China has developed a reputation as a lead manufacturer in manufacturing worldwide. Do you know that over 90% of electronics products are made in China? Even the all-mighty IOS that most people are crazy about is made in China, and I don’t mean the software part of it, just everything that has to do with its physical components is all made in china.
Talk about the automobile; just before cars like Tesla, General Motors and the like decided to venture into auto production, China already had the market when it comes to automobiles.
Major Chinese brands like Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, and Lexus, are all made in china. Bringing this whole ranting to a close, have this at the back of your mind that China produces for the entire world, and this is one of the major factors behind their rapidly developing economic growth.
The majority of the products in the United States being hosted on Amazon are primarily created in China for thrice lower the sales price and become inflated when it comes to the United States.
There are so many ways to shop in China; Alibaba.com happens to be the main centre of attraction when it comes to manufacturing.
What is Alibaba?
Alibaba is one of the biggest e-commerce companies to date. Just like Amazon, it caters to online buyers. However, it deals more with direct manufacturers and suppliers from China.
It is essentially a directory of Chinese factories and trading companies in China. If you’re looking for Chinese suppliers, it’s one of the best resources you can find. Even Chinese companies use it.
Alibaba Group was founded by Jack Ma in 1999 and is a massive conglomerate of different web properties, including Alibaba.com, Aliexpress (a website for foreigners to buy products from China), and Taobao (China’s version of Amazon).
The difference between Alibaba and other Chinese online stores is that Alibaba deals with wholesale prices from the manufacturer, while the other stores are just retail stores.
Alibaba.com is a marketplace for manufacturers; this is why things are mostly cheaper than on Aliexpress and other Chinese websites.
This article will show you how you can make a massive profit by shopping and reselling on Alibaba.com.
Why Should You Start An Alibaba Business?
One of the significant factors that drive any business is originality and cost of production; these are the factors that drive businesses in China.
In other words, goods produced in China are unique compared to goods produced in other parts of the world, and also, the cost of building is way cheaper than in all other parts of the world.
Starting an Alibaba business gives you the power to effectively leverage these two business sustaining factors.
1. It Is Cheaper.
The manufacturer produces goods sold on Alibaba, making them cheaper to acquire; most of the products you see on top eCommerce stores such as Amazon are 10X cheaper when bought from China.
2. The profit Margin is high.
Imagine you bought a product at 10X cheaper than the market price and sold them in your country or any part of the world. You get over 10X profit, do the math and see how quickly you will build a self-sustaining business without any hassle.
3. You Never Have To Worry About Delivery.
Products ordered from Alibaba are sent from China to a prefered location set by the customer, whether in Europe, America or even Africa.
China has one of the best flight courier services in the world. When shopping, you would be asked to select your prefered carrier; you have a wide range of options to choose either you choose the official Chinese page or use a foreign courier such as DHL or UPS.
4. You Buy Directly From The Manufacturer.
This is one of the primary reasons why I love Alibaba; as stated earlier in the introductory section, Alibaba.com was designed solely for Chinese Manufacturers, and this is one of the significant reasons why products on this platform are cheaper than every other popular Chinese marketplace like Aliexpress, Taobao and this likes.
On Alibaba, you get to see the direct manufacturer and even interact with them before placing orders.
How Do You Start an Alibaba Business?
It takes more than just regular shopping to become productive with Alibaba.com; trust me, Alibaba has many negative reviews.
But, most of the time, it is majorly caused by newbies who don’t know how to use the platform correctly.
Starting an Alibaba business requires a lot of background checks and safety precautions, most of which will be discussed in this section.
1. Do Product Research.
Before starting an Alibaba business, the first step is to do effective product research; this activity should answer three critical questions: What does the market need? Would they be ready to pay for it? Finally, how quickly can it be made available?
There is nothing more profiting than a hungry market; imagine bringing in a 1940 typewriter; you don’t expect to make sales from that kind of product because it is unnecessary. Even if you intend to sell that stuff, it would be on a custom order.
There are many ways to do product research. One way is to go out yourself and survey your local market. The other way round is to look up the internet; you can quickly gather this information using online keyword research tools.
I also recommend that you keep in mind when deciding on a product is the weight; the shipping fee can disrupt your profit when attempting to bring something of considerable importance to sell.
Also, the shipping option for heavy-duty goods is usually carried via boat, which can take a very long time to arrive at the dockyard of your country. Make sure to choose something lightweight that can be shipped via air.
2. Buy From a Verified Supplier.
Most of the suppliers on Alibaba.com are not legit; they do not deliver what was displayed on the website; it would be foolish to patronise the supplier.
Don’t get scared; there is no total integrity in any system in this world, and something would still lag; this is why there should be more room for improvement.
The very crucial step to be taken next is to make sure you are buying from a legitimate supplier; a few years back, people made use of customer reviews to be able to buy from a supplier, but the recent update of the Alibaba platform has made it easy for you to identify legitimate suppliers, and this update is called Verification badge.
The verification badge is used on social media platforms such as; Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to identify real personalities.
The same strategy can also be applied when shopping on Alibaba; always click the verified filter to bring out genuine suppliers from the website.
3. Make Sure That You Buy From Suppliers With Trade Assurance.
Trade assurance is a feature built into Alibaba.com to help build trust between suppliers and buyers.
Trade Assurance covers you during the event of any shipping dispute or related issues. For example, with Trade Assurance, you get covered if your products are not shipped on time as per the contract with your supplier or if Your products do not meet the quality standards as per the contract with your supplier.
With trade assurance in place, you can always request a refund if the product did not meet your expectation.
It has been discovered that most suppliers do not deliver what was displayed on the website, so in an attempt to curb this malpractice and build trust between buyers and sellers, the trade assurance feature was introduced.
4. Prepare To Make Payment.
The next step after the above-stated process is to prepare to make a payment; let me assume that you have done your product research, you subscribed to the trade assurance, and you bought from a verified seller; the following line of action is making payments.
So many payment options are supported on Aliexpress, most of which include; Western Union, Credit cards, Visa or Master cards, Wire Transfer, Boleto, I-Tunes Pay or better still, use the Pay later option, which allows you to borrow money to shop on Alibaba and pay anytime later, note that this is only available to citizens of the United States.
5. Choose Your Delivery Method.
The final step in completing your purchase is choosing your delivery method. Alibaba offers just two shipping methods: shipping via the ocean and shipping via air.
The weight and quantity of your goods are primarily determined by the shipping method used. To learn more about the delivery method offered by Alibaba, click the link to read more.
Shipping items from China overall can be costly due to the distance. If this is your first time ordering from China, it is best to ask your supplier to arrange for shipping on your behalf and add the charges to the invoice.
If everything is being shipped via air, then there are no surprises. Tell your supplier your address. They will likely send it via DHL, FedEx, or UPS.
If your goods are being shipped to the US and are valued at under $800, no duty will be charged because of America’s generous de minimis rules.
If your item is heavier, you can typically expect to pay around $10-20 per pound with a minimum of $75. If you’ve had your order shipped via air, it should arrive in anywhere from 3-10 business days. If via sea, this will be more like 30 to 45 days.
Once you’ve received your order, you should email your supplier to let them know that you received everything, but you have not had a chance to review the products yet and let them know that you will contact them shortly to discuss things; you should also note that majority of these Chinese suppliers do not understand English, which makes you want to make use of Google translate to and fro, though you might be lucky to meet a Chinese supplier who knows English well, it’s pretty rare.
Generally speaking, items under 200 lbs should go via air courier (e.g., UPS, DHL, and FedEx). Expect to pay anywhere from $6-15 per pound.
Also, If you intend to drop off your product in a warehouse for resale in the US, I would like to recommend an online fulfilment website to help facilitate sales called Deliverr.
Deliverr.com is a dynamic shipping and fulfilment startup based in San Francisco. It delivers products for its clients, namely eCommerce brands, super fast.
With massive online marketplaces like Amazon raising customer expectations where fast delivery at “no extra cost” is concerned, Deliverr’s mission, as stated, is to enable any seller, regardless of size, to delight their customers with fast and cost-effective fulfilment.
Deliverr matches top companies such as Amazon Prime by providing fast (1-2 days) shipping to online sellers, Walmart 2-day free shipping and eBay guaranteed by x date delivery. With these Deliverr programs, merchants have greater online visibility and more sales.
Deliverr‘s model’s described as affordable because it stores your products in regions across the country, reducing shipping costs. Deliverr also enables customers to pay just one fixed-rate (more details later) for its service.
Deliverr‘s fulfilment costs are based per unit and vary depending on the item’s weight, measurements, and service level. This includes the cost of Deliverr receiving your item, shipping it, order handling, box costs, picking, and handling costs.
TRY IT NOW – Deliverr.com
6. How To Promote Your Alibaba Business.
It becomes so difficult after you take the pain and stress to bring these products from China and do not meet sales expectations; it even becomes worse if the goods you got are perishable and cannot preserve.
Most people even attend seminars to learn about importing cheap products from China, only to realise that they cannot sell them. So the million-dollar question now is, How do I sell out my products very fast?
1. Start a Website.
A website can ease the stress of selling, especially if they are designed to process sales; the best website to create in such a scenario is called an eCommerce website.
An eCommerce website can help handle sales from the ground up; all you need do is set it up to process requests and receive payment electronically on your behalf, which settles it.
There are so many hosted platforms that allow you to develop a full-blown eCommerce platform; this is why I wrote this comprehensive guide to help you get started.
- Why Bigcommerce Is The Best E-commerce Solution For You
- How To Start A Money-Making eCommerce Business
2. Use Facebook.
Social Media platforms like Facebook can help you facilitate sales to get orders as quickly as possible. Facebook is home to over 3 billion people worldwide, with massive engagements every day.
All you need is just a Facebook business page and a basic understanding of how Facebook works for business.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to get started with growing your business on Facebook; click the link below to get started.
3. Subscribe To The Use Of Search Engine Marketing( Google Ads).
The search engine can help you showcase your product to target customers worldwide, generating sales.
Placing ads on search engine platforms like Google can help you reach out to targeted customers in just one click, and with a knowledge of keyword research, you will be fine.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to get started with.
4. Use Pinterest.
Pinterest is a great social media platform that allows you to share photos in the form of pins to a vast audience; a link can also be attached to redirect interested users to click to an end website in which shopping activity can be carried out.
Pinterest is purely image-based, and this is why it is regarded as one of the best online platforms to market online products.
Pinterest has inbuilt advertising, just like Facebook and Instagram, which allows its users to pay to reach out to more people.
I wrote an in-depth article on how to get you started with Pinterest.
5. Leverage The Power Of Email Marketing.
Another very effective marketing channel to market your Alibaba business is the use of email marketing.
If you already have an email marketing list, then you can utilise it to reach out to more people and convert them to leads which can, in turn, generate sales.
Email marketing is one sustainable marketing channel that I recommend every online business owner to subscribe to.
I wrote an in-guide on how you can start hacking via email marketing today, click the link below to get started.
6. List Your products On Amazon.
Amazon has a programme called Amazon FBA; all it does is allow individual sellers to list their products on Amazon and also helps with product delivery to the end customers.
All you need do is drop ship those products to an Amazon warehouse in the US, List them on the websites, and handle the rest on your behalf.
The Amazon FBA program has made so many people online bosses on their own, but one major drawback about this program is that it only permits US citizens; you must be a US citizen to be able to start an Amazon FBA business.
7. Talk To Friends and Family (Word Of Mouth Marketing).
Word-of-mouth marketing is one strategy that appears to be the weakest and the most potent of all marketing.
One thing about Word of Mouth marketing is that it establishes trust and reduces the rejection rate.
Talk to your friends and family about your business, also tell them to tell their friends and family, cold-call your existing contacts, share those products on your Whatsapp Story, and watch the sales come in.
This should not be a backup marketing option; you should speed up things using the internet.
I noticed that people who intend to start this business do not do their product research enough to own a winning market.
So please make sure you lookout for a hot-selling product online before placing an order or eventually bringing them to your local country.
Also, make sure that you talk with the supplier to make the necessary modifications to the product. This is one reason why Alibaba outshines all other Chinese stores.
There are many Chinese online stores; consider that AliExpress is for retailers, 1688.com is for local Chinese people, and Alibaba was designed for major Chinese manufacturers.
I wrote an in-depth article to help you scale your importation business, click the link below to get started.