Global and international trade have gone to another level and in fact has become seamless, easy and more. Technological advancement and the proliferation of the internet have gone a long way to make the world not only a global village for communication but every part civilization. The internet has made it such that oceans, mountains, distance and other barriers cannot limit what we can achieve in a world that has gone global for many nations. Part of this global trade is the industrialization that birthed this process and is still being driven by the knowledge economy.
At the forefront of this trade and industrial production and manufacturing is the Peoples Republic of China; their population rather than being a burden to sustain has now become a blessing to champion mass production of goods and commodities. Many platforms are springing up for both rendering of services and also for the exchange of goods and the forefront of this in Asia and now other continents is Alibaba founded by Jack Ma. The platform is changing the face of global trade like no other. China being a hub of production is having people purchasing goods and also importing them to their nations.
In this piece I will be giving tips on you can safely import goods using the Alibaba website. Let me also state that the Alibaba group has many subsidiaries like Aliexpress but for wholesale and large quantity purchase, Alibaba.com is better for it. If you’re into importation business, you’d find this very insightful.
You should bear in mind that the platform is like every normal or physical market you visit to get goods or any commodity of importance to you; so there are many options for you to buy, many manufacturers and suppliers. Even when you think you have seen what you want, there is still need to check again for other sellers. The first price and minimum order quantity (MOQ) you see will not always be the best option. Sometimes you find suppliers telling you must buy a minimum of one particular design of clothes (assuming you are buying that) but when you check further (like walking round a market), you sure will find better deals. Don’t be in a hurry to place your orders. Walk round the marketplace.
Before you start requesting for goods or making your request known, it is better you contact the suppliers personally. You do that by simply searching for the kind of goods you want; when the search results are out you can then contact suppliers. Every good that is displayed has a supplier, dealer and manufacturers. Sometimes when you simply quote what you want, you might not get a direct or response but contacting prospective dealers, they will answer you directly. Then you can request what you want with your desired specifications.
Now you are in contact with a seller, manufacturer, dealer, supplier or marketing executive; you must make sure you detailed what you want from them. There is no room for assumption that the person understands you well enough. Make your English and grammar very clear and as simply as possible to understand. This is important so you don’t end up assuming wrongly which can lead to purchasing the wrong goods as you desired. State the figures, materials, quantity, quality and every required detail. If there is a confusion of error in shipping the wrong commodity, it will simply add to your cost of doing business.
The suppliers and manufacturers you must understand want to sell their goods and so they can give you options that are not exactly what you want. Even when you get what you want, be sure to know that the quantity and prices suit you. Don’t get intimidated by their rules especially on minimum order of quantity (MOQ). You can always get concessions that will suit you and your business needs.
One of the goals the Alibaba website as a trading marketplace is to protect the interest of the buyers and sellers as well. So as a buyer, your interest is covered because the platform is secure and millions of transactions are taking place at the same time. When it comes to payment, you will find some dealers desiring that you pay through PayPal or other media; but Alibaba will always tell you to make payment through their website so that when you are not satisfied with the goods then your money can be refunded. To receive quality, desired and specified goods and also guarantee of refund should in case there is a default, pay using the Alibaba website.
This final tip might seem serious for everyone but it is equally important for your safety. Alibaba has a messaging platform for you to communicate with the dealers and when a message comes in you get an email notification. You can read the message there but it is safer for you to click on the reply button which will redirect you to the website, where you log in and respond too. You find some sellers who will start sending you message through their company emails, so you will be communicating like you are talking to a business colleague. Don’t get carried away by that; you can play along but when it comes to payment or placing orders, make sure you head back to where the first contact was made (Alibaba.com) and place your orders.
It will be wise that first time buyers check the profile of sellers and the rating they have and how long they have been doing business and volume of work done till date. As a platform that brings together many manufacturers and dealers, Alibaba has dealers of various levels of experience and expertise. It will be wise you deal with people who have proven themselves worthy of their jobs.
Like I said the Alibaba Group has many subsidiaries for instance Aliexpress which is mostly for small scale goods or the purchase of consumer items. So you can start off with buying sample items and go through the process for the first time before venturing into the purchase of wholesale goods. Buying wholesale goods simply means you are buying to sell on a retail level, so your business interest has to be protected and one of such way is to play safe without risking all.
Global trade is now tech-driven but for your safety you must play these rules especially on Alibaba website. Also, if you’ve got any tips of your own, kindly share in the comments section!