Alibaba.com is a very popular platform for businesses sourcing products in China. There are countless number of suppliers producing wide variety of products like consumer electronics, apparels, bags, sports items, fashion accessories, machinery, etc. It opens opportunities for those who would like to start in the business of reselling products, or selling their own branded products using private labelling strategy which is supported by many manufacturers at Alibaba. Private labelling is a good strategy especially for SMEs due to the fact that it enables one to sell its own branded products while taking advantage of the capability, capacity, and resources of an established manufacturing company to produce them.
There are other sites as well where one can find suppliers like made-in-china and global sources. These sites are also reputable B2B platforms which have wide network of suppliers one can choose from. However, finding a reliable supplier is not as easy as A, B, C. You need to invest time and money in your business sourcing, and it takes a lot of hard work and diligence to be successful. There are many suppliers in these platforms that are not the best for you in terms of meeting your requirements, standards and expectations. Many of them will say anything just to get your business on board. Misrepresentations are common in these marketplaces. There are also many reported scams, and even traders pretending to be producers.
Manufacturers vs Trading Companies
In most cases, it is very beneficial to buy direct from factory especially taking into consideration the cost advantage you can get, but you need to order also large number of units as they normally have very high MOQ (minimum order quantity). Manufacturers have fixed cost they need to spread over their production; and in every production, they need to produce at certain range to surpass those costs. Also, manufacturers tend to specialize on certain product type, and you may need to work with different manufacturers if you’re looking for different product types to sell.
There are also many trading companies in online platforms like Alibaba. It’s not bad to buy from traders as it really depends upon your case. Although, they charge higher unit prices but they also offer low MOQ. Aside from that, they subject these inventories to thorough in-house screening and inspection, and they choose their producers properly. Moreover, they offer variety of product types, and they are very good in communicating to international customers.
Verified and Reliable Suppliers
Sites like Alibaba and Global Sources have buyer protection services (trade assurance) in their respective platforms. It is very important to be informed so you would know how you are going to be covered and protected. Issues like failure to meet deadlines, quality issues concerning the products, etc. Aside from that, you need to check supplier verifications to ensure you are transacting with a legitimate entity. But transacting with “verified” suppliers does not give you assurance with regards to the capability of the producer and the quality of the products. It does however establish that it legally exists. There are onsite verification procedures which include going to the factory, checking business license, etc. to protect you from scams. In Alibaba.com, they have this service where they verify suppliers. Verified suppliers are marked as such in their respective profiles.
In your end, you need to do your own research about the supplier. You must check credits and rating, feedback, transaction level, last transaction, etc. All these can aid you in choosing your supplier. You can also personally go to the site or have someone check it or audit for you. In fact, there are third-party service providers who can help you with it (product sourcing, factory audit).
There are annual trade fairs you can attend to find great business opportunities. Joining a trade fair enables you to personally check showcased products and interact with your prospective supplier(s). This is a chance for inquisition regarding capacity, quality system, production, delivery, and other key business areas.
Most products are heavily marketed to impact your buying decision to the point of misrepresentation. You may obtain product samples first so you will have first-hand experience with the product. This enables you to verify product quality, and it also gives you an idea about the capability of the supplier.
Sourcing in China with Alibaba Purchasing Agent
Having a reliable and trustworthy partner in china is very handy. Alibaba Purchasing Agent helps you handle your product sourcing and makes the whole process of importing from china so much easier and efficient; one of these is Alibaba Agent.
Alibaba Agent is a reliable and trustworthy Alibaba purchasing agent which offers a variety of services to help you fulfill your unique requirements. It offers basic buying service which includes product inspection, consolidation, repacking, storage, and arranging your shipment from China to your designated address overseas. Aside from that, Alibaba Agent has been performing special services for quite a while now like product sourcing, factory audit, special/custom order, product audit, product sample consolidation, negotiating prices, MOQ and other terms, etc. Alibaba Agent has a team of highly professional and motivated people to handle all your business process in China. This is its mission to make importing from China easy and secure for international buyers.
Its basic service fee is 5% of product cost with no minimum fee.
Alibaba Agent offers variety of payment methods you can choose from like Paypal for fast and secure transactions, bank transfer, Western Union, and MoneyGram. Members can get 2% cashback every time they fund their account thru Western Union and Bank Transfer with 1,000 USD and more.
Alibaba Agent handles all the export process for you in China and arrange your shipment from Chinese port. You can choose from different shipping methods to ship your goods from China to your international address like air express, air freight or sea freight. For express shipping, you can estimate your shipping fee instantly as it has built-in shipping cost calculator in its website. Supported methods are SF Express, which is a low-cost yet quality express shipper, DHL, FedEx, EMS, Aramex, etc. For air freight and sea freight, you can contact Alibaba Agent to request for shipping quotation via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Whatsapp +8618871488894 or live chat service in their website www.alibabaagent.com.