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Alibaba Alternatives: 10 Other Ways to Source Products from China


Alibaba Alternatives: 10 Other Ways to Source Products from China By: Martha Howowitz When you’ve outgrown Alibaba, what are the alternatives for sourcing high-quality products from the best manufacturers in China?


This post is by Martha Howowitz , an expert in sourcing products from China and creator of 80/20 Sourcing. When you think of sourcing from China, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Hopping on a plane and flying to Guangzhou to find a factory? No, you go on Alibaba! Alibaba is very popular and accessible, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option. Why not? Well, it attracts a lot of middlemen and trading companies, and some of them aren’t upfront about that. Alibaba is also where your competitors are likely to buy from, so you all might end up selling exactly the same products as them. Perhaps most importantly, some of the best suppliers avoid Alibaba – because they want to find a better class of customer! So, what are the alternatives to Alibaba? I’ll explore them all here. Top Product Sourcing Tools

  • Why not Alibaba?

  • 1. Global Sources

  • 2. DHgate

  • 3. AliExpress

  • 4. 1688.com

  • 5. Trade shows

  • 6. Factory visits

  • 7. Referrals

  • 8. Matchmaking events

  • 9. Sourcing agents and trading companies

  • 10. Customs import records

  • In Summary

Why not Alibaba? Everyone knows Alibaba is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. They have a celebrity CEO, millions of suppliers and products, and a huge campus in Hangzhou that rivals Google’s campus in Silicon Valley. But all is not perfect in the land of Alibaba. Here’s why:

  1. Quality. Alibaba has a broad range of suppliers but there are a lot of middlemen, trading companies, and bad apples. You have to work hard to find the good ones.

  2. Diversification. If you are sourcing from the same supplier as your competitors, how will you differentiate yourself? You are likely to end up in a price war.

  3. Choice. Many reliable suppliers purposely choose NOT to be on Alibaba. If you rely only on Alibaba, then you will never find them.

I’d like to show you ways to find Alibaba alternatives





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