Sourcing products from China – 1688.com

If you run an international business, import from China is probably one of the best options for you to consider. No matter if you sell via Amazon, eBay, Allegro, your own online store or even a brick and mortar shop, buying from 1688 is the cheapest sourcing. Very often, goods offered at 1688 are at the lowest possible prices worldwide.

What is the 1688.com platform?

The https://www.1688.com website is currently the largest wholesale B2B platform in China. It is commonly used by well-known Chinese manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. The website is part of Alibaba Group. It is supposed to be used exclusively by Chinese wholesale buyers who sell goods internationally via Alibaba or AliExpress, Taobao, Wish, Amazon, eBay, and other marketplaces and online stores.

Why are prices at 1688 lower than on Alibaba.com?

1688.com offers much better prices than Taobao, AliExpress, Alibaba do. This may look weird for a foreigner. However, this makes perfect sense. Here is why:

  1. A Chinese supplier is not dependent on currency conversions and fluctuations. They always receive payments in their local currency which is safe.
  2. Culture – it is much easier to negotiate and finalize deals when your partner originates from the very same culture.
  3. Local prices tend to be lower than international prices. Even if this is the same product, you can be sure it will be more expensive if it’s offered on a foreign market.
  4. In most cases, Western customers are richer. They can afford more. From the very beginning of each transaction, they are treated like they can pay more than a local customer.
  5. The Chinese often speak poor English. If they want to operate internationally, they have to hire qualified employees who are more expensive than regular ones. This increases expenses and makes the product more expensive, too.

I want to wholesale from China… Is it easy?

1688.com was created only with local (Chinese) companies in mind. If you don’t have a 1688 sourcing agent, you are not able to buy from China via the platform. Here are the reasons why:

  • Language barrier – the entire website is in Chinese (Mandarin). It is impossible to change the language. The entire communication between sellers and buyers is also in Chinese who usually use local mobile apps.
  • Payments – the only currency available for settlements is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). Technically, it’s impossible to use any other currency. 1688.com doesn’t accept PayPay, Stripe or Western credit cards. In order to use the platform, you have to prove you have a Chinese bank account.
  • Proprietorship – most suppliers require a buyer to deliver Chinese proof of business activity. Most of them don’t collaborate with individuals. If you don’t have a company in China, you are unlikely to get the wholesale prices.
  • Time difference – due to time difference, it is extremely hard to communicate with Chinese suppliers. For example, in the case of a 7-hour difference, the time when you get up is the end of the work for a Chinese company.
  • Geo-blocking and website loading speed – back in 2018, 1688.com introduced a geo-blocking feature. If an offer is browsed by a foreign IP, the user has to log in to the platform. If you want to sign up for an account, you have to submit a Chinese phone number. If you are outside Chine, the 1688.com website takes forever to load which is irritating.
  • Shipment – 1688.com only sends products within China. Foreign delivery is not an option.

All-in-one

We are an experienced importer from China and a well-known 1688 sourcing agent. If you decide to collaborate with us, you will:

  • Increase your margins and profits.
  • Skip unnecessary, yet expensive intermediaries.
  • Optimize your import.
  • Become more competitive in the market.

Interested?

Do not hesitate to reach out! Send us a message or call us, we will be happy to assist you.