When selecting banks, and checking accounts, ask about how much it cost to transfer internationally. One bank may charge $40, and another may charge $25. Getting this out of the way now, may save an added hassle later.
Generally, you have three payment methods: T/T, Western Union, and Paypal.
Paypal - If they take paypal, they are likely places you should not be dealing with. Is this a blanket statement? Yes. But once you get into it you will start to see the difference between a manufacturer, a distributor, and a middle man. Middle men take paypal, manufacturers do not.
Western Union By Phone- I sent about 10 transfers in three months. Each and every one of them became longer on the phone, more hassles, and more garbage. They would not allow me to set up a business account, without a monthly transfer cap. Currently, it is something like $3000 per month on the website, and $5000 per month on the phone. Once you start doing serious business, these caps are a joke. Not to mention they do customer security to the point of agony. On my last dealings with them, They would not accept the transfer, but they wouldn't tell me why either. I strongly recommend not using them if it can be avoided, even if it means a slightly higher transfer cost. My average time on the phone was 45 minutes, plus call back verification.
Western Union At Location - If you walk up with cash it's pretty easy. Bring two forms of ID to avoid hassles. Takes about 10 minutes, and the money is available anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour later. Don't forget to email the recipient the tracking number, or else they won't get paid. The downside is that you have to wait until the next business day for China to process your order. Over the phone you could have gotten the price, and sent the money and been done inside an hour. Oh well.
T/T - This is a standard bank wire transfer. Get the manufacturer's bank info, go into your local bank, and give them the information. You can be in and out in about 15 minutes. Transfers should be available in about 4 days. This is where Western Union get's you.