5 Things to Do BEFORE Working With Chinese Dropshippers & Suppliers (Aliexpress & Alibaba Tips)

Do these 5 things BEFORE using a Chinese Aliexpress Dropshipper or Alibaba Supplier!
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#1: Check to see if your suppliers has been to a tradeshow

If you are trying to decide between two suppliers, checking to see if either has been to a tradeshow is a great way to help pick between them. Going to a tradeshow is very expensive and so a lot of legitimate suppliers do not go because it is hard to make enough money back to make it profitable. What this means is that if a supplier has gone, then it indicates they are financially is a good position (which means they are unlikely to go out of business any time soon).

If your supplier is on Alibaba, you can go to their profile and check to see if they have visited any tradeshows. If your supplier is based on Aliexpress, find the brand of the item that you would like to sell and then go to Alibaba to locate the manufacturer. You can then visit the manufacturers profile page to see if they have been to a tradeshow.

#2: Avoid using pictures with models

If you are working with a Chinese dropshipper on Aliexpress or a Chinese supplier on Alibaba and they have stock photos that use models, we recommend that you don’t use those photos yourself. This is because Chinese suppliers have a history of illegally taking pictures from model’s social media accounts (like stealing the images from Instagram). They can get away with this in China, but in the West the model can contact Facebook/Amazon and get your ad/listing taken down. Avoid using pictures with models so that you don’t infringe on copyright.

#3: Check to see if you’re working with a manufacturer, trade company or wholesaler

On Alibaba you will usually encounter two types of suppliers: manufacturers and trade companies. A manufacturer is the factory that originally made the item. A trade company is a middle-man between a manufacturer/factory and you. Neither is better than the other, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage with a manufacturer is that you’re going straight to the source and it’s usually cheaper. On the other hand, a trade company usually charges more since they make a commission on the sale, but their reps usually speak better english which makes communication much better (sometimes they can negotiate lower prices than if you were buying straight from the manufacturer as well so it’s good to check even if you are price sensitive). You can check what the company is in their Alibaba profile.

On Aliexpress you’ll usually encounter either manufacturers or wholesalers. Manufacturers tend to brand their store their generic label brand (e.g. Transhome) and only sell products under their brands. Wholesalers will usually name their store something less generic (e.g. Mr & Mrs Store) and will sell products from a variety of manufacturers. Wholesalers are sometimes more expensive but they have a wider selection of products.

#4: Recap your agreements and contracts in writing

If you and your supplier are negotiating a contract or an agreement, make sure that you get your suppliers to recap it and write out the agreement in text. It’s very easy for both cultural and language differences to cause misunderstandings. Ask your suppler to recap each element of your agreement in text (either by email or by sending a copy of your contract in writing).

#5 Prioritize products that have multiple manufacturers

The profit margins for Chinese manufacturers is very small, because they sell their items so cheaply. That, along with the fact that doing business in China is relatively difficult means that unless a factory is well managed, it can go bankrupt and have to close. If you’re dropshipping an item or private labeling it for Amazon and your supplier goes out of business, then unless you have a backup supplier that manufactures the same item – you will have nothing to sell and your money will dry up.

That is why, when choosing between products, it’s good to look for one that has multiple manufacturers and suppliers. Then, on the off-chance your supplier has to close it’s doors, you can switch to a new one – and your business can continue, and you can keep making money.

28 thoughts on “5 Things to Do BEFORE Working With Chinese Dropshippers & Suppliers (Aliexpress & Alibaba Tips)”

  1. unique content like always.. not all the other recycle garbage from ”gurus” that provide ”value” .
    Good job Sarah

    1. This is just superb, I’ve been looking for “can i buy wholesale without a business?” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Ever heard of – Lanreenan Foremost Leverage – (do a google search ) ? It is an awesome exclusive product for discovering how to find luxury or designer goods at wholesale or lower prices minus the normal expense. Ive heard some incredible things about it and my brother in law got great results with it.

  2. Liftingoverfifty

    Thank you Sarah, love the part about using the model photos, I never thought of that, thank you so much for the awesome tips!

  3. Your videos have their own fantastically unique quality and production to them that makes them above and beyond anything I’ve yet come across.
    Thank you for sharing as I’m sure you’re helping myself and many many others.
    Love and thanks from us to you!

  4. Wholesale Ted Sarah, I love every video I’ve watched so far! Even though you claim some of the topics you cover as “boring” or “unsexy” they are necessary and relevant, and I greatly appreciate you for doing so, and the way you present them has always been upbeat and enjoyable to see, thank you and keep up the good work!

    P.S. I’m about 1 video away from buying the camera lens coffee mug, potentially unintended sales tactic, but I’m sold! 😉

  5. Thank you for an informative video .. I would like to summarize for future reference ..
    1- Suppliers who participated in Tradeshow ( Longterm history and quality products )
    2- Avoid pictures with models ( they could sue )
    3- Check who you’re working with ; a MANUFACTURER (BEST), a trade company or a wholesaler
    4- Recapping agreements (ask specific questions with detailed specs )
    5- Prioritize products that have multiple manufacturers ( make sure to avoid those likely to go out of business )

  6. Gwenette WriterSinclair

    Sara, you are absolutely amazing. One of the only people I have found that actually teaches important info in every video – even though the videos are free. Also, your promo of your paid course(s) is always very short and professional. I truly appreciate your approach, your knowledge and your personal style Sara. Thank you very much.

  7. Good job Sarah, love your content! I found this american brand – WMP eyewear and added eyewear to my fashion shop. It was really winning strategy for me.

  8. Many thanks, Sarah! One point; even though the company may have been at a trade show, keep your eyes open nonetheless. I attend the Music Trade Show in Frankfurt, Germany often and I’ve encountered many Chinese manufacturers of saxophones. Most are qualitative very good, but I’ve met one saxophone model that was sooooo horrible, it should have been embarrassing to take it to a trade show. Just for the info, I’ve met an American company once with a semi-german name that had produced a pretty awful sax as well.
    Anyway, great stuff!

  9. Dear Ms. Sarah. Thank you for your sharing of quality information. I adore you, in a non-creepy strictly grateful manner.

  10. Righteous Indignation

    Thanks for this. All info is still current and pertinent, and this video is a great piece of advice and, even though am a n0ob to the dropship business, I highly recommend this video as what she covers is the same a year later.
    -Unfortunately, following the E-Book link, did not produce a free download as I hit a pay wall (you can link and find out what’s up yourselves, not gonna knock anyone’s market plan; I don’t have the experience or savvy to) and that always bums me out.- But the video is gold, especially for anyone new to ‘the business’. Cheers!
    *EDIT: so check it out, I was hasty in my words and thoughts about the E-book/paywall thing. A download link from Wholesale Ted, for the FREE E-book arrived in my email just after I finished Sarah’s video on the 7 mistakes teenage Sarah made in her new business (which is also pure gold, and at least for me, linked pic-in-pic at the end of the above video) and had it saved to Google Drive in less than 30 seconds after following the email link. My bad. GG Sarah.

  11. Thanks for all the great stuff, I appreciate your channel…… My only complaint is you don’t make more videos on how to find good products for dummies.

  12. familyguyathome

    Love your energy and your accent! Keeps me engaged. Gotta show your videos to my daughters, you are a role model. “Dont look for a boss, look to be the BOSS!”

  13. Thank you so much for this, I remember watching this video over a year ago. It inspired me to do FBA, 16 months later I’m mortgage free and have a steady 7k per month income. Thank you 🙏

  14. Once again Sarah, great information. I am blessed by the amount of information that I have gained through your videos, I am most thankful for having found your channel.

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