Tuesday 12 Dec 2017

Alibaba Misconceptions

People unfamiliar with Alibaba.com tend to have some common misconceptions about the site. Here’s a brief rundown.

Alibaba.com is not the Chinese eBay

Alibaba.com is not the Chinese eBay. It’s a B2B Internet sourcing platform, where suppliers can offer products and services to potential customers. The site is intended primarily for transactions between businesses, rather than between individuals.

Also, brand-name merchandise – such as Apple iPhones – cannot be sold through Alibaba.com without express authorization of the brand-name company. You can still find plenty of consumer products on the site, but they’ll mostly likely be generic consumer products, as opposed to brand-name consumer products.

Taobao, Alibaba.com’s sister site, is the real “Chinese eBay”. That site is targeted towards individuals and does feature brand-name merchandise.

Alibaba.com Suppliers are not All Chinese

It’s true most suppliers on Alibaba.com are from China. But a significant number are also from other places such as India, Europe, and the United States. When you search for suppliers on the site, you can filter out the results according to geographic location.

You Don’t Have to Know Chinese

You don’t have to know Chinese to use Alibaba.com. Knowing Chinese might be helpful when dealing with Chinese suppliers. But even there, it’s not absolutely necessary.

English is the official international language of Alibaba.com. Most suppliers on the site can speak and write English. Most buyers on the site use English to communicate with their suppliers.


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