I would not take those photos on face value. They could still be traders, visiting someone else's factory with clients.Hi Walter, I was browsing Alibaba and notice that some of these manufacturer's profile pages there on the site have photos of themselves shaking hands and posing with their other clients. Is this a reliable factor in determining how reliable they are (e.g: it shows that they're a factory and not some middleman)?
I recall in my early days of importing being taken to more than one factory, supposedly belonging to the one company, but the Chinese names on the factory signs didn't match. Maybe one was a manufacturer, possibly even both, but they had sown the seed of doubt, so I did not deal with them.