When it comes to the major leaders in the B2B eCommerce space, Alibaba.com is the most preferred name. Both buyers and suppliers around the world are using this platform to see strategic growth in the expansion of their business. Whether it is offering a wide range of products to multiple features, tools, and services, it is perfectly designed to offer a good B2B experience with better sourcing. Hence, it comes with plenty of opportunities for those who think about how to buy from Alibaba?
When it comes to buying in bulk for your business, it becomes a challenge to pick the right quality for the expansion of your company or organization. Whether you are a B2B buyer or a supplier, it is always important to know how does Alibaba works if you are thinking of buying from here. Hence here is a complete guide for you on how to buy Alibaba products to give your business a new arena to explore. Read on to know more:
What is Alibaba.com?
Alibaba.com works as an online B2B marketplace where the buyers and Alibaba retailers from all around the world can connect easily and continue transactions. It works as a very secure and trusted platform. Hence it is the most trusted platform for millions of businesses all over the world.
Alibaba.com works as part of the Alibaba Group, and it started its journey in 1999 with the hands of Jack Ma. Though Alibaba.com is based in China, it serves businesses at least in 190+ countries and in various regions. If you are thinking, how does Alibaba work? Well, the answer is massive. It deals with at least 40+ industries with more than 5900 various categories of product offerings.
As one log in to this platform, one can find the utmost ease of doing business with this platform. There are plenty of features here which are specifically designed for the entire B2B buying and selling business.
Why Should You Buy from Alibaba?
Before you know how to buy on Alibaba, it is also important to know why you should buy from Alibaba. This will help you in decision-making so that you can know if this platform is suitable for your business or not. There are various reasons why buyers use alibaba.com for their purpose. Hence, have a look at the most common reasons why you should buy from Alibaba.com?
A Reliable Platform
In the first place, why you should buy from this company is, this is one of the most trusted platforms for B2B buyers and sellers. It is confusing to decide whether to spend money or not when it comes to investing thousands of dollars. However, Alibaba.com strives to give you that peace of mind while you decide to buy from here. It comes with a very secure payment portal. All the transactions here are backed up by the number of guarantees on this Alibaba shop. Hence buyers do not have to worry about compromising their sensitive personal information.
It Offers Plenty of Products to Choose from for The Business
Along with Alibaba.com, you can target a huge array of products to choose the most suitable one for you. There are millions of products to choose from on this platform. The large variety of products give the buyers the utmost flexibility to choose the suppliers and items that suits properly to their purpose.
Offers Pay Later Option
Ordering from Alibaba becomes much easier, as it offers the pay later option. Most of the time, the startups require proper assistance to set up their business. The pay later option of Alibaba offers the buyers the adequate option so that they can purchase the inventory to get their business going if they are out of budget.
Easier to Use
When it comes to using Alibaba.com for your job, it scores high, as it is very easy to use and navigate. The process of buying is much easier and straightforward on Alibaba.com. Buyers can pick the ready-to-ship products which are much simpler to make the buying process more convenient.
How to Buy from Alibaba?
When it comes to buying from Alibaba.com, it is usually a little bit different from the other usual B2C stores. The buying process here is designed to become much easier and more customizable. Buying products of Alibaba.com is much more straightforward and streamlined than the other platforms. Here is how to buy from Alibaba, step by step:
Start with Creating An Account
The first and most essential part of buying from Alibaba.com is creating an account. Here is what you need to fill up to open an account with the platform:
- Country/ Region
- Full name
- Trade role
- Email address
- Company name
- Telephone number
At this stage, you also have to create a password for your account. Based on your trade role, you can either select the option of ‘buyer’ or ‘ both’. If you are thinking of both buying and selling on this Alibaba shop, then select the “both”.
Search and Find Your Products
The next step should be searching for the products. There are two different ways that buyers can use to find the items to order from Alibaba.com. Search and browse through the general marketplace, or you can post a Request for Quotation.
Browsing through this marketplace is much easier, which is quite similar to any other search engine. You can easily input a search inquiry and browse through the results. You can also easily upload images to perform the product searches more effectively.
The results you get here are easy to filter and sort by various categories. Here is what it offers:
- Supplier type
- Product type
- Minimum order quantity
- Supplier country/ region
Compare Between The Sellers
There are simply millions of sellers who do business with Alibaba.com. However, some of the sellers have certain kinds of certifications or qualifications, which makes them quite significant among the others. Here is how you compare between the suppliers:
The Gold suppliers are usually the paid members who sell on Alibaba.com. They have been verified as businesses with various industrial and commercial capabilities.
The verified suppliers are the businesses whose entire company profile, production capabilities, management system, and process controls have been completely assessed and certified with third-party institutions.
Trade Assurance Suppliers
The trade assurance suppliers usually accept the payment directly through the payment portal of Alibaba.com. At the same time, they enable the Alibaba.com order protection.
It is a much better idea to have a look at each of your supplier reviews to see what kind of experiences the past clients are having with them. If you are having any queries regarding their operation or if you want to access any other information which is not available on their profile, then you can message them privately to ask about it.
Negotiate for Deals, or You Can Buy Directly
As you pick a supplier and a product, you can opt for negotiating a deal, or you can buy it directly. To buy it right away, the product needs to be labeled as Ready to Ship and must show the Start Order button on the product detailing page.
If you want to see the samples of the product, place an order lower than your requested MOQ. Try to lower the price for the goods, or you can make any type of customization to the order. You are going to need to Contact Supplier and use the Chat Now! options to negotiate along with the seller.
To do this again, you can message the seller privately. You can also professionally address them and state what deal you are having. Though there are some chances of back and forth, however with the right approach, you should be able to work as per the deal, which sounds impressive to you.
Place an Order
As you have worked on all your details for your deal, now is the time to place your order. Though there are options for taking the transactions off the Alibaba.com, it is better not to do so. As the transaction leaves their platform, it is no longer eligible for Trade Assurance. Staying under the Trade Assurance protects both the buyers and the sellers.
As you place the ordering on Alibaba, you can keep communication on this platform. You need to play through their secure payment portal. All the accepted payment methods that this platform include is:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Wire transfer
- Western union
- Online Bank payment
At the same time, you can also use the “Pay Later”, which gives your buyers 6 months to pay for their order with the 3.5% of the minimum interest rate.
Receive Your Products
The last and final step of the entire buying procedure is to receive your goods. As it comes to cross-border shipping and logistics, you can use the Alibaba.com Freight for a much more reliable and transparent goods receiving experience. It offers air freight, ocean freight along with air express and air parcels from China to worldwide.
As you pay through alibaba.com from our Trade Assurance Program, you can see this process through. Shipping times may also vary depending on the seller. Thus, it must be worked out based on a case-by-case basis.
As you receive your order, you can leave your seller with a review about it, and you can decide whether you will use them in the future or not.
What are The Safe Buying Practices for The Buyers to Avoid Scammers?
As a buyer, you will spend at least thousands of dollars on your inventory. Thus it is important to make sure that you are not getting scammed off. Hence while ensuring safe buying, it is important to keep the transactions on Alibaba.com. It includes all kinds of payments and communications.
As you keep the transactions on Alibaba.com, they assure you the safe cover with the Trade Assurance. It means that they will handle any kind of dispute, and they will make sure that you are getting your refunds if your order is not delivered as per the promise.
There are plenty of scammers in the trade. Thus it makes sense to take all the advantages of the Trade Assurance program as it is free for you as a buyer.
Also Read: (Guide) How to Run Multiple Shops on Etsy?
Some Tips to Ensure Safe Buying from Alibaba.com
Before you invest in buying inventories from Alibaba.com, you have to follow these tips properly:
Complete Your Profile Properly
There is no need for the sellers to accept every order. They also want to get assured that they are working with a much legitimate and serious buyer who will indulge in proper dealings with them. Thus, to show the suppliers that you are offering a real business and you are not scamming, it is important to offer as much information on your profile as you can. Opt for adding a profile picture and all the correct information. You can use a professional email address for your business. Try to fill in as much as you can for your business rather than using a free and generic address.
Assess The Sellers Properly
Before you make any decision of ordering from Alibaba, one of the most important parts of sourcing on Alibaba.com is knowing from whom you are buying. It is important to make sure that the sellers are reliable and trustworthy.
It is important to check if they are Gold Supplier, Verified Supplier, or Trade assurance Supplier. Also, check the supplier profile from their storefront. Check for all the details, including their company, their services, whether they dropship or not, how long they have been selling, and their total annual revenue along with accepted currencies.
Make Your Searches More Efficient
The Alibaba marketplace also works as a search engine for the products. You can easily frame your searches here. Thus, while performing the searches for your product, make sure you are doing complete research. Use the categories, filters, and other options to make sure searches are more effective and useful. Also, try to have the image searches for your product research on this platform.
Whether you go to buy on Alibaba.com, it is important to go through the proper assessment of both the Alibaba products and the sellers. To achieve better business, always strive to stay transparent with your policies, dealing, and approaches while negotiating. Also, it is important to go through all the policies regarding the payment to make sure that you are staying on the verge of safety while buying.