1688.com is just like Alibaba.com, but all in Chinese, and for the domestic market in China. Some believe that they can find better deals, by going directly to suppliers on 1688.com, instead of Alibaba.com.
But is that really true? Keep reading, and learn if 1688.com suppliers are really offering lower prices, how to pay them and if they even have export licenses.
1688.com is a B2B supplier directory owned by Alibaba Group. Just like Alibaba.com, 1688.com is portal were you can find factories, wholesalers and trading companies, in virtually any industry.
So why is it called 1688.com, and not Alibaba.cn? In Chinese, 1688 reads as “Yao Liu Ba Ba”, which (kind of) sounds like Alibaba. Substituting words for similar sounding numbers is common in China and all over Asia.
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The difference between the two is that 1688.com is exclusively for domestic trade. Alibaba.com has been export focused since day 1. This is why 1688.com is in Chinese, while Alibaba.com is in English, and has translations in French, Spanish and other major languages.
1688.com is not limited to wholesalers or factories. Instead, you can find the same types of suppliers here, as you find on Alibaba.com.
Similarities Between 1688.com and Alibaba.com
Many suppliers actually have company pages on both Alibaba.com and 1688.com. One for international buyers, and one for domestic ones.
DropshippingReviews Between 1688 vs Alibaba
Many importers believe that Chinese suppliers offer lower prices to domestic buyers.
This is often true, but not for the reasons you might think. Suppliers tend to quote higher prices to European and American customers, for quality reasons.
Chinese suppliers know they can’t sell the same quality overseas, as they can to some local customers.
If you submit the same product specification to suppliers on Alibaba.com, as you do on 1688.com, you will not necessarily be quoted a higher price on the former.
As such, you should not assume that you’ll get lower quotes from 1688.com suppliers.
Suppliers go to 1688.com because they want to sell products on the domestic market. Domestic manufacturers and wholesalers rarely have English speaking employees operating their 1688 account.
Different Features of 1688 vs Alibaba
If you want to contact 1688 suppliers, you either need an agent, or learn mandarin. Alibaba.com suppliers, on the other hand, almost always have English speaking sales reps operating their accounts.
That’s kind of the whole point with Alibaba.com. One can say that China’s financial system is still in ‘Beta mode’. The standard company bank account in China is only for holding the local currency, Renminbi (RMB).
What is Alibaba.com?
RMB accounts can receive USD, but this makes it count as a ‘domestic transaction’. Hence, no export rebate, which can deduct 17% to the factory price.
Instead, export focused companies need to open a separate bank account for receiving US dollars. This is the bank account you pay when sending money to your supplier.
What is 1688.com
But what if the supplier never exported products before? If so, they likely don’t even have a USD bank account, and can therefore not receive USD.
The Differences in Shipping Method
In China, a company must obtain an export license before they can ship goods overseas. The license is not obtained on an order to order basis, but is valid for several years.
Many suppliers, especially the larger ones, tend to operate both on the domestic market in China, and export to other countries.
These suppliers, naturally, have export licenses. However, these suppliers also tend to be listed on Alibaba.com.
1688.com suppliers that are only focused on the domestic market don’t have the need to apply for, and maintain, export licenses.
FAQs about Alibaba vs. 1688
There are ways to go around the need for an export license. For example, the 1688 supplier can use an export agent. But I doubt that many ‘domestic suppliers’ are willing to bother with all the extra paperwork for one customer.
If you really want to buy products from 1688, there’s help to get. There are several ‘1688.com buying agents’ that can help you with the following:.
2. Cons of alibaba.com
Coordinate shipments. Manage payments (from USD to RMB). Manage export procedures. Most charge a commission, ranging from 1 to 3%. However, keep in mind that you should follow up with quality inspections, and make sure you don’t pay everything upfront.
Many Importers are under the impressions that 1688.com suppliers offer lower prices than everyone else.
This is our 1688.com Agent Service fees
And sometimes they do, but not for the same quality. Further, 1688.com suppliers are rarely ‘export ready. Without a USD bank account and an export license, the products will not leave the country.
There are workarounds, but most ‘local suppliers’ don’t want to bother with that.
We can Made Drop Shipping from China Easy
So, if it’s not cheaper and so much more hassle, why go to 1688.com? There are very few scenarios I think of when 1688.com makes sense for importers outside of China.
Perhaps if you need to source certain materials and components for your export supplier, but that’s about it. Luckily, there is Alibaba.com, and other supplier directories, for exporting manufacturers.
Many Chinese online platforms provide so many options that making a choice can be tricky. There are many exciting marketplaces in China’s domestic market to order electronics, clothing, and other 3rd party goods.
2. Cons of 1688.com
We’ll take a closer look at buying from Alibaba and buying from the 1688 site during this article.
10. Can I pay US dollars to suppliers on 1688.com?
We will also figure out which one is more profitable to buy and the differences and similarities between 1688 vs Alibaba. Founded in 1999, 1688.Com is an online marketplace for B2B companies in China.
This seller’s store is not familiar to most of our fellow citizens for this single reason. Most of the suppliers and sellers of the site are Chinese.
The store itself focuses on the domestic local market. Chinese businessmen with export licenses work here.
2. Which platform is safer to buy products from China: 1688 or Alibaba?
The site 1688.com is one of the official services of the Alibaba Group. The concept was to help Chinese businesspeople wholesale their products within the country.
1688 is a fantastic procurement site that provides some of the lowest prices. It is China’s most comprehensive shopping portal and most comprehensive business platform.
The manufacturer’s site is closer and covers an array of topics, including:.
5. How do I pay suppliers on 1688.com?
Industrial equipment. Supplies of raw materials. Department shops for home. Supply services. The Hidden Gems. Only a tiny percentage of registered businesses are listed on alibaba.com.
If you have access to 1688, you’ll be able to get suitable suppliers that your competitors don’t have. There are a variety of reasons why these suppliers choosing not to be on the world’s largest B2B platform:.
1) They have factories on the mainland that they don’t need to look for foreign clients elsewhere.
2) They do not have any English-speaking employees. 3) They don’t have an export license. This does not imply that all providers use only these platforms.
Some do not use either and are doing perfectly. Anyone looking to cut down on shopping or purchasing costs will see the benefits of shopping on 1688.
What is 1688.com?
And now everyone can do it without knowing the Chinese language. Wholesale on site 1688 is almost 30% cheaper than other Chinese trading platforms, such as the same Alibaba.
Do 1688.com listed suppliers have export licenses?
The products by 1688 have cheaper price. That is because more factories direct supply their products instead of trading companies.
Fast Responses . The 1688.com mobile app is a fantastic responsive software far superior to its international equivalent.
There is no English assistance, which is the main drawback. The reason is that the labor costs are low.
Are 1688.com for wholesalers or factories?
Still, most suppliers have a group of salespeople on high alert and ready to reply in seconds. If you plan to buy from 1688, you can expect a fast response.
Great for Sub-suppliers and Complex Projects. 1688.com might be the best alternative if you’re in charge of a more sophisticated sourcing process.
With several sub-suppliers shipping semi-finished items to the same assembly address.
5. Is there a 1688 website in English?
1688.com can resolve problems by taking orders from a fellow domestic manufacturer. Transaction Protection . There are various transaction protection systems available on the site.
So, when ordering goods here, you do not have to worry about the security of the transferred funds. No English Support.
4. How do I communicate with the suppliers of 1688.com?
Some decent suppliers speak very little English, and it can be hard to locate them. It is preferable to have a native speaker who interprets you if you don’t know the language.
The ideal solution is to have a Mandarin-speaking person in your team, but you may also hire a translator or a sourcing agency.
1. Pros of Alibaba.com
How do I pay suppliers?
If you don’t speak Chinese, then better not use a translation app. Domestic suppliers deal with domestic payment methods for overseas buyers.
1. What is 1688.com?
It includes domestic bank transfers, cash, Alipay, or WeChat. Receiving foreign currency from outside may be difficult for Chinese vendors. Using local payment as an overseas buyer is inconvenient for global domestic buyers.
And there is no Paypal support! Missing Export Licenses. Most of the domestic suppliers hesitate to deal with international buyers.
They don’t ready to get an export license.
3. Why do Chinese people like to buy products on 1688.com?
If some international sellers agree to supply to the international buyer, some obstacles still occur. They refuse to deal with small orders in most cases. Lack of International Client experience.
Suppliers face many unavoidable obstacles in dealing with global customers. Among them, INCOTERMS and the formalities of international contracts are generally unknown. International suppliers are aware that quality demands are greater when exporting overseas.
The situation is different in the local market, where you may get both high and very low-quality items.
6. Is an import license required to buy goods from China?
Alibaba.com is one of the most famous Chinese online marketplaces and the largest wholesale website. For the most part, on Alibaba, you can buy retail or wholesale goods from manufacturers from China.
But there are also offers from companies from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and India. Alibaba is the world’s largest international business trade website. The vendors in this area are reliable. It is a supplier verification program that secures payments through its payment platform.
One of its main advantages is the convenience of Trade Assurance’s payment choices.
What is the difference between 1688.com and Alibaba.com?
Payment options include PayPal, credit cards, and financing options for US residents. It is simple to choose and buy the products you like through Alibaba.
The site interface is adapted for English, so the search for goods does not cause any particular difficulties. The quality of the translation is not always at the highest level.
You can understand the essence of product descriptions and their characteristics. You can pay for your sale using one of the available payment systems. The specific list of possible payment options depends on the seller.
However, Visa, MasterCard, TT, e-Checking, Western Union, MoneyGram are available as a rule.
9. Are 1688.com of suppliers real or scammers？
You can use Alipay to make secure payments. Customer Support. Alibaba.com offers exceptional customer service in comparison to local sites. A vendor must pay several thousand dollars a year to become a registered vendor.
Only authentic suppliers’ information can be posted when a vendor registers with us. Most accounts employ English-speaking personnel who frequently work in shifts to cover many time zones.
A provider dealing with foreign customers understands what quality is acceptable and not. On average, the rate on Alibaba.com is a couple of notches greater than on local marketplaces.
Naturally, the manufacturing cost and sales price reflect this.
Can I find cheaper products on 1688.com?
8. How can I translate 1688.com website to be English?
Amazon Experience. Many Alibaba dealers have most of their customers selling their products under a private label on Amazon’s FBA service.
These producers are familiar with Amazon’s unique shipping needs. For Example, labeling methods and packaging guidelines.
Poor Transaction Protection. An online bulletin board is a transaction protection mechanism. It seems to be present at Alibaba.
7. How much is customs duty from China?
The buyer becomes convinced that this protection exists only. In reality, getting your way there is almost unrealistic. Alibaba focused on foreigners. Therefore, the prices for it are overpriced in comparison with others.
1.1688 vs Alibaba: which is a more recommended platform?
Another reason why prices are higher on Alibaba is that most sellers represented are intermediaries. There are practically no manufacturers there.
Intransparent Pricing. Minimum order quantities (MOQs) provided in the search results are for foreign clients’ attention. You will get a proper quotation only after contacting the provider.
How do I communicate with the suppliers?
When comparing costs, this may be inconvenient and time-consuming. High Minimum Order Quantities(MOQs). Suppliers may want extra MOQs since selling overseas isn’t worth it.
2. What is the difference between 1688.com and Alibaba.com?
Only if the order quantity doesn’t cover the startup expenditures. It’s also possible that Chinese suppliers would charge international customers greater MOQs than domestic customers.
MOQs, are not set in stone. Most suppliers can prepare to reduce them if cheaper prices are offered. Trading Companies. Many trading companies may disguise themselves as suppliers and expose their actual identity only after a thorough inquiry.
Trade firms are easily identified by “trading” in their account name. Others may be the authentic producers of “Item A” but will sell you “Item B” without informing you that it is made by someone else.
In any scenario, a factory is the only option. Bad User Interface. Compared to 1688.com, Alibaba.com’s desktop and mobile versions are both disorganized.
And its messaging app is quite inadequate and obsolete. These platforms are based on distinct business strategies.