Alibaba Supplier Scams: 3 Common Types & How You Avoid Them

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He got scammed online

None of these scams are unique to Alibaba.com. On the contrary, Alibaba.com verifies all Gold Suppliers and offers far more supplier data than any other B2B supplier directory.

Alibaba.com is in many aspects the safest way to source products in Asia, as long as you have a risk management process in place.

That said, Alibaba cannot monitor every single email and WeChat conversion between suppliers and buyer’s on its platform. There are rogue employees out there, and hackers breaking into suppliers email accounts.

In this article, I explain how you can avoid 3 different types of scams, and the measures Alibaba has taken in recent years to make their marketplace safer. Continue reading Alibaba Supplier Scams: 3 Common Types & How You Avoid Them

Alibaba OneTouch: 4 Ways Importers Can Benefit

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OneTouch Platform

The OneTouch platform is an Alibaba owned platform, helping Chinese manufacturers and trading companies streamlining the exporting process. From their Alibaba account, suppliers can access order financing, manage logistics and export procedures.

In return, Alibaba got access to a wealth of trade information, offering direct benefits to Importers in other countries.

Keep reading, and learn how the Alibaba OneTouch helps both suppliers and their customers around the world.

This is covered

  • What is Alibaba OneTouch?
  • How does OneTouch help manufacturers?
  • How can OneTouch help me as an Importer?
  • What is the difference between Trade Assurance and OneTouch?

What is Alibaba OneTouch?

OneTouch is an Alibaba owned platform, mainly focused on helping Chinese suppliers streamlining the exporting process.

From a supplier perspective, the exporting process can be fairly complicated, as it involves:

  • Order financing
  • Export tax refund (months later)
  • Booking shipments to customers around the world
  • Export licenses
  • Export customs clearance
  • Customs inspections

Order financing and the overall bureaucracy have been more of an issue for Chinese exporters, compared to those in more developed countries.

Unsurprisingly, Alibaba is taking the lead and bridge the gap using technology.

Apart from the obvious benefit the OneTouch platforms offer Alibaba Gold Suppliers, there’s something even bigger.

The OneTouch platform helps suppliers transition from old fashioned export receipts and company seals – to an all-in-one digital export dashboard. This in turn gives Alibaba.com access to Chinese export data, in a way that has never been done before.

For example, Alibaba is already using the OneTouch platform to set Trade Assurance limits. Continue reading Alibaba OneTouch: 4 Ways Importers Can Benefit

How to Find the Best Clothing Suppliers on Alibaba.com in 8 Steps

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

With thousands of suppliers to choose from, sourcing clothing and textiles on Alibaba.com can be overwhelming.

Unless you have manual, that breaks down the process in actionable steps:

1. Find the right keyword and use the ‘Supplier search’ function

2. Review the supplier page

3. How to read the TrustPass profile

4. Review product pages

5. Select suppliers, submit techpack and request quotations

6. Order product samples from 4+ suppliers

7. Place your order with Alibaba Trade Assurance

8. How to book a sea or air shipment Continue reading How to Find the Best Clothing Suppliers on Alibaba.com in 8 Steps

How to Buy Products From 1688.com: A Complete Guide

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1688 Alibaba

1688.com is just like Alibaba.com, but all in Chinese, and for the domestic market in China.

Some believe that they can find better deals, by going directly to suppliers on 1688.com, instead of Alibaba.com.

But is that really true?

Keep reading, and learn if 1688.com suppliers are really offering lower prices, how to pay them and if they even have export licenses.
Continue reading How to Buy Products From 1688.com: A Complete Guide

Selling on Amazon.com From Overseas: By Ariel B. C.

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Almost half of our readers are located outside of the United States and the European Union. Yet, the majority of our customers in these countries are mainly selling in the US or Europe. Or both.

One of our subscribers, Ariel, is one of them.

In this article, he explains how he started selling in the United States, on Amazon.com, while being based in Israel and Europe.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you did before starting with your current business

I was born in France, and moved to Israel about 20 years ago.

I always had a passion to travel, so, logically, I always searched for source of incomes that can be managed from any places in the world.

I studied economics, but worked a very briefly as an employee. Only about 2 years, then I began to import goods from the United States, to France for several years when I still lived there. Essentially motorcycles and accessories.

When I arrive in Israel, I first worked in software for a big company.

In parallel, I began to sell online about 10 years ago, at Ebay France, managing the shop digitally from Israel while having a partner in France taking care of all the “physical” work.

Then I discovered Amazon FBA nearly 4 years ago, and I found it was a perfect fit for me.

It allows me to be free of all the worries about warehouse to stock my inventory and also I don’t have to deal with packaging and shipping every unit sold to the customer.

It also can be run from any place, so I can make a living while travelling around the world.

About a year ago, I was able to quit my job as an employee and work full time on my online business.

For half a year, I have a VA from the Philippines helping me with recurring tasks and social media. Continue reading Selling on Amazon.com From Overseas: By Ariel B. C.

How to Improve the Supplier Response Rate on Alibaba.com

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wayne-qulito

If you’ve ever tried to reach out to suppliers on Alibaba.com, you know how hard it can be to make them respond to your request for quotation.

That said, Alibaba suppliers often have good reasons for not responding to inquiries.

In this interview, Wayne Zhang explains what you can do to improve your Alibaba supplier response rate, which communication apps to use and much more.

Wayne, please tell us about yourself and how you got into sourcing

Oh my, unfortunately, I do not think this will be a type of an answer that packs in a lot of “Hollywood” like action, but just a plain simple reality. I used to work for a company that provided similar services to foreign clients from around the globe.

And, truth be told I worked there for a while, right after I graduated from University.

I studied commerce, and one of my foreign languages was English, so it seemed like a great idea at the time, and it was. My responsibilities included finding clients, going through their requests, find products at a price they requested, place an order and make sure the final shipment was sent out. So, I did everything from door to door, sort of speak.

I considered this to be a great start of my career because already back then I saw myself working in this industry for a long time because, in my opinion, it had potential.

I was right.

I learned a lot while working for my first company and it equipped me with a very valuable set of skills that eventually proved to be very advantageous in building my own business. I knew that I want to have my own company one day, so I worked hard, saved money and just went for it. Continue reading How to Improve the Supplier Response Rate on Alibaba.com

How to Utilize Freelancers for Your Ecommerce Business: By Mike Michelini

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Asian Freelancer

Managing RFQ procedures and day to day communication with your supplier, can be very time consuming. Especially when you consider the time zones. Before, the only option would be to hire a procurement agent, and adapt to their procedures (and perhaps even use their suppliers).

Or, setup your own office in Asia – which is not a realistic prospect for startups and small businesses.

But things have changed. Today, you can go on Upwork.com or Freelancer.com, and tap into a huge pool of freelancers, that you can pay by the hour or on a per project basis.

A Freelancer, that will likely be based in Asia, can keep up to date with your supplier, coordinate shipments – and even negotiate prices, while you spend your time doing something else (rather than calling your suppliers at 10 PM).

In this article, the Shenzhen based founder of Global From Asia (www.globalfromasia.com) shares his best advice for hiring and managing Freelancers, and how they can free up hours of work, every week.

How have you been using remote workers in your businesses?

I have been using remote workers on my team even before I read the Four Hour Work Week in 2007. It started with customer service for my e-commerce business when I hired “military spouses” who wanted to work online as their spouse (normally husband) was traveling often for work so they couldn’t get a “normal job”.

I was blown away (this is 2006) that I could have a work at home professional customer service rep help me at all hours of the day or night. These were “moms” based in USA (Kansas and Texas – Michelle and Janet – you rock) who really were moms of my business.

The hardest part about working with remote workers is the setup of tools and systems – which is a ton of upfront work.

Once you get a good flow with you and your remote team, it is like working next to them.

I have used remote workers for almost every part of my various businesses now for over 10 years – starting with customer service to graphic design, video production, web design, app development, community management, marketing – basically every kind of role except meeting clients face to face (waiting for the teleport technology to develop more for this).

Basically, if a task can be repeated, it can be delegated. If it can be delegated, 95% chance it can be done by a remote worker. The trick again is the upfront training and tools, and then the ongoing management. Continue reading How to Utilize Freelancers for Your Ecommerce Business: By Mike Michelini

Guide to China Supplier Directories: Alibaba, GlobalSources & AliExpress

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Supplier Wholesale Directory

Alibaba.com is often synonymous with the term supplier directory. While Alibaba has become a household name, it’s not the only platform for finding qualified suppliers.

In this article, you will learn how to choose between the major platforms, including Alibaba.com, Globalsources.com, HKDC and Made-in-China.com

In addition, we will also take a look into wholesale platforms, such as Aliexpress and DHgate.

Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com, founded by Jack Ma in 1999, is the world’s largest supplier directory. Today, Alibaba is home to hundreds of thousands of suppliers in basically every industry.

Perhaps, Alibaba.com is too big for its own good. In the past, many buyers have criticized Alibaba for allowing scammers to list on their platform, while only siding with their suppliers in case of dispute.

As we have explained in many articles, things are not simple. In fact, importing goods from China would have been far more risky, without the supplier data provided by Alibaba.com.

Unlike many other directories, you can find verified company data for each verified supplier (also called Gold Supplier), such as the following:

a. Registered capital
b. Year of registration
c. Registered address
d. Legal representative
e. Business license number

Alibaba.com is also becoming so much more than just a supplier directory. A few years ago, they launched their Trade Assurance program, and offer a range of payment, sourcing and supplier audit related services.

Alibaba.com is here to stay, and the coming years will be very interesting, as they keep rolling out new services to importers.

In addition, more and more manufacturers and wholesalers in Vietnam, India, the European Union and the United States join what used to be the exclusive domain of Chinese companies. Continue reading Guide to China Supplier Directories: Alibaba, GlobalSources & AliExpress

How to Report Trade Disputes & IP Violations to Alibaba

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Alibaba trade dispute

What do you do when a deal with an Alibaba.com listed supplier goes wrong? Perhaps you’ve received the wrong product. Maybe it’s damaged. Or, perhaps, you didn’t even receive any goods at all?

And, not to forget, what if you find your custom designed or private label product listed on Alibaba?

In this article, you will learn how to file a dispute on Alibaba.com and (hopefully) get your money back. But, you can only win a dispute if you have the evidence that Alibaba must have to decide in your favor.

Keep reading, and learn how to how win supplier disputes if you receive poor quality or damaged goods – and how to report intellectual property violations.

What counts as a trade dispute?

Many situations fall within Alibaba’s definition of a trade dispute. A few of the most common follow below:

  • The products are defective or damaged
  • The products are not as described (i.e., design, colors or functions)
  • The products were never delivered

However, many disputes are not about defective, damaged or incorrect items all. Many, if not most, trade disputes relates to quality or product compliance – something that makes it very hard for Alibaba.com to act.

Alibaba.com cannot act based on the buyer’s perception of good quality. Hence, a dispute can only be won if the buyer can prove that the supplier failed to deliver a product matching the description. Continue reading How to Report Trade Disputes & IP Violations to Alibaba

It’s Official! Content partnership between Chinaimportal and Alibaba

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alibaba-partnership

Chinaimportal.com has recently signed an agreement with Alibaba.com to provide non-exclusive and exclusive content to the Alibaba Biz Club:

Starting on 2016-09-29, Chinaimportal.com will contribute content to the Alibaba Biz Club.

The Alibaba Biz Club is an information sharing platform by Alibaba.com, where you can find professional content from various service providers.

On Alibaba Biz Club, we hope that our content can find a new audience.

In addition, we will at times provide exclusive content to the Alibaba Biz Club, but more on that later

More information about our role and contributions will be revealed as we progress further.