one container?

Indeed. You can either ask your Yiwu agent to coordinate this for you, or make sure that you buy according to FOB (Free on Board) terms from each supplier.

You should then instruct each one to order transportation to your freight forwarders local office in Shanghai.

From here, they can pack all the goods in one container, and delivery it according to DAP (Delivered at Place) or DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) terms.

14. Do I need a translator to talk to the Wholesalers?

Yes, most suppliers at the Yiwu Wholesale Market don’t command more than very basic English. You will save plenty of time if you have translator buy your side, when asking about prices, quality options and order terms.

There are many translation and interpretation companies located in Yiwu, so you should not have a hard time finding one.

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    69 Responses to “Yiwu Wholesale Market: 14 Facts Importers Must Know”

    1. isiba January 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      i so much love reading your post in your blog.keep it up.GOD BLESS YOU

      • Fredrik Grönkvist February 2, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

        Hello Isbia!

        We are very happy to hear that. Starting last week, we are now publishing two articles per week instead of one. If you have suggestions for topics that you want us to write about, feel free to get in touch with us.

        • Sam V January 7, 2015 at 8:15 am #

          Hi Fredrik,
          I am writing from Oman. I am a corporate gifts supplier. At present I am buying from local suppliers. Could you please help me finding a reliable firm who can supply various items (small or big quantity) . Thanks, Sam

    2. Zuzana April 14, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      Hello,

      I’ve just found your website and it’s amazing! So much useful information on one web site, it feels like your wrote every single article specifically for my needs :).
      Thank you so much and keep up the great work!

      Best wishes,

      Zuzana

    3. Johna393 May 27, 2014 at 12:50 am #

      Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information. dbcdfkkacebe

    4. gurmeet singh June 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      hi,I am looking for a wholesale in ladies and kids ( 1-13 years) aplica Branded clothes.do please guide me .

    5. yushabani June 5, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      hi,I am looking for a wholesale in ladies and kids ( 1-13 years) aplica Branded clothes.do please guide me .

    6. Elizabeth June 19, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      I run a Xmas decoration store. I would like to get in information about whole sale Xmas market located in China

    7. ACHILLE MBAPPE KOUM July 1, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      Dear
      We are interested in buying stock of fashion jewelries…stock Area.
      Could you let us know your conditions?
      Regards

      • Fredrik Grönkvist July 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

        Hello,

        I’ll send you an email with more information.

        • Angelina April 2, 2016 at 7:37 am #

          hi dear i am struggling to get items as she in yiwu can you assist?

          • ChinaImportal April 4, 2016 at 5:35 am #

            Hi Angelina,

            I suggest you contact Jingsourcing.com. They are based in Yiwu and may be able to help you.

    8. jeetu July 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Hello, there i will be visiting china next month can you please let me know if this market would be appropriate for everything.

    9. akshay July 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      h i, Fredrik,

      your blog is really very useful & easily understandable keep posting updated info about it , i am frm India & looking to buy bags is it goof=d to visit this city & one more thing I am strict vegetarian shall I find any pure Veg Resturant in thi city ?

    10. Farah July 25, 2014 at 6:52 am #

      Hi!
      I am an independent wholesaler & currently making plans to go to china to shop for items. Would like to know more on where to shop & guidance in this matter.

      Thanks!

      • Farah July 25, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

        Hi Fredrik!
        I’m currently residing in malaysia. I am in the airline family so I get rebates on my cargo or freight. My concern is how to start sourcing for a right supplier.

    11. Modupe July 29, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      I currently residing in Nigeria Lagos,I’m a independent whole-seller and i need more information about gift and house hold utensils E.g..glass, wine cup,stainless steel pedal bin,vases,toys,mugs,flat plate,bowls..ETc..pls guide me on these and send me more information about it…My concern is how to start sourcing for a right supplier.

    12. Faisal Fateh Malik August 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Hi, I want to buy western export quality party supplies but in small lots, like 50 to 100 sets per design. I know Yiwu has few factories in the area manufacturing party supplies but I want to start small and also want high quality. Can you please guide if it is possible and who to contact.

      • Fredrik Grönkvist August 8, 2014 at 4:27 am #

        Hello Faisal,

        Products available at Chinese wholesalers are usually made for the Chinese market. The quality is often questionable, but that depends on what you mean with western export quality.

    13. nasrin September 29, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      Looking for good quality artificial/silk flower and plan to do some surveying where can I go. Already start business in small scale plan to expand business look for good price and quality.

      tq.

    14. Winnie October 16, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      Hello,
      We are a wholesale Company from Denmark looking for an agent WHO Can show us wholesale market and factories within home decoration in Guangzhou area saturday 25 October.

      Please contact us with your service and rates at mail.dk|in-style.
      Thank you in advance.
      Best regards
      Mrs Godrim

    15. Kim October 27, 2014 at 6:58 am #

      Dear Fredrik,

      Thank u for this interesting article as it gives alot of insights to visiting tourists or business owners. If i may ask you, where’s the best place to purchase wholesale party supplies in small quantities eg. 20-50pcs party cups plates toys, etc

      Thank u very much!

    16. rits January 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      Hi
      I am planning to visit Canton Fair in April for having a look at the party supplies booths. Do you think its a good idea to visit Canton, since I need to buy small qty like 100 pcs per item. I was suggested to visit Yiwu for smaller quantities, so what do you suggest.
      2. PL can you send me the place where I can find vendors for party supplies. I am looking for factories rather than traders to get good quality and price advantage
      3. How do I find an agent in Yiwu?Since If I come to China, I would surely need an agent.
      4.When is the best time to visit Yiwu commodity wholesale market? Will April be a good time after the Canton Fair?

      Thanks and looking forward to hearing back

    17. Jaquiline Fredericks February 18, 2015 at 6:34 am #

      Hi Fredrik.

      I just discovered you :) What a pleasant find and an awesome start to my day!

      Your article is great, thank you for sharing this information.

      Fredrik, I am interested in knowing more about product manufacture. I would like to know what this procedure entail and then also what the importing aspects are.

      Could you kindly advise?

      Thank you in advance for your assistance.

      Regards,

      J. Fredericks

    18. hussy March 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      luggage busniess inquiry

    19. Mohammed March 29, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

      Good job Mr. Fredrick. Am just new here and planning to go into the business as well and I found your blog very encouraging. Thanks

      • Fredrik Grönkvist March 30, 2015 at 5:44 am #

        Hello Mohammed,

        I’m glad to hear that! Subscribe to our newsletter and get weekly updates directly in your inbox.

    20. Yasmeen April 23, 2015 at 7:59 am #

      Hi Fredrik.

      I just discovered you :) I love your articles they are very helpful, thank you for sharing this information.

      Fredrik, I was hopping you can help me out a little bit. Im currently based in the Middle East and running an onling FB page, im moving to the states and i want to create an online shopping website and focus it on the Middle East region. Im searching for a reliable wholesaler/supplier that can deliver good quality.

      Could you kindly advise me what else i need to look for and understand? also if you know any suppliers or websites that i can use, i would really appreciate that

      my email is abusaadyasmeen@gmail.com

      Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    21. Blackie July 26, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      Looking for clients that sells small items for decorating. Like dried items lace straw 2-3inch hats ext

    22. Mahdi July 28, 2015 at 7:00 am #

      Hi

      I have a small dollar store in Saudi Arabia and Im looking for a reliable and trusted supplier to help me import from China. I was wondering if you could assist me. You can email me at alkhars@live.ca

      Regards,

    23. Azleen August 4, 2015 at 5:39 am #

      Hi Noar,
      How am I going to buy online from Yiwu? Can I…

    24. Ashwaq October 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi ..
      Thank you for offering your help.
      1- I would like to find a reliable agent that I can send photos of things I need and they source them for me.
      2- Supplier of replica Shoes & bags.

      Thank you

    25. Erlin December 24, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi,
      I am looking for ladies and kids clothing. Is there any way you can provide me with the catalogues and price? You can email me at tsp.garment@gmail.com.

      Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
      Thank you.

    26. Harshita soni March 25, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

      Hey in india there are a few wholesale markets for indian clothes where in they give the goods of desired quantity and if at all we are not able to sell those goods (clothes I mean) We can return it to them in a period of 1 or 2 months or so is this facility available in china too ? Because this would be a great deal for small scale business people if at all there is I would want to know more about it
      thank you

      • ChinaImportal March 28, 2016 at 4:21 am #

        Hi Harshita,

        Returning goods to China is generally not an option.

    27. Debbie Raymond April 5, 2016 at 12:08 am #

      Hi, I love ur articles, am looking for clients who can supply small quantity wholesale female fashion and accessories. And please will I be able to get small quantity of goods at Yiwu?

    28. Mrs Alice May 22, 2016 at 1:54 am #

      I am looking for vendors for party supplies like tablecloth, banners, table covers etc. Christmas decoration items. Can you please help with a reliable supplier

      • ChinaImportal May 23, 2016 at 5:24 am #

        Hi Alice,

        We will contact you by email!

      • colette keaveney October 24, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

        hi did you get any feed back as to buying christmas decorations as i am looking to buy same online and would love to cut out the middle man. please let me know if you have any info. thanks colette xxx

    29. gaurav bansal May 28, 2016 at 2:49 am #

      hii i am looking for a direct factoey sale of melamine kitchen items. Please guide me.

    30. Bose June 8, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

      Hello, Chinaimportal,

      I find your articles really educating, thanks for sharing these information. I’m considering starting a women shoe business in Nigeria, please can you suggest leads to getting good quality and good pricing from china? Thanks

    31. James June 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi there

      I am looking for plus size tees and bags for men and women. Can you help me?

      Regards
      James

    32. ABE October 24, 2016 at 8:36 pm #

      How do I find a sourcing agent in Yiwiu?

    33. Nawaz A October 27, 2016 at 5:14 am #

      Hi I’m looking for handbags from yiwu market could you send me some repute able sourcing agent recommendations.

      Thanks
      Nawaz A
      Handsome Pro Inc
      Canada

    34. sahfir November 10, 2016 at 6:07 am #

      Hi

      Am planning a visit next year for business purpose (wholesale shopping).
      i already have a business whereby i deal in fake/imitation jewelleries and other ladies ornaments like hair clips/hair bands etc etc.

      can i get a price list of such items in order to plan my visit accordingly.
      I usually buy in Guangzhou but i want to see what YIWU has to offer me in terms of better price.

      thx.

    35. Hamad November 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

      Hi,

      I’ve booked myself a trip over to Shanghai at the end of February/start of March (2017) and also booked myself in at a hotel in Yiwu. I have a general idea of the types of items I’m looking to bring over to Canada but was hoping to get some more details from you if possible. Could we chat by email?

      Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Regards,

      Hamad

    36. George Charalambous March 4, 2017 at 10:00 am #

      hello,
      we are looking for house decoration items, gifts, wall clocks and paintings. Can you suggest suppliers for small quantities ? i usually import mixed 20ft container at a time with different codes.
      thank you

    37. Mary April 12, 2017 at 4:05 am #

      Hello , I’m from USA and I’m planing to start a buissnes selling women clothing that are in fashion trendy and very good quality . Could you please tell me where could I find the right factory to purchase everything I need . I’ll be in China next month and I would like personally to go to the place and see the product
      Thank you

    38. Santhosh March 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi,

      I would like to buy powerbank, head set, pendrive and some other electronic items in small quantity.
      without visiting yiwu market, how can i buy these product with out any risk.

      please guide me…

      • Fredrik Gronkvist April 1, 2018 at 11:59 am #

        Hi Santhosh,

        To which country do you plan to import these items?

    39. Riad April 27, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

      Very interesting, well I need your help. Can u tell me if we have aluminium openings hardware, kitchen hardware,and bedroom hardware in yiwu market please let me know .thks very much

    40. Sharon May 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm #

      i need someone to help me ship the goods i order

    41. Jordan May 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

      We are interested in importing oem watches do you have any suppliers please.

    42. Oabzee osayowabo June 25, 2018 at 11:52 pm #

      Okease i want to atart my own business selling children accesrios, wear such as school bags,cups, plate and other things for children.please where can i get it from without coming down to china. Thanks

      • Nat August 16, 2018 at 6:37 am #

        you can check alibaba.com or 1688.com

    43. Muhamma Imran September 27, 2018 at 11:55 am #

      Hi I’m looking for kids, mens and ladies shoes from yiwu market could you send me some repute able sourcing agent recommendations.

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