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Yiwu is known to the world as the capital of small commodities. Yiwu international trade city, also called Yiwu Futian market, is the largest market in the world. Its scale is so unimaginable that it will take you one year wandering in the market if you stay for 3 minutes in each shop. Every year, Yiwu attracts over 550,000 visitors from 210 countries.
Yiwu is the central city of Zhejiang Province. It has developed from a small agricultural city to a small commodity city based on the market. After more than 40 years of development in reform and opening up, it has become the most famous city in the world.
It is famous for international small commodity trade and has trade relations with more than 200 countries and regions in the world.
Because of its central location, Yiwu has also become a distribution center for Zhejiang’s daily products. Zhejiang Province, where Yiwu is located, is one of China’s most important trade provinces, accounting for more than 12% of China’s foreign trade.
So far it has formed many industrial clusters such as Hardware Center in Yong Kang city, China Socks Center in Zhuji city, Plastic and Rubber center in Taizhou city, Textile and umbrella center in Shaoxing city, Plastic machinery center in Ningbo city, etc.
Many of the above neighborhood cities supply goods to Yiwu. Yiwu is also very close to Hangzhou and Shanghai. You can either take a bullet train or bus to get to Yiwu. It is very convenient and has many transportation methods to choose from.
Yiwu City is known as “the world’s largest small commodity wholesale market”, with a permanent population of 1.86 million. Yiwu Small Commodity City covers an area of 4.3 million square meters and has 62,000 booths.
80,000 suppliers display 400,000 products almost every day from 09:00 am to 05:00 pm (except during the Spring Festival). Sixty-five percent of these products (approximately 2,000 different categories) are exported all over the world.
Yiwu is mainly engaged in the wholesale of small commodities, among which the following categories of products are the most famous.
Yiwu specialized streets are a unique characteristic of Yiwu markets and also an indispensable part of Yiwu business.
We’ve collected and summarized all the important specialized streets by their featured product categories below. I believe that you’ll find them very special when you walk on those streets.
Most booths are owned by individual businesses, while others are owned by trading companies and they’ve got lots of factories that supply them on a long-term basis. If you do not want to buy in large quantities, in some cases, you may get better prices from them than when buying from the factory.
There are some booths owned by factories. These factories are mainly based in Yiwu and nearby cities. Others are based in Fujian, Guangdong, and other provinces. The scales of these factories range between 10 and 1, 000 staffs.
If it’s your first time visiting Yiwu, or you do not have much information and experience on import, you will find it challenging trying to distinguish whether these are individual businesses, small workshops, or large-scale factories. Even though most booths claim to be manufacturers, you shouldn’t trust them at all.
Some commentators on the internet allege that all Yiwu products are of poor quality, thus they cannot be exported to the United States. This is not true because of the following reasons:
Yiwu product does not mean “Made in Yiwu”. As mentioned earlier, Chinese products have industrial areas where they are manufactured from. Many products sold in Yiwu are made in other leading production areas and they are just availed in Yiwu for sale.
One of the top 3 exporting countries from Yiwu is the U.S. Many high-quality products are exported from China to the U.S every year. Yiwu also has some budget products which target developing countries, but it’s not true to say that all Yiwu products are not of good quality.
For example, most Christmas products are produced in Yiwu, but you will also find suppliers in places like Shenzhen and other areas. However, the Shenzen supplier may play a trick by not telling you that the products were manufactured in Yiwu, or even he/she may claim that what they sell is better than that made in Yiwu.
Many articles on the internet are saying that Yiwu market is only suitable for small businesses, and Shenzhen or other big cities are better for big orders. But the truth is that you won’t find a market with a MOQ that’s higher than that of the markets in Yiwu.
For those individuals who want to buy one item from $1000 or more to 2-3 containers, this is the best place to source them. It’s quite difficult to persuade the booth to sell one or two cartons for one item, as this quantity is very less than their MOQ.
Usually, every product in any market needs lead time. However, some of them tend to have spot goods so that you can purchase in small quantities. But there are two conditions which you should consider before buying spot goods.
Spot goods cannot be changed. All the colors, logos, and styles, as well as packaging, remain the same as the samples that you see in the booth. If you want customized products, you will have to buy in large quantities. Because spot goods are already manufactured, their standard or design is not current, thus they are not suitable for fashion products.
Ningbo, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are all big coastal cities in China and have ports, which is a factor that gives them many advantages of export. This is also the reason why most large international companies have set up their procurement or branch offices in these cities. Also, there are various professional trading companies that offer better services.
Yiwu does not have a port and relies on the Ningbo port, which is 200km away. Meanwhile, Yiwu supplies many goods to Ningbo, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou that you can easily find many products that are supplied by Yiwu in the Shenzhen wholesale markets, Guangzhou wholesale markets, and Ningbo wholesale markets. Ningbo doesn’t have any market and its advantage is the port only.
On the other hand, Shenzhen only has a market for electronic products, while Guangzhou is a popular market for jewelry, clothing, and related items. And these markets are in different places and sourcing from them is not easy. It is only during Canton Fair when suppliers congregate at one place in China.