Cheap & Simple Custom Backpack Manufacturer - Yiwu
Updated: Feb 1
A lot of people hate on Yiwu and I don't think its fair. Yiwu has its place in the custom backpack manufacturing world, as well as pretty much everything else under the sun.
If I had a penny for all the times people had said to me. "You can't manufacture backpacks in Yiwu, China." Well I honestly wouldn't be manufacturing backpacks, i'd be on a beach somewhere with cocktails and a hammock. It really does get a bad rap. I think that's mostly because people expect the same kind of quality you get out of Quanzhou or Guangzhou. When in reality, it's not that kind of backpack manufacturing market. I will concede that it's not the best for backpack manufacturers, but it has its absolute perks for sure.
It's by no means a big city (in chinese terms) but it does have some proper clout. I think 1.2 million people (someone can wikipedia that for me) but has earned the title of the worlds largest small commodity wholesale market in the world. It's a sight for sore eyes. Even if you wanted to walk it, I don't think you could in a day.
If you are there to find private label backpack manufacturers then I guess this is something of a do and don't list for you to help you navigate. The main benefit I found with Yiwu for manufacturing backpacks, is you can negotiate a cheaper price point as well as lower minimum order quantities.
Your list of Do's for Backpack Manufacturing in Yiwu.
Do visit, walk the market and talk to people in the booths. These booths are often fronts for manufacturing outlets.
Do venture off the main routes. Rental on the shops close to the entrances is super high. Go in a path or up a level and the rentals drop right down. Yiwu locals say "on the third floor, even the rats don't come out to eat." If there are shops up here, rent is cheap and this means your product prices are cheaper.
If your man says he has a backpack manufacturing business, Do go and visit his factory. Most if not all are located within 45 minute to an hour ride of the market.
Do negotiate hard the payment terms. In Yiwu they do have a culture of doing half a job, because when its done, they know some clients won't accept it. So they just palm it off to the wholesale market. If you can get 20% or 30% you minimise your risk. They know the game too, so it's no biggie if the gear ain't good enough.
Hire a local Yiwu agent to help with your QC, or grab the services of a reputable inspection company, like QIMA or something.
Your list of Don'ts for backpack manufacturing in Yiwu.
Don't buy fake goods or imitation goods. This business used to be pretty profitable. But they are having a huge clampdown. Despite what they might tell you, you may not even get it out of customs.
Don't do a large order. Yiwu is built for small regular orders. So there is no need to push the boat out. If you are ready to go large orders, move it to Quanzhou or Guangzhou and get that quality for the extra buck.
Don't take their lead times at their word. 45 days is more like 70 days in Yiwu. Everything just happens when they are ready.
Don't expect everything to go smoothly. Yiwu is cheap, sure. But cheap = problems. And stuff is always going wrong in Yiwu. Its par for the course. If you have your agent on hand or the services of an inspection company then you should be ok.
Don't pay anything until the goods are finished and ready to go to your warehouse.
This is just my 10 cents on backpack manufacturing in Yiwu. Custom bag makers perhaps prefer other cities in China, that offer better product and quality. However Yiwu does have its place. If your bottom line is price, and you are doing something in the promo section, giveaways, cheap school bags etc then Yiwu is for you.
We used to go up there once a month to deal with some backpack manufacturing, but in the end i lost too much hair and I just decided to move out of there for our backpack production opportunities.
If you want some advice on backpack manufacturing opportunities and how best to place your product in China, depending on its specifications and minimum order quantities, then reach out to us at.