1688.com is China’s top wholesale B2B and dropshipping website. It is a Chinese form of both Aliexpress.com and Alibaba.com. 1688.com has improved its online wholesale performance recently because of the rise of online store owners. This enables several small- and medium-sized online business owners to place orders with suppliers directly. This approach is very consistent with your online shopping experience on Amazon.com or Ali Express.
Alibaba and 1688 are quite different from each other. Alibaba is primarily used for international business commerce while 1688 is primarily used for the domestic market. For the Chinese market, 1688.com only offers Chinese content. Alibaba.com is a global platform that is searched in many different languages all over the world.
It’s difficult for foreigners to make purchases on 1688.com (the Chinese version of Alibaba). There don’t seem to be many instructions available for 1688.com also. Thus, we have gathered some important information and placed it as a guide in this article so that as a foreign buyer you don’t have to face any problems while purchasing products from 1688.
Guide for Foreign Buyers to Purchase from 1688.com
Search 1688.com and translate it into English
You can get to the platform’s website by typing “1688.com” into the Google search box and clicking the result. Although English language options are available as soon as you enter the website, the original language of the website is Mandarin Chinese. The language will change to English if you select the “Translate to English” option that appears at the top of the website.
How will you place an order at 1688?
How can one have direct or wholesale delivery from 1688 to their country? You can sign up for the 1688 sourcing agent service. They will work with you to find, pay for, and transport goods from China to your country through an international postal service. Therefore, the first thing you should do is choose a sourcing agent and provide them with the products, colour, size, quantity, budget value, internal control, samples, payment conditions, commission, and other fundamental information about your company.
After that, the 1688 sourcing agent will help you understand and visit the provider on 1688 to solicit comments regarding the goods and the provider so you can determine whether to proceed. Following that, you can buy, gain, grab, procure, or seize the order as well as the shipping funds from China 1688. Although the process is straightforward, it’s important to ask questions and establish a rapport with the sourcing agent to avoid problems after you receive your package from 1688.com.
There are 3 models in which you can get orders procured from 1688 –
Direct Contact with Seller
You can access your Aliwangwang account and chat with suppliers directly after signing up for a 1688.com account. You can also contact the provider through WeChat by finding their sign or WeChat ID on the product page. The remaining steps are similar to browsing on Alibaba, asking the supplier questions about the product’s specifications, samples, order volume, discounts, payment options, etc.
Shopping Proxy site
Numerous Chinese websites exist that enable you to order products from popular Chinese online retailers like Taobao, 1688.com, JD.com, and others. All you need to do is send them a link to a product on their website. They will then help you purchase items from that supplier. When all of your orders arrive at their warehouse, they’ll combine, repackage, and ship them to you using various shipping methods.
You can find a tonne of 1688 sourcing agents if you search on Google or Alibaba. They offer a lot of thorough and knowledgeable services. Most of the time, all you need to do is tell the 1688 sourcing agent what you want or show them a video of the item, and they can help you with the rest.
Find the product by typing a keyword on the search box
1688.com has a platform with a variety of products available in a variety of qualities. Verify the exact product you want, then type the right terms into the website’s search field. You will receive a variety of related products from various providers.
“Image search” is another technique to look for products. In the upper right corner of the search box, click the camera symbol. You can upload an image of the item you want to search for using this option, and the website will display a list of related products as a result.
Find a supplier
Most suppliers on 1688.com use WeChat, a Chinese social messaging platform. Register on WeChat using your mobile device to contact the provider. You can start a conversation with the provider by making requests. Using the WeChat translation feature, you can translate messages from Chinese to English.
Read properly all the provided information, ask questions if you have any doubts, elicit certifications, and order samples of the product before placing the specific purchase. A crucial component of a successful purchase from 1688.com is the verification of credibility.
Verified, Place an order, Make the payment, and Choose shipping method
Once you are satisfied with the vendor and the products, check the quality of the samples you ordered. You can submit a purchase order with the supplier at 1688.com if you believe the samples meet the criteria you’ve set and consider them to qualify.
1688.com uses completely distinct payment methods. Pick the one that works best for you and give the dealer the number. You can either use Alipay, WeChat, or an online banking payment method. Whatever payment method buyer’s use, they must send RMBs, as sellers only agree to this currency. In case you have any other currency, then you may need to open an account to convert them to RMB.
After the payments are completed, you now need to choose the shipping techniques. Given that 1688.com is a domestic marketplace that only ships goods to China. They lack globally recognised cargo strategies, so they are unable to export abroad. To assist you in exporting goods from China to your doorstep, you can hire a shipping company or 1688 sourcing agent.
When purchasing products from a foreign country, price, and reliability are the main criteria. This can be taken care of by hiring a sourcing agent. Most sourcing agents speak various languages making it easier to bridge the gap between buyer and supplier. Once you find a suitable supplier at 1688 there are lot many things to manage when importing overseas. Seek the help of a 1688 sourcing agent to get yourself out of that trouble.