Are you looking to build your brand or expand your business? You can accomplish this by educating yourself on the right way to source from an online marketplace like Alibaba.com. Sourcing is beneficial if you are not equipped with the right tools to create your product, perhaps a supplier from overseas could provide expertise and high standards for you all at the right price. We’ve created 3 tips to position you for success in sourcing from Alibaba.com.
The options seem endless with the thousands of products and suppliers available from all over the world on Alibaba.com. With the tools and techniques available, chances are you’re bound to find a supplier to suit your standards and needs.
3 Tips for Sourcing On Alibaba.com
1. Find Quality Products and Suppliers
It is important to find quality products and suppliers you can trust with bringing your vision to life. When it comes to sourcing from Alibaba.com there is a great product selection made available to you, narrowing down the search will allow you to connect with manufacturers more efficiently. You can narrow down your options by selecting the filters available on Alibaba.com to customize the search to meet your expectations. Suppliers can be put into the following categories that you can filter out:
- Gold Supplier: This is a paid membership account.
- Assessed Supplier: Alibaba.com or a third-party company has physically inspected this operation.
- Trade Assurance: If your order is not up to specs, Alibaba.com will help you find a solution with you and your supplier.
By filtering out suppliers this way, you will be able to find the best suppliers and feel a sense of security with the protection of these categories.
It’s also important that you consider how many years they have been doing business online. The less time they have spent on the platform can make it easy to raise questions about their ability to deliver quality and understanding of the products you are seeking.
These are all key factors to consider when it comes to filtering your supplier from the products that you choose.
2. Legit Checking Your Factories
Now that you have your list narrowed down, before sending any money it’s important for you to get on a video call to ensure they are legitimate manufacturers. It is easy for anyone to send photos of products but it’s just as important to see the factory as well.
Keep in mind that your supplier may live in a different part of the world and time zones may not align, set up a call during appropriate business hours of their operation. This will also verify that you’re working directly with the manufacturer and not middlemen.
One of the features available that gives you the power as a business owner is the 3D showroom that allows you to see how legitimate the suppliers are. This feature allows suppliers to upload imagery of their factory floors and a virtual walkthrough. The live feature is another way suppliers can showcase their products to you or answer questions you may have.
3. Inspecting Your Shipment and Shipping Options
When it comes to receiving samples you want to verify the level of quality. Essentially, you are looking for red flags during this process. In the event that your product is not what you expected it to be, you have this opportunity to address the flaws and ensure correction for a bulk run.
For large production runs, you’ll want to look into the Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) Pricing. DDP pricing means that the supplier is in charge of delivering the product directly to the address provided, and will be quoting you a price with all those costs included. This improves communication and oftentimes reduces shipping time and costs for you. Not all suppliers have this option available, but it’s always good to ask. If DDP is not available, it is likely the supplier utilizes Free On Board (FOB) shipping in which you should coordinate logistics with a shipping company at a port.
Now if all of this sounds a little too complicated or if you're not ready to drop thousands of dollars yet, Alibaba.com offers drop shipping that connects directly to your eCommerce site.
This drop shipping service connects directly to the supplier and ships individual orders made on your eCommerce site. This can easily be done by importing the item into your eCommerce story by connecting it to your Alibaba.com account.
Keeping these 3 tips in mind will help you better navigate the sourcing process to ensure success in expanding your brand. If you’d like to dive deeper into how to source on Alibaba.com watch below or click here!