Assuming that you are a cannabis grower, retailer or processor from the United States or Canada and you want to get your cannabis products branded. The first step you think of is to source the custom packaging with your logo on it. Congratulations, you are on the right way to a successful cannabis brand.
It Is Rare for Chinese Manufacturers to Establish Their Websites
Then you focus on finding a good packaging supplier. Yes, you google keywords like “cannabis packaging supplies China”. Probably, you will be shocked by the search result as I do. Well, here is your Google searching result.
Google searching result for keywords “cannabis packaging supplies China”
- One sponsored website on the top. Unfortunately, it’s not a Chinese packaging manufacturer you are looking for. It’s not even a cannabis-specific packaging website either.
- More than half of the non-sponsored websites are online shops from Alibaba, an international B2B trade site. It does seem that you are searching products on Alibaba instead of Google!
- The rest are those so-called official websites. Some belong to big retailers mainly based on the United States. The very few others are perhaps what you are looking for: websites of cannabis packaging suppliers based in China.
You may wonder if something went wrong with Google. Definitely no. Google is still the world’s most powerful search engine.
Why do so many Alibaba shops appear in your searching results? It’s because Alibaba.com is of high page rank (PR) value, a vital search engine ranking factor.
I am not arguing that it’s not good to find suppliers on Alibaba. I am offering a different perspective: Is Alibaba the one and only channel to source marijuana packaging products from China? In other words, why not try those websites rather than the Alibaba shops?
Suppliers with Brand Awareness Embrace the Spirit of the Internet and Contract More
“But how can I tell if these suppliers are trustworthy?” You may ask. Let me answer this good question.
China is known as the “factory of the world”. Their advantages lie in its relatively cheap human labor, energy, and raw material. In contrast to the entrepreneurs in developed economies who are good at marketing and branding, their Chinese counterparts are much better at production and manufacturing.
In this new cannabis packaging section, it is rare for Chinese manufacturers to establish their websites to bring their products to potential buyers globally. Most of them prefer B2B platforms and Expo, two traditional methods.
It is safe to say that these suppliers with brand awareness embrace the spirit of the Internet and contract more. They will be the perfect type of suppliers if they prove to be experienced in the cannabis-specific packaging industry.
6 Steps to Deal with Cannabis Packaging Providers from China
So how to verify if the supplier you are talking to is a good one? Here is a step-by-step guide to deal with cannabis packaging providers from China online.
- Browse their websites to tell if they are professional suppliers. You could tell it since you know what a professional industry player looks like. Read carefully the product display and description. It won’t be a good candidate if its product images are unclear and description grammatically wrong.
- Email the supplier if you think it a candidate. Add them to as friends on your Skype, WhatsApp Messenger, Facebook Messenger, or Line as you like, for instant communication. For your information, WeChat (click here to download and install) is quite popular in China. This instant messaging app is a must-have if you are doing business with Chinese. Little by little, you will learn further about your marijuana packaging supplier. And you probably have got quotes on different packaging products.
- Ask a sample product. Seeing is believing. This is the most effective way to test product quality. A seasoned sales representative always offers to send you sample products even before you ask! Just a reminder: you may need to pay part of the freight. But in some cases, a generous supplier will cover the freight by itself.
- Keep negotiating on the details including logo design, packaging specification, packaging material, processing method. The bulk price may greatly vary with processing methods. Make sure both sides are clear about what the other party is talking about. This is why communication via an instant messaging app is highly recommended.
- Place a test order in a small quantity. This helps you find out its turnaround time, delivery time and, most importantly, product quality.
- Pay a visit to your supplier’s city if possible. Usually, a visit to each other marks a solid start of the long-term cooperation. And it’s a good chance to learn more about the overseas supply chain. A business trip is always full of business possibilities.
With no doubts, more and more Chinese manufacturers will become brand conscious. Don’t be shocked if you see more suppliers websites than Alibaba shops on the first page of Google, years later when you type “top cannabis packaging suppliers in China”.