Letter from China: A Small World

Paul Wray, Managing Director of Furntec Ltd and Modern Outlook Furniture, talks about the Canton Fair and why it’s important to have someone on the ground in China.


How time fly’s, with the Canton Fair just taking place in Guangzhou, China.

The Fair was well attended with more overseas buyers this year, which was great to see. We even bumped into some good friends from the furniture industry and was good to catch up with Asif and his son from CFS of Leicester. The one thing I must say about this industry, we may all be striving for business but when we come together, we are all friends and the banter we have, is what keeps us all going. Many have come and gone as years go by, but the camaraderie between us all makes it all worthwhile.

It was exciting to see the Canton Fair busy again, with many exhibitors ranging from wall art, mirrors, decoration items, outdoor and indoor furniture and a good way to get those steps in over the four days. I would certainly recommend doing your homework before attending these fairs as the halls are many and spread over long distances. Look at what you are attending the fair for, and target those areas first so you can make sure you have everything addressed. Then you can explore at your own leisure, believe me it’s very easy to run out of time.

Another important aspect of visiting the shows from overseas is to make time to visit the factories you are looking to buy from. I see many buyers placing orders but have not looked at the factories. I cannot stress enough how important this is, and quite often the exhibitors do not have their own factories and outsource once they have your order.

You need to know where your product is being produced, how your product is being produced, and to what quality and specification. If you cannot get to the factories due to time and location restraints, find someone within the industry who can for you. Remember, you are parting with your good hard-earned money to buy a product to sell in your market, so don’t take chances and hope everything will be fine without checking or finding a professional who will do this for you.

Modern Outlook Furniture assists businesses of all sizes in procurement from China at any stage of your project. If you would like a no obligation conversation about how we can assist you and help you avoid any costly issues or nasty surprises, please do get in touch!



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