Are you an online importer or wholesaler who has never imported from China before?

Are you planning to trade with china suppliers or are in the middle of trading process and want to gain more information on how to choose quality products,

communicate with Chinese suppliers, place orders and keep an eye on your order status? You may need some help.

What Is Alibaba and How Does It Work?

The website Alibaba is a popular place to sell and buy products in bulk. You can find manufacturers for your specific product, communicate with them through the platform and then order your products.

It’s a great way to get started with e-commerce and drop shipping.

But, how do you get started?

Here are a few tips for using Alibaba for e-commerce:

Searching for Products on Alibaba The first step is finding the right product to sell. You might already have an idea of what this is, or you might be searching for inspiration. Either way, the best place to start is the home page. You should see a search bar similar to Google’s search bar that says “Search Products” in front of it. Type in whatever you’re looking for in this bar and press enter.

For example, if you want to look at watches, type in “watches.” Here are some things to look out for when searching: What results come up? How much competition is there? Are there any unique products that might sell well? How many reviews does each product have? How many orders has each seller received?

Alibaba is a Chinese company that functions as a portal for businesses to find products and suppliers.

Think of it as an online version of the “yellow pages” that lets you browse through different manufacturers, their products and prices, read reviews and contact the manufacturers directly.

Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and 17 others. It is now one of the largest business-to-business marketplaces in the world.

Alibaba does not sell any products itself, but instead facilitates transactions between buyers and sellers that happen on its platform. It has become a popular place to import products from China into the United States, where it has become a competitor for wholesale sites like eBay and Amazon. 

Alibaba is an e-commerce giant headquartered in Hangzhou, China. It’s the largest e-commerce platform in China and one of the largest in the world.

Alibaba’s core business is its online B2B marketplace where merchants sell goods to customers all over the world.

The company also has a shopping app called Taobao, which is similar to eBay, and a payment app called Alipay, which is similar to PayPal.

Alibaba allows buyers and sellers around the world to connect and do business through its website. Customers use Alibaba to find products they want to buy, while merchants use Alibaba to find customers who want to buy what they’re selling.

 

Why Is Alibaba So Cheap?

According to the US Department of Commerce, Americans spent almost $600 billion on imported goods in 2013 alone.

You might be wondering, “If imported Chinese products are so popular in the US, why don’t we just buy from local stores?”

The answer is simple. The price of Chinese products sold abroad is often much higher than that of the same products sold in China. In fact, prices for some Chinese products can often be tripled when they are sold abroad.

This is especially true for those manufacturers who have no experience or resources to sell their products overseas. How can these manufacturers solve this problem?

By selling their products directly to foreign buyers on e-commerce platforms like Alibaba!

There are many reasons behind Alibaba’s low prices.

Some of them are:

Alibaba is a platform that connects Chinese factories and buyers from all over the world.

Thus, Chinese factories can sell their products directly to international customers and no middlemen is involved in the process, decreasing price.

When selling on Alibaba, factories can get rid of warehouses and rent costs because they don’t have to store products before selling them.

This way, factories save money on storage costs and then, lower product prices. Most Chinese factories have low labor costs, which help them lower their product prices as well.

Can I Buy from Alibaba for Personal Use?

The answer is Yes. You can definitely buy a single item or piece directly from China on Alibaba, or anywhere else for that matter, particularly if you’re in the market to buy a small quantity of product.

However, there is usually a minimum order quantity (MOQ) on such products, which means you have to buy a certain amount of pieces or units per item.

There are some exceptions to this rule though.

Alibaba isn’t necessarily the right platform for you if you’re looking to buy a single unit of something.

Alibaba is geared towards small businesses who are buying products in bulk, typically by the container load. So what happens if you find exactly what you want on Alibaba and decide to proceed?

The very first step is to check that the seller is legitimate and trustworthy. Never pay for any order upfront with an online payment method like PayPal.

In fact, don’t use PayPal at all as it’s not secure when making purchases from overseas merchants with whom you’re unfamiliar with their reputation.

Here is a little secret that you may not know: most of your favorite brand name items can be found on Alibaba. In fact, you will be surprised by how many products are manufactured through Alibaba.com suppliers.

Alibaba is a business to business marketplace and they do not want to be known as a consumer marketplace.

This is the reason why they have created AliExpress (More on that later).

However, if you are looking to buy in bulk, then Alibaba will be your best bet. If you want just one or two items and don’t mind waiting for the goods to arrive from China, then you can consider buying on AliExpress instead.

 

What are the Best Things to Buy on Alibaba?

You can buy a lot of things on Alibaba.com. To help you maximize your purchasing power, here are the best products to buy from China’s biggest ecommerce site.

  1.  Electronic Gadgets Mobile Phones and Tablets What better way to start the list than with the most popular products in Alibaba.com?
    Mobile phones and tablets are sold by the thousands daily on this online marketplace, so you can count on finding a supplier that can cater to your needs.
    If you’re planning to sell these gadgets, though, make sure you partner only with trusted suppliers with good feedback from their buyers.
  2. Clothing and Shoes Clothing & Shoes Clothing and shoes are also among the most popular products on Alibaba.com, especially the ones made in China.
    Since these items come at bargain-basement prices, they’re great if you want to resell them either online or offline (at your brick-and-mortar store).
    You can find clothes for men, women, kids and even babies on Alibaba. 
  3. everhting else you want. there is a category tree, you can check.

Alibaba, the largest B2B marketplace in the world, connects millions of businesses today.

Having a giant database of products and suppliers, Alibaba is the best way to buy custom-made products wholesale.

Search for Suppliers with Direct Search and RFQ.

Finding suppliers on Alibaba is as easy as searching for a product.

The simplest way to search for suppliers is by using the “Search” function at the top of any page.

You can type in keywords that are relevant to the product you’re looking for, and select from a list of categories to narrow down your results.

You’ll probably have a long list of search results to narrow down, so it’s worth taking the time to refine your search criteria.

You can also browse products or services on Alibaba by category. This is a good option if you’re not sure what you want yet.

Find a Supplier
You can find suppliers in two ways: Direct Search and RFQ (Request for Quote). or Direct Search Direct Search is simple and easy to use.

Search for Suppliers with 

You can enter the keywords to search the supplier you want. If you want to find more suppliers, you can enter “All Categories” or the products categories such as “Home & Garden”.

When you see a company’s name, click on it to view its homepage.

There is a display of products on the left. There are also product catalogs at the bottom of the page for viewing.

If you’re interested in any product, contact them directly. For example, if I need a supplier for my home decorating business, I’ll enter “Home Decor” or “Home Decorating” in the search bar and it will lead me to some suppliers who produce such products.

 

Choose the Best-matched Supplier.

The most important step when working with suppliers is to choose the right one.

The first time I tried to purchase a product on Alibaba, I immediately received more than a dozen quotes.

Since I had no idea how to tell these suppliers apart, I simply chose the one that looked most professional and spent the least amount of time looking into them.

In retrospect, this was probably not the best choice, as I later found out that the supplier had a poor reputation on Alibaba and was known for low quality products.

After a long and stressful process, we ended up having to contact Alibaba’s customer service to solve this problem.

The next time I needed to find a supplier, I took a much different approach. Instead of just going with my gut feeling, I did some research and found one with an excellent reputation and many good reviews from previous customers.

This made me feel much more confident about working with them, and in the end our experience was great.

To find products you want to buy, you can search by category or keyword in the search bar.

You will see a list of relevant products, product images, and company information.

Click on an image to view product details and supplier information. There are two ways to send an inquiry:

Send now: If you’re interested in a product but need more supplier information before placing an order, then click the Send Now button. You’ll be able to negotiate your minimum order quantity and other details with the supplier before confirming your order.

Chat now: If you already know what you want and want to place an order right away, click Chat Now. This will open a chat window through which you can discuss details with the supplier.

Know What MOQ Means on Alibaba and Deal with Suppliers for Best Price.

Alibaba is a B2B platform that connects buyers with suppliers. This can be an excellent opportunity for small retailers to find products to sell in their stores or online stores.

However, it is important to understand the risks associated with buying from Alibaba before you place an order.

Alibaba’s business model is different from that of Amazon or eBay, which are designed to bring individual customers and vendors together.

Alibaba caters to large companies that want to buy wholesale goods in bulk.

If you’re new to Alibaba, here are some basic tips before you start ordering: Know what MOQ means on Alibaba.

MOQ stands for “Minimum Order Quantity.” Most suppliers on Alibaba will set an MOQ for each product they list.

For example, a supplier might list an MOQ of 100 units for a particular product. If you want to purchase fewer than the listed number of units, the supplier is likely to name a higher price per unit.

You might end up paying more per unit if you choose to order fewer than the minimum number specified by the supplier.

Do your research about the supplier before placing an order. It’s important to do your homework about each supplier before you place an order with them, especially if it’s your first time buying from them or if you

A supplier has to manufacture a certain number of units before he can make a worthwhile profit. The raw materials and components won’t come cheap, either. So, suppliers have to point out the minimum number of items that you need to order for each product.

You might not have the budget or the need for such large quantities, especially if you’re just starting out.

But this doesn’t mean that you should give up on your dream of buying from Alibaba.

Let’s look at some strategies that will help you deal with suppliers who set high MOQ requirements: Break down your order: You want to buy 100 units of a product that has a minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirement of 500 units?

You can easily work around this problem by breaking down your order into smaller chunks and buying from multiple suppliers. This is a lot easier if you’re buying different products.

Look for suppliers with low MOQs: You never know when you’ll come across a supplier who doesn’t require any minimum orders at all.

But there are also plenty of others who offer much lower MOQs than their counterparts do, so start looking for them from the very beginning.

Ask for Samples before Production.

Once you find a supplier you’re interested in, start by asking for samples of the products they offer.

Requesting samples will help you better understand the quality of the supplier’s products, as well as help you develop a relationship with them. This is one of the best ways to build trust between you and your supplier.

A good sample should include a variety of colors and materials, so you can make sure that everything is up to your standards.

If you have questions or concerns about their products, ask them! Don’t be afraid to get specific with your requests for your chosen product.

After purchasing the samples, test them out to make sure they are what you’re looking for in terms of quality and functionality before buying in bulk.

Buying from Alibaba is relatively easy, no matter where you are or what you’re buying. Still, it’s important to be aware of the various steps involved in the process so that you don’t accidentally buy something that is dramatically different from what was advertised.

Before making any purchases, it’s a good idea to walk through the following steps a few times in order to get comfortable with the process of buying from Alibaba:

  1. Find products to sell on your store.
  2. Contact multiple suppliers for quotes.
  3. Request samples for testing. 
  4. Place initial orders of low risk products and test them out with your audience.

If you don’t know or trust the seller, it is highly recommended to ask for samples before production. Do not order if the seller can not provide product samples.

Usually sellers have MOQ (minimum order quantity) for sample request and they will charge extra fee for it.

Samples are important because it is a reference for quality, functionality and packaging. It is also a good way to check out the seller’s communication skills. If the seller can not provide samples or has bad communication, look for another one.

Choose Trade Assurance or Other Payment Ways to Buy Safely.

With a large number of suppliers and millions of products, Alibaba.com is a great place for you to find whatever products you need.

However, some buyers may be worried about the security of purchasing from this site. Here are some tips for you to buy from Alibaba safely.

Choose Trade Assurance or Other Payment Ways To protect your payment, we recommend that you choose Trade Assurance (which is only available on website) when placing an order.

This will guide your payment to be held by Alibaba until you confirm receipt of your order.

If you choose other payment ways, such as credit card, T/T and Pay Later, please note:

  • Credit Card: You should contact your credit card provider to get more information about the protection they can provide if things go wrong with your purchase.
  • T/T: Before making any payment, please contact this Customer Service Team at service@alibaba.com or 86-571-85077323 for guidance on the remittance address and other information required for the payment. If you have already made the payment, please be sure to provide us with bank statement or screenshot of the transfer so that we can track it down for you.
  • Pay Later: Currently this payment method is only available on Alibaba app

Trade Assurance is a payment protection service that’s provided by Alibaba.com. It guarantees buyers receive the orders as described or get their money back.

The other option is Payment on Delivery: you can pay once you’ve received the goods, but it’s only available when the order amount is below $500, and the delivery time should be within 7 days.

How to choose? If your budget permits, I highly recommend using Trade Assurance, because it will help avoid potential risks of fraud.

Select Alibaba Shipping to Transport Your Cargo.

Alibaba shipping is the best option for most sellers. Alibaba has a strong partnership with companies such as TNT, UPS and DHL.

Thus, you can get discounts on shipping rates when you order from Alibaba. Also, they can help you find the best way to transport your goods.

In case you prefer to ship your cargo yourself then you need to choose FOB (free on board) as your payment method. This means that a seller will deliver the ordered goods to a specified port of your country.

You are obliged to pay for the transportation costs and all other expenses connected with transporting your order. These expenses may include import duty, local taxes and fees that are charged by your government upon entering your country.

Here are some tips for you if you want to buy something from Alibaba:

  1. Be clear about what you want to buy and find the right suppliers
  2. Communicate with suppliers carefully and obtain product samples
  3. Negotiate with suppliers to get the best deals
  4. Select Alibaba shipping method to transport your cargo

 

Find Freight Forwarder to Ship Cargo to Your Doorstep.

Alibaba is the largest B2B (business-to-business) marketplace in the world, offering you an easy way to buy and sell products from suppliers. However, Alibaba doesn’t offer any shipping service itself. You need to find a reliable freight forwarder to ship your cargo from Alibaba to your doorstep.

How Does Alibaba Work? Alibaba connects buyers with manufacturers and wholesalers who sell their products at lower prices compared to local retailers. Wholesalers on Alibaba are usually looking for orders of thousands of pieces, and when you buy at such high volumes, you get the best prices possible.

Why Choose Freight Forwarding Service?

Alibaba is based in China, so it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of products listed on the website are produced in China as well.

However, most businesses in the United States don’t have warehouses or offices there. So how do they get all these products from China to their doorstep? They choose a freight forwarding service!

In other words, you need to find someone to transport the goods for you. If you’re importing one single 40-foot container, it’s easy for you to find a freight forwarder in China and ask him/her to arrange shipment for you.

But if you’re importing only one carton of goods, it’s too difficult for most general freight forwarders to help you because they don’t have enough cargo volume.

That’s why I’ve written this article – it will help those who buy only one or two cartons at the initial stage. There are several ways to get the goods delivered from a factory in China:

  1. Arrange Pick-up by Courier Company
  2. Choose Sea Freight (FCL or LCL)
  3. Choose Air Freight
  4. Send by International Express (DHL, Fedex, UPS, TNT)

Hire 3rd Party to Inspect Quality.

Choosing the Right Supplier

Most of the time, suppliers are the ones who will have the most influence over whether or not your order is a success or failure.

Once you have decided on a product to sell, you will need to narrow down your choices for suppliers.

I recommend that you start off with searching for suppliers within China, as these are usually your least expensive option.

However, if you are located in the United States and want faster shipping times to your customers, suppliers located in America may be a better option for you. If you plan on working with a supplier outside of China, be sure to check out this post on how to find suppliers in the United States.

If you can’t physically inspect the goods yourself, you need to make sure that the supplier is reputable. The best way to do this is by hiring a third-party inspection company to go to the supplier’s factory and inspect your products before they are shipped.

Beware of suppliers who only show you samples that have been checked by their own in-house inspectors.

Because these inspectors are hired and paid for by the factory, there is a chance that they will give the green light even when the quality is not up to par. Make sure you hire an independent inspector to check your products on your behalf.

Get a quote from the inspector ahead of time and make sure both parties (you and your supplier) agree on it prior to inspecting the goods. This way, there will be no surprises and you can be sure that no one has tampered with the inspection results.

What to Do with Unsatisfactory Quality?

Your supplier’s response to your complaints is one way of confirming whether or not they are reliable. If you have found no success with your supplier and can’t reach any form of agreement, there are still a few options available to you.

The first is to file a complaint through Alibaba’s dispute resolution system. You’ll need to provide evidence that you’ve tried to resolve the issue without success, along with the details of your case. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get back part of the payment you made, but this isn’t always possible.

If none of this resolves the issue, it may be time to offer an ultimatum to your supplier. Inform them that they must either replace the goods or give you a refund immediately.

Be sure to document this message in case you need it later on. Finally, if all else fails, it may be time to consult a lawyer specializing in international law and trade disputes.

The process will still take some time and cost money, but it is possible for them to negotiate with a Chinese business and reach a result that works for both parties

The first thing every buyer should do is to check the quality of their products at the earliest time possible. This can be done either in China or at your own warehouse. If you find low quality products, be sure to talk to your supplier first.

Here are some tips for quality control: Check whether the supplier has TUV, BV or SGS certification. These are globally recognized certificates of quality assurance.

Pay attention to the seller’s reviews and ratings. This will give you an idea of what other buyers think about the supplier’s service and product quality.

Ask for samples of products before placing bulk orders. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect from your supplier.

Summary:

We have compiled Alibaba shopping tips to help you with your sourcing decision.

Established in 1999 and headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, Alibaba Group is the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company.

Within two decades, Alibaba has expanded from an online business-to-business marketplace to a global technology powerhouse that provides consumers and businesses with e-commerce, cloud computing, logistics, payments and other services.

I hope this article will be of some use to you in the process of making your first orders from Chinese suppliers.

Alibaba is a great site that has already changed the face of business and is continuing to revolutionize the ways people buy and sell all over the world. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get quality business stuff in bulk, you might want to give them a try for yourself.