how to use alibaba to buy from china
In order to find success with your ecommerce site, it is imperative that you find a safe supplier for your niche products. As far as sourcing products from overseas is concerned, you cannot miss out on mentioning one of the most widely used business directory Alibaba. There is no denying to the fact that China is the first choice for outsourcing manufacturing due to low manufacturing costs. To import from China is a practice that lots of companies that practiced in the west, and in 2017 alone, the merchandises imported from China to US has exceeded 500 billion US Dollars. Today using Alibaba it is quite easy for you to source products from China. There are debate on is alibaba safe and legit. However, it’s still worthy to study platform since it provides us plenty of useful information. If you want some good alternatives on finding suppliers other than using alibaba, check out this article for how to find suppliers in China for my product. Here we are going to walk through on this step-by-step tutorial on how to use alibaba to find suppliers in China.
Alibaba provides you an amazing platform to source your overseas suppliers and make the best deal for your business. As far as figures are concerned, Alibaba has even surpassed other popular ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay. Buyers from all over the world connect through Alibaba to source their suppliers.
How to Proceed ?
Take a look at the following guidelines if you are wondering about how to use alibaba to buy from china:
- The Search Process
In order to source products from Alibaba you can opt from any one of the three approaches to proceed with your search:
- Product Search: Browsing under the product category you will get around 500,000 results of product listings on Alibaba. Although, using the product search option has its own pros, but searching this way also lacks any information regarding the product manufacturers. This is something lots of people are not aware when they wonder how to use alibaba to buy from china.
- Supplier Search
As compared to product search, supplier search is a better way of finding matching products with a list of product suppliers as per your needs. This is in fact one of the most important step considering how to use alibaba to buy from china. In Alibaba, using supplier search option for sourcing products increases the chances of finding professional suppliers. Finding a supplier who has matching products increases your chances of trading with an experienced manufacturer who can help you get high quality products at lower prices. Most of the vendors on Alibaba are private label manufacturers who provide OEM services, which in order words they can produce white label or private label product for you. In fact lots of Amazon private label is done in such way, and with a smart Amazon sourcing plan, you can establish a successful brand on popular items.
- Search by Posting a Buying Request
how to use alibaba to buy from china can also be solved in a request form. Searching products by posting a buying request will require you to give all the detailed information regarding your product needs including price, shipping, and payment options to Alibaba. Once you put up all this information on Alibaba, all the Gold suppliers will be able to contact you for quotations. Although, this option seems to help you find the best suited suppliers, it also puts you at the risk of being contacted with suppliers who hound you with false quotations.
- Establish a Link With Suppliers
Once you have shortlisted a number of prospective product suppliers on Alibaba, you will need to establish a link with them, sending in your inquiries for their supplies.
- Quotations: Once you are done with sending your inquiries, you can expect quotations from the interested suppliers on your list. The more clearly you state your product specifications, the more likely you are to be contacted with suppliers.
In the quotations sent in by the suppliers you will have to look in for a number of important details including the price, product images, product details, shipping terms, export terms, and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). This is also another important step when considering how to use alibaba to buy from china.
It is crucial that your quotation includes the Unit Price offered by the seller. As if you also find FOB (Free on Board) written alongside the price mentioned for the product, it means that the product cost also includes the cost of transporting products to the port. Secondly, you also need to look for the MOQ that is the minimum quantity order terms put up by the seller. After finding the MOQ for your product, you need to find out the most suitable method of payment to the seller from an option of choosing from Bank Transfer, Letter of Credit, PayPal, Escrow etc.
The next step to use Alibaba to source products and find suppliers in China includes ordering product samples. This is also another important step when considering how to use alibaba to buy from china.While ordering product samples on Alibaba, you need to be aware of the fact that not all product samples come as free of cost. Moreover, you will be required to pay the air freight from China for all products. This is also essential to remember when considering how to use alibaba to buy from china. Making a prototype in China with suppliers you have found is the first steps considering how to find a manufacturer in China for a product.
The ideal way to go about ordering samples on Alibaba must include ordering samples from more than just one supplier. While ordering a product sample, make sure to provide accurate details of the products and the number of samples you might need per product. Also be clear about your expectations about the product samples and how you want them to match the final order. Finally, you need to provide your address to the supplier and request them to declare the order as “sample items”.
- Ordering Products
Once you find a product supplier, whose product samples match your product specifications, budget and MOQ you can go ahead with your placing order on Alibaba.
- Terms of Payment
You need to be very careful about the terms of payment with your product supplier before actually commencing the delivery. Generally, you are required to pay 30% advance once you place the order and the remaining 70% before your delivery is shipped. There are a number of other factors too that you need to be careful about while making payments to your product suppliers. Take a look at some of these –
- Avoid using Western Union for your monetary transactions with suppliers on Alibaba as it is more susceptible to scam dealings.
- Never pay 100% advance to your suppliers and hold on to make the remaining 70% payment till the production process completes.
- Alibaba only helps you with providing a data of product suppliers, and it is up to you to manage that supplier with your own efficiency.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SCAMS ON ALIBABA?
If you are a new buyer on Alibaba, it is crucial that you protect yourself from unwanted scams and go ahead with a safe experience with your dealings. Is alibaba safe? Take a look at the following tips and tricks that can help you source products from Alibaba with utmost safety –
- Check Company Credibility – If you want to use Alibaba to source products and find suppliers in China, it is crucial that you check the credibility of your suppliers. Today, it has become quite hard to distinguish between genuine and fake ratings on the basis of reviews for the company. So as an alternative you can check your seller’s legit response rate to verify credibility.
- Beware of Middlemen – While using Alibaba to source products and find suppliers in China you need to do some research regarding your supplier in order to protect yourself from middlemen or agents who pose as manufacturers. Google the company’s name to verify its credibility. Also, see to it that the company has a legit email address or not, as it can help you verify its credibility to a great extent. You can even use Alibaba forum to verify a company’s legit status for a safe and secure dealing. Lastly, you can also get authentic and detailed information about the company that you have chosen for product supplies by paying for a report.
- Verify Product Authenticity – As a buyer, you have complete rights to ask for a real picture of the product that you are seeking to buy from a supplier. It is a red sign for you to back out with the dealing, if such a request is exempted on the part of your product supplier. Even if you are provided with product images, it is necessary that you verify their original source using Google images.
- Check Product Quality – Alibaba’s Trade Assurance User Guide is the best source to look up for the quality of products you are seeking to buy. This is a free and the most trustworthy service on Alibaba to source products and finding suppliers in China in the safest way possible. This user guide helps you with information on the key contract terms with suppliers to ensure a safe and secure trading. This includes payment protection for your covered amount as well as product quality protection as a buyer on Alibaba.
THINGS TO REMEMBER –
- Always make sure to keep a professional tone while interacting with your suppliers on Alibaba in order to yield favorable results from quality suppliers.
- See to it that you always ask for only the required amount of product samples as a mark of professionalism.
- It is always a good idea to buy from suppliers who have a relatively higher response rate on their profile on Alibaba.
- Be very clear about discussing the inclusive and exclusive pricing of products with your suppliers in the initial stage of communication with them.
- It is highly recommended that you use PayPal for your transactions on Alibaba, with suppliers who accept it.
- Contact your supplier as soon as you are provided with products that are damaged or broken in any way. You can even lodge a complaint against the supplier if your concern is not heard by or rejected.
- You can even seek help from the online Complaint Center, in case the supplier doesn’t respond back to your call.