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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

The Canton Fair is Back! A Must-Attend Annual Event for Amazon Sellers

Updated: Apr 8

If you're an Amazon seller, attending the Canton Fair is a must. The annual Canton Fair (next one happening this Oct 15th to Nov 4th, 2023) is the largest exhibition of suppliers in the world and is filled with factories and suppliers who have products to sell. The fair is split into three week-long phases, each with specific products, making it easy to find what you're looking for.

Attending the Canton Fair is a great opportunity to make money and it's going to be easier than ever this year. With fewer participants and hotel room rates not skyrocketing as high as in the past, you'll have a better chance of finding new and unique products that haven't been debuted yet. While Alibaba may seem like a viable option, the Canton Fair is focused on serious players in the industry, making it a better option for those looking to export their products.

Besides the Canton Fair, are you looking for another wholesale sourcing event that might be closer to home? Perhaps the Amazon Wholesale Conference AMZ United is more convenient for you. Read all about this event here.

Or you can explore the full range of our prep center services and pricing and disccover our way of helping you scale your business.

About the Canton Fair

Historical Background

The Canton Fair started in 1957. It is split into three week-long phases, each with specific products. The Canton Fair is held in three buildings, each the size of an airport terminal, and covers an area of 217 football fields.

Size and Scope

The Canton Fair is the largest exhibition of suppliers in the world, with over 25,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 buyers attending each year.

Product Phases

The Canton Fair is split into three week-long phases, each with specific products. The first phase is for consumer electronics, lighting, and earpods. The second phase is for consumer goods, pet products, home decor, and kitchenware. The third phase is for shoes, sporting equipment, camping equipment, and home textiles.

Reasons to Attend

The number one reason to attend the Canton Fair is to make money. Attending the fair makes it easier to find products to sell and negotiate better prices. Additionally, the fair is a great place to see new products that have not yet been debuted and to meet with suppliers face-to-face. Alibaba is not a substitute for attending the Canton Fair because the fair is focused on people who are selling or exporting their products, and only serious players are approved to exhibit.

Impact of Covid-19 on the Canton Fair

Changes in Visa Regulations

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Canton Fair faced changes in visa regulations, making it difficult for attendees to obtain business visas. The suspension of business visas in January 2020 led to attendees having to make appointments at the embassy to renew their visas. However, on January 13, 2023, China announced that it would honor previous visas, making it easier for attendees to obtain visas. Despite the challenges, the visa situation has helped attendees by reducing hotel room rates and decreasing the number of participants.

Economic Impact on China

The economy in China has slowed down, with the government recently resetting its expectations on GDP growth to five percent. This has led to the government encouraging suppliers to make deals to boost the economy. The lack of a Canton Fair for 42 months has also impacted the economy, as suppliers have not been able to debut new products. As a result, suppliers are eager to make deals, creating a perfect storm for attendees to get products at a lower price.

Opportunities for Attendees

Attending the fair in person allows attendees to see products firsthand and make deals with suppliers. This is a significant advantage over using Alibaba, as the Canton Fair is focused on serious players who are exporting their products. Additionally, the lack of a Canton Fair for 42 months means that attendees can find new products that have not yet been debuted. With fewer participants this year, attendees have a unique opportunity to make deals and find new products.

Do you already have a sourcing agent or are you planning to look for one at this year's Canton Fair? Make sure you read our detailed guide on how to find an FBA sourcing agent here.

Comparison Between Alibaba and Canton Fair

Criteria for Participation

To participate in the Canton Fair, you must be approved based on the quantity of your exports. On the other hand, Alibaba is an online marketplace that anyone can access, regardless of their level of expertise or the size of their business.

Physical Examination of Products

At the Canton Fair, you have the opportunity to examine the physical products and meet the suppliers face-to-face. This allows you to get a better understanding of the quality of the products and build relationships with the suppliers. On the other hand, when using Alibaba, you are solely relying on the product descriptions and images provided by the suppliers, which may not always be accurate.

Cost and Time Efficiency

While attending the Canton Fair may require more upfront costs, such as travel and accommodation expenses, it can be more cost-efficient in the long run. By meeting with suppliers in person, you have the opportunity to negotiate better prices and build long-term relationships. On the other hand, using Alibaba can be more time-efficient as you can browse and communicate with suppliers from the comfort of your own home or office.

Overall, both Alibaba and the Canton Fair have their advantages and disadvantages. It ultimately depends on your business needs and preferences.

It's Back - See You at The Canton Fair!

Attending the Canton Fair is a great opportunity for Amazon sellers to make money and find new products. Compared to online platforms like Alibaba, the Canton Fair is focused on serious players who have been approved to export their products. The fair offers a unique opportunity to see new products and negotiate deals in person.

So, If you want to grow your business, attending the Canton Fair is a must. The upcoming event is happening in a few weeks. Have you booked your ticket and made the necessary arrangements yet? Go do it now if you haven’t!

By the way, if you are planning to start a wholesale business and need a guide to help you get started - we have an article that does exactly that. Read it here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Canton Fair open in 2023?

The opening is set for October 15, 2023, and will showcase enhanced features including a more remarkable attendee experience. Both the physical and digital exhibition sections will undergo adjustments and improvements.

Where is Canton Fair 2023?

Commonly referred to as the Canton Fair, the China Import and Export Fair has taken place in Guangzhou twice a year, every spring and autumn, since 1957.

How much is the ticket for the Canton Fair?

Participation in the Canton Fair is free of charge. Both domestic and international attendees can register online without any cost. However, for on-site attendance, Chinese buyers are required to pay an entrance fee. Interested participants should apply for an invitation on the website and pre-register for a badge if they don't already possess one.

How many days is the Canton Fair?

The 2023 October Canton Fair is scheduled from Sunday, October 15, to Saturday, November 4, spanning a total of 21 days.

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