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Canton Fair, the most prestigious export and import fair in China for business people around the world, is taking place next month. I’m writing this article for you, who are in doubt whether to attend or not to attend the show, to source or not to source from the show. I don’t want to give you just the good sides, but I’ll also be transparent about this. Stay with me to the end of the article!

*PS: Sorry for the not so clear pictures, as they are sent via phone

How not to go home empty handed from Canton Fair?

I come from Indonesia. In my country, the trading sector from big enterprises to small enterprises rely heavily on China. Moreover for small enterprises, they rely on cutting cost and low price. Our country also has big population of Chinese descendant, that’s why a lot of people source products from China. Lots of businessmen, they come to Canton Fair to bet their luck. I heard many stories of them going to Canton Fair. Some of them, they got their supplier, but not a few of them also went home empty handed.

Now, the thing is, just like the pericope’s title, how not to go home empty handed from Canton Fair. I had a chance to interview 1 Indonesian businesswoman, Gabriella, who’s been procuring products from China. She attends Canton Fair every year, and she is part of the the people who get their supplier in Canton Fair. Her family has been manufacturing and selling bathroom accessories in Indonesia.


The Canton Fair Badge. This badge is a must to legitimate you as the fair’s visitor

Based on her experience, Canton Fair is platform where thousands of Chinese supplier from all over China gather in 1 place. It saves business people’s time and cost, which no need to travel around China to look for the best supplier. Moreover, the supplier representatives in Canton Fair mostly can speak English. I said mostly because some Chinese, they can speak English, but their English is not so good. But don’t worry, 90% to 95% of them can speak English well, as this is a very professional platform. So you can communicate and meet face to face with your supplier to be.


Gabriella’s company booklet


Things that Gabriella outsources from China

About finding the good or right supplier, she said, it all depends. Depending on what characteristic you want to find. Good quality or low price. She added that it is important that you have knowledge about the product that you want to source, so that the supplier won’t cheat on you. Don’t go to the fair empty or half filled brain, but full brain, you got what I mean? Because the dark side is, a lot of traders are cheated by the Chinese suppliers! Gabriella said not few of suppliers (meaning some of them) display different quality of product in the fair and in reality.

Then, what’s the point of coming to Canton Fair? Or what’s the different with Alibaba?

Meeting eyes to eyes with your supplier to be can make difference. You can discover more when meeting four eyes, you can make bonding with them. Chinese people are raised with the “guanxi” or relationship value. Build relationship with them.

Now, the most important thing after you choose your suppliers to be from the fair, Gabriella said, plan another visit to China to visit their factory. It’s very important to check the production process of your supplier! Every year, after the Canton Fair, Gabriella and his dad will visit China again to check the suppliers’ factory. This point also makes sourcing from Alibaba different. Most of the suppliers hate whenever people need to check their production process! That’s why, build your relationship or “guanxi” with them! This term is very important when dealing with Chinese, people 🙂

What happens when you cannot visit Canton Fair?

No worries 🙂 SBE International can represent your need! We have our sourcing experts consist of both local and western people who will help you. For further questions, contact our team at IMG_8145

Our team on previous Canton Fair

Ready for the Canton Fair?
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