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Where do people get cheap product to sell on Ebay?

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by the_monk, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. eMonetize

    eMonetize Greenhorn

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    #101
    eMonetize, Mar 11, 2017 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #102
    I have never seen a good translation from Chinese unless done by a native English speaker very fluent in Chinese. The Google translation posted above is absolutely useless.

    You don't need someone that knows Chinese to help you, you need someone who knows the ins and outs of doing business with China. I have visited China countless times since I began exporting to China in 1978, and after selling my exporting business in 1987 I began importing. I know how business works in China, helped by the number of Chinese friends I have as a result of those many years of visiting and doing business there.

    If anyone decides to try 1688.com, I feel very sorry for them, not just because of the language problem. There are other issues to consider:
    • You have no way of knowing if your Chinese agent is trustworthy.
    • You won't know if they are really passing on to you the best possible deal.
    • You won't know if they are getting a secret commission from the supplier in addition to the commission they charge you. This is illegal in almost every western country, but is OK in China, where it is common practice. It all adds to the cost.
    • You have to rely on them to check the quality. I would prefer to rely on one of the hundred year old western Inspection Services, whose long reputation is built totally on trust.
    • You are probably not aware that a lot of the vendors on 1688 sell liquidation stocks. Prices are cheap, but they could be being liquidated because they didn't even pass the factory's own inspection.
    • The very big Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) are not negotiable, meaning you will be up for a huge cash investment to buy your first order.
    The link provided to the wholesale from China blog contains numerous links (probably affiliate links) to a site selling their services as agents wanting to source products for you on 1688. If only it was as easy as they make it out to be! Interestingly, several of the illustrations used to show how to buy from 1688 show partial pages from Taobao, another Chinese language site. The obvious reason for these being shown is that the screen shots show that you can buy 1, or 5 pcs of the product you want. Yes on Taobao you can do that, but on 1688 you must buy the MOQ.

    Although I advise great caution in buying from suppliers on Alibaba, the "secret that Alibaba and Aliexpress sellers" don't want you to know doesn't apply to genuine manufacturers on Alibaba. They don't buy from suppliers on 1688 - suppliers on 1688 buy from them!

    You'll notice I said " genuine manufacturers", and that's because a high percentage of suppliers on Alibaba are traders masquerading as manufacturers.

    Walter Hay
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Importexport, Mar 11, 2017 IP
    matt_62 likes this.
  3. eMonetize

    eMonetize Greenhorn

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    #103
    I know someone that has been using 1688 to source products with no problems. Which is how I learned about them.

    So are you saying to never use them to source products or that you just need to do you homework?
     
    eMonetize, Mar 12, 2017 IP
  4. jbbryant

    jbbryant Greenhorn

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    #104
    careful when buying cheap, most of the time you get what you paid for.
     
    jbbryant, Mar 12, 2017 IP
  5. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #105
    I have been importing since 1987 and I sold franchises of my importing businesses to people in 4 countries. I would never use 1688 and I would never allow my franchisees to use them.

    The risks are way too high. Some people are lucky. I don't like to run a business on luck.

    Walter Hay,
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Importexport, Mar 12, 2017 IP
  6. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #106
    On alibaba, I have brought parts for motorbikes that are copies of OEM. (even if the ad does say that it is OEM). They are not 100% identical. For some parts, the minor differences is not important, and it is fine. Other parts, are just garbage. Just the smallest detail wrong, and it is actually not usable.

    This is the thing when buying from these sites. It is a hit and a miss. Who takes the risk? Does the end user, paying full price, thinking they are buying quality products take the risk, or does the middle man take the risk and work out the risk when doing their business plan? If the end user buys from alibaba... they might think ok, too cheap is not good. If the end user buys from you, and you brought from alibaba.... the price is costing more for the same item. the end user would be demanding, if not expecting quality parts.

    The parts I brought that are wrong, unusable, only someone who actually knows the item really well, and how to use it, could spot the problem. You could all look at them, and think, wow, it is oem and perfect, when in fact it is absolute garbage.

    IMHO. Do not buy blindly buy to resell.
    For me, if I was going to buy to resell from somewhere like alibaba, I would buy for me. I would only buy products that I would use, and know about. I would stick to my area of expertise. I would test the hell out of it. Personally inspect every item, AND I would have some stock that I would not sell, and keep these for warranty. Ie, If I brought 100 items, 10 of them I would not sell. This way, if anyone complains that it is defective, damaged, not working, I can quickly ship a replacement -> not 3 months waiting for stock to arrive. But can send a replacement overnight.
     
    matt_62, Mar 12, 2017 IP
    Importexport likes this.
  7. jayceexzero

    jayceexzero Greenhorn

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    #107
    Amazon & Alibaba are both good websites to get products at lower cost if you are into dropshipping business. Just be sure that the products that you are going to use have a strong demand. Buying in bulk to save a lot of money is also a good move.
     
    jayceexzero, Mar 13, 2017 IP
  8. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #108
    One way to be reasonably confident of quality is to order a sample, or if the unit cost is low, order a small quantity. The freight cost on samples is very high, so don't think of buying one or two for resale.

    Test the sample, and if it is good, use it as the standard from which you write up your specifications for a larger order. To be safer, tell the manufacturer that you intend getting an inspection service to check that the quality meets your specifications before shipping. In many cases that will make sure the manufacturer does make a quality product as good as the sample.

    That's not foolproof. The next safest way is to actually have the shipment inspected by a quality inspection service, and if they find faulty products you don't pay the balance of the order amount. This leaves you with the problem of having lost the deposit you paid, but it also leaves the manufacturer with the problem of disposing of all the faulty goods. They will usually re-make them, in which case you only agree if they will pay your nominated inspection service to do an inspection on the new batch.

    There is an even safer way, and that is paying by Letter of Credit, but that is only cost effective for larger orders - at least >$2,000. For answers to any questions please post them on my AMA thread: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing and Importing

    Walter Hay
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    Importexport, Mar 15, 2017 IP
  9. knowledgeherald

    knowledgeherald Active Member

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    #109
    I think Alibaba is better as it is in English and easily understandable by everyone who knows even little of the language. The translated version of 1688 has flaws.
     
    knowledgeherald, Jan 7, 2018 IP
  10. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #110
    If you read my detailed answer in Post#102, there are lot more problems in buying on 1688.com than just the shocking bad, and laughable translations. The English translations I have seen don't just have flaws, they are totally unusable unless you are a big time gambler.

    Note that in that post I pointed out the risks of using a Chinese agent to buy from 1688 for you. The same applies to the Chinese language site Taobao.com.

    Walter Hay
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Importexport, Jan 7, 2018 IP
  11. Bella Lopez

    Bella Lopez Greenhorn

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    #111
    What they are doing is called dropshipping. They might be getting the products from Chinese and Hong Kong suppliers through sites like AliBaba, AliExpress and DHGate. They are quite popular and send trending items at dirt cheap prices. You just need to be cautious while selecting the supplier for your store. Think of it as your business partner and if you find a good one, you'll be running a successful business in a short while.
     
    Bella Lopez, Jan 15, 2018 IP
  12. Ant-Lion

    Ant-Lion Active Member

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    #112
    I have started a trial selling on Ebay. I have been getting my items off AliExpress. I am focusing on a single niche and I am standing out from the China sellers by offering faster postage since I'm posting from within Australia.
     
    Ant-Lion, Feb 19, 2018 IP
  13. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #113
    Obviously you are not dropshipping. You must be buying inventory from Aliexpress so that you can post from within Australia.

    You have a much better business model than dropshipping from suppliers on Aliexpress and annoying your customers with very slow delivery.

    You can do even better by buying direct from the manufacturers, and NO you don't have to place huge orders. I have taught many hundreds of people how to get suppliers on Alibaba to accept orders for much less than the big MOQs they quote.

    Walter Hay
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Importexport, Feb 19, 2018 IP
  14. Ant-Lion

    Ant-Lion Active Member

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    #114
    Yeah I am keeping inventory locally so I can post from within Australia and the main goal of this Ebay business is to gain experience with Ecommerce and logistics.
    If it works out I have a profitable sideline to go with my local IT services business and if it doesn't work out the skills I gain can be used to offer Ecommerce advice to my existing offline clients who do have a product that is in demand.

    I looked into dropshipping but the only way for that to be profitable these days is to automate the hell out of everything and hope the dropshipper on the other hand are on top of things. If things goes wrong the support required for customers will easily undo all cost savings done by automating the process. I'm also competing against China directly if I go down that path.

    If my niche does work out to be profitable I will be buying directly from the manafacturer but for now I'm just using Ali Express for smaller orders to test the viability of my niche. The items in questions are ones that I need for my own use and I felt that there is a market for them.

    Your post has given me a bit to think about and I will look into your book too once I scrape a bit more money together.
     
    Ant-Lion, Feb 19, 2018 IP
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  15. Importexport

    Importexport Member

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    #115
    When you are ready to start sourcing direct from the manufacturers, I suggest a good starting point is my thread:
    Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing and Importing Although I can't post over 100 pages from my book, I do provide help when people ask. A major point to note is that the great majority of suppliers listed on Alibaba are traders pretending to be manufacturers. You will need to learn how to tell the difference. The main thing is don't believe everything you read on B2B websites.

    Walter Hay
    Provenchinasourcing
     
    Importexport, Feb 19, 2018 IP