Sourcing products from China to sell on Amazon from Alibaba can often be tricky, especially for Westerners. They are either overwhelmed by the large supplier list or fear the possibly of getting scammed. I am going to share my five hacks to sourcing products from China on Alibaba based on my experiences. Finding suppliers abroad for FBA is stressful, but once you’ve gone through the sourcing process a few times, you’ll begin to feel like an expert.

1. The Best Time To Source Products On Alibaba

Since Alibaba’s server is based in the U.S. and all the product data updates every Tuesday at 12PM PST, the product keyword rankings will renew every Tuesday. So if you conduct searches on Tuesdays, you will get the latest supplier list ranking.

2. Speed Up The Sourcing Process

3. Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation!

Ever since I was a kid my mum always bargained the heck out of merchants every time we went shopping and if the merchants didn’t accept the prices she would just walk away. I didn’t want to walk away because I really liked the product but mum would say: “Don’t worry. They will call us back in 10 seconds”… and they did every single time! Chinese merchants used to love Western customers because bargaining wasn’t really part of their culture. Nowadays, Westerners are catching on and starting to bargain, so the merchants raise their prices by at least half so they still profit.

When it comes to sourcing products on Alibaba, the suppliers can’t raise the prices by half because everything is transparent online, but there is still room for negotiation. You might receive different prices for the same product. Always compare the quality and prices of different samples before negotiating the price with the selected supplier for the formal order and do not push the prices too hard. Everything is negotiable with Chinese suppliers including prices, minimum order, payment terms etc.

4. What You See Is Not Always What You Get!

There is not a 100% guarantee that the suppliers won’t scam you even if you choose suppliers with “Golden supplier,” “Accessed Supplier,” and “Trade assurance” badges. A few things you can do check out the suppliers:

5. Payment

Most suppliers offer payment options like TT, Paypal, and Western Union. Do not work with suppliers who only accept wire transfers, as they are likely scamming you. Try to negotiate the payment terms with the suppliers and try to avoid paying 100% upfront. PayPal is a popular payment method for buyers as it presents a much lower risk and good buyer protection. But it’s less popular with suppliers due to difficulties with withdrawing money, high tax rates, and potential chargebacks from dishonest buyers. If a supplier accepts PayPal as a payment option, they are likely trustworthy.

Have you tried sourcing from suppliers on Alibaba?

What kind of tricks and tips have you found helpful?

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