From: Andrew Minalto eBay PowerSeller
Registered TWF Seller
CEO of SpicyAuctionTemplates.com Contact Me | FAQ
Hello & Welcome to the Easy Auction Business video newsletter!
Importing from China has always be a dream for many online sellers – low prices, direct access to manufacturers and potential profit to be made back home! All those things attract millions of businesses to buy stuff directly from China, avoiding local wholesalers and their appetite on mark-ups.
In reality, these days, with a help of the Internet anyone can sign up fair deals with large factories in China and secure container loads of goods. Even without leaving their homes! Even without being a registered company! Because it’s that simple, it is! You just find a supplier, make sure it’s legal (doh, the hardest part), place an order, make a payment and wait for goods to arrive. Sounds simple, right? And to some degree it is simple…
But here’s the catch –
There are still plenty of fraudsters out there who would love to take your hard earned money and tuck it deep into their pockets. And no, I’m not talking about obvious scammers selling iPhones for $200. I’m talking about legit companies in China who can still make a runner on you. If a wire transfer is the only payment method accepted by the supplier, there’s always a risk that you’ll never see your order arriving. So, the risk of getting scammed is one of the biggest obstacles for many people to start importing stuff from China.
Secondly, wholesalers will usually require minimum orders that may be worth several thousands of pounds. Moreover – the manufacturers will usually require substantial quantity per item in the order; say 100 dresses from one style. For newbies and people with limited capital this is a huge problem.
So minimum orders and safety are the two biggest problems newbie traders face when trying to import goods from China. Sure, if you’re smart enough you can figure out how to overcome this and still start importing process without using any 3rd party BUT from now on, there’s even an easier way of doing this.
In my previous newsletters I have mentioned companies like SmallVolume.com which are a really good middle way to minimize costs and get that needed security. But, what if there would be a way to avoid the 3rd party completely and still deal with direct suppliers and get best price possible? Ladies and gentleman, please welcome –
Here ya go – the world’s biggest B2B portal gets even better! Finally, Alibaba.com have launched their very own marketplace platform and started taking active part in the buying and selling process. This new change was welcomed from all involved parts and slowly but steadily gains trust and user base.
So, what exactly is Ali Express?
“Ali Express is a new wholesale marketplace from Alibaba.com offering factory prices on even the smallest orders. With minimum orders as low as 1 item, secure escrow payment, and express delivery with full tracking, Ali Express really is your one-stop-shop!”
That’s how they explain it and I can’t agree more – Ali Express is the ultimate marketplace for any newbie trader who wants to start dealing directly with suppliers from China but can’t afford huge orders and wants to feel totally safe on each and every transaction.
How Ali Express works?
Here’s a quick, step by step process perfectly describing the whole buying process:
Step 1 – search for products in a similar way you would do on the main Alibaba site.
Step 2 – place an online order for items that interest you
Step 3 – checkout and pay securely with a credit card
Step 4 – after the payment is made, supplier ships out your order via selected courier company
Step 5 – when you receive the package, check content and if everything is ok, confirm delivery on your Ali Express account.
Step 6 – release payment to supplier
As you can see – the whole process is very easy to use and totally secure as transaction is made using an in-built “Ali Pay” escrow service.
What is Ali Pay?
Alipay is a secure service that helps protect your payments when buying and selling on Alibaba.com. Alipay allows you to track your order and payment is only released to the supplier after you confirm delivery. Pay securely with your credit card without exposing your details. It's also FREE to buyers!
When you make a payment using Alipay, your money is deposited and held securely in Alipay's account. The money is only released to the supplier after you confirm your order was delivered in satisfactory condition.
You’ll also be able to track delivery of your order at any stage using a unique tracking number for one of the following leading shipping companies: DHL, UPS, EMS, TNT, FedEx and SF Express.
So, it’s similar to any other escrow service, like provided by Escrow.com for example, just much easier to use, suitable for small transaction and totally FREE!
What happens when there’s a dispute?
There’s a section on the website which clearly describes the procedure on how disputes are sorted out. Always try to avoid any conflict situations by doing some research on the supplier before ordering as well as checking quality of items by making a small, test order in first place.
Is it Any Good?
I personally haven’t used this service yet because I deal with direct suppliers outside the Alibaba marketplace but from what I see, it looks like a really great service for all the newbie traders out there! And it’s a great learning platform for any start-up as you’re 100% sure that you won’t get scammed!
Sure, as with any system there are things you should consider before jumping in:
Disputes – again, I haven’t used Ali Express and I don’t know what happens if the quality of arriving goods doesn’t live up to your expectations. Neither I know how well the dispute process is managed by Alibaba. But then again, if you would order outside Ali Express, situation wouldn’t be better, I’d say – it would be even worse as the money would be already in the supplier’s pocket. By using Ali Express, there’s still a chance to win the dispute because the supplier will have to do something to get their money released.
Mandatory use of a courier company. There’s no way around this as the tracking number is needed to use the escrow service, otherwise it would be impossible to prove the fact of delivery. So this means you won’t be able to use Air Freight or sea freight for these orders.
Finally – prices. This is not a downside really but you just have to know that buy buying a single item you’ll always pay much more than for a box of 100. That’s just how it works. So don’t expect to get the lowest price on retail orders. Anyway, this is still a much better way than to pay a 3rd party sourcing agent or company who will put their own mark-up on top of the final quote.
All in all, I think Alibaba has done a great job on introducing this new trading platform and it will change the way importing from China is being done! Sure, it’s nothing new – GlobalSources.com for example, had a similar system but they discontinued it..
Hopefully this time we’ll see a happy, never ending story!
Okay, that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed today’s newsletterIt would be great to hear your personal experience and stories dealing with Ali Express so please, feel free to share your stories and comments by getting in touch with me here.
Andrew Minalto is founder and CEO of the Web's largest auction templates company SpicyAuctionTemplates.com. Andrew runs successful information publishing business as well as an eBay store and an online retail store.
At the age of just 23 he has achieved a phenomenal success in selling both physical and information products online. Hard work and belief in his dreams enabled him to leave a dusty Dublin warehouse in winter 2006 to go full-time online.
The recently launched EasyAuctionBusiness.com website is dedicated for all people trying to achieve financial freedom or just to make some extra money by selling on eBay.co.uk