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Is it better to buy furniture directly from manufacturer or at markets?

In this article, we want to tell: when better to buy furniture at furniture markets or from factories in Foshan, China. 

How did furniture sourcing in China looked before?

It’s not a secret that everyone buys things in China: small vendors, wholesalers, and huge corporations. With a countless number of factories across China, specialized exhibitions and fairs and of course Alibaba, starting a business is easier than 15 or more years ago when there was very little or no infrastructure. The government was investing money in it for the last decade to make moving between factories and cities where all the markets and deals were faster.

Years before now, suppliers’ search look more like a treasure hunt which made people go hundreds of miles away from cities because factories (even now) are often located in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields.

After arriving in China, hiring a translator, the journey would start. One-way drive to a factory could take hours and even days (there were very few roads or no roads at all in rural areas). And even after all that it could end as a total disaster. Because manufacturers in China try to protect a face and do more sales by showing nice pictures of a highly equipped factory but in real life, you still can see something like this:

Bad factory

Building furniture and other specialized markets in China

Chinese realized this problem and started to build specialized market all over China: Foshan furniture markets, Hangzhou silk and textile markets, Yiwu small wholesale markets and of course countless markets of Guangzhou. There is no need to go from a factory to a factory. Now everything can be found at markets where the factories are represented. Nowadays, to explore product collection of thousands of manufacturers from China clients just need a couple of days, and the scale of the markets is mind-blowing.

Manufacturers’ representative offices located at markets

Foshan is a unique place and a furniture capital of China with thousands of factories around it. Its famous furniture markets are up to 80% are manufacturers’ representative offices which means when you buy furniture from a factory at the markets in China.

When it’s reasonable to visit the factory?

However, it is sometimes a reasonable decision to visit the factory yourself:

  1. Big purchase quantity: a need to furnish a big office, restaurant or a hotel-anything with lots of same-type furniture. Thousands of square meters of specialized furniture markets filled not with furniture but linen and accessories to complete any design project.
  2. You need a trustworthy factory for a regular supply: a new order from a promising client, fast-growing business or change of supplier. It would require checking the factory in China: whether it can cope with the production quantity, its equipment and workers’ skill level. All these are necessary to avoid quality issues in the future.  


Still, most of our clients are buying furniture for their own residence which means getting a single piece of each kind of furniture. Many clients come to Foshan when construction is still on to purchase building and fit-out materials.
From our experience, it takes 15-20 suppliers to furnish one house. Keeping in mind that factories in China can be located hundreds of kilometers away from the city centre and from each other visiting them could take forever and for most of the clients, it is a complete waste of time. We have more than 10 years of experience working in China, and we’ve established a list of dependable manufacturers which showed a solid quality of work throughout the years. When starting to work with the new manufacturer in China, we’ve got a hand in recognizing unprofessional, and try not to place an order there. We also do a quality check of 100% of each order and financially responsible for any external defects whichever factory it came from.

If you want to furnish a house or an apartment with quality furniture from but don’t wish to spend all your saving on it, come to China for furniture sourcing tour and save 5-1000 times on furniture, tiles, sanitary ware, accessories, curtains etc.