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How to Tell If Supplier is Manufacturer or Trader?


In any case of dealing with a supplier, knowing if the supplier is a manufacturer or trader can help you a lot. If you can figure out if your supplier is a manufacturer, you can get lower prices and other exclusive benefits from working directly with a manufacturer. In the case of figuring out if the supplier is a trader, you can get other types of benefits according to your product. With the ability to distinguish between these two, you can select what’s best for your company. There are some guidelines for investigating if your supplier is a manufacturer or trader.

Ask Them

The first thing that will come to your mind is to ask your sourcing pioneers directly if they are manufacturers or traders, during product sourcing. This is a very straightforward way, usually doesn’t work because traders can lie about being manufacturers. However, this is an excellent way to start if you can trust your supplier, then go ahead and ask them.

If your supplier is a manufacturer, there is a possibility that he or she replies enthusiastically. However, a trader might not be as enthusiastic. Try to figure out if they’re lying or not. Then you can investigate deeper.

Requesting a Visit to the Factory

This question will make sure if your supplier is a manufacturer or trader. By asking for a visit to the area where the products are manufactured, your suppliers will either take you for a visit or straight out deny. If they deny you know that your supplier is most likely a trader, and if they don’t, you have met a manufacturer. This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish between the two.

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You can say that you want to visit their factory to make sure they comply with the product standards if they ask why you want to visit. It is better to hire a product sourcing consultant at this point.

Check the Web

Most manufacturers and traders have linked their businesses to the internet. You are most likely to find them there. Once you have searched their names and websites out, try to see if they are selling any irrelevant products. If they’re focusing on relevant products, then they are most likely manufacturers. The internet is a possible alternative if you are not able to visit your suppliers in person and check their factories.

Check the Name of the Company

It’s obvious that the name of a trading company will be more attractive than that of a manufacturing company. You must have noticed this somewhere. Trading companies use attractive names so they can get a higher number of customers. They are also more user-friendly than manufacturing companies. A good way of checking this is by opening the company’s website, as it will have all info about your suppliers.



By learning how to tell if your supplier is a trader or manufacturer, you can save a lot of time and money. You will also be able to choose the best product solution. Just be sure to follow all these guidelines effectively.

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