How Alibaba Works

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Pau Monfort
@paumonfort

How to join Alibaba

As with other e-commerce sites - Amazon and eBay, just to name two at random - also on Alibaba it is possible to search for a product and browse through the multiple categories of the site without registering. For the purchase of products, however, it is essential subscribe to the service. Now I'll explain how to do it.

First, connect to the Alibaba login page and click on the item Enter Free which is located under the orange "Register" button. Then fill out the form you see on the screen, selecting yours Country / Region from the appropriate drop-down menu, indicating if you are a supplier, for an buyer o both and typing yours name e last name, name of your company, telephone number, your email address and Password you intend to use to access the service.



Finally, enter the code Captcha in the appropriate box and, after having read the Alibaba.com Membership Agreement, click on the orange button Send to submit your registration request to the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Within a few seconds, you will receive a welcome e-mail containing a confirmation link: click on the latter to confirm your e-mail address and log in to Alibaba for the first time.

Subsequently, whenever you want to log in to your Alibaba account, go to the access page to the service, enter your email (or yours ID membro, which you can find after making your first access by clicking on the item My Alibaba> Account Setup) and the Password you chose during registration and click on the orange button Subscribe.



Come acquire your Alibaba

Once you have created your account on Alibaba, you can finally get started buy products from the suppliers operating on this very famous Chinese e-commerce site. Before explaining how to do this, however, I would like to make some necessary clarifications.

As you will have noticed from reading the conditions of use of the service, Alibaba assumes no responsibility for the occurrence of any problems or disputes between a buyer and a supplier. It is up to the user - in this case you - to make sure that the supplier you contact is trustworthy. To be on the safe side, you can rely on the so-called Gold Suppliers (o Gold Suppliers), that is to those companies whose identity has been officially certified by Alibaba: you can easily recognize these suppliers by a gold medal located next to their name.

That said, let's see how you can actually buy products on Alibaba. First of all, log in to your account following the instructions I gave you a few paragraphs above and, once logged in, search for the product you want to buy by browsing among the numerous category available (on the left), or by typing a keyword in the search bar located at the top.

Then refine your search by ticking the boxes that appear on the left, under one of the available boxes: Category, to select a specific product category; Product filters, to indicate the characteristics that the product you are looking for should have; Vendor filters, to select the geographical area from which to buy, view the adverts from the Gold Suppliers and so on.


As soon as you have identified a product that might be right for you, click on its descriptive image to view its details: the minimum quantity to purchase, price, Product Specifications, the payment methods accepted by the supplier (bank transfer, PayPal, AliPay, letter of credit, etc.) etc. and, if you are willing to complete the purchase, click on the orange button Contact the supplier.


On the page that opens, use the editor you see on the screen to get in touch with the supplier, ask him any questions or doubts about the purchase of the product and forward your purchase request (you can use up to a maximum of 16.000 characters).

After writing the message to send to the supplier, check the box Recommend suitable suppliers, if this supplier does not contact me on the Message Center within 24 hours, in order to receive other related offers from Alibaba in which case you do not get a response within one day, and finally click the orange button Send to submit the request.

Now all you have to do is wait for the response from the supplier to continue with the negotiations, reach an agreement with the same and possibly proceed with the purchase of the product you are interested in. Please, carefully follow the instructions that will be indicated to you by the supplier and abide by the agreements made (especially as regards the quantity of goods ordered and the payment methods accepted) to avoid problems or complaints on the part of the latter.


In addition to the "classic" purchase of a product, on Alibaba it is also possible to make a RFQ (Request for Quotation). What is it about? Basically, the buyer publishes a request in which he indicates the type of product he is interested in, the quantity, the price he is willing to pay to the supplier; consequently he evaluates the various proposals made to him by the suppliers and decides with which to conclude the deal.

If you decide to formulate an RFQ, click on the item Get Quotes (from the Alibaba home page) and, in the drop-down menu that appears, click on the button again Get Quotes. On the Web page that opens, then fill out the form that you see on the screen (indicating in the appropriate fields the product name amount request, etc.) and, as soon as you have filled out the form in its entirety, click on the button Get Quotes!. If there are any suppliers interested in your ad, you will be contacted promptly and you will be able to make your request to them.


How to sell on Alibaba

Do you have a legally registered business and would like to expand your business by opening a shop on Alibaba? Well, if you want sell on Alibaba not only do you need to create an account on the Chinese marketplace website, but you also need to authenticate it by following the instructions that are provided to you during registration.

Alibaba, in order to protect its users, requires sellers to disclose in a precise and detailed manner a whole series of information regarding their business (name of the company, address of the registered office, type of business carried out, share capital, etc.) , thanks to which the user can ascertain the identity of the latter and its reliability. Therefore, if you have a business and want to open a seller account on Alibaba, be meticulous in providing all the information that is required of you to avoid problems in the verification process of your account (you can do this by using, for example, a company email).

As soon as your account is verified by Alibaba, you can finally start selling your products on the Chinese marketplace by entering them in one of the many categories available, completing in detail the sheets relating to your products, accompanying them with descriptive images and indicating the payment methods. that you accept. Of course, all products that you decide to sell must comply with the Product Publication Policy and the conditions of use of the service. Understood?

On Alibaba, anyone with a legally registered business can open their free "seller" account. However, I remind you that users classified as Gold Suppliers can benefit from greater visibility within the marketplace. To be approved as a Gold Supplier, however, not only do you need to have a verified account, but you also need to pay Alibaba an annual fee, the cost of which can amount to a few thousand euros.

How Alibaba works on smartphones and tablets

You would like it use Alibaba on your mobile device? In that case, all you need to do to use the service on your smartphone or tablet is to download the official Alibaba application available on both Android and iOS.

When the download is complete, start the app and, to log in to your account, presses on the item My Alibaba (bottom right). Then tap on the button Sign up or register, enter your login credentials in the appropriate fields and tap the button SUBSCRIBE to log in. If, on the other hand, you want to create a new account, tap on the link Sign up for free and fill out the form that appears on the screen (the procedure is similar to the one I described in the paragraph where I explain in detail how to sign up for Alibaba).

To browse the marketplace, tap on the item Home (bottom left), presses on the voice All Categories and, in the screen that appears, select one of the categories from those available, or type the name of the product you wish to purchase directly in the search bar placed at the top.

As soon as you have identified a product that interests you, press on its description to view its details and use one of the buttons located below to contact the supplier: Chat now, to send a message to the supplier; Send request, to initiate purchase negotiations with the latter or Send order to order the product.

Whenever a supplier responds to your requests, you will receive a notification that you can check by tapping on the item Messenger (down). To manage all your orders, instead, go to the section again My Alibaba and, in the screen that appears, tap on the item Manage Order. Facile, see?

How Alibaba Works

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