Alibaba has been hailed the king of private label product sourcing for the last several years.
But, as more and more people flock to the site to find great deals on products they can make their own, it’s time to ask the question if it’s still the best option.
While Alibaba is easy to use and navigate, 1688 just might be the better choice when it comes to finding even better deals.
But, to some people’s surprise, 1688 is actually owned by Alibaba, which means they’re really quite similar.
So, what’s really the difference?
Both Alibaba and 1688 allow you to discover companies that offer products you can wholesale or private label – and in nearly every niche you can imagine.
The biggest difference, however, is that 1688 is designed specifically for domestic trade.
This explains why the entire site is in Chinese and why many people who don’t speak Chinese, then, leave immediately.
For people not scared away by the Chinese (or for people who have a team that is capable of searching and using the website in Chinese), they believe that it offers better deals because it’s designed for domestic – not international – trading.
In order to prove if this is accurate, you would need to look at your specific product on both Alibaba and 1688 to compare.
In most cases, it does seem like 1688 offers lower prices.
Why is Alibaba more expensive?
The concept of creating higher prices on Alibaba is actually one of perception.
Americans and Europeans in particular associate quality with price.
If the price is too low, it’s likely that prospective buyers will assume that the product isn’t as good as other options.
It’s also true that Americans and Europeans do have a higher standard when it comes to quality.
Products that would be welcomed by Chinese consumers are likely to be scrutinized by international consumers.
Alibaba, then, is geared more towards international consumers and sellers – as intended.
But, if you know what product you’re looking for and understand the market, it’s definitely true that 1688 will give you better results.
The secret is having someone who can speak Chinese directly to the manufacturers on your behalf.
Because 1688 is designed for domestic sales, very few accounts will have someone on the other end who can speak English.
But, if you overcome the language barrier, you’ll discover so many more doors opening for you and your business.
How choosing 1688 can be challenging
One of the biggest issues in choosing 1688 over Alibaba is that it can be hard to pay.
If you don’t have access to a Chinese bank account or Renminbi (RMB), then you need to find someone who does.
This is where agencies are essential.
Teaming up with a smart, fluent agency that understands the ins and outs of Chinese culture, online businesses, and private labeling will give you a real advantage over the competition.
The number one reason why 1688 is the best place to source your products, however, is because the majority of the suppliers on Alibaba are actually trading companies masquerading as factories.
For the most part, these companies actually place their order on 1688.
That means that by choosing to work through 1688 directly, you’re cutting out a middle man and saving money – and time.
But, before you get too involved with a seller on 1688, make sure from the get-go that they are capable of handling orders that require exportation to the United States.
Would you like to source quality products in a cheap way, being helped by a team who understands the Chinese market and language? Look no further! Contact Us today and find out how we can help you.