How-Alibaba became-the-biggest-ecommerce-platform

Are you looking to buy products from Alibaba?

Do you know there are different strategies to successfully source products from Alibaba which you need to learn?
This blog will answer these questions in detail.

Whenever you start importing products from China, the first online platform, the biggest eCommerce site which comes to mind is Alibaba. It has become a giant and is the largest database of suppliers, traders; manufacturers located in China and also include international suppliers.

However, not everyone knows the right way to use Alibaba to find reliable suppliers, find high-quality products, verify the manufacturers, how to make a payment on the platform. The right information about these topics will help you have a better sourcing experience on Alibaba.

In this blog, we are going to understand and learn how to effectively and safely source products from Alibaba. We will learn about the pros and cons of using this platform. So let’s get right into it.

Table of Content

Chapter 1: Why buying from Alibaba?

Chapter 2: How to start sourcing from Alibaba?

Chapter 3: How to buy from Alibaba?

Chapter 4: What are the benefits of buying from Alibaba?

Chapter 5: What are the terms used when buying from Alibaba?

Chapter 6: What to know before selecting the best supplier using Alibaba?

Chapter 7: How to find and negotiate with suppliers when buying from Alibaba?

Chapter 8:  FAQs About buying from Alibaba

Chapter 1: Why buying from Alibaba?

Due to the modernized methods, a lot of people are moving towards online business like product sourcing. For these types, people usually consider sites like eBay, Amazon, or Lazada. But, a lot of people don’t know that Alibaba is the largest product sourcing platform, and buying from Alibaba can result in a good amount of profits.

1. History of Alibaba

history-of-alibaba

Alibaba, a pioneer in the wholesale internet market, is a brainchild of Jack Ma in 1999. Jack’s initial goal was to create China-based e-commerce that would be able to deliver goods to 730 million Chinese internet users.

Jack’s vision was to be an English teacher as the demand for learning English was rising among Chinese capitalists. But, the transition was not successful. Jack tried to apply for a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken and got rejected. The visionary traveled to the US in order to get into Harvard University. But the dream was derailed.

After living for some time and looking at the aspects, he noticed the barriers felt by Chinese companies in the eCommerce business. There was no such platform that would allow the Chinese to trade with other countries. And plus, there were a lot of restrictions imposed by the Chinese government as well as other countries. and from there, the idea of Alibaba was born.

2. How Alibaba became the biggest eCommerce platform?

The 21st century is considered a revolutionary era because it has changed the way we conduct activities. The same case lies with shopping. There was no need to get in a car to hit the supermarket because of modernized technology. Now, with the help of a laptop and an active internet connection, you can get the products delivered to your doorstep.

As eBay and Amazon were catering to their customer in western areas, Alibaba gained the attention of rich Chinese customers. To dominate the Asian market, Alibaba released a series of platforms like Taobao.com (retail store), Aliwangwang (messaging app), followed by an online payment system called Alipay.

The company was backed up by the Chinese government itself and this made it, even more, stronger in the Asian eCommerce market. China allowed a partnership between Yahoo and Alibaba in 2005 and since then, Alibaba has also gained somewhat control of the western e-commerce market.

3. How can you start buying from Alibaba?

How-to-start-product-buying-on-Alibaba

If you are planning to start buying from Alibaba, the first thing you need is an idea. Buying from Alibaba requires you to first get into the market and look for products that have huge demand. The advantage here is Alibaba inventory is filled with millions of products, allowing you to get any item you want. Just a little market research and you are good to go.

The second important factor is looking for a supply. Alibaba is a huge platform that comprises tons of retailers. The key thing here is to look for a retailer that will make buying from Alibaba easy for you.

Using that combination, you can start your own product sourcing from China. If you are new and do not own any company, the platform allows its users to source from Alibaba without a company, provided you have valid identification.

4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of buying from Alibaba?

Advantages-disadvantages-of-product-buying-on-Alibaba

The reason many new startups divert their attention towards Asia is that it provides low manufacturing cost compared to North America and Europe. It would be very hard to start a dropshipping business if there was no overseas manufacturing.

Apart from low costs, there are plenty of advantages that make buying from Alibaba the optimum choice.

-Friendly Suppliers

The reason Alibaba is preferred for a business of this kind is the suppliers here are friendly and are more inclined towards working with small businesses. Plus, they also ship items in small quantities and offer to claim samples. With that, users can see the quality of the item and can order in bulk if they are satisfied with it.

-Wide range of choice

Many items that are available in other regions have been sourced from Asia and there might be a chance that Asia is the only manufacture here. In simple words, Asia is the only supplier that makes these items in different themes. And with Alibaba, users have a choice to select from millions of different suppliers.

-Easy navigation and buying

Due to the demand, Alibaba makes it easy for users to buy and deliver the product without any technical/economical restrictions (provided you are not buying a banned item). Some of the sellers will deliver the product to your doorstep. That includes all the necessary processes required to get an item into a country.

Apart from the advantages of buying from Alibaba, there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

-Language barrier

Asia contains different counties and each one has a different language. That can be a huge problem for Americans as well as Asians themselves.

-Lower manufacturing standards

There are plenty of chances that you will face low-grade manufacturing. That results in poor reviews and to prevent that, it is better to search for a good supplier who has a good background and is verified in every way possible.

-Longer shipping time

The main drawback of buying from Alibaba is that it takes a lot of time to deliver the product. The reason for this much processing time is it takes a lot of paperwork to clear the product from customs and exports.

5. Is product sourcing worth it on Alibaba?

Is-product-sourcing-worth-it-on-Alibaba

Buying from Alibaba can result in a great business if you are careful about the suppliers and quality. Other than that, the reason a lot of new businesses are looking towards Alibaba is it is based in China and the Chinese market is dominating the world due to lower-cost manufacturing and ease of finding products.
Moreover, Alibaba offers great deals on products that will further save their money. And the good thing is you can request a trial item from the supplier in order to see the quality.

6. How to Find a profitable product to sell using Alibaba?

The equation of getting high profits is buying products at a low cost and selling them at a higher price. This is how world economies are doing. From a pin to a Ferrari, the equation remains the same: buy cheap and sell at a higher price.

The first thing you need to start buying from Alibaba is checking whether there is a demand for it. If the demand is high, you can get huge profits by selling that item. With a little market research, you can get that information. And once you are done with that, you can order the product.

Find-profitable-product-to-sell-using-Alibaba

7.  Do market research before buying from Alibaba

Market research is the process of gathering information about the products. With this information, you can turn your small business into a huge empire, provided you have good data. The idea here is to first look for a problem that is being faced by the market. The problem can be related to any entity that includes household products, clothes, car accessories, etc.

8. Verify whether the product your sourcing will help

Once, you have gone through the problem, now there is a time to look for a solution. More specifically, look for a product that will help your customers. In order to do that, look at what type of solution, your customers are demanding. Once, it is confirmed that the sourced product will help the customers, you can search for online sourcing websites.

9. Look for sourcing websites

Now, it is time to look for sourcing websites. There are plenty of sites available for example, eBay, Amazon, Taobao, and Alibaba. It is preferred to go for Alibaba as it provides lower manufacturing costs and easy transportation.

Chapter 2: How to start sourcing from Alibaba

If you are thinking about questions like How to buy on Alibaba, then read this guide. It is perfectly fine to have these kinds of questions if you are planning on buying from Alibaba.

1. What is Alibaba?

If you ask a random person who is the biggest eCommerce store? They will most probably tell you that eBay or Amazon is the biggest online retailer. But, the fact here is there is another company that is the biggest of them all: Alibaba.

Alibaba was founded by English teacher Jack Ma in 1999 and it serves as a peer-to-peer platform like Amazon and eBay. Alibaba’s business-to-business platform enables companies to find a manufacturer to create bulk products.

start-sourcing-from-Alibaba

The company is divided into further three front faces: Taobao for c2c, Tmall for b2c, and Alibaba for b2b. Taobao is more like eBay that allows consumers to sell products to each other. Whereas, Tmall’s main advantage is that it enables merchants to connect to consumers. Talking about Alibaba, its main role is to connect merchants to overseas manufacturers.

2. What can you buy from Alibaba?

Alibaba is one of the largest companies that house millions of products that are divided into 40 major categories. Furthermore, users can find unusual items that are only available on Alibaba. The reason for getting these choices is that Alibaba is operated from China and China is the largest manufacturer of products.

Along with that, a lot of Asian sellers are available on Alibaba, allowing you to find almost anything. The inventory includes items from consumer electronics, machinery, and parts. This much availability of choice makes buying from Alibaba very easy.

What-Is-Alibaba

-Agriculture & Food

If you are looking for Agricultural Waste, Animal Products, Beans, Cocoa Beans, Coffee Beans, Farm Machinery & Equipment, Feed, Fresh Seafood, etc, then Alibaba is for you.

-Apparel, Textiles & Accessories

The site is filled with Apparel Design Services, Apparel Processing Services, Apparel, Stock, Boy’s Clothing, Costumes, Ethnic Clothing, Garment, Accessories, Girl‘s Clothing, Infant & Toddlers Clothing, Mannequins, etc

-Auto & Transportation

Users can also find items related to Automobiles, Trailers, Trucks, Golf Carts, Marine Parts & Accessories, Truck Parts & Accessories, Trains, Motorcycles Scooters, Auto Parts & Accessories, Emergency Vehicles, Bus Parts & Accessories, ATVs & UTVs, etc

Other than that, the company features items like bags, shoes, electronics, gifts, sports, and toys

3. Alibaba RFQ (Request For quotation)

Alibaba offers advantages to its users and one of those advantages is RFQ (Request for Quotation) option. RFQ is a buying request submitted by a buyer and it is open to suppliers for bidding. To meet the standards, first, the request is viewed by Alibaba’s experts and then it is made available for you to bid on.

There are plenty of benefits of RFQ, for example, it gives exposure to millions of buyers. Secondly, it helps in finding the right buyers. Most importantly, with RFQ, you can build long term business relations.

How to apply for Alibaba RFQ request

How-to-apply-for-Alibaba-RFQ-request-step-1

• Sign into Alibaba account and select “My Alibaba”

• Go to the Buying Request Hub tab and select RFQ markets.

• Search for RFQ using keywords by typing on the search bar or you can select “Recommended RFQs”

• Click “Quote Now”

4. Alibaba Trade Assurance

Another perk offered by Alibaba to its users is trade assurance. The system is designed to create trust between buyers and suppliers. Trade assurance covers users in case of shipping or related events. Trade assurance works if:

• Your orders are not shipped on time

• Your orders do not meet the quality that is defined in the contract.

How to use Trade assurance

Alibaba-Trade-Assurance

• Search for a supplier that offers trade assurance (User filter to narrow the search)
• When found, chat with the supplier to make an inquiry
• When satisfied, place your trade assurance order by taping “start orders”.
• Send initial payment using different payment options
• Check your shipment details by going to the “Delivery details” tab.

Note: You can negotiate with the supplier whether to send full or partial payment.

• Pay the balance (in case of partial payment)
• When the order has been shipped and payment has been confirmed, the status will change to “Waiting for Delivery Confirmation”. Press the confirm button and you are good to go.

When the order has been delivered and it is not up to the standards, you can apply for a refund. Once, the request has been approved, Alibaba will refund your payment within 7 days.

5. Chatting options in Alibaba

Chatting-options-in-Alibaba

The giant makes buying from Alibaba easy in every way possible. There is a need to contact the supplier before ordering and for that, the organization has added four ways by which you can do that.

-Get the latest price: The easiest way to contact a supplier is to select “Get latest price”. But, the issue here is suppliers are less likely to respond to you because there are millions of requests.

-Contact supplier: The second option is to select “Contact Supplier”. The option has is the most efficient way to get connected as you will be directed to the official representative. It is like sending an email but on Alibaba. You will get all the necessary response through an email.

-Start order: Choosing this option only makes sense if you know the supplier and have ordered before.

-Chat now: Chat now is a good option but it can cause effects as there is a time difference between countries.

6. Payment methods when buying from Alibaba

payment-methods offered-by-Alibaba

Now that you have found a supplier, there is time to pay them. In this section, we will tell you about all the payment methods that are offered by Alibaba.

-Bank Transfer

Insourcing business, a bank transfer is considered the riskiest way to transfer money. Users have to clear all the payments before receiving the goods. It is recommended to use this method if you trust the supplier. The method operates internationally, has a low processing time, and contains low charges. But, then there is a high risk of fraud.

-Escrow

Alibaba has introduced its own payment method called Alipay. The system is inclined towards the buyer’s satisfaction. The benefit of using this method is it keeps the payment in escrow until the delivery of products. Moreover, it also ensures payment security for suppliers of alibaba. The method is a win-win situation for both buyer and the supplier.

-Alibaba Payment Links

Alibaba’s payment system ensures that both parties (buyers and suppliers) are satisfied with every step of the process. With the payment links, suppliers create an invoice and a payment link is generated. This link is useful for a limited time and then it expires.

From the buyer’s side, he/she has to fill in the payment details at a specific time. This ensures that suppliers are getting their payment and the buyers are serious about the product.

-Alibaba Pay Later

Alibaba facilitates its users from all over the world. For US buyers, the company has launched a pay later system. Any US importer can apply for a trade finance program and can use those funds to place the order. The idea behind the system is to make real-time deals and pay later according to the conditions.
Note: US buyers have to pay a fee of 1.25% to 2.75% when they are applying for the fund.

-Alibaba Online Transfer

For European buyers, the company has launched Alibaba Online Transfer. The simple and quick method allows users to make the transfer and deal in different currencies. The methods work if you are from UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, or Belgium.

-Paypal

Officially, Alibaba does not support PayPal. But, the method is widely used by buyers and suppliers. The only drawback of using this system is it takes 4 to 5 percent of the total transaction amount.

7. Is Alibaba Safe?

Is-Alibaba-Safe

Alibaba has gained attention due to its security policies and buying from Alibaba is safe. The company does not interfere with the buyer and the seller as long as you are not misusing the service.

The overall process depends on your research on finding the supplier. In order to do that, you can look at the reviews of the supplier. Other than that, if by any chance, you don’t get a good quality item, you can apply for a refund.

Chapter 3: How to buy from Alibaba?

Anyone can use Alibaba for free. But, the question that arises is how to buy from Alibaba. Well, using these steps, you can buy on Alibaba and can see in the rest of the world

1. Buying from Alibaba step by step guide

Follow these mentioned steps and you will be able to get your hands on the first product bought from Alibaba.

-Decide your niche

The first and foremost thing to consider is to select the product that you want to sell. Make sure that you have done the market research for the item you are planning to stock.

-Create an account on Alibaba

• Visit Alibaba.com and on the right side, you will see the “Join Free” option. Press the button

Step-by-step-guide-to-buy-from-Alibaba-(step 1)

• Enter the email address. It is recommended to use a separate email address as you will be getting a lot of emails once you are an active user.

Step-by-step-guide-to-buy-from-Alibaba-(step 2)

• Fill in the relevant information and slide the verification button

• Once verified, press “Agree and register”

-Look for suppliers

Once you have decided your niche and created the account, now it is time to look for suppliers.

Use the search bar to find the suppliers you are looking for. For example, if you are planning to go for shoe sourcing, type ‘shoes’ in the search bar.
Note: Make sure you are keeping tabs on price and minimum order quantity when looking for the right supplier.

Look-for-suppliers

-Contact the supplier

After you have found your supplier, contact them using the option given in the front of the picture. Ask all necessary questions and for sample order. If they refuse to send one, do not work with them.

-Decide the price

After you have received the sample and are satisfied with it, you can negotiate with the supplier for a bigger order and can discuss the prices.

-Inspect the order

You can hire an inspection company to go through the items before they are shipped to you. This is because it costs a lot to ship the items back to china.
Once the items have arrived, go through them thoroughly. Count the items, look for defective ones, and check the packaging.

Contact-the-supplier

2. Payment method offered by Alibaba

Once you have decided all the terms and conditions, it is time to press the “pay now” button. But, if you are wondering what payment method to use, then you can buy from Alibaba using these methods.

• Alibaba secure service (Most effective.

• Paypal (Effective for buyers)

• Bank Transfer (Risker)

• Western Union (Less risker then bank transfer)

• Letter or credits (Not effective)

If you are buying a product in small quantities, we recommend you to use PayPal or Alipay. Bank transfer is also possible if you trust the supplier.
If you trust the supplier and are ordering items in bulk, then Western Union and Letter of Credits are optimum for you.

3. Tips for buying safely on Alibaba

Alibaba has made its platform free from all the scams and frauds. But, there can be some risks. So, these tips will ensure buying from Alibaba safe and secure.

-Verify the status of the supplier

The B2B e-commerce store has its own verification method that will show you all essential information. On a side note, the gold suppliers are the ones that are verified in every way possible and it is safe to buy from them. Other than that, this chart will show you all the essential information related to supplier verification.

-Ask questions

If I was a supplier working on this platform, I would know all about my products, the company’s background, etc. So, If you were to ask me a question and I am not able to answer it in a proper way, that means there is something fishy.

Suppliers know all ins and outs of their items so they will give you accurate answers to your questions.

-Check samples

This is the most important factor when talking about buying from Alibaba. Ask your supplier for a sample. This will give you a complete idea about the quality of the item. A reputable supplier can be as bad as scammers in terms of quality. So, you should ask for a sample or two to get the satisfaction you need.

-Check supplier’s feedback

Another important thing to look through is the feedback on the supplier’s profile. This will give you an idea about how good the quality is or how the supplier works.

Chapter 4: What are the benefits of buying from Alibaba?

Buying from Alibaba has outstanding effects. Due to some of the major advantages, a lot of westerns are getting into the business from sourcing products from Alibaba.

Benefits-of-buying-products-from-Alibaba

1. Based in China (largest internet market)

China has gained attention due to its modernized methods and by far it is the largest market in the world. The region is diverting towards e-retailing rather than traditional retailing business due to its 560 million active internet users. “Due to the reason of jumping to wireless communications, China may skip brick &mortar retails,” says Ken Hao. The is changing the future for internet retailers like Alibaba.

2. Scope (Cost savings)

The second reason is scope. Actually, cost savings are associated with the sale of different products through a single sales channel. In the case of Alibaba, this procedure is divided into two front sites- Taobao and Tmall. Taobao is more inclined towards non-brand name products sold by small retailers. Whereas, Tmall features products and items from brands. Together, this saves the cost and makes buying from Alibaba easy.

3. Scale (Size of the organization)

The cost saving is also associated with a larger number of sales. Alibaba is a huge organization and its inventory is locked with millions of products that are available in a massive quantity. As said by Juro Osawa, “What sets Alibaba aside is its size”. You can take a guess from this that Tmall and Taobao combined turnover in 2012 was just over one trillion yuan ($163 billion). With Alibaba, you can order any product in a massive quantity, and the larger the quantity, the lower the price of a single product.

4. Networking (Links with merchants)

Alibaba’s model is based on dividing the revenue rather than the listing fees. This encourages more and more retailers to join the network. Alibaba provides the platform whereas retailers provide the products. The theory is based on “The larger the network, the greater the benefits for each merchant”. With this technique, the profits generated are divided using percentages and that keeps the merchants coming for more.

From the buyer’s side, they can find any type of product because of this larger network and there is another advantage to that. The wide network provides massive traffic of customers and that results in more benefits for a merchant.

5. Good relations with the Chinese Government

The fifth benefit of buying from Alibaba is it is backed by the Chinese Government. These types of relations are very important in every country. And, for China, it is more important. The government serves as the gatekeeper of the economy, controlling who will be in what type of business and for how long.

For Alibaba, the Chinese government has curated its relations with other countries in such a way that the organization can send products without any major paperwork. This allows merchants to deliver products anywhere in the world. As for buyers, they can buy products from anywhere in the world.

Chapter 5: What are the terms used when buying from Alibaba?

IF you are getting into product buying from Alibaba and are not sure about the terms used here, then we have got you covered.
Whenever you get a quote from sellers, they give you three pieces of information: the price/unit, minimum order quantity, and the shipping terms. The first two parts are understandable. But, the issue arises in the third part (shipping terms).

Shipping terms are also known as Incoterms (International Commercial Terms). For instance, when buying from Alibaba, you will get a quote in this format “1000-2.75/pc, 2000-2.25/pc, EXW”. EXW here is the main part.

Before we get into incoterms, let’s talk about trade terms.

terms-used-in-alibaba-business

1. Trade Terms

Buyer: The buyer is the person who is purchasing the goods and will get the items delivered after the complete process

Seller: This is usually the person or manufacturer that is selling the goods to the buyer

Arrival: This is the point where the buyer has paid for the delivery.

Delivery: This is the process where the risk is moved towards the buyer

Terminal: This is the final destination of the product (as in the customs office or dock).

Carrier: This entity here serves as the transporter of the items

Freight Forwarder: A firm that is called to make the arrangements for the shipping.

To clear for export: When permission is granted for the exporting

These trade terms are the most common ones that you will encounter from time to time when buying from Alibaba

2. Incoterms

EXW and FOB are the most used terms in buying from Alibaba business. But, there are other terms that are also used in buying from Alibaba business. Let’s start with EXW.

-EXW- (Ex Works)

EXW terms mean that seller makes the item available to pick up and is not responsible once the items leave the factory. The buyer has to make all the arrangements that include imports, exports, and transportation charges.

The reason sellers give you a quote in EXW is that it is the lowest price for them

-FOB-Free On Board

FOB is when the seller makes all the arrangements to deliver the product to the nearest port. It is the responsibility of the seller to manage all the processes during the delivery (clearing the items for export). After the item has been delivered to the port, the buyer has to pick it up and do the further processes.

-FCA-Free Carrier

The is next to EXW. But, the difference here is seller clears the items for export and delivers them to the port. The buyer has to manage the processes after the goods once are delivered to the port.

Note that this is often confused with the FOB term. Clearly ask the seller about this term when getting the quote.

-CPT-Carriage Paid To

The seller pays for to be shipped items to the port chosen by the buyer. After that, the buyer is responsible for unloading the items and managing the processes. Here the seller has to manage the export clearance and freight cost.

incoterm fob cif

-CIP- Carriage & Paid Insurance To

It is the same as CPT, but the difference here is the seller has to obtain the insurance for the items during delivery. CIP covers all modes of transit, whereas CIF is only for sea transportation.

-DAT-Delivered At Terminal

The seller delivers the goods at the import port, and now the buyer is responsible for all the processes.

-DAP- Delivered at Place

The seller sends the goods to the final destination, and all processes are covered by the seller. The buyer only has to pay the customs fee and clearing the items for the import.

-DDP- Delivered Duty Paid

The seller takes all the risks and pays for everything (customs, imports, etc). The role of the buyer is to unload the items once they are delivered to the final destination.

-FAS-Free Alongside Ship

The seller is responsible for delivering the items to the vessel at the chosen export port. The seller pays for risks until the items are handed to the port. After that, the buyer has to take the risks that include loading the ship.

-CFR- Cost & Frieght

The seller takes the responsibility of shipping until the chosen import port. And then the risk is transferred to the buyer once the items are delivered to the export port.

-CIF-Cost Insurance & Freight

CIF is the buyer will tell the seller to take the risks for the items until they are delivered at the destination port.

Chapter 6: What to know before selecting the best supplier using Alibaba?

Alibaba has integrated a few methods that help in verifying whether the manufacturer is legit or not. If your supplier has Gold Plus status or onsite checks, they are safe to work with.

What-to-know-before selecting-the-best-supplier-using-alibaba

Sellers cannot put these badges on their profiles. For these Alibaba sends a team to inspect the company and have to verify every inch of detail.
A real supplier will try to verify every detail so you can feel safe to work with. These are some of the statuses that will help you in selecting the right supplier.

1. Checking the verification status

The first badge buyers look at the seller’s profile is the verified badge. The badge is given in the left upper corner. Along with that, there is information like Gold Plus member and onsite checkmark.

2. Check the management status

Quality is taken seriously when importing items from China. This parameter can result in losses if not taken care of properly. The sellers who maintain quality apply for Quality Management System, they are given a management badge. Check for the badge when selecting the seller.

3. Verifying the company’s address

Alibaba sends a team for onsite inspection. This is for verifying whether the seller is real or not. When verified, the seller is given the badge of on-site inspection and their verified company address gets visible on the profile.

The verified company address looks like this.

Chapter 7: How to find and negotiate with suppliers when buying from Alibaba?

how-to-find-and-negotitate-with-supplier

Now that you have an idea, a mindset, and will to start buying on Alibaba, it is time to search for the supplier. Actually, picking up the best supplier requires a lot of skill and good luck. So, to prevent any mishaps, it is better to look search for the company before jumping in.

Other than that, sellers can be very picky when working with buyers. They often ignore the request of the buyer. So, the key thing here is patience and dedication.

You can use these tips to select the best supplier when buying on Alibaba.

1. Checking the product catalog

The first thing to do is to search for the product that you want to buy. Using the search bar, type the name, let’s say “travel maps” and you will get the results. The daunting thing here is that you will get a lot of results and the solution to that is applying filters like “Trade assurance and Gold Plus suppliers”. Using that narrow down your research and select the supplier.

After that, move towards the supplier’s profile and go through the product catalog. There is a chance that the item you are buying contains different versions (like in quality or color scheme). These items may contain different prices. For example, the colored map maybe $2.70/piece, and black/white maybe at $1.5/piece.

Checking-the-product-catalogue

Using this, compare the prices offered by the different sellers and get to the product that suits you the best.

2. Getting the quote

After you have selected your seller, now it is time to contact them and request a quote. The big orange button “Contact Supplier” will enable you to get connected with the supplier.

Requesting a quote is a simple process. But, the essential thing here is to have a clear mind and ask questions related to the product. The email you are sending to the seller should contain parameters like minimum order quantity, the price for samples, production pricing/time, and payment methods.

3. Negotiation

Once you have started conversations with the suppliers, and have gone through the product catalogs, pricing, and MOQs, it is time for negotiation. Negotiation can be related to minimum order quantity or it can be related to payment terms. In simple words, a good negotiation can leave both parties (Buyer and seller) happy. After doing this multiple times, you can start buying from Alibaba without any hassle.

Chapter 8:  FAQs About buying from Alibaba

With this ultimate guide, you can learn how to buy from Alibaba. We have added all relevant details that will help you set up an online sourcing business. The frequently asked questions section will further clarify the complications if you are new to this business.

Faqs

1. Is it safe to buy from Alibaba?

Alibaba is very much safe and legit. the platform has gained attention due to its trusted and reputable methods. The company only provides a platform for a buyer and a seller. And, it does not interfere unless you are violating the terms and conditions. To prevent any mishaps, The organization has integrated a series of validation checks that keep the scammers away.

2. Does Alibaba includes only manufacturers?

Alibaba is one of the largest platforms that provide an opportunity for sellers to sell their products. The company does not own any manufacturing companies. The products listed here are from sellers who are sole manufacturers of their products.

3. Is there an alternative to Alibaba?

The company has gained attention due to the platform that connects the millions of sellers and buyers. But, still, some people look for alternatives to Alibaba, here are alternatives to Alibaba

Aliexpress
Amazon
• eBay
• JD.com
• Target
• Walmart

4. Does Alibaba suppliers are pre-verified?

Alibaba verifies its suppliers using multiple methods. Whenever sellers create an account on the site, they have to verify their company using onsite checks, management checks, and the company site’s address. This way the Alibaba verifies the sellers and they are able to sell their services.

Conclusion

Sourcing products and buying from Alibaba can result in greater opportunities, provided you know what you are getting into.
A lot of factors are used in the sourcing business. For example, you have to search for the most demandable product, then there is searching for the supplier. After that, you have to negotiate with the seller. If you are able to do that, then there are customs, taxes, and a lot more.

But, the key point here is that all it takes is dedication and if you have that, then there is nothing stopping you. let’s say you are new to the product sourcing business, then the first order will be the most difficult one. This applies to both sides: buying from the seller and selling it to the customer. “The first step is the hardest one”. Keep this quote in mind and start your journey by keeping a check on all parameters and surely you will succeed in your business.