How to Buy from 1688 without Agent?

Apr 28, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Buying from without an agent involves several steps.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it:

To Buy from 1688 without an Agent, You will Need to:

  • Create an account. 1688 is only available to registered users. You can create an account using your email address or phone number.
  • Find a supplier. Once you have created an account, you can start searching for suppliers. You can search by product name, keyword, or category.
  • Contact the supplier. Once you have found a supplier, you can contact them to get more information about their products and pricing. You can also negotiate the price and MOQ (minimum order quantity).
  • Place an order. Once you have agreed on the price and MOQ, you can place an order. You can pay for your order using a variety of methods, including Alipay, WeChat Pay, and credit card.
  • Arrange shipping. Once your order has been placed, you will need to arrange shipping. You can do this yourself or hire a freight forwarder.






Here are Some Additional Tips for Buying from 1688 without an Agent:

  • Use a translation tool. 1688 is a Chinese website, so you may need to use a translation tool to navigate the site and communicate with suppliers.
  • Be aware of the risks. Buying from 1688 can be risky, especially if you are not familiar with the platform or the suppliers. It is important to do your research and choose suppliers with a good reputation.
  • Use a payment method that offers buyer protection. When paying for your order, use a payment method that offers buyer protection in case there are any problems with your order.

Overall, buying from 1688 without an agent is possible, but it is important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to protect yourself.


Here are some additional tips for finding a good supplier on 1688:

  • Look for suppliers with a high transaction rating and a positive feedback score.
  • Check the supplier’s business license and other relevant certificates.
  • Contact the supplier and ask questions about their products, services, and experience.
  • Order a sample product before placing a large order.





The Problems You will Face when Buy on 1688 with Agent:


Although 1688 is the largest B2B wholesale platform in China, it is still very unfamiliar to overseas small businesses, and it is in Chinese. If people don’t know Chinese very well, they may not know how to search for products by keywords, let alone how to contact suppliers for product details and bargain with suppliers.


Since 1688 is mainly aimed at the Chinese market, it currently only supports UnionPay and Alipay, and few suppliers support credit cards and some Alibaba financial products for buyers to pay for goods. For small businesses overseas, paying directly on 1688 is an almost impossible option.

Product quality.

Just like AliExpress small businesses can only check the quality of the goods on the photos if they are not in China, and it is difficult to return the goods from overseas if they find that the quality of the goods matches their price, and Alibaba does not support disputes due to shipping costs for a long time.


Since 1688 mainly focuses on the Chinese market, the supplier only supports domestic shipping methods. Therefore, most suppliers have no way to ship from China to overseas unless they apply for an international freight forwarder.




How to Pay 1688 without Alipay?

Currently, you cannot make direct payments on 1688, but it offers three options for pay 1688 without Alipay.

Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods.


1. Use Wire Transfer.

The first method allows you to directly contact suppliers on 1688 and make payments through bank transfers or similar methods, after which the supplier packages and ships the products to you.

This method requires the supplier to be proficient in English and capable of shipping from China to overseas destinations, as most 1688 suppliers are based in China. If you are new to dealing with suppliers, offline payments may involve some risks.


Wire Transfer:

  • Initiate an international wire transfer to your supplier to cover the 30% payment. Keep in mind that this transfer usually incurs fees ranging from $30 to $40 through your banking service.
  • While wire transfers can be intimidating because the funds are not retrievable, remember that you still have leverage, as you haven’t released the full payment.


Here are the steps on how to pay on 1688 using a wire transfer:

  • Obtain the supplier’s bank account information. You can usually find this information on the supplier’s 1688 store page.
  • Contact your bank and initiate a wire transfer to the supplier’s bank account.
  • Be sure to include the supplier’s name and order number in the transfer memo.
  • Once the wire transfer is complete, notify the supplier.




2. Use 1688 Agents.

The 1688 agent can help you negotiate with 1688 suppliers and make purchases and shipments from China.

However, if you frequently order from 1688 through friends, you may need to pay some commissions.

Therefore, it is not entirely free, and you should calculate the total cost of products, service fees, and international shipping to determine if it is worthwhile.


Here are the steps on how to pay on 1688 using a buying agent:


  • Find a reputable buying agent. There are many buying agents to choose from, so be sure to do your research and read reviews before selecting one.
  • Contact the buying agent and provide them with a list of the items you want to purchase.
  • The buying agent will provide you with a quote for their services, including the cost of the goods and their commission.
  • Once you have agreed on the price, pay the buying agent using your preferred payment method.
  • The buying agent will purchase the goods on your behalf and arrange for shipping.



3. Use a Third-party Payment Service.

The third method is often used by small to medium businesses that require bulk wholesale orders from 1688.

Here are the steps on how to pay on 1688 using a third-party payment service:

  • Create an account with a third-party payment service such as Wise, WorldFirst, or Payoneer.
  • Link your bank account to your third-party payment service account.
  • Deposit funds into your third-party payment service account.
  • Once you have funds in your account, you can make payments to suppliers on 1688 without Alipay.

To make a payment, simply select the third-party payment service as your payment method on 1688. You will then be redirected to the third-party payment service website to complete the payment.


*This payment solution is applicable to users in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Virgin Island British only. 



If you are not comfortable buying from 1688 without an agent, you can always hire a reputable 1688 agent to help you. Agents can provide a variety of services, such as product sourcing, quality inspection, and shipping.

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