13 Mistakes (Don’t Make) When Buying Pickleball Paddles From China

Pickleball Factory

In this blog, I’m going to show you the common mistakes that pickleball paddle importers make when buying wholesale from China. This list of mistakes is gathered from our experience in serving more than 2,00+ clients, and surprisingly, even the ones with over 6-year importing experience still fall victim to these common mistakes. Now, we are going to list the mistakes one by one based on the process of buying pickleball paddles from China as the following:

Common Mistakes When Selecting Pickleball PaddlePaddles Suppliers

1. Only Choose the Supplier with the Cheapest Quote

Cheaper prices make importers excited. The cheapest price is always available in the market and I would never advise you not to choose it. However, you should be aware that the cheapest price sometimes means more problems.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Some suppliers will entice you with lower prices. However, once you pay the deposit, they will raise the prices for various reasons.

You will waste a lot of time arguing with such suppliers and end up exhausted. If you insist on not paying the extra money, they will adjust the paddle quality to match the prices. You will end up spending more money and energy than necessary.

My suggestion is never to take any risks. you will seldom get good quality pickleball paddles with the cheapest prices in the business. Plan B should be a reasonable price that you can switch to immediately if you discover something unusual.

2. Only Purchase on Alibaba & Ignore Other Procurement Channels

If you want to buy pickleball paddles from China, Normally Alibaba is the first one coming to your mind. After all, it is the largest wholesale site with abundant suppliers and pickleball paddles. But procuring channels is not only. Now there are many Chinese wholesale/Factory websites for you to choose a reliable supplier and the best price. You can check our website: dinkpickleball.com.

Sometimes, you can find the same vendors on Alibaba, Made in China, and Global Sources. Chinese suppliers tend to open stores on all these platforms to attract more customers. And now the independent website is popular, many factories (including us) build our own website. So you can google the keywords when you source some new paddles. For one item of the same material, the prices and MOQ of these platforms will not be very different.

If you are just starting your business and want to try new pickleball paddles, you don’t need to buy a lot for your first try, so you may not reach the large MOQ on Alibaba. As a result, please try to find suppliers with a small MOQ on other channels. Our custom pickleball paddle MOQ IS 50pcs.

If you are a newbie, it’s better for you to get step-by-step guidance from a reliable supplier to avoid great risk and stress. We can guide clients from choosing the suitable material – design – quote – sample – production and ship all items door to door until all pickleball paddles work well in your hands.

Common Mistakes When Buying from Alibaba

3. Trusting “Alibaba Verified Supplier” Too Much.

Some tutorials, online guides, or so-called, experienced importers may teach you to choose a “verified supplier” when sourcing pickleball paddles in Alibaba. They equate “verified” with “great” and believe working with them is fantastic.

Actually, a Verified Supplier is nothing more than a paid Alibaba membership. Any supplier, such as a small trading company with only a few people, can be verified after paying the charge and passing an independent third-party inspection (e.g. SGS). So, getting a certified supplier isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, and it doesn’t imply that they’re completely trustworthy.

You still need to think about the suppliers from these below aspects:

Check the samples from the supplier.

Never avoid any responsibilities once difficulties emerge.

Timely communication.

4. Trust Trade Assurance Too Much

Many importers consider Alibaba trade assurance to be a third-party e-payment system (like PayPal payment). They assume that if they are dissatisfied with the imported goods, they can easily request a refund. But today I’ll tell you the truth.

Getting a refund from Alibaba suppliers isn’t straightforward. Unlike PayPal, which always protects the buyer’s interests, trade assurance does not. After all, while ordering on Alibaba, we’re talking about thousands of dollars or even more.

If you want a refund because of poor quality, you’ll need three strong pieces of evidence:

Sales contract

Inspection report

Lab testing report

Because it’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint the source of a quality issue, customers and suppliers frequently have disagreements that last weeks or even months. This implies that obtaining a refund will cost you both money and time. Then you may have missed the optimal selling window, and all of your prior efforts on this order would have been wasted.

I’m not suggesting that purchasers should ignore trade assurance. Instead, trade assurance, like “certified supplier,” is not 100% safe. So no matter the purchase from which channels, buyers should pay close attention to the supplier’s professional expertise, communication efficiency, problem-solving attitude, product quality, and, of course, price. Choosing a reliable supplier is the only thing to work for.

As an experienced custom pickleball paddle supplier, we have a good reputation to work together with our customers. You can talk with us, and let us help you.

Common Mistakes When Looking for and Visiting Suppliers in China

5. Many Importers Don’t Do Any Research Before Visiting China

Many non-Chinese people still hold misconceptions about China. Shanghai will come to mind first when people discuss China. Shanghai hosts a number of exhibitions, including the Shanghai International Cosmetics Packaging and Raw Materials Exhibition and the China Beauty Expo.

Additionally, Shanghai has a few regional wholesale markets that sell to locals only. In other words, they will charge foreigners a very hefty amount.

All buyers could google all the information of suppliers before coming to China, that the suppliers you were looking for are more concentrated in Guangdong instead of Shanghai.

6. Not Source Your Paddles at the Right Place in China

There are many industrial clusters in China, each with its own unique set of businesses and suppliers. Such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan in Guangdong province, Yiwu, Hangzhou, Ningbo in Zhejiang province, Kunshan, Wuxi in Jiangsu province, and Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou in Fujian province.

A crystal chandelier importer I once met in Yiwu wanted to ship it to the USA. However, the Yiwu wholesale market does not have many crystal chandeliers. He lamented the scarcity of crystal chandeliers in the Yiwu market to me.

I, therefore, informed him that every industry cluster has a unique product specialization. Chandelier manufacturing is primarily done in Zhongshan. There’s no doubt that Yiwu is the wrong location for that. This implies that finding a reasonable price for chandeliers in Yiwu would be more difficult than in Zhongshan.

So if you want the high-quality custom pickleball paddle, you should find it in Guangdong Province, especially Dongguan City. We are one of the top custom pickleball paddle factories in Dongguan, Guangdong. Email us: Sales@dinkpickleball.com.

Common Mistakes Before Mass Production for Your Pickleball Paddles

7. You Believe the Mass production Will Be Better Than the Sample you received

You got one sample from the supplier before mass production, and that is not the one you required. But the supplier assures you that the mass production will unquestionably satisfy your needs. The typical justification is that ” It’s just a little issue with the sample.” Sadly, many experienced importers will continue to trust such unreliable statements.

If you find yourself in this circumstance, you should pay attention. Such a supplier is irresponsible and untrustworthy. Below are two solutions for your reference:

A. When there is a problem with the sample you got, you should request another sample from the supplier until you receive exactly what you are looking for. If this supplier rejects your request and would simply assure you that they will make the mass production perfectly as you want, you better to find a new supplier. Keep in mind: that a reliable supplier will cooperate with you throughout the entire process in order to build a long and good business relationship with you.

B. You require a QC or a third-party inspection agency in China. They can assist you with product inspection. If the products don’t match your quality standards, they can refuse the defective products and ask the factory to rework them. The risk of receiving unqualified goods might be significantly decreased in this situation.

As a good reputation pickleball paddle supplier, we always provide the pre-production sample for customers’ approval, this way, we can make sure the items meet your requirements to save your time and cost. You do not need to spend the extra cost to employ a quality control agency, we are the QC and work for you until all items are perfect for you.

8. Not Specify Detailed PaddlePaddle Requirements in Writing.

When you have decided to work with the supplier and start communicating the product details with them, you may tell him one by one on WhatsApp or WeChat, along with some inquiries and responses from suppliers, your explanation, and your subsequent supplementary, etc, making the communication convoluted and lengthy.

Even if you may believe that you have communicated every detail, your supplier may only be aware of 80% of them. During the communication, several details were overlooked or misunderstood. Therefore, you’d better put all the information into a written document and resend it to your provider by email.

Normally when customers advise the details they required, we will write all items in one email to double confirm with customers, then we can make sure all communication is efficient and clear.

Common Mistakes when Communicating with Chinese Wholesale Suppliers

9. Communicate Only by Email and Have No Other Instant Messaging Tools

It’s generally popular to use email for business communications with Europeans and Americans. For any important details, like paddle size/color specs, it’s best to send them by email, which is more formal and can preserve proof in the event of a disagreement

However, some Chinese suppliers can’t always reply to your emails right away because of the time zone difference. Especially when there are urgent issues, delayed responses can always give you a headache.

Therefore, some instant chat tools will be very useful. WhatsApp is the most popular one in the world. Many of our clients from American and European prefer to use it.

Additionally, WeChat can also be used while communicating business with Chinese vendors. It is the most widely used form of daily communication in China. You’ll have a better chance of receiving a response right away if you send the message by WeChat, instead of email.

WeChat is more convenient for communication by Voice or Video, when you want to know the status of your production order, check samples, or have any questions about the email, it will help you solve the questions clearly and immediately.

Skype is undoubtedly not the most widely used local communication tool in China, this is unlike in other countries. In actuality, not all vendors use Skype. Skype is not so convenient as WeChat in China.

We promise that we will reply to customers in 24 hours. And in fact, we reply to the email/WhatsApp/WeChat once we receive them to make sure our communication is efficient.

10. Your Best Time Maybe Not the Supplier’s Best Time

Many importers may believe that Chinese suppliers offer round-the-clock customer service. And Many Chinese suppliers did say that on their website/ email. However, a lot of Chinese salesmen will not check their emails after work. So it’s better to be aware of the time difference between China and your side.

I would like to advise you to be aware that many suppliers often work in high efficiency from 9 am to 5 pm. Even if they can still reach you after this time, many of them will hold off on responding until the next day when they work. In other words, if you have an urgent issue, it’s best to get in touch with them during this time.

For example, if you are from the Western US, it would be better to get in touch with them from 9 am to 12 pm in your time zone. Of course, if you’re awake by then, you can still decide to get in touch with them in the early morning. And you can contact the supplier to check the efficient time between yours.

Common Mistakes in Paying Suppliers

11. Not Check the Holiday Schedule in China During Payment Processing.

Generally speaking, If the payment is from the US to China, it will take one working day to receive. Europe is a little slower, it will take 3-5 days. As the delivery term often states: production could be arranged once the deposit is received and product specs are confirmed.

I’d like to use this opportunity to remind you to refrain from making payments during Chinese holidays, such as China Dragon Boat Festival Day. In these circumstances, it will take an additional 1-3 days for the Chinese supplier to receive the payment from you, which will cause a slight delay in production as well.

Therefore, when Chinese holidays are coming, it’s essential to make sure that your Chinese supplier can receive the money prior to the festival during the payment processing.

I prepared the following table of Chinese holidays for your reference.

Festival    Time period      Days

New year         January    3 days

Chinese new year    February  7 days

Tomb-Sweeping Day         April 3 days

Labor Day         May 4 days

Dragon boat festival        June 3 days

Mid-autumn festival         September       3 days

National Day    October   7 days

Common Mistakes When Shipping Pickleball Paddles from China   

12. Always Choose Sea Freight for Any Volume Shipments

In the import industry, sea transportation has always been considered the cheapest method of shipment. But this is not the case.

The most popular sizes of standard containers are 20′ and 40′, thus your shipper will charge you per container if your items are shipped in full containers. Although weight might affect the cost, the charges are primarily determined by the size of the cargo.

Your pricing is frequently set by cubic meter if your goods don’t fill a container. Shipping via sea is frequently substantially less expensive for shipments that are bigger and heavier. The price difference narrows as the shipment size decreases, and occasionally, air shipping will even be less expensive.

13. Not Avoid the Shipping Rush

Prior to Christmas and Chinese New Year, some importers might think of shipping their products, but they discover that there is a severe shortage of loading port space and an increase in sea freight costs.


The festival of shopping is Christmas. In order to have enough inventory for sale, many importers would decide to stock up before Christmas. Many locations take a week or two off around Chinese New Year, and freight rates typically increase during this time.

So, do your best to stay away from these peak periods. They not only result in fewer port spaces but also higher shipping costs and decreased efficiency. It is preferable to prepare for spaced-out delivery over the Holiday season. For instance, ship 15-30 days earlier before the CNY holiday and 2-3 months in advance for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The End

Have you ever encountered issues with wholesale purchases from China that I haven’t mentioned here? If so, please tell me straight away in the comment section below or write an email to us. We have rich experience in production and shipping. We can give you sound advice and support while you work to resolve your issues. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US.

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