1688 vs. Alibaba
Which is the better website to purchase from when sourcing from suppliers in China?
Alibaba is the first name that comes to mind when most people think about sourcing from China. However, did you know that there is a Chinese version of Alibaba too? No, we don't mean the Alibaba site in Chinese, but a entire separate site with a separate URL that is meant as a platform for wholesalers and suppliers in China to sell to local businesses who in turn sell to consumers!
Yes, there is a Chinese and local versions of Alibaba, and it's called 1688 (1688.com). If you're sourcing from China and you don't know 1688, you're definitely missing out! Here's the secret: 1688 is a much better site to source for supplies in China than Alibaba.com! Here's why:
1. 1688 offers you local Chinese prices, Alibaba offers you 'foreigner prices'
If you're sourcing for supplies from China as a business, margins are important to you - that's why you're buying from China after all. In China it is well known that for many goods and services, there is one price for locals and another for foreigners. This applies when sourcing from China as well.
Therefore, when sourcing from China, you don't want to source where all the foreigners are sourcing from. You want to beat the market. You want to take it a step further and source from where the locals are sourcing. This ensures you enjoy the best deals that China has to offer.
2. Even Taobao stores are buying from 1688
Prices are already very low on Taobao itself which is full of amazing bargains. If many of these Taobao stores are getting their supplies from 1688, you can only imagine how low prices must be on 1688.com
3. Prices on 1688 are negotiable too, just like on Alibaba
Although not immediately obvious from the 1688 website itself, prices on 1688 are often actually negotiable, especially if you're buying in larger quantities. The same applies on Taobao too. Naturally, the one downside for you in using 1688 is that unlike on Alibaba, most sellers on 1688 don't speak much English. That's no problem though, since you can get us to communicate with them. Write to us at to let us know the product link and the quantity you wish to buy. We'll see what we can do for you.
4. Lower or no minimum order quantity requirement.
Unlike on Alibaba where virtually all the sellers have a minimum order requirement, many sellers on 1688 don't have minimum order requirements, although the prices are usually cheaper if you order in larger quantities.
On 1688, you're also buying directly from factories and suppliers, with the two added bonuses that there is firstly usually no minimum quantity requirement unlike with Alibaba, and also that you get to pay local prices.
Visit 1688.com to start browsing the millions of incredible bargains on 1688.
To start buying and shipping internationally from 1688 and other China-based websites or suppliers, visit our order page.