Alibaba vs. AliExpress - What's the Difference?
It's no secret to the FBA world that Alibaba and AliExpress are excellent places to source your products. For the unacquainted, here is a brief introduction: Alibaba, a Chinese company, owns Aliexpress. As early as 2012, Alibaba was handling more than $120 billion a year in sales, and has only grown since. With more than $20 billion in revenue, $70 billion in assets, and 50,000 employees, it has become a huge name in international trade.
That's all fine and well, but what do they do? And how are they different? The simple answer is this:
- Both allow manufacturers and third-party vendors to list their products online and sell them all over the world
- Alibaba is good for LARGE orders and most are manufacturers (cheaper price)
- Aliexpress is good for SMALL orders (include 1-item purchases) and many are third-party vendors (middlemen)
Here's an example.
- Alibaba: Product A
- List price = $2-$4
- You can negotiate
- High minimum - you must buy at least 500
- Aliexpress: Product A
- List price = $9
- You cannot negotiate (at least not as obviously or easily)
- No minimum - you can buy 1
Alibaba is like contacting the factory, whereas Aliexpress is like contacting a store in a mall.
You're now well on your way to making your first purchase!
Note: these rules are not perfectly set in stone. You may be able to negotiate with someone on Aliexpress through direct messaging (unlike the negotiation process on Alibaba) and can lower the minimum on Alibaba (though it usually remains high). These remain, however, the overarching trends on the two sites.
Part 2 - Basic Ways to Protect Your Money