Alibaba Dropshipping: Tips on how to Safely Dropship From Alibaba (2021)

If you wish to begin a profitable ecommerce enterprise, you’ll want to know the way to discover and accomplice with efficient, reliable suppliers. And nowadays, many companies look to nations like China for the perfect offers — particularly as worldwide product sourcing has by no means been simpler.

Nevertheless, sourcing merchandise from the opposite aspect of the world is not precisely easy. Time zones, language boundaries, and unreliable suppliers are simply a few of the challenges you may must navigate to succeed.

So, how are you going to discover an awesome Alibaba dropshipping provider?

On this Alibaba dropshipping information, you may be taught all the things you’ll want to know to get began, together with:

  • The distinction between Alibaba and AliExpress
  • Tips on how to vet Alibaba dropshipping suppliers
  • Tips on how to discover nice Alibaba dropshipping suppliers

However first, let’s cowl the fundamentals.

Don’t anticipate another person to do it. Rent your self and begin calling the pictures.

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What’s Alibaba?

The Alibaba Group is the largest ecommerce firm on this planet, and it owns many Chinese language on-line marketplaces, together with, AliExpress, Taobao, and Tmall

Now, when you’re seeking to supply merchandise from overseas, (which we’ll confer with as ‘Alibaba’ from right here on out) is a incredible place to seek out suppliers. Why? In brief, the platform is huge —  so you possibly can supply just about any kind of product utilizing the service.

Alibaba Dropshipping

What is the Distinction Between Alibaba and AliExpress?

In the event you analysis dropshipping, you may most likely discover tons of knowledge on AliExpress dropshipping — however what about Alibaba?

It is necessary to know that Alibaba and AliExpress are completely different platforms which have completely different approaches to ecommerce. This is the important thing distinction:

  • Alibaba is a business-to-business (B2B) market
  • AliExpress is a retail market

Which means that Alibaba is primarily utilized by companies seeking to supply massive portions of merchandise from producers, wholesalers, and merchants. Because of this, Alibaba is right for locating a producer to provide an authentic design or supply personal label merchandise (which is if you add your branding to current merchandise).

Alternatively, AliExpress is utilized by each customers and small companies to buy current merchandise individually or in small batches. As well as, many sellers on the platform additionally supply ePacket transport — quick worldwide transport. Because of this, it is the ‘go-to’ platform of selection for dropshippers.

AliExpress Dropshipping

The picture under illustrates a few of the key variations between Alibaba and AliExpress:

Alibaba vs. AliExpress

So, if you wish to hit the bottom operating, you possibly can begin dropshipping with AliExpress by way of Oberlo. Oberlo makes it dead-simple to seek out profitable dropshipping merchandise and add them to your Shopify retailer so you can begin promoting in minutes.

Oberlo Dropshipping

Does Alibaba Dropship?

In brief? Sure, you can begin dropshipping with Alibaba!

Nevertheless, it is a bit extra tough to seek out and accomplice with dropshipping suppliers on Alibaba than on AliExpress. It is because most suppliers on Alibaba are set as much as promote massive portions of products to wholesalers and retailers — and lots of aren’t ready or eager about promoting and transport particular person objects to customers overseas.

For these causes, dropshipping from Alibaba takes much more work than dropshipping instruments like Oberlo.

That mentioned, you will discover distinctive merchandise and suppliers on Alibaba that are not listed on AliExpress. So, Alibaba dropshipping will be an effective way to distinguish your self from the competitors.

Is Alibaba Dropshipping Protected? 5 Methods to Vet Suppliers 

Though there are many high quality suppliers on the market, there are additionally just a few unscrupulous ones. So, be sure to do loads of due diligence earlier than handing over your hard-earned money.

Listed below are 5 dropshipping ideas that will help you vet suppliers earlier than inserting an order:

  1. Choose Verified Sellers who supply Commerce Assurance (Alibaba’s built-in fee safety that safeguards your orders)
  2. Ask to see reliable documentation, akin to a enterprise license, compliance certificates, and pictures of the manufacturing facility or warehouse
  3. Ask for a enterprise tackle and cellphone quantity — then use Google Earth to ensure it is an precise tackle and name the quantity to verify it is reliable
  4. Verify suppliers’ critiques and ask to see references from earlier prospects
  5. Be cautious of offers that appear too good to be true and stroll away if one thing would not really feel proper

Tips on how to Dropship With Alibaba, Step-by-Step

If you wish to start dropshipping on Alibaba, you are most likely questioning the way to get began. To assist, here is a step-by-step information to sourcing merchandise safely with Alibaba.

Step 1. Begin Your Seek for Suppliers

To begin, head to Alibaba and seek for the product you wish to promote — you possibly can then use the left sidebar to hone in on an appropriate provider.

Alibaba Dropshipping

It is a good suggestion to filter suppliers by Commerce Assurance — even when you do not use the service your self. “Able to Ship” and “Quick Dispatch” are additionally good choices to verify, as suppliers that fulfill these standards usually tend to dropship merchandise.

Step 2. Verify the Minimal Order Amount (MOQ) and Value

As soon as you have discovered a possible itemizing, take a look at the product web page and observe the minimal order amount — also referred to as MOQ.

Within the instance under, the provider permits patrons to buy 1 unit at a time:

Alibaba Dropshipping

Typically the product’s MOQ is seen front-and-center, and different occasions, you may should scan the web page to seek out it. To hurry up this course of, you possibly can hit “Management” and “F” in your keyboard to go looking the web page’s textual content, then attempt writing “MOQ,” “minimal,” or “order.”

One other key consideration is the unit value. For the itemizing above, we will see that the value for 1-18 items is $25 — discover how the value drops significantly as you order extra merchandise. Nevertheless, this value would not embody transport prices that are “To Be Negotiated.”

Step 3. Compile a Checklist of Potential Suppliers

Most suppliers that you simply contact will not work out for one purpose or one other. For instance, they may:

  • Be unable to satisfy your verification necessities
  • Not have sufficient inventory or capability to tackle extra work
  • Provide unacceptable fee phrases and refuse to barter

So, it is best to compile an inventory of potential suppliers after which attain out to many without delay. It will mean you can safe an appropriate provider quicker.

At this stage, a promising provider will:

  • Promote the product you need
  • Provide a MOQ of 1
  • Checklist cheap costs
  • Be verified and supply Commerce Assurance
  • Have good critiques

Upon getting an inventory of not less than 5-10 suppliers, it is time to join with them.

Step 4. Contact Suppliers and Ask About Dropshipping

Not each product web page will clearly listing the unit costs and MOQs. So, you may must contact many suppliers to seek out out in the event that they’re open to dropshipping merchandise to your prospects in whichever nation you intend to promote in.

Maybe the best strategy to contact suppliers on Alibaba is to make use of the platform’s messaging service. Nevertheless, some suppliers will choose that you simply name, electronic mail, or use WeChat — China’s largest messaging app.

It is value remembering that the majority suppliers listed on Alibaba are based mostly in China, so that you’re probably in a distinct timezone!

Plus, except you converse fluent Mandarin, communication can typically be difficult. 

Many suppliers will use a device like Google Translate to translate your messages and their replies. You’ll be able to assist to keep away from misunderstandings through the use of easy phrases, quick sentences, and checking for spelling errors. It additionally helps to bullet level inquiries to make it straightforward for suppliers to answer to every one individually.

This is a template that you should use to inquire about dropshipping:


My identify is Jane, and I’m with ABC Firm.

We’re looking for a dependable accomplice to dropship Product XYZ. Our prospects are in the USA.

Please may you reply some questions:

  • What’s your minimal order amount (MOQ)?
  • What’s the value per unit?
  • How lengthy will orders take to reach in the USA?
  • What are your fee phrases for brand new prospects?

I’d additionally prefer to order a pattern. Are you able to please inform me the price of a pattern despatched to:

Jane Smith

100 Beverly Hills

Los Angeles



United States



ABC Firm


Step 5. Agree on a Cost Technique

It is value understanding the most typical fee strategies used on Alibaba, so you possibly can attempt to discover a provider that is open to utilizing your most popular technique.

This is a fast rundown of 4 frequent fee phrases used:

1. Financial institution Switch

Transfers to Chinese language suppliers are normally made utilizing Telegraphic Switch or ‘T/T’ funds. With this fee technique, the provider will usually wish to obtain the complete fee earlier than beginning manufacturing. A financial institution switch can also be a comparatively sluggish and cumbersome strategy to ship cash, so it is not well-suited to dropshipping. Plus, it’s totally excessive threat — particularly when coping with unknown suppliers.

2. Alibaba Commerce Assurance (ESCROW)

Escrow providers are third-parties that maintain a purchaser’s cash and solely pay it to suppliers when the customer confirms passable supply of an order.

Because of this, it is a very secure strategy to switch cash. Nevertheless, like financial institution transfers, it is not the quickest strategy to ship cash. So, whereas safe, it is not preferrred for dropshipping.

3. Credit score and Debit Card Cost

Alibaba facilitates credit score and debit card funds from all main processors, together with MasterCard, Visa, and American Categorical. Nevertheless, the transaction charges concerned could make this fee technique expensive for patrons and impression your margins.

3. PayPal

PayPal is one other fee technique provided by some Alibaba suppliers. For patrons, it is easy to make use of and affords comparatively good purchaser safety. Nevertheless, suppliers will normally keep away from it because of the platform’s charges, the challenges of withdrawing cash, and the potential of chargebacks by unscrupulous patrons.

All in all, PayPal is the most suitable choice for brand new patrons.

Step 6. Shortlist Suppliers, Order Samples, and Then Choose a Provider

It is now time to separate the wheat from the chaff and choose a few Alibaba dropshipping suppliers that appear like a great match. It is value noting that you could be must repeat the method outlined above just a few occasions earlier than you discover appropriate suppliers.

When shortlisting suppliers, be sure to contemplate issues like:

  • The unit value
  • The fee phrases
  • How properly every provider communicates
  • How lengthy it’s going to take for the provider to meet orders

As soon as you have bought an inventory of fine suppliers, it is time to order samples. Be sure to match every provider’s samples and take a look at them totally.

Lastly, choose an Alibaba dropshipping provider!

You probably have two or extra suppliers which might be an awesome match, search for further alternatives to capitalize on.

For instance, maybe one in all your suppliers additionally affords a personal labeling choice. On this occasion, it’s possible you’ll choose to make use of this provider as a result of it affords a possibility to increase and develop a singular model sooner or later.

Private Labeling

Subsequent, you may must arrange your on-line retailer, optimize your product pages, and drive gross sales.

Supply Merchandise with Alibaba Dropshipping At the moment

Sourcing merchandise from Alibaba will be difficult and time-consuming — particularly when in comparison with different dropshipping strategies like Oberlo. However though Alibaba usually facilitates bulk B2B purchases, it is attainable to seek out extremely worthwhile dropshipping offers on the platform.

When looking for Alibaba dropshipping suppliers, be sure to confirm their legitimacy and trustworthiness earlier than inserting an order. And if one thing would not really feel proper, transfer on and discover one other provider.

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