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Tips to optimise product sourcing from China

B2B experts at AliExpo 2024 discuss top strategies to optimise and simplify product sourcing from China. Take a look.

Key takeaways

  • Utilise sourcing agents to streamline product procurement, from quotes to shipping
  • Maintain cash flow and select the right financing partner for efficient fund allocation
  • 1688, one of the leading B2B marketplaces in China, can offer cost-effective product sourcing
  • With a World Account, you can collect international payments, pay suppliers and hold funds in multiple currencies


Alibaba held a two-day B2B e-commerce event, AliExpo 2024, in Sydney in March 2024 where 20+ speakers shared their views on international trade in China and Southeast Asia.

WorldFirst organised its own panel at the event to discuss the top strategies for optimising imports from China.

The panel included top B2B experts in the ANZ region including Oscar Langoulant from We Assist Co, Percy Hung from Choco Up and Rocky Yan from Party Bestbuy. Take a look at what they had to say about sourcing products from China to the ANZ region and managing an international supply chain.

Partner with a sourcing agent

A sourcing agent manages the entire sourcing process on your behalf, from getting quotes from manufacturers to negotiating pricing, performing quality checks and ensuring the product gets shipped on time. It takes the hassle out of sourcing so you can focus on running your business.

We Assist is an Australia-based company that helps its clients identify opportunities in the market and source products or raw materials from China.

“We are an agency that connects Australian businesses with overseas manufacturers. With our local team members in China who are experts in procurement, we look for opportunities in raw material sourcing and where technology can improve scalability,” says Oscar Langoulant, founder of We Assist Co.

“A big thing with Australian small-to-medium businesses is not understanding the entire lifecycle of their product; they just buy and sell continuously.

“It is, of course, not a very sustainable business model. That is why We Assist Co goes beyond just sourcing products. The company also helps research where the raw materials come from and identify the market leaders in the product category. The goal is always to diversify the supply chain and save as much time and money as possible.”

1688 is a great platform for cost-effective product sourcing

Rocky Yan, founder of Party Best Buy, sources products for his business from, one of the largest B2B platforms in China.

For Party Best Buy, pricing was the key factor in their decision to source from 1688. The B2B marketplace houses millions of Chinese wholesalers and manufacturers, allowing buyers to source products at bulk prices.

Since 1688 doesn’t offer direct shipping, the company manages shipping on its own. Yan states that “in terms of the logistics, we use cargo shipping with a 40-foot container twice a month.

We also have a warehouse in China to manage quality checks and proper international shipping. Since the products are cheaper, we need to check the quality before sending them to Australia. We also need to repack and label products so when they arrive in Australia, they are ready to sell.”

Take a look at our complete guide to buying from 1688 outside China

Maintain cash flow with the right financing partners

You only have so much cash; allocating funds correctly is important to maintain efficiency and a positive cash flow. At the same time, having the right financing partner is crucial to avoid future cash flow issues.

According to Percy Hung, CEO & co-founder of Choco Up, Asia’s top revenue-based financing and growth platform that provides funding to digital merchants, “the biggest mistake that companies can make when sourcing products is misusing limited funds by ordering a wrong colour for an SKU which ends up becoming deadstock. It can, in turn, have a ripple effect on everything.”

Choco Up helps businesses grow holistically and get through tough times through quick and seamless financing options. Hung explains how Choco Up works: “If you are selling on Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or any platform, we directly tap into your database after you sign up. The goal is to forecast how much revenue you will make in the next three, six or 12 months. The whole process takes up to 15 minutes at the most. In the next step, we provide funds based on the data.

“Our revenue model is different from banks or other financial institutions. We don’t charge any interest. Instead, our revenue is based on your revenue. We plug into your payment gateway or PayPal account and take a small percentage of every sale. It reduces friction between both parties. And before you realise it, you have already paid out 80-90% of funds, which you can then use again.”

Save costs on international business payments with WorldFirst

Fast growing online sellers use WorldFirst to protect their bottom line and make secure international transactions. With a World Account, you can collect payouts from 100+ marketplaces and manage all your funds in one place.

Hold international balances in 15+ currencies including USD, EUR, and CNY, creating a natural hedge against currency fluctuations. Use the international balances to directly pay suppliers based in China or repatriate the funds to your bank account at competitive exchange rates.

With a World Account, you can:

Take your business global without worrying about high conversion fees.

Open a World Account for free
  • Open 10+ local currency accounts with local account details
  • Direct CNH payments to
  • Pay suppliers, partners and staff in 40+ currencies and 130+ destinations
  • Collect secure payments from 100+ marketplaces and payment gateways, including Amazon, AliExpress, Paypal and Shopify
  • Lock in currency conversion rates for up to 24 months

Disclaimer: The information contained is general only and largely our views.  Before acting on the information you should consider whether it is appropriate for you, in light of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Although information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions, estimates, mentioned products/services and referenced material constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. WorldFirst shall not be responsible for any losses or damages arising from your reliance of such information.


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