How To Buy From Alibaba: Ultimate Guide 2023

Alibaba Group is a leading Chinese e-commerce company establishment that is represented by 4 companies that include Alibaba, Taobao, Express, Alipay, and Tmall.

Alibaba is a B2B site that connects buyers with suppliers across the globe and accounts for more than 50% of e-commerce sales in China. Sellers can source countless products in bulk or minimum order amount from the suppliers at wholesale rates.

alibaba buying agent_alibaba sourcing agent

1. What is Alibaba

Sellers on Alibaba enable retailers to brand name label their bought products and trade it at lucrative rates.

How Alibaba Functions

To buy from Alibaba, buyers require to follow the following actions:

a.Configure Alibaba Account

To configure the Alibaba account, buyers require to create a User ID and password. Being a global Chinese e-commerce business, the interface of Alibaba is set up in English by default however can also be equated to other languages for practical access.

b.Learning About Alibaba

When buyers decide to buy from Alibaba, they require to look for a trustworthy product producer, which are offered in two types:

  • Factory: This type of producer is the real manufacturer of the goods, and the factory sales group itself gets in touch with the sellers on Alibaba.Trading Company:
  • This kind of supplier is the intermediary that sources products from the factory and offers to the buyers at Alibaba. Purchasers should know

which producer suits their business. c.Search Wisely To hunt smartly

on Alibaba, buyers

require to understand specific terms that will help them carry out successful provider searches. For this, buyers can look up for’Alibaba Cheat Sheet’on the internet, and learn helpful techniques. Is It Appropriate for Your Business? If buyers are dealing with the local suppliers for their business

however are not making attractive sales or handsome revenues, they need to consider other

foreign sourcing choices. At present, Alibaba is the most popular option of majority organizations around the world, as it deals with all chief business models(product only).

2. How to Find A Lucrative Product Niche on Alibaba?

a.Carry out market research to discover

a successful product niche Make use of Google Trends to learn about search volume and individuals’s level of interest for different products, as this assists entrepreneurs develop an effective business.

Alibaba office agent

b.Indorse business Idea

For an effective business, endorsing a business idea is necessary. For this, conducting marketing research with focus groups from the target audiences is the most recommended technique. Individuals’ responses will help determine the success rate of the business concept.


c.How to find the best way to source the products for business?

The most essential aspect to think about when starting off a sales business is where to source the products from. To smartly make the product sourcing choice, the buyers need to think about the list below conditions:

  • The product should be easy to ship
  • The product sourcing ought to be convenient
  • The product must be available at economical rates for maximum profit margins
  • The product quality should be excellent
  • The manufacturer ought to have the possible to scale up the supply as business grows

Business owners can pick either to buy products from online wholesale markets like Alibaba, drop shippers or local makes; whichever best fits those criteria.

Recommended reading:China Sourcing Alternatives: Made in China VS Alibaba


Alibaba is the leading global wholesale market to purchase items from as it provides huge variety, competitive prices, dependability, comprehensive product info, product tasting, purchaser security, simple sourcing and worthwhile rules and policies for the buyers and suppliers.


The foremost and very first thing to consider while purchasing from Alibaba is the product price and the Free On Board (FOB) choice. FOB indicates that the seller will transfer the shipment to the marine port free of cost and the purchaser will only pay the transport expense from port to the last location.

Minimum Order Amount (MOQ) means the least amount of order a supplier at Alibaba wants to provide. MOQ is generally negotiable and differs for every single product readily available.

After dealing with the product price and MOQ, the next essential thing is choosing the payment method to process the Alibaba order. Buyers must know all the information about the available payment techniques and the levels of danger associated with them:.

This is a dangerous payment option for the purchaser and is done through making an advance payment to the provider through a bank transfer. It is not obliged when dealing with a unknown or new supplier at Alibaba.

This payment alternative is thought about complex however is fairly safe. LOC can be used for both buyers and sellers and is suitable for orders that include large payments such as more than $20,000.

This method of payment is quite risky specifically for the buyers and is not advised unless the payment is duly secured by escrow. Western Union must be used only for dependable dealers.

This is a popular payment option used by the majority of the international buyers at Alibaba as the level of threat is fairly safe. PayPal also has some drawbacks like high tax impositions, possible charges and is not applicable in all nations of the world.

The Escrow service is considered safe for Alibaba customers as it offers a high level of buyer protection. The payment made is kept by the 3rd party and is transferred to the supplier after the purchaser authorizes the final delivery.



Direct search permits the purchaser to view the price range of each provider of a specific product, and choose the best one. For this, specific steps need to be followed:.

Step 1: Log on to the Alibaba website
Step 2: Select the best suppliers and send product queries.
Step 3: Contact the Supplier.
Step 4: Collect and compare quotes from all the suppliers.
Step 5: Choose the very best suppliers (2 or 3) to proceed with more correspondence.

Alibaba RFQ is a swifter and more effective technique for supplier search. It takes just 10 minutes to get quotations from more than 10 suppliers at a time, after which the purchaser can pick the very best ones for additional case.

The treatment for RFQ is:

Step 1: Go To to Alibaba RFQ website:

Step 2: Fill Out the RFQ type

Step 3: Submit RFQ and wait for the suppliers to respond with quotations

Step 4: Confirm and analyze quotes

Step 5: Choose the best suppliers (2-3) for further correspondence

Suggested reading: Alibaba RFQ (Ask For Quote ): Ultimate Guide 2023

5. Picking the Best-Matched Supplier For Purchasing From Alibaba

5.1 Buyer beware
While Alibaba considerably facilitates its users, it is likewise beleaguered with some drawbacks about which buyers require to have an awareness. The details are:

A. Middlemen
Alibaba consists of thousands of suppliers; something is a truth that all are not real makers. Many are intermediaries who coverup, mark high rates, and increase miscommunication in between real producers and buyers.

B. Scammers
They just lose some amount of their cash but there are scammers or dishonest buyers also on Alibaba which are a complete fraud when buyers come across intermediaries. Although Alibaba has actually strived hard to eliminate fraudsters from their platform, still buyers need to be careful.

Suggested reading: How to Avoid Alibaba Scams: best Alibaba Guide 2023
buying to alibaba


Product Quality is likewise a terrific issue for the buyers while importing goods from china. It is likely that the suppliers might not deliver the product quality they market on the Alibaba website.


The Gold Provider also is known as a confirmed seller and has paid a premium subscription charge to Alibaba, hence it is licensed to utilize the business badge. A Gold Supplier is legally proven and is validated by an onsite check verification process.

Apart from this, there is an included level of Gold Suppliers considered ‘Evaluated Provider’ which is and is the highest-grade supplier confirmed by a mainstream business like Bureau Veritas.

C. Product Quality

Product Quality is also a great concern for the buyers while importing goods from china. It is very likely that the suppliers may not ship the product quality they market on the Alibaba website.

gold supplier

Validated Suppliers

A service provider with a verification icon advises that the seller has really been verified by a third-party company. These authentications are steered to identify that gold suppliers are genuine and run existing companies, however, this does not verify their market prominence.

Sellers Supporting Trade Guarantee on Alibaba

The seller settles to utilize trade assurance in order to protect their buyer’s interests on Alibaba when it pertains to quality inconsistency and delayed delivery.

alibaba sourcing agent

Alibaba sourcing agent

5.3 Leading 3 Criteria for Selecting Good Suppliers

To select a great seller on Alibaba, there is an advised selection requirement that can help buyers conserve their time and resources.

Specialized product portfolios

If the purchaser receives a competitive quote from a seller at Alibaba and decides to make a purchase, they should examine the dealer’s product category before proceeding even more.

If the desired product is not in their location of competence, then order capability satisfaction might end up being an excellent concern in the future.

Great communication reflects the provider’s effectiveness

A provider that is effective at interaction is likely to demonstrate responsibility in their questions mail and address all product aspects like shipping, product packaging and cost cost.

Professional understanding in worldwide trading

A professional seller at Alibaba can be a fantastic resource while dealing with transnational deliveries, specifically for the buyers who are brand-new to dealing with international trading. Such merchants constantly work as a source of support for the buyers in fixing concerns like packaging, shipping, and other issues.

6. Getting In Touch With Suppliers, Requesting Quotations and Buying Product Samples.When Purchasing from Alibaba.

6.1 How to Communicate with the Suppliers

When buyers develop a mutual understanding of how to protect themselves while performing a worldwide deal, then they need to get in touch with the concerned suppliers for order processing.

Requesting a quote

Requesting a quote or RFQ is typically a easy and simple process at Alibaba compared to composing emails to the sellers.

Minimum Order Amounts (MOQ’s): Some sellers note their MOQs, however it is constantly recommended to confirm with them. Buyers can also work out with the sellers if their MOQs does not match their requirement.
Prices for Samples: When making a bulk purchase for trade purposes, buyers should examine product quality in advance. Sellers on Alibaba readily provide either paid or free samples to the sellers for quality assessment.
Production Prices: A really crucial aspect while purchasing from Alibaba is the product cost for the amount purchaser desire to order. A huge order might lower the per-unit rate even further, so it is essential to discuss all information with the seller.
Production Time: Buyers need to clearly discuss the production time with the sellers on Alibaba, as time can be an important aspect.
Payment Terms: Most of the sellers on Alibaba will ask new business setups to make full payment upfront. This is a much essential aspect as stock is a primary cost for e-commerce startups. It is suggested for the buyers to talk about payment terms with the seller on future orders likewise.
Email design template

If a purchaser wishes to compose an e-mail to a wholesale supplier on Alibaba, here is a sample of an e-mail template:.


My name is ABC and I represent XYZ company based in xxxxxx (city and nation).

I have an interest in positioning an order for a xxxxxx product. Prior to that I have a few inquiries if you can attend to:.

Kindly state your MOQ.
Kindly discuss the expense per unit.
Kindly mention at what quantity levels do you use bulk discount rates?
Kindly state the payment terms for new customers.
Will you want to offer a sample of xxxxxx product, before I place my final order? If yes, please share the cost of the sample for delivering to the following address:.


80 LMN road,.

City, State, Nation.


Thank you.


XYZ Company.


Contact Number.

6.2 Receiving Quotes.

They can anticipate to get a quotation from practically 10-15 wholesale traders when buyers send out inquiries to 20-25 sellers on Alibaba. On the contrary, if the purchaser does not plainly discuss the product specs, then the ‘conversion rate’ might be much less than prepared for.

An appropriate quotation gotten from an expert seller will include the following info:.

Images of the Product.
Website links to Alibaba’s product page.
Product Particulars and Specs.
Cost Per Unit with Quantity.
Export Packaging Information.

6.3 Personal Labelling Products Purchased from Alibaba.

What is ODM on Alibaba?

ODM is an abbreviation of Original Style Manufacturing and refers to a finished product that is developed by the producer itself.

ODM products are usually represented as ‘private label products’ and are ready to sell items after brand labeling.



OEM is an abbreviation of Original Equipment Manufacturing and signifies a condition when buyers desire products to be produced with their specific requirements.

For example, a buyer wishes to sell a t-shirt of their own brand name and can share artwork and specs with the seller at Alibaba, who will make the product for them.


After limiting the research study of vendors, the next step is to ask for product samples from them. Buyers should examine the product quality before positioning a bulk order.

It is likely that the cost of the product sample will be much higher than the product expense itself, and it is suggested that buyers must not work out the rate of the sample.

After getting the product sample, buyers ought to establish a ‘quality control checklist’ which can be used for inspecting the real shipment and informing the seller of any flaw or inconsistency.


Trade guarantee is a free-of-cost order security service offered by Alibaba to the buyers where a 3rd celebration ‘Escrow Company’ gets included.

While the seller prepares items for shipment, the purchaser is needed to transfer the payment in the account nominated by Alibaba.

When the order is approved by the buyer, the money is effectively moved to the seller’s account.

Alibaba offers trade assurance to its clients by providing a money-back guarantee in case of a fraud, deferred shipment, quality disparities and order processing problems.

alibaba product GUARANTEE


To get the trade guarantee, buyers are needed to make a payment through through five available approaches: payment by means of charge card (Visa or Master Card), Online Bank Transfers (for bulk orders), Western Union, Telegraphic Transfer (T/T), and Letter of Credit.
Payment via offline approaches does not involve trade assurance from Alibaba. PayPal offers 180-days refund security in case of fraud, this technique can not be used for bulk orders.


After performing the challenging job of purchasing on Alibaba, the next essential step is to pick the best alibaba shipping technique. Now, what treatments require to be followed for the customs clearance? Fortunately is that it is managed by the freight forwarder.

A freight forwarder acts upon behalf of its transporters and offers specialized storage and shipment services.

Buyers can avail of a complete variety of services used by the freight forwarder that consists of freight preparation and export documents, warehouse storage plan, freight space bookings, freight costs settlements, cargo protection and a lot more.

A competent freight forwarder definitely conserves time, cash and hassle of the buyer.


There are 2 main methods to search for a alibaba freight forwarder, either a buyer can find one for themselves or request their seller on Alibaba to arrange it. Among countless freight forwarders, selecting a reputable one is not a simple job. The main problems related to such service providers are that they draw in customers with low prices however later charge extra charges for undesirable things.

Discover on Google: The most suggested method to hunt for a freight forwarder is to merely browse on Google by typing ‘Freight Forwarder in XYZ country’ and pick one from the list (after comprehensive research).
Include Your Social Hyperlinks to Discover a Freight Forwarder: The other suggested approach is to utilize your social media links to find a reputable freight forwarder.When a buyer chooses to hire their own freight forwarder, they must ask the seller a quote for FOB.
Discovering a proficient freight forwarder:

A competent freight forwarder has experience handling different difficult scenarios of customized clearance, warehousing matters, freight redirection, and dock halts.

A.Look for a freight forwarder who has a substantial network in the location country: It is extremely suggested that buyers should select a freight forwarder who has an extensive network in their location nation.

B.Look for a freight forwarder who offers excellent customer care: When handling shipment problems on Alibaba, buyers need to consider how efficiently the freight forwarder interacts and its capability to offer personalized services. Customers who are brand-new to global shipping ought to deal with freight forwarders who patiently deal with their clients for all shipment procedures.

C.Request the seller to discover a freight forwarder: The buyers who want to conserve their efforts of finding a freight forwarder can also request their sellers at Alibaba to organize or recommend one for them. After this, the buyer will just need to determine that the priced quote shipping cost is the CIF cost. The buyers who find problem in employing a affordable and trusted freight forwarder for their shipment can search on

Suggested reading: Alibaba Freight Forwarder Guide: How To Discover The Right Alibaba Freight Forwarder?

alibaba shipping agent


The last step to follow prior to settling the order is to guarantee that shipment quality is examined prior to the last delivery is accepted. After handling the tough getting and shipping procedures, buyers must get the product quality signed in order to avoid any additional inconvenience.

The worldwide buyers who import goods from China or foreign countries can not personally get the shipment checked, so they have the choice to hire a 3rd party for the function.

The buyers who choose sellers at Alibaba under trade insurance coverage have already selected the inspection service prior to making the initial payment. Now, buyers have the alternative to pick from 2 quality inspection services used by Alibaba: BV and China & Inspection Group. Alibaba is distinguished for using these services at a much cost effective rate than the market cost; there is only one downside that Alibaba’s inspection team deals in limited quantities.

Buyers also have the option to select professional examination services provided by Asia Evaluation, V-trust, and lots of others. These companies usually charge a high assessment fee of nearly $300 per person for a day.

Other companies such as SGS, Intertek, TUV likewise use evaluation services but are really costly. The factor is that these companies are more professional and adopt leading-edge evaluation techniques that very well adhere to the worldwide requirements of AQL, and likewise send detailed assessment reports to their clients.

Buyers also have the alternative to discover a alibaba sourcing agent to carry out the shipment examination task, but the alibaba agent must be trusted. Some leading alibaba agent like offer exceptional assessment services.

If buyers decide to utilize quality evaluation services of a sourcing company, they can enjoy some exclusive advantages that consist of comprehensive shipment assessments, and settlement with the suppliers if the shipment quality contradicts with the sample, at a cost-effective rate.

Even after rigorous efforts to select the very best seller and establish the very best product quality, the quality problem may still develop. Now, how to handle it?

A.Orders Without Trade Guarantee

The problem can be discussed with the seller on Alibaba if the purchaser hires a 3rd celebration evaluation business and it reports a considerable quality flaw in the shipment. In this case, buyers can either request for a replacement or refund. Handling the seller straight in such situations might be a difficult and complex task.

Buyers who select dependable alibaba sourcing agents can entrust them to negotiate with the seller in quality inconsistency concerns.

B.Orders Under Alibaba Trade Assurance

When the buyers pick a seller on Alibaba with a trade assurance and pre-shipment coverage, they can open a disagreement for the order if the shipment quality is unsatisfactory. However, this procedure involves the necessary documentation submission to the Alibaba personnel for evaluation. Once their request has been authorized by the Alibaba group, buyers are eligible for a refund.

A.Orders Without Trade Guarantee

The orders which are processed without trade guarantee on Alibaba, buyers can open a dispute and claim for a refund or settlement via PayPal (if it has been utilized as payment approach).

PayPal works as an intermediary in order to work out a deal in between the purchaser and seller. And if other offline payment approaches have actually been utilized for the order payment, then buyers will need to directly work out with the seller in case of quality problem.

B.Orders Under Trade Assurance

When buyers select sellers under trade guarantee at Alibaba and picked the post-delivery coverage choice along, then they can relax even if the shipment quality does not match their expectations.

In this case, buyers can open a dispute before they verify that they have received the last delivery, and submit valid evidence to the Alibaba group for approval, which is followed by a refund.

10. Buying from Alibaba: Frequently asked questions

Is Alibaba Safe and Will You Get Ripped Off?

Alibaba is completely safe for sourcing products and simply needs the clients to possess total understanding about choosing the right supplier, safe payment techniques, quality assessment, and shipping actions.

The most crucial thing while purchasing from Alibaba is that clients need to validate the legitimacy of the suppliers before continuing towards the final purchase, and must likewise beware of the fraudsters. Comprehensive supplier looks into and choosing sellers who utilize Alibaba Trade Guarantee is the very best way to purchase safely on Alibaba.

An individual who is sensible at trading, thoroughly examines company profile, rationally communicates with the provider and consistently follows Alibaba buying guidelines will never get ripped off.

How does Alibaba manage control?

Alibaba works progressively to track and eliminates middlemen and scammers from its network of suppliers. Buyers are provided full support and standards to safeguard themselves from any scams or scam. Some advised methods by Alibaba for its consumers to guarantee buyer defense include using for the Escrow Payment approach, RFQs, and confirmation system for suppliers.

Is it safe for Buying From Alibaba? How can I avoid acquiring counterfeit goods?

Alibaba supports its clients by providing an appropriate technique for hallmark owners to eliminate and report counterfeit programs. Neither all brands are aware of this problem nor do they regularly keep track of Alibaba’s website, so there are many counterfeit products available.

To avoid the trade of forged products, buyers must avoid buying branded products from Alibaba. If the buyers are seeking to diversify their business, it is encouraged that they need to confirm the products from the brand itself before purchasing from any Alibaba seller.

Some pieces of recommendations for Alibaba clients to prevent phony products are:

Fraudulent sellers typically use low prices and choose risky payment techniques.
Fake suppliers are more worried about payment processes rather than providing products
Validate the suppliers by calling them through telephone or skype
Be cautious if the seller’s company name is identical to any other, or they utilize complimentary email servers like Yahoo or Hotmail for business correspondence
Its much better to ask for a sample to guarantee that provider’s products match the purchaser’s expectation if there is any uncertainty of provider’s authenticity.

Why are there substantial price inconsistencies in between Alibaba products that look the specific very same?

Buyers can discover an excellent rate range for one product because sometimes products are listed when product cost was high, and eventually, the rate has dropped and the sellers customize the rates. And, in some cases, the seller at Alibaba is a middleman instead of the actual manufacturer. In some cases, the quality of a specific product differs with different suppliers.

The best selling products offered on Alibaba are widely duplicated by lots of producers and business in order to gain more business.

Considering all situations, buyers must ask for a product sample prior to proceeding towards the final order. Also, effective services adopt a practice of tapping more than 10 suppliers and proceeding with the one that uses the very best cost and quality.

What are Alibaba shipping costs?

It is extremely recommended that buyers contact the seller on Alibaba before placing the final order. To call, buyers need to email a letter of questions, and ask for a quote together with a product sample. A couple of crucial things to consist of in the letter of questions consist of MOQ, sample rates, expense per unit, production time and payment treatments.

Not all suppliers react, so to make sure a good reaction rate clients need to ensure that the inquiry is specific and precise.

Suggested reading: Alibaba Shipping Costs From China to US: Super Guide 2023

What is the approximated shipping time for my products?

The shipping time from Alibaba’s Chinese sellers is determined by the distance of the destination country. Buyers must anticipate a maximum shipping time for almost six weeks. To conserve expenses, Alibaba orders to remote destination countries are shipped through the sea path. It is suggested to place an order with a more detailed manufacturer if timing is a problem for the purchaser.

As the Alibaba platform intensifies and more global clients join, the sourcing choices automatically boosts.

What do I require to understand when it pertains to import taxes and tasks, in addition to customizeds clearance for the products I’m purchasing from alibaba?

The best method to manage custom-mades concerns while purchasing products from other nations is to hire a broker like PCB. Clients can browse online for custom brokers in the destination nation and examine the details readily available on their website to decide. The custom-made charge normally varies depending on the product weight, location and type country, and to approximate it consumers must use

Some sellers might also have storage facilities in destination countries which might save import responsibilities and custom clearance concerns, so it is better to discuss all elements beforehand with the supplier.

What’s the difference in between a trading business and a producer?

A trading business typically serves as a middleman in between the buyer and seller at Alibaba. Mainly, organizations choose to purchase directly from the manufacturer in order to reduce costs. Trading companies prefer to rate products higher than the manufacturer in order to produce attractive profits.

On the contrary, trading companies offer a big product variation, letting buyers purchase products from one provider instead of many.

Can I purchase from alibaba and sell on Amazon?

People can buy from Alibaba and sell products on Amazon, but it is essential to work with a producer that makes sure the best type of product packaging. Many suppliers on Alibaba are qualified professionals and support clients to sell on Amazon effectively.

Can I purchase from alibaba and sell on Ebay?

Of Course, You can buy from Alibaba and sell on eaby to earn money, however it’s important to find a best provider who can supply the quality products. A lot of Alibaba seller can personalize products by your brand name and aid clients to sell on ebay successfully.

Does Alibaba demand a registered business name for a purchase?

Alibaba does not necessitate its clients to have actually a signed up business name or program license while purchasing. A business license and resale certificate help in removing the issue of high sales tax impositions by the state federal government.

How long does it usually require to get an action?

Alibaba’s suppliers typically react within one to two days. Buyers ought to consider some important elements prior to finalizing the provider such as the manufacturer’s interaction, the capability to answer all queries and meet all primary requirements.

Alibaba’s seller receives countless e-mails daily and it is necessary that the sender’s email reflects that he is a genuine client. Likewise, it is essential to react to Alibaba’s correspondence prompt and follow up with them regularly.

Does Alibaba’s provider support more languages?

Maker translation tools such as Google Translate, Bing and Microsoft Translator are commonly utilized today. However, Alibaba has its own device translation software, which enables its website to be decoded into different global languages.


Alibaba is a fantastic platform for business owners who want to source valuable products for their organizations. Alibaba offers highly competitive prices and permits traders to create good-looking earnings margins.

Alibaba is identified as a one-stop shopping solution that provides a great variety of specific niches, suppliers and products, enable consumers to purchase products directly from the producers, order customized products and make sure exceptional product packaging.

Business individuals can successfully buy products from Alibaba, personal label the products and even more cost great rates.

Definitely, Alibaba can serve as fantastic support for entrepreneurial minds and help them reach the next level in their endeavors. If buyers act thoroughly while selecting the supplier, payment approaches and freight services they can definitely be safe and take pleasure in unrestricted advantages.

Though, in some cases Alibaba clients might have to pay a high in advance expense, may encounter quality issues, frauds and are needed to make bulk purchases to obtain discount rates. This can be easily prevented by taking the needed actions and safety measures.

Alibaba easily supports leading entrepreneurs of the globe, supplies them a competitive advantage and manages trade dangers. Alibaba supports the nation’s economy by making sure higher products variety and encouraging simple international trade.