Alibaba is a massive e-commerce platform that connects buyers and suppliers from all over the world. It’s especially helpful for someone looking to get started with an e-commerce business to have this go-between in case of any issues or concerns. Another reason why Alibaba is great for starting an e-commerce business is the sheer number of suppliers available. There is a lot out there!
But there are trade-offs when using this kind of service.
First of all, let’s talk about consumer protections. Alibaba has consumer protections to ensure that you are getting what you pay for and that your experience is as smooth as possible. It is a secure platform and pretty simple to use. With Alibaba, you have access to a global network of suppliers and manufacturers, making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for if you are willing to wade through everything. And most of these suppliers have experience working with Amazon. They are used to boxing and labeling inventory for Amazon so the receiving warehouse will accept your goods. However, because Alibaba makes connecting with suppliers in China available to anyone, pretty much everyone is trying to get into the market in one way or another.
And of course, be aware that you are paying for this convenience and security with higher prices $$$$ I’ve even known importers who have skipped Alibaba and physically gone to China and found new niches that no one else has discovered, simply because those companies didn’t have a web presence. It is completely possible to find something great through a friend of a friend, or by doing your own legwork, but it takes time and you don’t get those consumer protections. It all depends on how risk-averse you are.