How to Pay Suppliers on Alibaba: A Complete Guide

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article provides a wide range of payment solutions for international buyers. The company has also experimented with programs that didn’t make the cut in the end.

In this guide, we explain what importers must know about paying suppliers on using wire transfers, invoices, Escrow, payment links, and credit cards.


  • Telegraphic Transfer (Bank Transfer)
  • Alibaba Secure Payment (Escrow)
  • Alibaba Payment Links
  • Alibaba Payment Terms
  • Alibaba Online Transfer

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  • 1. Product design and material selection
  • 2. Finding suppliers in Asia
  • 3. Product samples and payments
  • 4. Quality control, lab testing & shipping


Alibaba Payment Methods Overview

Here is an overview of the different payment methods available on

  • Wire Transfer
  • Credit Card
  • Online Transfer
  • Western Union/Boleto
  • D/P
  • L/C

These payment methods are often integrated into one or more of Alibaba’s payment gateways and services. This includes Alibaba Trade Assurance.

Telegraphic Transfer (Bank Transfer) is a supplier directory – an online platform for finding factories and trading companies in China, and other countries around the world.

While has in recent years expanded into providing payment solutions, most buyers go here to find suppliers and then continue business discussions elsewhere. Hence, the transactions are still for the most part made outside of the ecosystem. That is likely to change in the future but this is the case at the time of writing.

We often receive questions about ‘how to pay suppliers on Alibaba’. The truth is that they are paid the same way as manufacturers that are not listed on – and that is mostly via telegraphic transfer.

In other words, a standard wire transfer.

As said, acts as the matchmaker, while the conversion between buyer and seller is taken ‘off-page’ at an early stage – including payments.

In short, you manage and pay ‘Alibaba suppliers’ the same way you pay a supplier that you find at a trade show, or anywhere else for that matter. It is still worth mentioning though that Alibaba, through its trade assurance program, is also integrating T/T payments into its trading practices.

Note: often refers to off-page orders as “offline orders”

Pay Suppliers on Alibaba

How does the bank transfer process work?

The first step of the process is to contact the supplier to confirm their bank account details:

  • Beneficiary
  • Beneficiary address
  • Bank account number
  • Bank
  • Bank address
  • Swift code
  • Country

You can transfer the funds in US dollars from your internet bank directly to the supplier. Note that it normally takes 2 to 4 working days before the funds arrive.

How to avoid payment fraud

You should only transfer money to bank accounts held by a beneficiary (company) matching the company listed on

Do not transfer funds to bank accounts in different countries, or those held by other companies or individuals – even if such bank account details are provided by a person operating the supplier’s account.

Secure Payment (Escrow)

While started out as a supplier directory, it is, through Alipay, one of China’s largest finance companies. Via Alipay, offers buyers the to pay suppliers through an Escrow system.

So, what is Escrow and how does it work?

This is how Alibaba themselves explains it:

For buyers, your payment will only be released to the supplier after you confirm satisfactory receipt of your order.

For Suppliers, Secure Payment verifies the payment details for every transaction and you are only required to ship the order after your confirmation of payment receipt by Alibaba Singapore City Bank.

In short, Alibaba’s secure payment system allows buyers to make a deposit payment, that is only unlocked to the supplier after the goods are confirmed by the buyer.

Escrow Payment Methods integrates with a range of existing payment systems, including the following:

  • Credit Card (Maximum: $50,000)
  • Telegraphic Transfer (No limit)
  • Western Union (Maximum: $5,000)
  • QIWI (Maximum: $5,000)
  • Web Money (Maximum: $10,000)
  • Yandex (Maximum: $1,000)

Wholesale Program

There are some limitations though, as the Secure payment feature is only available when buying products from suppliers that are part of the Wholesale program.

Thus, it may not be an option for importers of custom-designed (OEM) or private label (ODM) products. Luckily, there are other services available for these types of products.

How does the Escrow payment process work?

Below follows an overview:

1. Customer pays a deposit

2. Supplier ships goods to the customer

3. The products are imported and cleared through customs

4. The buyer receives the goods and either approves or rejects the goods.

If the buyer rejects the goods, the payment is withheld. However, additional proof may be required to support the buyer’s position. Keep in mind that acts as a neutral party, and will not side with the buyer by default.

Always read the product description carefully before placing an order. A product claim can only be filed based on the supplier shipping a product that is not matching the listed specifications (or if it’s clearly damaged or defective).

A refund cannot be based on general expectations or a vague idea of ‘good quality’. Therefore, I advise you to always buy product samples before placing a larger order – even when the transaction is covered by the secure payment system.

Credit and Debit Card Payment

The Alibaba secure payment allows payments via credit card and debit cards, issued by Visa and MasterCard.

However, keep in mind that there is a maximum transaction amount, paid via credit card, of US$50,000. In addition, credit card companies charge a higher transaction fee, as compared to T/T payments.

Alibaba Payment Links

Alibaba’s payment gateway is increasingly being used as a way to pay small transactions to suppliers, including product samples. Suppliers can create an invoice directly from their Alibaba account which then generates a payment link.


The payment link directs you to the online invoice, which expires automatically after 72 hours.


1. You can be sure that the payment is not diverted to a different company (operated by an employee or subcontractor), but goes directly to the supplier’s bank account. Or, at least an account held by

2. Transaction fees are lower compared to bank transfer fees

3. The funds arrive instantly, thereby reducing delays

Alibaba Online Transfer

Alibaba launched online transfer as a payment gateway for European importers. An online transfer allows you to make payments in domestic currencies.

Here are some of the countries supported by Alibaba Online Transfer:

  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium

Transaction fees

  • $1 – $1,000: $15
  • 1,001 – $10,000: $20
  • More than $10,000: $25 Payment Terms (SUSPENDED)’s Payment Terms service allows importers in the US to order products with a small deposit upfront (typically 30% of order value), then pay off the balance (typically 70%) up to 60 days later. This deferred payment service helps small businesses manage and improve their cash flow instead of having to tie up their capital right from the start.

The application process is simple, quick, and done completely online. There’s no need to submit paperwork or wait weeks for approval as it normally does when small businesses try to get loans approved to finance their product imports.

Easy application process. To get started, a buyer must fill out a two-page online application. Applying never impacts their credit score.

Improved cash flow. Take up to 60 days to pay for orders. Buyers today are sometimes required to pay in full before their products are shipped. With Payment Terms, buyers have time and options for how to handle their money by paying 60 days later.

No fees for using the service. If the buyer pays back the amount of the purchase terms on time, using Payment Terms is free.

Save on transaction fees. charges a 2.95% fee when making credit card transactions, and other fees are possible when using other payment methods such as TT or ACH. When using Payment Terms, payments incur no fee.

You can learn more about Payment Terms in this Q&A with Alibaba New York City.

2022 Note: We cannot find any information on the Alibaba website supporting that this payment solution is still available.

Questions & Answers

Does Alibaba refund my money if I receive defective or the wrong items?

You can only request a refund under the following two conditions:

a. The supplier failed to ship the goods on time

b. The goods are damaged and/or not as specified on the product page

You should not expect to get a refund if the goods are as specified, but still not matching your expectations. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a universal or technical definition of ‘good quality’.

To support a refund request, you should provide the following:

a. Photos showing the damages/defects

b. An overview of the defective quantity of products (and the value)

c. A detailed description of all issues

Further, save a copy of the product description before you place your order, so you have some sort of quality reference.

A detailed description of the refund claim process can be found on Alibaba’s website.

How do I win a payment dispute?

It’s a matter of proving the supplier wrong. Some cases can be rather ‘obvious’, especially when the goods get damaged or are severely defective – or not even shipped.

However, we have received reports from disgruntled buyers around the world, claiming that Alibaba has not done enough to protect them when things went wrong.

That said, in all the cases that we received, the dispute was filed based on the product not meeting the buyer’s perceived quality standard.

This is extremely tricky, as simply cannot act based on this. If they had to issue refunds every time a buyer claimed to not be satisfied with the quality standard – and without the need to return the goods – the sellers would be exposed to systematic fraud and be bankrupted within a matter of weeks.

The truth is that the buyer is not always right, and unless the product quality, design or functions conflicts with the description – it is not fair to demand a refund. To win a refund claim, you need to prove that the products are either damaged / defective or not matching the product description.

Can I pay suppliers on by Letter of Credit (L/C)?

Yes, as previously mentioned, the Alibaba secure payment system is optional and primarily used for wholesale product transactions. Larger orders are often negotiated and processed outside of the platform.

Just as many buyers rather pay their suppliers directly via telegraphic transfers, you can also negotiate a Letter of Credit (L/C) payment with your supplier.

The procedure is in some ways similar to that of the Alibaba secure payment system, as the funds are ‘unlocked’ to the supplier when certain conditions are reached.

The main difference is that you can set those conditions.

At a minimum, the L/C payment is unlocked once the supplier provides a bill of lading copy – proving that the goods are shipped. However, that only proves that ‘something’ (for example a container filled with bricks) has been shipped.

To further reduce your risk, and tie the payment to the quality and compliance of the products, require the following documents as part of the L/C payment trigger:

a. Quality control test reports (approved)
b. Lab test reports

Keep in mind that you set the payment terms.

Is it safe to pay suppliers on via Western Union?

You should only use Western Union to pay your supplier if done via one of Alibaba’s payment gateways. You should not use Western Union to pay a supplier directly.

Is PayPal supported by

No, PayPal is not supported when paying suppliers on This makes sense as Alipay offers a similar payment platform.

Is it safe to pay suppliers on via PayPal?

PayPal is commonly used when paying for product samples. While PayPal is a trustworthy payment platform, we recommend that you pay for product samples using Alibaba’s own payment gateway. That way you can be sure that the funds are paid to the right company.

How do I pay for product samples on Alibaba?

You can request your supplier to create a Trade Assurance order, which generates a payment link. You can then pay the supplier directly, using your credit card, to ensure that they get started making your product samples fast.

Why do buyers still choose to pay suppliers outside of Alibaba’s payment solutions?

Despite the fact that Alibaba provides a range of payment solutions, many buyers still opt for paying suppliers directly. Established buyers that have used for years already have payment processes in place. Alibaba is not forcing either the buyer or the supplier to use Alibaba Trade Assurance or other payment solutions.

More experienced buyers are sometimes not even aware of Alibaba’s payment solutions, and follow the payment instructions of their suppliers.

In any case, we have seen a huge increase in the number of customers using Alibaba’s payment solutions in recent years and don’t expect this trend to stop.

Can I pay for shipping through Freight enables importers to compare freight rates. This solution is provided by Freightos, rather than itself.

Another option is to pay shipping through the supplier, who then manages the booking. That being said, I strongly recommend importers to book directly with a freight forwarder.

Why does Alibaba have bank accounts in Singapore?

I don’t think Alibaba has commented publically on this. However, this is likely related to the fact that Singapore has no capital controls, making it far easier for Alibaba to first receive payment in international currencies (e.g. USD and EUR) to Singapore and then transfer funds to suppliers in Mainland China in RMB.

How do I know if I am paying the right Alibaba bank account?

You need to ensure that you receive an invoice or bank account details from the exact same company. Hence, the beneficiary should always match the company name specified in the supplier’s Alibaba page.

  • Free Webinar

    We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?

    • 1. Product design and material selection
    • 2. Finding suppliers in Asia
    • 3. Product samples and payments
    • 4. Quality control, lab testing & shipping


  • 104 Responses to “How to Pay Suppliers on Alibaba: A Complete Guide

    1. Josgua at 3:11 am

      third person can use Wire Transfer details to pay my order in Alibaba , or transfer must from own account Alibaba

    2. Mark Clare at 5:22 pm

      Hi Fredrik,
      I am in the final stages of purchasing lithium cells from EVE Energy – I contacted them direct on Alibaba.
      I have received payment terms of 100% upfront and the payment details are through JP Morgan in Singapore – when I lookup the beneficiary address it lists Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited as the tenant. There has been no mention of Alipay but assume this is the Alibaba payment gateway and the account number is linked to the company EVE Energy as there is nothing else to define the transaction is from me to EVE Energy?
      I have also confirmed the beneficiary name matches the company name so it looks legitimate but I am very wary given the bad press I have read about Alibaba scams.

      Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    3. Bjorn Hughes at 9:23 pm

      Hi Fredrik, we are in the process of ordering some OEM glassware from a supplier we found on Alibaba. We have now successfully completed 3 rounds of sampling and are happy to proceed with our main order. So far all payments were done through Alibaba (with trade-assurance) however, for the main order the supplier is requesting payment off-site (ouside Alibaba) by direct bank transfer on 50% deposit and 50% before shipping terms. The order is quite big and they have said they cannot accept an order of this size with payment through Alibaba as they will be forced to use the one-touch system controlled and managed by Alibaba and also some other things about Alibaba credit limit. Whilst I don’t have any concerns that they will deliver on time and the right quality, we cannot risk the full payment up-front with no protection/assurance. I’m sure we are not the first to encounter this situation and would like to hear your thoughts. I have dropped you a consultation request in order to discuss further but felt your response here might be helpful to other visitors of this article.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:04 pm

        Hi Bjorn,

        I replied to you a few hours ago. We will continue this discussion.

        1. Julian Borbidge at 7:40 pm

          HI Fredrik
          I am interested in your reply to Bjorn Hughes as Im going through exactly the same issue with a laser manufacturing company. I have paid 30% through Alibaba and now they are asking for the final payment through a direct wire transfer to their company and saying that Alibaba has a credit limit and they can’t proceed with payment in the Alibaba platform. They seem very honest and helpful but I am very cautious.
          your advice would be very helpful.

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:14 am

            Hi Julian,

            This could be some kind of payment scam. Is the beneficiary details matching the company name?

            Also, what is the total order value?

      2. Scotty Tucker Jr. at 8:46 pm

        Theyre gonna scam you. You tell them that You do it through the platform or not at all. End of story. Dont risk your money.

      3. Julian Borbidge at 7:46 pm

        Hi Bjorn
        How did your situation unfold. I am also having this issue with a manufacturer.
        Im standing strong and asking only to use the Alibaba trade assurance payment service.
        I have also asked for Fredrick’s advice

    4. Precious at 4:53 pm

      Am about to buy some products from China and they want me to use pay through your link it’s my first time, can you help me that after paying my goods must get to at stipulated time and if not my money will be refunded

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:10 pm

        Our link? We are not Alibaba.

    5. Nikoleta at 3:47 am

      I am just about making my first order from Alibaba
      and I am from Europe. The supplier told me that they will prepare the payment link via Alibaba, but they except only dollars and no euros. Is that right; Thank you in advance

    6. Melusi Phiri at 8:16 am

      Hie fredrick I’m Melusi from Zimbabwe, I want to purchase a GPz 7000 detector from, I went through the product then sent an inquiry, I got a respond from different suppliers, some offered to chat on whataap n we negotiated, I was given there modes of payment, bitcoin, Western Union, money gram etc, I wasn’t told about trade insurance or PayPal , some sent me their individual names , address were I can make payments using western union, is this proper or I’m being scammed in a broad daylight, thank in advance

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:17 pm

        Hi Melusi,

        If they are not willing to get paid through the Alibaba payment platform I’d walk away (even though that is not in itself a guarantee). The fact that they ask to get paid with bitcoin or western union is a red flag.

    7. Alfredo Carlin at 6:43 am

      Hi Fredrik,

      Does Alibaba require the 30% deposit and 70% pay before shipping rule in the Rules and Guidelines for suppliers?

      We have a supplier requiring a 100% deposit before they make any of our products. They are private label fitness equipment with our colors and logo. Many manufacturers do the same thing. It’s not out of the norm.

      Also, they are listing their items at a much higher price than their listed price on Alibaba once you make contact with them. Is this a violation? They justified it by saying that they have too many listed items and they cannot keep up with correct pricing. I don’t agree. Sounds like false advertising.

      Please advise.



      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:04 pm

        Hi Alfredo,

        I don’t think Alibaba sets any payment terms. That is up to the supplier and the buyer.

        100% upfront is never acceptable. It’s extremely risky and makes it far more likely that you will end up with quality and compliance issues.

        The price issue you mention is also common. is not a store but a B2B platform and prices set by suppliers are often rough estimates at best.. but it ultimately depends on the buyer’s product specification.

    8. Mark at 10:13 pm

      This question is for suppliers. For suppliers who choose to accept credit card payments, who processes the transactions with the issuing banks and settles the funds with the supplier? Does the supplier use their own credit card processor, or is it processed and settled through Alibaba?

    9. enrico at 7:39 pm

      Hi Fredrik,
      You explained very well the methods payment, but I still have a doubt.
      If I pay by wire transfert T/T, the beneficiary name can be just a bit different because I can not insert dots or commas.
      Thank you.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:23 pm

        Hi Enrico,

        Yes, and that can be an issue sometimes as the receiving bank may reject an incoming payment. In the past, we normally instructed customers to fill out the remaining company name letters in the beneficiary address fields.

        That said, doubt they would return a payment simply because a comma is missing.

    10. Aldama at 9:41 am

      Good summary.
      I am still trying to figure out what options I have left if I used a direct wire and the product did not arrived or not in a state acceptable.
      I noticed that lately more and more sellers do not offer any Alipay option. I have done that before but only when the initial order went through without problems. I had to go through an alibaba resolution before when shipping was changed or when additional costs had been demanded after the payment was already completed.
      I is important to note than in all those cases it was very important that my communication was in the alibaba chat. Alibaba will not help with certain problems when the proof chose email or WhatsApp chats. Therefore I normally stay in the alibaba chat for initial orders.

      What options of resolution do you have if a direct wire transfer was used?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:31 am

        Hello Aldama,

        Did you pay directly to the supplier’s bank account or via trade assurance?

    11. Lyoid at 7:08 am

      Is Alibaba accept a Debit Visa card issued from my Bank..I mean to buy a product as a small business owner/starter.
      I did buy one time in Ali express a few items. It was OK. Just for personal useage.

      1. Rachel at 5:33 pm

        Hello Fredrik,
        I’m trying to buy a computer from alibaba, i tried to negotiate with a number of suppliers and they refused to give me their company’s beneficiary account.
        They accept payment from the western union. some of them say that aT/T is a dirty business some tell me the sum is too small and some just give me an account of a privet account, what am i to do?

    12. Faiz Neciri at 2:25 am

      I cancelled my order from ali baba the company take money $88.83 from my account i make dispute I didn’t received any response .

    13. Roland John king at 12:24 pm

      How do I verify that seller’s bank information is legit ?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:31 pm

        Hi Roland,

        The first thing you need to look at is the beneficiary name. Is it matching the company name?

    14. Peter at 4:00 am

      i am just curious, i want to buy a product from a chinese supplier and they say i should use western union to pay to a person in kenya..
      is this a valid transaction ?


      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:32 am

        Hi Peter,

        I think you should stay away from that seller

    15. Temi at 4:48 am

      Hi, I want to make a purchase on Alibaba and the supplier is in Vietnam but the supplier told me that does not support payments for accounts outside China. Is this true pls?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:08 pm

        Hi Temi,

        Yes I think that’s true

      2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:08 pm

        You can still pay directly to the supplier’s bank account though

    16. Franklin at 12:34 pm

      I have a query, when I buy through alibaba I did it by bank transfer, then when the money reached my supplier, they reduced it – $ 40, and investigated and I think that is the fee that alibaba charges the supplier for the transaction, now the supplier is charging me $ 40, do I have to pay that additional $ 40 ???

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:46 am

        Hello Franklin,

        You need to cover both the senders and receivers bank charges.

    17. Gill at 4:39 am

      Thanks for the tutorial. I tried to pay a supplier through the Alipay system and it kept failing. I contacted my bank to see if it was being rejected since it was international but the bank said it never even made it to the bank. When I contacted Alibaba customer support in their chat portal, the rep said the reason was that my Visa card was not verified and that I needed to 1. Upload a picture of my credit card 2. Upload a picture ID with my address. To me that sounded a bit shady. My bank said do not do that as it could be fraudulent. Have you heard of this as a requirement?

    18. Mosh at 8:19 am

      Hi! Is it safe if a seller asks to pay through cashapp or zelle meaning not through Alibaba website? Seller claims that they don’t use Alibaba for payments due to fees

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:14 pm

        Hi Mosh,

        No, it’s not. If you pay outside of Alibaba, then pay by wire transfer.

      2. d_tuogali at 3:06 am

        The very best way to pay a supplier is through a letter of credit since your bank and the supplier bank stands in as an intermediary.
        In this way your supplier will have to give u their bank details for your bank to prepare the payment (letter of credit) on your behalf.
        No authentic supplier can claim not to have a bank account
        Read more about letter of credit thanks

    19. Ibrahim Okasha at 10:55 pm

      We are cheated by more than $76000.00 with Alibaba trust assurance exporter since one year now ,We claim to Alibaba but no action taken or positive reply from Alibaba to us at all, Any one can help to get our money back from Chinese trust assurance supplier ,Please .

      1. Jelly at 4:10 am

        Something similar just happened to me right now.i made a payment with transfer wise to alibaba secure site ,but i put international instead of domestic and the money are not received from nobody and anywhere!i need to get the money back asap.Alibaba is telling me the bank and the bank its telling me alibaba must reject the payment ,and then i will receive the money back!I am desperate!i don’t know what to do.

        1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:43 pm

          Hi Jelly,

          The money should be automatically returned in 1-3 weeks if something was not right with the payment instructions.

    20. Marie at 12:06 pm

      I’m living in USA that’s my first time trying to oder in alibaba but the seller give me the account Citibank of the company to make the payment and she’s telling me if we pay by direct website in the will charge me 5% fee it’s that method it’s safe please your answer mean a lot

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:19 pm

        Hi Marie,

        Are you paying the supplier directly or via Alibaba’s bank account?

    21. Jon Turner at 4:16 pm

      Hi Fredrik,
      I have been negotiating with a kitchen supplier for a US10K custom kitchen. The trade assurance contracts only seem to last three days before they expire. The supplier wants US500 for the samples, and want to know how that can be made part of the contract so the contract price cant be raised after I have given them the samples fee. They have also told me they have a maximum of 5K per contract, while their posted limit is well over that. Someone told me that is a cumulative limit for the year. Is that true, comments here indicate that is a per transaction limit. Please advise how to protect myself with one master Trade Assurance contract.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:35 pm

        Hi Jon,

        That should be a per transaction limit, not a yearly limit.

      2. Sas Gan at 8:03 pm

        I am trying to place order for furniture to a Chinese supplier. They are adding 5% extra charges to pay on platform. They also insist I have to pay US sales tax to them as US customer. I can avoid these fees by paying the manufacturer directly by TT but I am not comfortable doing that. I would not mind the 5% extra but the US sales tax makes me question the manufacturer. What do you think?

        1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:24 pm

          Hi Sas,

          It’s the first time I’ve heard them ask for US sales tax. Unless they ship from a warehouse inside the US then I don’t think what they say is true.

          And yes, Alibaba does charge, and you can pay outside Alibaba. If you do so then you need to check that the supplier’s bank account details match the company.

    22. Mohamed Fathalla at 7:01 pm

      I am a buyer from Egypt . I negotiated with a supplier of a machine on Alibaba ( from main land
      china ) . After reaching final stage and just before paying through the secure payment method on Alibaba as agreed upon between us , the supplier told me that Egypt as a country of destination is not covered by the secure payment service of Alibaba
      Is this right ?

    23. Anbu at 12:17 am

      Whenever i tried to pay via alibaba link by debit card the payment couldn’t succeeded, i need clarification in this issues.

    24. Iris at 6:42 pm

      Dear Sirs, We tried to buy something from India. Here is their web site:
      and it is about time to pay for the payment and we would like to pay via Alibaba. However, the supplier said as below:
      Alibaba payment system not applicable for Indian suppliers.
      So, we would like to know if it is true. Please advise. Thank you.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 3:43 pm

        Hi Iris,

        Yes, I think Trade Assurance and the other payment options on are not available for suppliers outside of China at this point.

        That said, you can still pay the supplier directly to their bank account in India.

    25. Gulam Gaibi at 11:09 pm

      Hello Sir, I currently in the process to purchase some goods through Alibaba, (First Time). Im paying 50% first and then the seller is saying 50% more before it leaves port (china). I was of the opinion that the final payment would be made on receiving the bill of lading. I am not so certain of this. Please could you help.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:48 pm

        Hi Gulam,

        Yes, some suppliers accept payment upon BL copy, while other require payment before the goods are delivered. What truly matters is that you get the products quality checked before the final balance payment.

        1. Pita Tuisawau at 10:09 am

          Hi Fredrik! I am one of the ones that is being requested to pay before the good leave port (China). What can I do to be able to pay balance of 50% after checking quality?

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:37 pm

            Hi Pita,

            The QC takes place in the factory. You can pay the supplier after the QC, but before shipment.

    26. Syed Usman Ali at 2:18 am

      Hi Fredrik

      I more question.
      What if we are buying on AliBaba through LC are we entitled for pre shipment inspection done by Ali Baba?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:56 pm

        Hi Syed,

        1. You need to book and pay for the quality inspection yourself when using the Trade Assurance (which I think you are referring to)

        2. I don’t think L/C is covered by the Alibaba Trade Assurance. It’s a completely different thing and I don’t see how that could work with TA.

    27. Syed Usman Ali at 2:14 am

      Hi Fredrik

      We are trying to import machines from China through AliBaba. However problem with us is that Govt. has banned all sorts of advance payments outside the country.
      So we are left with only one option ie LC. My question is if we go for LC would we be covered by Trade Assurance.
      Supplier has sent us the per-forma invoice in which he has stated payment term as LC and zero advance. This is done via Alibaba platform.

      Thanking you in advance for your support.


    28. mercy P at 11:49 am

      HI I wonder if you can help me with my question I paid 50% of the payment for the product on Alibaba so can I pay the balance after I receive the product or do I have to pay when they ship the product ?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 8:10 pm

        Hi Mercy,

        No, the supplier will not ship the products before the balance payment.

    29. Charles E. Cline at 1:41 am

      Is there a table or listing of the fee’s for paying through Aalibaba?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:43 pm

        Hi Charles,

        The fee is presented in the checkout before you make the payment. You can see here what it looks like:

    30. don chetty at 8:47 pm

      What if I get a shipping company to receive goods at the Chinese factory but I want to complete payment using the site. It asks for shipping details?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 8:00 pm

        Hello Don,

        What site are you referring to?

        1. Georgina at 8:36 pm

          Hello Fredrik can a supplier create a fake Alibaba account for the buyer if you they the link to pay through alibaba ?

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 9:55 am

            Hi Georgina,

            That depends. What exactly do you mean by a fake Alibaba account?

            I guess someone could build a page and payment gateway that looks like Alibaba but is in fact hosted on a different domain. That said, I have never heard of fake accounts on the actual Alibaba platform.

    31. Marcia at 10:06 am

      What is the usual initial payment that suppliers ask for? Supplier is asking me to pay 100% upfront. Is that a usual practice?
      Thank you.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:05 pm

        Hi Marcia,

        Never pay more than 30% deposit before production starts. The remaining 70% should only be paid after quality inspection and lab test.

        1. Abigail Acheampong at 5:23 am

          Hi…I want to buy some products from alibaba and am to pay through all the channel’s given.but unfortunately I don’t have a visa card bt can only pay through Mobile money…is this accepted and how is the process done please

        2. Danbaiwa at 10:38 am

          Why can’t I pay through my PayPal account? I have tried it many times, but alibaba does not accept my payment?
          But I don’t always fill in the blanks when she asks where to deliver your goods.
          Please I am looking for more information

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:09 pm

            Then you need to contact Alibaba’s support. We are not offering support for Alibaba payments here.

    32. Not at 5:45 am

      Hi assuming we buy a laptop from Alibaba but seller sends a piece of stone!
      So how we can evidence seller is a scammer?
      What happen in these situations?

    33. Abel at 4:18 am

      Hi guys i need your help on something…
      I live in Ethiopia n i hv been ordering one of Chinese company product via trade assurance.. n n i want to pay with my friend credit card who lives in US u think the billing adress n contry information wont matter on the payment process.??… Do u think its safe to pay with someone else creditcard through my account??…. Pls help me with that

      1. Ivan Malloci at 9:53 am

        Hello Abel,

        I suggest you to get in touch with Trade Assurance help desk and ask to them, before going ahead with such a transaction

      2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:50 pm

        No, I don’t think that is safe as they will likely flag the transaction based on location.

    34. Crystal at 4:06 pm

      Hello! I just made my first official bulk wholesale purchase with a supplier. It went well so far. I am now in the midst of buying one single item from another seller. They gave me price and DHL shipping quote. Then they asked if I would lay the owner direct to his personal account or western union to save 40USD on customs clearance.

      Is this legit? Do they pay clearance or do I? I’m trying to figure out if they are telling me the quoted DHL price does not include this clearance fee…and if not, who pays it.

      Thank you!

    35. Irena Vardikyan at 4:10 pm

      Service fee on seller: after payment received, might charge some service fee on seller, not on buyer.
      a. for order amount≤USD5000: seller needs to pay 5% for wholesale products; 1% or 2% for custom products (1% -order must be shipped via Alibaba logistics service,2% -order is not shipped via Alibaba logistics service);
      b. for order amount>USD5000: no service fee on seller, and order must be exported via One Touch.

    36. Kinkini Bairagya at 1:31 am

      Hello sir,
      I’m from India. Do Alibaba use SBI debit/ credit card as a payment method??

    37. Jacob HASSIDIM at 12:07 am

      Hello Fredrik,
      I am trying to pay my supplier via the Alipay. he says, since he’snt member w/Alibaba, he ca’nt receive payment. is that right?
      as long as we ship via ONE TOUCH, I think it would be for him to receive payment w/out being Alibaba member.
      he also said it cost $5000 to become alibaba member. is that correct?

      1. Ivan Malloci at 8:01 am

        Hello Jacob,

        maybe he meant he can’t receive money via Alibaba Trade Assurance?

        Also, yes, it costs money to become an Alibaba golden supplier.

    38. Philippine Dorhout Mees at 2:18 pm

      Hi, we are in the final stage (we negotiated shipment, unit price) of placing an order trough trade assurance. However, the supplier already made the contract for us and is now asking to pay the total amount in 3 parts, which means: 3 separate contracts for the same order (of each 5000 USD). I understand that this is no normal procedure and we won’t approve the 3 contracts. Also, I asked the supplier to let us place the order online ourselves (so we can design the contract incl product requirements). I’m now trying to understand why the supplier divided the total amount (their assurance limit is 57,000 USD)? Does anybody have an idea?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:49 am


        No, idea, but I doubt they have a legit reason. It sounds very strange, and I would stay away from this supplier.

        1. Philippine at 10:18 am

          Hi Fredrik,

          We finally have an answer. Orders via Trade Assurance above 5000 USD have to go via One Touch. My supplier doesn’t have a One Touch account, so it provides me with 3 different payment links via Trade Assurance.

          A reasonable way to handle?

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:46 am

            Hi Philippine,

            Is this supplier even part of the Trade Assurance program? If they are.. they should be able to receive the payment.

    39. Rajat at 4:57 am

      Hi everyone,
      I wanted to buy a some goods through alibaba,and want to pay through paypal.
      The supplier want me to pay the paypal fee, when i checked with paypal about the fee, it said :
      “There’s no fee to use PayPal to purchase goods or services. However, if you receive money for goods or services (such as from selling an item on eBay), there is a fee for each transaction.”
      However the supplier insist that i should be the one to pay the fees.

      Is this the normal procedure?
      Please educate me on this.

      Thanks in advance.

      1. Ivan Malloci at 4:51 am

        Hello Rajat,

        there are no specific “rules” on international trading, everything is up for negotiation. If the supplier insists for not paying the Paypal fee, you have 3 options

        a.) Pay the fee yourself

        b.) Change payment method

        c.) Change supplier

    40. Marie Elizabeth at 1:48 pm

      Hi we opened negotiations with a seller on alibaba using their trade assurance scheme, we’re getting to the final details and the seller is saying 1. that Alibaba cannot accept TT transactions on trade assurance over $5000 dollars so we need to set up 5 individual contracts and wire transfers. 2. That there is a 2% fee for the transactions and 3. that we have to pay it! From my understanding the 2% fee is the sellers fee – are they trying to pass this off to us, the buyers and is this normal practice? Why are they saying that the max TT contract value is $5000 – is this right? It’s a pain if yes, as it means we’ll need to get 5 contracts on the system. Can you help as we’re new to wholesale /imports from China! Thanks

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:46 am

        Hello Marie,

        1. This sounds very strange. Is their trade assurance amount limited to 5 k?

        2. All fees will be passed on to you as a buyer. If they absord this fee, then they must raise their unit price. In the end, you must pay all transaction fees – either directly or indirectly.

        3. You should NOT open 5 contracts for the same order. That likely violates the terms of Alibaba.

        4. Sure, I suggest you watch our free webinar on this topic:

    41. Paula D Smith at 11:47 am

      once i make deposit payment to supplier via alibaba payment, will the buyer need to send another link to make the balance payment?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:43 am

        Hi Paula,

        Send another link? Not sure I understand what you mean.

    42. priscilla at 3:41 pm

      Is there anyway i can make payments through alipay on secure payments on alibaba?the bank card details is not really comfortable.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:28 am

        I think is already using AliPay for credit card payments

    43. aishe hudson at 11:14 pm

      OMG…I am so eternally grateful that I found this site. I am attempting to order wedding invitations and I am completely confused about the process. I see T/T but am scared to death to provide bank account information. I asked to pay through paypal and the customer service rep sent me a link that came up in Chinese that I am unable to read. (she gave me

      Also, there are so many options for shipping: sea freight, land transportation, air cargo,and express. I have no idea which to choose. Which one applies to DHL?

      Lastly, is the set up that we pay a deposit and the final balance once the goods are received?

      Completely confusing…thank you sooo much for your help!

    44. Aileen at 2:07 am

      Hi Adam!
      I am requesting a sample from a supplier through Alibaba right now, and I asked to pay through paypal but when they sent the ‘trade assurance order’ for me to pay the invoice it doesn’t have a paypal option, just credit/debit card, wire transfer, and e-checking. I’m not understanding where paypal actually comes in. I’m also wondering about how import tax for these sorts of orders works.. We are in the US but our sample is under $50 and our order is only going to be under $300, but since we’ve never dealt with wholesale products from China in particular before, I don’t want our order to get held up.

      Any help on these things would be fantastic, thanks!

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:35 am

        Hi Aileen,

        OK in that case it seems they no longer integrate with PayPal. But you can still pay with your credit card.

        You can add the sample order cost to the mass produced order later on.

    45. Adam at 7:20 pm

      Hi, If i preorderd and paid invoice they sent me and 2 months pass, my products are ready but they want higher amount or they will send noney back they say. If i got an invoice and paid the price i should have some rights? Or What do you say about this?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:14 am

        Hi Adam,

        It’s never acceptable that a supplier raise the price after the deposit is paid.

        Did you pay everything upfront?

    46. Abiodun Aladetuyi at 3:30 pm

      Hello Fredrik. Could you tell me the steps to take to order and pay on Alibaba please.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:33 am

        Hi Abiodun,

        That is explained in this article

    47. GY at 5:08 am

      We are trying to buy through a supplier via Alibaba. Credit Card is not accepted and T/T directly to the seller seems to be the only option. However, the “Wire Transfer” option is not activated for the seller, so we have to T/T the seller directly. From reading your guide, it seems like they are not on the wholesaler’s list, and hence these features are not enabled. The problem now is we want to make sure the payment can be made securely via Alibaba. But there are no options to assure us.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:43 pm

        Hey there,

        Wire transfer is T/T. It’s the same thing.

        If wire transfer is not enabled, then you will not be under Alibaba’s protection.

    48. Deja at 5:24 pm

      I’ve been contacted by several suppliers offsite. They found me on alibaba looking for a product, then would email, text or facebook me. My question is, some request payment via paypal not via alibaba. Is this standard? When I ask them to send me invoice on Alibaba, they say paypal is more convenient for them. I want to make sure I am not being scammed.

      1. ChinaImportal at 9:45 am

        Hi Deja,

        Most suppliers are not using Alibaba’s payment system. That is not necessarily a sign that they are scammers.

      2. Dan Edards at 1:22 am

        Same experience here; they found me on Linkedin. I’m asking for at least an initial contact through alibaba.

    Comments are closed.

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