This post contains affiliate links.
Are you considering starting your own business but are not sure where to source your items or supplies? Alibaba could be the answer you are looking for.
What is Alibaba?
In essence, Alibaba is an Ecommerce provider of tens of millions of products or supplies to resell, craft, and what have you in order to get your small business up and running in no time. Their products include everything from automotive parts and tools to apparel and jewelry and everything you can think of in between! I personally get many of my supplies for making jewelry from Alibaba sellers.
How Does It Work?
Alibaba works much like any other ecommerce website, such as Ebay, or Etsy, it is a site for vendors of various items to sell their wares. You can search individual items and/or do a Request For Quote (RFQ) from a specific supplier.
Most items are sold in bulk, and all will have a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) that you have to adhere to, and this can get expensive for small businesses in the beginning. However, not all suppliers require such large quantities, making this one of the most important of the available search parameter that you can enter to narrow your searches, as well as origin country and export countries and price.
What About the Cost?
Yes, buying in bulk can be a bigger layout than expected, however, Alibaba has partnered with Kabbage to offer financing based on your business scores at very low rates.
Looking to Upgrade Your Current Business?
Alibaba is a great way to stock up early on trending products and get them on the market early, as well as sourcing craftsman supplies for projects of a multitude of types. Beef up your already existing handmade business by also offering supplies (my plan for the near future). Or take the opportunity to branch out into new areas that have been considering!
As much as I would love to list all of the wonderful things you can find and market on Alibaba, there simply is not enough time or room here. As long as you don’t mind waiting for the shipments to come in, as most of the vendors are in China, Japan, and India, you are guaranteed to find great deals on some fabulous items!
I will leave you with a few examples of the earrings I have made using the beads from Alibaba. I am quite impressed with not only the quality of the beads, but they got here exactly on time. I have been very pleased as well with the customer service. I have placed several orders and have yet to have a single problem communicating my needs to the vendors. (Just remember the time difference when sending a question or RFQ!)
You can find the earrings, and much, much more, in my Etsy shop CathysCraftyDesigns!
I was also able to find some hard to find jewelry findings that are in the post now and I simply cannot wait! (I’m like a child waiting for Christmas!) The jewelry dreams running rampant in my head are to die for!
So, check out Alibaba for all of your sourcing needs, whether it be supplies or completed products, they have it all.