- Importing goods from China wholesalers has become quite popular among young 'entrepreneurial sprits' all over the world.
- Alibaba stock is one of the first places people run to for that purpose. Importing from China wholesale is relatively cheap, of decent quality and works well.
- So if you're considering starting a business of your own with Alibaba stock, here are five tips for you.
My first proper online business was selling false lashes online from Alibaba stock. These are the little strips of hairs that women use to make their eyes stand out.
There was little choice back then, so step by step I decided to enter the market and sell products online. I didn't know much about importing from China wholesale, it all seemed a little daunting at first but I stumbled across a website called Alibaba, which is like an eBay but on a wholesale/manufacturing level.
You can find small manufacturers to large factories that cater for the fortune 500 companies, however, their minimum order quantity is obviously a lot higher.
After having gone through the process of finding a manufacturer, contacting them, creating samples to shipping I learnt a fair few things that I would like to share with you.
How to Source Imports from Alibaba
Here are 5 tips for people that are looking to use Alibaba to source products:
- Make sure they have a good reputation
- Contact with as many as you like
- Create a sample
- Get orders with tracking
- Consider labelling and packaging
1. Make Sure They Have a Good Reputation
Look for the badges for manufacturers on Alibaba stock; "gold supplier" badge is one that is a must to avoid the dodgy suppliers, it will also show how many years they have been a gold supplier for, so the higher, the better.
Keep in mind that if they are running a sustainable business with this their reputation will be more important than taking advantage of one order, so this is a good background check on Alibaba stock for you.
2. Contact With as Many as You Like
It's a good idea to speak to as many suppliers as you like the look of. With Alibaba stock, it's really important to be specific with what you want to be quoted and make sure you send this same request to all the suppliers so you have a great base for comparison. Usually sample images and details down to specific measurements and quantity help.
If you have no idea what you can afford you can use the live chat option to get immediate responses from a number of suppliers so you can start to work out the right quantity and quality you can afford. Having a supplier that is on during "business hours" also ensures that the supplier is a legitimate operator and enough staff to serve customers. The chat button is found on the supplier profile.
On Alibaba stock, having someone contact you in a timely manner also ensures that it is more likely they will respond to you in a timely manner when something goes wrong, so favour those that provide you with an accurate and fast response. (Careless responses not included, although they may be quick)
3. Create a Sample
Before you spend your whole budget on an order, make sure that you are meticulous with creating samples. If it is a new supplier, maybe try running a minimum order quantity to begin with, as sometimes the quality of the batch may differ from the sample as well as on Alibaba stock.
How the product withholds is also important, because if you pick the wrong supplier that uses poor quality materials, it may be detrimental to your brand. For example, I had a large batch of bracelets made, and after wearing one for a month I found the gold plating faded away to an ugly grey with wear and tear. It's best you find out with a sample, then order a large batch.
In my instance, I was lucky I hadn't actually sent any out so, I just had to include a little card that warned the user that if exposed to water, it may lose its gold. A warning is better when you sell products than an unpleasant surprise when it comes to Alibaba stock.
4. Get Orders with Tracking
For those that are less versed in shipping methods, make sure you get tracking for your Alibaba stock. Separately pay attention to air shipping methods as well. Trusted carriers such as DHL and Fed-Ex are always good. Feel free to leave a comment with your experience if you have anything else to add.
5. Consider Labelling and Packaging
You will most likely need another manufacturer to create product labels and pack your products, but instead of having them shipped separately here from Alibaba stock, you can save a lot of time and have them all packed in China before it gets sent here. A lot of manufacturers have partnerships with packing companies so if you don't want to go through the process of finding another supplier you can ask they introduce you to their trusted partners.
They will be more than happy to do this and you will also skip the part where you have to find products. Don't forget to get a sample shipped from Alibaba stock though! That's the best way of having started with importing from China wholesale.
I hope these tips help you with your Alibaba stock journey. Make sure you always choose the suppliers that have a good reputation and great communication. I've had many that disappear on me after a few emails if they feel you are a small order (luckily I didn't purchase).
These tips can be used for any manufacturer on Alibaba stock, but because I've only had experience with the Chinese manufacturers, you may want to do some research as well into the regulations of other countries.
Do you have some other tips for importing from Alibaba stock? Let us know!