June 30, 2023

2023 Complete Guide to Buy Furniture from China

China provides 40% of the world’s furniture with a lively furniture market. If you want to buy China’s furniture faster, here are our suggestions.

furniture from china

Ways to Buy Furniture from China

01-China's wooden furniture exports in recent years

On Online Shopping Websites

Online shopping is the fastest way to get furniture details and place an order at the moment, and the development of online shopping in China far exceeds that of other countries in the world. It has a complete support system for online furniture shopping to give you a fast, convenient and considerate shopping experience.

Alibaba, Made-in-China, and Global Sources are the three most frequently visited websites by international furniture buyers, where they can find various furniture.

  • Alibaba: maturer than the other two, similar price with the other two, some with lower prices and lower MOQ;
  • MadeinChina: more Chinese suppliers, more types and styles of furniture, lower prices, but more fake products and suppliers, and higher MOQ;
  • Global Sources: higher quality furniture products and suppliers, but more expensive, suitable for large and medium-sized international furniture buyers.

If you want to buy the China’s furniture as quickly as possible, log in to the above websites and enter some furniture keywords, like “furniture”, “chairs”, and “cabinets”. If the furniture you want doesn’t appear, add more keywords, like “wood” “metal”, and “fabric”, to increase the search relevance.

Global Sources website page

Then choose the store with the highest praise rate and the most reviews. You need to carefully check the product information (material, size, color, etc.) of the furniture,  the post-purchase reviews of other buyers, and the delivery options. Confirming these details before placing an order can save time for disputes after purchase.

Member logo on Global Sources website

By Offline On-Site Purchase

It is also a common practice for international buyers to place an order after an offline on-site inspection, which can effectively reduce the risk in the transaction process.

02-China Furniture Industry Cluster Distribution Map

To save your time, there is a list of cities that international furniture buyers often visit: Foshan, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan in Guangdong province, and Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Jiaxing, Shaoxing, and Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

In addition to directly visiting manufacturers offline, participating in furniture exhibitions in China is also an effective and fast way to purchase. Large-scale furniture exhibitions in China are listed below:

  • Canton Fair Phase 2 (Guangzhou, in April & October)
  • China International Furniture Fair (CIFF Shanghai, in September)
  • China International Furniture Fair (CIFF Guangzhou, in March & October)
  • Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition (in March)
  • HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair (in April)
03-Canton Fair
At these exhibitions, you can meet furniture manufacturers from all over the country, see and touch the furniture they provide, and listen to them introduce the details and advantages of the furniture. You can ask your questions on the spot, and even negotiate a price with them. 

If you decide which furniture to buy, you can place an order directly on the spot. It  may only take you about ten minutes to complete the transaction.

Note: With the end of the epidemic, the threshold for participation in this kind of exhibition will be lowered, and you need to pay attention to the quality of furniture. More comparisons are always good for yourself.

Through an Agent (Third Party)

Thinking about the high risk of online shopping and the high cost of going to China to buy offline, you may need a furniture sourcing agent.

04-Furniture sourcing agent

An experienced furniture sourcing agent can give a list of Chinese furniture manufacturers that meets your needs in a short time, which can effectively reduce the time for you to find and screen manufacturers yourself.

They can also provide assistance throughout the transaction process, such as language translation, furniture goods inspection, order progress follow-up, customs clearance and other procedures, which can help you avoid risks and effectively shorten the overall time for furniture orders.

Usually, the cost of an agent is about 5%-10% of the total turnover, but this investment will reduce your overall operating expenses, and it is much less than the income created after the order is completed.

05-advantages of fruniture sourcing agency

For furniture sellers who have just started their business, experienced furniture sourcing agents are also an effective resource for you to understand China’s furniture market. They can help you understand the status of the market and  provide advice and assistance on the selection of sources of supply.

Is It Feasible To Start Up A Furniture Business By Buying Furniture From China?

Yes! And Chinese furniture manufacturers may be the best group of partners on your entrepreneurial journey!

06-Start Up your Furniture Business

Less Start Up Investment

When starting a business, you can spend less start-up capital to purchase furniture from China. There are several reasons for this:

  • Lower investment in finding furniture manufacturers: Alibaba, Made-in-China, Globalre-Sources and other Chinese e-commerce platforms are mature where there are plenty of high-quality furniture, and it’s easier to find a furniture manufacturer on the platform among these sellers;
  • Lower purchase price: The price of buying Chinese furniture is much lower than the price you buy locally. Although buying furniture from China will involve additional costs such as freight, the overall price is still much lower;
  • Lower MOQ: There are many manufacturers on the above-mentioned e-commerce platforms, many of which have low MOQ. They are the most friendly partners for you;
  • High-quality furniture: High-quality furniture means a higher transaction rate and less return rate, which can reduce the useless loss of start-up funds.

Note: On China’s e-commerce platforms, there are many manufacturers, and you need to identify them carefully. The simple and quick way is to check the reputation status, number of comments and favorable rate of online stores, which will allow you to evaluate the manufacturer in a short time.

More Types of Furniture

Your start-up company may be selling a single piece or a single set of furniture, or it may be selling custom-made furniture, all of which can be bought in China’s furniture market.

In order to ensure that the quality of the furniture you buy is guaranteed, we have listed several furniture malls around China for you to search and purchase better:

  • Lecong Internatioal Exhibition Center (Guangdong): business in interior decoration furniture, hotel furniture, suite furniture, living room furniture, outdoor furniture, office furniture, mahogany furniture, and home accessories;
  • Louvre International Furniture Expo Center (Guangdong): business in furniture, sanitary ware, accessories, lighting, and bedding;
  • Foshan International Furniture Expo Center (Guangdong): business in home furniture, office furniture, hotel furniture, sanitary ware, home accessories tiles, and lighting;
  • Suzhou Likou International Furniture City (Jiangsu): business in hotel furniture, living room and bedroom furniture, outdoor furniture, American-style furniture, modern-style furniture, European-style furniture, Korean-style furniture, Mediterranean-style furniture, and furniture materials;
  • Xianghe International Furniture City(Hebei): business in solid wood furniture, home studio, office furniture, hotel suites of furniture, luxury sofa, sofa bed, and outdoor categories, Tengyi category, and handicrafts;
  • Wuhou-West China Furniture Trade Capital (Sichuan): business in solid wood furniture, custom furniture, hotel furniture, suite furniture, living room furniture, outdoor furniture and office furniture;

In those malls, you can find all kinds of furniture suitable for different occasions and different purposes, and all the furniture you want can be found. In those malls, you can also enjoy one-stop service, from selecting products to placing an order to buy, all can be done quickly.

07-Lecong Internatioal Exhibition Center

More Suitable For Custom Furniture Business

For start-up companies, customized furniture is a relatively easy-to-operate and maintain business. Although the project and the capital returns take a long time, it can reduce the amount of stockpiles, reduce storage pressure, and reduce storage costs.

China’s custom-made furniture is one of its three existing businesses, and it is developing extremely rapidly. As of 2022, the market size of China’s custom-made furniture is about 66 billion U.S. dollars. The custom-made furniture market is relatively mature and can meet your various needs for custom-made furniture.

08-Custom Furniture

If you are a furniture designer entrepreneur, look for Chinese furniture manufacturers from the above-mentioned various furniture and material origins to provide you with various furniture and materials, which can guarantee the quality of the products to a large extent and can optimize your design.

If you are a furniture dealer entrepreneur, there are all kinds of fashionable wholesale furniture for you to choose from in China. Even if you don’t know furniture design, it’s not a problem, just choose the style with the highest purchase volume, or ask the manufacturer to recommend you the popular style.

How Can I Identify The Manufacturer Of My China’s Furniture?

09-how to identify Furniture manufacturer

As mentioned above, there are many furniture manufacturers in China, so it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer. Here are some of the ways we offer to identify furniture manufacturers.

Online Indirect Verification Of Enterprise Authenticity

Directly search for the name of your furniture manufacturer on Google, Linkedin, and other search platforms, and you may find the manufacturer’s official website and address information, news related to it and other customers’ reviews on it. If you can find this information, this manufacturer is probable to be real.

On Alibaba Credit Protection Service, STS (Made-in-China), “Verified” Badges (Global Sources), and other official services, you can also check the authenticity of the manufacturer, which can effectively avoid shell corporations.

Some small and medium-sized Chinese furniture manufacturers may not promote on international platforms, so it may not be possible to verify the authenticity of your furniture manufacturer’s business through the above methods, then you can find a Chinese local agent and ask him or her to verify the authenticity of the manufacturer for you.

Contact Furniture Manufacturers Directly Online

Communicate with the manufacturer directly through the chat window of the online shopping platform or by email.

During communication, you can

  • Ask the manufacturer’s past cases, and ask the other party to provide relevant pictures, documents or videos to increase credibility;
  • Ask about the manufacturer’s production scale and factory capacity, if possible, ask the other party to take you to visit the production workshop online;
  • Ask the manufacturer if he can send a small sample so that you can truly see the manufacturer’s production capacity and technical situation;
  • Ask the manufacturer for the specific payment method and contract terms, which can also allow you to see the real situation of the company;
  • Inquire about the after-sales service and return policy of the manufacturer. A real and reliable furniture manufacturer will pay special attention to after-sales service and return service.
10-Request furniture leather samples from the manufacturer

In the process of online communication, you can feel whether the manufacturer’s service attitude is good or not, whether they are proficient in the furniture businessor not, and whether the after-sales service is careful or not. From these details, you can also see the manufacturer’s service quality and business capabilities.

If you still can’t trust the manufacturer across the Internet, you can place a small order first to reduce the risk, or go to China and visit the store of the furniture manufacturer offline.

Offline Visits To Furniture Manufacturers’ Stores And Factories

Offline visits to stores and factories allow you to intuitively feel the manufacturer’s operations and production conditions. There are some details that can help you judge the real situation of furniture manufacturers:

  • Whether the address and appearance of the store and factory match the pictures you saw on the Internet;
  • Whether the furniture displayed in stores and factories is of high quality and exquisite workmanship;
  • Whether the staff in stores and factories know the furniture well;
  • Whether the machinery and production process in the factory is up to the standard it claims.
11-Furniture Manufacturing Production Details

Traveling to China to visit stores and factories offline takes a huge amount of time and money. Careful planning of time and routes is required to maximize the benefits of the entire trip.

Contact multiple furniture manufacturers located in the same area at the same time, make an appointment with them to visit offline, and then visit offline one by one according to the time and arrangement. After visiting several manufacturers, I believe you will be able to choose a satisfactory partner.

Is It Safe To Buy Chinese Furniture Online?

12- Is It Safe To Buy Chinese Furniture Online

Yes, China provides 40% of the world’s furniture and China’s furniture is spread all over the world. Countless furniture orders are answering this question– “It’s safe”.

Of course, a safe transaction process does not rely on blind self-confidence, but on every meticulous step to reduce risks. The following are our suggestions that can help you reduce the risk of buying furniture online from China.

Choose a Reliable Online Platform

A safe and reliable online platform is important. It can help you eliminate unqualified Chinese manufacturers, guarantee your financial security throughout the transaction process, and help resolve after-sale disputes.

Alibaba, Made-in-China, and Global Sources are the three reliable online platforms we recommend most often to buy Chinese furniture. These platforms have a mature and stable operating system and trustworthy payment methods. It has been serving sellers and buyers for more than 20 years with safe and stable transaction support services.

Using the supplier filter function of these three platforms and cooperating with higher-level suppliers can reduce the risk of meeting some untrustworthy ones.

three reliable online platforms

Other similar online shopping platforms where you can buy Chinese furniture are DHgate, Tradekey, and TradeAsia.

Note: The supplier filter function of any online platform has a limited effect and cannot guarantee 100% security. If you want to improve the success rate and satisfaction of purchasing, you still need to make other efforts.

13-Find Reliable Chinese Local Agents Online (1)

Find Reliable Chinese Local Agents Online

There are still many excellent local furniture manufacturers in China that have not been listed by online platforms such as Alibaba. At this time, reliable local Chinese intermediaries are particularly important.

They can recommend trustworthy manufacturers for you, and they can also provide you with services throughout the transaction process, reducing risks and unnecessary disputes during the transaction process and shortening the time of the entire transaction process.

There are many China’s sourcing agents on the Internet. Although the benefits they bring are gratifying, they also bring some risks.

When choosing Chinese sourcing agents, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:

  • Geographical location: choose a local sourcing agent in Guangdong or Zhejiang Province, because they have a better understanding of the local furniture market;
  • Sufficient experience: an agent with more work experience can provide you with more and better furniture manufacturers, and is also better at dealing with emergencies that occur during the transaction process;
  • Language ability: A sourcing agent who is good at both English and Mandarin or the local dialect can save you a lot of time and cost in communication;
  • Necessary license: If the sourcing agent you choose is an agency company, then don’t forget to ask them to show the relevant business license;
  • Good ethics: Some sourcing agents with bad ethics may recommend furniture manufacturers with unqualified products or collect kickbacks from them in order to complete the order as soon as possible, which will damage your business.

If you want to reduce the risk of the entire transaction process, you must be cautious at every step.

14-Language ability


In addition to the above suggestions, we have some other tips for reducing risk.

  • Using video calls: Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, whatsApp and other video communication software can allow you to make real-time video calls with furniture manufacturers, allowing you to see information such as the operating status of the other party’s company and the size of the furniture in real-time;
  • Sending sample: Samples allow you to intuitively see the product material and production technology level provided by the furniture manufacturer, and can help you quickly judge the strength of the manufacturer;
  • Payment splitting: installment payment or payment in stages instead of a one-time payment, can effectively guarantee that funds will not be lost in the middle of the transaction;
  • Contract terms: A strict contract can cover all kinds of risks, but you must find a professional lawyer or legal practitioner to help you review the contract to avoid mistakes.
15-video communication software

Methods to Reduce the Cost of Shipping Furniture From China 

Logistics is an extremely important step in cross-border e-commerce, and it also occupies a considerable proportion. How to save logistics costs is what every cross-border buyer and seller must face.

16-Methods to Reduce the Cost of Shipping Furniture From China

Because of the large capacity of ships, sea transportation is more convenient and cheaper than other logistics methods and has become the main method of cross-border transportation. In the process of shipping furniture, how to further reduce the cost of transportation, the following are our suggestions.

Reasonable Use Of Off-Peak Seasons For Shipping

From April to September every year is the peak season for shipping, with high shipping frequency and high shipping prices, while from October to March of the following year, shipping demand decreases, shipping prices will be low, and there is more room for bargaining.

Note: The off-peak season of sea freight will be disturbed by many factors, and the specific time may vary. The specific time for transporting furniture should take into account the specific needs and practical factors of the customer.

Choose The Appropriate Shipping Method

The shipping methods for transporting furniture usually include full-container shipping (FCL), less-than-container shipping (LCL), ro-ro shipping, and dry bulk shipping.

  • Full-container shipping: suitable for larger furniture and large quantities of furniture, uses independent containers, shorter overall transportation time (including loading and unloading time), and reduces shipping time costs;
  • Less-than-container shipping: suitable for furniture with a small volume and quantity, sharing the container with others, less cost of the container, faster delivery, but longer shipping time;
  • Roll-on-roll-off shipping: only suitable for rollable furniture such as sofas and chairs, which can reduce the cost of packaging and reduce the risk of damage during shipping;
  • Dry bulk shipping: Suitable for scattered furniture of different shapes and sizes, the lowest transportation cost (including loading and unloading costs), but the longest transportation time and the greatest risk of cargo damage.
17-Shipping Container Dimensions

When shipping furniture by sea, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the furniture, time cost, manpower and material resources in the whole process, and choose the most suitable and most favorable shipping method after a comprehensive evaluation.

Reasonable Packing

High-quality and durable packaging materials can effectively protect furniture from collision and extrusion during shipping, and can effectively reduce furniture loss. Therefore, the cost of packaging materials for furniture is indispensable.

Choosing the correct furniture packaging size and container size can reduce redundant packaging materials and container costs, effectively reduce space waste and avoid furniture damage during shipping;

18-single seat sofa packaging

Follow Currency Exchange Rates

The time for shipping furniture by sea is not fixed and inconsistent, the longest may be several months, and the shortest may only be a few days, but the exchange rate is changing every day. Therefore, for orders with a long shipping time, we usually advise sellers or buyers to pay attention to the recent currency exchange rate and choose to pay when it is favorable to them, so as to save a certain amount of cost.

Reasonable Choice Of Insurance

Marine Cargo Insurance is the most commonly purchased insurance when shipping furniture by sea. In the unfortunate event that the furniture sinks into the sea or is damaged during shipping, you can take the relevant insurance documents and supporting materials to ask the insurance company to pay for part of the lost furniture value.

Note: Although insurance costs are an additional cost during shipping, this cost is vital and reduces potential risks.


What should I do if my furniture arrives damaged?

When you find your furniture arrives damaged, you should first check the condition of the furniture and record the damage. Then contact your insurance company, if you bought insurance in advance, and submit relevant materials to your insurance company to make a claim.

At the same time, contact your seller, describe the damage to the seller, provide pictures or videos of the damaged furniture to prove it, if necessary, and further communicate with the seller about the disposal measures for the damaged furniture, compensate for the loss of the damaged furniture, or the seller arranges redelivery.

What kind of wood is commonly used in Chinese furniture?

The materials of China furniture are divided into the following types:

The materials used to make panels: solid wood, human-made fiberboard (MDF), and high-density fiberboard (HDF);The materials of the bracket: stainless steel, titanium and iron;Other materials: glass, leather and fabric.

19-different kinds of furniture wood

Do Chinese furniture manufacturers offer wholesale pricing?

Most of the time, yes, but it depends on what you purchase. If you are purchasing some mass-produced furniture products on a large scale, almost all Chinese furniture manufacturers will be willing to provide a wholesale price, and if your order is large enough, manufacturers may even be willing to lower their wholesale prices to better your business.

But if you want to buy custom-made furniture, Chinese furniture manufacturers may not offer wholesale prices. Unless you order a large number of styles or quantities, then the manufacturers will give discounts as appropriate.

When negotiating wholesale prices with Chinese furniture manufacturers, you can contact several manufacturers, and then compare their minimum order quantity, wholesale price, cooperation period and payment method, and choose the most suitable manufacturer for you.

Can I visit the factory or showroom in China before purchasing the furniture?

Of course! Almost all professional furniture manufacturers welcome clients to visit their factories and showrooms offline. However, the cost of traveling to China is huge. We recommend that you plan the visit process in advance, contact multiple furniture manufacturers in the same area in advance, and settle down specific visit time to improve the efficiency of time utilization.

Is assembly required for furniture bought from China?

It depends on what type of furniture you purchase. If you want to buy disassembled furniture, it needs to be assembled, which is more convenient to transport. If you want to buy assembled furniture, then don’t assemble it again, but shipping costs will be higher.

It is particularly important to read the product description of the furniture in advance and communicate with your manufacturer in advance whether the furniture you purchased needs to be assembled, which can effectively reduce communication costs, transportation costs and assembly costs.

20-Furniture factory employees are installing and testing the quality of the bed

Can I negotiate prices with Chinese furniture manufacturers?

Yes, but underpricing without thinking is not recommended.

Having a brief knowledge of China’s furniture market and knowing your needs and goals well before the negotiation will help you get a lower final price than the manufacturer’s offer.

Are there minimum order quantities when buying furniture from China?

Yes! Almost all Chinese furniture manufacturers have a minimum order quantity, and the prices corresponding to different minimum order quantities are also different. Generally speaking, the higher the MOQ, the lower the price of a single piece of furniture. On the contrary, the lower the MOQ, the higher the price of a single piece of furniture. Each online shopping platform will clearly display the minimum order quantity of different furniture, which is convenient for you to check at any time.

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