Lower MOQ: How to Find Low MOQ Alibaba Supplier?

Feb 02, 2024 Chapter 2. Supplier

Why can’t you get the Chinese low MOQ Alibaba suppliers for just starting off personal branding? How to find a lower MOQ  Alibaba supplier?

Now, we will talk about negotiating with Chinese suppliers for a lower MOQ step by step. As a first step, you need to understand:

what is moq alibaba mean



What is MOQ on Alibaba?

MOQ on Alibaba means minimum order quantity. Minimum Order Quantity refers to the minimum quantity that can be ordered from a wholesaler supplier on Alibaba. Usually, it is involved with customized goods or the goods not in stock.


For example,

A supplier has a women’s watch in stock without a requirement for a MOQ initially, but you want to customize the packaging, appearance or some other functions of the watch, the supplier will then ask a MOQ for it.


moq alibaba


Why MOQ is Important?

Of course, when you buy spot goods, there is a low MOQ or even no MOQ requirement, but it will be a low margin business. Imaging that all competitors can easily sell the same products, it could cause serious product homogeneity and fierce competition.




Why Some MOQ on Alibaba are so High and Why Supplier Needs MOQ?

There are a couple of reasons why Alibaba suppliers, and many wholesalers in general, require a minimum order quantity (MOQ).

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Production runs are more efficient at higher volumes. Setting an MOQ allows the supplier to spread the fixed costs of setting up a production line, purchasing raw materials, and labor over a larger number of units. This keeps the per-unit cost lower and ensures they make a profit from the sale.
  • Inventory Management: Many Alibaba suppliers don’t keep large stocks of finished goods on hand. Instead, they produce based on orders. An MOQ discourages orders that are too small to justify the cost of setting up a production run and storing raw materials or finished products.



Objectively speaking, suppliers indeed need a MOQ for their business. In certain cases, they may have a MOQ requirement for a manufacturing component or raw material from their upstream suppliers.


Take pillowcase for example, a fabric supplier requires a textile factory a MOQ for fabric dyeing, typically 300kg. Say the textile factory can produce 1000pcs pillowcases with this 300kg fabric, they will have a MOQ requirement for you as 1000pcs. If you only need 300pcs, they would lose money.



Sometimes, there is a machine-setup fee for products like poly bags, memory foam, etc. The set-up cost is fixed regardless of the order quantity.

So if your quantity is lower than the factory’s MOQ, they would also lose money. After understanding the reasons for MOQ, let’s move to the next step.




How Negotiate to Find Low MOQ Alibaba Suppliers?




Here are Some Additional Points to Find Lower Alibaba MOQ Suppliers:

  1. MOQs can vary depending on the product and the supplier. You may be able to negotiate a lower MOQ, especially if you are a repeat customer or are placing a larger order for multiple products.

  2. Some suppliers may have stock readily available, and be willing to sell you less than the MOQ. It’s always worth asking.

  3. There are also suppliers who specialize in low-MOQ orders. You may be able to find them by searching Alibaba or other sourcing platforms.



Do not negotiate MOQ at the beginning.

Instead, you should let suppliers know you are serious about doing business with them. You could start with introducing yourself and asking common questions about sample availability, price, order lead time, payment and shipping options, etc.

When you start to negotiate, show your confidence and strength, so don’t say words like I don’t have a lot of money or I’m not sure if the product is going to sell.


  • I recommend choosing 3, or at least 2 suppliers for MOQ comparison.

Ask them the same questions and get their samples. Usually, suppliers can offer a sample, sometimes even for free if the sample is not expensive, and normally you need to pay the shipping fee.

You can ask suppliers whether they can cover the sample fee later after the order is placed. Some suppliers are willing to cover the sample cost for you.

The reason why we want a low MOQ is to control the business risk and cost, especially for new products.


For example,

  • whether the product will be popular in the market or not?
  • Can this supplier keep making good quality product consistently?

After checking every detail, you are ready to negotiate the MOQ with suppliers.


Keep in mind that it is reasonable to lower MOQ from 1000pcs 500pcs, but probably not from 1000pcs to 200pcs.



Case: Let’s say we are expecting a MOQ of 300pcs.

The supplier may not agree with the 300pcs quantity, because it is way too lower than the required MOQ of 1000pcs.

You should negotiate several rounds to know the real acceptable MOQ and the reasons for that.

In the first step, you just ask them to reduce MOQ. You can talk to them like,


“The only problem is the MOQ. I only need 300 for a market test at the beginning. If it goes well, we will make a big order next time.”



“The first order is a test order for quality, packing, and service. We really hope to find a good supplier for a long cooperative relationship, can you make the MOQ to be 300pcs for us?”


If the supplier says no. You may change a way and can say:


“We waste money on the previous order, you know the shipping fee is expensive for small orders, we hope to earn money in the next order.”


If the supplier still says no, we can know the MOQ of 1000pcs is obviously real, otherwise, the supplier will lose money, that’s why they require on the requested MOQ.


Then we should let the supplier know they have a chance to make big money in the next order. We are helping them to sell this product.


for example:

“Our brand has a great scale in this business area, if we cooperate this time, your factory will be one of our suppliers for other products”.


Or, you can say like this

“We invest money on ads, design, package and photography. we think we have a big change to win and it will be a much larger order next time.”


At this point, some factories will reduce their MOQ more or less, say 800pcs. But, it’s still much more than the expected 300pcs, you should let him/her ask the manager/boss again, and give him/her a deadline.




Options if You Can’t Meet the Alibaba MOQ


If the answer is still no, it’s highly possible the number is a real MOQ Alibaba supplier need and there are two options for you now.


The first one is to give up this product and choose other products instead. But if you really want it, you can choose the second option.


The Second option, negotiate with the supplier for the last time. Do something to narrow the gap with the supplier’s expectation and here are some choices:


1. increase the MOQ. The supplier won’t change MOQ or they lowered MOQ to 800pcs after negotiation. You can increase MOQ from 300pcs to 500pcs and give it a try.

2. offer a little bit higher price. If you really don’t want that much, you can increase the price, like from 2 usd a piece to 2.2 usd.

3. Send order to supplier to show that your negotiation is not fixed. It is flexible.


Take my real case of buying a customized steel-made accessory as an example.




What if You Order Less Than the MOQ Alibaba ?


Here is a low MOQ Alibaba supplier negotiation example.

Background: I chose 3 suppliers and asked the price and MOQ already for comparison. Below is a brief dialogue.


Me: Can you make this and what’s the price?

Supplier: Yes, we can do that, the price is 5 Yuan/piece. But if it is a customized product, the MOQ is 3000pcs.

(the other 2 suppliers’ MOQ ranges from 3000-4000pcs, so I know the real MOQ should be around 3000pcs)

(the other 2 suppliers’ price ranges from 5-6 Yuan, so I know the price should be around 5 Yuan)

Me: Give me the lowest price as you can, I am looking for a long-term supplier.

Supplier: 4.5 Yuan.

(First bargaining of the price. Do not let the suppler know your real expectation of the price and the quantity you gonna order at first. Conversely, you should know his price, quantity and other information)

Me: MOQ is too high for us, can you make it to be 2000pcs?
Supplier: No, the MOQ is not big.

(But I only need 2000pcs, it is an accessory, if I order more than 2000pcs, the extra ones are useless. Therefore, I cannot increase MOQ. I can increase money, I know it has MOQ for machine setup)
Me: I need 2000pcs in this first order, but if it goes well, we will buy this accessory regularly. (Give supplier a hint that they will make more money from regular orders)

Supplier: My boss said ok, but the price will be 5.8 Yuan.

Me: I can offer 5.3 Yuan, if you agree, we may place an order.

Supplier: I asked my boss and 5.3 Yuan is ok. (actually, this accessory needs a mold fee for 1000 Yuan, I also cut the price down to 700 Yuan)


This is an easy case for your MOQ Alibaba supplier negotiation reference.





Sourcing from China: Strategies to Lower MOQ

China’s bustling manufacturing industry has attracted numerous businesses seeking cost-effective product sourcing. However, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) imposed by factories and suppliers can pose a significant obstacle.

MOQs are an industry standard, whereby factories and suppliers stipulate the minimum quantity of an item they will produce and sell. While MOQs may vary across suppliers, circumventing this requirement altogether can be challenging. Fortunately, there are strategies buyers can employ to reduce their MOQs while still benefiting from overseas sourcing.

Negotiate Lower MOQs: Engage in negotiations with suppliers to explore the possibility of reducing MOQs. While factories are not obligated to comply, skilled negotiators may be able to secure a reduction of up to 20%.

Consider Higher Unit Prices for Lower MOQs: For some buyers, paying a slightly higher upfront cost per unit in exchange for a lower MOQ can be a viable option. This can lead to long-term savings on transportation, storage, and other costs.

Opt for Standardized Components: If your product requires rare or custom-designed parts, you are likely to encounter higher MOQs. Instead, consider using standardized or more common components to reduce MOQ requirements.

Utilize Common Components Across Products: Standardize components across product lines to simplify MOQ management. For instance, watches with different faces and bands can share common internal components, reducing MOQs for those components.

Compare Quotes from Diverse Manufacturers: Don’t limit yourself to large-scale manufacturers. Smaller firms may offer lower MOQs and greater flexibility in order terms. Explore quotes from manufacturers of all sizes to find the best fit.

Partner with Traders: Collaborate with trading companies that act as brokers between buyers and factories. Trading companies can combine orders from multiple buyers, dividing a supplier’s MOQ among several customers, effectively lowering it for everyone.

Source Excess Stock: Consider purchasing from a factory’s excess stock when available. Factories may sell excess products at a lower rate due to last-minute order cancellations, production delays, or quality control failures. However, exercise caution to avoid defective products.

Visit Chinese Wholesale Markets: For buyers willing to travel, visiting China’s wholesale markets can offer favorable MOQ terms. The Yiwu International Trade Market, the world’s largest wholesale market, provides a vast selection of products from various suppliers.

Explore Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces like AliExpress or DHgate offer access to Chinese products with lower or even non-existent MOQs. However, conduct thorough supplier vetting to ensure product quality and reliability.

Utilize Sourcing Services: Consider outsourcing sourcing and manufacturing to experienced China sourcing companies. These companies have local expertise and connections to negotiate favorable MOQs on your behalf.


While there is no foolproof method to guarantee MOQ reductions, employing these strategies can significantly lower MOQ requirements, allowing SMEs to reap the benefits of overseas sourcing without the burden of high order quantities.




Alibaba Low MOQ Alternative:


1688.com is a catalog of China wholesaler suppliers under the Alibaba Group. 1688.com is almost the same as Alibaba.com, except that 1688.com mainly caters to Chinese companies.

The reason is that sometimes Chinese wholesale suppliers have an inherent prejudice against Americans, Europeans, and other foreigners when they offer quotes on Alibaba.


In other words, sometimes, the same suppliers you find on Alibaba(Alibaba review) and 1688.com will offer higher prices for foreign companies. Here is what you can do to make sure you get the lowest price(or cooperate with a 1688 agent).

Whenever you complete the price negotiation of an Alibaba supplier, you can also contact the same supplier through 1688.com and provide a different e-mail address to see if the quotation is other.

If the prices are similar, it’s all good. However, if the prices are very different, you should find out the exact reason for the difference.

In general, you can work with Alibaba and 1688.com to make sure that you get the lowest price.


1688 Advantage:
  • Full category of products in China
  • The best way to find China real manufacturers
  • The lowest price for the same products
1688 Disadvantage:
  • Language barrier
  • Payment security
  • Hard to Return


Buying on 1688 Conclusion: it’s a good choice to buy from 1688 for people who want to source products from China at the most reasonable price and low Alibaba MOQ.





Help You Find Low MOQ Alibaba Suppliers with Supplyia:

You have to compare different suppliers, 2-4 suppliers typically , at least 2. It helps you know better about price, quality, service and industry knowledge, and you can get the best result after comparison.

 If you know nothing and just go ahead to cut the price from 5 Yuan to 2 Yuan, or cut the MOQ from 3000pcs to 300pcs, suppliers would think it’s a joke, you don’t mean to cooperate with them seriously.

Lastly, remember that negotiation is a process of compromise. Sometimes, you need to compromise a little bit to get more compromise from your suppliers and believe it or not, you can always get lots of benefits from it.

Also you can find a China sourcing agent to help you find Low MOQ Alibaba Suppliers in China.

Leave a comment to tell us if you need to find a low MOQ Alibaba supplier.

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bob dfsf
bob dfsf
3 years ago


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