1688.com Review: What is1688 Website and is 1688.com legit?

Feb 15, 2024 Chapter 7. 1688

What is 1688 Website?

1688.com is a Chinese wholesale marketplace that is part of the Alibaba Group. It is a popular platform for businesses to source products from China, as it offers a wide variety of products at competitive prices.

However, there are some things to be aware of before using 1688.com, as there are both pros and cons to using the platform.


Is 1688. com Legit?

Yes, 1688.com is a legitimate website. There are requirements for sellers on 1688.com. They need to have business licenses and pay membership fees, indicating a level of verification and commitment from suppliers.


Is 1688 Website for Chinese Only?

While 1688.com is primarily geared towards the Chinese market, it is also accessible to international buyers. The website offers a partial 1688 English translation, allowing non-Chinese speakers to navigate the platform and browse product listings.

However, some features, such as supplier communication and detailed product descriptions, may still require basic Chinese proficiency.

To enhance the user experience for international buyers, 1688.com has implemented several measures:

  • English Translation: The website provides a partial English translation, covering key elements like product listings, categories, and some aspects of the user interface.
  • Machine Translation Tools: Utilize machine translation tools like Google Translate to bridge the language gap for untranslated content.
  • Online Tutorials and Resources: Access online tutorials and resources specifically tailored for international buyers, providing guidance on using the platform and navigating its features.
  • Community Forums and Groups: Join online communities and forums dedicated to 1688.com and Chinese product sourcing to seek advice and share experiences with other international buyers.


While 1688.com remains primarily Chinese-oriented, it has made efforts to accommodate international buyers. By utilizing the available tools, engaging sourcing agents, and conducting thorough research, non-Chinese businesses can effectively navigate the platform and successfully source products from China.


Pros of Using 1688.com Website:

  • Wide variety of products: 1688.com offers a vast selection of products, from electronics and apparel to furniture and home goods. You can find almost anything you are looking for on the platform.
  • Competitive prices: 1688.com is known for its low prices, as manufacturers sell directly to businesses on the platform. This can save you money on your sourcing costs.
  • Easy to use: The 1688.com platform is relatively easy to use, even if you don’t speak Chinese. You can use the search function to find products, and the product listings are translated into English.


Cons of using 1688.com Website:

  • Language barrier: While the platform is translated into English, there may still be some language barriers, especially when communicating with suppliers. This can make it difficult to resolve issues or negotiate prices.
  • Quality control: It can be difficult to ensure the quality of products when sourcing from 1688.com, as there are many suppliers on the platform, and not all of them are reliable. It is important to do your research and order samples before making a large purchase.
  • Shipping costs: Shipping costs from China can be high, especially for large or heavy items. This can offset the savings you make by sourcing products from 1688.com.


Overall, 1688.com can be a great option for businesses that are looking to source products from China.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and to do your research before making a purchase.




Here Are Some Additional Tips for Using 1688.com Website:

  • Use a 1688 sourcing agent: A 1688 sourcing agent can help you find reliable suppliers, negotiate prices, and handle the logistics of shipping your products from China.
  • Order samples: Always order samples of products before making a large purchase. This will help you to ensure that the quality of the products meets your expectations.
  • Use a payment method that offers protection: Use a payment method that offers protection, such as PayPal or Alibaba Trade Assurance. This will help you to get your money back if there are any problems with your order.



1688 Website FAQ

Is 1688 Wholesale?

Yes, 1688.com is a wholesale marketplace, primarily catering to businesses sourcing products from China. It is known for its vast selection of products, competitive prices, and direct access to manufacturers. While some suppliers may offer retail quantities, the platform is primarily designed for bulk purchases.


Is 1688 or Alibaba better?

Both 1688.com and Alibaba.com are popular platforms for businesses to source products from China. However, they have different target audiences and cater to different needs.



  • Target audience: Primarily domestic Chinese businesses and individuals
  • Focus: Wholesale products, lower prices, limited international support
  • Pros: Wide variety of products, competitive prices, direct access to manufacturers
  • Cons: Language barrier, quality control challenges, shipping costs
  • Recommended for: Businesses sourcing large quantities of products for the Chinese market or businesses with Chinese-speaking staff


  • Target audience: International businesses seeking products from China
  • Focus: Wholesale and retail products, higher prices, comprehensive international support
  • Pros: English-language support, verified suppliers, international shipping options
  • Cons: Fewer product listings, higher prices, potential communication barriers with suppliers
  • Recommended for: Businesses sourcing products for international markets, businesses with limited Chinese proficiency



Should you shopping on 1688.com or Alibaba.com?

    • If you are buying stock products and buying in multiple categories, 1688 may provide you with the options you have followed, especially if your MOQ is relatively small.
    • If you are an international business sourcing OEM/ODM products for overseas markets, Alibaba.com may be a better choice due to its English-language support, verified suppliers, and international shipping options.



Here is a table summarizing the key differences between 1688.com and Alibaba.com:

Feature 1688.com Alibaba.com
Target audience Domestic Chinese businesses and individuals International businesses
Focus Wholesale products, lower prices Wholesale and retail products, higher prices
Language barrier Yes Limited
Quality control Challenging More reliable
Shipping costs High Moderate
International support Limited Comprehensive
Recommended for Businesses with Chinese-speaking staff, sourcing large quantities for the Chinese market Businesses with limited Chinese proficiency, sourcing for international markets


Ultimately, the best way to decide which platform is right for your business is to research both options carefully and consider your specific needs and priorities.




How to Shop on 1688?

Shopping on 1688.com can be a great way to find wholesale products from China, but it’s important to understand the process as it’s designed for businesses and differs from typical consumer marketplaces. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

Challenges to Consider shopping on 1688:

  • Language Barrier: The primary language on 1688.com is Chinese. You can use translation tools, but navigating the site and communicating with suppliers can be difficult.
  • Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs): Many suppliers on 1688.com have minimum order quantities (MOQs) which can be high. This means you may need to purchase a larger quantity than you might as an individual buyer.
  • Payment Methods: 1688.com primarily uses Alipay, a Chinese payment platform, which can be challenging for international buyers to use.


General Steps to Buy from 1688:

  • Registration: You’ll need to register for an account on 1688.com. This process might require a Chinese phone number or verification, which can be an obstacle for some.
  • Product Search: Use the search bar to find the products you’re interested in. Utilize translation tools if needed. Filters are available to narrow down your search by price, location, MOQ, etc.
  • Supplier Evaluation: Once you find a product, research the supplier. Look for factors like years in business, reviews (if available), and product certifications. Be cautious of unrealistically low prices.
  • Communication: Contact the supplier directly through the platform’s messaging system (Aliwangwang) to discuss details like pricing, MOQs, and shipping options. This requires some understanding of Chinese or using translation tools.
  • Negotiation: Negotiate pricing and terms with the supplier. This is common practice on 1688.com.
  • Payment and Order Confirmation: Once you’ve agreed on terms, confirm the order details and proceed with payment using Alipay (may require a workaround for international buyers).
  • Shipping and Logistics: Discuss shipping options and costs with the supplier. International shipping can be complex, and you might need a freight forwarder to handle customs clearance and delivery.


1688 Shopping Alternatives to Consider:

  • Sourcing Agent: Consider using a 1688 sourcing agent who specializes in helping international businesses buy from 1688.com. They can handle communication, negotiation, and logistics for a fee.
  • Agent Websites: Some websites act as intermediaries for 1688.com, translating the platform and handling transactions for a commission.


Overall, while 1688.com offers great deals on wholesale products, the process can be complex for individual buyers due to the language barrier, MOQs, and payment methods.

Consider the alternatives or be prepared to invest time and potentially use additional services to navigate the platform successfully.

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