A good way to start, I believe, is to start up a conversation. Just feel the supplier out and see what they are offering and how knowledgeable they are. Another issue that a lot of people have when dealing with Chinese suppliers is that if they run out of something, they will just ship something else. That is an accepted practice here, so you need to make it perfectly clear that you will not accept that. You also need to find out what kind of bulk you need to buy product in. Will the supplier let you buy 4 teacups, or do you have to buy 500? You also need to ask for samples of their teas before you purchase to make sure they meet your standards. Also, save some of the sample to compare with your future purchase, to make sure you are getting the same tea you first tried and liked. Also, find out what type of return policy they have, have they dealt with customs and shipping to other countries before. You need to find out what types of packaging they can offer you. Also find out if you have to pay it all up front, or if you can do half and half. I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch, but this is off the top of my head. Good luck in your new venture!