How to Find the Right Stainless Steel Supplier in China

December 9, 2020
In this post, you'll read:The natural first step for anyone who needs a stainless steel supplier should be to explore their options for importing what they need directly from China.

Table of Contents

China is well-known as the home to most of the world’s factories and manufacturing facilities. The natural first step for anyone who needs a stainless steel supplier should be to explore their options for importing what they need directly from China. 

Stainless steel is used in a ton of diverse industries and product types. So whether you work in construction, interior design, furniture manufacturing, or are merely putting a gorgeous new kitchen into your home, here is how to find the right stainless steel supplier for you.

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Factories vs. Trading Companies

Before you begin shopping around, you need to understand some background information on stainless steel suppliers in China. 

Both trading companies and factories sell stainless steel internationally and can help you achieve your goals. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages to understand, as well as some myths that need to be dispelled. 


Stainless steel factories actually produce stainless steel products. Sometimes they have metallurgical facilities as well for producing raw alloys. Factories in China for some industries like textiles can be set up rather minimally and with a small initial investment. Stainless steel factories, though, require a significant amount of funding and experience to get started. 

This is an image of FTSSS factory.

Dealing directly with a factory gives customers much more control over their finished product, even if they sacrifice some diversity of overall products. Because trading companies charge for their services, products purchased directly from a factory will almost always have a lower price. 

By communicating with a factory head-on, you also avoid delays and miscommunication that come from using a middleman. This can save your time and keep you more informed about the status of your order. 

Trading Companies 

Trading companies, on the other hand, are closer to a wholesaler or distributor. They do not actually produce anything themselves and instead focus on working with multiple factories to source a wide assortment of products. 

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Before China opened up to trade with the rest of the world, trading companies were basically the only way to purchase Chinese products. The only benefit that remains for ordering from a trading company is the ability to import a variety of things at the same time. Some trading companies perform quality assurance as well, which is helpful if you are dealing with a new or unheard of the factory. 

The role of the trading company in China has been taken over by Alibaba, the website that connects customers with manufacturers and suppliers for export and import. However, not all factories are on Alibaba, and those with their own systems for connecting with customers sometimes choose not to use a middleman. 

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An Example: Stainless Steel and Brass

A stainless steel factory is not likely to offer brass products as well, but the stainless steel they offer can be edited and customized in more ways because of this.  A trading company may offer both stainless steel and brass sheets, but only in one or two sizes or only the most popular, mass-produced surface finishes. 

If a customer wanted to stock a home goods store with metal sheets, a trading company would give them simplicity at a markup. If a client wanted metal sheets of one material to remodel their office lobby with a custom, etched or embossed design, they should choose a factory. 

This is an image of FTSSS project.

What to Look For in a Stainless Steel Supplier in China

The hunt for high-quality stainless steel can feel overwhelming when you consider all the available options. There are some crucial traits that you should look for in your supplier, especially if you are ordering from overseas. 

Reviewing all these factors can seem daunting, but a reputable first-rate supplier will stay in business and be a valuable long-term business relationship to have. 


With any type of custom order, the pricing can be complicated and hard to convey. A high-quality supplier will have transparency to their pricing and can provide detailed quotes. These quotes should accurately reflect the final cost of the project. 

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A good stainless steel supplier will not be afraid of potential customers comparing their quotes against a competitor’s prices. The balance of quality and price is a delicate dance, and the cheapest option on the market is often not comparable to stainless steel of solid quality. You can avoid a lot of frustration by avoiding rock bottom prices. 

Transparency is also important for the facilities and process a factory uses. Some factories only modify other products or do very little work in-house. In other cases, the conditions in the factory might not be conducive to high-quality production if it seems disorganized or dirty. Any company should be proud to share pictures or videos of their facilities. And now, with technology being so accessible, there is no excuse for a factory to refuse a request to see pictures of their workspace. 

Knowledge and Experience

For a proper technical production environment, it takes staff with a variety of skills and experience. Look for a factory that has certifications or sends its employees to industry events like conventions or workshops. A passion for continued learning is important in any field, but in manufacturing it is critical for using cutting edge techniques. 

Not only does the staff need to be experts, but they need to be ready to warn clients of the advantages and disadvantages of each product or customization option throughout the ordering process. 

This is an image of FTSSS QC.

FTSSS was founded in 2013, and our staff has been developing the workshops and their own skills the entire time. Experience in manufacturing takes both commitment to a specific industry and “big picture” analysis of the assembly process. Our engineers and quality assurance team are passionate about stainless steel, which has led to many innovations and new possibilities. 

Since the formation of FTSSS, we have experienced rapid growth, taking on new styles and stainless steel finishes. Our clients have always responded well to our dedication to learning and providing the best possible product. This FTSSS blog is just one way we are giving back to the industry and educating our clients. 

Customization Options

No matter your goals for your final project’s style, you should look for a stainless steel factory with lots of customization options. While in some industries this might indicate that a company has not specialized in manufacturing it is a good sign. 

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A metalworking facility that can produce a wide variety of custom options has to have had significant investment into its machines and staff. Small startup shops looking for a quick payday might only be able to produce a few surface finishes and treatments. Look for a stainless steel supplier that not only has the options you want but can provide examples of similar work. Contact them with what you are looking for and request pictures. 

Check out the FTSSS product category to see all the customization options we have available. We regularly add new finishes, styles, and colors. Our equipment and training are updated whenever possible, in order to make our clients’ imagination into a reality. 

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The language barrier of making deals with suppliers in China is not the problem it once was. Now, many companies have dedicated sales support staff that speak a variety of languages, with English being critical to many of their operations. 

Throughout the whole process of placing your stainless steel offer, you can expect communication and aid, if you are dealing with a high-quality stainless steel provider. The best stainless steel suppliers will work with you across your preferred contact method, whether it is email, phone calls, video conferences, or fax machines. 

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Quality Control and a Warranty

A sturdy product like custom stainless steel is built to last for a long time. In many applications, properly maintained stainless steel can last for over 50 years. Mistakes or manufacturing flaws in the metal can undercut this value and lifespan. That’s another reason why finding a stainless steel supplier in China that offers extra protection against problems is very important. 

A warranty is a great help in case of defects from the original manufacturer of the raw stainless steel or problems arising with the additional coatings. Make sure to review the terms of the warranty to see what is covered. 

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A warranty is closely related to after-sales service. This is an often forgotten part of customer service. The right stainless steel supplier in China will help you with any problems even after your order has arrived. Occasionally, there could be problems with damage during the shipping process or a defect that becomes clear under different circumstances. After-sale service can help you with these problems. 

At FTSSS, we have a team of Quality Assurance experts, and one is assigned to each client’s order. This way, they are involved in every step of your order. Our experts take joy in the responsibility of ensuring their clients’ orders are flawless. 

Wrap Up

In many cases, it can be hard to do business with someone you have never spoken to or gotten to know a bit. This is particularly true for importing products from overseas. If you’d like to get to know FTSSS better, check out more of our blog. Or, contact us directly by emailing us at or giving us a call at +86-137-986-86781. 

Hi, I am Linda, FTSSS blog writer . I have been working on stainless steel  since I graduated from university. How time flies!  13 years have slipped away from me. ‘Stay hungry, Stay foolish.’ I am walking steadily on the road of seeking knowledge every day.

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