Known as a global e-commerce platform, Alibaba offers some of the best products and services in Malaysia at reasonable prices. Some of their best-selling product lines include computing devices, appliances, clothing, and accessories. Browse the latest Alibaba products here or find out more about Alibaba below!

Quick Tips for Buying from Alibaba | How to purchase products for cheap on Alibaba? | Pros and Cons of Buying from Alibaba

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Everything You Need to Know About Alibaba Malaysia

What is Alibaba?

As part of the larger Alibaba Group of sister websites like Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba is a world-leading quick and easy B2B and B2C platform. They offer a variety of useful tools and services to speed up, safeguard, and facilitate your international sourcing process, providing you with a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience.

Bulk purchases are common on Alibaba and most of the time, manufacturers will only transact with you if you’re willing to purchase a certain minimum order quantity. The number that makes up a minimum order varies from one supplier to another.

Aside from enjoying highly discounted rates, you can create your own custom-made products from scratch with your own unique designs, a process known as private labelling.

Is Alibaba available in Malaysia?

Yes, Alibaba is available in Malaysia. Just be sure that your 'Suppliers by Region' is set to Malaysia before making any purchases. You can also purchase products from overseas but it may incur an extra shipping charge and import fee. Check out the steps below for ordering products locally and internationally.

How to buy from domestic suppliers on Alibaba in Malaysia?

To make purchases from domestic suppliers on Alibaba, here are quick steps to follow:

  1. Create and verify an Alibaba account or log in to your account
  2. Search for products based on different categories
  3. Contact suppliers
  4. Negotiate minimum order quantity
  5. Verify final price to avoid dealing with hidden charges
  6. Negotiate price and payment method
  7. Ask for samples
  8. Confirm quality of products through samples
  9. Make your purchase
  10. Resell the product on your own online store upon product arrival

How can I buy from overseas suppliers on Alibaba in Malaysia?

The answer is Buyandship. Buyandship is a parcel forwarding service that consolidates all parcels for you in 9 of its warehouses worldwide. You can get your desired products to ship from Alibaba China straight to your doorstep in Malaysia through Buyandship. Here are the easy steps to follow:

  1. Head to Alibaba's landing page.
  2. Sign up or log in to your Alibaba user account.
  3. Browse your favourite products or search by supplier.
  4. Review your orders.
  5. Enter your shipping details.
  6. Pay only at Alibaba's site to avoid scammers.
  7. Wait for your tracking number.
  8. Declare your shipment.
  9. Wait for your parcel to be in parcel management "Arrived at HK Warehouse".
  10. Pay for Buyandship's shipping rate.
  11. Wait for your products to arrive at your doorstep!

Can anyone buy from Alibaba?

Yes, anyone can buy from Alibaba. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual who wants to import from China, you can order products directly from manufacturers on Alibaba. The website essentially serves as a one-stop directory where anyone can contact and make purchases directly from manufacturers to enjoy wholesale prices.

Quick Tips for Buying from Alibaba

When making your first order on Alibaba, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Seek on-site verification of your potential suppliers
  • Conduct research on suppliers to confirm their legitimacy and quality
  • Take the time to survey products from multiple suppliers
  • Compare the prices and quality of products thoroughly
  • Maintain clear communications with potential suppliers
  • Be daring but flexible when negotiating prices with suppliers
  • Only buy valid products to avoid legal issues
  • Never buy major brand name products, as it's likely that they’re imitation products or you could run into legal trouble for selling licensed products without approval

Is Alibaba membership free?

You can take advantage of the Trade Assurance service, but there are transaction fees that will be applied depending on your payment method - Credit card: 2.95% of the order value. Alibaba's Trade Assurance protects online orders when payment is made through Alibaba.com.

The Trade Assurance online order is where you and your supplier define product quality and specify ship date. Review the order carefully before confirmation so that Alibaba can ensure full protection.

In the event that either Product Quality or Ship Date varies from what you and the supplier had agreed on in the Trade Assurance online order, Alibaba will offer you assistance in reaching a satisfactory outcome, including getting your money back.

Under Trade Assurance, you can enjoy three benefits:

  • Convenient Options - Multiple payment methods are supported, including credit/debit card, PayPal, wire transfer, Apple Pay, and more to provide you with flexibility in choosing how to pay.
  • Payment Security - Employing the latest technology, Alibaba secures your payment to make sure it gets to the supplier safely, and they have developed Transaction Centre to help you track and reconcile the fund's flow.
  • Extended Support - If you are not satisfied with the product quality 30 days after delivery, you may request a refund. Alibaba will help you investigate, mediate, and resolve your claim, plus reimburse you when appropriate. Your online order and communication records are the basis of refund resolution.

How to purchase products for cheap on Alibaba?

Many business owners do not know this but they have the right to negotiate with suppliers to strike a better deal on their desired products. Below are some tips for negotiating a better price with Alibaba suppliers:

  1. Build rapport with suppliers; provide them with good reviews or help give them exposure online about their products and services.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask questions as to why the prices are hiked up. Allow the supplier to justify their reasons. This will help you understand the seller's rationale behind their pricing strategy.
  3. Ask for a sample if possible. This shows your genuine interest in their products. Doing so can also prevent the supplier from claiming that their products are of the best quality, hence the higher price points. They're probably aware that you've tried other products to make a comparison.
  4. Do research on the supplier's competitors, check the price of their products, and negotiate with the suppliers to match their competitor's pricing.
  5. Never reveal that you have a limited budget or that you're only looking to buy a small number of products. Typically, sellers are more willing to give discounts to those who place a large or repeat order.
  6. Consider the seller's profit margin. Most suppliers aim for a 20% profit margin. Hence any discount of more than 20% is less likely to be accepted. However, it is reasonable to ask for a 10% discount if you place a bulk order.

Does Alibaba offer free shipping?

Many suppliers on Alibaba offer “free shipping”, but they’re carrying the costs over into the unit price just like drop shippers. Like Alibaba, many orders come from China, and manufacturers and retailers set their own prices for shipping costs.

Why is Alibaba so cheap?

Alibaba is a B2B platform, or also deemed a wholesaler. Simply put, Alibaba is a supplier and not a retailer. Hence the price is much cheaper. Most of the manufacturers on the Alibaba platform come from China, which is a global manufacturing country with low labour costs and high manufacturing efficiency.

Is Alibaba a safe place to buy?

Alibaba.com Malaysia is an absolutely safe and legitimate e-marketplace. Alibaba is trusted and reputable, with strict rules and regulations that keep most of the transactions secure on its platform.

Keep in mind that Alibaba is just an e-commerce platform that connects suppliers with buyers who own a business. It's very important to verify the legitimacy of suppliers before buying from them and keep a watchful eye out for scammers.

Always do thorough research to confirm the supplier is legitimate and try to only buy from suppliers using Alibaba Trade Assurance, a free programme in which Alibaba protects shipments by accepting full liability if they don’t arrive at the set destination, handles buyer-supplier disputes and guarantees refund if the order doesn’t meet the exact requirements agreed to in the Trade Assurance Online Order by both you and the supplier.

Pros and Cons of Buying from Alibaba

Pros Cons
  • Customise your own products based on your own design and preferences
  • Purchase bulk wholesale products directly from manufacturers
  • Affordable prices & lower manufacturing costs
  • Increased control over product packaging
  • A plethora of manufacturers and suppliers to choose from
  • One-stop shopping option
  • Higher upfront cost
  • The actual products may differ from images on the website
  • May stumble upon illegitimate suppliers
  • Maximum order amount needed for discounted pricing
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