Alibaba is the eighth-largest company in the world. No, really. Its annual sales of $34 billion put it ahead of IBM, Disney, and McDonald’s, to name a few. It may have its origins in China, which will be a significant selling point for those looking to expand. Still, Alibaba is a global e-commerce site where you can sell your products at wholesale prices to businesses worldwide.
If you’re looking for an overseas outlet for your products, this guide will tell you how to sell on Alibaba and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Can anybody sell on Alibaba?
Yes, absolutely anyone can sell on Alibaba. You don’t need to be a registered company to sell on the platform, and you can list as an individual seller. Also, regardless of your location, you can still make sales on the forum. Sellers from anywhere can sell on Alibaba, and it doesn’t matter whether you speak English or Chinese. The platform allows you to list your products in any language and receive payment in any currency.
How Does Alibaba Support Sellers?
Before using Alibaba, take the time to browse its support pages for sellers. These pages are split into “entry” and “expansion” stages of use. And it’s a good idea to look through both of these pages before signing up. They do a great job of outlining some of the most important features offered by the platform and how you can use them to your advantage.
Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, it has an extensive network of trade consultants that can provide advice and support on the platform. While some of these consultants are within China, consultants are also in cities across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. These consultants can help answer your questions about selling on Alibaba and how best to meet your goals.
How Much Does Alibaba Charge To Sell On It?
Alibaba is free to use. You can take advantage of some paid services, like upgraded memberships. The essential services needed to set up a store and sell your products are completely free.
The only charge associated with using Alibaba is the commission fee they levy on any sales you make through their platform. These fees come in at three different levels based on your membership tier:
- Gold Supplier: 8% – 16% commission
- TrustPass: 12% – 16% commission
- Free Member: 18% – 30% commission
If you plan to sell a lot, be aware that Alibaba charges a commission on the total amount of the sale. This is usually a small amount but can add up to thousands of dollars if you make large-volume sales. However, if you only plan to sell a few items at a time, this fee will not be an issue and should not prevent you from signing up.
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How to Sell on Alibaba
Selling on Alibaba is similar to trading on other platforms, although with a difference. That said, here is how to begin your online selling business:
1. Create a Free Company Profile (Company Store)
Selling on Alibaba is quick and easy. You have to create a free company profile or company store. The store gives you access to the Alibaba platform to begin your selling business.
Create your Alibaba account by following the steps below:
- Download the app.
- Sign up for a free account.
- Use your email address to register and create a secure password.
- Create an easy-to-remember username that serves as an identifier on the site, like “EtsySeller01.” This is what buyers will see when browsing through listings, so you want it to reflect your brand or product somehow. However, be careful not to give away too much information about who you are or your location.
2. Choose the Right Product to Sell On Alibaba
It is worth noting that a good supplier will have built up a strong network that works in their best interest. And it would help if you were very wary of any supplier who attempts to reduce commission substantially. Your suppliers are your lifeblood, and the more successful they are, the harder they will work on your behalf.
A seller who has made at least five sales over several months or so will likely be able to provide honest and accurate information about his products and how customers react to them.
3. Create a Strong Sales Pitch
A good sales pitch will spur potential customers to part with money for products available in your store. This makes it essential to develop a concise yet appealing sales pitch to drive that motivation in clients.
Imagine you’re meeting with a potential buyer for the first time. You want to make a great impression, so you’d probably wear your best clothes and rehearse what you’re going to say. The same is true for an online sales pitch, but instead of focusing on your appearance, you should focus on how well-crafted your sales pitch is.
After all, that is the only part of you that buyers can see. They will form their opinion of you based on what they read in your sales pitch and its following communication.
4. Promote Your Store and Products on Social Media
Although you may have a lot of reservations about social media, the fact is that it plays an integral part in marketing these days. Not only does it help boost your brand awareness and customer service efforts, but it also assists in lead generation and online reputation management. Nearly 87% of online sellers say that social media has helped them increase their brand exposure and drives traffic to their sites.
Once you’ve signed up for an account and gotten through the registration process, it’s time to build your network. Every connection you make is a potential customer, so don’t be shy. The more people who view your profile, the more likely they will buy from you.
Here are some ways to drive traffic to your profile or company storefront:
- Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Create a strong sales pitch
- Go on YouTube and start vlogging about the products you’re selling (don’t forget to link back to your page)
- Have your friends mention that they bought something from you in conversation with other people
- Utilize customer reviews and feedback to help create trust
- Content marketing is your friend and can help you push awareness and buzz for your store.
- Paid ads are also great and can help you target potential customers directly.
Tips for Selling On Alibaba
If you’re preparing to sell on Alibaba or have already started, you should keep the following tips in mind if you want to succeed.
- Sell in bulk. Remember that Alibaba is a wholesale marketplace, which means that buyers are looking for products in larger quantities, not something they’d buy at their local Walmart. It’s essential to keep this in mind when deciding what products you’d like to sell and how many of them you’ll need to order.
- For starters, don’t sell a niche-down product unless your business is already doing well and expanding into new markets. For example, don’t try selling antique model trains if your company has always sold organic tea. A good rule of thumb is that if it takes more than two words to describe your product, it’s probably too niche for a wholesale marketplace like Alibaba.
- Be prepared for a long sales cycle. This means it will probably take quite some time before orders start coming inconsistently. This is an essential factor to consider, especially if you’re spending money upfront on inventory and storage space rental fees. You want to make sure there’s enough cash flow left over after these expenses. This guarantees that your business isn’t put at risk during this initial period, where sales might be slower than expected.
Well, that’s all we have for you. We hope this article has helped clear up any confusion you had about how to sell on Alibaba and make money online. Remember that you need a great product that appeals to an extensive range of market audiences with selling. This makes it easy for you to sell to diverse groups regardless of significant differences. Also, promotional avenues are various, and you need to utilize them effectively if you wish to succeed with your selling on Alibaba.
You may also like to read our latest article, The Best Amazon Repricer Tools That Help Sellers To Stay Competitive.