How to Buy from Alibaba? Everything You Need to Know
January 25th, 2021
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.
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
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.