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The Best Eyewear Manufacturers in China, and How to Source Them

Best Eyewear Manufacturers in China 03.jpg
Posted by Zenobia Chan on 23 May 2017


Finding the right manufacturer for eyewear products can seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few ways you can go about finding your Unicorn supplier; we’ve compiled some of the best here.


Probably the main reason people don’t manufacture eyewear in China is that they don’t know how to find the right manufacturer for the eyewear they require. They might be concerned about quality, payment procedures, social compliance, ISO certification, etc. and rightly so, but these concerns are relatively easy to allay once you know what to look for. China manufacturing tends to be highly concentrated in specific regions for specific products, i.e. in Guangzhou, you will find all the tools and electronics you could ever need, but for steel pipes, you’d probably need to go to Wuhan, and for HDPE products and fittings Ningbo or Shanghai. The same applies for eyewear.

There are essentially two regions/cities that produce eyewear in China - Wenzhou, and Dongguan. Unfortunately, you can’t just hop on a plane to China and go cruising around hoping to find a factory producing the eyewear you need (well you could but it's not recommended). It is recommended that you do some research first and plan your trip accordingly. With that in mind, let’s look at the starting points for finding the best factories to produce your eyewear:

Best Eyewear Manufacturers in China


Tradeshows - Arguably the most efficient way to find an eyewear manufacturer in China is to attend an eyewear trade show. Google the shows beforehand and be sure to look for shows that have factories exhibiting, as not all have manufacturing sections present. Some good trade shows are:

Alibaba - they started out as, and still are, one of the best resources to find factories all around the world. You would do well to spend some time familiarizing yourself with Alibaba reading about the different companies in order to compare the different options and pricing available, and if so inclined to order samples for quality testing.

QC Companies - there are quality inspection companies, like PEL Eyewear, that work with eyewear manufacturers all day every day. Companies like this, who are willing to share reliable supplier information with you, hold the key to some of the most valuable information you need. Besides the information, you could use a reliable third party QC company to verify the quality of your eyewear once it’s being made too.

Once you’ve shortlisted possible manufacturers you need to verify if they are indeed what you’re looking for.


Essential Eyewear QC Inspection Checklist


The 13 Essential Questions You Need to Ask Any Potential Eyewear Manufacturer in China

  1. What are the payment terms and are they negotiable?

    On average you would be asked to pay 30% deposit upfront and 70% on delivery or BOL, but be sure to get this ironed out from the start to make sure they don’t try and take advantage of you and request upfront payment.

  2. What will the total cost of my order be?

    Be sure to ask about “other” cost or “hidden fees” i.e. delivery fees, fuel surcharges, restocking charges for returns. Any indication of possible hidden costs, don’t be shy to drive this point home.

  3. Can you provide us with a Liability certificate?

    The supplier should provide written proof that they have adequate liability insurance if the product or parts thereof malfunction or break.

  4. Will my designs or specific eyewear brand be produced only for me?

    Confirm with the manufacturers that your product will only be produced for you, and if they would be willing to sign an NCND where they would agree not to sell directly to your end-users, or reproduce your product. If they confirm their willingness to sign, they are likely willing to play ball and can be considered further.

Best Eyewear Manufacturers in China

  1. What happens if delivery is delayed or doesn’t arrive?

    This needs to be clearly stipulated to avoid your shipment being put on the backburner, in the eventuality that they go to work on a larger order before yours is out of the door. If you have an agreement in place, they are more likely to keep your order moving along before focussing on other, possibly larger order.

  1. Under what circumstances might the pricing change, and what will
    the warnings be? How early would I be notified?

    To avoid dealing with unexpected inflation of prices, you must agree on a set price and under which circumstances those prices could change.

  1. Do you have volume rebate, and if we go into larger quantities what will my discounts and/or incentives be?

    If your orders pick up and you’re producing more eyewear you need to know what kind of discounts you will be eligible for.

  1. When do I take ownership of the products?

    You will need time to inspect your eyewear and ensure they are in perfect condition. Look at adding a 3-5 day inspection clause to your agreements with your supplier, or speak to a quality inspection company that could answer these questions for you.

  1. Is the manufacturer, in fact, a manufacturer?

    Establish that are they an OEM/Manufacturer, and not a redistributor for other factories.

Best Eyewear Manufacturers in China  

  1. Will you be able to provide us with a copy of your business license and all certificates of conformity and quality related certification, i.e. ISO certification?

    You need to know on which level of production these factories are working on before you engage in business with them. Clarify which certification will be required for the region you will be distributing/selling to beforehand.


  1. What kind of quality control systems do you have in place?

    Do they have an international quality accreditation? Obtain a copy and check with the authorization organization.

  2. What are your manufacturing capabilities, quantities, surplus production per month/year, and can this be increased and what timeframe if required?

    This is worth knowing because once your company kicks off you need to know what limitations there could be regarding production volumes, if any.


  1. Is the manufacturer a reputable business in the industry and do 
    they protect clients’ intellectual property?

    Check with industry bodies, their customers, and suppliers and conduct secondary research to find information on the company’s reputation. One thing you can’t hide from is a reputation, use this to your advantage

Take your time and do your research properly, use the tools you have at your disposal and get your ducks in a row and you'll be sure to find the best eyewear manufacturers in China.

Are you looking for advice on eyewear manufacturing or the best suppliers for you? Get in touch with one of our expert consultants at PEL and let the experts guide you.


Essential Eyewear QC Inspection Checklist

Topics: Eyewear Manufacturing

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Zenobia Chan

Zenobia Chan is PEL's General Manager, and has been working in the eyewear industry for over 17 years. She has been involved in the entire supply chain from research and development, to order fulfillment, quality management, auditing and product compliance. She established PEL from scratch and is an annual seminar speaker at the MIDO and Hong Kong Optical Fair.

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