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Ran a search and surprisingly it came back with no matches. Been chatting with a guy I met on another IM forum and he says he is running a successful business selling a product that he purchases on Alibaba. Apparently if you buy 100+ they will slap your logo on it and then he sells it through his ecommerce store using the woocommerce plugin.

Anyhow... Anyone have experience with making decent money on Alibaba items? Are they considered a drop-ship supplier? So far I have looked at cell phones and CPU's but the prices are pretty high and I wouldn't be making very much. I also get alot of scam emails now about $150 Iphone 5 blah blah blah
#alibaba #products
  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    I always thought Alibaba is like a strait from the manufacturer, wholesaler, not a drop shipper.

    They are a great place to stock up a real business, but when your buying in 100s or thousands etc, you should make sure to have some real money behind you.

    I have an account on there I started when my company was very new, it is more like a contact forum than say something like e-bay, where they take payment, rate you etc. Best to make sure your protected when you do the transactions.

    You should take a look at this if your just starting out, its a blog post I wrote a while back, and might help you go in the right direction with things.

    http://planetarybargains.com/Blog/my...-internet/work
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    • Profile picture of the author Emir Hayric
      Thank for the reply Scott. Money is not a huge issue, I don't have $100k to spend but I have a decent amount. As of now I sell some cheap chinese electronics I pick up from a local warehouse on eBay and make a decent amount but I want to try some new items out. It would be awesome if I didn't have to pick up and then go to the post office every time which I why I mentioned drop shipping.

      I suppose I'm just looking for somewhere new to buy some stuff and Alibaba was the first one I came across lol
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  • Profile picture of the author snediaz
    Alibaba is suppose to be a place to source products from manufacturers in China, Taiwan, etc... It's my belief that there are a lot of "middle men" on there instead pretending to be the manufacturer which is why your not seeing the type of pricing you thought you would see. Don't get me wrong...I'm sure there are some "true manufacturers" on Alibaba but it's like finding a needle in a hay stack unless you have a way to verify these sources.
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  • Profile picture of the author AJMontoya
    Buying from Alibaba is a wholesale purchase, so dropshipping is not really an option. However, check out AliExpress. It's Alibaba's sister website, but you can buy in small quantities and most of the sellers on Alibaba will drop ship for you for no extra charge.

    Electronics are tricky because they tend to get damaged during shipping and it's not worth returning items because shipping is so expensive, so you eat your money. I've had success selling smaller items, like accessories for computers, phone or tablet cases, things like that.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScooterDaMan
      I have found many, many suppliers on Alibaba that are most definitely manufacturers. If you ask, (just like with manufacturers here in the good old USA), you'd be surprised by how many of them actually WILL dropship directly to your customers for you and still give you wholesale prices even though you are only purchasing onesy-twosey.
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      • Profile picture of the author Emir Hayric
        Originally Posted by ScooterDaMan View Post

        I have found many, many suppliers on Alibaba that are most definitely manufacturers. If you ask, (just like with manufacturers here in the good old USA), you'd be surprised by how many of them actually WILL dropship directly to your customers for you and still give you wholesale prices even though you are only purchasing onesy-twosey.
        I'm sure this is so I just need to find which market works the best. There are just so many thousands and thousands of different things on Alibaba it makes my head spin!
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by xismfofx22 View Post

      Buying from Alibaba is a wholesale purchase, so dropshipping is not really an option. However, check out AliExpress. It's Alibaba's sister website, but you can buy in small quantities and most of the sellers on Alibaba will drop ship for you for no extra charge.

      Electronics are tricky because they tend to get damaged during shipping and it's not worth returning items because shipping is so expensive, so you eat your money. I've had success selling smaller items, like accessories for computers, phone or tablet cases, things like that.
      Aliexpress allow suppliers to list big brand items. To me this is always a sign that you need to be wary, because attempting to import even a single big brand item can cost you money when it is confiscated.

      As other warriors have noted, Alibaba list large numbers of suppliers falsely claiming to be manufacturers.

      I only know of two B2B portals where you can be sure that the manufacturers listed are real, and the verification process involves more than just establishing that the business actually exists.

      Buyers put some faith in seeing "Gold Supplier" status when looking for products but the simple fact that someone is willing to pay $699 per year does not mean they are any more reliable than someone who has a free listing.

      It is possible to buy small quantities direct from genuine manufacturers if you have the right approach, but if you go to wholesalers or dropshippers your margin will be seriously less. Buying direct from the factory can give you profit margins that will amaze you.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    I have purchased on Aliexpress one time and never will again.

    The problem I had with AliExpress is that it was a trader (not an official trading company, nor a manufacturer), like an aspiring Chinese hustler, and they just didn't give a darn what they sent. I only received half of my order, and half of the half was in the wrong color.

    AliExpress would not refund, which I thought was stupid since I could just chargeback. They said I only had an insanely short time period to file a dispute, which would have ended before I received the merchandise (since it was coming via epacket). The entire thing was a joke.

    For me, it was too unreliable to use in the way it is intended, i.e. see/buy/pay. I had to go back to my old method of scouring for suppliers, chatting with them, paying a Chinese person to check them out... so on.

    I think aliexpress is probably okay for a consumer, but to reliably do business on it is very hit or miss.

    Personally, I like working w a factory when I want a factory, and a trading company when I want a trading company. ImportExport doesn't really plug his book, but you should buy it if you're serious. Listen, I have been importing since 2005. I've been to China a couple times, I feel like I'm pretty experienced with small order importing (i.e. not containers). I bought the ebook thinking if I learned something, great, if I didn't, he offers a money back guarantee.

    The book is work more than he charges for it. If you really want to get serious about it, I guarantee you, his book will save you a boatload of troubles or money. Alibaba provides a false sense of security about what it takes to import. It makes it SEEM like oh, just find a supplier, order from the picture, get what you ordered.

    And it is not like that. Again, very hit or miss.

    The reason I don't like aliexpress is because it opens the door wide to just anybody and just anbody is on it trading, stealing photos, setting up shop, getting your orders and running to their local wholesale market to pick it up. If they don't have what you ordered, oh well, you're gonna get what they send you. Leave bad feedback? They get a new ID, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Hope that helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author victor198902
      good answer
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by malia View Post

      I have purchased on Aliexpress one time and never will again.

      The problem I had with AliExpress is that it was a trader (not an official trading company, nor a manufacturer), like an aspiring Chinese hustler, and they just didn't give a darn what they sent. I only received half of my order, and half of the half was in the wrong color.

      AliExpress would not refund, which I thought was stupid since I could just chargeback. They said I only had an insanely short time period to file a dispute, which would have ended before I received the merchandise (since it was coming via epacket). The entire thing was a joke.

      For me, it was too unreliable to use in the way it is intended, i.e. see/buy/pay. I had to go back to my old method of scouring for suppliers, chatting with them, paying a Chinese person to check them out... so on.

      I think aliexpress is probably okay for a consumer, but to reliably do business on it is very hit or miss.

      Personally, I like working w a factory when I want a factory, and a trading company when I want a trading company. ImportExport doesn't really plug his book, but you should buy it if you're serious. Listen, I have been importing since 2005. I've been to China a couple times, I feel like I'm pretty experienced with small order importing (i.e. not containers). I bought the ebook thinking if I learned something, great, if I didn't, he offers a money back guarantee.

      The book is work more than he charges for it. If you really want to get serious about it, I guarantee you, his book will save you a boatload of troubles or money. Alibaba provides a false sense of security about what it takes to import. It makes it SEEM like oh, just find a supplier, order from the picture, get what you ordered.

      And it is not like that. Again, very hit or miss.

      The reason I don't like aliexpress is because it opens the door wide to just anybody and just anbody is on it trading, stealing photos, setting up shop, getting your orders and running to their local wholesale market to pick it up. If they don't have what you ordered, oh well, you're gonna get what they send you. Leave bad feedback? They get a new ID, lather, rinse, repeat.

      Hope that helps.
      Hi malia,

      Thanks for the recommendation. I guess you meant to say: "The book is worth more than he charges for it."

      The point you have made about Aliexpress and their escrow system is very important. The very short time allowed for you to lodge a dispute means that many people will still lose their money.

      Aliexpress' parent Alibaba does not have an escrow system, and buyers are expected to rely on their Verified Supplier and Gold Supplier listings for confidence in their dealings. EDIT: They do now, it is called Buyer Protection. It is full of loopholes enabling bad suppliers to avoid allowing you to get your money back.

      Verification simply means that the business actually exists. What a great recommendation that is! To become a gold supplier requires nothing more than payment of $699 per year. Does that make them completely reliable?


      To be fair, Alibaba do advise care when dealing with suppliers, but few people know how to go about doing proper due diligence on suppliers listed on B2B portals. I could explain, but it takes me 4 1/2 A4 pages in my book.
      That's a bit long for a post on WF.
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      • Profile picture of the author doomer
        On a good year I net 6 figures from Alibaba/Aliexpress -> ebay/amazon. A few notes:
        • Knockoffs...knockoffs everywhere. Most are crap.
        • I deal mostly with middle men on AliExpress, and I'm fine with that. I dont want quantities in the 1000s for the items I sell. I run this out of my house afterall. There is a balance between carrying inventory (a liability) and getting volume discounts.
        • Be prepared to jump ship on any one supplier. Most will screw up at least once. I keep 2-3 suppliers on speed dial for a given product.
        • Quality control doesn't exist in China. Count on at LEAST 10% of your shipments being unsellable.
        • Don't compete on price with eBay sellers. You won't win most likely. You need to offer unique variations or brand yourself.
        • Many sellers do offer dropshipping, but shipping times will be 2-4 weeks = unhappy customers. I prefer to stock what I sell.
        • Start small, dont get greedy with numbers on paper. It never goes as smoothly as you think it's going to.

        Lastly, Aliexpress is pretty safe. Stick with reputable sellers and you're unlikely to get outright scammed. Pay with Escrow or Paypal for Alibaba merchants. NEVER with Western Union unless you have a bunch of transactions with a seller. Even then, watch your back.
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        • Profile picture of the author taso120
          Originally Posted by doomer View Post

          On a good year I net 6 figures from Alibaba/Aliexpress -> ebay/amazon. A few notes:
          • Knockoffs...knockoffs everywhere. Most are crap.
          • I deal mostly with middle men on AliExpress, and I'm fine with that. I dont want quantities in the 1000s for the items I sell. I run this out of my house afterall. There is a balance between carrying inventory (a liability) and getting volume discounts.
          • Be prepared to jump ship on any one supplier. Most will screw up at least once. I keep 2-3 suppliers on speed dial for a given product.
          • Quality control doesn't exist in China. Count on at LEAST 10% of your shipments being unsellable.
          • Don't compete on price with eBay sellers. You won't win most likely. You need to offer unique variations or brand yourself.
          • Many sellers do offer dropshipping, but shipping times will be 2-4 weeks = unhappy customers. I prefer to stock what I sell.
          • Start small, dont get greedy with numbers on paper. It never goes as smoothly as you think it's going to.

          Lastly, Aliexpress is pretty safe. Stick with reputable sellers and you're unlikely to get outright scammed. Pay with Escrow or Paypal for Alibaba merchants. NEVER with Western Union unless you have a bunch of transactions with a seller. Even then, watch your back.
          I have to agree with this post completely especially 10% of the items being unsellable.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by doomer View Post

          On a good year I net 6 figures from Alibaba/Aliexpress -> ebay/amazon. A few notes:
          • Knockoffs...knockoffs everywhere. Most are crap.
          • I deal mostly with middle men on AliExpress, and I'm fine with that. I dont want quantities in the 1000s for the items I sell. I run this out of my house afterall. There is a balance between carrying inventory (a liability) and getting volume discounts.
          • Be prepared to jump ship on any one supplier. Most will screw up at least once. I keep 2-3 suppliers on speed dial for a given product.
          • Quality control doesn't exist in China. Count on at LEAST 10% of your shipments being unsellable.
          • Don't compete on price with eBay sellers. You won't win most likely. You need to offer unique variations or brand yourself.
          • Many sellers do offer dropshipping, but shipping times will be 2-4 weeks = unhappy customers. I prefer to stock what I sell.
          • Start small, dont get greedy with numbers on paper. It never goes as smoothly as you think it's going to.

          Lastly, Aliexpress is pretty safe. Stick with reputable sellers and you're unlikely to get outright scammed. Pay with Escrow or Paypal for Alibaba merchants. NEVER with Western Union unless you have a bunch of transactions with a seller. Even then, watch your back.
          Knockoffs: If the knockoffs carry big brands, you are taking a huge risk -Confiscation and destruction by Customs - fines - in serious or repeat cases sometimes imprisonment - flagging of your name and address by Customs resulting in delays on every shipment you ever receive -, and if Customs don't get you, the brand owner could sue you into bankruptcy.
          If the knockoffs infringe design copyright or patents, even without the big brand label, the result can be exactly the same.

          Inventory. Middle men and wholesalers cannot handle small orders unless they are loading the price sky high. If you have to buy thousands, you need to learn how to get genuine manufacturers to supply small orders at ex-factory prices. It can be done if you use the right approach.

          Prepare to jump ship. I agree. Never keep all your eggs in one basket by having only a single supplier for your product, no matter how good they are.

          Competing on Price. I have never done it in my entire business career. No need to if you have a great USP.

          Dropshipping. I agree. There are too many possible problems in addition to slow delivery. Try out of stock but not being told. Not good for feedback. With a small inventory you have control.

          Start small. I agree, but you don't have to pay through the nose by buying from wholesalers, resellers, traders, agents, sourcing agents, dropshippers etc. Buy direct from the factory and you can still start small at amazing profit margins.

          Aliexpress. How can you tell who are the reliable suppliers? You need to source from a site where you can be sure you are dealing with reliable suppliers who are real manufacturers. Aliexpress' escrow service is great if you know almost as soon as you placed the order that they have sent you trash because the time allowed for lodging a dispute is ridiculously short.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hydraman
        Thanks for a good post I have been looking into this myself


        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        Hi malia,

        Thanks for the recommendation. I guess you meant to say: "The book is worth more than he charges for it."

        The point you have made about Aliexpress and their escrow system is very important. The very short time allowed for you to lodge a dispute means that many people will still lose their money.

        Aliexpress' parent Alibaba does not have an escrow system, and buyers are expected to rely on their Verified Supplier and Gold Supplier listings for confidence in their dealings.

        Verification simply means that the business actually exists. What a great recommendation that is! To become a gold supplier requires nothing more than payment of $5480 per year. Does that make them completely reliable?


        To be fair, Alibaba do advise care when dealing with suppliers, but few people know how to go about doing proper due diligence on suppliers listed on B2B portals. I could explain, but it takes me 4 1/2 A4 pages in my book.
        That's a bit long for a post on WF.
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      • Profile picture of the author peabodysolutions
        Just thought i would tell you a good trick about aliexpress or alibaba is when dealing with a salesman there are 2 things i do which gives me good products and that is when you see the product you like ask him/her to send a photo of the product with your name next to it if they say sorry me busy well then he is a liar No2 is to ask them that you would like to come visit the factory if they say no time to busy LIARRRR my dealers say yes all the time and tell me we pick you up from airport and always get my name next to item on photo so i thought this might help you
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  • Profile picture of the author ReferralCandy
    Wow, pretty cool stuff. Now ya'll have got me curious about trying this...

    -v
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  • Profile picture of the author Abrar Tariq
    One of the ways to remain safe when trading with ali baba suppliers is to go to their forums, where usually other members post about suppliers who scam them so you can remain away from them.
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  • Profile picture of the author jay walters
    When I used to work at a chinese firm that sells medical equipments, we use alibaba to search for chinese medical equipment. He would always tell us to search for manufacturers not the middleman. And for some reasons he wants us to research the company that creates that product and if some guy poses that he has a company, we would research it online. So far some are decent around 70% and some are just plain old middle man.

    Just sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author iove234lifee
    Have done about 10 orders on aliexpress, all orders seem to arrive undamaged, shipping time is a pain 2-4 weeks. Granite all my items were small and hard to damage.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marco030
      Hi there, have ordere on Aliexpress as well, about 5 orders. Everything worked out well and I thought shipping was even faster than dealextreme.com!

      It even got through German customs without any problems (package value <20€ or >25$)!

      I am now trying to order bigger amounts via Alibaba. But the producers dont seem to like my contact email. I dont get any answers. Any experiences here from anyone?
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by Marco030 View Post

        Hi there, have ordere on Aliexpress as well, about 5 orders. Everything worked out well and I thought shipping was even faster than dealextreme.com!

        It even got through German customs without any problems (package value <20€ or >25$)!

        I am now trying to order bigger amounts via Alibaba. But the producers dont seem to like my contact email. I dont get any answers. Any experiences here from anyone?
        Sometimes you can be lucky and find good suppliers on Aliexpress, but as most of them are not manufacturers you will not be getting good prices.

        Alibaba has a huge list of suppliers claiming to be manufacturers but most of them are resellers or wholesalers, so you will have the same problem as far as profit margins are concerned.

        There are a couple of likely reasons why Aliexpress suppliers are happy to deal with you but the ones on Alibaba are not. Firstly a lot of Aliexpress suppliers are dropshippers, so they will readily supply even single items, but on Alibaba they are more interested in regular wholesale size orders. It is usually more difficult to get such wholesalers to handle small orders than it is to get real manufacturers to do so.

        The second reason would be your first contact email probably tells them too much, and if you tell them you are only small or just starting up they won't be interested. You should not ask straight away about their MOQ. They will tell you soon enough.

        I never recommend Alibaba because among other reasons it is too difficult to be sure you are dealing with genuine manufacturers. Also I think their verification process which only confirms that the business exists does not go far enough IMO.

        I teach that if you locate genuine manufacturers and approach them the right way and negotiate the right way, many will supply small orders.
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        Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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        • Profile picture of the author Marco030
          Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

          Sometimes you can be lucky and find good suppliers on Aliexpress, but as most of them are not manufacturers you will not be getting good prices.

          Alibaba has a huge list of suppliers claiming to be manufacturers but most of them are resellers or wholesalers, so you will have the same problem as far as profit margins are concerned.

          There are a couple of likely reasons why Aliexpress suppliers are happy to deal with you but the ones on Alibaba are not. Firstly a lot of Aliexpress suppliers are dropshippers, so they will readily supply even single items, but on Alibaba they are more interested in regular wholesale size orders. It is usually more difficult to get such wholesalers to handle small orders than it is to get real manufacturers to do so.

          The second reason would be your first contact email probably tells them too much, and if you tell them you are only small or just starting up they won't be interested. You should not ask straight away about their MOQ. They will tell you soon enough.

          I never recommend Alibaba because among other reasons it is too difficult to be sure you are dealing with genuine manufacturers. Also I think their verification process which only confirms that the business exists does not go far enough IMO.

          I teach that if you locate genuine manufacturers and approach them the right way and negotiate the right way, many will supply small orders.
          thanks for that in-depth and great answer!

          you have listed some great tipps, especially when saying that I should not write as detailed in my first contact email.
          How would you start when wanting to order men boxershorts from China with your own branding? Via Alibaba? Or with Google and finding manufactureurs directly? I have probably send out 30 mails via Alibaba to source Boxershorts. It cant be that hard or not ?!

          Thanks for your answer in advance!

          Best regards from Germany
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          • Profile picture of the author Importexport
            Originally Posted by Marco030 View Post

            thanks for that in-depth and great answer!

            you have listed some great tipps, especially when saying that I should not write as detailed in my first contact email.
            How would you start when wanting to order men boxershorts from China with your own branding? Via Alibaba? Or with Google and finding manufactureurs directly? I have probably send out 30 mails via Alibaba to source Boxershorts. It cant be that hard or not ?!

            Thanks for your answer in advance!

            Best regards from Germany
            Hi Marco,

            No I don't recommend searching on Alibaba. The problem there is that many, if not most of the suppliers listed as manufacturers are not, so that means you will be dealing with wholesalers or traders. If you want maximum profits you need to go direct to real manufacturers.

            If you find a real manufacturer, start your email by saying that you are an established importer - not that you want to be one. Tell them that you are looking for a reliable supplier of boxer shorts. On first contact don't ask for prices, just ask if they can email or post a catalog. After you have looked through it, choose the product numbers of interest and ask for a price but don't mention quantity. They will ask you when they reply. In your request for a price make sure you get them to quote both FOB and CIF via air courier door to door.

            Also tell them you will need to see a sample and that you are willing to pay for that.

            There is a lot more after this, but I cannot post the entire 83 pages of my book.
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            Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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            • Profile picture of the author Marco030
              Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

              Hi Marco,

              No I don't recommend searching on Alibaba. The problem there is that many, if not most of the suppliers listed as manufacturers are not, so that means you will be dealing with wholesalers or traders. If you want maximum profits you need to go direct to real manufacturers.

              If you find a real manufacturer, start your email by saying that you are an established importer - not that you want to be one. Tell them that you are looking for a reliable supplier of boxer shorts. On first contact don't ask for prices, just ask if they can email or post a catalog. After you have looked through it, choose the product numbers of interest and ask for a price but don't mention quantity. They will ask you when they reply. In your request for a price make sure you get them to quote both FOB and CIF via air courier door to door.

              Also tell them you will need to see a sample and that you are willing to pay for that.

              There is a lot more after this, but I cannot post the entire 31 pages of my book.
              thanks so much for those valuable tipps on how to contact a supplier in china! really helpfull! if you cover all that in your ebook you can send me a link to that book with a message if you want.
              I expect to have to put some effort into this sourcing process, I am not sure yet whether it'll work without having to fly to china to meet the manufacteurers in person when I want to order some thousand boxershorts with my design...

              Best
              Marco
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              • Profile picture of the author Importexport
                Originally Posted by Marco030 View Post

                thanks so much for those valuable tipps on how to contact a supplier in china! really helpfull! if you cover all that in your ebook you can send me a link to that book with a message if you want.
                I expect to have to put some effort into this sourcing process, I am not sure yet whether it'll work without having to fly to china to meet the manufacteurers in person when I want to order some thousand boxershorts with my design...

                Best
                Marco
                Hi Marco,

                Thanks for your comments. The website name in my signature is a live link, so you can get straight to my site that way.

                I did a quick search on my most recommended safe site that I reveal in my book, and you will have no trouble finding genuine manufacturers. If you need further help just let me know.

                Face to face visits are highly desirable if you can do it, and there are steps you should take before going. Most of the people I have taught importing do not visit the suppliers because they cannot afford to.
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                Use emotions and perceptions to build a great brand. Ask me about my book LabelsThatExploit. For safe sourcing and easy importing from 41 countries globally, see https://provenglobalsourcing.com
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  • Alibaba is a good source for wholesale items but there are also companies that provide drop shipping services. If you are going to get items from Alibaba suppliers, try to always choose a company that has enough legitimacy as there are also suppliers there that rip customers off. Another option you can look also is Global Sources. This site is also good source for wholesale items.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marco030
      thanks for the great answer affilorama-portal!!!

      do you have any good textile manufactureurs at hand by any chance? mainly for underwear ?
      I will check out globalsource though
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel2010
    Take a trip to China.

    When I was selling on eBay, there were a few major wholesale trade fairs that would be worth attending and you can talk to the manufacturers. They can make anything for you.

    But stay away from knockoffs, like iphones. Very likely, will be seized my customs.

    When I used Alibaba, I search for USA suppliers and was able to find a few but some Chinese companies will list themselves as being in USA but really in China.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Noel2010 View Post

      Take a trip to China.

      When I was selling on eBay, there were a few major wholesale trade fairs that would be worth attending and you can talk to the manufacturers. They can make anything for you.

      But stay away from knockoffs, like iphones. Very likely, will be seized my customs.

      When I used Alibaba, I search for USA suppliers and was able to find a few but some Chinese companies will list themselves as being in USA but really in China.
      For those who can afford the time and money to take a trip to China I would highly recommend it. Nothing can beat face to face contact with potential suppliers.

      There are a couple of things potential importers need to know before going to China.
      1. Trade fairs can be mind boggling. The vast product range will fill your head with ideas, so you need to make sure you take detailed notes, as well as collecting catalogs.
      2. Be prepared to spend two or three days at a fair. They are massive.
      3. Always contact exhibitors well before you travel. Deal with them via email as though you were not going to China. You should have narrowed down the field before you go. Do let them know you are coming to the fair.
      4. DON'T commit yourself on the day, unless you have had plenty of prior contact with the supplier. Your mind will be in a whirl and after committing yourself you may find a product or supplier a few stalls away that will be much better for your business.
      5. Don't accept any statement that the supplier you are talking to is really a manufacturer. Just as you will find happens on B2B sourcing portals, many trade fair exhibitors claim to be manufacturers but are not.
      6. Allow time to visit other suppliers that you may have previously contacted, who are not exhibiting. China is a big country so plan your trip and in particular all the internal travel carefully.
      7. Remember that Chinese business people have a different concept of the word "Yes". To them it can mean maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably, no, or even yes. They are not being dishonest, they are just trying to please, and to them, saying no is impolite.
      8. I would not bother going to the biggest fair in China. It is known as Yiwu market. Many of the stall holders do not speak English, so you would need a translator. Having been required to use a translator in my exporting days when I was selling product to China, I can tell you that it puts you under a serious disadvantage.
      9. There are some permanent trade shows in China, and other countries too. These are much more laid back affairs, without the high pressure atmosphere you will find at the annual or 6 monthly fairs usually advertised. You won't find these permanent ones advertised because they are reserved for the big boys in the importing world, but they can be a great place for new and small importers to locate suppliers. Sorry but I don't broadcast the details of these.
      10. If taking a trip to China, I would suggest a short hop across the China sea to Taiwan when looking for suppliers. Many mainland Chinese businesses are owned and run by Taiwanese.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silverton
    Originally Posted by DreamTFK View Post

    Ran a search and surprisingly it came back with no matches. Been chatting with a guy I met on another IM forum and he says he is running a successful business selling a product that he purchases on Alibaba. Apparently if you buy 100+ they will slap your logo on it and then he sells it through his ecommerce store using the woocommerce plugin.

    Anyhow... Anyone have experience with making decent money on Alibaba items? Are they considered a drop-ship supplier? So far I have looked at cell phones and CPU's but the prices are pretty high and I wouldn't be making very much. I also get alot of scam emails now about $150 Iphone 5 blah blah blah

    I have made a few orders from Aliexpress and everything arrived and worked out well. Just do a little research from the feedbacks given by other customers that have bought from the vender. It is also good to take some extra time and search out the best deals as there are many vendors selling the same products and there can be quite a price difference between them. Some even offer free shipping which can save you a a lot of $$$.
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  • Profile picture of the author wayne795
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Silverton View Post

      I have made a few orders from Aliexpress and everything arrived and worked out well. Just do a little research from the feedbacks given by other customers that have bought from the vender. It is also good to take some extra time and search out the best deals as there are many vendors selling the same products and there can be quite a price difference between them. Some even offer free shipping which can save you a a lot of $$$.
      Originally Posted by wayne795 View Post

      One supplier ripped me off I had bought a laptop for $15 and never got it in the mail then when i tried to contact them they did'nt even message me back so you should watch out for those maybe Alibaba can help.Thanks nice thread help me speak my mind

      Ps: His store name is : Online Store 827269
      Aliexpress allow suppliers to list who sell knockoffs or brand name products which it is illegal to import. Does that give you a feeling of confidence?

      Wayne, you are certainly not the first to be ripped off by suppliers at those websites and because nobody seems to take any notice of the warnings so often posted on WF, you will certainly not be the last.

      As for feedbacks, don't warriors know that there is a big online business in providing paid good feedbacks?

      If you want to be safe, you need to find suppliers on safe sites. I only recommend a couple of B2B sourcing portals that I know to be safe. There you can find genuine manufacturers, not resellers who add big profit margins, and in the process take away a lot of your potential profit.

      To get maximum profits you need to buy direct from manufacturers. Despite what most people believe, it is possible to buy small quantities direct from real manufacturers at genuine ex-factory prices. Most B2B portals have huge lists of suppliers falsely claiming to be manufacturers, so you will finish up buying at very much higher prices from traders or wholesalers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by DreamTFK View Post

    Ran a search and surprisingly it came back with no matches. Been chatting with a guy I met on another IM forum and he says he is running a successful business selling a product that he purchases on Alibaba. Apparently if you buy 100+ they will slap your logo on it and then he sells it through his ecommerce store using the woocommerce plugin.
    Almost any manufacturer will put your logo on the product, and it may sometimes be less than 100 that you need to order. You don't have to go to Alibaba to find suppliers who will do that, it is normal business.

    During the 22 years I ran my importing business I had our logo put on the products on almost every occasion, and some of the orders were only for $100 -$500.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by mikedcarroll View Post

    I tend to worry about Chinese suppliers. But then again I never really got into dropshipping or wholesaling.
    I have only ever been let down by one supplier in China over a period of 22 years of importing.

    He had an almost reasonable excuse which I did not accept. I simply changed to one of my backup suppliers for the same type of product. Because I invariably had orders shipped via air courier or EMS, the delay he caused was insignificant.

    My experience in dealing with Chinese businesses has been very good. Quality control problems were almost non-existent because we agreed on quality standards as a condition of payment. They always kept their word and so did I.

    I cannot speak from any experience in dealing with dropshippers or wholesalers because I always dealt direct with the factories for the simple reason that that's where the big profits are.
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  • Profile picture of the author arsenir57
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by arsenir57 View Post

      Alibaba is suppose to be a place to source products from manufacturers in China. It's my belief that there are a lot of middle men on there instead pretending to be the manufacturer which is why your not seeing the type of pricing you thought you would see. So, you just need to verify the supplier before purchasing anything.
      You are absolutely right. I have posted numerous times about the fact that the great majority of suppliers listed on Alibaba as manufacturers are not. They are traders masquerading as manufacturers.

      Verifying suppliers on Alibaba will not solve any problems about reliability. Verified suppliers are just ones that Alibaba has checked and found that they really exist. Not much security in that.

      This thread contains a lot of valuable tips and comments about Alibaba. It is worth reading the whole thread. If anyone has any questions, please post them here and I will be happy to answer.
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