Alibaba vs AliExpress: Which One Is Best for Importing & Drop shipping?
Alibaba and AliExpress are two of the biggest names in wholesale e-commerce today, but which one should you use? Both have advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at some of the factors that will help you decide which is best for your business.
The Differences between Alibaba and AliExpress
AliExpress and Alibaba are two of the most popular platforms on which people can find new items to import and then resell. But which is best suited for drop shipping and which is better for importing? These questions come up often. Below, we break down some of the major differences between these two sites so you can figure out which one will work best for your particular needs. – Alibaba has over 800 million products available, while AliExpress only has around 20 million. So if you’re looking for more variety or to get a feel for what’s trending in China before purchasing, Alibaba is the way to go.
You have more options when it comes to shipping as well. There are hundreds of warehouses available through Alibaba that make imports and drop shipping much easier (and cheaper). However, with AliExpress there’s no one-stop shop like this, meaning that sourcing products might be more difficult and that you’ll likely have a higher shipping cost due to having multiple warehouses.
If you are an entrepreneur
As a drop shipper, I’ve tried using both Alibaba and AliExpress and have seen some good results. Ultimately, I’m finding that Alibaba is better suited to my needs as it provides a more diverse product selection at the same or similar prices as those found on AliExpress. Plus, Alibaba’s customer service is just outstanding which makes me feel confident in choosing them over a company like AliExpress which is lacking in customer service.
If you need help deciding what route to take on this decision then there are a few helpful tools out there that can help you make your decision.
Where to find suppliers on Alibaba
After finding potential suppliers, contacting them to ask more about their dropship/import-ready products, and figuring out which one might be a good fit, it’s time to make the purchase. The best way to do that is with Alibaba.
Once you find the products you’re interested in importing or drop shipping, the first step is to contact your supplier. If they’re available on Alibaba then you’ll want to click on Contact Supplier and send them an email. You can usually use Google Translate if you don’t speak Chinese, but know that there are also some specific phrases you should include in your message. You can read more about those here. You may also need to pay some kind of order fee before being able to see the price of shipping internationally or what currency they offer prices in (both are often given only after sending a message).
The next step is negotiating pricing and other aspects of the agreement with your supplier – if possible, get samples before ordering large quantities so that you know what quality of the product you’re getting.
Where to find suppliers on AliExpress
Depending on what type of product you are looking to import, both Alibaba and AliExpress have a variety of suppliers that can fulfill your needs. However, there are differences between the two that you should take into consideration before deciding. For instance, Alibaba is primarily a B2B marketplace that can offer higher quality products at lower prices. On the other hand, AliExpress is usually where consumer products such as cell phones or shoes can be found and offer more drop shipping options. Ultimately, it comes down to finding what best fits your needs. For more information about how to do this, check out our blog post entitled AliExprees vs Alibaba.
If you are an import hobbyist…
As a hobbyist, you can import on Alibaba or AliExpress, but if you are looking to make the importing process more of a full-time gig then Alibaba is your best bet. This may not be an attractive option if you are new to e-commerce or retail and don’t have the capital or connections to start with wholesaling and all the steps required to get there. Luckily, companies like ours that specialize in wholesale drop shipping provide easy access to imported products without the commitment of other channels. We are able to offer price matching too so you can get what you want at a competitive price.
My experience with both platforms
When it comes to importing and drop shipping, there are many factors to consider like the pricing of the products, shipping costs, and more. In my experience with both Alibaba and AliExpress, I find that there are pros and cons of each platform that make one or the other a better option. For example, when it comes to pricing some things may be cheaper on Alibaba while others may be cheaper on AliExpress; however, when it comes to delivery time most items from AliExpress take longer than items from Alibaba. Overall I would say that Alibaba is best for those who want an eclectic range of products with great pricing while AliExpress is better for those who want a narrower variety but with great delivery times.
How to search for items on both sites in 10 steps
Finding what you need on both sites can be a tricky process. Here are 10 steps to help you make your decision easier:
1) Head over to Alibaba and type in the item that you’re looking for.
2) Scroll down through all of the results, and look at the quantity, wholesale price, estimated delivery time, and whether or not it is certified by Alibaba.
3) If you want to check availability, head over to Alibaba Global Shipping Program and enter your order volume.
4) After reviewing your options on Alibaba, jump over to AliExpress and repeat steps 1-3. This will help you understand the pricing differences between the two websites.