How To Find The Best Suppliers On Alibaba? Sourcing Hacks You Must Know

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Table of Contents

Alibaba’s platform is one of the most commonly used B2B platforms for foreign traders. However, there are thousands of suppliers on Alibaba’s platform, but not all of them are good, sometimes you may encounter bad suppliers. They may give us poor-quality or overpriced products. So how can you find the best supplier on Alibaba? This article will give a step-by-step guide on how to do it in the right way.

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Step 1: Identify the Products You’re Looking For

Narrow Search Scope

Before looking for a supplier, you need to know the exact product you want to buy. For example, if you want to buy a cup, you need to determine the type of cup you want and understand the relevant keywords, which can help you reduce the range of products. Because if you search for cups in general, the results won’t exactly match the product you’re looking for, just like the following picture shows:

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These are just the first four results, and the types of cups on Alibaba are numerous.

Know the Place Where Products Are Manufactured

If you know where most Chinese manufacturers of a certain type of product are located, you can narrow down your list of suppliers and more easily find real manufacturers.

If you know where most Chinese manufacturers of a certain type of product are located, you can narrow down your list of suppliers and more easily find real manufacturers.

Step 2: Filter Your Suppliers

After deciding what you want, you can filter your suppliers from the following aspects besides the place where the product is manufactured.

Gold Suppliers

When we search for a product on Alibaba, we only need to select from a range of gold suppliers.

Of course, the Gold Supplier does not necessarily mean that it is a good supplier, because you only need to pay Alibaba to get the title of Gold Supplier, but it is still more reliable than non-Gold Suppliers since at least these companies have bought the membership (Gold Supplier), and are thus more serious with their businesses.

More important than the Gold Supplier status itself is the number of years the supplier has maintained it. The best suppliers on Alibaba have often been gold suppliers for years. 

A common phenomenon with Alibaba is that a company may shut down operations and then restarts as a new company, so avoiding companies that have only been a gold supplier for a year may be a good strategy. This can avoid companies that don’t have a long-term track record, or those that fail for whatever reason and start over. The longer a company remains a gold supplier, the more reliable they are likely to be.

Rule Out Suppliers

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Preferable Suppliers

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Verified Suppliers

Some information of suppliers has a “Check” mark to show the information was verified by Alibaba. However, this does not mean you should buy all what the company says on its Alibaba profile.

Example

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This company on Alibaba – Shenzhen Dce Technology Co., Ltd. – is verified to have a factory on the 18th Floor of Seg Square in Shenzhen. Here is the picture of Seg Square in Shenzhen:

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How can a factory be located in the 18th Floor of this building?

Always remember to verify information of Alibaba suppliers before placing orders. Don’t be fooled by their lies.

Trade Transactions

Alibaba will show the number of the supplier’s trade transactions in the last 6 months. And if the supplier has no order in the past 6 months, it will not be displayed. The more transactions, the more reliable the supplier is. This means that the supplier has been trusted by many other customers and the risk in cooperating with the supplier is relatively low.

Rule Out Suppliers

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Preferable Suppliers

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Manufacturer or Trading Company

You can buy products both from a manufacturer and a trading company, it depends on your order quantity. If your the quantity is small, you’d better choose a trading company since the MOQ of a manufacturer is always very large. Though the price offered by a trading company can be a little more expensive than that of a manufacturer, the capital pressure becomes lighter. You can judge whether a company is a manufacturer or a trading company from its business type. Though the supplier may lie in some cases, this way still can work to some extent.

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Main Market

The company’s profile will also show its major markets, which is also an aspect to help you rule out some imperfect suppliers. It is a good sign if a supplier exports most of its products to North America and Western Europe. This means that their products have met the health and safety standards of those regions and that they are familiar with exporting to and dealing with foreign customers in those regions.

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But if the market is domestic, Central America or Africa, you need to think again, because these markets tend to have lower quality, health and safety standards.

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Response Rate

Response rate is not as important as the points listed above, because some buyers contact suppliers via email, which is not recorded on Alibaba’s platform. However, this can also reflect the enthusiasm of sellers to a certain extent. Especially for some urgent orders, if the response speed of sellers is too slow, the efficiency of the whole order will be seriously affected. Therefore, the supplier’s response rate should not be lower than 70%.

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After filtering the suppliers from the above aspects, you should have a list of your preferred suppliers.

Step 3: Screen the Listed Suppliers

Contact Suppliers

Since the price on Alibaba is not transparent, you still need to contact the suppliers for the real price. Make sure that you have at least 10 suppliers on your list. Then you can negotiate with the suppliers for further information like price, samples, payment,MOQ and so on. The mentioned information can help you futher screen your listed suppliers.

Ask professional Questions

Try to ask as many professional problems as possible related to the product and the production process. This will not only help you determine whether the supplier is a factory or a middleman (too many of Alibaba’s middlemen claim to be involved in the production themselves). It will also make your suppliers think you’re an expert in this area, so they won’t overquote their products.

By doing so, you can rule out some suppliers can leave 2 or 3 suppliers for you to choose from.

Step 4: Asking for Samples

Ask the remaining suppliers to provide samples, and select the right supplier according to the sample quality. But remember to sign clear contracts by defining quality based of the specifications of the samples.

Step 5: Company Background Check

If you still can’t decide which supplier you should choose, you’d better find an agent to do a company background check for you.

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By verifying a company, you can find out the real situation of the company, such as its operating status, financial condition, and whether there are any lawsuits and etc. All these can prevent you from being cheated.

Conclusion

A good supplier can benefit you a lot. If you still have problems in finding the best supplier on Alibaba, please feel free to contact us ,we will try our best to help you.

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