Alibaba Reviews: Why is Alibaba so Cheap?

Feb 09, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Because Alibaba acts as a middleman and doesn’t carry any of their own products, all bad Alibaba reviews should be reserved.

Alibaba reviewsFirst of all, almost anyone can sell on Alibaba. Alibaba has more than 150,000 active suppliers on its platform, and more than 10 million sellers on Global Marketplace, Taobao and Tmall.

With so many sellers, there are definitely good suppliers and bad suppliers, and Alibaba can’t possibly pick them all out.

However, Alibaba has many security measures to combat fraud. There is no risk in buying from Alibaba, you just need to be careful and know how to distinguish good suppliers from bad ones.

Here are the most common types of Alibaba reviews you can find on the internet and how to avoid a negative experience.


alibaba reviews



Why is Alibaba so Cheap?

The seemingly “cheap” prices on Alibaba can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, many products are manufactured in China, where lower labor costs significantly reduce production expenses. Additionally, electricity prices in China are considerably cheaper compared to other manufacturing hubs, further lowering production costs. Bulk purchasing also plays a role. Finally, unlike consumer-facing companies that dedicate resources to marketing and customer service, Alibaba manufacturers have less overhead in these areas, allowing them to offer lower prices.


  • Wholesale Model: Alibaba primarily functions as a business-to-business (B2B) platform, connecting manufacturers and wholesalers with bulk buyers. Unlike retailers selling directly to consumers, wholesalers can offer significantly lower prices due to the large quantities involved.
  • Lower Manufacturing Costs: Many Alibaba suppliers are based in China, where labor costs tend to be lower compared to other parts of the world. This translates to cheaper production costs, reflected in the final price.
  • Minimum Order Quantities: Alibaba sellers often have minimum order quantities (MOQs) which can be quite high (think thousands of units). While the per-unit price might seem very cheap, the upfront cost to buy that quantity can be substantial.
  • Limited Services: Unlike platforms like Amazon, Alibaba doesn’t handle warehousing or fulfillment for sellers. This reduces operational costs for both Alibaba and the sellers, potentially leading to lower prices.



While the authenticity of an item is often closely tied to its price, it can be tricky to judge. If you buy an individual item for much less than you would pay for it in bulk, a red flag should go off. There is a high chance that you will buy a low quality product. Some manufacturers will enter the market at a price lower than the market average, but it will never be a ridiculously low price.




If an item’s price is equal to or higher than the average market price, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s authentic. You need to do the necessary vetting to make sure you find a reputable seller who will sell with integrity and not scam you (yes, sometimes scammers will sell items for higher than market prices so that if you buy, They earn twice as much).

Another thing to note is that if you know Alibaba well, you should know that it is a platform that connects original manufacturers and directly related suppliers, and you will definitely not find merchants selling Apple products here.

Even if you think about it, even if the seller had a genuine MacBook (since the manufacturer may have ties to Apple factories), this would be illegal and a black market transaction. On the other hand, if the seller does not have access to Apple factories, then you will definitely not be able to buy a genuine MacBook, but will only buy counterfeit products. I’m 100% sure of this.




Types of Alibaba Reviews You Can Find on the Internet


Alibaba Review #1: Trade assurance do not protect buyers

Trade Assurance is Alibaba’s hosted service that ensures your orders are protected from fraud. If a transaction goes wrong, Alibaba will guarantee a refund to you if the supplier does not abide by the agreed terms.

Trade assurance sounds good on paper, but in reality there are many different grey areas when it comes to determining which party is at fault.

Generally speaking, when you pay with Alibaba’s Trade Guarantee, your order is protected.

If you do not receive your goods, or if the supplier does not deliver the quality you expect, Alibaba will open a dispute with your supplier and mediate on your behalf.

While this process will eventually work, it can take a long time, usually several months or more. When you purchase goods from Alibaba, the trade assurance should be a last resort to resolve the dispute.

Because this process takes a long time, it is best for you to take your own security measures, such as …

  • Hire an inspector – pay a company like Supplyia to inspect the goods for defects as they come off the assembly line before they are shipped.
  • Make agreements – Specify defect rate thresholds clearly in your buyer/seller agreement, where the supplier agrees to refund if certain conditions are met.
  • Create quality control documentation – clearly state every detail of the product you are ordering so there are no misunderstandings about specifications and quality.



Alibaba Review #2: Alibaba sold me counterfeit goods

A few years ago, Alibaba was suspended by the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition for offering counterfeit goods on its marketplace.

But since then, Alibaba has made great strides in the fight against counterfeit goods. In fact, Alibaba recently announced a 70 percent year-over-year drop in the number of items removed due to counterfeits.

The best way to combat counterfeit products is to do your due diligence on your suppliers and use common sense.

First and foremost, if any Alibaba vendor is trying to sell you name brand items such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc. ……, it is 100% fake. Never trust that any vendor is selling you genuine brand name merchandise.


Here are the steps to avoid buying counterfeit merchandise on Alibaba:

Use only verified suppliers

– Verified suppliers on Alibaba pay a high premium to Alibaba to qualify. In addition, Alibaba uses an independent 3rd party to inspect the company and its facilities.

All verified Alibaba suppliers must pass a detailed on-site inspection. As a result, verified suppliers are less likely to sell counterfeit goods than regular Alibaba suppliers.

Check verified suppliers profile

Check supplier reviews and ratings – all Alibaba verified suppliers have detailed company profiles where you can view their company metrics.

Always buy samples

– Don’t be tempted to buy in bulk until you get a gold sample. You must verify the quality and authenticity of the product before placing a large order.
Use trade guarantees – Trade guarantees are the best way to protect you from fraud if you receive counterfeit goods.

Test your samples

– When you request samples, have an independent organization test the product for material content. Never trust what a supplier tells you.


This is what you should look for in a wholesale supplier:

  1. The company has been in business for at least 5 years
  2. The company has a proven track record of selling products to your country
  3. The company has a decent workforce that speaks your language.
  4. The company is a manufacturer and not a trading company.



Alibaba Review #3: Alibaba sold me poor quality goods

Receiving poor quality merchandise is by far the biggest reason people leave bad Alibaba reviews. However, most quality issues can be easily avoided with a small investment of $300.

Be sure to pay for an on-site inspection before your goods are shipped.

Because labor costs are so low in China, companies like Supplyia will send an inspector to your factory to check the goods being produced for $300.

The bad Alibaba review shown above can easily be avoided with an on-site inspection.


However, before you hire an inspector, make sure you create a detailed document that contains what you want to receive from your supplier.

If you don’t write down what you want on paper, you’ll never get what you want. After all, your supplier can’t read your mind.



Alibaba Review #4: Alibaba Delayed Production and Shipping of My Product

When working with a Chinese wholesale supplier, you should have appropriate expectations. Typical production run …

  • It takes 1-4 months to make the product.
  • Sea freight can take up to a month or more.
  • Customs clearance can take a week or more.


All in all, a bulk order from Alibaba can take 6 months or more!

If you place an order with Alibaba and want to meet a specific deadline, be sure to draw up an agreement and a contingency plan in case there are delays.

For example, we recently placed an order for napkins that needed to be delivered before the holidays. In our agreement, we state that if the shipment is delayed by more than 2 weeks, the supplier will refund the full amount of the undelivered amount.


When you order in bulk from China, you must be aware that there are many factors beyond the supplier’s control, such as supply chain issues, shipping delays, storms, power outages, etc. …



Alibaba Review #5: My Alibaba Product is Damaged

In rare cases, your product may be damaged during shipping by sea or air.

When this happens, regardless of your trade assurance, Alibaba will not refund your money if the goods are in good condition.

To avoid the possibility of your shipment being damaged in transit, it is your responsibility to contact your supplier and check the way they pack your order.

For example, once we had a shipment of handkerchiefs arrive at our warehouse covered with mold. And this happened because the supplier did not add desiccant to the packaging.

Was it the supplier’s fault or mine? It was both of our faults.

The supplier should have known to include desiccant, but it was my fault for not double checking. In order to safely buy from Alibaba, you must pay great attention to detail and do your own due diligence.

Check all packaging with your supplier and include as many contingency clauses in your purchase agreement as you can think of.

You should also always purchase freight insurance. In many cases, the shipping company will cover the cost of goods damaged in transit.




Alibaba Scams vs. Bad Quality Review:

It should be mentioned that getting scammed on your purchases and receiving absolutely nothing that you paid for is a completely different case from receiving all your order components but not being fully satisfied with them.

Although receiving poorer quality products definitely fall under the category of “scamming,” that is an entirely different problem that needs to be dealt with.

In most cases, these substandard products cannot pass the strict customs and end up being either discarded, destroyed, or charged an extra fine.

In such cases, it’s possible that you might not receive the products you order and may be under the impression of being “scammed.”




Should You Listen to Alibaba Reviews?

As with everything you find on the Internet, you should take all Alibaba reviews with a grain of salt. Buying from Alibaba is very safe and secure if you follow the right guidelines and precautions.

Below is a summary of the action steps you must take to ensure a satisfactory transaction:


  • To prevent the sale of counterfeit goods, work only with verified suppliers who have a proven track record of 5 years or more. Test each sample you receive through an independent lab to ensure authenticity.
  • To prevent shipping inferior goods, always hire an inspector. Specify every detail you expect and create a quality control checklist.
  • To prevent production delays, have appropriate expectations and allow some leeway for product delivery. Work with your suppliers to develop contingency plans in case of delayed shipments.
  • To prevent damage during shipping, work with your supplier to inspect packaging to ensure your products are packaged properly for shipping. Always purchase freight insurance.
  • To protect yourself from fraud, always use the Alibaba Trade Guarantee payment. The dispute process may take a long time to resolve, but you will eventually get your money back!


Alibaba is the middleman between sellers and buyers. The Alibaba reviews I’ve read about them basically say that if they receive a product from them and it’s incorrect or damaged, you’re in bad shape (bad luck). Product warranties are for sellers, not buyers, and sometimes sellers are outright liars and not even real. So, do your due diligence on the suppliers.

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