Canton Fair: Ultimate Guide for Visitors

by Axton Global
canton fair
The Canton Fair is the biggest trade event in China where manufacturers and suppliers from various industries showcase their products. If you import goods from China, attending this fair can be a game-changer for your business, and we're here to help you make the most of it. This guide covers everything from pre-fair arrangements to networking like a pro.

Table of Contents

The Phases of the Canton Fair

The first question is: When is the best time for importers to attend the Canton Fair in China? Traditionally, the Canton Fair holds sessions in both spring and autumn. Each session is divided into three distinct phases, each lasting five days and covering specific product categories. To connect with the most suitable suppliers for your business needs, you should learn in advance which phase to attend.

Canton Fair Phase 1 (Spring and Autumn sessions). Typically runs from mid to late April and mid to late October. It features:
  • Consumer electronics and information products
  • Electronic and electrical products
  • Household electrical appliances
  • Lighting equipment
  • Machinery
  • Industrial automation and intelligent manufacturing
  • Vehicles and Spare parts
  • Hardware and tools
  • Building Materials
  • Chemical Products
  • Energy Resources

Canton Fair Phase 2 (Spring and Autumn sessions). Held in late April to early May and late October to early November, this phase showcases:
  • Sanitary and bathroom equipment
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen and tableware
  • Household items
  • Clocks, watches and optical instrument
  • Decoration materials
  • Gifts
  • Festival products
  • Home decorations
  • Gardening products
  • Outdoor spa facilities

Canton Fair Phase 3 (Spring and Autumn sessions): Running from early to mid May and early to mid November, It highlights:
  • Home textiles
  • Men's, women's, and children’s clothing
  • Shoes
  • Personal care appliances
  • Bathroom products
  • Office supplies
  • Cases and bags
  • Sports and tourism leisure products
  • Medicines, medical devices and health products
  • Food
  • Pet products
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How to Prepare for the Canton Fair

To make sure you have the best experience at the Canton Fair, it's important to do some preparation beforehand. Here are some tips:

1. Download the latest floor plan of the Canton Fair.

2. Download the Canton Fair app. It is a valuable tool for attendees which offers a complete guide to the fair, with details about exhibitors, products, and events. Additionally, you can use the app to plan your own schedule of events and exhibitions.

3. Decide what products you're interested in before you go. Don't just hope to find something interesting on the spot. Of course there is a big chance that you’ll find at the fair something you’ve never imagined about. However, for the most part, you need to have a determined list of must-see products. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the excitement of “How amazing and cheap it is!” and fail to examine the product and the supplier.

4. Explore various import finance options to enhance the efficiency of your upcoming business transactions. Among these, a significant choice is to secure deferred payments from Chinese suppliers, supported by the comprehensive coverage offered by Sinosure, officially known as China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. As a prominent state-owned enterprise specializing in export credit insurance services, Sinosure is widely regarded as one of the most trusted Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in China. When negotiating post-payment terms with your Chinese partners, having these terms insured by Sinosure significantly increases their willingness to provide such arrangements, instilling confidence and security in your trade agreements.

5. Use the Canton Fair website to research potential suppliers in your niche ahead of time. Like with any other trade show, it's a good idea to spend some time researching the suppliers who will be at the fair. Keep in mind that the Canton Fair website isn't the easiest to navigate, so be patient. Make a list of 20-30 suppliers in advance, along with their booth numbers, that you plan to visit.

6. Prepare a list of questions to ask the suppliers about the products you are interested in.

Here are some general questions:
  • Where is your factory located? Which facilities do you own?
  • What are your most popular products?
  • Which countries do you export to?
  • Who are your main customers?
  • Do you have clients in my country? Can you provide their names?
  • How many containers do they usually order?

Additionally, here are some questions specific to the product:
  • Is it possible to get exclusivity on a certain product or range?
  • What are the exact specifications and features of the product?
  • Can I get it in a specific color/size? If so, how much does it cost?
  • What is the minimum order quantity for first-time buyers?
  • How is it packed? What are the package dimensions? How many items are in each package?
  • Do you have any certifications?
  • How many of these items can you produce in a month?
  • How fast is the shipping to my country?

7. Prepare tons of business cards. Every supplier you’re talking to at the fair will ask you for a business card. Make sure you have plenty of them, not less than 300. But consider using a secondary email address on them unless you're comfortable with spam and potentially getting added to many mailing lists.

8. Take wheeled luggage with you. At the Canton Fair, you'll gather many catalogs and samples from suppliers. Carrying them around can get quite heavy, especially if you're doing a lot of walking. That's why a wheeled carry-on suitcase is the best option for transporting your catalog collection.

9. When it comes to what to wear at the Canton Fair, opt for comfort! You'll be doing a lot of walking, and Guangzhou can get very humid. So, wearing fancy shoes and a suit might not be the best choice. Suppliers know this and won't judge you if you’re not suited up. However, it's still a good idea to avoid dressing too casually. Opt for something like comfortable pants (not jeans!) and a basic polo shirt. And make sure to choose shoes that are both professional looking and comfortable.

10. Get a portable charger. You'll be taking tons of pictures of products, so make sure your phone is fully charged. Having a portable charger can be a lifesaver since it will be pretty hard to find power outlets at the fair.

11. Install VPN. If this is your first time in China, you might not know that some popular services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are blocked there. Getting a VPN before your trip will let you use these sites while you're in China.

How to Go to the Canton Fair

To attend the China Canton Fair, you need the following:
  • Invitation from the Canton Fair (or Chinese company)
  • Chinese visa
  • Registration and Buyer badge (Buyer’s IC Card)
The fair's invitation can help you get both the visa and the badge.

How to Register and Get the Buyer Badge for Canton Fair?

The registration process may differ based on whether you're a first-time attendee or a regular buyer who has already visited the Canton Fair. Here are the registration workflows for different scenarios:
canton fair registration
First-Time Attendee

It is recommended to register for the Canton Fair in advance, though you don’t have to. Registering at the fair will cost you 200 RMB or about 30 USD. Registering in advance will save you this service fee.

Additionally, note that when you register online beforehand, you receive an official invitation letter. This invitation is helpful when applying for a business visa to enter China for the Canton Fair.

1. Visit the Canton Fair website and click on the "Buyer" tab.

2. Create an account by providing your personal and business information.

3. Apply for an invitation letter online, submitting necessary documents: your personal details, passport copy, and business card.

4. Wait for approval. Usually it takes a few days to a week.

5. Receive your invitation letter via email. This will be helpful for getting a Chinese business visa.

6. Register for the fair on the official Canton Fair website. Provide your personal, business details, invitation letter, and a photo.

7. Get your Buyer badge (Buyer’s IC Card). The Buyer badge is the only official entry pass to the Canton Fair. It works for multiple sessions and lasts for several years.

Please, note that you can collect your Buyer badge only in person. It is available at the China Import and Export Fair Complex. However, to save time and make registration easier, organizers have established 31 Overseas Buyers’ Registration Offices in hotels. It is highly recommended to obtain your badge from these offices, particularly during peak registration hours at the Canton Fair Complex. If you pre-register, the process becomes even easier as you can pick up your badge through the Express Channels at the Registration Office.
Regular Buyer (who has attended before):

1. Visit the Canton Fair website and log in with your existing account.

2. Verify if your account information is up to date. If needed, apply for a new invitation letter or update your existing one.

3. Enter the Canton Fair directly with your badge. Once obtained, it is valid for upcoming sessions, so keep it safe. However, if you forget to bring the badge or lose it, the replacement will cost 200 RMB (about $30 USD). You will also have to follow the standard procedure to obtain a Buyer’s badge, either at the Canton Fair Complex or at the designated Registration Offices in hotels.

Other Ways to Apply for the Canton Fair Invitation

As mentioned earlier, having the invitation letter is important. With this letter, overseas buyers can:
  • Apply for a visa to China (but it's up to the Chinese Embassy in your country if it will work).
  • Get a special badge for free entry to the Canton Fair in Registration Express Channel.

To acquire the invitation letter, you may:

How to Get a Visa for Canton Fair China

If you're not from a country with a visa-free policy with China, you'll need to apply for a Chinese visa before your trip. There are different types of visas to China. According to current Chinese visa rules, Canton Fair visitors more commonly apply for a Business “M” Visa.

How to Apply for Business Visa to Canton Fair

To secure a business visa, ensure you have:
  • A valid passport with at least six months validity.
  • Two passport-sized photos (4.5cm x 3.5cm).
  • An invitation card either from Canton Fair or a Chinese company.
  • If the invitation is from a Chinese company, include a copy of their business license.
  • A business card with your company's name and contact details (phone, email, etc.).

Where to Apply for Business Visa to Canton Fair

Here are common sources to obtain a Chinese visa:
  • Apply online at
  • Visit the Embassy or Consulate General of P.R. China in your country (Missions Overseas).
  • Contact a local travel agency or visa agency for assistance.
  • Reach out to the Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong through their website, or by phone at 852-34132300 or 852-34132424. You can also email them at
  • Consider the 72/144 hour Transit Visa Exemption Policy for shorter stays.

Important Notes

  • The official Canton Fair invitation typically includes: the Buyer's Name, Nationality, and Company Name. In most cases, an invitation from Chinese factories or foreign trade enterprises is more effective for Chinese visa applications. However, please be aware that while the Canton Fair invitation is helpful for obtaining a Chinese Visa, the final decision is made by the Chinese Embassy in your country.
  • Keep in mind that obtaining the Chinese visa takes a couple of weeks. So, don’t delay your application until the last minute. Otherwise, you will have to pay rush fees.
  • If you plan to travel from Mainland China to Hong Kong or Macau and then return to Guangzhou you will need to obtain a multi-entry visa.
  • Extending or applying for a new visa within Mainland China is a challenge. Therefore, we recommend considering this process from Hong Kong.
  • If you've already arrived in China without a Chinese Visa, it's advisable to travel to Hong Kong to address your visa requirements.
  • The attendee may also choose to visit the Canton Fair unofficially on a tourist visa.

Where Is the Canton Fair Held?

The Canton Fair is held in the China Import and Export Complex (Canton Fair Complex for short). It is also known as Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center or Pazhou International Exhibition Center.

The address: 380, Yuejiang Zhong Lu Road. Hai Zhu. Guangzhou City, China.

The China Import and Export Complex is located on Pazhou Island of Guangzhou, China. This is a huge place and probably the biggest modern exhibition center in Asia.

Just a few numbers to figure out its size:
  • Canton Fair Complex covers 1,100,000 square meters.
  • 338,000 square meters reserved for indoor exhibitions
  • 43,600 square meters reserved for outdoor exhibitions

By the way, the word “Canton” of Canton Fair is another name for Guangzhou. People who speak Cantonese, a local language, often call the city "Canton." People who speak Mandarin, another language, call it "Guangzhou." Both names mean the same place.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the Canton Fair?

The cost of attending the Canton Fair can vary depending on how you travel, where you stay, and how you sign up.

Typically, registering for the Canton Fair online is free of charge. If you choose in-person registration at the fair, there is a fee of 200 RMB or approximately 30 USD.

Travel expenses cover plane tickets, transportation, and accommodation during your stay at the Canton Fair. The cost varies depending on your location and the level of hotel you will choose, ranging from 20 USD to several hundred dollars per night. Additionally, prices may vary depending on the time of year and the availability of flights and hotels.

Overall, providing an exact cost for attending the Canton Fair is challenging due to these various factors. However, we recommend planning your travel, accommodation and registration in advance to ensure a successful business trip.

How to Reach the Canton Fair

The easiest way to reach the Canton Fair is by flying to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport which connects to many big cities worldwide. Once you arrive in Guangzhou, there are three convenient ways to get to the Canton Fair from the airport.

By metro

Guangzhou's subway system is efficient, and there are stations very close to the Canton Fair Complex.

The route from the airport:
Take Line 3 (North extended line) from Jichang Nan Station to Tiyu Xi Station.
Transfer to Line 3 again from Tiyu Xi Station to Kecun Station.
Finally, transfer to Line 8 from Kecun Station to Xingang Dong Station (for Area A) or Pazhou Station (for Areas B & C).
Total travel time is about 43 minutes.

By taxi

You can easily find a taxi in Guangzhou. You can tell the driver “Pa Zhou” or "Canton Fair". Make sure the driver uses the meter to avoid overcharging. The taxi fare is 2.6 RMB/km. If the distance is more than 35 km, add an extra 50%.

By shuttle bus

Guangzhou Airport Express offers a direct shuttle bus service between Canton Fair Complex and Guangzhou Baiyun Airport during all three phases of the Canton Fair. Service runs from 13:00 to 18:00, departing approximately every 30 minutes. The journey takes about 50 minutes.

There are also shuttle buses available between the Canton Fair complex and major hotels in Guangzhou.

Keep in mind that during the Canton Fair, there may be lots of people moving around. It's a good idea to plan some extra time for your trips to and from the fair.

Where to Stay at the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair takes place at the Pazhou Exhibition Center. There are many hotels nearby, offering a range of choices from budget-friendly to high-end options.

A list of luxury hotels near the Canton Fair with rooms starting from 100 USD:

The Westin Pazhou: This fancy hotel is right inside the Canton Fair and run by the Canton Fair. It’s a very convenient option for attendees to get to the fairgrounds.

The Langham, Guangzhou: Another luxury hotel near the Canton Fair. The Langham offers extra amenities like a spa and several restaurants.

Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou: A top-notch five-star hotel in the city center, approximately a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It has various dining options, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel: Located in the city center, this Marriott property provides easy access to the Canton Fair. It features multiple dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou: A luxury hotel in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It offers a spa, several restaurants, and a rooftop bar.

Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun: Situated in the Baiyun District, this Hilton property is approximately a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It provides various dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre: Located in the city center, it takes about 25 minutes by car to reach the Canton Fair. The hotel offers multiple dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Grand Hyatt Guangzhou: A luxury hotel in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It features various dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou: This luxury hotel is also in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It offers multiple dining options, a spa, and an indoor pool.

W Guangzhou: A trendy hotel located in Zhujiang New Town, about a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It boasts several dining options, a rooftop bar, and a fitness center.

A list of budget-friendly hotels near the Canton Fair with rooms starting from 25 USD:

Jinjiang Inn
Hanting Hotel
Super 8 Hotel
Home Inn Plus
Vienna Hotel

Important Notes

  • To ensure you have the best accommodation, book the hotel well ahead of the fair dates.
  • It might be wise to book a hotel that has an Overseas Buyers’ Registration Office, where you can easily get your Buyer’s Badge. So before your visit, check the official Canton Fair website for a list of confirmed hotels for the specific fair session you plan to attend.

How to Find the Best Supplier at the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair can be a bit overwhelming for buyers, especially when it comes to finding the right suppliers. First of all, it's important to note that all exhibitors go through the preliminary verification by the fair organizers, so you don't need to worry about running into fake companies.

The big question is: How do you find the perfect supplier among hundreds of exhibitors? In this article, we'll discuss some tips to help you identify a reliable supplier at the Canton Fair.

1. Work directly with manufacturers.

At the fair, there are many booths run by trading companies, not the manufacturers. These trading companies add their own margins which can make the products more expensive for buyers. This is why many experienced buyers prefer dealing directly with the factories, as it usually leads to lower prices and better deals.

How can you identify who owns the booth? You can often spot a factory booth by the similar product range and production techniques. However, to be absolutely sure, you may need to take a close look, check documents, or even better, visit the factory after the fair.

2. Inspect products.

Checking products is the core step when choosing a potential supplier. Examine the craft, function, and quality issues. Request product samples to test the product personally after the fair. A reliable supplier should willingly offer samples or demos to potential customers.

3. Verify certifications.

Certifications can indicate a supplier's dedication to quality and meeting industry standards. Look for suppliers with relevant certifications like ISO, CE, or other relevant industry-specific standards. This means that the supplier has put in place strong quality management practices and follows global standards.

4. Evaluate communication skills.

Smooth communication is the road to successful collaboration, especially when you’re engaging with partners from diverse cultures and languages. Be straightforward and ask questions that you’ve prepared before attending the Canton Fair. When talking to suppliers at the fair, pay attention to their communication skills. Are they able to understand your needs and requests? Do they answer your questions promptly? A reliable supplier is the one who enables easy and clear communication.

5. Check track record.

Ask your potential supplier for their current and previous customers. Contact them to learn about working with the supplier. Ask about product quality, communication process, delivery times, and overall impression. This feedback can give you valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

6. Visit factories.

Once you've found the suppliers you have a good connection with, consider arranging visits to their factories. These tours may give you valuable insights into their factory size, production techniques, and facilities. You might even explore their latest products which they haven’t displayed at the fair to keep their designs and technologies secure from imitating.
Sourced a Supplier at the Canton Fair?
It's time to explore how to negotiate deferred payment with them under the coverage of Sinosure insurance.

Top 8 Valuable Insights from a Seasoned Canton Fair Visitor

1. Stay focused

The Canton Fair is huge. It showcases all industries and products from China. A common mistake first-time attendees make is spreading their attention. They try to cover everything in all three phases of the Canton Fair, but end up with nothing for themselves. To avoid this, it is important to focus on the main goal.

If you already have a product and a niche in mind, stay in your area of interest. Visit all the booths, talk to key suppliers, learn about your competitors, and discover new factories and products that might not be available in your market yet.

If you're still unsure and looking for a new product or business idea, it's important to at least narrow down your search. Identify areas where you could potentially develop the business. Make a list of possible niches and products. It's also helpful to research what's currently available in your market, including current models and their prices. Do it before your trip. With this knowledge, your communication with Chinese suppliers will be much more effective.

2. Connect with market leaders

Large factories usually secure prime locations at the Canton Fair. Their booths are large, and they exhibit constantly year after year. For them, the fair is the place to uphold their reputation and reconnect with loyal clients from all over the world. Just having a talk with such suppliers can give you valuable market insights.

Start by introducing yourself and make your goals clear. Then continue with questions like:
  • Who are the main customers from your country? (This way you can learn about the main competitors in your market.)
  • How many containers do the market leaders buy per month? (This can often reveal that your market is much larger than you initially thought.)
  • How often do they place orders? When was the last one?
  • Which models are the most popular?
  • How much do you need to purchase to get an exclusive contract in your country?

3. Samples are important

On the last day of each phase at the Canton Fair, you’ll have a unique chance to purchase factory samples or even get them for free. These can include new products, the latest models, unique test samples, and occasionally one-of-a-kind prototypes.

While there will be many catalogs, photos, videos, and presentations, nothing quite compares to having a physical product in hand. With this sample, you can take high-quality photos, create video reviews, offer it for testing to influencers, make a landing page, and ultimately get pre-orders and advance payments from customers. It's a powerful tool for your business.

4. Explore every inch in your niche

When you walk through the fair, go through each row. Just remember the tip #1 and stay focused on your niche. Don’t miss any corner booths, booths in the aisles between sections, or end booths in nearby areas. Keep in mind, all the key players in your market are here, which means your competitors are likely on the lookout for fresh ideas and products here too. What catches your eye will catch theirs as well. With limited exhibition space, it is simply impossible to display all the products. Typically, the most unique finds are in the shadows.

5. Notice the “meter by meter” booths

Pay special attention to booths that are shared among several suppliers. These are often the showcase for small factories and new suppliers. As a rule, their prices are lower compared to market leaders, who can be quite selective with new customers. Additionally, these smaller booths and those situated in the areas between sections may be the only chance for new manufacturers to exhibit at the Canton Fair. If you're new to your market, it's a smart move to look for similarly small and new factories in China. This strategy allows you to introduce a fresh product line and then grow with your Chinese partner.

6. If you cannot find it, just ask

As you walk around the Canton Fair, keep in mind that every booth, no matter how small it is, represents the entire factory. So, it's important to consider the broader range of what they can produce. It's physically impossible to bring every product sample. Each factory has a separate catalog, a showroom with their products, and sometimes even a space showcasing goods made for different clients. Some factories specialize in custom work, following the client's specifications and designs.

For example, almost any clothing factory can replicate a sample of clothing that you provide. They can adjust colors, materials, and packaging with no difficulty. Don't hesitate to show them samples from your market and ask questions.

7. The Canton Fair is a great place to connect

In Guangzhou, you'll be surrounded by buyers from all over the world. You'll find both newcomers and market experts, single buyers and owners of retail chains, famous brands, and even world leaders. From the USA to Europe, South America to Africa, the Middle East to countries in the CIS - they all order things from China.

So, use this chance! Meet people, discuss trends and new products, get feedback on working with a particular Chinese supplier, and even team up to show your products in other markets. In short, you'll get a ton of really useful insights and chances.

8. Use Canton Fair to find new ideas

Sometimes, the prices you see at the Canton Fair might not be exactly what you're looking for. On the one hand, companies that can afford to be at the fair may sometimes charge a bit more. They might do this to regulate participation or to ensure they cover all their expenses. On the other hand, certain factories, on the contrary, might offer special prices at the Canton Fair to attract new customers and make more sales in larger quantities.

Price depends on a variety of factors, such as product quality, certification availability, production timeline, export experience, and level of service. It also depends on how many you want to order, how it is packaged, and if it has a brand on it.

You can use the Canton Fair to explore ideas for new products. Later, you can work with suppliers through Alibaba and explore other suppliers for potentially better offers. If you plan to establish a long lasting business relationship with China, consider branding your product right from the start to make it unique. Be flexible and creative!

How to Negotiate the Best Deals at the Canton Fair

Imagine, you've built good communication with suppliers at the Canton Fair and find them reliable. They have answered all your questions and their approach aligns with your business tasks. Now, how do you discuss prices to get the best deals? Here are some key considerations when negotiating with Chinese suppliers at the Canton Fair.

Should You Hire an Interpreter for the Canton Fair?

For first-time attendees, this is a common question. Having an interpreter can be helpful. You can hire them either at the fair or in advance, typically at a cost ranging from 500-800 RMB or 100-150 USD.

However, around 80-90% of the booths will likely have someone proficient in English. If, by chance, a booth lacks a proficient English speaker, think ahead about how you'll communicate with them after the fair. Suppliers who may not be fluent in English often offer more competitive pricing, but it also means the potential communication challenges in the future.

How to Negotiate Prices at the Canton Fair

Over the past decade, competition among manufacturers in China has significantly increased. This has resulted in more transparent and stable pricing for buyers. While in the past, suppliers often quoted higher prices to maximize their profits, today they approach pricing with greater caution. They do not want to lose you as a potential buyer. So, unless you're placing an unusual order, prices are generally fixed, with a 5-10% margin for negotiation.

When discussing unit costs, make sure both you and the supplier talk about FOB unit cost. FOB, or Freight on Board, means the manufacturer is responsible for getting the product onto the ship. If you don't specify FOB pricing, you might receive the EXW (Ex Works) price, which means the supplier is only responsible for preparing the products at the factory for your forwarder's pickup.

Take your time and compare prices from various suppliers. Remember, the final price will also depend on factors such as order quantity, delivery time, and payment terms.

Is It Possible to Negotiate Deferred Payment Terms with Chinese Suppliers?

Negotiating deferred payment terms with Chinese suppliers at the Canton Fair demands a blend of strategic planning, clear communication, cultural understanding, and building good relationships.

Check if the supplier has a valid Sinosure insurance policy. More likely they will have, since Sinosure export credit insurance products are widely spread in China. Sinosure, a state-owned insurance company, ensures that suppliers receive payment even if importers face challenges. With Sinosure's backing, you can often discuss deferred payments for up to 120 days, getting more flexibility in your deals.

How to Negotiate MOQs at the Canton Fair

MOQ stands for Minimum Order Quantity. Typically, you’ll be quoted large MOQs at the Canton Fair. However, there is a big chance you will negotiate them down. One pro tip is to inquire about the MOQ for a small “test” order and indicate your intention to make bigger orders in the future. For example, if a supplier offers 1000 pieces, you may ask whether 300 pieces would be acceptable for a test order. In most cases, they will agree.

How to Get Free Samples at the Canton Fair

Samples are important. With a physical product in hand, you can make an informed decision. But getting samples for free is rare, unless you visit the supplier’s factory or the sample is cheap. There is an exception. During the final few hours of each phase of the fair, when suppliers are wrapping up, many will be willing to provide you with their samples. Just keep this in mind.

How to Communicate with Suppliers after the Canton Fair

You've done a great job at the Canton Fair. You've collected contacts of Chinese suppliers that could be beneficial for your business, and you've had productive conversations with them. Now, what's the next step? Here's the post-fair plan.

1. Organize supplier information.

After you attend the Canton Fair, it's important to sort out the information you’ve gathered about potential suppliers. This includes their company names, booth numbers, contacts details, catalogs, and samples. Keeping this information organized will help you in future communications.

2. Evaluate and prioritize suppliers.

Assess the potential suppliers by considering factors such as product quality, pricing, certifications, and reliability. Then, rank them based on your specific needs and preferences. This evaluation process will help you identify the most relevant suppliers.

3. Get in touch quickly.

Time is important. Reach out to potential suppliers within a week after the fair ends. Begin by expressing your interest in their products and remind them of your meeting at the Canton Fair. Provide your company information and briefly outline your requirements. Using email for initial contact is preferable as it provides a written record of your discussions.

If you don't receive a reply within a reasonable time, consider sending a polite reminder email. Remember, suppliers are busy too. Be persistent and follow up quickly to build good relationships.

4. Negotiate terms.

Once you've made a list of top suppliers, initiate discussion about specific details such as pricing, customization options, MOQs, lead times, and payment terms.

5. Build strong relationships.

In Chinese business culture, establishing strong relationships is important. If you regularly stay in touch, even after the fair, you can understand each other better and get potentially more favorable deals.

If a supplier shows interest in your inquiry, consider scheduling a face-to-face meeting or visiting their factory. This personal interaction builds trust and allows you to assess their facilities firsthand.

Final Thoughts

If you're importing goods from China, a visit to the Canton Fair can be a game-changer for your business. It offers a deep understanding of the Chinese manufacturing landscape and provides insights into cost-effective ways to produce your products. Be prepared to uncover opportunities you may not have considered before.

In this comprehensive guide, we've shared tips and personal experience to ensure you make the most of your visit to the fair. Now, it's time to start doing your pre-fair research and begin gearing up for the upcoming Canton Fair 2024 Spring session.

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