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Alibaba 101: How to source products from alibaba

You have decided to set your feet on the ground of online business. But, have you decided which products you will sell and their suppliers? And if you have sketched out a product idea you are going to sell on your own platform, then it is the time to think about a trustworthy supplier. What about Alibaba, one of the safest and popular business directories? It has never been easy to find out a reliable manufacturing partner or a wholesaler for your products. If you are a new entrepreneur in this world of online business and e-commerce, then sourcing your products from overseas, may sound daunting to you. In this article, we will show you the way to source products from Alibaba, finding a reliable supplier to get the product idea and start selling on the web.

What Is Alibaba?

India is one of the largest importers of China. As online business or e-commerce sector is one of the fast-growing, profitable and developing sectors in India, many online sellers have set their feet on importing their products from China. They are reaching out to the suppliers in China, to experience the benefits of low manufacturing costs.

Alibaba is a Chinese company, making its way in the world of e-commerce since 1999. It is, in fact, the largest e-commerce company and business directory across the globe. In terms of numbers, even Amazon and eBay seem to look shorter in front of Alibaba. When it comes to talking about sourcing products right from the factory, Alibaba brings the suppliers and the buyers from every nooks and corner of the world closer. For Alibaba, the small business persons, new entrepreneurs have become able to expand their market, get an easy entry to the supplier’s door, and even receive a shipment direct from the house of biggest manufacturers. At Alibaba, one can find out millions of products from thousands of suppliers, mostly from Asia.

Things to Know Before You Import Your Goods from Alibaba

  • Sellers are quite Flexible on Alibaba. But, try not to exaggerate much while doing the negotiation with the seller on Alibaba. You should look for a deal that would be value for money. If you constantly push the supplier regarding the price, it will give them an impression like you would not reorder for the product unless it comes with a cheap price tag. As a result, they will put the quality of the product on sacrifice, using a comparatively inferior material to meet your price related requirements.
  • It would be the best to maintain the quality and profit margin while going for the suppliers at Alibaba. If the quality and profit margin of your product goes parallel to each other, then it would be a fair deal. And the only way to make that is to convince the supplier regarding the price of the products, offered by other manufacturers at Alibaba.
  • At Alibaba, there are many middleman companies you may come across. But, you have to find out the original manufacturer of the product, instead of this middleman companies. It is not as simple as it sounds; how to understand whom to trust? Besides, there are not many pieces of information out there regarding the original manufacturer. Still, if it is possible, then try to find out the official website, contact number of the manufacturer of your products, inside of the packaging.

Is Alibaba Safe? How to Avoid Fraud Scams at Alibaba?

There is no place in the earth that is free from frauds, so is not Alibaba. With the thousands of suppliers, one can easily find a supplier for products at Alibaba. But, it certainly does not mean that you have found your Mr. Right. There are many suppliers at Alibaba, who will try to con you, scam your cash. So, always keep your eyes and ears open, and feel your senses to judge a supplier on Alibaba. You will require three things to get yourself away from frauds on Alibaba: take precautions, be an observant, and have enough knowledge. Following are few tips to keep yourself safe from fraudulent activities in this business directory.

·       Search on the web regarding the company’s legit presence; go to the official website of your supplier and do a thorough research and find out its export records.

·       Try to keep your senses all open while shopping around on Alibaba. If you see that one supplier is offering cheaper pricing on a product than other sellers, be sure he is fraud.

·       Try to scrutiny the email address of the supplier. Does it look like a valid one?

·       A real manufacturer will always be professional. His presentation will be clear as well as professional.

·       Before you finalize the deal, ask him to show you the sample.

Begin the Search

As you have gained enough knowledge about Alibaba, the time has come to set your feet on the ground of this business directory. Initiate the purchase at Alibaba, and use its directory, is not much different than Amazon or eBay. The platform of Alibaba is quite straightforward and user-friendly; either you need to browse the product category, or search for the particular product. There are two ways to perform the search; either you search for the products or categories, or search for the reputable manufacturer, and see what are they selling?

What Would You Look For On The Product Page?

While initiating your search for a suitable supplier, check out these few things:

Unit Price

The first thing is Price. What is the cost of the product you have selected? does the supplier include the shipping cost to it? You have to check out the unit price of the product you want to buy on Alibaba.

Minimum Order Quantity

What is the minimum order quantity of the product the supplier is going to accept? Every supplier has his own range of order quantity, both the minimum and maximum. Before you place your order, check out, whether your supplier would accept the quantity or not.

Payment Option

As you have gotten an idea about the pricing and the minimum order quantity of the product, now it’s the time to check out the payment option. How would you pay your supplier? Alibaba holds various payment options, like Bank Transfer, Letter of Credit, PayPal, Escrow, etc. If you are new to this e-commerce world as well as at Alibaba, try to negotiate with your product supplier to go with either PayPal or Escrow. They are known as the safe ways to perform the transaction.

Finding out a trustworthy supplier for your product at Alibaba may sound confusing, at first. But if you will successfully end up with a reliable one, it will be rewarding. All you need is some basic knowledge about this e-commerce segment and the shield of a few common safeguards to put on to keep yourself safe from frauds and scam. You are standing at a distance of just a few clicks from your supplier

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