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Buying wholesale from China

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday May 2, 2010 )

I continually get emails from Chinese companies offering products at dirt cheap prices – if I buy huge quantities. If you’re an online retailer looking to buy small quantities of items from China, and to be assured of delivery, this service may be of interest to you.

If you have researched wholesale products manufactured in China, then no doubt you would have stumbled upon AliBaba at some point. It’s a wholesale marketplace with a range of items that is truly mind-boggling; listing more than three million listed products from more than 40 consumer products categories.

Prices offered are very attractive, but are usually dependent on buying in very large lots.

AliBaba recently formally launched AliExpress, an ecommerce platform offering smaller-quantity orders, instant online transactions, and an escrow service to protect buyers and sellers. The company says the service will directly address the needs of businesses that require smaller quantities that can be shipped immediately. Some participating suppliers are also offering to dropship items

This isn’t a minor project for AliBaba – according to the press release about the new service, the company will invest more than US$100 million in the development of AliExpress. AliExpress is not only good news for small-lot buyers, it will also give Chinese manufacturers another avenue aside from eBay to address that niche.

An important aspect is the escrow feature. In case you haven’t heard of escrow, it’s where a trusted intermediary “quarantines” the buyer’s payment and then tells the seller that payment has been made. Once the buyer has received the goods, the payment is released to the seller – it just provides a bit of added peace of mind for both parties.

The initial supplier base consists of suppliers from China, but the service will eventually include international suppliers as well.


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