Alibaba is currently one of the top market places in the world. As such, their website is flooded with thousands of suppliers with different pedigrees. Some will deliver top quality goods, while others may just collect your money and deliver low-quality goods in return. Understand how to deal with Alibaba suppliers can help you secure fast and low-cost procurement.
There are procedures you must follow. They may be tedious, but you can rest assured that if you follow them accordingly, you will end up buying goods from a trustworthy Alibaba supplier. Having said all that, let’s take a look at the steps you should take when dealing with Alibaba suppliers.
1. Check the Suppliers background
Alibaba runs a verification service that ensures that all sellers/suppliers are duly registered companies. Alibaba or a designated independent verification company handles this process. Ensure that you do not go into business with a supplier without going through the company’s profile information. Here you can confirm if they are registered or not.
For example, the verification status of some companies are described as follows
– A&V Check
If a supplier is A&V checked, it means that their business licenses and contact persons have been duly scrutinized and verified. A&V checked suppliers are verified and fully inspected Gold suppliers.
– Onsite Check
Suppliers who have been onsite checked are those company’s premises have been verified by Alibaba.com’s staff for onsite operations. The video will be shown on the website, you need to care this part like the below picture.
– Assessed Supplier
Alibaba employs the services of reputable third-party organizations to scrutinize the claims made by suppliers. This usually involves video verification and main product verification.
You can also order a sample product if you still have doubts. This will cost you money but it will save you a lot of stress and the agony of losing all of your money in the end.
2. Check the Notices of Release Inquiries
Once you have decided on the product to buy and the supplier you are buying it from, next thing to do is to make some inquiries. Here are a few things you can ask for:
– Pricing/quotations. Some suppliers send this to you automatically.
– Minimum order quantity
– Shipping methods and costs
– Bill of materials
However, when you send inquiries to suppliers, please pay attention to the use of corporate email, otherwise, they may think you are a liar, or a very small buyer and do not respond to you quickly, or even do not reply to your email.
3. Care Payment Terms and Safety
When speaking or chatting with the supplier’s support staff, you can ask for their payment terms. This is in case the terms of payment are not clearly written out on their page. Their terms should help you determine how safe your transaction with them will be.
For small orders, you can use Paypal; for large orders, you can use L/C or TT to pay part of the deposit, which is relatively safe.
4. Negotiate with suppliers
When it comes to negotiating with Alibaba suppliers, your aim is to get a fair deal for both parties. Some of the suppliers on Alibaba.com are the middlemen between you and the actual supplier or manufacturer, please always keep this possibility in mind during negotiations.
You can compare the prices of several suppliers and choose the supplier with the middle price. If the price is too high, it means that he is not a direct factory, and he has earned the price difference. If the price is too low, the supplier is also unreliable. He may be a small table workshop, and in order to receive orders, the product quality will be reduced. On Alibaba, you can send multiple RFQ, state your requirements, and the suppliers will reply to you, then please learn to negotiate with them. This will forge a solid foundation for future businesses and dealings between you and the supplier.
5. Telephone Etiquette
Occasionally, you may need to converse with the supplier or their support staff. You should be on the lookout for their telephone etiquette. From here, you can spot scam suppliers from the real ones. Credible suppliers are most likely going to have great support and customer service.
6. Follow the Delivery
Once payment has been made, and the supplier has confirmed shipment, it is your duty to track the shipment of the product. Log into my Alibaba and click on transactions to get the tracking code or number for your product. This will help you track the shipment on the company’s website.
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