Is Alibaba Legit-How to Buy from Alibaba Wholesale Safely?

Nov 17, 2022 Chapter 2. Supplier

Is Alibaba legit and safe? Alibaba itself has a wide range of policies that further help buyers avoid getting scammed on their service platform.

But, Can you get scammed on Alibaba? Like most B2B platforms, especially e-commerce ones, it can definitely be possible to get scammed on Alibaba. Although it is very rare, and the chances are quite minimal, it is definitely a possible situation. 

There are some ways you can learn how to buy from Alibaba and prevent getting scammed on it. First, Let me answer a popular question about Alibaba: Is Alibaba Legit?




Is Alibaba Legit?

Yes, Alibaba is a legit. Contrary to popular concern, it is completely safe to buy from Alibaba. It has a range of policies and rules to ensure that all the transactions carried out on this platform are secured and there is no private information breach whatsoever. If you take some right measures, it is absolutely safe and legit to buy from Alibaba.

Suppose you’re still unsure about the safety and security of Alibaba. In that case, it’s recommended that you go through the testing steps of the suppliers you’re interested in acquiring products from.


Alibaba Reviews:

Alibaba reviewsAccording to Alibaba reviews, Alibaba has a consumer rating of 4.3 stars from 15,199 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. 



Alibaba Scams vs. Bad Quality:

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.”

So, After finding an expected supplier, you also should know how to make quality control when buying from Alibaba. This is very important.



How to Buy from Alibaba without a Company?

Yes, you can buy from Alibaba without a company, whether you are an individual or a company.

If you want to import from China, you can purchase products directly from manufacturers on Alibaba. Anyone can contact and buy directly from the manufacturer.

However, you may not be able to obtain samples for those suppliers with large minimum order quantities.



How to Choose the Right Factory Capacity of Alibaba Manufacturers?

Here’s my general advice on the topic of  choosing the right Alibaba vendor sizing:


How to find right size suppliers on Alibaba


  • If your order is very small, you may need to work with a trading company that will place your order in a tier 1 factory and (hopefully) keep a close eye on production.
  • If your order is large enough to work directly with the manufacturer but not large enough to interest a large factory, choose level 2 (approximately 250-800 workers).
  • Tier 3 is good for you if your order is considered large and you find that big companies are aggressively vying for your business


Make sure that when you search for a product, it has a small minimum order quantity, about 10-1000 pieces. This is a good indicator. Anyone can buy from them.





Is Alibaba Legit and How to buy from Alibaba?

People are usually concerned about 3 things when they buy from Alibaba: one is money security, another one is product quality and 3rd is Alibaba legit?

Here we will discuss how to find a legit and safe supplier and buy from Alibaba safely with 5 steps.

how to buy from alibaba flow chart



Before we start, please remember these 4 buying wholesale from Alibaba principles

  • 1. This is a numbers game. More quotes = more information = better decisions.
  • 2. Don’t be afraid to walk away. As a buyer, you are in the control of all the money.
  • 3. Organize your data. Looking at vendors side by side can help you draw conclusions.
  • 4. Alibaba is legit ≠ All suppliers are legit. What you have to do is filter 1~2 legit Alibaba suppliers finally.
  • 5. Don’t reject middle man or trading company.



Step 1: Familiar with the Alibaba platform.

To buy safely from Alibaba, the first step is to understand the entire process. This how-to has compiled all the basic information you should know, including:

  • 03 Registering
  • 04 Finding products and suppliers
  • 08 Placing an order
  • 11 Paying and financing
  • 15 Shipping and logistics
  • 20 Inspecting products
  • 22 Glossary – Sourcing terms and features


alibaba sourcing guide




Step 2: Do Your Research and Thoroughly Go Through the Profile of the Alibaba Suppliers

Although this may seem like a cumbersome task, going through the profile of suppliers you’re interested in buying products from will allow you to assess whether the seller on Alibaba is legit.

On their end, Alibaba does their best to make this online shopping site more legit and safe to use, but it’s always better to take precautions and scammers’ control before the damage occurs.

How to know if a seller on Alibaba is legit? To better grasp whether the seller on Alibaba is legit, you can go through the following sections and keep these pointers in check.



Top 8 Points to Check if a Seller on Alibaba is Legit?

1. Using Alibaba Trade Assurance

is alibaba legitIs Alibaba legit to use Trade Assurance. Yes, The safest and most secure way to purchase products from Alibaba is through Trade Assurance.

If you buy products through Trade Assurance and are unable to receive your order due to whatever circumstance there is, all the costs and liabilities regarding that order will be accepted and paid by Alibaba on your behalf.

Along with that, they’ll also be contacting the supplier you ordered from and dealing with them for you.


2. Choosing Gold Suppliers

is alibaba legit-gold supplierSince this is a membership that needs to be paid to acquire, most scammers will avoid investing in this. In fact, con artists will be more inclined to set up the free supplier profile on Alibaba and have a wide range of products they can “sell-off” to make as much revenue in a short amount of time as possible. 


3. Making use of Alibaba’s on-site verification process

Alibaba’s on-site verification-is alibaba safeIs Alibaba legit to add the On-site verification icon?

Since it isn’t possible for suppliers on Alibaba to add icons onto their listings, it needs to be physically inspected and verified whether they are operating. It is indeed an actual business, and not a scam opportunity set out by someone.


4. Checking assessment of Suppliers

It is also possible to opt for a supplier assessment, which is basically when a third-party organization will go on your behalf to inspect the business’s factory. supplier assessments-is alibaba safe

Is Alibaba legit to add the assessment supplier information?

Yes, this will be a more unbiased and in-depth report of the company’s standards and procedures. 


5. Finding Company Basic Information

Different areas of the country specialize in different resources and industries. In China, the situation is the same, and most companies depend on other support industries.

Companies located in a cluster of industries are more likely to be true suppliers, along with being competitive as well.

Otherwise, you also need to different suppliers’ type categories on Alibaba.

Manufacturer: The products being sold are original and the only ones that the manufacturer has produced. The manufacturers’ products are usually specialized and specifically targeted instead of having a wide variety of products available.

Trading Company: In general, trading companies operate independently; however, in some cases, trading companies might be in an alliance with or be owned by a manufacturing company. Usually, multiple middlemen want their cut, and trading companies are unsure how to add value to their products.

Manufacturer and Trading Company:  These are companies that sell off the products they manufactured and products produced by other companies. Usually, it’s difficult to identify whether these companies are selling their own products or selling off someone else’s, so it gets hard to determine whether this type of supplier is legit or not. 


6. Checking Certification

Goods that are being imported usually require certification to be brought into the country itself. Most countries strive for quality control, which is a serious issue and risk if thinking about importing goods from China. One of the main reasons companies end up losing money is due to poor quality products. 

A conscious manufacturer will always strive for better quality and improvements in their product. Suppliers that claim and boast about being defect-free are usually susceptible to providing lower-quality products.


7. Using live Factory Video Footage

To get an unbiased, raw, and realistic view of the company, it’s best to check in on their live factory video footage.

Is Alibaba legit and safe for Factory video? Yes, This will allow you to glimpse the working environment and conditions without having actually visited the company. Videos coming directly through Alibaba are more trustworthy since they will verify them. 


8. Review Alibaba Supplier’s Product Catalog

This final procedure is the cherry on top of a cake when searching for safe suppliers on Alibaba.

Look for: Alibaba suppliers who have a product catalog full of information about the products and their business itself.

This is the most crucial factor when in search of a supplier. A supplier specializing in products will generally have better quality products, which will be good for your business.


Final Checklist to Buy from Alibaba when You Find a Supplier

Legit suppliers will specialize in one type/kind of product to manage their product’s quality and price things better. In such instances, prices are usually lower too.

● Is the product you require available under the supplier’s company name?

● Is your product a major income generator for the supplier?

● Are the products listed, unlike the ones that you’re searching for?

-Use the Alibaba Supplier Search to Identify Specialized Suppliers

The supplier’s search is a special feature introduced by Alibaba to look for manufacturers specializing in products. The steps to do this are:

how to search alibaba supplier

1. Go to the official website

2. Switch from “Products” to “Suppliers” in the search box option

3. Search up the product name that you desire/or you can add more choices you want.

After this, you will display a range of suppliers who provide the exact product you are in search of. This method is both times effective and saves you from the hassle of reviewing product catalogs as well.


Ideally, you have compiled all the new Alibaba suppliers’ information in an Excel spreadsheet with data and comments. (If you don’t have time, please contact me, and I will put you in touch with someone who can help.)

The next step is to screen out the most potential legit Alibaba suppliers and dig deeper to verify the last one or two


As information spreads faster and faster, buyers have an understanding of basic scams on Alibaba. Here is the 15 common Alibaba scams List.




Step 3: Communicate with Your Suppliers on Alibaba to Stay Safe


After finding some suppliers on Alibaba, if you’re considering purchasing products in bulk, you should carry out your research and do your homework to stay on the safe side.

Now, you have to reach out to them and filter to find the right supplier. Send messages to at least 10-15 suppliers, You have nothing to lose.


Initial Outreach

One of the key points I want to convey from a client perspective is that you need to follow a process.

You can’t just browse a website, send a few emails, reply and see where it takes you to go.

Your emails should be concise and brief, with zero to no errors. This will give them a better impression of you, allowing you to communicate with the suppliers with no conversation barriers fully.

Try to ask all your questions in a numbered format so that the supplier can answer all of them easily. 


Most suppliers receive too many inquiries and only choose which inquiries they are interested in.

Here Are Some Alibaba Template to Get Suppliers’ Attention:

  • The first message should be simple and short, less than 8 lines if possible (including the product description), with a very clear call to action (“If you want more information about our needs, please get back to me”) .
  • If you have a product spec sheet, share it with them and get their feedback. You should expect them to ask you more questions about manufacturing, such as material specifications, or if they don’t accept your tolerances, etc. If they say “it’s okay,” that’s not always a good sign!
  • Then…follow up on their questions quickly and complete your screening process within 8 days. After that, your inquiry will become cold in their eyes.
    If possible, make a call to them (most of them have Skype accounts). Show that you are serious that you invest the time to get to know them. 



Requesting a Quote- Questions to Ask Alibaba Suppliers:

When requesting a quote from Alibaba or your new suppliers, keep these following tips in mind:

Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ’s) 

– Make negotiations about the minimum order quantity you require and request the supplier for an extra free piece or two.

Pricing For Samples

– Inquire about their price per unit when obtaining samples, as it usually tends to be much higher than production costs…

Production Pricing 

– The larger the order is, the lower the production pricing tends to be.

Payment Terms 

– If the supplier declines accepting payment through a mode you’re most comfortable and easy with, it’s best to contact and deal with another supplier.



A Big Warn to Watch Out for Cheap Quote!

Why is Alibaba so cheap? Is Alibaba Legit? Some potential new Alibaba suppliers will offer much lower prices than average.

How can that be?

  • Some suppliers want to start developing products with you, and they’ll know strategies for raising prices along the way (usually after the deposit wire for the first order).
  • Some other cheap suppliers simply don’t know what the cost is. They never make this product even if you find it in their showroom. After you send them a purchase order, they’ll want to know where and how to make it. It’s also a bad sign.


So, How to do it?

You may see several very similar offers from different Alibaba suppliers: this is the “market price.”

Eliminate any “outliers” that make the price 20% above or below the average. (If you are interested in buying above market price for above average quality, please keep the highest offer).




Negotiating a Legit win-win Agreement with Alibaba suppliers:

-“Hold the box” trick. 

Suppose, you are creating a brand and want a customized box.

Some Alibaba suppliers may have a minimum order quantity of 500 products, but the minimum order quantity is 1000 customized boxes (because their packers set the minimum order quantity).

1000 boxes mean you need to produce 1000 pieces, right?

No. Make 1000 boxes, let them pack 500 boxes in China. You can make 500 boxes as planned for the next order. They meet the minimum requirements for packaging, and you have ordered the right quantity.

-Sample Refund.

Pay the samples with PayPal and ask if you can get a refund if you end up placing a large number of orders.

Confirm that they will not lose any money in the process, which will motivate the purchasing department to complete the order. You get the sample payment, and they get more business. This is totally legit for the Alibaba model.

-“Long-Term” Attractiveness.

If you seem to be unable to agree to the price, you can consider future orders. “It looks like this order is only worth $3,000,” you said, “but we are a fast-growing company, and a successful order today may bring you easy rebates: $5,000, $10,000, $20,000. Can you? What is the best price for me?” You get a lower price, and they have won a long-term partner.

-Don’t Say Anything. 

If you remain silent for a few days, they will follow up. After a few pieces of messages, they will be more receptive to lower prices. In the end, you are the buyer, holding all the cards. The best negotiation strategy is to be willing to abandon the deal.


Alibaba is legit and safe to negotiate. When your negotiation skills are legal, they will be protected by Alibaba. What you have to do is to keep the communication and chat records as much as possible. Once you have any problems in the future, you can appeal to protect your rights





Step 4: Do Production Inspection Before Shipment 

Alibaba is legit and safe, But, in ISO compliance, regular monitoring of the raw materials being imported needs to be done, check-ins during the production phases and after the goods have been manufactured.


Understand Alibaba Quality Control Inspection Services

The main task of Product quality control inspection services is to identify problems and defects early to provide authentic products to consumers.

The following are the general types of inspection services are most buyers choose when they place a order from Alibaba.


Because of an overseas supplier,  you don’t know, and you can’t go there, you may want to contact an inspection agency to do the the quality control inspection of your products.

But you need to tell them when to go to the factory and what to check.

I try to summarize in this flowchart for:

How to choose product inspection services when buy from Alibaba?

How to choose product inspection services when buy from Alibaba?





Step 5: Choose the Right Shipping Methods

Is Alibaba legit to shipping from China? Yes, Alibaba sellers can help you ship your goods out, but you have to learn how to Choose the cheapest shipping ways and save Alibaba shipping costs.

Shipping from Alibaba or China is another big topic, we simply discuss some things here, and you should familiar with some of Alibaba Incoterms by yourself:


Determine the legit Alibaba Incoterms and Shipping Methods


Determine the Alibaba Incoterms and Shipping Methods:

There are 3 ways Alibaba shipping method: Air express, Airfreight, and Ocean freight. All of them are legit.

The cheapest way to ship from Alibaba is Ocean freight. If you’re not sure how to find the best way to ship from Alibaba, we can help you figure out which option is best for you! Feel free to contact us for a free quote.


When it comes to legit shipping from Alibaba, customers often ask us what international trade term options should they choose.

Our typical answer is, “Most buyers choose FOB, so this may be what you want.”

But this is a bit short. You should understand in more detail how to choose the legit Alibaba trade terms option that meets your needs.

To have a deeper understanding of the general principles of interpretation of major Alibaba legit trade terms, we have prepared the following flow chart:




Is Alibaba Legit Conclusion

Multiple buyers end up getting scammed on Alibaba wholesale for low prices unintentionally. So is Alibaba legit to buy?

The problem is not Alibaba. Alibaba is legit and safe to buy website. The individuals who scam people and take their hard-earned money are the true culprits here.

By using the above steps, you can make sure to avoid Alibaba scammers and only purchase products from actual sellers.

Alibaba is legit and safe. If you want some assistance on product sourcing services to buy legally from Alibaba, please let us know and we will get back to you within 24 hours.




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