I'm preparing to do international trade business
I will be in China.
One of the main places to look for suppliers is Alibaba. Do you have experience working with providers/suppliers found there?
I would appreciate practical tips from your experience when doing business in China.
Do you have suggestions to spot right providers or at some typical pitfalls for newbies in the China.
First of all, best of luck with international trade business. There are some business opportunities on Alibaba.com and other B2B sites. There's no doubt about that. It all depends on what you are doing. If you are doing any tech related stuff, then stay away from these sites and try to get direct contacts. Alibaba tends to have a lot of, and I mean a lot of scammers. Again, it all depends on what you are doing.
Register your business first. Its fairly straight forward. Every time you talk to any representative, tell them that you are a registered business and show your business id or what have you.
Also, on Alibaba. I've seen many people who show their business Id but its in different language, so its fake. You won't even be able to tell. A good way to see if someones fake is to run Google street view on the address they are using. Fakes most of times point to apartments - hehe :)
I suggest you look into http://www.nicheblueprintinfo.com/ they have their on distributor/b2b list that contains actual real businessmen. Its an investment thats well worth it!