How to Buy on (with Images)

Table of contents:

How to Buy on (with Images)
How to Buy on (with Images)

Alibaba is a buying and selling website that allows companies and individuals to market products locally and internationally. Search for the desired product and find a qualified seller with a good transaction history. Please contact them to negotiate the unit price, minimum order size and shipping method. Use a low-risk payment method such as PayPal or an escrow-type service (a kind of escrow account). If you are importing goods, hire a customs broker to facilitate the process of releasing and paying fees.


Part 1 of 3: Searching for the products

Buy from Alibaba Step 1

Step 1. Create an account on Alibaba

Enter the site and login if you already have an account. If not, click "Join Free" in the upper right corner and follow the onscreen instructions to create one.

  • You do not need to be a wholesaler to create an account, but in order to sell the items you purchase on the site, you will be subject to the tax and business regulations of your jurisdiction.
  • In Brazil, you can obtain the CNPJ to act as a company with the Federal Revenue. The procedure is done online and can be performed by the person or an accountant. The Recipe also offers a free distance course for those who want to do everything themselves.
Buy from Alibaba Step 2

Step 2. Search for the product

There are several ways to search for products on Alibaba. The most basic is typing words or keyword phrases into the main page search bar. Select the "Products" tab, enter your search term in the bar, choose the country of origin and destination using the drop-down menu and click the "Search" button.

You can also search for products using the categories on the left side of the page. Mouse over them and click on a subcategory to explore the products

Buy from Alibaba Step 3

Step 3. Filter search results

Searching by product and category can yield thousands of results, and you would spend a lot of time going through the products. You can use the options on the left side of the results page to filter your search and bring up more specific results.

  • For example, a search for "jeans" will yield over 500,000 results, but you can check the boxes on the left to make the search more specific. Selecting categories like "men's jeans" or "100% cotton" and adding keywords such as a specific color will greatly decrease the number of results, making them easier to explore.
  • You can also filter by the supplier's country of origin. This will make it easier to know who is in your country, which can help reduce costs and lead time.
Buy from Alibaba Step 4

Step 4. Search by supplier

Instead of searching by product, you can select the "suppliers" tab next to the search bar. This option will display vendors who specialize in the product you are trying to purchase.

  • If you have worked with a supplier before or know of one that specializes in the product you want, you can use this search tool to find it more easily.
  • The results page will also allow you to filter them based on the suppliers' country of origin.
Buy from Alibaba Step 5

Step 5. Request a quote

You can also request a quote that specifies your needs and compare direct quotes from multiple vendors. Click on the "Request Quotes" option and create your post in the space provided.

  • Enter keywords related to the product and the desired quantity in the designated spaces. In the body of the message you can list other relevant specifications.
  • Below that, add details about the product's destination and your preferred payment method.
Buy from Alibaba Step 6

Step 6. See if supplier profiles have qualification badges

Once you've found suppliers through the search engines or after requesting a quote, visit their profiles to see if they're real. Look for badges on the profile to make sure you're dealing with certified suppliers:

  • The A&V Confirmed badge indicates that the seller has passed Alibaba's authentication and verification inspection and a third-party verification service.
  • On-Site Verification indicates that the supplier's facilities in China have been inspected by Alibaba to ensure the company actually exists.
  • The Assessed Supplier has passed the audit by a third-party agency.
Buy from Alibaba Step 7

Step 7. See if there are any complaints about a supplier

In addition to checking profile badges, you can also research potential providers online to prevent fraud. Look for comments or complaints about them. You can still check the contact information provided on Alibaba's profile by doing a Google search.

Avoid those who provide unprofessional email addresses, such as Gmail or Yahoo accounts

Buy from Alibaba Step 8

Step 8. Look for a supplier with a warehouse in your country

The search on Alibaba will indicate suppliers in several countries. Finding those who are based or have a warehouse in your country will reduce delivery times and eliminate the need to deal with customs.

Some suppliers, for example, have warehouses in Brazil. If you choose one that doesn't have it, you will have to work with it to carry out the import procedures using Alibaba's logistics services. Also, it's best to hire a customs broker to help you handle customs when buying goods from another country

Part 2 of 3: Contacting Suppliers

Buy from Alibaba Step 9

Step 1. Contact the supplier and fill in the form

Click the "Contact Supplier" button and enter a subject and body of the message. This should include any questions you have about the products and your purchase order.

Transactions on Alibaba are usually done in English. Try to keep the message short and free from grammatical or spelling errors. Providers can get your message across via Google Translate, so use straightforward language to avoid potential misunderstandings

Buy from Alibaba Step 10

Step 2. Negotiate the minimum order quantity

The product page will likely display a price per unit and a minimum order. Also note that both are negotiable.

  • When contacting the supplier, ask them if they can meet specific needs. For example: "Is the minimum order of 500 units negotiable? Would you fill an order of 400 units?"
  • You can also ask what quantities it offers discounts. If buying more units lowers your costs and you are sure you have a place to put the extra inventory, buy a larger amount to get the discount.
Buy from Alibaba Step 11

Step 3. View the posted price

You should also check that the price listed is FOB ("free onboard"), that is, whether the supplier pays the costs associated with transporting the goods to the shipping port, and the buyer pays the costs associated with shipping to the destination Final.

  • Ask if the price range listed is FOB and if you would be able to provide a more accurate quote for the number of units you wish to purchase and the shipping location.
  • Please note that all prices and shipping costs listed on Alibaba are in US Dollars. You can contact a bank or exchange agent to find out the most accurate conversion rate, or use an online tool.
Buy from Alibaba Step 12

Step 4. Negotiate the price and payment method

You and the supplier can negotiate the payment currency and preferred method. If necessary, you can convert the currency with your bank. Please remember that the price posted is also negotiable.

Ask the vendor something like, "What's the best price you can make for this product? Can you make $2 (U.S.) per unit? That would help me choose you as a regular vendor in the future."

Buy from Alibaba Step 13

Step 5. Ask for samples

When contacting a supplier, ask for samples before purchasing a large quantity of a specific product. So you can inspect the quality before spending money on hundreds or even thousands of units.

Ask if the supplier offers samples and what their value is

Buy from Alibaba Step 14

Step 6. Click the "Send" button and check the sent box

When you have finished composing the message, read it to see if it is clear and if there are any errors. Then click "Submit". Go to the outbox to make sure the message has been sent to the supplier.

Resend the message if it doesn't appear in the outbox. To avoid having to rewrite it, copy and paste it into a separate document (such as Google Docs) before submitting

Part 3 of 3: Completing a Secure Transaction

Buy from Alibaba Step 15

Step 1. Use a low risk payment method such as PayPal

When negotiating a payment method with the vendor, choose a low-risk option. The best ones include PayPal or, for purchases over $20,000, getting a letter of credit through a bank, for example. You can also opt for a third-party escrow service, such as Alibaba's secure payments service, which retains amounts paid until both parties confirm delivery.

  • Note that only suppliers located in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan can use this second option.
  • Avoid Western Union transfers, which should only be used when transferring money to someone you know well.
Buy from Alibaba Step 16

Step 2. Calculate and pay shipping costs

Alibaba's logistics feature helps the supplier determine and pay the costs of transporting goods to another country. You will then pay the supplier the shipping cost. If they haven't already done the calculation, ask the supplier to log into Alibaba and visit the logistics page to get an accurate estimate of customs costs and fees.

  • They will vary depending on your location and that of the supplier. Remember that you can try to find a supplier with a warehouse in your country to avoid the cost of international shipping.
  • It is also possible to get an idea of ​​the customs cost using an import calculator. Just fill in the requested information in the correct fields to get an estimate of the value.
Buy from Alibaba Step 17

Step 3. Hire a customs broker

Even if the supplier uses Alibaba's logistics to cover transportation costs, you should still hire a customs broker to make sure you have paid all fees, that your product will clear customs, and that you have all licenses. that you need.

  • His job may cost a few hundred dollars, but a violation could cost thousands of dollars in fines, and you could still face legal consequences.
  • In Brazil, you can find a customs broker through the website of ABRACOMEX - Brazilian Association of Consultancy and Assistance in Foreign Trade.
Buy from Alibaba Step 18

Step 4. Remove the goods from the port of destination

If the products were shipped by sea container, you will need to arrange transport from the port to the storage location. Alibaba's logistics page can help you ship products overland using a company like FedEx, depending on where you are. If you live near the port of destination, the cheapest option is to hire a truck to pick up the goods.

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Step 5. Open a dispute if the transaction goes wrong

Upon receiving the products, inspect them thoroughly to see if the quality is adequate and that you received the right quantity. If the quantity is wrong or you can prove that you received substandard products than what was advertised, open a dispute at the Alibaba help desk.

  • You will need to send in photos of the merchandise that show why you are dissatisfied, as well as the initial contract, payment documents, and all correspondence between you and the supplier.
  • Doing a little research about the supplier before agreeing to the sale will help ensure that you buy products that meet their standards. See if the supplier is certified and remember to search the internet for complaints and comments from other customers.
Buy from Alibaba Step 20

Step 6. Avoid buying branded items through Alibaba

Items of this type sold on the site are often counterfeit, and you can get in trouble with the law if you resell them. It is always best to buy these items directly from the brand itself if you are buying wholesale to resell retail.

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