How can you possibly make any money buying from Alibaba.com?

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I was looking at something on Alibaba.com today, in response to an email they sent me. Something caught my eye and I wanted to check it out. so I went to Google to see how the prices matched up. The first item I saw was the exact item I was looking at, with the link to Alibaba.com.

So how in the world could I possibly compete with the same items, and make any profits? I don't have the money to import in large quantities to get any lower price, and even if I did, the discount wouldn't be enough to make it worth while, IMHO.
#alibabacom #buying #make #money #possibly
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    One more thing. Are there any better international trade sites you would recommend that are better than Alibaba.com?
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author wpninja2013
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      One more thing. Are there any better international trade sites you would recommend that are better than Alibaba.com?
      globalsources.com and made-in-china.com are some well-known B2B platforms, similar to Alibaba
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  • Profile picture of the author tritrain
    Outside of speaking Mandarin or flying over to China and finding an interpreter to help arrange deals, I would think that the middlemen will take a cut that often leaves you with little profit. This is the case with most, if not all, dropshippers.

    Sourcing direct is THE best way to get an unusual product and have a great price. It's possible that you could find some exporters that are only in the business to make the initial arrangement, hopefully at a flat fee.

    Personally, I think it would be awesome to fly to China and elsewhere to handle international trade. I hope you do that and tell us how it went. I'd be your biggest fan!
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    I was looking at something on Alibaba.com today, in response to an email they sent me. Something caught my eye and I wanted to check it out. so I went to Google to see how the prices matched up. The first item I saw was the exact item I was looking at, with the link to Alibaba.com.

    So how in the world could I possibly compete with the same items, and make any profits? I don't have the money to import in large quantities to get any lower price, and even if I did, the discount wouldn't be enough to make it worth while, IMHO.
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    One more thing. Are there any better international trade sites you would recommend that are better than Alibaba.com?
    In answer to your first question Tim, you are looking at the wrong sourcing platform if you want to make money safely.

    Also, you are not finding real manufacturers if you are looking at suppliers on Alibaba, most of whom claim to be manufacturers but are not. They are traders, and traders can never give you genuine ex factory prices because those are the prices they have to pay before they add their margin when they quote you.

    As for the huge quantities you refer to, the MOQs quoted by suppliers are there to deter small fry and newbies. It is possible to buy small quantities direct from the manufacturer if you use the right approach. Never tell them you are new to importing. Never tell them you are a sole trader.

    In answer to your second question, yes there are some excellent safe sourcing sites. Have a look at If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? on this forum
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    • Profile picture of the author lonsomkker
      Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

      In answer to your first question Tim, you are looking at the wrong sourcing platform if you want to make money safely.

      Also, you are not finding real manufacturers if you are looking at suppliers on Alibaba, most of whom claim to be manufacturers but are not. They are traders, and traders can never give you genuine ex factory prices because those are the prices they have to pay before they add their margin when they quote you.

      As for the huge quantities you refer to, the MOQs quoted by suppliers are there to deter small fry and newbies. It is possible to buy small quantities direct from the manufacturer if you use the right approach. Never tell them you are new to importing. Never tell them you are a sole trader.

      In answer to your second question, yes there are some excellent safe sourcing sites. Have a look at If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? on this forum

      Alibaba is used by virtually EVERY company to source product/components. In-fact its the primary source for companies who know what theyre doing. The problem with Alibaba is that it's function is misleading. You need to look at an Alibaba post as an introduction.

      Dont worry about manufacturers / traders. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is what you want, what you want to pay (be mindful of shipping) and your order quantities.

      The difference between you and the pros is their ability to communicate with the Chinese and most importantly, their ability to negotiate. They can often tell when you dont know what you're doing and they WILL take advantage of you if they can.

      @TimPears
      Ive sourced components for 100,000s of units and my team depends heavily on Alibaba for product development. If it was that easy, everyone would do it though. That is not to say that these resources cant be tremendous assets, you just need to invest time into understanding them for what they are. You also need to get curb the get rich quick attitude and not let a few posts in a thread discourage you. 10,000 hours homie, 10,000 hours
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by lonsomkker View Post

        Alibaba is used by virtually EVERY company to source product/components. In-fact its the primary source for companies who know what theyre doing. The problem with Alibaba is that it's function is misleading. You need to look at an Alibaba post as an introduction.

        Dont worry about manufacturers / traders. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is what you want, what you want to pay (be mindful of shipping) and your order quantities.

        The difference between you and the pros is their ability to communicate with the Chinese and most importantly, their ability to negotiate. They can often tell when you dont know what you're doing and they WILL take advantage of you if they can.

        @TimPears
        Ive sourced components for 100,000s of units and my team depends heavily on Alibaba for product development. If it was that easy, everyone would do it though. That is not to say that these resources cant be tremendous assets, you just need to invest time into understanding them for what they are. You also need to get curb the get rich quick attitude and not let a few posts in a thread discourage you. 10,000 hours homie, 10,000 hours
        @lonsomkker; You say: Alibaba is used by virtually EVERY company to source product/components. but that is a very sweeping generalization. It is undoubtedly true that many companies use Alibaba for sourcing, but one of the sites I recommend is used by a huge number of importing professionals who would never dream of using Alibaba.

        I would never say that Alibaba's function is misleading, rather its function is misunderstood by many people. They are a B2B sourcing platform and their function is to provide a platform on which suppliers can advertise and buyers can locate suppliers. Alibaba are often wrongly blamed for the misdeeds of some of the suppliers listed on their site.

        You also say:
        Dont worry about manufacturers / traders. but you mention people should worry about what they want to pay. If buyers want to pay the minimum reasonably possible in order to buy the quality and quantity they want, they should worry about the difference between manufacturers and traders. The difference can be massive in terms of profit. The reason should be obvious.

        Most traders do not carry any inventory. In fact they often have no connection with the manufacturer until they get your order, which is often based on images they have lifted from a manufacturer's catalog or website. When they get your order they then order from the manufacturer, but I know from experience, and from my very long term associates in China that they don't always succeed. The manufacturer has ceased production of that line, or for some other reason cannot or will not supply.

        This is what so often leads to disputes and sometimes refunds, but sometimes the trader melts away and starts again under another name.

        Now when you said
        in reply to your quote of my post: The difference between you and the pros is their ability to communicate with the Chinese and most importantly, their ability to negotiate., you showed that you are new to this forum, because regulars know from my posts that I am a pro. I began exporting to China in 1978, and switched to importing from China in 1987. I have visited China countless times, and although now retired I still communicate often with some of my Chinese business contacts who have over the years become my friends.

        I know how to negotiate small orders despite huge MOQs being quoted and I have taught that to people in 36 countries. I taught my franchisees in 4 countries how to negotiate with Chinese suppliers.

        Finally, you said to Tim Pears:
        You also need to get curb the get rich quick attitude and not let a few posts in a thread discourage you. but I know Tim has worked very hard at what he is doing and certainly does not have a "get rich quick attitude" as you so unfairly and without any knowledge of the facts state.
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    • Profile picture of the author rjornd
      Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

      ...It is possible to buy small quantities direct from the manufacturer if you use the right approach. Never tell them you are new to importing. Never tell them you are a sole trader.
      While I've never dealt in import/export, I would agree with this statement. Telling someone you're new to the game, regardless of what game it may be, opens the door for maltreatment or a loss of respect. It would also position yourself as someone who's not a person to do business with.

      Instead, I would try to negotiate for a smaller quantity "as a test" and leave the door open for possible larger buys down the road. Always use a bit of bravado and authority and prepare to be amazed by the results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    I have a factory contact in China that actually approached me directly. The important thing is to get references in the states for non-competitors.

    I've never been to China and I don't plan on going, although it probably would be pretty eye-opening. I will say this, when you see the level of quality and service coming out of China, it's no wonder so many US manufacturers are going out of business.

    I happened to import a product where I had demand already and sourced it in the states. So while it was a risk to import from China, it wasn't a huge risk because I could always dump it if need be. Once you get thru the first shipment, the rest is smooth sailing. I drop around $35-$45K per shipment and, if I want to test out a new product, I can throw it on the container very easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author CammyCash
    Making money on alibab, dhgate, echina and like b2b are extremely tough as you are dealing with middlemen and tons of counterfeit product. Orders of these natures can be seized by customs which you will be 100% liable for.
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    • Profile picture of the author mobread
      I have had this happen. Is the way around this to have a customs agent/ customs clearance broker?

      I want to get selling something again

      Originally Posted by CammyCash View Post

      Making money on alibab, dhgate, echina and like b2b are extremely tough as you are dealing with middlemen and tons of counterfeit product. Orders of these natures can be seized by customs which you will be 100% liable for.
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by mobread View Post

        I have had this happen. Is the way around this to have a customs agent/ customs clearance broker?

        I want to get selling something again
        There is no way around having goods seized if they are counterfeit, or infringe registered designs, or patents etc. A customs agent would never try to help you import illegally.

        Even something that looks like a big brand product can get you into trouble.
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    • Profile picture of the author Slade556
      Originally Posted by CammyCash View Post

      Making money on alibab, dhgate, echina and like b2b are extremely tough as you are dealing with middlemen and tons of counterfeit product.
      Counterfeit is the keyword here. Also, many complain about the quality of the items. Buying in bulk from these guys is risky because it's one thing to have some items of bad quality, and a totally different thing to have most items of low quality....
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by Slade556 View Post

        Counterfeit is the keyword here. Also, many complain about the quality of the items. Buying in bulk from these guys is risky because it's one thing to have some items of bad quality, and a totally different thing to have most items of low quality....
        It is possible to make make money when buying from China, but I would be wary of sourcing on Alibaba or Aliexpress.

        I have taught hundreds of people how to safely buy small quantities direct from manufacturers in China and other countries.

        Factories in China produce very good quality and also very poor quality. It is not right to generalize and say that most items are low quality. The low quality items are bought by people who can only sell on low prices, so they demand low prices.

        During my many visits to China, I went to many factories and it is a common sight to see two or more production lines. One will produce very high quality, and others will produce very poor quality. You need to make it clear to the supplier what quality you want.

        If you are willing to pay just a very small amount more you can get the good quality that I refer to.

        One of the main reasons why I began importing from China was that I could not buy locally the high quality that I wanted. With my knowledge of manufacturing in China I was able to buy excellent quality, with the bonus of much lower prices and faster service. Yes, made to order products arrived here quicker than I could get them made locally.

        Although I have said you might need to pay a little more to get quality, you can still buy at great margins. Here is what one of my book users wrote in an email: "Ok. From extremely skeptical to successful completion. Credit given where credit is due. I followed the book instructions you laid out. Took my time to double check everything and was able to successfully import an order from China. Not only that but it was also a “sample order” for less than 300.00. A 300% mark up has allowed to get initial investment back and I have 70% of my inventory left. Stop promoting your book. Your encouraging competition for me Many thanks." Email on file for FTC inspection if required.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    This is depressing, and makes a fellow want to quit. Even after reading importexport's excellent report and getting a bit excited, I just can't seem to find anything that I can make money on with limited capital. makes a fellow just want to give up.
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      This is depressing, and makes a fellow want to quit. Even after reading importexport's excellent report and getting a bit excited, I just can't seem to find anything that I can make money on with limited capital. makes a fellow just want to give up.
      Hi Tim,

      You know that I give unlimited support for 3 months, and although it is past that time, maybe you should send me an email.

      The comment by CammyCash "Making money on alibaba, dhgate, echina and like b2b are extremely tough as you are dealing with middlemen and tons of counterfeit product. Orders of these natures can be seized by customs which you will be 100% liable for. " is absolutely true.

      Those middlemen who are almost all listed incorrectly as manufacturers will never be able to supply at the best prices. You can only get the best prices by buying direct from the real manufacturers. I teach how to buy small quantities regardless of the big Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) they quote.

      You must be bold enough to ignore the MOQ, and in fact you never ask what it is. That is the first mistake most people make when approaching suppliers.

      If you can decide what product you want to sell, possibly using the excellent methods taught by Auctiondebteliminator, you will be able to locate the products in China at amazingly low prices. I don't teach what products to choose, but I do know how to source them, not only in China but also in many other countries.

      It is worth noting that traders and other middle men on the popular B2B sourcing platforms will often quote bigger MOQs than the real manufacturers. The main reason is that they want to make a killing on that first order, because chances are you won't place a repeat order.

      You should also be aware that "wholesalers" in China rarely carry inventory. They take your order and your money, then they contact the manufacturer whose images they have lifted, and hope they can still supply.

      Having visited China since 1978 as an exporter and then since 1987 as an importer I know how the system works there. Everything is not as it appears, but I see on this forum so many people acting as though buying from China is like buying from your local 7/11.

      I am currently drafting a post which I will probably title "Masters of Disguise" about the fact that WYSIWYG does not apply when dealing with China. Keep an eye out for it in a week or two.

      Having said that I must add that in 22 years as an importer until I retired I enjoyed the most excellent relationship with my Chinese suppliers and I obtained better quality and better service at vastly better prices than I ever did locally.

      China is a different world and it is important to know how to deal with that amazing industrial powerhouse.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarketingSensei
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      This is depressing, and makes a fellow want to quit. Even after reading importexport's excellent report and getting a bit excited, I just can't seem to find anything that I can make money on with limited capital. makes a fellow just want to give up.
      Hi Don't Give up You can make good $ try China vision or Buy on line Singapore one thing 2 try Find what is on top sellers on eBay just google that term or any Product say top selling xyz Gadget
      or ? up to you then pick a favorite - google xyz gadget wholesale email them make a deal to Resell
      4 them wham you are their Rep Negotiate price by saying another supplier offered lower $ use a Good formal email template free online Plenty info on You-Tube also Good Luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author KatPD
    This is a good point, how can we compete when our wholesalers also sell online? I have in the past negotiated a lower cost per item by buying more, maybe not in the thousands but multiples of 10 or 50s. Then I sell to my local market/State. Fact is some people will never buy anything direct from China as the are worried the item will never arrive. I find people are willing to pay a bit more for it knowing they can call me if there is a problem and it is already in the country therefore they will get it in a few days. You can still make some healthy margins this way and scale up from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author chg
    Contrary to what some people have said here, we have made a ton of money using some suppliers we've found through Alibaba. As with sellers from anywhere, YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS! Do quality checks on product samples, make sure they ship quickly, etc. Also, as far as margins go, IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. We found a lot of success in a certain couple niches and kept with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Wilson
    Personally from my experience I find alibaba very expensive and the main reason for this is they are not selling to the chinese but to you. For example if you went over to Hong Kong or shenzhen and walked into one of the markets to try and buy goods in Bulk you can end up paying 5-10x the amount that a Local would. This is because at the end of the day they are business men and understand that we can charge a lot more over here for the products they sell.

    It's a similar problem with aliexpress and other sites like them, they are made purely for small time retailers and wholesalers who find their prices cheap (compared to here in the UK) however the fact of the matter is they aren't.

    For instance when you look on an outlet like eBay there will be a few sellers selling an item so cheap that even if you brought in 500-1,000 units from the likes of alibaba you don't stand a chance as they are not going to give you those prices!
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Nathan Wilson View Post

      Personally from my experience I find alibaba very expensive and the main reason for this is they are not selling to the chinese but to you. For example if you went over to Hong Kong or shenzhen and walked into one of the markets to try and buy goods in Bulk you can end up paying 5-10x the amount that a Local would. This is because at the end of the day they are business men and understand that we can charge a lot more over here for the products they sell.

      It's a similar problem with aliexpress and other sites like them, they are made purely for small time retailers and wholesalers who find their prices cheap (compared to here in the UK) however the fact of the matter is they aren't.

      For instance when you look on an outlet like eBay there will be a few sellers selling an item so cheap that even if you brought in 500-1,000 units from the likes of alibaba you don't stand a chance as they are not going to give you those prices!
      You are quite right Nathan,

      The popular B2b sourcing sites are for people who are unaware of real prices in China. I have often visited China, and I know where to buy retail at amazing prices. Example, on my last visit to Beijing I visited a small store that I know, where they were retailing a good quality man's suit for US$38. My next stop was Birmingham, UK, where I found the absolutely identical suit on special at a big retailer for 5 times that amount. Now if a small retailer in Beijing can retail at $38, how much would an importer pay for 100, 500, or 1,000 of those suits? Just work out the profit margin.

      If you tried to buy similar items on one of the popular sourcing sites you would not find the factory, because despite advertising as manufacturers, almost all suppliers on those sites are traders. They might offer what looks like a good price, but it is nowhere near as low as you can buy direct from the manufacturer.

      By the way, I don't buy retail except for some personal items when I am there. Importing direct from the factories is what I know best.
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  • Profile picture of the author rookiekan
    Hey Timpears

    As some post have been showed to you that many manufacturer on Alibaba.com are not real manufacturers,there are just traders,To be honest,I ever worked in a trade company but always shows the customers that I worked in a manufacturers that I can give you the lowest price.So if you really wanna import cheapest and best performance products,you'd better come to China by yourself.If possible,I can help you(Don't reckon me a greedy businessman)

    Thx.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    You wanna hear something crazy? Everyone on this site or who has ever sold physical goods online knows who Alibaba is. But "Normal people" - our customers - haven't heard of Alibaba and wouldn't know where to begin or how to buy from them. They don't "get" international shipping, duty, customs, or feel comfortable buying direct from Hong Kong or China mainland. As the global economy becomes more seamless, this may eventually change, but for now it works to our advantage.

    You don't have to have the best price if your site instills trust. The majority of buyers don't even price shop. It's second nature for guys like us, cheapskates and technically-minded as we are, to right click an image, see that the file name is probably a SKU, UPC, or part number, and type it into Google. But most buyers, they make that emotional connection with the product and decide to buy right then. Or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author vedremo
    Banned
    Back in the day I did all that - researched trends, bought from alibaba etc, sold on ebay. Made some good money too.

    For me it was profitable and didn't really matter whether they were manufacturers or middle men. If you do your research you really can't lose.

    Probably worthwhile to visit Jim Cockrum's site for help sourcing and finding products, one of the most stellar reputations with ebay, amazon and all that jazz.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by vedremo View Post

      Back in the day I did all that - researched trends, bought from alibaba etc, sold on ebay. Made some good money too.

      For me it was profitable and didn't really matter whether they were manufacturers or middle men. If you do your research you really can't lose.

      Probably worthwhile to visit Jim Cockrum's site for help sourcing and finding products, one of the most stellar reputations with ebay, amazon and all that jazz.
      you really can't lose means that you will not make a loss, but if you are buying at a price that is higher than you could otherwise obtain you are losing something. What you are losing is the substantial extra profit you could have made if you bought direct from the manufacturer.

      Until you have quotes from genuine manufacturers, most people cannot even hope to imagine the massive profit margins that are out there for the taking.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nathan Wilson
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        you really can't lose means that you will not make a loss, but if you are buying at a price that is higher than you could otherwise obtain you are losing something. What you are losing is the substantial extra profit you could have made if you bought direct from the manufacturer.

        Until you have quotes from genuine manufacturers, most people cannot even hope to imagine the massive profit margins that are out there for the taking.
        "What you are losing is the substantial extra profit you could have made if you bought direct from the manufacturer." spot on, couldn't have said it better myself
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  • Profile picture of the author ATL
    Banned
    @ ImportExport…Your sales page for your ebook looks interesting but where are your testimonials? All you have are a a couple "testimonials" with initials at the bottom of them. If your book is being used by importers all around the world then why couldn't you put more testimonials on there?….Even video testimonials would be good or something.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by ATL View Post

      @ ImportExport...Your sales page for your ebook looks interesting but where are your testimonials? All you have are a a couple "testimonials" with initials at the bottom of them. If your book is being used by importers all around the world then why couldn't you put more testimonials on there?....Even video testimonials would be good or something.
      Thanks for your question ATL.

      I have an abundance of testimonials from satisfied (even delighted) book buyers, but I thought three would be enough. I never identify the people who write to me, and that is why I make the offer, which I have never seen on any other website, to supply proof to any relevant authority that may request it.

      Any person can trigger a request from their local fair trading authority by contacting them and claiming that the testimonials are, or appear to be, false. If my testimonilas were false, I would not invite that scrutiny and the huge amount of hard work and red tape that would go with it.

      Video testimonials can be bought! Here is one comment in the thread Is it legal to pay for testimonials of existing users? "Lots of paid testimonials go undisclosed.. it's just the nature of marketing online" and in the thread Is buying video testimonials on fiverr.com legal? there is this comment: " Just note that in the IM niche you can see the same people doing testimonials on different products. Doesn't look so authentic to me when I see it..." and this one: "As an owner of a top micro job site, I can attest to the fact that Amazon employees email me every week asking me to take down gigs posted on my site that offer paid testimonies or reviews for Amazon..."

      I also know that there is a big industry providing feedback for a fee. Sometimes the provider of the good feedback gets to keep the goods bought by them but paid for by the seller.

      So you will understand why I don't go over the top with my genuine testimonials, and I make my unique offer to provide proof - not to readers because that would infringe the privacy of my customers, but to relevant authorities. What more can I do?
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    You wanna hear something crazy? Everyone on this site or who has ever sold physical goods online knows who Alibaba is. But "Normal people" - our customers - haven't heard of Alibaba and wouldn't know where to begin or how to buy from them.
    That depends. There are markets (I operate in one) where the factories have tons and tons and tons of "trading companies" (mostly individuals) selling their goods and they flood ali express with product listings, which show up in google shopping and google organic search. So there are certain industries where people know about Alibaba/Aliexpress and shop there, which is very unfortunate because Ali... is not a buyer protection oriented site.

    So when people are looking at very popular items, this is what they come up against. In all my time viewing these threads and getting to know people, they fall into two categories:

    people who chase hot products
    people who build lasting businesses

    sometimes the hot product chaser can build a lasting business, but more often than not they don't.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by malia View Post

      That depends. There are markets (I operate in one) where the factories have tons and tons and tons of "trading companies" (mostly individuals) selling their goods and they flood ali express with product listings, which show up in google shopping and google organic search. So there are certain industries where people know about Alibaba/Aliexpress and shop there, which is very unfortunate because Ali... is not a buyer protection oriented site.

      So when people are looking at very popular items, this is what they come up against. In all my time viewing these threads and getting to know people, they fall into two categories:

      people who chase hot products
      people who build lasting businesses

      sometimes the hot product chaser can build a lasting business, but more often than not they don't.
      Hi Malia,

      Thanks for more words of wisdom from someone who obviously knows.

      Regards,
      Walter
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  • Profile picture of the author hani051
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    I was looking at something on Alibaba.com today, in response to an email they sent me. Something caught my eye and I wanted to check it out. so I went to Google to see how the prices matched up. The first item I saw was the exact item I was looking at, with the link to Alibaba.com.

    So how in the world could I possibly compete with the same items, and make any profits? I don't have the money to import in large quantities to get any lower price, and even if I did, the discount wouldn't be enough to make it worth while, IMHO.


    Sadly, what i have seen is that you can not make money through alibaba, if you are looking for products made in china. But if you are looking for local wholesalers or suppliers in developing countries you can find really good wholesalers, selling niche product and all profit is in niche products.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by hani051 View Post

      Sadly, what i have seen is that you can not make money through alibaba, if you are looking for products made in china. But if you are looking for local wholesalers or suppliers in developing countries you can find really good wholesalers, selling niche product and all profit is in niche products.
      Yes there is no doubt that profits are better if you can find a real niche, but you should remember that profits are made in buying at the right price.

      If you want the very best price why settle for buying from wholesalers? They buy from the manufacturers and so can you. Once you understand the way safe product sourcing works you will see that real manufacturers quote big MOQs because they don't want to be pestered by small resellers or newbies.

      Part of the way to get around that is don't let them know your are a small operator, or that you are new to importing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fat Wolf
    sure, you can make money with it, but before you do anything, check all the fees that you need to pay before you purchase anything from alibaba, if you don't do that, you will end up losing money
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Fat Wolf View Post

      sure, you can make money with it, but before you do anything, check all the fees that you need to pay before you purchase anything from alibaba, if you don't do that, you will end up losing money
      It is always essential to know your costs before you buy otherwise you could lose money as Fat Wolf says.

      I never recommend Alibaba. I recommend a couple of safe sites where you will find genuine manufacturers, not the multitude of traders calling themselves manufacturers on Alibaba and other popular sourcing sites.

      You can make big money buying from real manufacturers, and you can do it even if you can only afford to place small orders.
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      • Profile picture of the author Fat Wolf
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        It is always essential to know your costs before you buy otherwise you could lose money as Fat Wolf says.

        I never recommend Alibaba. I recommend a couple of safe sites where you will find genuine manufacturers, not the multitude of traders calling themselves manufacturers on Alibaba and other popular sourcing sites.

        You can make big money buying from real manufacturers, and you can do it even if you can only afford to place small orders.
        Importexport, I have question for you, once i look at alibaba's wholesale price, i don't find anything profitable anymore? do you think your source can help me? but when you order from factory, they will ask you to order more, right?
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Fat Wolf View Post

          Importexport, I have question for you, once i look at alibaba's wholesale price, i don't find anything profitable anymore? do you think your source can help me? but when you order from factory, they will ask you to order more, right?
          Hi Fat Wolf,

          The biggest mistake I see being made over and over again on this forum is for people to think that buying wholesale is the way to make profits.

          Wholesalers buy from manufacturers and they add their margin, so they are diluting your potential profit margin.

          Looking for suppliers on Alibaba and the other popular sourcing sites is at the root of the problem because in the vast majority of cases you are dealing with wholesalers not manufacturers. That is why you are not finding profitable pricing when you search on Alibaba.

          You ask: "but when you order from factory, they will ask you to order more, right?" Wrong! One of the biggest myths repeated on this forum is that you must place large orders if you want to buy from the manufacturer.

          I have taught hundreds of people how to place small orders direct with real manufacturers at genuine ex-factory prices.

          There are only a handful of safe sourcing sites that I recommend, and I don't publish them online. To see the reasons why, and to get some helpful information you might like to have a look at my thread:

          If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?
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          • Profile picture of the author axel40
            Mr./madame Importexport !

            You are writing about "handful of safe sourcing sites...". I suppose you present them in your ebook for 50 bucks, or not?

            Second: so you mean that with the help of good knowledge, like the one you deliver, for doing successful trading from China, you do not personally need to show up by manufacturers in China, notwithstanding that for sure must be a clear advantage. Or ?
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            • Profile picture of the author Importexport
              Originally Posted by axel40 View Post

              Mr./madame Importexport !

              You are writing about "handful of safe sourcing sites...". I suppose you present them in your ebook for 50 bucks, or not?

              Second: so you mean that with the help of good knowledge, like the one you deliver, for doing successful trading from China, you do not personally need to show up by manufacturers in China, notwithstanding that for sure must be a clear advantage. Or ?
              Hi Axel,

              Yes those safe sourcing sites are revealed in my book.

              I have sometimes been asked why I can't just name them. As I posted on another thread, the reason is because there is a lot more that I want people to know before they start sourcing, such as what not to say when you make your first contact with suppliers, how to negotiate, how to avoid ripoffs when ordering samples, how to ensure that you get the best price, how to get manufacturers to supply small orders regardless of the big MOQs they quote, how to get the supplier to do the hard yards for you when it comes to shipping, etc., etc. This all adds up to make the importing process easy for people who have never done it before.

              Also one of the sites is part of a trade organization and is rarely known to anyone except the "big boys" in importing. If I identified that site on WF it would probably get hundreds or thousands of newbies contacting them and my senior management contacts there would not be happy.

              There is a lot more to the sourcing and importing process than just searching a site for suppliers. I see too many people on forums like this who jump in at the deep end without doing adequate research.

              I like to think of my book as providing something like insurance.

              In answer to your second question, yes, definitely it is a big advantage to visit the factories before doing business with them, but it is not essential. When I ran my importing business for 22 years, only a couple of my franchisees ever visited the factories and they imported countless orders without anything but occasional minor problems that were easily overcome.
              .
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  • Profile picture of the author George8
    Really the best way to utilize Alibaba is to buy in bulk. Also alot of consumers would not purchase from Alibaba as generally they will not want to buy from China

    George
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by George8 View Post

      Really the best way to utilize Alibaba is to buy in bulk. Also alot of consumers would not purchase from Alibaba as generally they will not want to buy from China

      George
      "Buy in bulk?" Most people think that means order the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ), but few can afford to place such large orders.

      If you look back through this thread you will see that I teach that it is possible to place orders much smaller than the big MOQs quoted by suppliers on sourcing sites.

      There are also lots of traps for the unwary using such sourcing sites as Alibaba and the other popular sites. On Alibaba almost all of the suppliers listed as manufacturers are traders and you cannot get the best prices from them.

      After 22 years of experience in importing I only know a very small number of safe sourcing sites where what you see is what you get. People who rush in and try sourcing from Alibaba and other big sites often finish up very unhappy as the OP shows.
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  • Profile picture of the author Woomeister
    I buy goods from alibaba. The key is finding an actual manufacturer, of which there are many, and doing due diligence.

    My advice for weeding out the conmen and getting a good supplier.


    1. Do they offer escrow payment? Some advertise they do but when asked to confirm this they say 'we are still setting it up', or something like that.


    2. Will they send free samples? If no, then move on...if yes then ask for some. (Obviously they won't send a free TV etc)


    3. Will they accept a visit? This is the real deal breaker. No conman will accept a visit, obviously.


    I buy raw materials that I use to manufacture supplements within the UK and the profits are extremely good. I've also bought novelty items that have done similarly well and always had the goods sent by air freight door to door. No customs to pay as the Chinese are more than happy to state the goods are replacement, foc! samples etc.


    So I believe alibaba has its place, trade key is another similar type of site with many legitimate businesses from around the world. Many Nigerian conmen too. Buyer beware.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      There is no doubt there are many manufacturers listed among the thousands of suppliers listed. The problem is that they are in the tiny minority.

      It is like buying a lottery ticket trying to find a genuine manufacturer among those listings. Far better to use sites that only list as manufacturers businesses that really are manufacturers.

      I agree that conmen will not often accept payment by escrow, but that payment method does not guarantee a good supplier. I have read numerous complaints about suppliers still being paid by Alibaba's escrow system although the customers are in dispute with them.

      The way it works is that buyers must first try to settle the problem with the suppliers and then if not resolved they can lodge a dispute with Alibaba. Some suppliers have perfected the art of procrastination, giving the buyer the feeling that they are making progress, but after the short time limit for dispute lodgement passes, those suppliers no longer cooperate. Alibaba will then not accept a dispute because the time limit has expired.

      It is true that free samples are rarely offered by conmen, but often suppliers make a huge profit on the freight they always charge for samples, so they are not really giving anything for free.

      There are certainly many legitimate businesses on Alibaba, and the other popular sites including tradekey, but as Woomeister correctly states: "Many Nigerian conmen too." Conmen abound in international trade and most are not from Nigeria.

      This is why I only recommend a couple of safe sites where the verification process is thorough. It is not thorough on the popular sites that so often get mentioned on the forum. On those sites "Verified" means that they actually exist. That's all.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Woomeister
        I've never had freight charged on free samples, I get them free or I don't order.

        I've been buying from china for many years and I know my way around. I understand your points, but if you have a business nose are savvy and put the time in there is money to be made through alibaba.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Woomeister View Post

          I've never had freight charged on free samples, I get them free or I don't order.

          I've been buying from china for many years and I know my way around. I understand your points, but if you have a business nose are savvy and put the time in there is money to be made through alibaba.
          Yes I have also obtained free samples without freight charge, but it is becoming more difficult. This is primarily due to so many people just trying to get freebies with no intention of buying anything.

          People such as you with good business sense and experience have a big advantage over the majority of new entrepreneurs. I often find that they lack basic understanding of the buying process.

          A good example is the number of people I know who have placed orders while being ignorant of how to get the goods delivered to their home country. They treat buying overseas as though they are going to the local corner store.

          One lady contacted me after placing a big order for some bulky goods. She had already paid by the time she discovered that FOB meant that she had to pay for and organize the freight. The freight was going to cost about 4 times the value of the goods.

          I could do nothing to help apart from advise pleading with the supplier to keep the goods himself and give her a partial refund. In the end he refused, so I advised that she just abandon the goods rather than multiply her loss. She has since bought my book.

          .
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I would say you sure can, I never imported stuff using Alibaba (but I did use AliExpress, the child of Alibaba), because the offer smaller quantities for a good price.

    As of the fact they offer the item in China for the same price, that shouldn't be a concern for you because most people would rather to order from U.S. to get the item in few days against a month and going all the custom (getting 1 item could be as complicated as 1000).

    Alibaba doesn't offer small quantities. These are manufactures that trying to ship huge quantities.

    If you want to work in importing, there are a lot of things to be concerned about, I would wonder how profitable it is and you would probably want to spend sometimes researching them.

    If you would like, I own a cash back website where I do have many business owners ordering from sites like alibaba, I can provide a list of alternative sites based on popularity (let me know the niche you looking for cloth, electronics, .. etc).
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      I would say you sure can, I never imported stuff using Alibaba (but I did use AliExpress, the child of Alibaba), because the offer smaller quantities for a good price.

      As of the fact they offer the item in China for the same price, that shouldn't be a concern for you because most people would rather to order from U.S. to get the item in few days against a month and going all the custom (getting 1 item could be as complicated as 1000).

      Alibaba doesn't offer small quantities. These are manufactures that trying to ship huge quantities.

      If you want to work in importing, there are a lot of things to be concerned about, I would wonder how profitable it is and you would probably want to spend sometimes researching them.

      If you would like, I own a cash back website where I do have many business owners ordering from sites like alibaba, I can provide a list of alternative sites based on popularity (let me know the niche you looking for cloth, electronics, .. etc).
      I apologize to those who are reading all my posts, because I have to repeat myself quite a lot because few people read an entire thread.

      AliExpress has received numerous bad reports on Ripoff Report | Scams, reviews, complaints, lawsuits and frauds. File a report, post your review. Consumers educating consumers. and so have Alibaba as well as many other popular sourcing sites. That is one reason why I never recommend them.

      If anyone has had a good experience sourcing on those sites, I am pleased for them because they have been lucky, or else, like @Woomeister they know the ropes and have avoided the problems.

      The "good price" available from suppliers on AliExpress is way too much to pay if you want to make serious profits. The same applies to the traders and wholesalers who make up the overwhelming majority of suppliers listed as traders on all the popular sourcing sites.

      To get a good price that will blow you away you need to buy from real manufacturers. One warrior recently posted that he/she bought items from a manufacturer in China for $1 and sold them for $25 after spending another $1 for packaging. Now that is what I mean when I say to get profit margins that will blow you away you must buy direct from real manufacturers.

      "Alibaba doesn't offer small quantities. These are manufactures that trying to ship huge quantities." The myth that you have to buy huge quantities in order to buy direct from the manufacturers has been proven wrong by the hundreds of people I have taught how to buy small quantities direct. Big MOQs are only quoted by the factories to avoid being pestered by newbies, small fry, and people who have no idea about how to buy overseas.

      Another myth referred to in the quote is that importing is complicated. In training my franchisees how to import when I was running my importing business before retiring, I spent no more than 2 hours to teach them how to do it the easy way. None had any experience, and none ever had any problems with Customs over the 22 years I was running that business.

      @onegoodman wonders how profitable importing can be. It was so profitable for me that I had to expand so fast that I ran out of family members to employ and had to start franchising in order to handle the huge growth. I finished up franchising the business in 4 countries. You cannot franchise any business that does not offer good profits for franchisees.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author nomore340
        ImportExport I read your entire post! I just started buying direct from China, I went around the long way, checked out sellers on eBay, Googled everyone and everything, then AliExpress to check out sellers, BUT then purchased directly from the sellers website and it has been great. Both ebay and AliE had good prices, but direct was much better. Latest buy was 535 dollars worth of jewelry making supplies for 46.00 and had free shipping. Once designed and resold I will take in over 2k of profit. Once the holidays are over I'm going to look into other products, but I found the key to selling is getting what you are excited about/involved in or really know about! Thanks for the post, it was encouraging
        LB
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  • Profile picture of the author PublicImage
    I wouldn't suggest Ali. Go direct.
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  • Profile picture of the author nomore340
    I use Alibaba and Aliexpress.com for bulk craft items, and it works wonderfully, BUT what I do is find the sellers then go directly to their websites to buy and to handle communication. I buy from China with no problems. People I used to buy supplies from purchase their stock from those places, so I went right to the source, saved a lot!
    You don't' always have to buy 100-500 pieces, if you write the owner of the store and ask for a lesser quantity, they usually help you out. They may charge you a penny more per piece, but compare to retail, you can't lose.
    Example for what I do:
    1 Pendant Tray with Glass Dome and matching chain: retail from someone on Etsy, around 1.44 each set. From China, .67cents. I prefer buying from buyers in the USA so I will buy 'local' for smaller projects, but when I need a LOT, I go to China wholesalers directly.
    Downside: Time for shipping, sometimes it can take 3-4 weeks, so plan ahead!
    Upside: Pricing & variety of items. Many stores can offer custom work as well
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  • Profile picture of the author TrevR
    I'm looking to start importing from China. Have spent many hours trawling through DHGate and especially Alibaba. Mostly, what I'd like to import and sell are low cost consumer electronic accessories - cables, adapters, etc - and while the cost appears inexpensive, by the time I factor in shipping, customs, eBay and PayPal fees, profit margins are pretty small. I want to make a good living out of this, and I was getting to the point where I was ready to give up before even starting.

    But having read this thread, and ImportExport's posts, I feel reinvigorated. I shall be buying your book once I get home from work. I have no desire to work for someone else until retirement. Time for me to take action, and become my own boss!
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    • Profile picture of the author aaaa33030
      Originally Posted by TrevR View Post

      I'm looking to start importing from China. Have spent many hours trawling through DHGate and especially Alibaba. Mostly, what I'd like to import and sell are low cost consumer electronic accessories - cables, adapters, etc - and while the cost appears inexpensive, by the time I factor in shipping, customs, eBay and PayPal fees, profit margins are pretty small. I want to make a good living out of this, and I was getting to the point where I was ready to give up before even starting.

      But having read this thread, and ImportExport's posts, I feel reinvigorated. I shall be buying your book once I get home from work. I have no desire to work for someone else until retirement. Time for me to take action, and become my own boss!
      Electronic accessories such as cables and adapters from china will result in a lot of refunds and chargebacks from your customers because their electronics are just not as good as they should be, especially the knock-off apple cables and apple adapters.

      I prefer selling fitness workout dvds such as insanity and t25 which I get for under $20 a piece, and for me has never resulted in a refund or chargeback
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  • Profile picture of the author jbthemummy
    Guys AliBaba is a great site but you must do your due diligence. I like the site not just as a buyer but as a seller who wants to get into international markets (When looking for for foreign distributors of our health products).

    Just like when using any site, a little common sense goes a long way. As far as good deals are concerned, you can find some awesome suppliers (Make ridiculously good profit) as well.

    I highly recommend AliBaba to anyone. It's not a one stop solution for importing and exporting but it's a darn good one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by jbthemummy View Post

      Guys AliBaba is a great site but you must do your due diligence. I like the site not just as a buyer but as a seller who wants to get into international markets (When looking for for foreign distributors of our health products).

      Just like when using any site, a little common sense goes a long way. As far as good deals are concerned, you can find some awesome suppliers (Make ridiculously good profit) as well.

      I highly recommend AliBaba to anyone. It's not a one stop solution for importing and exporting but it's a darn good one.
      Hi jbthemummy,

      You have made a very important point. Due diligence is essential wherever you source products. The only time I have been scammed in the 22 years of running my importing business was by a local sales rep for a big air courier. One slip cost me thousands! The point is, do your due diligence even when buying local goods or services.

      I would not recommend Alibaba to anyone. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of suppliers on that site falsely claim to be manufacturers. You might be lucky enough to find one that is genuine and yes, if you do "... find some awesome suppliers (Make ridiculously good profit) as well."

      We have it straight from the horse's mouth in a post on this thread by rookikan who wrote: "As some post have been showed to you that many manufacturer on Alibaba.com are not real manufacturers,there are just traders,To be honest,I ever worked in a trade company but always shows the customers that I worked in a manufacturers that I can give you the lowest price."

      I have been trading with China since I started exporting to that country in 1978, and began importing in 1987. I know from experience on the ground that what rookikan says is true. Even my agent who was selling the product that I exported to China always gave the impression to his Chinese customers that he was the manufacturer.

      Those ridiculously good profits you refer to are being found consistently by people who use safe sourcing sites where the site operators thoroughly check out suppliers and will only list as manufacturers those suppliers they know genuinely are manufacturers.
      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Moodyboy003
    I am also sourcing and purchasing products from China to export to other countries,I do not think alibaba is very important for me,but can get some imformation learning from it!
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    • Profile picture of the author mikescullin
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by mikescullin View Post

        Hi there,

        I buy and trade online a lot and have recently found a website that is posting the best Aliexpress products. It has significantly cut my researching time. I thought it may interest you or your readers Thieve - Grab the Gold from AliExpressThieve | Thieve is a curated list of the best products and gift ideas from AliExpress.

        You still buy through Aliexpress but I find I now spend way less time finding good products for good prices!

        Thanks again and all the best trading!
        Mike

        Who curates it? Aliexpress has a massive number of bad reports on sites such as ripoffreport.com, and to sort out the good from the bad is a risky business.

        Aliexpress is a retail site. Why not buy direct from the actual manufacturers instead at the best possible prices?
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        • Profile picture of the author Dante Galahad
          So in your book you will show not only how to the art of negotiate with the Chinese, but also where to find the genuine manufacture or do you offer more inside your e book?.

          What is your take on a paid directory where you paid one time fee for $300 and you can use the search service for live? I do keep hearing some review on these kind of paid directory and it didn't guarantee you that it will always give you the genuine manufacture. Will your book also address a good directory that you can recommended to purchase?. Since there are million and million type of products i dont think your books can cover different type of million of products from different type of manufacture am i right?

          My last question is say after i buy your book and take what ever suggestion you give and use that particular manufacture would there still be a possibilities that i can still get a counterfeit products? If i do accidentally being rip off by these type of counterfeit products is there anywhere for me to protect my self from being prosecute or sue by the big brand into bankruptcy and go to jail?. Will you also cover such topic within your book on how to protect your self from that sort of possibilities ever happens to you?
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          • Profile picture of the author Importexport
            Originally Posted by Dante Galahad View Post

            So in your book you will show not only how to the art of negotiate with the Chinese, but also where to find the genuine manufacture or do you offer more inside your e book?.

            What is your take on a paid directory where you paid one time fee for $300 and you can use the search service for live? I do keep hearing some review on these kind of paid directory and it didn't guarantee you that it will always give you the genuine manufacture. Will your book also address a good directory that you can recommended to purchase?. Since there are million and million type of products i dont think your books can cover different type of million of products from different type of manufacture am i right?

            My last question is say after i buy your book and take what ever suggestion you give and use that particular manufacture would there still be a possibilities that i can still get a counterfeit products? If i do accidentally being rip off by these type of counterfeit products is there anywhere for me to protect my self from being prosecute or sue by the big brand into bankruptcy and go to jail?. Will you also cover such topic within your book on how to protect your self from that sort of possibilities ever happens to you?
            My book is 83 pages without any fluff and covers a lot more than what you ask in your first question. It not only shows you how to safely locate genuine manufacturer, but also how to negotiate small orders regardless of big MOQs quoted. You will learn how to be sure you are getting the best price, and how to handle the importing process simply without needing to learn all the rules and regulations. There is a lot more too. See my website for a better idea of what is included.

            Paid directories are a total waste of money when for a much smaller amount you can learn how to find hundreds of thousands of genuine manufacturers. It would be a very rare product among all those millions that you would not be able to find using my methods. I am talking about manufacturers in countries all over the world, not just China.

            You choose the manufacturer. I show you how to find them and how to be sure they are real manufacturers and not traders who will charge you a lot more,

            You will only get caught with counterfeits if you knowingly buy big brand products. I strongly advise against that. The best and only protection is to never buy a product that has a big brand on it, or even looks like a big brand item.

            I would also add that I do not give legal advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vahalla
    Places like Alibaba are not where the money is for small time buyers. It is fine if you have the money to buy in large quantity. Instead look for a trustworthy personal dropshipper from the country your product is being manufactured in. Prices will be better and service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kingzendo
    Yes,coming to China,you will get the best prices
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    • Profile picture of the author stevebent
      I've been quoted really good prices, but shipping in smaller quantities was another issue. Making it work without buying a container is tricky
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      Because it's not always what you say, as to how you're saying it

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      • Profile picture of the author thedog
        I wouldn't trust it, and you're mostly dealing with middlemen anyway.

        Even being on the ground in China takes a lot of work, check out this documentary,

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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Vahalla View Post

          Places like Alibaba are not where the money is for small time buyers. It is fine if you have the money to buy in large quantity. Instead look for a trustworthy personal dropshipper from the country your product is being manufactured in. Prices will be better and service.
          Originally Posted by stevebent View Post

          I've been quoted really good prices, but shipping in smaller quantities was another issue. Making it work without buying a container is tricky
          The Myth Lives On!!!

          You do not have to buy big quantities to buy direct from manufacturers in China. That myth has been perpetuated by people who simply don't know how to deal with Chinese businesses.

          I began exporting to China in 1978 and after selling that business I began importing from China in 1987. I have visited China on countless occasions and I know how things work there.

          For 22 years until my health enforced retirement I ran an importing business which I franchised in 4 countries. My franchisees placed thousands of orders varying from $100 to $50,000. The average would have been around $500. Profit margins were mind boggling.

          To buy small quantities at best prices the first requirement is to locate genuine manufacturers, not the traders masquerading as manufacturers listed on Alibaba and almost all the popular sourcing sites.

          Most newbies blow it at the point of first contact by asking what is your MOQ? Often they make other mistakes such as sending a business plan, or telling the supplier outright that they are just starting up. Even worse they say they are a sole operator.

          Other mistakes include listening to the advice of some of the gurus or experts on WF and they start haggling. That is OK if you are a tourist buying at a street market in Hong Kong, where haggling is part of the entertainment.

          There are reasons why the traders on Alibaba and other sites are inflexible when it comes to supplying less than the huge MOQs that they quote. For one thing, they want to make a killing on the first order because they know they are unlikely to get a repeat order. For another, they have often never dealt with the manufacturer before and they need a big order to make a good impression.

          They use a manufacturer's photos taken from catalogs or websites, make a sale, and then hope to get the factory to supply them. They have to pay upfront and that is why they demand full payment with your order.

          There are a handful of safe sourcing sites where the site operators thoroughly check the manufacturing capabilities of suppliers, unlike sites like Alibaba who only check that a business actually exists in order to be verified.

          Regarding Vahalla's comment suggesting buying from dropshippers instead of direct importing, dropshipping is definitely not where the money is. For profit margins that will blow you away, you must buy direct from the factory.
          .
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  • Profile picture of the author silki
    Hello Importexport,

    How're you doing? I'm a newbie in the import business and have very small capital to invest. I've a few concerns and need your expert advice.

    1. I'm not sure how to recognize the counterfeit products on Alibaba.

    2. Should I ignore the branded products to avoid the counterfeit products? Should I only aim at importing unbranded products from China to be on the safe side?

    3. How Do I determine my profit margin if I don't see the same product listed for sale on Amazon or Ebay? I mean how do I compare their price with Alibaba price if I don't find the same product on both the sites?

    4. How do I find out how many sellers are already selling the same products on Amazon and Ebay?


    Please help me with your expertise and experience.

    Regards
    Silki
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by silki View Post

      Hello Importexport,

      How're you doing? I'm a newbie in the import business and have very small capital to invest. I've a few concerns and need your expert advice.

      1. I'm not sure how to recognize the counterfeit products on Alibaba.

      2. Should I ignore the branded products to avoid the counterfeit products? Should I only aim at importing unbranded products from China to be on the safe side?

      3. How Do I determine my profit margin if I don't see the same product listed for sale on Amazon or Ebay? I mean how do I compare their price with Alibaba price if I don't find the same product on both the sites?

      4. How do I find out how many sellers are already selling the same products on Amazon and Ebay?


      Please help me with your expertise and experience.

      Regards
      Silki
      Hi Silki,

      Thanks for your questions. The answer to question 2 also answers question 1. Yes, you should avoid branded products when sourcing overseas. If you order a sample, chances are it won't be delivered anyway. Suppliers of counterfeits often just take your money and run.

      I would add that you should also avoid products that look very much like a branded product, because they will probably be seized by Customs.

      Many people make good money buying small quantities of unbranded goods and selling them on eBay, Amazon, at flea markets, shopping mall stalls etc. The big secret is to make sure you only buy from the real manufacturer, not from the traders on Alibaba and other popular sites who falsely claim to manufacturers.

      I have taught people in 36 countries how to buy small quantities at ex-factory prices. It is more than possible, many people are doing it every day, and the profits they make are staggering.

      Your questions 3 and 4 are not within my area of expertise, I suggest you look at posts by Auctiondebteliminator. He has a free offer that could be a good starting point for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel J
    I wanted to chime in and also point out that although importing is a great way to make good money, it's not the only way. Before including imported goods in my inventory, I maintained my full-time business using U.S. suppliers, arbitrage, closeout/liquidation companies and even buying from other retailers in bulk. If you have limited funds, you CAN import in smaller quantities (as has already been mentioned) but sometimes dealing with domestic inventory can be a lot easier and can also be very lucrative
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  • Profile picture of the author EcommerceKing
    Yes, you can make money. But you need to be extra careful purchasing from those type of sites. Most items are counterfeit.
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  • Profile picture of the author BroGT
    Importexport how come you mention that you have been in the business for 22 years in every post? Just seems kind of sketchy to me but you are giving some good advice without actually giving away every detail.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by BroGT View Post

      Importexport how come you mention that you have been in the business for 22 years in every post? Just seems kind of sketchy to me but you are giving some good advice without actually giving away every detail.
      Hi BroGT,

      I only mention that important fact when it is relevant. After all if something has worked for 22 years that is a good indication that is something worth copying.

      I do give a large amount of good advice on the forum, as more than 300 thanks proves. Nobody gives away their trade secrets. Have a look at my thread If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? and you will see a lot of detailed and helpful information, together with an explanation as to why I don't post all the details on the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmorris18
    Hello Walter , I have sent a message. When time allows, I appreciate your response.

    Thanks ,
    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author james85x
    With my previous experiences, I can easily confirm that there are tons of counterfeit products, and that's one of the major reason people makes money..
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by james85x View Post

      With my previous experiences, I can easily confirm that there are tons of counterfeit products, and that's one of the major reason people makes money..
      People who think they can make money that way are living dangerously. Not only is it illegal, but there are risks involved, such as:
      • Suppliers of counterfeit products are notorious for scamming. Often, buyers of counterfeits receive nothing, other times they get a product that will work for a very short time, and sometimes they even get an empty shell.
      • Customs will usually confiscate the goods on arrival. There goes your hard earned cash.
      • Depending on the quantity and value, Customs may prosecute, with the possibility of heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
      • Once you are detected importing counterfeits, your name and address will be flagged by Customs. This means every shipment ever after will be delayed while they do a thorough inspection.
      • No warranty, regardless of what the supplier might say, so you carry the cost of replacements when your customers discover how shoddy the products are.
      • There have been numerous cases of the brand owners suing and getting such big compensation payments that the illegal importer is bankrupted.
      Sorry to disappoint you Matthew Anton, but here I am again with valuable information. Unlike your 4, I only have one sales link in my signature.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Anton
    Interesting thread. I mentally skip Importexport because his posts seem like they are going to be full of information, but all roads lead to the signature or ebook.

    Buying low and selling high, even if margins are tight will work. Whether you make more through the manufacturer, a little less wholesale, and a lot less (but still make $$) dropshipping. Just different levels of risk / investment. A buddy of mine goes to auctions, which are basically retail, but can still buy products low and resell on ebay. Point is, if you buy low enough, you can resell and make a profit, even if it's slim.

    Make sure you get quotes from multiple sources. Using alibaba / chinavasion I was given quotes that ranged from $35 to $105 for a particular product. In the end, if you look at the numbers and you'll make money; all that is left is to pull the trigger. You will get burnt, but eventually score gold, just like in any business. It's an investment, and should be treated as side money. Once you have it down to a science then you can scale up and take on larger risks and more product lines.
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  • Profile picture of the author mike0755
    Good question , I think you can serching from aliexpress ,there you can import small batch with low price ,or you can ask an agent in China to buy for you and deliver to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by mike0755 View Post

      Good question , I think you can serching from aliexpress ,there you can import small batch with low price ,or you can ask an agent in China to buy for you and deliver to you.
      Before anyone ever starts searching for products on Aliexpress, they should check them out by searching for Aliexpress on Ripoff Report | Scams, reviews, complaints, lawsuits and frauds. File a report, post your review. Consumers educating consumers. Once you read the reports there I am sure you will want to find a safe site instead.

      Using a buying agent in China to buy for you is likewise a risky move. There are a lot of things you need to know:
      • Is the agent trustworthy?
      • Does the agent buy from the supplier and resell to you, adding their profit margin?
      • Does the agent charge you a fee?
      • Does the agent receive a commission from the supplier? (Maybe as well as charging you a fee.)
      • Do you really get the best price or does the agent only buy from the supplier who gives the highest commission?
      • Does the agent have sufficient dealings with freight companies to get you the best rate?
      • Can you be sure the agent checks on the quality - or even cares?
      The safest and by far the most profitable way is to deal direct with the real manufacturers, and get them to do the hard yards for you in handling the shipping. That way you can buy small quantities at the very lowest prices and import them without the hassles.
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      • Profile picture of the author malia
        Interesting thread. I mentally skip Importexport because his posts seem like they are going to be full of information, but all roads lead to the signature or ebook.
        It's a valuable ebook. And honestly, if it were me, I wouldn't spend nearly as much time writing posts as he does, trying to inform and educate people. He seems to have the impulse to provide value whenever someone posts BS/uninformed responses and that's a GOOD thing. And I understand your criticism, but even still there's no way I'd put in the posting effort/time he does so I commend him for that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by malia View Post

          It's a valuable ebook. And honestly, if it were me, I wouldn't spend nearly as much time writing posts as he does, trying to inform and educate people. He seems to have the impulse to provide value whenever someone posts BS/uninformed responses and that's a GOOD thing. And I understand your criticism, but even still there's no way I'd put in the posting effort/time he does so I commend him for that.
          Thank you Malia,

          I enjoy what I am doing. Import/export has been the major part of my life and when I was forced to retire for health reasons I knew I would go crazy if I did nothing.

          Selling my book sorts the serious entrepreneurs from the time wasters, tire kickers and wannabees. If I gave away all my information I would be swamped.

          I post so often because I hate to see people led astray by as you say "BS/uninformed responses". It is amazing how many armchair experts offer faulty free advice on the forum.

          Much of what I write is a repetition of what I have written previously, for the simple reason that many people do not read entire threads even if they are only short. Sometimes they have not even read two posts, because the suggestion that they are now posting has been thoroughly refuted just that far back in a thread.

          I am not referring only to my posts, but often sound advice is given by other genuine experts or honestly helpful people and it is ignored by someone who hasn't bothered to read it and they blunder in suggesting the faulty ideas that have just been soundly contradicted.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by malia View Post

          It's a valuable ebook. And honestly, if it were me, I wouldn't spend nearly as much time writing posts as he does, trying to inform and educate people. He seems to have the impulse to provide value whenever someone posts BS/uninformed responses and that's a GOOD thing. And I understand your criticism, but even still there's no way I'd put in the posting effort/time he does so I commend him for that.
          Thank you Malia,

          I enjoy what I am doing. Import/export has been the major part of my life and when I was forced to retire for health reasons I knew I would go crazy if I did nothing.

          Selling my book sorts the serious entrepreneurs from the time wasters, tire kickers and wannabees. If I gave away all my information I would be swamped.

          I post so often because I hate to see people led astray by as you say "BS/uninformed responses". It is amazing how many armchair experts offer faulty free advice on the forum.

          Much of what I write is a repetition of what I have written previously, for the simple reason that many people do not read entire posts even if they are only short. Sometimes they have not even read two posts, because the suggestion that they are now posting has been thoroughly refuted just that far back in a thread.

          I am not referring only to my posts, but often sound advice is given by other genuine experts or honestly helpful people and it is ignored by someone who hasn't bothered to read it and they blunder in suggesting the faulty ideas that have just been soundly contradicted.

          From correspondence with many of my students I know that there is a lot of heartache out there as a result of failed attempts to make money online. If my posting can help reduce that I will be happy to continue.
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  • Profile picture of the author jjohnson801
    I bought some counterfit stuff, not knowing it was counterfit. I bought 1 item made profit. Test the item out. Bought 2 same thing then 5, 10, then 20 items a month. I was profiting pretty good for me. But after a while I was selling stuff that was not geniune or real. So I stopped. I wish I didnt tho, cause I have to work for the man and work a regular job. I felt truely free and was able to sit around play call of duty and wait for calls. I would buy the items, wait for about a week, then put them up on a local classified website. Wait for the calls to roll in.

    That was my introduction to making money online. And since then I've always had this entrepreneurial drive. But it was scary, I had some people ask for their money back. And I gave them their money back and sold the same item the next day. But from my experience (about 1 year) You can make a shit ton of money, it's all about risk. I could'nt watch an episode of cops while I was selling good from china. I became slightly paranoid. If I could find a legal way to import good from china and not have to worry about going to jail or losing my investment I would.

    People buy counterfit items, I can attest to that. I never used ebay. ever. I would love to hear some experiences selling items from china. Cause I think thats why people are reading this thread. They want to know how they can make money legal or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by jjohnson801 View Post

      I bought some counterfit stuff, not knowing it was counterfit. I bought 1 item made profit. Test the item out. Bought 2 same thing then 5, 10, then 20 items a month. I was profiting pretty good for me. But after a while I was selling stuff that was not geniune or real. So I stopped. I wish I didnt tho, cause I have to work for the man and work a regular job. I felt truely free and was able to sit around play call of duty and wait for calls. I would buy the items, wait for about a week, then put them up on a local classified website. Wait for the calls to roll in.

      That was my introduction to making money online. And since then I've always had this entrepreneurial drive. But it was scary, I had some people ask for their money back. And I gave them their money back and sold the same item the next day. But from my experience (about 1 year) You can make a shit ton of money, it's all about risk. I could'nt watch an episode of cops while I was selling good from china. I became slightly paranoid. If I could find a legal way to import good from china and not have to worry about going to jail or losing my investment I would.

      People buy counterfit items, I can attest to that. I never used ebay. ever. I would love to hear some experiences selling items from china. Cause I think thats why people are reading this thread. They want to know how they can make money legal or not.
      Hi jjohnson,

      Man were you lucky to not get caught.

      Firstly, you were very lucky that the supplier even sent the goods to you. One of the most profitable areas for scammers is counterfeits. They very often take your money and run, only to appear on the sourcing site a few days later under a different name.

      Secondly, Customs are always on the lookout for fakes and will confiscate even a single item if it is detected. If they detect a shipment with multiples of fakes, they will not only confiscate, but will also prosecute.

      Some people have even done jail time for that offense. I also know of cases where the brand owner has sued, with the result that the importer was bankrupted.

      Now to your wish: "If I could find a legal way to import good from china and not have to worry about going to jail or losing my investment I would."

      I have taught hundreds of people how to safely import goods from China and make massive profits in the process. None of them have to worry about going to jail, and if any of them has been ripped off by a supplier you can be sure that I would have heard about it, but none have been reported to me.

      For a start I never recommend using Alibaba or any of the other big B2B sourcing sites. They all have thousands of traders and wholesalers masquerading as manufacturers. If you want to make really great profits you must buy direct from the factory. Don't throw money away by buying from wholesalers or traders.

      They add substantial margins to the prices they pay the manufacturers, but you can bank those extra margins.


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  • Profile picture of the author jmorris18
    Hi Walter, I have followed up with you via PM. My apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

    Thanks,
    Jason
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  • Profile picture of the author kurtbai
    it's getting harder to source from Alibaba because lots of the suppliers are retailing on eBay as well with ridiculously low prices, impossible to compete...
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  • Profile picture of the author champion510
    Good Feedback everyone.

    I mostly buy in smaller quantities from sites like Aliexpress as storing is a big issue.
    I like low investment, I'm fine with lower amount of return.
    problem is that I see more and more sellers directly selling the same goods on ebay now for $1 more or something. How do you build profit like this?

    Is branding the way to go?
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by champion510 View Post

      Good Feedback everyone.

      I mostly buy in smaller quantities from sites like Aliexpress as storing is a big issue.
      I like low investment, I'm fine with lower amount of return.
      problem is that I see more and more sellers directly selling the same goods on ebay now for $1 more or something. How do you build profit like this?

      Is branding the way to go?
      You can buy small quantities direct from genuine manufacturers at prices that would make the prices you pay on Aliexpress look like ripoffs.

      Branding is a great way to go. I started doing that in 1987 when I first began importing from China.
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  • Profile picture of the author rookiekan
    Hi,I am a Chinese,Show me your product name and product image,I can help you check if the price is reasonable or not.Actually it's hard for you to check real cheap items in China cause u r not Chinese.
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  • Profile picture of the author lana87
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author mentat47
    A lot of people are buying a bunch of products from Alibaba and selling them on Amazon at marked up price.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyalpha
    With a platform so big, there certainly will be some "bad guys" hanging around. But on the other hand there're also good suppliers who produce quality goods. And in fact from my experiences, some of them are manufactures of big brands. I think that's not fair to say that the whole platform is bad. That's prejudice. I just order some product samples last week and the quality is excellent. I guess people just have to do their due diligence to find a reliable supplier. Some cost will be involved certainly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by tonyalpha View Post

      With a platform so big, there certainly will be some "bad guys" hanging around. But on the other hand there're also good suppliers who produce quality goods. And in fact from my experiences, some of them are manufactures of big brands. I think that's not fair to say that the whole platform is bad. That's prejudice. I just order some product samples last week and the quality is excellent. I guess people just have to do their due diligence to find a reliable supplier. Some cost will be involved certainly.
      Some "bad guys"!!!! Did you look at the thread I linked to before you posted your reply?

      For those who can't be bothered to click on a link here is most of that thread:

      In a report issued earlier this year, The Chinese Government's SAIC accused Alibaba of allowing merchants to operate without required business licenses, to run stores selling famous brands without authorization, and selling fake products. The Chinese State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is a government watchdog for consumer protection, trademark protection and business practices.

      The report also said that Alibaba employees took bribes, and the e-commerce giant had not fixed flaws in customer feedback or internal credit-scoring systems. The government watchdog said "For a long time, Alibaba hasn't paid enough attention to the illegal operations on its platforms, and hasn't effectively addressed the issues." The report went on to say "Alibaba not only faces the biggest credibility crisis since its establishment, it also casts a bad influence for other Internet operators trying to operate legally."

      SAIC said Alibaba was still allowing sales of contraband including fake cigarettes and alcohol, as well as items "that threaten public safety" such as knives and phone-tapping devices.

      The watchdog says: "A huge number of merchants" haven't registered for operating licenses and are engaging in illegal behavior including bribing Alibaba employees.

      The report also accuses Alibaba of allowing merchants to mislead customers during sales promotions on Nov. 11 and Dec. 12.

      "Some operators on the platform have created fake transactions and deleted negative comments to improve their own and others' reputations," SAIC said.

      The Chinese government watchdog wrote that report, not me, so why would anyone say that my comments are just prejudice?

      In summary, what the SAIC report reveals is this:

      • Little confidence can be placed in Alibaba's verification system or Gold Supplier rating.
      • Although 90 million fake product listings were deleted prior to Alibaba's float on the NYSE, the fakes are back.
      • Feedback scores can't be trusted.
      • Sellers listed on Alibaba continue to mislead buyers.
      • Alibaba has failed to deal with illegal activities on its sourcing platform.
      • Bribing of Alibaba employees is still taking place even after it was supposed to have been cleaned up after the "Alibaba and the 2236 thieves" scandal.
      Those are the SAIC's conclusions, not mine. After reading that report who is still going to risk their hard earned cash? There are safe alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author mistermint
    Found this thread quite interesting especially I spent 3 years going to China and back with a joint venture business there...

    There are some important points to watch out for when trying to buy in China..many of the bigger manufacturers have agents in HK..this is usually because they handle a lot of business for the Chinese owner also, they have a good command of English.

    Few Chinese factory owners can speak English and even if they do or find a person to help with communication, there are constant misunderstandings.

    Yes, they love you to order at least a 20' container full, this way they can give you a better price for qty..however, if you do be aware that quality can vary. An example was a friend who bought garments, the factory could not make the full order and subbed out 50% to another factory..the result was 2 different garments but, the shipment was paid by deposit and balance against shipping documents, too late to change anything.

    If your buying small quantities then, you will probably end up using a local agent who gets paid by the factory owner..

    If you are starting out then don't forget shipping costs make yourself familiar with shipping terms like LC, CILC, FOB etc also check for import tariffs they will vary around the world wherever you are..

    Divide the cost of shipping, import duty, tax and local transport etc into your qty of products to get your cost per item which is your landed price..

    Keep away from fake stuff you will lose it in customs..Chinese customs check goods before issuing the factory with a shipping certificate..but, you might want to have your own agent a local for example check your shipment before it leaves the factory to ensure you get what you have paid for..

    Chinese electrical stuff is poor quality in most cases, in some products that may be rip off's will have certain technology or inferior components in them..kill your reputation fast.

    Remember small items can easily and cheaply be shipped by air at low cost per kilo..

    Visit China you will love it, Shanghai is the best city in the world!

    Thats it end of lesson lol
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyalpha
    hey, bro. chill down. I am aware of that report. I lost money in alibaba stock because of that report few months back.
    just saying there're still good suppliers there. anyway, that's my personal experiences.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyalpha
    not sure if you're aware or not, SAIC eventually declared that their report doesn't have legal effects. And alibaba actually sue SAIC in May because they didn't disclose where they get the info and why the report was issued first and then taken back. I think the case is still ongoing, not following though.
    Anyway, i think these have little to do with the topic of this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by tonyalpha View Post

      not sure if you're aware or not, SAIC eventually declared that their report doesn't have legal effects. And alibaba actually sue SAIC in May because they didn't disclose where they get the info and why the report was issued first and then taken back. I think the case is still ongoing, not following though.
      Anyway, i think these have little to do with the topic of this thread.
      Yes I am aware that Alibaba is suing SAIC, but that is to be expected when they have such vast financial resources, and simply starting litigation is a way to to take some of the heat off.

      I do think this is very relevant to the thread topic, because so many people just see how big Alibaba is, so it must be good.

      I wrote only about the SAIC report, and didn't mention the huge number of fraud cases reported or complained about. You can find them in various places including ripoffreport.com, alibabascam.com, and on Alibaba's own community forum.

      The fact of the matter is that Alibaba work hard to give the impression that their verification and Gold Supplier system make it safe to use their platform when in reality those systems are nothing but smoke and mirrors.

      That is why so many thousands have been ripped off, and many of those ripoffs have been at the hands of Gold Suppliers.
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      • Profile picture of the author mistermint
        You have to realise alibaba is huge, like a worth of $150 billion plus..worth more than wallmart in fact.

        They are no more crooked than say google or other big institutions..to say it is not safe to do business through them or thier advertisers makes no sence at all..

        It is up to you the buyer to make sure you get what you pay for..and just go there and look for yourself..

        And if you do want to cut the middle man then, you may well find yourself in a mess..better to find a reliable helper..not difficult..
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by mistermint View Post

          You have to realise alibaba is huge, like a worth of $150 billion plus..worth more than wallmart in fact.

          They are no more crooked than say google or other big institutions..to say it is not safe to do business through them or thier advertisers makes no sence at all..

          It is up to you the buyer to make sure you get what you pay for..and just go there and look for yourself..

          And if you do want to cut the middle man then, you may well find yourself in a mess..better to find a reliable helper..not difficult..
          The fact that Alibaba is so huge is irrelevant except to the extent that its size fools people into thinking they must be a safe sourcing platform because they are so big.

          I am not saying Alibaba is crooked. I am saying that they care more about increasing their prominence than they do about protecting the safety and financial welfare of the naive buyers who flock to their platform because it is so big and can afford to buy so much publicity.

          The average buyer does not know how to avoid being scammed when they are dealing with suppliers that have supposedly been inspected and verified, and even have a Gold Supplier badge. Thousands of Gold Suppliers have been among the scammers.

          You might know how to sort them out, but it is bad advice to just say: "It is up to you the buyer to make sure you get what you pay for..and just go there and look for yourself." You are experienced but a large number of buyers who put their trust in Alibaba are newbies.

          I teach how to safely source without taking the risks that are involved in dealing through a sourcing platform that is so riddled with suppliers that pretend to be what they are not. I don't publish online my safe sites, because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than just using safe sites.

          Readers might like to see some helpful information, and more reason why I don't publish those sites online here: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?
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          • Profile picture of the author mistermint
            Hi, I agree with all you say it's good advice to follow a person who has long term experience in import/export...

            There is a lot more to it than meets the eye and, many people concentrate on the buying side and totally have no real plan to market products or indeed have any marketing skills..

            Spending money is easy..making profit is much harder..just wonder if you advise your customers on how to market products they source in China etc..

            People also should note that Wallmart are the largest buyers by far of Chinese goods..

            Some folk make a killing by taking an existing product and finding manufacturers in China to produce the product for them at lower cost..

            Do you advise folk in that situation?
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            • Profile picture of the author Importexport
              Originally Posted by mistermint View Post

              Hi, I agree with all you say it's good advice to follow a person who has long term experience in import/export...

              There is a lot more to it than meets the eye and, many people concentrate on the buying side and totally have no real plan to market products or indeed have any marketing skills..

              Spending money is easy..making profit is much harder..just wonder if you advise your customers on how to market products they source in China etc..

              People also should note that Wallmart are the largest buyers by far of Chinese goods..

              Some folk make a killing by taking an existing product and finding manufacturers in China to produce the product for them at lower cost..

              Do you advise folk in that situation?
              I don't pretend to be what I am not, so I don't advise on marketing. There are plenty of real experts on that subject.

              Unfortunately, many of them have also imported products, so they throw in some advice on importing when they sell their multi thousand dollar courses, and in the process they feed people a lot of misinformation. It would be better if they stuck to what they know.

              I do include in my book, information on the subject of finding Chinese manufacturers to make existing products or even totally new designs. That is part of my area of expertise. The franchise network that I set up placed many thousands of orders for products made to our specifications, almost always carrying our brand.

              I believe that profit begins with buying, but I totally agree with you about the need to have a marketing plan before starting to source products. That is something I emphasize to my book readers, because it is too easy to buy something because it appeals to you personally or because it's a hot seller, but not be able to sell it at a profit yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author rumifdx
    I just joined this thread to share my first experience as a newbie reaching out to "manufacturers" on b2b portals: I decided to skip Alibaba for now and looking elsewhere for kinda getting a competitive advantage, or even just to find something "unique".
    So I've been browsing through Globalsources, found a nice and original product line, and contacted the "manufacturer"; I actually contacted them through their external website first-with no response- and then through their Globalsouces contact form-this time getting a QUICK response!
    They send me a very professional and organized quotations-spreadsheet, and I was very excited until I saw the ridiculously high prices those folks were asking me: anything between 2$ and 30$ (some item even more!) for regular bamboo-kitchenware accessories (salad spoons, bowls, etc.)As I said: ridiculous.
    I admit I'm a newbie and honestly I don't know yet exactly what the right prices should be, but quick back-of-the-napkin calculations told me something was wrong.
    I'll be checking out SOON Importexport's book, and get myself some education first.
    Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author jmwang
    In fact ,their are many other B2B websites from China :
    such as en.ofweek.com , hktdc.com ,globalsources.com and made-in-china.com are some well-known B2B platforms, similar to Alibaba
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    • Profile picture of the author Z Huang
      Originally Posted by jmwang View Post

      In fact ,their are many other B2B websites from China :
      such as en.ofweek.com , hktdc.com ,globalsources.com and made-in-china.com are some well-known B2B platforms, similar to Alibaba
      I have the most respect for Global sources manufacturers.

      Why? Global Sources charges a much higher membership fee and has a more rigorous verification procedure so the Chinese manufacturers are more likely to be larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers.

      This has its own drawbacks though, less manufacturers and bigger manufacturers' means you have to be big in order to deal with them.

      Z
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      • Profile picture of the author rumifdx
        [QUOTE=Z Huang;10191261]I have the most respect for Global sources manufacturers.

        Why? Global Sources charges a much higher membership fee and has a more rigorous verification procedure so the Chinese manufacturers are more likely to be larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers.

        This has its own drawbacks though, less manufacturers and bigger manufacturers’ means you have to be big in order to deal with them.

        Hi Z Huang,
        perhaps what you mentioned about global sources clarify some of my doubts arisen when I first got some quotes from an apparently "legitimate" manufacturer from the site: the prices shown to me -at MOQ of 3000&up- seemed to me a clear signal of a middlemen behind the curtain; so my question to you is: since those "larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers" pay a "much higher membership fee", does this reflect on the final prices they are able to give to their prospects? In plain english: do they charge more because 1: they pay a much higher fee and 2: they mostly deal with larger buyers who can easily cushion higher prices with larger volumes in exchange of higher quality?
        Thank you
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          [quote=rumifdx;10191297]
          Originally Posted by Z Huang View Post

          I have the most respect for Global sources manufacturers.

          Why? Global Sources charges a much higher membership fee and has a more rigorous verification procedure so the Chinese manufacturers are more likely to be larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers.

          This has its own drawbacks though, less manufacturers and bigger manufacturers’ means you have to be big in order to deal with them.

          Hi Z Huang,
          perhaps what you mentioned about global sources clarify some of my doubts arisen when I first got some quotes from an apparently "legitimate" manufacturer from the site: the prices shown to me -at MOQ of 3000&up- seemed to me a clear signal of a middlemen behind the curtain; so my question to you is: since those "larger, well known and higher quality manufacturers" pay a "much higher membership fee", does this reflect on the final prices they are able to give to their prospects? In plain english: do they charge more because 1: they pay a much higher fee and 2: they mostly deal with larger buyers who can easily cushion higher prices with larger volumes in exchange of higher quality?
          Thank you
          @rumifdx, I am pleased to see that you can detect faulty logic. What he says doesn't make sense for those who understand how sourcing works. It might be OK for him because he has been selling on eBay for a couple of years, (competing with his sourcing customers?) but newbies don't have the luxury of being able to place big orders.

          Z Huang is touting for business even though he says: "Drop me a line I promise not selling you any eBook or Product or Service if ya want some up to date insider info or your questions answered, the worst I can say is "NO"

          I am selling an eBook but I don't hide the fact, it's in my signature. I also provide genuine helpful information on this forum, including in my thread: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing And Importing For Profit. ― Veteran Importer Here.I don't just have 4 posts on WF, I am a long term contributor.

          He promises not to sell you an eBook, but if you go to his FB blog for free info you will find that he wants to sell a sourcing service. This is copied from his site: "We are providing FREE sourcing service. Only charges a commission/minimum fee after you are satisfied with the price & your order is confirmed." FREE ..... PLUS COMMISSION???

          He says that Global Sources "has a more rigorous verification procedure" but suppliers buy their verification. That's rigorous?? Even Global Sources themselves when explaining how to know if a supplier is legitimate, make no mention of their own verification process. If it was rigorous they would only have to say "make sure they are verified suppliers."

          "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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