It’s possible to make money with Alibaba.com. Thousands of people make money from this B2B marketplace daily. Alibaba.com has thousands of suppliers, millions of products, and many buyers. Thus, making it a great place to do business. In this article, we discuss the different ways buyers and sellers can make money with Alibaba.com.
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What is Alibaba.com?
Alibaba.com is a B2B e-commerce platform where sellers and buyers do business together. This e-commerce platform has millions of users and is very safe for transactions. Although Alibaba.com has its base in China, this platform serves over 190 countries. So, whether you are in the United States or Thailand, you can use Alibaba.com to conduct your online business.
Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, this platform currently has about 779 million customers1 and is considered one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world. So how does this platform work?
Alibaba.com works by matchmaking suppliers and manufacturers with buyers and retailers across the globe. If you need to buy many goods at once, or perhaps you want to sell some wholesale goods, then consider Alibaba.com. Also, this e-commerce platform lets sellers display their products by setting up a storefront, so customers can easily browse and order goods. Furthermore, Alibaba.com has various tools that help streamline buying and selling.
10 competitive advantages of Alibaba.com
Many features make Alibaba.com so powerful, so it’s no surprise this platform has many competitive advantages over many other e-commerce platforms. Here are reasons why you should buy and sell Alibaba.com:
1: Access to a large customer base
The first thing you should know about using Alibaba.com is that you will have access to a large customer base. Alibaba.com has millions of users, which means you can reach a global audience or source from global suppliers. This large customer base gives you the advantage of making a lot of sales and profit. It’s like having your customers all in one place without needing to move an inch.
2. Large collection of wholesale goods
Alibaba.com is the perfect place to buy or sell wholesale goods. This platform boasts a wide assortment of wholesale items, making it an excellent platform for suppliers to sell and retailers to buy. Whether it’s clothing, makeup, accessories, electronics, or handmade goods, you will find an extensive collection of wholesale items on Alibaba.com.
3: Extensive products
You can find almost any product on Alibaba.com. This B2B marketplace has over 5,900 product categories, and the best part is that the prices are highly competitive. Alibaba.com’s products are diverse and cut across multiple industries, including fashion, electronics, textiles, agriculture, and health. Also, most of these products are of high quality, and buyers can get samples sent to them to verify before committing.
4: Low pricing
One major thing Alibaba.com is known for is its low wholesale pricing. You can access countless global suppliers who offer goods at competitive rates. This means you can buy products at low cost and then sell them at premium retail prices.
5: Safe and secure
One of the reasons many people are reluctant to buy or sell online is because of the fear of being scammed4. Fortunately, Alibaba.com is a safe and secure platform that allows fast and easy transactions. This platform has different payment methods, including wire transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. Another payment feature is Trade Assurance, an order protection service that ensures your product is of the highest quality and your payment is secured. This means you don’t have to worry about running into scams because this platform has you protected.
6. Communication tools
Alibaba.com has an in-app messaging tool that makes it easy to converse with buyers and sellers. Now, buyers and sellers can communicate and interact without hassles. With Alibaba.com, you can conduct your business without any 3rd party integration.
7: Standby customer service
Another great thing about Alibaba.com is the standby professional services to guide users through every step. This platform has professionals and experts who provide support to maximize your journey on Alibaba.com.
8: Marketing and analytics tools
Alibaba.com offers a suite of marketing tools to help users increase sales and boost their effort. You can increase your visibility, get customers’ insights, and run targeted advertising at low costs as a seller.
9: Custom storefront
One of the significant benefits of Alibaba.com for sellers is that they can easily display their products by creating a storefront. You don’t need coding skills, you only have to create an account, and you can set up a storefront where buyers can find you.
10: Easy to use
Alibaba.com offers a great user experience making it easy for buyers and sellers to navigate the platform. Whether you want to post your products or place an order, every activity on Alibaba.com is uncomplicated.
How buyers make money with Alibaba.com
Typical buyers on Alibaba.com include wholesalers who want sources for products from suppliers, retailers who want to buy in bulk, sourcing agents, and end consumers. Here are some ways buyers can make money off this B2B e-commerce platform:
1: Open an account
You need to log in to Alibaba.com to start anything on the platform. Simply open a buyer’s account and add your name and location information.
2: Seek high-quality product ideas
One of the ways to make money as a buyer on Alibaba.com is by reselling the products you buy. That’s why it’s a good idea to determine what products you want to resell. Alibaba.com is a great place to conduct market research to help you find bestselling and profitable products. The products you choose to sell should have a viable market.
3: Source for products
Once you know what to buy, it’s time to start sourcing the products on Alibaba.com. Ensure you source at wholesale prices to make a cut when you resell. You can filter your searches based on your location and MOQ.
4: Look out for verified suppliers
There are a lot of suppliers and sellers on Alibaba.com, and going through them one after the other can be overwhelming. A good idea is to compare sellers and look out for verified or gold suppliers. These suppliers will have a badge on their profile, showing they went the extra mile to verify their business for Alibaba.com.
5: Look for Trade Assurance
Trade Assurance is a guaranteed feature that protects buyers by ensuring the payments you make are safe. This feature also ensures you receive high-quality goods by holding payment escrow until you receive your goods. Also, if you get defective goods from a supplier with Trade Assurance, Alibaba.com can intervene.
6: Check for reviews
Some of the things you should look out for when sourcing for suppliers includes reviews, number of transactions, response rate, and on-time delivery rate. Checking for these helps you filter out sellers to get the best quality at the lowest prices from the most trusted suppliers.
7: Connect with suppliers
You’ve sourced products and filtered out suppliers; it’s time to contact the shortlisted suppliers. Communicate with them to ask questions, negotiate, or request customization.
8: Place your order
Once you’ve decided on a supplier, you should place your order. As a buyer, it’s best to order in bulk because this is how you get fair prices. Also, you can consider requesting a sample to verify the quality of the Alibaba.com products you want to buy.
9: Make payment and receive goods
Now, make your payment through Alibaba.com secure portal and give the correct shipping address. You will receive your goods in no time based on your chosen shipping method.
10: Resell products
Once you have your products, you should start your online business by reselling them. You can sell the products at a higher price than you got them to make a profit. That’s why you need to look for the best deals to sell at a reasonable price for both you and your prospective buyers. You can resell your goods on Alibaba.com or any other online store.
Tips for buying safely on Alibaba.com
Here are some tips to help you buy safely on Alibaba.com:
1. Tick the verified supplier boxes:
When buying from a seller, it’s best to ensure they tick the following boxes:
- Verified or Gold supplier: A gold supplier is a verified supplier that provides reliable products.
- Trade Assurance: As explained earlier, Trade Assurance acts as extra protection and creates more trust between buyers and sellers. This is especially important in cases of dispute between the two parties.
2. Stay away from branded goods:
If you come across brand names on Alibaba.com, it’s best to avoid them as it’s illegal and, in most cases, counterfeit.
3. Check the price:
Of course, you are on Alibaba.com to source goods at low prices. However, you may come across some ridiculously low prices signaling that something is wrong. Source for products at low cost but avoid prices that are too good to be true.
4. Check for reviews:
Another way to ensure you buy safely on Alibaba.com is by checking through reviews. The seller’s profile often includes ratings and reviews from past buyers to help you understand their experience with the seller.
5. Pay through verified methods:
Ensure you pay through verified methods on Alibaba.com to avoid falling into scams. You can choose different payment methods, including wire transfer and Western Union.
Who can you buy from on Alibaba.com?
There are two major types of sellers you will come across on Alibaba.com.
These people manufacture goods directly and use Alibaba.com to promote themselves. Also, manufacturers offer custom products for wholesalers who want to start their businesses. For example, you can get custom glasses from a manufacturer and have your logo on the products.
Meanwhile, manufacturers tend to have a high minimum order quantity (MOQs); therefore, you will need to buy many goods to do business with them.
- Trading companies/ Wholesalers
A wholesaler typically buys products from factories or manufacturers and resells them to retailers in small quantities. Unlike manufacturers, MOQs tend to be lower, and buyers can negotiate with them.
How sellers make money with Alibaba.com
Typical sellers on Alibaba.com are suppliers/manufacturers that sell their own made products and wholesalers that sell manufactured goods in bulk. Here are some steps for sellers to make money on Alibaba.com:
1: Open an account
You need an account on Alibaba.com to start your online business. Alibaba.com offers different packages depending on your location. To create an account, visit Alibaba.com and choose “Seller” as your role.
2: Invest in being a verified or gold supplier
Although sellers can join the platform for free, it’s best to invest in being a verified or gold supplier. Why is this?
Being a verified supplier shows prospective buyers that you are reliable and trustworthy. For this reason, they are more likely to do business with you than with a seller without verification badges.
3: Offer products that sell well
No doubt, some products sell better than others. As a seller who wants to make money on Alibaba.com, it’s best to sell products that will attract customers. There are different product ideas you can sell; you just need to research to find out products with a large market.
4: Consider dropshipping
Dropshipping is an online business idea that works well on Alibaba.com. This business model lets you make money without really investing a lot. It involves listing products online without keeping stock. Instead, you purchase from a third party to fulfill the orders you receive.
5: Set up a compelling storefront
You need to set up an online store where people can view your products and profile. A great way to make sales on Alibaba.com is by setting up a compelling storefront. Ensure you post high-quality pictures, post a lot of products, and update your business profile. The more compelling people find your online store, the more likely they will buy from you.
6: Invest in Trade Assurance
With a Trade Assurance, buyers become more confident in doing business with you. That is because Trade Assurance protects buyers against fraudulent transactions and defective goods. As emphasized earlier, this feature offers buyers protection, especially when products are not shipped at the right time.
7: Sell at wholesale prices
People buy on Alibaba.com not just because they can source a wide variety of goods but also because they can buy at a low cost. As a seller, it’s best to sell wholesale goods and ensure your price is fair and competitive. Buyers always look for the lowest rate to buy the products they need.
8: Reach millions of buyers
With Alibaba.com, you have access to millions of buyers from all over the world. That means you can extend your business and do business with those who aren’t in your country.
9: Take advantage of live streaming
Digital media like live streaming lets you reach a wider audience and connect with them. Alibaba.com offers a live streaming feature where sellers can display their products in real-time. You can display your goods, show how your products work, and reply to inquiries from prospective customers. Also, livestreaming your products or warehouse shows that you are a legit business owner and increases the trust of your buyers.
10: Leverage Alibaba.com digital marketing tools
As a seller, you don’t want to underestimate the power of promotion and marketing. It is through promotion you reach more customers and make more sales. You should also consider optimizing your product name and descriptions using specific keywords people search for. Also, Alibaba.com offers some marketing tools to boost your visibility and get insights that will help improve your marketing strategy.
11: Use social media to boost brand awareness
Your promotion doesn’t have to be limited to Alibaba.com. Social media is a fantastic way to boost brand awareness, and it’s no wonder that 73% of marketers believe that their marketing efforts on social media are highly effective.2 For this reason, it’s best to have a social media marketing strategy to help people know more about your business and what you offer.
12: Reply to inquiries
Buyers will always want to ask questions and negotiate your products’ deals, and you should be available to respond. The faster you respond, the higher your chance of selling to them. This is because, in most cases, buyers don’t just message one seller. They message multiple sellers, and the ones that reply faster have a greater chance of getting their products sold. Alibaba.com will inform you when you receive a new notification from a potential customer.
13. Find customers through Request for Quote
Another way to get customers to buy from you instead of waiting for their message is by reaching out to them directly. How?
Alibaba.com has a Request for Quote feature where buyers highlight the kind of products they need. If your products match the description, you can reach out to them by recommending your products.
14: Process orders and payments
Congratulations! You received your first order, and it’s time to process it. When customers order from you, you should ensure you receive their payment through one of Alibaba’s payment methods. Also, use their preferred shipping method to get the goods to them.
Tips for selling safely on Alibaba.com
Ready to make money on Alibaba.com? Here are some tips to help you sell safely as a manufacturer or wholesaler:
1. Don’t communicate outside Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com has an in-app to let you communicate easily with customers. It’s not a good idea to take conversations outside the platform.
2. Wait for payment before mailing goods
One big mistake you can make as a seller is sending goods over to a buyer before confirming payment. Ensure you only send out goods when you receive a payment notification from Alibaba.com.
3. Accept payment through Alibaba.com’s methods
It’s not a good idea to accept payment through other methods besides the verified methods on Alibaba.com. Let Alibaba.com handle payments for you to protect yourself from scams.
4. Ship through a reliable delivery company
Another essential tip you should note as a seller is using a dependable shipping company. You want to prevent customers from claiming they didn’t receive their products, so ensure you only work with reputable delivery companies.
5. Invest in Trade Assurance
Investing in Trade Assurance is another way to protect yourself as a seller by letting Alibaba.com act as an intermediate party. Also, Trade Assurance helps create trust between you and your potential buyers.
Start making money today on Alibaba.com
Alibaba.com is the world’s largest B2B eCommerce platform and a great place to start your online business and make money. This marketplace lets you set up a storefront, reach a wider audience and sell to a global market.
Are you a manufacturer or wholesaler with products to offer? A great way to boost your business sales is by leveraging Alibaba.com to find millions of retailers and buyers. To start making money on Alibaba.com, open a seller account, post your products and start processing received orders.
As a buyer, you can also make money on Alibaba.com by sourcing products at a low rate and reselling them at a higher price. To get started, visit the buyer’s site4 to create an account and start sourcing for products.