The Complete Guide to Product Sourcing from China using Alibaba

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The Complete Guide to Product Sourcing from China using Alibaba

15 July 2022 | Kudzai H | 4 Min Read


The rise in popularity of product sourcing platforms has been exponential. They originally were intended to provide buyers with information on books from various publishers, but now see themselves moving beyond just this function – they’re used as a way to find the best price and quality when it comes down to purchasing products like clothes or electronics online.

Many merchants find that accessing these sites offers them access guarantees that their customers get top-notch pricing while also ensuring themselves an easy transaction process

Alibaba Product sourcing

Everything you need to know about

What is Alibaba? is the world’s largest marketplace. Founded in 1999, Alibaba has more than 500 million buyers and vendors who use their site to negotiate prices for products or services directly with manufacturers while also saving money on shipping costs- all this before even considering how much cheaper online shopping can be compared to other methods! The Alibaba group operates three Chinese marketplaces: Taobao, Tmall, and Alibaba, with hundreds of millions of consumers, hundreds of millions of vendors, and hundreds of millions of products. Its directory contains almost everything, which is how it became one of the most popular online shopping websites.

How does Alibaba work?

The Alibaba platform offers a way for buyers and sellers to connect with each other. Sellers on the site can offer their products at very low prices, while also enabling you as a customer to save money by negotiating directly with manufacturers or designing custom items yourself!

How safe is Alibaba ?

The majority of merchants on Alibaba, like many modern e-commerce marketplaces, are reputable and trustworthy, making the marketplace reasonably safe and legit. To protect your payments through the payment platform, the company offers Trade Assurance, a verification program for select suppliers. To answer the original question, yes, Alibaba is safe if proper precautions are taken. The safest way I’ve found in order not to get scammed when buying using an escrow service like PayPal

How many suppliers are on Alibaba?

It is one of the largest business-to-business wholesale eCommerce platforms in the world, connecting over 150,000 suppliers to over 10 million buyers from 190 countries and regions. However, fraudulent suppliers do exist and will occasionally offer absurdly low prices.

Why are prices low on Alibaba?

Because Alibaba allows suppliers to sell directly to retailers, prices are generally much lower than you’ll find for similar products elsewhere

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A number of suppliers labeled “gold member,” “verified supplier,” “onsite supplier,” and “accredited supplier”What does it mean to be a “gold supplier” on Alibaba? It is simply a presumed supplier willing to pay for a larger and more attractive advertisement. It does not support the company’s integrity or promises.
The company offers Trade assurance, a verification program for select suppliers, to protect your payments through the payment platform.Many or most sellers on Alibaba do not actually hold the inventory. Their supply may not match what they promise
One of the biggest online shopping sites in the world is Alibaba. This provides it the size and power it needs to pressure suppliers for lower costs, which it can then pass through to customers at cheaper rates.Alibaba’s global reputation is poor. Many business owners have lodged complaints against the company. Complaints range from product issues to service issues, billing, advertising, and delivery issues.
Save time: Sourcing online can save you a lot of time because you can compare different suppliers quickly and easily.Online research can be time-consuming. Finding the right product and supplier can take some time.

Frequently used terms on Alibaba.

  1. Minimum Order Quantity:

This is simply the minimum order amount that the supplier is willing to accept. Keep in mind that this is negotiable, especially with the increased fees associated with shipping once the product reaches port.

  1. Verify Suppliers

Unbelievable low prices, as well as untraceable methods such as Western Union or wire transfer, are early warning signs of fraudulent suppliers.

Request a video call to inspect inventory or facilities, and request company documents to improve your chances of securing legitimate suppliers.

download WeChat if you’re looking for new Alibaba suppliers. You can then interact in real-time with potential suppliers.

  1. Trade Assurance

Make use of Trade assurance and other low-risk payment methods. The buyer’s money is held by a third party and is only released to the supplier after the buyer confirms satisfactory delivery of their order. Because it protects both the buyer and the seller, escrow is a relatively safe payment method for buying and selling online.

  1. Supplier memberships

Alibaba has its own program for verification program. Third-party on-site inspections and feedback from previous customers are used for verification.

Gold Supplier is a premium membership for suppliers. Members are given a variety of options for promoting their products, maximizing product exposure and increasing return on investment. old Provider Keep in mind, however, that any supplier who pays an annual fee to Alibaba for premium membership can obtain gold supplier status, which increases the vendor’s visibility on the site. As a result, that is not a very reliable indicator of reliability.

To become a Verified Supplier, a supplier’s company profile, production capabilities, products, and process controls must be inspected, assessed, and verified by independent third-party institutions to ensure reputable and consistent expertise on

  1. Buy samples to ensure quality

To be sure the supplier’s offering can live up to your expectations, request and pay for a sample.

  1. hipping and Logistics

Generally, shipping is generally standard; if you have your order shipped via air, it should arrive in 3-10 business days. If you travel by sea, it will take between 30 and 60 days.

  1. Import duties and taxes

Conduct extensive research on your country’s import duties and the taxes levied on various quantities of products. Different countries have different import regulations and legislation, which is critical when sourcing products from China via online marketplaces such as Alibaba.

Alternatives to Alibaba

  1. Made in China
Made in China

Made in China is a foreign trade service platform dedicated to connecting Chinese suppliers with overseas buyers and providing one-stop services to promote international trade between the two sides. It currently has over 40 million product information pieces from 27 industries. Furthermore, based on different procurement demands from different buyers, offers the following methods for global buyers to source products

  1. Global Sources
Global Sources

Global Sources is a Hong Kong-based B2B multichannel media company that has been serving buyers and suppliers online and offline since 1971. Through trade shows, online marketplaces, the management magazine Chief Executive China, apps, and other virtual products, its core business facilitates trade between suppliers and buyers.


In order to find the best online sourcing platform for your company, it is important that you conduct thorough research and compare different options. Check out our latest e-book about Chinese market research.

Enlybee Team

Author Since: April 7, 2022

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