Langsey

  • *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *

    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Langsey Newsletter
Alibaba.com Can Be Your Treasure Cave – You Just Need to Know How to Use it
 
       

If you work in the textile and apparel industries, you’ve no doubt heard of Alibaba.com.

Launched in 1999, the Alibaba.com website has grown to become the world's leading platform for global wholesale trade, serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world.

Founded in Hangzhou in eastern China, the popular website is now regarded as the largest online business-to-business trading platform for small businesses, globally.

In fact, through its English language portal, Alibaba.com handles sales between importers and exporters from more than 240 countries and regions.

So how is Alibaba.com relevant to the Australian retail industry? And how can Australian designers work successfully with the Alibaba platform?

Working with the Alibaba Platform from Australia

As you can see, with Alibaba.com, there’s no need to fly to China or connect with any Chinese agents – you can simply go to the website, search some key words, and happily wait to see your future supplier appear.

Just like Aladdin’s lamp, you simply rub the magical lamp and the genie will appear to help!

But the reality is, with thousands of suppliers’ names coming up, you might not know straight away who the real genie is among them. Australian fashion designer Laura Lana has been faced with this very problem.

“I always start from Alibaba.com, but never end up with Alibaba.com – I just give up every time after spending hours and hours trying to find my supplier on it!” she says.

As an Australian designer, should you give up expecting to find suitable suppliers on Alibaba.com? No way!

The Best Way to Use the Alibaba.com Platform

Here at Langsey, we believe Alibaba.com is a smart platform that provides easy sourcing for designers worldwide. You just need to know how to use it in the most effective way. And we’re here to show you how.

Follow these guidelines for our top tips on how to make the best use of the Alibaba.com platform. You’ll soon find yourself connected with the most suitable suppliers for your business.

Step 1. Search

  • Ready to find the best suppliers?
  • First, make sure you are searching “Suppliers” rather than “Products”
  • When searching, try to include as many keywords as possible, to make the search results more relevant
  • If you have some basic knowledge about the geographical distribution of Chinese factories, you can use the “Search For Suppliers by Regions” menu

Step 2. Screen

  • This is your chance to browse information about the suppliers
  • Look for serious suppliers who:

1) present detailed background information and history about themselves

2) upload images of products

3) have their own business official website

  • Alibaba also helps you to distinguish the quality of suppliers by tags such as Gold Supplier, Assessed Supplier, Trade Assurance, Transaction Level and Year of Membership

Step 3. Contact

  • Before contacting any potential suppliers, we recommend preparing an item for them to quote. Choose an item that is representative of your normal range, and something you’re familiar with yourself
  • Even if you have many exciting new designs, choose only one design for the trial quote, and ask all potential suppliers to quote for this same item – this will help you compare and select
  • Send an email or online message to at least 10 suppliers that you have selected – don’t only contact one or two that you really like, as there is always a chance that you won’t hear back from them
  • Avoid asking whether a supplier can do this or that product in your first email, as they are very likely to reply that of course they can – this is wasting time. Simply introduce yourself and then include the details of your item, asking for their quote directly
  • Remember, only ask for a quote on one item. Leave the others until later!

Step 4. Select and Choose

  • If you have received several replies from potential suppliers, it’s a good idea to disregard those who:

1) talked a lot but didn’t provide a direct quote

2) quoted a much higher price than the other potential suppliers

3) quoted a much lower price than the other potential suppliers

  • Keep conversing only with the suppliers that have responded promptly and quoted reasonable prices.

We hope these guidelines will be of help to you, as you work with the Alibaba platform to secure suppliers.

In coming weeks, we will talk more about how to do factory quality inspections – so keep an eye out for future newsletters!


 

 

Li Zhang
Langsey Company
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +61 402 279 257
www.langsey.com
Home L-Blog Alibaba.com Can Be Your Treasure Cave – You Just Need to Know How to Use it

Connect with us

Contact

Address: Suite 431, 1 Queens Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004
Email: li.zhang@langsey.com
Phone: +61 402 279 257

Address: Suite 1513, Building 2, No.268, Jiqingmen Street, Nanjing, China 210019
Email: ken.chen@langsey.com
Phone: +86 186 0619 7016