We all know that Amazon is one of the world’s biggest B2C (business to consumer) marketplaces. But do you know where most Amazon private label sellers and drop shippers get their products from? You got it right. Alibaba is the biggest B2B (business to business) marketplace globally, and it is where most third-party sellers import their products from. But buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA is considered one of the most complicated tasks for a seller. Or is it really?
Without a doubt, buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA can be intimidating. First of all, not everyone knows how to speak, read, or write Mandarin. The language barrier is one of the biggest reasons why people refrain from buying imports from China, and this argument is fairly acceptable. Until recently, Alibaba decided to hire English-speaking intermediaries to help coordinate purchases between buyers and suppliers. Now that you have a middleman, also known as an “agent”, to coordinate your purchase, buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA has never been easier.
In this article, we will get you familiar with Alibaba, and its B2C proprietary, also known as Aliexpress. We’ll discuss how safe it is to buy from Alibaba, how to find suppliers, ask for samples, the risks of purchasing imports, and finally, sell from Alibaba to Amazon.
Ready to start? Let’s jump right in!
What is Alibaba and how can it help third-party sellers?
Alibaba is a B2B (business to business) global e-commerce platform that helps connect manufacturers directly to brands and sellers. A large majority of factories and producers of products are based in China and Asia. However, there has been a large language and geometric barrier that made it impossible for buyers from Western countries and sellers from China and Asia to connect with each other.
Through Alibaba, this problem has been solved. Suppliers and manufacturers of millions of products can now offer their items at factory prices to Western sellers. Those who want to make money by selling on platforms such as eBay, Amz, and other marketplaces online can now source their products directly through Alibaba.
Alibaba is unlike traditional B2C (business to consumer) marketplaces like Amazon, where you are dealing with a third-party seller. In Alibaba, you are now talking directly with the factories, manufacturers, and creators of products. It’s like buying products directly from a local factory and reselling them for a profit. Bulk purchases are encouraged when dealing with B2B import businesses such as this to save money on shipping and product costs.
What Makes Alibaba Great For Amazon Sellers?
There are many reasons why third-party sellers love buying from this method. To make it simpler and easier to understand, we have broken down these reasons in the section below:
This is perhaps the most important reason third-party AMZ sellers flock to Ali Baba. As one of the cheapest direct suppliers and manufacturers sources, you just can’t beat the prices of the items sold here.
Just to give you an idea, items that usually sell for more than $20 on Amz can be bought in bulk from suppliers in Ali Baba for as low as a dollar per piece (sometimes even less). This gives third-party sellers more room to make profits, especially since they will be using FBA as their main fulfillment method.
Alibaba, compared to other global B2B websites, has a much more familiar and user-friendly interface. Since it just looks similar to any other marketplace such as eBay or Amz, even new sellers won’t have problems navigating the website.
The website has its main search bar where you can enter the keyword of the product you are looking for. You can also filter the results based on the criteria that you are looking for to make sure that your results will be the most relevant for your query.
Can Customize Products for Private Labeling
So you want to start your brand of products by rebranding generic ones? If you use Ali Baba as your communication channel, that can be done directly with the manufacturer. Private label sellers who want to start selling products under their name and logo can ask the manufacturers in Ali Baba to do these necessary customizations. You have to send them your product name and logo and fulfill the requirements.
By doing this, you can protect your products from being copied by other people. You can also start building your brand and attract more loyal customers once you have your name and logo on your products.
Guarantee and Protection
Alibaba protects its customers by letting them choose manufacturers and suppliers that have proven track records. The Alibaba guarantee makes it easier for buyers to get their money back if a supplier or manufacturer doesn’t meet the requirements. If the demands that have been agreed upon between the buyer and the seller are not fulfilled, you can rely on Ali Baba’s guarantee and money-back protection.
Easy to Find Great Quality of Suppliers
In Ali Baba, finding great suppliers is as easy as counting 1-2-3. And we are not even joking about that. Why? Because Ali Baba maintains the quality of its suppliers by making sure that they are verified.
A verified supplier in Ali Baba means that the business you deal with has passed all the quality and product standards required. To initially qualify as a Verified Supplier, several variables such as the company’s profile, production factory capabilities, product quality, and process controls need to pass. A Verified Seller will only have its badge appear on its profiled after being inspected, verified, and assessed by the independent third-party quality assurance companies hired by Ali Baba.
What Kind Of Sellers Can Benefit In Buying From Alibaba To Amazon FBA?
While all types of third-party sellers can benefit from the low prices offered by the manufacturers in Alibaba, two sellers benefit more from it. Buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA has a bigger impact on these two selling models listed below:
Dropshipping is one of the most popular selling models on Amazon. Sellers who engage in drop shipping don’t need to stock up their own inventory, which means they don’t have to put out as big of initial capital to start.
Drop shipping works like this. When a customer purchases a product from a seller’s store, the seller forwards the customer order information to the Ali Baba or Aliexpress (Alibaba’s B2C proprietary company) supplier. Once the supplier receives the order, the supplier picks, packs, and sends the order to the customer. But when sending the product, the sender information used on the shipping label contains the name of the AMZ seller and not the supplier. The customer won’t know that the product came directly from the supplier and not from the seller itself.
Many manufacturers and suppliers on Alibaba (or Aliexpress) agree to do dropshipping. You can send a message to your chosen supplier or ask an agent to help you find a supplier that can do drop shipping if this model is something that you fancy doing.
Private Label Sellers
If you have been dreaming of building your own brand and starting your own line of products, then private labeling is the business for you. Under private labeling, a seller looks for a manufacturer who can produce the items required, and rebrand it with the seller’s logo and name.
Private Label sellers can contact factories and manufacturers directly to communicate what kind of products they need. Upon reaching an agreement, the factories or manufacturers will promise not to produce the same products for companies other than the seller who originally sourced them. The seller can send logos, packaging, and other important brand information to the factories. They will then create the products under these specifications, and forward the products to the seller’s Amazon FBA warehouse.
When a customer makes an order, the products will be taken from the FBA warehouse stocked with private label products. This is how buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA works, not only for private labels but for other selling models as well.
How to Find Suppliers from Alibaba
If you already have a product in mind, the steps in this next section will help you find the best suppliers from Alibaba. If you don’t have a product in mind yet, we’ll also let you in on a software seller solution to help you find the best products to sell on Amazon.
Here are the steps to find suppliers from Alibaba to Amazon FBA:
1: Go to Alibaba.com and search for a product that you would like to sell.
2. On the search bar, type the product that you are looking for. In this example, we tried using the keyword “camera holder” as an example
3. Browse the results. Now you’ll see several recommendations from the website. However, the key to finding the best suppliers is to use the filters. Check the left side of the website page to see the filters available.
4. Click the “Trade assurance” and “Verified supplier” checkboxes to ensure that you only find the most credible and trusted suppliers.
5. You can also use other filters. Examples are filters for minimum orders you want to order to find suppliers willing to sell a smaller number of products per batch. You can also use price, country, materials, and certification filters to further dig deep into the database.
6. Once you have found a supplier, click its name to go directly to the supplier’s product page. You’ll see all the relevant information that you need here. Click the “Contact supplier” on the right side of the page to talk directly to the supplier. Sometimes, the suppliers also have a “chat now” button that you can use
7. Please communicate with the supplier and let them know that you are looking for a product that can be shipped directly from Alibaba to Amazon FBA. Ask the suppliers if they are willing to do this (most of them will likely say yes, especially if they are verified).
8. Don’t forget to ask for samples. Some suppliers only give out paid samples, but some offer free ones. Be patient since some samples can take a few days up to a week or more to arrive (especially with the pandemic shipping restrictions around the world)
9. Once you have agreed on all the details (minimum number of orders, branding, etc), settle all the payment fees. It will vary per supplier, but they usually accept direct bank transfers, Paypal, or credit card payments. Make sure that the supplier follows the Amazon FBA Shipping and preparation requirement standards so your shipment won’t be rejected by the fulfillment center.
10. Track the order from Alibaba to Amazon FBA. Ensure to constantly check on this just in case a shipping mishap happens to avoid your products getting lost in transit. Once your order arrives, confirm with AMZ that the warehouse fulfillment center has already received your shipment.
That is it! Once you get this process streamlined, you’ll be able to find the best suppliers Ali Baba and enjoy their huge discounts for your online store inventory.
Finding the best suppliers that offer the lowest prices is much easier with Alibaba. By connecting AMZ third-party sellers with the most credible manufacturers, expanding online business has never been easier.
But buying from Alibaba to Amazon FBA doesn’t stop there. You still need to decide what the best products to sell are. When it comes to finding winning products, Zonbase is the best software solution that you can find. With 13+ tools and services to help sellers in keyword research, product research, and listing optimization, Zonbase is a game-changer that your business needs right now.