Lots of startup companies are worried about China, in some ways I think they should be, but in others it is remarkably simple to get products made there.
I have just completed a 15,000 item order of promotional items from China.
It was probably one of the easiest purchases that I have ever made. Initially I researched a number of manufacturers, using Alibaba to check them out.
I then sent a few emails, got some quotes, paid for samples to be created and paid for the samples by Paypal.
Two weeks later provided artwork, approved testing (these are not really toys but thought testing was quite important) and paid for 20% up front by bank transfer.
The company I used had been fully audited by a number of suppliers and I was happy having reviewed their documentation that they were a good ethical supplier.
I priced and arranged freight from Shanghai and the items will be leaving in a few weeks, all custom made for me (Thanks to Davies Turner for helping).
100 of the items are on the way by air freight and should be here by Friday.
Amazingly simple and no meetings, lots of email and fantastic service from our supplier in China.
Update: Meet the Diet Chef Bear teamTweet