14 Things You Need to Know before buying on Alibaba

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Buying on a different site can be confusing or a bit scary if you don't know what to look out for.

We are going to help you with safety buying on Alibaba and how to buy on Alibaba.

Not everyone knows how to buy on Alibaba. Alibaba is new to some people.

Here are some helpful tips, tricks, and info to look out for when buying on alibaba.com.

Safety buying on Alibaba

When you start sourcing from Alibaba, the most important things is that how to safety buying on Alibaba, you should prepare lot before buying, here are FAQs people ask before, keep watching.

1. How do you know the stars they have and the credibility?

Sometimes it can seem like reviews have been faked and the stars people leave might not be genuine. A lot of times it's hard to know who to trust even while reading reviews.

The best thing to look out for is verification. On alibaba.com you can see a company's rating by clicking on the person's profile who is selling the item you are trying to purchase.

There you can see their legit response rate and be more reassured about the person or company you are buying from.

Now Alibaba had changed their rate methods, after click company profile, you'll find the Transaction level , that means when the supplier sell more products and get more payment, this score will get higher, so this score cannot totally verify whether this company has scammed.

alibaba transaction level

2. How do you find out if they're a manufacturer or agent?

Some people rather buy their products from an actual company rather than an agent. Sometimes it can be hard to tell one from the other though.

One good way of telling if you're dealing with an agent or manufacturer is by doing some extra research on them. Using good always comes in handy in finding out some info.

Make sure you get the full company's name and Google it. Also, make sure the company has a legit email address and not a private one. Also, check their reviews.

People will let you know if you are dealing with a manufacturer or an agent, ask in Alibaba forum. Also, Alibaba has given out a verified symbol to the company's that they have verified.

Last but not least, pay for a report. You can get more info in the report like what company they are, the location, the pictures and even videos

Check Alibaba supplier's company profile, will get some useful messages.

3. How do you know if they have the exact product that you are looking for?

If you are wondering if they legit have the item you are asking for, a smart move would be to ask them for a picture of the item.

They should have no problem with sending you a real photo of the item you plan on buying. If they refuse, that could be a red flag.

And then you can search their image in image.google.com to check whether the supplier copied images.

You can also tell the supplier that your product needs to be compliant with a US CPSC regulation. This makes sure that the products you receive matches with what you've ordered and also it makes sure your items don't come damaged or ruined.

Also, you can ask for a sample of the item, clothing or product you are looking to purchase. They will send you over a piece or pieces of the item you are asking about so that you know they have the actual product you've been wanting to purchase.

Using google image to check whether supplier has copied images

4. How to check Alibaba product quality?

If you want to make sure you are buying quality products then you should read up on Alibaba's Trade Assurance User Guide.

This guide is a free service by alibaba.com to create trust within the trading. Alibaba provides protection so that you have the assurance to know that the suppliers are dedicated and homering the key terms of the contract.

This protection guide includes; On-time shipment protection, payment protection for your covered amount, and product quality protection.

Above the product quality protection, you need check product by yourself, so ask a sample from the supplier is also important!

Alibaba tradeas surance

Ask samples

5. How to ask samples from Alibaba?

If you want to get the free samples from Alibaba you will have to speak to the suppliers with proper speech and have a professional tone.

Make sure you also present your company or business name to the supplier. Also if you have a website, mention the website you plan to use or sell the product on.

Make sure you start off small so you don't scare the supplier away from giving you the samples.

Usually, Alibaba supplier can send you a sample free when you act as a professional company, but they'll charge the shipping fee.

Others don't offer free sample, but they can return the sample fee after the real orders.

Because lots of people asked free sample but didn't return back, charge for sample fee is a protection for suppliers themselves.

We suggest that after you get a sample cost, make a choice between send sample to you or hire a sourcing agent to help you check the quality.

Communication With Alibaba Suppliers

6. Do I get sent stuff every day? Is it like a subscription-based purchase?

Alibaba does not offer subscription-based purchases. However, you can sign up for their member package to become a member. It is completely free and you can post unlimited buying requests directly to suppliers.

7. Did Alibaba need to require a registered business name?

If you are a buyer don't have a business name or own a company, you would be confused can individuals buy from Alibaba, don't worry, you can sign up without any business name.

Once you get to the registration part you should put your name in the company name field. If you are the supplier and want to obtain the gold supplier membership then you will have to have a legal business with a legal business name. This way you will get more buyers since they know your company or business is legit.

For the long relationship, we suggest you can sign up a domain, with professional domain email address, what's more, you can quickly build a simple business website, win more opportunities and trust from suppliers.

You can sign in Alibaba with your social account either.

8. How long does it usually take to get a response?

If you have messaged the supplier and wondering how long it will take to get a response back then you should check their response rate.

The higher a supplier's response rate is, the higher they will respond to you quickly. This is a good reason to always buy from suppliers who typically have a higher response rate.

If it is urgent then you should contact the supplier via phone or Trade manager.

Can talk with supplier real time using trademanager

9. Did Alibaba supplier support more languages?

Alibaba has launched multi-language sites other than English. So if you are a buyer or seller you can choose from many different languages.

Currently, 11 multi-language sites are available for Gold members to post new product and edit/manage their automatically translated products from English site:

  • Japanese Site: http://japanese.alibaba.com
  • Spanish Site: http://spanish.alibaba.com
  • Portuguese Site: http://portuguese.alibaba.com
  • Russian Site: http://russian.alibaba.com
  • French Site: http://french.alibaba.com
  • German Site: http://german.alibaba.com
  • Italian Site: http://italian.alibaba.com
  • Arabic Site: http://arabic.alibaba.com
  • Korean Site: http://korean.alibaba.com
  • Turkish Site: http://turkish.alibaba.com
  • Vietnamese Site: http://vietnamese.alibaba.com

They also have four multi-language sites that only display the auto-translated:

  • Thai Site: http://thai.alibaba.com
  • Dutch site: http://dutch.alibaba.com
  • Indonesia site: http://indonesian.alibaba.com
  • Hebrew site: http://hebrew.alibaba.com

Only the gold members can use these options.

Payment and price

10. Does manufacturer price include all overseas fees?

Depending on which supplier you decide to buy your product or item from, they may or may not include in the additional overseas fees.

You can always contact the supplier to discuss which fees are including in the final order pricing.

11. Don't have visa or master card, how can I pay Alibaba supplier?

If you don't have a visa or master card to pay the supplier you should use or set up your own PayPal account. It is recommended that PayPal is the best to buy on Alibaba.

But lots of suppliers don't accept Paypal because PayPal’s “buyer protection” policies, they would like to TT transfer, so if Paypal has been accepted by suppliers, keep them as your precious.

You can also go to any local drug or convenience store and purchase a pre-paid visa card as well.


12. Is there a way to get it delivered to your house?

If you want to get your items shipped to your home address you might want to think about setting up an Aliexpress account. Alibaba owns Aliexpress and it is the easier way to order things you want shipping to your house, or you can hire a freight forwarder in China to help your whole shipping.

13. Shipping products by me or supplier?

You have to check with the supplier if you want to know the exact amount you will be paying to have your items shipped to you. If you are the one doing the shipping of products then you should set your price and fees it will cost to ship your product.

After Sale

14. What can you do when you meet broken products.

If you happen to receive any broken, damaged or ruin products, there are a few things you can and should do. Sometimes even if your product that you bought might seem fine it can still break down or become damaged in a few days.

If it's clearly damaged then the supplier just committed fraud. However, if you have bought the products as is and taken a receipt of your order then there isn't much you can do.

The supplier isn't under any obligations to help you fix OE repair your problem with the product. Since the product has been delivered he has legally done what he was supposed to do and can still have you pay for it.

It's also hard once the product has been shipped and in your hands, the supplier can claim that you were the one responsible for the damage. You could also ship the product back to the supplier if he agrees to it.

This is a good reason to have everything written down before buying or purchasing anything. Make sure it's all written down so if this happens to you, you have it all on paper about your requirements when it comes to what you are buying.

So you want to negotiate some type of quality standards when it comes to what you are buying and make sure the supplier agrees to it and writes down his part. You want all of that in writing before you put up any money.

If you have this experience where an item you purchased has come to you damaged, broken or ruined in some way the first thing you can do is contact the supplier.

If the supplier doesn't handle it or doesn't get back to you then you can go ahead and lodge a dispute or complaint against the supplier. You can go to the site and go to the Complaint Center and leave your concerns and complaints there.


Starting buying from Alibaba is not very easy, how to find a reliable supplier and how to find best quality/price products, these questions will surround all time.

Comment what questions you are confusing now, let's work together how to resolve them.

Hope this article can help you.

16 thoughts on “14 Things You Need to Know before buying on Alibaba”

  1. Hello,

    I have been dealing with many suppliers on Alibaba.

    However it has become confusing and much of what you have stated is relevant to me.

    How would you help?



    Robert Pettinato

  2. I received a damaged trailer from China thru alibaba the supplier said it must of got damaged over seas and wants to send me accessories but I don’t want that because I didn’t want a damaged trailer

    • Sorry to hear that, maybe some thing happened during the shipping. Wish you and the supplier can make a good solution.

  3. dear:sir
    i want to import goods from china and wants to know if your company inspect the supplier’s firm ?
    nik bakhsh

  4. Hi, can we import as an individual from china to UAE or must be from a trading company?
    or if there is any other way for individuals

  5. Hi
    Can u please tell me
    Can I buy s motorcycle
    Not the big one
    I mean pitbike.
    Or mini moto
    I can’t find if anybody was buying it and it’s very hard to find info about how much approximately it costs.
    Thank you

    • Hi, Rokas, if you want to buy only one pitbike, the best way I think you can buy from aliexpress, that’s a business to customers, and you find the last cost to your country.

    • Hi, Mewael, In general, Alibaba manufacturers don’t provide retail, they only provide wholesale goods, but a few merchants can be delivered without any quantities needed, it’s depend on the supplier , you can try to communicate directly with the seller, or you can try aliexpress, this is alibaba company’s e-commerce platform.

  6. I need someone to communicate with home building products.
    Like marble stone tiles 8×8 in honed white and gray to make a checkerboard pattern. Colbot blue glass tile. Wide plank hardwood flooring. Stone carveds fireplaces and fountains.


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