Here’s what you need to know before you buy on Alibaba to import

If you are looking to import wholesale goods from China to Argentina through Alibaba, then this article will teach you how to use Alibaba the right way so you don’t get ripped off on your first transaction. But before you start looking for reliable Chinese suppliers, you have to be prepared. As a result, we[...]
buy on alibababa to import

    If you are looking to import wholesale goods from China to Argentina through Alibaba, then this article will teach you how to use Alibaba the right way so you don’t get ripped off on your first transaction.

    But before you start looking for reliable Chinese suppliers, you have to be prepared. As a result, we recommend you to pay attention to these details first:

    Know what you want to sell

    Alibaba is not a good place to randomly brainstorm about potential niches. If you don’t know what to sell yet, then first subscribe to our newsletter where we provide you with recommendations of profitable products ready to import and sell.

    Understanding what to expect when buying in China

    Alibaba is a search engine for Chinese suppliers, which means you won’t find any Argentine or domestic suppliers on the platform. If you have never shopped in China before, be sure to read this definitive guide.

    With that in mind, Alibaba is one of the largest databases of Chinese suppliers in the world. And it’s by far one of the best places to find Chinese wholesale sellers online.

    But because Alibaba is so large, it’s also full of unscrupulous suppliers who will sell you junk or try to cut corners on quality. This guide will teach you the right way to use Alibaba and avoid headaches.

    What is Alibaba?

    What is Alibaba?

    Alibaba is a directory of Chinese suppliers where you can find factories to manufacture products for you at wholesale prices.

    Almost all suppliers you find on Alibaba will allow you to place your own brand name on their product, which is a practice known as private labeling.

    Because many suppliers on Alibaba are manufacturers or factories, they will usually force you to buy a minimum order quantity with each order and you will have to buy in bulk.

    Now, the MOQ (minimum order quantity) will vary from supplier to supplier, but in general, you should be able to find a supplier on Alibaba that matches the size of your business.

    For example, we see importers all the time starting their first imports with minimum quantities, and as they validate their product and sell on the open market, they jump to larger quantity imports.

    Now their e-commerce business is much larger, we help them work with larger suppliers by adjusting minimum quantities of thousands of units to obtain much lower prices.

    If this is your first time using Alibaba and you are having trouble finding the right supplier, don’t be discouraged. After all, there is an Alibaba wholesaler for every size of business. You just need to know where to look.

    Alibaba Vs AliExpress – Which one should I use?

    Alibaba Vs AliExpress - Which one should I use?

    Both Alibaba and AliExpress are owned by the same parent company (Alibaba Holdings Group) so it is very easy to confuse the 2 platforms.

    But AliExpress and Alibaba are different companies with completely different use cases.

    While Alibaba is a Chinese wholesale directory of factories and trading companies, AliExpress is more like a Chinese version of Ebay.

    In fact, on AliExpress, you can buy products in single-unit quantities and factories often use AliExpress as a clearance outlet for their products.

    As a result, prices on AliExpress will be much higher than Alibaba and in general, AliExpress is not a good platform to find long-term suppliers for your e-commerce business.

    Can someone use Alibaba and do they need to own a company?

    Can someone use Alibaba and do they need to own a company?

    You don’t need to have a company or any special credentials to use Alibaba. You don’t need a seller’s permit, a website, a corporation….nothing.

    In fact, most wholesale suppliers on Alibaba don’t care who they work with as long as they buy in bulk, pay on time and order consistently.

    Remember, Alibaba is just an online directory for Chinese suppliers and it is up to you to negotiate price and minimum order quantities.

    Some people in their first few startups ask us if they need to have a custom business domain like [email protected] before contacting Alibaba suppliers.

    And while it certainly helps credibility, we have had customers use their gmail addresses and it has worked very well.

    Is Alibaba safe?

    Is Alibaba safe?

    We have been using Alibaba for over a decade and can attest from our customers that nothing ever happened. As long as you follow the instructions in this article, the chances of a Chinese supplier taking your money without sending you their products are very slim.

    However, chances are that you will encounter quality control problems.

    In fact, your main concern when buying from Alibaba wholesale suppliers is that you will receive poor quality products that do not match what you expect.

    To prevent this from happening, you MUST follow the guidelines and best practices in this article when finding and ordering from Alibaba suppliers.

    Alibaba Best Practices – The Right Way to Use Alibaba

    Once you know what product you want to buy and then sell online, you should start by conducting a search using Alibaba’s search bar.

    Alibaba Best Practices - The Right Way to Use Alibaba

    By default, Alibaba will display every single supplier in their database that sells the product you want to source. Many of these listings will be middlemen or individuals trying to make a quick buck and not real companies.

    As a result, the first action you should take is to filter out only verified suppliers (gold or GOLD suppliers) and suppliers that support commercial guarantee.

    Los proveedores que apoyan la garantía comercial.

    What is a verified or gold supplier?

    A verified or gold supplier is a supplier that has paid Alibaba a premium membership fee and can use this badge to eliminate lower tier suppliers.

    To be eligible to become a gold supplier, Alibaba performs the following checks:

    – On-site verification.

    An on-site verification is a verification process in which the supplier’s factory is checked by Alibaba staff to ensure that it is legitimate. In addition, the supplier’s legal status is also checked to make sure it is up to date.

    – A & V Check

    An on-site check is also performed by a neutral third party as an added level of verification.

    There is also an additional level of company called “assessed supplier”, where a conventional verification company, such as Bureau Veritas, goes through and assesses the supplier for their production capabilities, certifications, and research and development capabilities.

    An evaluated supplier is the highest grade supplier that can be found on Alibaba.

    See this table for your review.

    - A & V Check

    In short, working only with verified (gold) suppliers will greatly mitigate any risk of being scammed.

    What is trade guarantee?

    Trade guarantee is a free order protection service where Alibaba acts as a third-party escrow company.

    The supplier prepares the goods for shipment and you deposit your payment into a special account designated by Alibaba. As soon as the order is confirmed, the goods and money change hands.

    The nice thing about the trade guarantee is that Alibaba guarantees your money back in case a supplier fails to fulfill the terms of the order contract. This includes shipping delays, quality issues, and processing problems.

    In short, the commercial guarantee ensures that you won’t be ripped off by your supplier.

    How to choose a supplier on Alibaba?

    How to choose a supplier on Alibaba?

    Once you have filtered through the gold and trade guarantee suppliers, you should pay particular attention to price and minimum order quantities.

    In practice, the numbers you see on Alibaba are never set in stone and you can always negotiate more favorable terms. However, the numbers will give you a general idea of the type of customer the supplier wants to work with.

    For example, if you’re just starting out, you probably won’t work with a supplier that has a minimum order quantity of 20,000 units because that would be too many. Instead, narrow the list of suppliers to those that are close to your purchasing power.

    Review the company’s profile on Alibaba.

    Once you’ve selected a group of suppliers you potentially want to work with, you should dig a little deeper and review their company profile.

    Es momento de revisar el perfil del proveedor de alibaba

    Once you’ve selected a group of suppliers you potentially want to work with, you should dig a little deeper and review their company profile.

    Here’s what you should look for:

    – Payment methods.

    Most vendors are used to being paid by wire transfer.

    – Transaction level

    How many transactions has the seller made on Alibaba in the last 6 months.

    – Response rate.

    – Is the vendor responsive to inquiries?

    You can also click on the company profile page for more detailed information such as company size and annual revenue as well.

    Revise el perfil de la compañía en Alibaba

    As you can see, the information that can be found on Alibaba is very comprehensive.

    How to contact Alibaba’s wholesale suppliers

    Asi deberias contactar con los proveedores mayoristas de Alibaba

    There is a right way and a wrong way to contact Alibaba wholesale suppliers and it is much like an appointment.

    The reality is that most Alibaba suppliers are inundated with hundreds of inquiries per day. As a result, your correspondence must stand out from the pack and should be concise and professional.

    Pretend you’re the supplier for a moment. Would you want to waste your time talking to a customer who doesn’t know what they want. Would you want to work with a total novice or an indecisive? The answer is no.

    As a result, you must project confidence and act bigger than you really are. You must present yourself as a buyer or a director of a larger retail organization.

    Here’s an example script we use almost every day when we want to contact a supplier for the first time.


    Hello xxxxxx,

    We are from Cordoba Custom Service of Argentina, we help customers find reliable suppliers. We are interested in carrying many of the items that your factory has to offer.

    Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability on the following items.

    “list the items…provide photos if you have them.”

    Please send prices in quantities of 500, 1000 and 5000 units. Also, if you could send us your product catalogs, manufacturing lead times and MOQ, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Cordoba Custom Service

    How to negotiate with a supplier

    How to negotiate with a supplier

    When importing from China for the first time, you probably have no idea what the “real” price of the products should be.

    As a result, you should shoot off requests to several vendors and get a few different quotes.

    In the end, the quotes you will receive will fall into a bell curve distribution.

    Some quotes will come back impossibly low.
    Some quotes will come back very high.
    But most quotes will fall within the same range.

    In general, you should eliminate all factories with abnormally low bids because those suppliers are probably selling low quality products. Personally, I like to stick with suppliers that offer conventional prices.

    If I am looking to produce a high-end luxury product, then I might work with a more expensive factory, but you have to go with your gut.

    In short, I don’t usually negotiate price until I have obtained samples of the product and until I know which factory I want to work with.

    How to order samples

    At this point, hopefully you’ve narrowed your list of suppliers down to 2 or 3. It’s time to order samples!

    How to order samples from alibaba suppliers

    Before placing a large order with any manufacturer, you should touch and inspect a finished version of their product for quality.

    Here’s what to expect:

    First, the cost of your sample will be significantly higher than the quoted cost for a large order. And by significant, I mean that a sample will often be 10-20 times more expensive.

    For example, we recently ordered a sample gamer style headset and it cost $200, while our wholesale price is typically $45 per piece. Don’t balk at the sample price and don’t try to negotiate!

    Actually, your supplier will credit you the sample cost for your first wholesale order, but paying for samples is just a necessary expense of doing business in China.

    Once you have your sample, you want to go through it with a fine tooth comb and document every last detail of what you want on a “quality checklist.”

    For example, with gamer chairs, we specify….

    Material thickness – This is where sellers often cut corners.
    How it should be packaged – If we don’t specify the presentation of our product, the seller will throw it in a bag all crumpled up.

    Now there are many more line items on our QC list, but I hope you get the point.

    Once you are satisfied with your sample, it’s time to place a bulk order.

    How to place your first wholesale order?

    Realizando el primer pedido a granel por alibaba

    If you are importing from China for the first time, I recommend that you place your first order by airmail.

    Not only will you not have to hire a customs broker/dispatcher, but your goods will arrive at your door in a week or less and you won’t have to worry about anything.

    Often, you can ask your supplier to ship the goods directly to you using their DHL account.

    But once you have your first few successful shipments, you will eventually want to have your goods shipped by sea, which is substantially cheaper.

    While the exact procedure for shipping by sea is beyond the scope of this post, you should definitely hire a reputable freight forwarder and customs broker/dealer to handle everything for you.

    But beyond getting your goods to your warehouse, the most important factor to consider when placing a wholesale order is quality control.

    Before your goods leave a Chinese factory, you must hire an inspector.

    A company like Asia Inspection (now called QIMA) will send a representative to your factory and examine a subset of your goods based on your quality control checklist.

    The cost of this service is approximately $300 and the expense is well worth it. Once your goods pass the inspection test, they are finally ready to begin their journey to Argentina, be formally imported and start selling!

    If you still have any questions…. We look forward to hearing from you!

    CCS Team


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