How to Buy from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon

Mar 27, 2021 Chapter 2. Supplier

Alibaba, the world’s largest B2B trading platform, has gathered the most factories, trades, and suppliers in the world. Suppose you want to buy from Alibaba and sell on Amazon, you must be familiar with How to find a supplier on Alibaba. However, before you start, you may need some guidelines. Determine whether they are manufacturing factories or traders, and assess whether it is a fake factory.

How to Buy from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon


5 Steps Find Suppliers on Alibaba Step by Step

Is Alibaba Legit?-How to Buy from Alibaba 2021

1. What are you selling

Everything is difficult to get started. You can do all kinds of data collection and search on Alibaba’s platform, but the premise is that you must have an idea to do a further accurate and advanced search. Therefore, the first step is to think about the following things:

  • What product do you want to sell? What kind of design, specifications, materials to be used, how much quantity, and cost estimate
  • What criteria should the ideal factory/supplier meet? For example cleanliness, scale, professionalism, shipping speed and quantity, certification…
  • Location of the factory


If you want to develop your private label products, you may need ODM service (Original Design Manufacturer, ODM); if you want an existing product, you will need the ODM service (Original Equipment Manufacturer, OEM) .

Based on the B2B sales on Alibaba, generally speaking, the number of Alibaba MOQ starts from 100 to 500. Therefore, you must first consider factors such as the goods you want to sell, purchase costs, profits, and input costs before you start your investigation.

The reason for considering the factory’s location is that on the one hand, if you have the opportunity, you may be able to visit the factory to see its production situation. On the other hand, the product pages are different in different regions of China. For example, daily necessities and consumer products are mainly produced in Guangdong, Zhejiang and a few are in Fujian. The other provinces are dominated by machinery, agricultural products, and chemical products. When searching for goods, try to find a factory whose neighboring factory also has the same specialty as him.


2. Start the investigation

When you are ready for the pre-work, you can start searching for factories interested in cooperating with Alibaba.

Suppose you want to sell a laptop bag, you enter related keywords on Alibaba, such as: laptop bag

If you find that there are too many search results, or the results of the previous search pages do not meet your needs, you can further add the material or purpose of the product to make sure that the keywords you use are accurate enough. You can see the relevant options on the product characteristics in the left sidebar, and you can further check the Supplier’s conditions.

In addition, you can also narrow down the search location. For example, the factory in Guangzhou, because it has the longest history of international trade experience, there are also many local factories cooperating with multinational companies, which can produce goods that meet the standards and specifications of all parts of the world.

Another advanced search function that is more difficult to understand is 3 different types of suppliers:

(1) Trade Assurance: This is a free service provided by Alibaba to help build trust between buyers and suppliers. Suppliers with this license can apply to Alibaba for compensation if they fail to fulfill their promises (disputes related to product shipments and quality) according to the details of the contract.

(2) Gold Supplier: The gold Supplier is a premium paying member of Alibaba suppliers. Members must verify that the business is legally registered in the region through verification by a third-party organization. Members can use Alibaba’s advertising function to increase product exposure and return on investment.

(3) Assessed Supplier: Alibaba inspects suppliers’ plants and equipment through third-party companies.

You can treat these three options as certified suppliers, check Trade Security and Gold Suppliers, you can select relatively high-quality manufacturers (search results from 240,000, reduced by one-third to 166,000 pen). To be more strict, you can tick the option of evaluating suppliers, but you may not find suitable products in this way (most sellers will seek to become gold suppliers, but the part of plant equipment inspection is relatively small).

After preliminary filtering, you can further find the products you want, and the related suppliers, and then start to further filter the search results according to the following key points:

  • product
  • Product Keyword
  • Manufacturing location
  • When Alibaba was found
  • Time to become a gold supplier

Suppose the Supplier has found for 5-10 years. In that case, it means that they have relatively more experience (Alibaba was established in 1999). The time to become a gold supplier is for reference only. Because there may be some very experienced companies, but online promotion may have only started in recent years.

Then delete the relatively unprofessional search results from the 5~10 suppliers you selected, and use the following as guidelines:

  • Web content
  • product photo
  • Product Description
  • Location and description of the factory
  • Product quality control process

You can see from their page settings on Alibaba whether they are serious about operating their product pages. If you look at the products’ photos and think they are just uploaded with a smartphone, you can eliminate the first one. Furthermore, if the keywords placed in the product title and description are not relevant, you can also close the page.

For the example of the laptop backpack below , it does not add any irrelevant keywords in the product name, you can clearly see whether the product features meet your needs (waterproof, anti-theft, usb charging, OEM, laptop backpack). In the “Chat Now!” section, you can immediately contact the seller. On the right, you can see the time and frequency of replies. The content of the drop-down product description is also very complete.

The company’s information has also been certified, listing detailed information.

After the vendors you choose have passed the above-mentioned inspections, you can check their official websites further. The image and appearance of a company can be seen from its official website. If you see a lot of product changes in different styles, congratulations, it may be a factory that specializes in manufacturing backpacks. If the Supplier specializes in backpack production, Then its official website should also be dominated by backpack-related products. But if they sell other products that are not related to the industry in addition to backpacks, then it is likely to be a trading company, and you can consider whether to wholesale products to them.


3. Create a list

And when you read the product pages of some sellers, you need to fill in the relevant information of these sellers in a form, including the following information:

  • Company Name
  • Company location
  • Factory/Trade Company
  • Number of employees
  • Contact method (telephone & email)
  • Minimum order quantity
  • Commodity price
  • delivery time
  • Product page
  • Company website URL


4. Start contact

Now you may have 10 lists on hand. You can contact the manufacturer directly through instant messaging function “Chat Now” (Ali Wangwang), or through email.

Although it seems that you are the buyer who has the advantage, there are many big manufacturers on Alibaba. While you are choosing sellers, they are also selecting buyers. Therefore, whether it is in instant messaging or email, you must let them understand your needs in the shortest possible time, and how they can assist you, using item numbers, numeric columns, blank lines, and your own contact information, It’s all very basic! The following uses Chinese as an example, because most of the sellers are from China, but there are also a small number of sellers from other countries in the world, such as India and Malaysia. You can use the same format to just convert the language to English:

If you are an expert on the product, you can ask more detailed questions about the product manufacturing process. And you can tell from the manufacturer’s response whether they are professional enough, whether they can make the products you want, and whether they have answered your questions and decide whether to cooperate with them. For example, can they provide you with the minimum order quantity, the certification required for the product, and whether it has passed the certification inspection standards?

Tips for the first letter: The pufirst email’s purposes to get a response from the seller.

Unless you know the goods you are going to buy and the factory’s manufacturing costs (usually you don’t know), the only way you can know better is to write to different manufacturers and ask if they can provide you with quotations and samples. In the first letter, you have to reveal who you are, tell the manufacturer the quantity you want to import, the ideal total number of orders within a year (avoid one-time orders as much as possible), the smallest order quantity, etc.


5. Select Supplier

After you have collected the list of various manufacturers, you will usually know the product’s price range. Be especially careful here with suppliers with very low prices because they may not use the specifications you want (reduced specifications), or only accept very large orders (small profits but quick turnover). Suppose you want to buy the same quality goods at a lower price and have a smaller order quantity. In that case, you should start with a smaller trading company (the number of people in the company is 15-20), because they are likely to have a relatively low price. 

There should be 3~5 vendors left on your list at this stage, and you can decide which vendor you want to cooperate with. Generally speaking, you may want to request a sample from the seller to select the final Supplier, but doing so may cause some problems:

  • You will get “the best quality sample”
  • The freight cost of a single product is higher
  • Cannot actually sell on platforms such as eBay and Amazon to see sales response

Because you only ask for one sample, if you encounter a poor-quality seller, he may send you the “best quality sample”. No matter how you look at it, you will think “Wow! This product is really cheap, good and exquisite.”, But it is difficult to say whether the products shipped afterwards have the same quality assurance. In addition, when you only buy one product, the shipping cost will be relatively high. The manufacturer may be able to provide you with a sample for free, but you must pay the shipping cost yourself. Furthermore, you can’t actually measure the market’s reaction with only one sample. Therefore, it is recommended to order at least 10 products to give you a chance to do market evaluation instead of just using one product’s inventory and putting it on the platform from high.

So, if you don’t want to buy in bulk (don’t want to stock up), you can write a letter to the seller like this:

Few people can refuse a quick payment, but you have little room to negotiate a price when you take this approach. Before looking for vendors that provide small orders, you can also use the Import Genius payment tool to check the Supplier’s shipping history to find out whether they are friendly to small orders.


Bargaining tips:

When you are negotiating prices with the seller, remember that he is also a businessman. Therefore, you are unlikely to buy high-quality goods at too low a price. After all, you get what you pay for. After dealing with different sellers who provide the same or similar products, you should have a preliminary understanding of the price of the products you want to import.

If you are a big buyer, you can write down the lower limit of the price in your mind and then tell the seller like this:

If the Supplier feels that it is not possible, but does not want to lose your customer, then he may see his reply like this:

At this stage, you can assess whether it meets the number you expect in your heart but doesn’t exceed your upper limit. But if you don’t get the price you expected, you can try to contact other sellers again.

If you order a large number of goods, you can try to discuss with the seller that he will pay for the shipping, but don’t ask for a reduction in the goods’ unit price. For example, if the total amount of your order is US$5000 and the shipping fee is US$500, then you can ask the seller to pay the shipping part instead of asking him to give you a 10% or 5% discount on the total amount.


After you have decided which seller to work with, then you are ready to pay. You can ensure the security of the transfer through Paypal. If you use wire transfer, you need to pay attention to the payee’s name, whether it is the name of an individual or a business company’s name.

Through the above 5 steps, I believe you can find high-quality sellers on Alibaba. After you receive the samples of the goods, you need to do the following inspection items to make future order selection and cooperation adjustments:

  • Quality: Does the quality of the product meet your expectations? Use the product as much as possible to test its durability
  • Packaging: Will it be possible to ship to your customers in this form in the future? Do you need new packaging
  • Description: Is there an instruction manual for the product
  • Manufacturing: Is there a declaration of product manufacturing

After you receive the goods, you should contact the Supplier to let them know that you have received the goods. Still, you need a period to evaluate the possibility of future cooperation, and let them know that you will discuss the follow-up cooperation methods with them as soon as possible. Start preparing for the following order.

And when you decide to cooperate with a supplier, you can ask the factory to provide photo proof when manufacturing samples or the first batch of finished products to ensure that the product’s production meets your needs. You can’t just pay the money and waiting for the shipment.



Buy from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon Tips


1. Popular products

Many sellers’ common misunderstanding is that they like to follow popular products and sell them as soon as they see that a specific product is well sold, without considering the potential safety hazards. I believe that many experienced sellers know that popular products are at high risk of infringements. Often many sellers are warned for blindly selling infringing products without a registered trademark or brand first. They may take off their listings or close their stores.

In addition, Amazon now has new regulations for popular products. Amazon will capture your product performance, ranking and sales to determine whether your popular product has an advantage. Some sellers who do not have a competitive advantage will Restrict their sales of popular products, and the specific recovery time is unclear.


2. Product quality

When it comes to product quality, it is also a problem that many sellers can easily ignore. Poor product quality will lead to negative reviews and higher return rates. Suppose the seller does not have a professional product development and after-sales service team. In that case, we recommend that the seller should avoid products with complex functions, high product iteration capabilities and after-sales requirements. Start some products with relatively simple functions.


3. Product purchase price

When purchasing products, some small sellers like to lower the purchase price, causing many suppliers to dare not cooperate with you. On the one hand, as a seller and a supplier, both parties need to ensure their own reasonable profits; on the other hand, the supplier cannot be sure whether the seller can run the goods, so they cannot lower the price you a discount.

It is recommended that sellers add some professional source channel groups and purchasing groups to learn more about some products’ cost and price to be more professional. Then, the supplier feels that you have the strength to do his products well.


4. Product delivery time

The seller has chosen some suppliers with unstable delivery dates. For example, you are purchasing some hot-selling products, and all major sellers are selling them. If your purchase is small, there will be no advantage in the supplier’s ordering and delivery, and the delivery time will be longer than others.

It is recommended that sellers do not place all their hopes on hot-selling products. You can consider choosing some hot-selling products while choosing some less competitive products. Early investment is inevitable. Sellers can first push products with low competitiveness and establish a trusting cooperative relationship with suppliers. This will help suppliers give you priority.



Buy from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon Conclusion

I believe that through these small methods above, you can be a gatekeeper on Alibaba for selecting Supplier. If you don’t know what is good for sale and what is the most popular, then you can try to go to Amazon or Shopee to see which products are popular, and you can get a certain profit after reselling! But… Honestly, we must tell you that doing e-commerce itself is not an easy task, nor does it take you to use a small investment or a short time to see immediate and huge wealth rewards, unless your products exceed , Explosive, unique, super-powerful-amazing! 

At last, we can help you develop private label for your Amazon business. 

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