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1.Are Yiwu products really of poor quality?
Some articles on the Internet claim Yiwu products are of poor quality and therefore cannot be exported to the US. This is not true because of the two reasons:
A. The term “Yiwu product” does not necessarily mean the product is actually made in Yiwu. As I wrote earlier, China has many industrial areas or clusters that specialize in a particular product. Many items in the Yiwu market are made in these hubs and then sent to Yiwu to be sold.
For example, there are suppliers of Christmas decorations, a Yiwu speciality, from Shenzhen and other areas in the market. Be warned. Some of these non-Yiwu suppliers might claim their products are made in the city or their products are better than those actually made in Yiwu.
B. The US is one of Yiwu’s top 3 importing countries and many high-quality products are shipped from China to the US every year. Yiwu also has some budget products targeted at developing countries, but it is simply not true to say that all Yiwu products are of poor quality.
2. Does the Yiwu market suit only small businesses?
Many articles say the Yiwu market is suitable only to small businesses, and Shenzhen and other major China cities are better for big orders.
But the truth is, you won’t find a market with an MOQ higher than that of Yiwu’s. For those who want import one item from $1,000 worth to two or three containers, Yiwu is the best place to source from. It is quite difficult to persuade a booth to sell one or two cartons of just one model as this is significantly lower than the MOQ.
Usually, a product needs a lead time. Some booths in the market, however, do have spot goods that can be purchased in small quantities. But there are two conditions you should consider before buying spot goods:
A. Spot goods cannot be changed. All colors, logos, styles and packaging are the same as the samples you see in the booth. If you want customized products, you have to buy in large quantities.
B. Spot good designs are not the latest, so they do not make ideal fashion products.
3. How does Yiwu differ from Ningbo, Shenzhen and Guangzhou?
Ningbo, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are all big coastal cities in China, and their ports give them an exporting advantage. This is the reason why most large international companies set up their procurement or branch office there. The cities also host various professional trading companies that offer a range of services.
In contrast, Yiwu does not have its own port, relying instead on the Ningbo port, which is 20km away.
Yiwu’s wholesale market, however, enables the city to gather an expansive product range in a single location. Ningbo does not have such a market and its only advantage is its port. Shenzhen has a market but only for electronic devices. Guangzhou is a popular center for jewelry, clothing and other related items but the manufacturing hubs are located in different areas within the city, making one-stop sourcing difficult. We can even say that it is only during the Canton Fair when China suppliers gather in one location.