6 Ways to Verify Whether the Supplier Is a Manufacturer or not
1. Check the Business License
The most important part is “Business Scope” (经营范围) when checking supplier’s business license. This is the easiest and most direct way which your supplier cannot counterfeit. A manufacturer’s business scope must include words like “manufacture or produce” (生产，加工，制造), while a trading company has not.
Business Scope is the most important part when check supplier’s business license
2. Check Supplier’s MOQ
Manufacturer often requires higher MOQ than trading company, and it’s almost the common sense in business. So that you can verify your suppliers by testing if they can sell you less quantity products.
For example, you are finding a supplier for purchasing 5,000 mugs, you can tell supplier that you are buying only 300 pieces for a try, and will place big order in the future if the quality is good. They will say no if you are dealing with a manufacturer as their MOQ won’t be less than 1,000 pieces. But a trading company may accept your 300 pieces order.
3. Check the Products Catalogue
A manufacturer usually is specialized in one or several kinds of products, if there are lots kinds of products in your supplier’s catalogue, then it’s more likely to be a trading company.
I know a stainless steel vacuum cup manufacturer (200 workers, around 70Km away from my office) who is among the TOP 10 in Chinese vacuum cup industry. Except for vacuum cup, they also sell glass made cups, but these are supplied by other smaller factories. This company’s glass made cups price is even higher than other trading company quoted.
But if your cup suppliers supply stainless steel vacuum, glass, plastic cup, and mug, etc. they are not factories.
4. Check the Manufacturer Auditing Reports
If supplier told you that they has supplied products for world companies like Walmart, then you can require them to send you the manufacturer auditing report.
If they refuse or hesitate, then they probably are trading companies. If they send you the manufacturer auditing report, you need to check the company name on the report. If it’s the same name as the one on Business License, then must be a manufacturer.
5. Check the ISO 9001 Certification
Not every manufacturer has ISO 9001 Certification, but most companies who has this certification are factories, because there’s no need for a trading company to obtain this.
But still some trading companies get this certification, and all of them are only specialized in one product category, and have solid relationship with their factories. I know several this type trading companies, and I have to say working with them will be no much difference from working with factories, even on price.
6. Check Where Supplier Is Located
All products have their own industrial areas in China, and let’s take Remote Control toy car as an example, mostly it’s produced in Chenghai City, Guangdong Province.
Because this city has the complete supply chain for all parts of RC toy cars , such as motor, remote controller, and wheels. The manufacturer only need to design a car’s shell and packaging, then assemble all parts together. Producing RC toys in any other cities will be more complicated and higher cost than in Chenghai, so factories will be not likely located in other places.
If your suppliers is not located in Chenghai, like in Guangzhou or Shenzhen, they are probably trading companies. Maybe there will be some high tech RC toys factories located in Shenzhen, but very few.