sourcing from china with alibaba

China’s economy has excelled in recent years and continues to expand as more and more companies seek low-cost country sourcing.

China has long served as the manufacturing capital of the world, where cheap production costs, labor, low taxes, and other advantageous factors have cemented China’s status as “the world’s factory”.

One of the best destinations to source goods from is the world’s leading eCommerce platform Alibaba. This acts as an intermediary link between customers and suppliers, where merchants can interact to coordinate mutually beneficial business arrangements.

With so many opportunities at your fingertips, sourcing from Alibaba can seem like a daunting prospect without inside knowledge of the Chinese market. However, by working with an Alibaba sourcing agent you can benefit from the years of experience and expertise they have to offer. 

This article will focus on maximizing your Alibaba experience and ultimately building a long-lasting relationship with a renowned supplier.

What is Alibaba Sourcing?

Alibaba product sourcing involves liaising with suppliers on the popular eCommerce platform and negotiating a mutually beneficial business deal. With the aid of a sourcing agent, you can find a suitable sourcing option at an affordable price.

Alibaba is different from other eCommerce companies since it comprises a comprehensive list of suppliers from around the world. Its main intention is to connect you with retailers that can bring authentic value to your sourcing strategy, something that can increase your bottom line indefinitely.

With millions of products to source directly from suppliers, you can capitalize on the type of insider rates that are usually only available to elite-level merchandisers. By reducing the gap between small and large customers, Alibaba is narrowing the playing field so you can thrive among business giants.

Alibaba sourcing can be difficult for beginners, where market research, validation of your idea, and deciding where to source from can consume significant resources. That’s why working with a sourcing agent is highly recommended, because some things are simply best left to the experts.

Need help finding a sourcing agent on Alibaba? 

How to Find a Sourcing Agent on Alibaba

finding alibaba sourcing agent

Whether you’re sourcing from Alibaba for Amazon, eBay, or to sell from your own commercial platform, you’ll be poised to benefit from working with a sourcing agent.

Though independent sourcing agents like Easy Imex are usually a preferred option, Alibaba provides a list of more than 2000 “purchasing agents” for you to collaborate with.

Agents are verified and trustworthy since they must belong to a company that’s been paying for an Alibaba account for at least three years. Belonging to gold suppliers only, purchasing agents are generally English-speaking salespeople who understand the industry well.

Finding the right agent is as simple as browsing the list at your leisure and contacting the ones that resonate with your ambitions. Despite the way agents are presented in a deceiving way, Alibaba’s sourcing agents are useful if you’re looking to sell off-the-shelf products.

If you’re seeking a more comprehensive sourcing service, you’ll be better off working with an external, highly-established company that’s built years of credibility. This will help you secure effective Alibaba sourcing that will propel your business operations to new heights.

Need help finding a sourcing agent on Alibaba? 

How to Pay Alibaba Suppliers

Once you’ve liaised with an Alibaba supplier and you’re happy to proceed, you’ll need to configure a payment method that provides maximum coverage.

It’s important to note that Alibaba’s “Secure Payment” contract system has its flaws, where you might not be protected as much as you’d think. Determining the right payment option for you begins with asking your supplier about your options.

Though many elect to pay via credit/debit card, Paypal is an advisable option because it offers an additional layer of security. Though this will require you to coordinate payments directly, outside of Alibaba, you will be covered by Paypal’s Purchase Protection Program. This will provide the reassurance you need to entrust someone new.

If things don’t work out as planned, you should contemplate returning your parcel to China with its tracking number. Remember to consider how much this costs prior to buying so you’re covered on all bases.

If you can’t pay via the aforementioned methods, you can always configure a wire transfer instead.    

In this article you can find what is the cost of a China sourcing agent.

How to Check Alibaba Suppliers

check alibaba suppliers

When engaging with Alibaba sourcing, it’s important to carefully vet suppliers to avoid being scammed. Performing a thorough audit is a great way to attain the confidence you need to continue with your purchase.

First of all, you should always avoid free account members, since credible sellers will always be willing to pay fees to demonstrate their commitment. You should also avoid big brands that often accept payments for goods but then fail to deliver on their promise.

Branded goods, especially electronics, are often promoted to generate ‘sales’ with persuasive power. Always remember that if something is too good to be true it probably is. You should also consider limiting yourself to Gold Member accounts only, though this doesn’t always guarantee high-quality products and a professional service.

Avoiding adverse situations is largely based on exercising caution, for example, looking at the age of an account or doing some basic online research to determine whether a supplier has a website or social media accounts.

You can also observe lists of known scammers on websites like ScamWarners, Banned on Alibaba, Ripoff Report, and The Wholesale Forums. Additionally, always consider the payment option being requested, where bank transfers and Western Union are favorable to scammers since they can’t be traced as easily.

Finally, you can perform an advanced audit of your supplier by collaborating with a Chinese company verification service. They can capably execute background checks, ask for document verification, and request company references outside of Alibaba.

If you’re seeking out a company to perform advanced checks and attend to all of your other sourcing requirements, Easy Imex is a fantastic option. Not only can Easy Imex help you mitigate intrinsic risks, but they can also tackle all of your sourcing, quality management, and shipping needs.

Need help finding a sourcing agent on Alibaba? 

Get in Touch Now!

Need professional help to import from China? Tell us your needs in the form below and our professionals will get back to you within 24 hrs.

    I would like to receive tips and updates about importing from China
    [honeypot last-name]


    About the Author: Adam

    Adam Gilbourne is the Founder and Managing Director of Easy Imex. Since 2005, he has helped hundreds of companies worldwide to successfully import from China. He has a large expertise on product sourcing, quality assurance, and supply chain management.

    Leave A Comment