Is Alibaba legit? You might find yourself asking this question when looking for suppliers for your dropshipping ecommerce business. It is a legitimate concern because of the stiff competition in the wholesale marketplace. While there are many suppliers available online, you must select suppliers that will offer the best items when you want to sell products that make money online.
Is Alibaba safe? And why should you choose the Alibaba website for your dropshipping business? These are some of the questions that you will get the answers for in this guide.
Is Alibaba Legit?
Yes, Alibaba is a legitimate company and the Alibaba website is trusted. This is contrary to the popular notion about this China-based company and the negative association with Chinese wholesalers. Alibaba launched in 1999 and has since become one of the top wholesale marketplace in the world wide web. Like most other ecommerce platform out there, you can find many trustworthy and reputable suppliers on Alibaba.
The Alibaba website implements policies and rules that must be observed by merchants and suppliers before they can sell through the platform. Like most ecommerce websites, there are certain benefits and drawbacks that you must be aware of before you choose an Alibaba supplier.
Alibaba Trade Assurance program is another method that gives you confidence when you select suppliers from the website. This verification program is available for reputable suppliers and offers secure payment platform. There are other benefits to the Trade Assurance Program by Alibaba:
- You can choose a convenient and secure payment method. Alibaba Trade Assurance program allows you to choose the best payment method for you such as PayPal, credit card, and other financing options for Alibaba suppliers from the US.
- You can ensure the security of your payment. You have the ability to request refund if you are unsatisfied with your products.
- Buying from Trade Assurance suppliers give you access to better support when you buy products from Alibaba. This program ensures a good business relationship between you and your suppliers on Alibaba.
Dropshipping Tips: Should You Choose Alibaba Suppliers?
Have you decided to work with Alibaba suppliers for your online store? The following are important tips that you must keep in mind to ensure that you can get your money’s worth and that you can sell products to make more profit.
1. Choose a verified gold supplier
Alibaba Trusted Assurance is the own verification program offered by Alibaba. The verification process and supplier assessment is done by third-party on-site inspection along with customer feedback. Once a verified gold supplier, you will be able to see the verified widget on the product page of an Alibaba supplier.
The verification badge guarantees that you are dealing with an assessed supplier. You can also see additional details such as how long they have been verified, the supplier response times, and the overall customer satisfaction rate.
Alibaba also offers more insightful tags on select suppliers, such as the assessed supplier for quality control, high repeat customers, and those that offer custom packaging.
2. Contacting suppliers
You must do your own research about potential suppliers to work with for your online business. If you have created a short list of reputable suppliers, take the time to contact suppliers and ask questions that are relevant to starting your online store. You can ask the suppliers for a copy of their business license to ensure they are legitimate. You can also get their phone number to be able to speak directly with the supplier. If they have any photos of their sample products or their factory, make sure to ask for it.
If you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to ask questions and follow-up with the supplier. You need to obtain the information you need to make an important decision for your business, especially if the particular supplier you are dealing with is located overseas.
3. Ask for samples
The only way you can guarantee the quality when buying products from Alibaba is to see an actual sample of the product. Reputable suppliers won’t be offended when you ask them for a sample of the product in their inventory.The ability to touch and use the product is the best way to ensure product quality.
Product quality is the most critical factor when choosing suppliers on Alibaba. You want to be able to focus on quality when you sell online, especially if you want to earn lots of profit.
4. Don’t settle for less
Choosing the best suppliers on Alibaba is something that you have to invest time and effort on. Never settle for anything less if you can’t verify the product quality. Alibaba dropshipping, or the dropshipping business model in general, is highly competitive. Make sure you do your research on your chosen suppliers to guarantee that you can satisfy your customers and that you can positively impact your ecommerce business.
If you are not satisfied with the quality of the product samples, or the supplier’s company is unresponsive, you should continue looking. A reliable supplier will be more than happy to provide what you need. They should be open to supplier assessment to guarantee that they have the best products. Most suppliers will comply with your request to win over your business. If not, there are many suppliers to choose from so don’t feel like you have to settle for them.
Pros and Cons of Alibaba Suppliers
The low production pricing is one of the reasons why many online store owners choose to buy from Alibaba and other China wholesalers. The low cost of manufacturing gives you a larger profit margin when selling products on your online store. In fact, many dropshippers agree that the low cost of overseas manufacturing makes it possible for them to start a dropshipping business and make money off it.
Is buying from Alibaba safe? Here are some pros and cons that you must consider when doing Alibaba supplier search.
Pros of Buying from Alibaba
The following are some of the reasons why you must choose suppliers on Alibaba for your dropshipping business:
- Cheaper production pricing
- Chinese wholesalers are more open to suppling for small businesses and has a lower minimum order quantities
- Many suppliers to choose from
- Buying products that are not produced elsewhere
- Access to more reputable suppliers
Cons of Buying from Alibaba
In addition to the benefits above, there are also potential drawbacks that you must be aware of when buying from Alibaba for your online store:
- Perception of poor quality products
- Lower manufacturing standards
- Longer shipping time
- Lack of secure payment (outside of the Alibaba Trade Assurance Program)
- Language and communication barriers with Chinese supplier
- Lack of intellectual property protection
Alibaba Dropshipping – How it Works
If you have chosen the best suppliers on Alibaba, it’s time to launch your dropshipping business off the ground. The following are the recommendations to keep in mind when dropshipping and working with potential suppliers.
1. Product Search
Buying products from Alibaba is a straightforward process. It works the same way as with any other wholesale marketplace online like eBay or Aliexpress. You can do a search on the best and trending products to sell. If you already have an idea on the product you want to sell, go to the Alibaba website and browse the specific category of products you want for your online business.
There are two ways that you can find products on Alibaba. The first approach is to search for items using the product description. This type of research will generate plenty of results of potential products. Another option is to go to the drop-down menu and narrow down your search according to Suppliers (not products). Select suppliers that offer a specific kind of product or product category instead of looking for specific products.
2. Check the product page
If you are looking for reliable suppliers on Alibaba, you must keep an eye out for specific details on the product page. For example, look at the product description for a specific product.
Check the minimum order quantities for that product. This indicates the smallest amount of a particular product when ordering through that supplier. Ideally, this should be negotiable and could vary from one supplier to another.
The next thing to check when contacting suppliers is the payment method. Your chosen suppliers on Alibaba must offer various payment methods to ensure convenience for you, the dropshipper. There are various risk levels of the chosen payment method so it is important to evaluate each option available. Paypal is the most popular payment method for dropshippers because of the low risk level. It has a good buyer protection policy so you can easily dispute any fraud transactions. Another option is through an escrow service, which has a lower risk like Paypal.
Generally, you must choose Paypal or an escrow service if you are new to buying from Alibaba or choosing Alibaba suppliers. You want to get the highest level of protection for your purchased goods.
3. Contacting suppliers
If you have chosen a particular supplier for your dropshipping business, get in touch with them directly. Most suppliers offer a wide range of options to getting in touch with them such as email, social media, or chat messaging feature. If you can, try to get the supplier’s business address. If you have plenty of questions, list them down on your email to make it easier for the supplier to respond to each of those questions.
You should also request a quote from the legit supplier at this point (also known as RFQ). When requesting a quote, provide the minimum order quantities, shipping costs, and pricing for samples (if not offered free). You should also inquire about the production time so you know when you can expect the products to be shipped. And make sure you finalize and agree on the payment terms.
Is Alibaba Legit? Final Thoughts
Buying products from Alibaba for your Alibaba dropshipping business is a legitimate model for your ecommerce business. You can make an actual business by selling products through verified gold suppliers on the platform. Whether you want to sell branded products or custom products, you can find many potential suppliers on Alibaba.
If you are thinking about buying on AliBaba to sell on eBay, then you can rest assured that you are choosing the right suppliers by following the following steps.
Is Alibaba legit? As mentioned above, this is a completely legit and trusted website. If you do your own research when choosing potential suppliers, you have nothing to worry about. You can get quality products for your online store at reasonable pricing.
FAQs on Dropshipping with Alibaba
Is Alibaba a trustworthy site?
Yes. The majority of the merchants on Alibaba are reputable and trustworthy. Many dropshippers might have apprehensions about choosing an Alibaba supplier but you need to do extensive product research and background check on your chosen supplier. This approach will ensure that you have a legit supplier and that the products are of good quality.
Make sure to look for the Trade Assurance seal, which is a verification program that give you protection for payments made through the Alibaba platform.
How do I know if Alibaba supplier is legit?
To ensure you buying products from a reliable supplier in Alibaba, go to ‘Feeds’ on the Alibaba app. Choose the ‘Discover’ tab and look for products that are ‘Verified’. This will enable you to browse products from verified suppliers, which gives you an assurance of quality. Supplier assessment is a must to assess their business performance.
What are the risks of buying from Alibaba?
There are several risks when buying from Alibaba as there are risks when you buy from another ecommerce platform. It is important to pay it due diligence when performing Alibaba supplier search to avoid the following risks: payment fraudsters, poor quality products, buy-and-switch scheme, raising prices after quoting, etc.
Product quality is an important factor to consider when choosing Alibaba suppliers so you have to be extra careful before you sell online. If you can, contact suppliers directly if you have questions or concerns. It is also recommended that you choose gold suppliers when buying from Alibaba for your own safety.
How can I avoid being scammed on Alibaba?
Engaging in an ecommerce business always entails a risk, especially when you select suppliers. When buying through Alibaba, always choose legit suppliers to avoid poor quality products, especially when buying large quantities.
Buying through the Alibaba dropshipping Trade Assurance suppliers also gives you confidence that you are buying products from Alibaba legit suppliers that perform quality control. At the same time, you can guarantee secure payment through this program and have the chance to get your money back. Otherwise, you could lose money from suppliers on Alibaba that offer poor quality products.
Is it legal to resell products from Alibaba?
Yes, it is perfectly legal to buy and resell products from Alibaba. Most of the Alibaba suppliers offer their products to individuals or business owners to sell online. Most of these sellers on Alibaba are manufacturing company that sells to private label brands and businesses.
Can I get my money back from Alibaba?
Yes. You have up to a 30-day period from the time of the delivery of the product to request a refund, if you are unsatisfied with the quality of the product. Make sure to buy only from suppliers through the Alibaba Trade Assurance program. They will assist you in the investigation of the products as part of the refund resolution.
Is Aliexpress better than Alibaba?
Alibaba is a good choice for expert dropshippers looking for a reliable supplier, big businesses or shops that want to create custom products. On the other hand, Aliexpress is suited for new merchants, startup businesses, or dropshippers. It is also one of the best Alibaba alternatives. Regardless of which store you choose to get your supplier and start selling online, you need to do extensive product research and background check about a particular supplier.