6 Ways to Safeguard Yourself When Buying on Alibaba When doing business overseas you want to learn to protect yourself against loss. You want to be able to avoid scams and middle-men as well as getting substandard products. While there is no one solution that is...
6 Ways to Safeguard Yourself When Buying on Alibaba
When doing business overseas you want to learn to protect yourself against loss. You want to be able to avoid scams and middle-men as well as getting substandard products. While there is no one solution that is totally infallible, using a few simple guidelines can prove to be very effective.
I use AliExpress and Ali Baba A LOT! I even bought my girlfreinds birthday present from Ali Express
Here are her birthday socks haha
At first she was sad because she had sloth feet but she warmed up to these printed socks and now she has a collection of monster feet printed socks. That my friends is the power of Ali Express, people buy random stuff online to pass time, have a laugh and to spend their hard earned money. This si where we come in with our ecommerce stores and product promotions.
Here are a few things you can do to help yourself when dealing with overseas suppliers –
1. Verifiy Your New Supply Partner
Believe it or not Alibaba has put a verification program of their own into place. It gives you several different levels of verification. They have 3 levels of verification all total and the chart down below goes into it a little deeper. The verification badges appearing on the product list as well as supplier profiles help give you an idea of what kind of vendor you’re dealing with. Having a look at these badges is a good was to start your search.
2. Ask Questions Around The Product Nothing is as it Appears
As your search begins to narrow down and you have weeded out most of the competition, it’s time to get down to some more serious types of questions. Request a copy of a business license to verify who they are, or maybe even a phone number and then call it right away.
Contact them on Skype or their main contact channel and request some sample products. You can get variations like red or blue etc. This helps you see what type of communication you will have with the person who will be handling the product and shipping process of your business.
You should feel totally free to ask any questions that pop into your head. It’s not too far fetched to have somebody at the factory snap a selfie and send it to you while on the factory floor. You could have them include a copy of today’s newspaper as well as a product of theirs. Of course, you don’t want to push them away either. Too much distrust will only breed and foster more distrust. It’s wise to be cautious but not overly distrustful.
If you plan to scale you need a solid partner and someone who has clear communication with you. What if you had the biggest front end sales month ever for your store and corona virus 2 hits and you need answers on shipping and delivery dates as well as inventory levels. You need clear communication.
3. Get Some Product Samples First
It’s just good common sense to check out some samples prior to committing to any large amount of inventory and money. You should get the samples in order to verify the ‘quality’ of the products for yourself. You can even contact them using a fake name and email address.
You 100% need to get the products before you sell them. This helps you see what the delivery time is like, what the boxing or packaging lookslike and most impoirtanly what the actual product looks and feels like.
I wont promote any products that I havent at least had a play with to test its quality.
Bonus tip – use this to film unboxing videos and product demos 🙂
4. Things That Seem Too Good to be True
Everyone has heard that when this happens things usually are too good to be that true and usually aren’t. Be wary of promises and prices that run up your skeptic meter.
You can read reviews of past buyers to get a quick pulse check on that product and the vendor.
Never be afraid to walk away from any deal that doesn’t ‘smell’ right. You are the buyer and Ali Express is a buyers market.
5. Get It In Your Hands & Try To Break It
Your dropshipping products are going to fail if you dont know the quality of what you are selling. My advice and its saved my butt more times than not is to get that product in your hands.
Now you have it you should try being a little rough with the product to stress test the product. You may need to buy 2 or 3 of the same products. You do this because you can really nail your product descriptions and features benefits descriptors by knowing the limits.
If it breaks and you only just picked it up then change the product or find a better manufacturer.
6. Use A Pen Name Account To Buy & Review
I would never be buying items from Ali Express with my real account. I say this because as you build success you will naturally attract trolls and copycats. This can not be avoided.
Use a throw away email account where the name is random and not your name or your business name. These manufacturers on Ali Express need reviews to help their businesses and you should be leaving reviews out of courtesy.
But you also need to be safe with your behaviour online. Use a random profile to leave reviews. Keep safe and this allows you to shop and review unkown to any copycats.
I love dropshipping and ecommerce, but you need to be smart when using these latforms. Esopecially for the long term play. I hope this helps you get more from Ali Express. Enjoy.
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