Wondering if Alibaba would be the best platform to buy products or not?
Well, with the continuous rumor about Alibaba that it’s scammy and provides poor-quality products, many of us hold ourselves back from purchasing wholesale products from this platform.
But what if we say that we are missing a major chunk of opportunities in this way?
Yes, Alibaba currently has more than 163 million monthly users, and most of them are experiencing massive business growth with Alibaba.
So, it’s all about how we approach buying from this platform – whether we have maintained the precautions or not.
Keeping this in concern, here we have come up with an honest Alibaba review where we have mentioned its nitty-gritty features and some safety ways you must follow to have a better buying process on this platform.
So, without wasting time, let’s get started.
Alibaba Quick Review (2023)
|Easy to Use||4.8|
|Customer Satisfaction Rate||4.5|
Alibaba Review: Pros & Cons
Here are the benefits & drawbacks of Alibaba to help you understand whether it is the right platform for you.
- If you purchase wholesale products from Alibaba, you will get high-profit margins.
- Alibaba has millions of products for you to choose and its authentic reviews of the products can help you choose the right ones.
- You can provide additional shipping & packaging instructions to your suppliers so that you can provide a better customer experience.
- You can send payments to your suppliers via Western Union or Alipay according to your convenience.
- You can make sure that products are of high quality before they get delivered to your customers.
- Alibaba is a wholesale provider, so you will need to meet their minimum order requirements to start working with it.
- Product quality often differs between the photos and the actual products.
How Much Does Alibaba Cost?
If you register on Alibaba as a wholesale buyer, you won’t have to pay a single penny to purchase wholesale products. And the best part is Alibaba doesn’t cost you extra transaction fees. So, dealing with Alibaba is much cheaper and pocket-friendly than other b2b platforms available in the market.
Here note that Alibaba has especially been made for the b2b wholesale retailers and sellers. So, the Wholesale distributors set a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) to keep their profit margin. Most Alibaba suppliers keep the MOQs of $500 and above. So, if you are thinking of spending on a small number of products, Alibaba might not be suitable for you.
( Pro Tip: If you want to buy individual products, its sister website AliExpress would be your best suit.)
But you can always negotiate the product pricing and quantity with the sellers. To know more about Alibaba MOQ, do check out this page.
However, if you want to join Alibaba as a seller, you have to pay Alibaba regularly. To know more details, click here.
Some of The Best Features Of Alibaba
Lots of other b2b marketplaces are available in the market. So Why to choose Alibaba?
Well, as per our research, we find that Alibaba has some unique features and functionalities that make this platform stand out among the crowd. These are –
- Low-Cost Wholesale Suppliers
Unlike other b2b marketplaces, Alibaba’s wholesale prices are affordable for everyone. Thus it gets easier for businesses to increase their profit margin.
- Millions of Products
Alibaba has millions of sellers worldwide. So, if you look for any products, you’ll get millions of results for the same. Starting from home and gardening to electronics, every kind of product is available on this platform. So, it’s a win-win situation for wholesale buyers.
( Pro Tip: We recommend you to avoid buying electronic gadgets, baby products, and consumable items from Alibaba as they have lots of shipment issues and dangers.)
- This Platform is Secure and Trustworthy
Considering the unlimited number of comments regarding “Alibaba scamming,” this platform has introduced some unique information on the product dashboard, including company transactions, reviews, information, verified sellers, etc, to make your purchasing more secure.
Moreover, Alibaba has come up with Trade Assurance Programme that helps buyers get quality products and on-time shipment and makes the payment process seamless via Alibaba-verified payment gateways.
It also offers Product Monitoring and Inspection Services so that buyers can ensure product quality before purchasing.
So, we can say Alibaba has some secure ways through which you can find the best products for your business.
- Product Filtering Options
Though Alibaba offers you a variety of products, you can still narrow down your choice by filtering out supplier type, product type, minimum order, supplier region, product certification, and so on. This way, you can experience a seamless buying journey.
- Alibaba Pay Later Option
The best thing about Alibaba is that it offers Pay Later Option that allows buyers to pay for their products later ( with interest) when they don’t have the budget to buy them. This is backed by Kabbage Funding and is surely an amazing way to support newbie retailers.
- It’s a Multi-Lingual Platform
Unlike other b2b marketplaces, Alibaba supports 16 languages that break the language-barrier problem and create a rapport between sellers and buyers. For example, if you send a message to a Chinese seller from the UK, Alibaba will automatically change it to their local language. Consequently, it also boosts the customer experience.
- Track the Orders
Some manufacturers and suppliers let you track orders, which is great for streamlining the order fulfillment process.
- Directly Connect with Suppliers
If you have any doubts about shipments or want to negotiate the product pricing, you can directly chat with suppliers. This eliminates the extra hassles of searching the suppliers online and saves your time.
- Mobile and Cloud-Based Solution
Alibaba has made a huge investment in making mobiles and cloud-based systems that have generated high revenue in the marketplace.
- Easy to Use
Alibaba is super smooth and easy to navigate. You don’t need prior coding knowledge to use this platform. From setting up an account to adding products to the cart to placing orders, everything is straightforward and needs only a few clicks of the mouse.
Is Alibaba Safe To Use?
Whenever we talk about Alibaba, one question arises: “Is Alibaba safe?” Well, before coming to any conclusion, we must remind you that Alibaba is a b2b platform that connects sellers with buyers. So, the platform itself is genuine and safe to use.
“ Overall, as a first-time user at Alibaba, I had a few reservations. I was methodical about the aspects of purchasing/paying, and all seems to have gone perfectly!”
But, still, lots of confusion go around the sellers, and many buyers have complained about getting scammed and poor services. So, here we have mentioned a few steps you need to follow to avoid scams on Alibaba and have a safe, smooth buying journey.
- Check Supplier Authenticity
Once you have decided to place an order from a particular supplier, ensure to check his background and the information he has provided on Alibaba. If that supplier shows any company name and products, make sure to connect with the company and ask about him. If everything goes well, you can move forward; otherwise, consider this a red flag!
- Buy from Gold Suppliers Only
There are millions of wholesale suppliers on Alibaba. But most of them are authenticated by the platform itself. Mainly there are three types of suppliers on Alibaba – Gold suppliers, Verified Suppliers, and Trade Assurance Suppliers. So, make sure to always buy from Gold suppliers to avoid scams.
( Pro Tip: Don’t eliminate the non-gold suppliers entirely. If they have exceptional products, connect with them after thorough research.)
- Check the Price Before Placing Orders
Once you finalize any product, keep three to four suppliers in the pipeline. But if you see a vast difference among the prices, then surely something fishy is going on there. So, ensure to check the pricing before placing orders.
- Avoid Non-Verified Transaction Method
Always make payments via Alibaba-verified payment gateways, including PayPal, Trade Assurance, Bank Transfer, etc. Avoid transactions outside of Alibaba.
- Check Company Ratings and Reviews
After deciding on the products, browse down and check the company’s site and profile, ratings, and transactions to verify if it’s legitimate or not.
- Request for Samples Before Bulk-Purchasing
Request your suppliers for sample products. But never ask for one product only because the first product will always be of high quality. So, order at least 15 products before bulk purchasing.
- Check the Suppliers’ Contact Details on Internet Record Listing Sites
If you find anything fishy, you can simply go on the internet record listing sites like “WhoIs Domain Lookup” and search for their contact details by simply entering the company’s domain name.
- Ask for UK, and US-based References
Ask your suppliers to give you the US and UK-based references; if they don’t hesitate to do that, it’s a green flag.
- Search on Google and Authenticate the Company
If you find any red flags, type “scam” (or related keywords) with the company name on the Google search bar and clear your doubts.
If you follow these methods mentioned above, we are sure you’ll avoid scammers in your first purchase on this platform.
What’s The Difference Between Alibaba and AliExpress?
Alibaba is a complete supplier directory that directly connects manufacturers and suppliers with businesses. AliExpress is a platform that helps small businesses in finding the best products to sell in their store. Both Alibaba and AliExpress are considered trading companies. Depending on your business’s requirements, you can choose between them.
If you are planning to sell quality products in bulk and want to deal with manufacturers directly, then you can choose Alibaba. On AliExpress, you can find branded products and buy them in individual quantities and get them delivered through companies like USPS and DHL. AliExpress is also considered the retail version of Alibaba. You can purchase items from AliExpress like a regular customer.
Few Things We Don’t Like About Alibaba
No doubt, Alibaba is one of the largest b2b wholesale marketplaces in the world. Still, it has some drawbacks that hold it back from gaining 5 out of 5 ratings. These include –
- Suppliers always don’t reply to everyone. So, it might seem time-consuming if you have doubts to clear.
( Pro Tip: Make sure to send clear skimmable queries to them. The chance of getting a reply is high in that case. You can also ask for their other contact information to boost your bond with the suppliers.)
- Sometimes, products aren’t the same as shown in the pictures.
- You can’t have any on-site visits until you purchase any item.
- Conducting refunds takes time and is a tiring process.
- You might face issues with restocking items. So, it hampers customer experience.
- Alibaba is great if you are a wholesale retailer. But if you want to buy an individual product, Alibaba isn’t for you.
- It takes longer shipping time.
- Alibaba solely depends on the Chinese marketplace. So, it might hamper its popularity with China’s economic downfall.
Trading Companies Vs Manufacturers: Who Should You Buy from on Alibaba?
Trading companies mainly work as middlemen. They take orders from manufacturers and sell them on global marketplaces like Alibaba. Apart from having an online storefront, these companies have brick-and-mortar shops too.
On the contrary, manufacturers are the real companies that directly engage with the product-making process and sell them via different online channels. Like Trading companies, they also have offline shops and a wide range of channels to sell the products.
Now, if you are a wholesale buyer, we always suggest you to go for the manufacturers over trading companies as there’s no middleman involved, and you’ll get the same products at a lower budget. So, it’s always a smart choice to buy from manufacturers.
Who Is Alibaba For?
Alibaba is a b2b marketplace, especially for b2b sellers and buyers. So, if you have a retail business and looking forward to the best platform, go for Alibaba. But make sure you have a huge amount to spend, as Alibaba lets you buy bulk products, not individual.
Moreover, if you have any manufacturing business and looking forward to selling them worldwide, again Alibaba is your perfect suit. If you want to have a trading business, this platform has your back.
So, determine your end goal and use Alibaba wisely.
To be honest, there is huge competition on Alibaba, especially for suppliers. So, knowing some of the other Alibaba alternatives is important to have a seamless buying and selling journey.
|Alibaba Alternatives||Overall Ratings|
Final Words: Should You Go for Alibaba In 2023?
Now we are at the final stage of getting the conclusion – Should you choose Alibaba or not?
Well, as per our thorough research, we’ll recommend you this platform as it offers low-cost wholesale suppliers and gives you ample opportunities to pick the best product for your business.
No doubt, lots of people complain about Alibaba, but nothing could snatch away the popularity this platform has gained for decades. So, if you are a newbie or already have a growing business, we would recommend you to deal with this platform keeping all the precautions in concern (we have mentioned above in this article).
Thus, we can conclude that Alibaba is, no doubt, a great b2b marketplace for wholesale suppliers and buyers.
Still, have queries? Do let us know in the comment section below.
FAQs On Alibaba
Yes, Alibaba is a safe b2b marketplace. But you might face some scamming issues with the sellers. So, ensure taking precautions before placing orders.
Yes, Alibaba is the biggest b2b marketplace in China. But still, it’s smaller in comparison to America’s Amazon counterpart.
Alibaba mainly offers wholesale services to buyers. But you can request your supplier to send one item if you want to check the quality. In most cases, they agree.
Some of the biggest risks of buying from Alibaba are payment fraud, bait & switch, wrong quality goods, employee sub-contracting, and raising the cost even after finalizing the cost before.
To identify whether a seller is legit, check a “Verified Supplier” tag under products and sellers when surfing on Alibaba. This tag appears for buyers only, and you can see it on company profiles, supplier databases, and product pages. If you are a verified supplier program member, you will get exclusive benefits & perks.
Yes, Alibaba offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can ask for a refund if you have received an inferior quality product that it was shown on the website.