Is Alibaba Safe?
Recently, I received some new customer consultations: They found it is very difficult to choose the ideal manufacturer in Alibaba, because there are always thousands of results in searching for their products.
At the same time, they also realize some suppliers on Alibaba which is a trader, instead of manufacture; and some suppliers are not from China. So, let’s talk about it today, How to find a reliable Chinese supplier on Alibaba??
Alibaba has the most abundant resources on the Internet to find product manufacturers.
The most important reason is that you can get almost anything, from raw materials to finished products, and the cost is much cheaper than buying them from elsewhere.
Is Alibaba safe?
For some reason, the Chinese market has gained some suspicious reputation among international businessmen. Therefore, some new companies who found Alibaba are cautious about this.
Alibaba is a platform with hundreds of thousands of different companies. Each of these companies offers products of different quality. There are good and bad products all over the world, this is fact. To be honest, such a huge market, it does have some traps that new buyers need to pay attention to.
Even this, but I want to say, Alibaba is still the safest platform to wholesale products from China. All we need to do is to avoid the trap and choose a quality and reliable supplier.
When you browse Alibaba, there are two types of suppliers: manufacturers and trading companies.
Manufacturers mean they produce products in their own factories. Since manufacturers are direct creators of products, they can offer relatively low commodity prices.
However, in most cases, their MOQ (the minimum order quantity) is usually very high. Keep in mind that some small manufacturers will work directly with retailers.
So, you always have the opportunity to work directly with the manufacturer, even your order quantity is not so big. Just keep communicating with them.
• Trading company
A trading company acts as a middleman, sourcing products from manufacturers and selling them to you. In general, it is best to buy the product directly from the manufacturer because it can reduce costs. of course, there is no reason that you can't work with trading companies if they are reliable and suitable for you. But in today's article, we mainly tell you how to find a manufacturer on Alibaba.
There is also a situation where the supplier is listed as the above two. Sometimes it is difficult to find out which category a supplier belongs to. And there is also a bad situation, that is, some trading companies pretend to be manufactories.
How to find a Chinese Reliable Manufacture on Alibaba?
1, Collect related information about the product
a) Know the product's keywords and searches on Alibaba
For example, you search "shoes ornament" on Alibaba. The results will show you all the products related to Alibaba's "shoes ornament". By browsing these search results, you will find that suppliers may use "shoes flower" or "shoes decoration" or "shoes metal " or “shoes buckle” to sell the same product. Therefore, you can also search for "shoes flower" or "shoes decoration" or "shoes metal" and get more results related to the desired product.
b) Know where the product is produced, (commonly known as industry cluster) to reduce the scope of suppliers. With this, you can also get more alternative suppliers with a cost advantage,
Buyers who have a good understanding of China are well aware that commonly used products are usually produced in Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces, and some are produced in Fujian.
Other provinces usually produce agricultural products, chemical products, and machinery.
Below are some of the production clusters for the most famous and most frequently exported products:
Shoes and Boots
Guangzhou and Dongguan city of Guangdong Province: medium to high-end shoes
Wenzhou and Taizhou of Zhejiang Province: medium to low-end men’s shoes.
Chengdu and Chongqing: mainly produce low-end women’s shoes
Quanzhou and Jinjiang in Fujian Province: sport shoes.
Bags: Huadu, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
Sunglass: Dongguan and Shenzhen city of Guangdong Province / Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province
Jewelry and Accessories: Dongguan, Guangdong Province
Yiwu, Zhejiang Province
Belts: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province / Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province
Sock: Datang, Zhejiang Province/ Foshan, Guangdong Province
Car Accessories: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province / Tiantai, Zhejiang Province
Home Appliances: Shunde, Foshan city, Guangdong Province.
Clothes: Zhejiang Province/ Guangdong Province/ Jiangsu Province / Shandong Province
Furniture: Foshan, Guangdong Province / Dongguan, Guangdong Province / Anji Town, Huzhou, Zhejiang Province – The Chair Town of China
Toys: Chenghai, Shantou city, Guangdong Province/ Dongguan city, Guangdong Province
Consumer Electronics (such as earphone, mobile accessories, Bluetooth speaker…) Shenzhen city, Guangdong Province
OK, let’ move on. When you search for "shoes ornament" on Alibaba, there are 19.168 products.
From the “supplier location”, you will find most "shoes ornament" supplies are concentrated in two regions of China.
There are 8030 “shoes ornament” suppliers in Guangdong Province, 5862 “shoes ornament” Zhejiang suppliers registered in Alibaba. From other provinces, it is very less quantity.
So, you don’t need to consider them, as most of them are trading company. OK, according to this result, you can use “Guangdong shoes ornament” to search, and click supplier, you will get 328 suppliers.
You may remember that I have list industry cluster above, you can try Dongguan/Yiwu added in the searching, like Dongguan shoes ornament, then you will get 91 suppliers.
OK, you can adjust your searching words according to the result. Normally with Province+ product name (Guangdong shoes ornament) or City + Product name (Dongguan shoes ornament).
2, Use tools to help you narrow the supplier range
Trade Assurance: Trade Assurance protects the buyer's order; if the supplier fails to meet the terms of the contract (including delivery delays, quality and quantity differences or other processing issues), it can minimize the risk by guaranteeing a refund. This is a good way for new importers wholesale products from Alibaba.
Verified Supplier: supplier evaluated by a third-party and has a report to prove this.
Past Export Countries: This means that these suppliers have exported to these countries. For countries that require certification or test for some products, you may choose this option to find the right supplier faster.
For example, if you want to import home appliance from China to Brazil, you hope that the product must meet the INMETRO test requirements. You can choose "Brazil" in "Past Export Countries" to further narrow down your search.
Product Filters: You can choose according to your product.
Some data you just need to know but don't need care too much. Because some article is too exaggerated about this, it is necessary to mention here.
Response Rate: Means within 24 hours, how many percents of buyers who contacted this supplier received a response. So, this doesn’t mean this supplier is good or not.
“Gold” is a senior member of Alibaba's suppliers. Now it is not any more one option in the title, so you didn’t see it on the picture. Alibaba charges the service fee of gold supplier is approximately $11,800 per year.
Ordinary members pay about $4,400 per year. Any supplier can become a gold supplier when agree to pay. Therefore, you need to pay attention that a gold supplier does not mean that you will work with a reliable supplier or a supplier that supplies top-quality materials.
3, Browse the supplier's Company profile, Product Categories, Contacts
As above mentioned, when you Browse Company profile, you may find one business type:
How to Know If the Supplier Is Manufacturer or Trading Company?
1, Company name: end with “Imp. And Exp. Trade Co., Ltd.”, “Trading Co., Ltd.” Import & Export Co., Ltd.”, “Shop”, “Trade Firm”, this is basically a trading company.
2, Company Address: A manufacturer will not be located in the office building of the commercial center (because of the expensive rent). The vast majority of Chinese factories are located in XX Village, XX Town, and XX Industrial Zone.
3, View the product categories: check this supplier if is focused on one product or several products line, for example, one supplier’s product categories are as following: there are many kinds of products, obviously there is no factory can produce so many products. then it’s more likely to be a trading company.
4. Try to Find the Chinese name of this supplier from the company profile.
We move to Alibaba and type “Dongguan shoes ornament” in the search bar, we found this supplier, and with business type: Manufacturer, Trading Company
In their company file, I saw the company Chinese name: 品灼饰品
Please note, in China, only when you do the real production, you can register manufacturer. Otherwise, you will get administrative punishment or incur very serious tax issues. When you register as Manufacture, on the business scope it will show the Chinese letter, like: “Sheng chan(生产),” “Jia gong(加工)” or “Zhi Zao(制造)”
Now Let’s verify and check more details about this company through the official website: http://www.gsxt.gov.cn (National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System)
You can use supplier Chinese name or Unified social credit code (this will show on supplier’s business license) to check
We got information as following:
I saw they have “Sheng Chan(生产)” and “Jia Gong(加工)” on their business scope. These means that this company is a real Manufacture.
Maybe you will say, some company don’t have a Chinese name or business license show on the company profile, then how to do? Don’t worry, just talk with supplier, ask them to send their business license to you.
Note: The Company name on the business license must be the same as show on Alibaba, the company address maybe have a difference, because of different reason, the factory moved to another place.
The business license will be shown as following, use above way to check and verify on the official website.
I know that you may say that Chinese is too hard to know. Actually, you can find someone to help you on Freelancer for very few dollars. Or you can also ask me directly, free of charge.
4, Contact/ communicate with China suppliers.
After carefully following the above steps, you will have a list of suppliers, add these suppliers to your favorites list and send the message on the Alibaba platform, then start to communicate with them.
As I mentioned in the article: 10 Steps tell you how to import from China to Brazil, some suppliers are not online because of time zone different or other reason, then you can try to contact them by mail.
You can create an email template that could be sent to all your favorite suppliers: In order not to affect the usage of normal mail, I recommend you set up an Alibaba account with less frequently used emails.
When you send an email, provide as much detail as possible about the products you want to purchase. This will ensure that you get an accurate quote.
Here is an example that the customer wants to purchase shoes ornament:
My name is XX of the company XXX, we need to buy high-quality shoes ornament for the brand: XXX. see Attachment.
size: 5x 7cm 0.8mm thickness
material: zinc alloy
color: light gold
Requirement: Lead-free, nickel-free, can pass the RoHS test. For putting on the shoes, the color will not transfer. The surface cannot have any marks, bubbles or scratch.
Do you manufacture these types of high-quality shoes ornament? If yes, please provide the following information:
1) Photos, specifications and FOB quotes
2) If I need to put my logo on the ornament, how about the mold fee and time?
3) Are you a manufacturer or a trading company?
4) What is the delivery time for samples and test orders? wait for your reply.
OK, until here, you have communicated online or email contact with some different suppliers, and you have some of your own potential suppliers. Let’s move forward:
People always say: seeing is believing. Now, you need to do the following two things, VERY IMPORTANT!!
1, Request samples: To understand the quality of the product, you should ask samples from at least 2 supplies.
2, Visit the factory: Know the true situation of the factory. If you are not convenient to come to China, you can ask your friends in China to help, or hire an inspector, or even cooperate with a Sourcing Company.
At the end of the article, let’s summarize in short how to find a reliable Chinese manufacturer on Alibaba:
1, Collect related information about the product- know the products which you want to purchase.
2, Use Alibaba tools to help you narrow the supplier range.
3, Through Browse the supplier's Company profile, Product Categories, Contacts, to know if this supplier is manufacture or trading company.
4, Contact/ communicate with suppliers. Finally, get samples from potential suppliers, and visit factories, to decide the supplier which you want to cooperate.
Hope the above-mentioned tips will help you choose and fin a reliable Chinese supplier on Alibaba.
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