Canton Fair Guide: 6 Proven Strategies to Supercharge Your Sourcing Game

Discover 6 actionable strategies to enhance your sourcing ventures at the Canton Fair, ensuring efficient negotiations and fruitful supplier relationships.
October 5, 2023

The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is a renowned trade event that offers a golden opportunity for businesses worldwide to source products from China. After a hiatus caused by the global pandemic, the fair is back with its second edition, and it's more important than ever to make the most of this opportunity. Whether you're attending in person or sourcing online, this article is your Canton Fair guide providing six valuable tips to optimize your experience at the Canton Fair.

Optimizing Your Experience at the Canton Fair: 6 Tips for Success

Negotiate Lower Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs)

In the current business climate where uncertainties abound, it's essential to be agile. When you engage with suppliers at the Canton Fair, consider negotiating lower MOQs. Lower MOQs allow you to manage your inventory more efficiently and adapt to changing market demands.

Request Pricing in RMB

As the local currency, the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) plays a significant role in pricing negotiations. Requesting prices in RMB can help you gain a clearer understanding of the cost structure and potentially secure more favorable terms.

Check for Online Presence

In today's digital age, many businesses have established their online presence on platforms like 1688 or Alibaba. When interacting with potential suppliers, inquire about their online presence. This not only adds credibility but also provides you with another channel for communication and transactions.

Exterior view of the Canton Fair venue, showcasing the grand scale of the event

Consider Sending a Local Chinese Speaker

Navigating negotiations in a foreign language can be challenging. If possible, send a local Chinese speaker as your China sourcing agent whom you trust to negotiate on your behalf. Some factories may offer different pricing structures for local and overseas businesses, so having someone who understands the local market can be advantageous.

Visit the Factory

To ensure you're dealing directly with a legitimate factory, consider arranging a visit when dealing with a new supplier. In recent years, the distinction between factories and trading companies has blurred, making it crucial to verify the authenticity of your suppliers. A factory visit can help you build trust and gain insights into their production capabilities.

Seek Sourcing Agent Support

Even if you're an experienced sourcer, it's valuable to seek support from a sourcing agent for follow-up activities. Sourcing agents have in-depth knowledge of local business practices, which can be invaluable when finalizing deals. They can also help you navigate cultural nuances and negotiate better terms.


As the world begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Canton Fair presents a unique opportunity to reconnect with Chinese suppliers and explore new collaborations. Whether you're negotiating lower MOQs, requesting prices in RMB, checking for online presence, sending a local speaker, visiting factories, or seeking sourcing agent support, these six tips will help you optimize your experience at the Canton Fair. By implementing these strategies, you can strengthen your business relationships, secure favorable deals, and pave the way for successful collaborations in the ever-evolving global market.

Exterior view of the Canton Fair venue, showcasing the grand scale of the event

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