Alibaba was always recognized for being a terrific place to buy things in bulk, but it wasn’t really designed for dropshipping or buying products one at a time.
With the launch of the Alibaba Dropshipping Center, that has all changed!
We’ll look at what the Alibaba Dropshipping Center has to offer and whether it’s worth using for dropshipping in this article.
What is the Alibaba Dropshipping Center?
Visit Alibaba Dropshipping
The Alibaba Dropshipping Center is a free tool that allows you to search Alibaba for dropshipping suppliers and items.
But it isn’t the only advantage it has. You’ll be able to effortlessly import products into your business and handle orders more efficiently in addition to discovering products and suppliers.
The Alibaba Dropshipping Center, which started in early June 2021, allows anyone to quickly and conveniently access a global network of providers!
What is Alibaba?
The Alibaba Group is the world’s largest eCommerce corporation, and it controls Alibaba.com, AliExpress, Taobao, and Tmall, among other Chinese online marketplaces.
If you’re looking for products from other countries, Alibaba.com is a great place to start. Why? In a nutshell, the platform is vast, allowing you to source nearly any type of product through it.
What Is the Difference Between AliExpress and Alibaba?
If you look up dropshipping on AliExpress, you’ll definitely discover a lot of information, but what about Alibaba?
It’s critical to recognize that Alibaba and AliExpress are two distinct platforms with distinct eCommerce strategies. Here’s the fundamental distinction:
- Alibaba is a B2B (business-to-business) platform.
- AliExpress is an online shopping mall.
Alibaba is therefore predominantly utilized by companies seeking big quantities of products from manufacturers, wholesalers, and traders. As a result, Alibaba is an excellent resource for locating a manufacturer to build a unique design or sourcing private label products (which is when you add your branding to existing products).
AliExpress, on the other hand, is used by both individuals and small businesses to buy current products in small batches or individually. Furthermore, many merchants on the platform provide ePacket delivery, which is a speedy international shipping option. As a result, it has become the “go-to” site for dropshippers.
What can the Alibaba Dropshipping Center be Used For?
The name “Alibaba Dropshipping Center” is catchy, but how does it assist you accomplish dropshipping with Alibaba more easily?
1. Search Products
Dropshipping was previously possible with Alibaba, but you had to locate a supplier willing to sell their product without a minimum order quantity. Finding suppliers that would sell their products one by one on Alibaba was difficult because it was largely a site for buying products in bulk for the business-to-business industry.
The Alibaba Dropshipping Center’s “Search Products” feature essentially collects all of Alibaba’s products that don’t require a minimum order quantity.
By adding several elements that make locating your preferred goods on Alibaba easier, it helps you to find dropshipping products quickly.
You can filter on 12 different categories, such as clothes, home appliances, and consumer electronics, for example. You will also be able to select your chosen currency and “Ship to” region.
You’ll find the pricing, delivery cost, and processing time for each product shown. You can always click on it to view the regular Alibaba product page for more information about the product.
2. Make an Import List
With a single click of a button, you may add a winning product to your import list after searching and locating it on the Alibaba Dropshipping Center.
You can see a list of all the products you’ve added to your import list. You can customize all of the product’s details here, and the product will be ready to be pushed to your store! You’ll be able to give it a suitable name, add it to a collection, write a product description, and update its variants and photos.
Furthermore, you can directly communicate with the supplier of your chosen products via the site. Before you start dropshipping the product, you can quickly ask them the most critical questions!
3. View Your Published Products
Once you’ve imported a product into your store, you may manage and change it on the “My Products” tab. If you wish to remove a product from your store, simply click the “Delete” button from this page.
4. View Your Orders
So you’ve identified a product to sell, developed a product page for it, and uploaded it to your store with a single click. Isn’t it time for you to start getting some orders in?
The Alibaba Dropshipping Center, on the other hand, will not be of use to you in this respect.
To let people know you exist and sell your stuff, you’ll need to do some marketing. However, the platform can help you in processing orders once they have been received.
On the “My Orders” page, you can accomplish this. Orders will show on this page when they have been received, and you will be able to fulfill them and send them directly to your supplier with a few simple clicks.
5. Adjust the Settings if Necessary
The Alibaba Dropshipping Center also has a settings page where you may change a variety of essential settings. Using the pricing rules, for example, you will be able to construct a simple automatic pricing plan. You can enter your product’s price as a function of the product cost and shipping fee using pricing rules. In other words, you can have the Alibaba Dropshipping Center automatically determine the pricing of your product based on the amount you pay for it.
It currently offers a pricing approach in which the price of your goods is set by the cost of the product and the shipping fee.
How to Dropship With Alibaba
You’re probably wondering where to start if you want to start dropshipping on Alibaba. Here’s a step-by-step guide to sourcing products safely on Alibaba to assist you.
1. Start Your Supplier Search
To begin, go to Alibaba and search for the product you wish to sell; from there, use the left sidebar to narrow down potential suppliers.
Even if you don’t utilize Trade Assurance, it’s a good idea to use it to filter vendors. “Ready to Ship” and “Fast Dispatch” are additional good alternatives to look into since suppliers who meet these requirements are more likely to dropship.
2. Check the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) and Price
Once you’ve identified a possible listing, look over the product page and take note of the minimum order quantity (MOQ). The MOQ for a product is sometimes obvious right away, and other times you’ll have to search the page to locate it. To expedite the procedure, use “Control” and “F” on your keyboard to search the page’s content, then type “MOQ,” “minimum,” or “order” into the search box.
Build a List of Possible Suppliers
The bulk of the suppliers you approach will not work out for one reason or another. For instance, they might:
- Be unable to fulfill your verification requirements
- Not enough inventory or capacity to take on further tasks
- Offer unacceptably high payment terms and refuse to bargain
As a result, it’s advisable to prepare a list of potential providers and then contact a large number of them at once. This will help you find a suitable source more quickly. It’s time to engage with your suppliers once you’ve compiled a list of at least 5-10.
Inquire about Dropshipping with Suppliers
The unit costs and minimum order quantities are not listed on every product page. So, you’ll need to contact a number of suppliers to see if they’re willing to dropship products to your clients in the country where you plan to sell.
Using Alibaba’s messaging service is perhaps the most convenient way to contact vendors. Some suppliers, on the other hand, will prefer that you call, email, or use WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app.
It’s worth noting that the majority of Alibaba’s suppliers are based in China, so you’re probably in a different time zone!
Communication can also be difficult if you don’t speak Mandarin fluently. Many suppliers will translate your messages and their responses using a tool like Google Translate. By using simple words, short sentences, and double-checking for spelling errors, you can help to avoid misunderstandings. It’s also a good idea to bullet point queries so that providers can respond to each one individually.
Decide on a Method of Payment
It’s a good idea to learn about the most prevalent payment methods on Alibaba so you can discover a supplier who accepts your preferred method.
Here’s an overview of four commonly used payment terms:
1. Alibaba Trade Assurance (ESCROW)
Escrow services are third-party companies that store a buyer’s funds and only release them to suppliers after the buyer acknowledges that an order has been delivered satisfactorily.
So it’s a very secure method of money transfer. It is not, however, the quickest option to transmit money, as it is with bank transactions. As a result, while it is secure, it is not suitable for dropshipping.
2. Bank Transfer
Telegraphic Transfer, or ‘T/T’ transfers, are commonly used to make payments to Chinese suppliers. When using this payment option, the supplier will typically want to be paid in full before beginning manufacturing. A bank transfer is also a slow and inconvenient method of sending money, so it’s not ideal for dropshipping. Furthermore, it carries a high level of danger, particularly when dealing with unknown providers.
3. Payment with Credit and Debit Card
All major credit and debit card processors, including MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, are accepted by Alibaba. The transaction costs, on the other hand, can make this payment option expensive for purchasers and have an influence on your margins.
Some Alibaba suppliers also accept PayPal as a form of payment. It’s simple to use for buyers and provides reasonable buyer protection. Suppliers, on the other hand, will normally avoid it because of the platform’s costs, the difficulties in withdrawing money, and the risk of chargebacks from unscrupulous consumers.
Overall, PayPal is the best choice for first-time buyers.
Shortlist Suppliers, Order Samples, and Then Select a Supplier
It’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff and choose a few Alibaba dropshipping suppliers that seem like a good fit. It’s worth noting that you may need to repeat the process outlined above a few times before you find suitable suppliers.
It’s time to order samples once you’ve compiled a list of reliable vendors. Make sure to compare and properly test each supplier’s samples.
AliExpress Dropshipping vs. Alibaba Dropshipping
Now that we’re getting close to the finish of the article, you might be asking yourself: Should I use Alibaba for dropshipping, or should I stick to AliExpress for dropshipping?
It’s actually a challenging question to respond to.
The advantages of AliExpress are the same as those of the Alibaba Dropshipping Center. It has no minimum order numbers, a large assortment of low-cost products, and it’s completely free. However, there are a few exceptions.
For example, AliExpress lacks an integrated system that allows you to import products, synchronize orders, and more. Using integration technologies like Oberlo or DSers, AliExpress may be readily connected to practically any eCommerce platform.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the AliExpress Dropshipping Center.
Congratulations on finishing our Alibaba Dropshipping Center beginner’s guide! You should now be familiar with the platform’s ins and outs and be prepared to use it for your dropshipping endeavors.
We now have a straightforward way to dropship with Alibaba thanks to the opening of the Alibaba Dropshipping Center.
Keep in mind that the platform is still in its early stages, so expect more exciting features in the future! So, in the meantime, let’s be patient and focus on improving our ecommerce store.