Unlock The Power of 1688.com Sourcing

Unlock The Power of 1688.com Sourcing

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Why source on a website other than Alibaba?
  3. The advantages of using 1688.com
  4. Translating 1688.com into English
  5. Finding your product on 1688.com
  6. Evaluating the product listing
  7. Vetting the supplier on 1688.com
  8. Contacting the supplier and negotiation
  9. Ordering a sample and product inspection
  10. Making the final decision and payment


Are you looking to source products from a website other than Alibaba? In this article, I'm going to introduce you to an alternative platform called 1688.com. While Alibaba is popular and user-friendly, sourcing on 1688.com can give you a significant advantage over your competition. Despite the language barrier, I'll show you how to navigate the platform, find the right products, vet suppliers, negotiate prices, and ensure the delivery of high-quality products to Amazon's fulfillment center. Get ready to discover one of the most powerful sourcing websites on the planet and learn how to leverage it to get ahead.

Why source on a website other than Alibaba?

Alibaba is undeniably a great resource for finding suppliers and products. However, sourcing exclusively from Alibaba means you'll be competing with a massive number of sellers from all over the world. On 1688.com, you can find suppliers specifically targeting the Chinese market, which means you can often find better prices and quality. By exploring alternative sourcing websites, you can tap into new opportunities and gain an edge over your competition.

The advantages of using 1688.com

  1. Built specifically for Chinese retailers: 1688.com was designed to cater to the needs of Chinese businessmen and businesswomen. This means that you can find suppliers who primarily focus on the local market, offering high-quality products at competitive prices.
  2. More favorable pricing: Since 1688.com is geared towards the Chinese market, you can often negotiate better prices compared to sourcing from suppliers on Alibaba or other international platforms.
  3. Language translation: Although 1688.com is primarily in Chinese, there are tools available to translate the website into English. This enables you to navigate the platform more easily and communicate with suppliers despite the language barrier.
  4. Access to specialized products: Sourcing from 1688.com allows you to find unique products that may be in high demand but not readily available on other platforms. This can give you a competitive advantage in your market.

Translating 1688.com into English

To navigate 1688.com, one of the first hurdles you'll need to overcome is the language barrier. Fortunately, there are tools available, such as the Google Translate Chrome extension, that can help you translate the website from Chinese to English. Once installed, the extension will automatically translate the content on 1688.com, making it easier for you to browse and understand the platform.

Finding your product on 1688.com

There are three main ways to find products on 1688.com. You can upload a photo of the product, use an English keyword search, or use the Chinese version of the keyword. While uploading a photo may yield mixed results, using the Chinese version of the keyword often provides the most comprehensive and accurate search results. It's important to be specific with your search terms and make use of product specifications to find the exact product you're looking for.

Evaluating the product listing

When you find a product listing that interests you, it's essential to evaluate the details provided. Pay attention to factors such as the price, minimum order quantity (MOQ), product photos, and specifications. Keep in mind that the prices listed may not be exact, and the MOQ can vary depending on your negotiation with the supplier. It's also crucial to keep an eye out for any red flags or inconsistencies in the listing that may indicate potential issues with the supplier or product quality.

Vetting the supplier on 1688.com

Once you've identified a product of interest, it's essential to vet the supplier before proceeding further. Check the company profile for information on the supplier's establishment date, number of employees, and the size of their operations. Look for established companies with a good track record and reasonable employee count. Additionally, pay attention to any accreditations or certifications mentioned in the profile that indicate the supplier's credibility and adherence to industry standards.

Contacting the supplier and negotiation

Contacting a supplier on 1688.com can be challenging due to the language barrier and account restrictions. However, by using popular communication platforms like WeChat, you can bridge the gap and communicate effectively with suppliers. Begin by sending a specific message introducing yourself and clearly stating your sourcing requirements. Once you establish initial contact, you can negotiate prices, quantities, and product specifications. Be polite, firm, and open to negotiation to secure the best possible deal.

Ordering a sample and product inspection

Before placing a large order, it's crucial to request a sample from your chosen supplier. Once you receive the sample, thoroughly test and inspect it for quality and functionality. Pay attention to specific details and specifications to ensure that the sample meets your requirements. Should any issues or discrepancies arise, communicate with the supplier to address them before proceeding further. Consider hiring a professional product inspection company to conduct a thorough examination of the sample, providing you with an objective evaluation of its quality.

Making the final decision and payment

After conducting product inspections and ensuring the quality meets your standards, it's time to make your final decision. Evaluate the overall performance of the supplier, including their responsiveness, flexibility, and willingness to address any concerns. Request a proforma invoice (PI) that outlines the exact details of your order, including quantity, specifications, and pricing. Before paying the remaining 70% of the agreed-upon amount, request a commercial invoice for documentation and tax purposes. Once satisfied, wire the payment to the supplier and request a tracking number for efficient shipment and delivery to Amazon's fulfillment center.

By following these steps, you can successfully source products from 1688.com, leveraging its benefits and gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.


  1. Sourcing on 1688.com can give you an advantage over competition
  2. Use translation tools to navigate the platform in English
  3. Find specific products using Chinese keywords
  4. Evaluate product listings for pricing and specifications
  5. Vet suppliers based on company profile and establishment date
  6. Negotiate prices, quantities, and delivery terms with suppliers
  7. Order samples for thorough inspection and testing
  8. Make final decision based on supplier performance
  9. Request proforma and commercial invoices for documentation
  10. Wire payment and request tracking number for shipment


Q: Is using 1688.com a viable alternative to sourcing from Alibaba? A: Yes, sourcing from 1688.com can provide unique advantages such as better pricing, access to specialized products, and a competitive edge in the Chinese market.

Q: How can I overcome the language barrier on 1688.com? A: You can use translation tools like the Google Translate Chrome extension to navigate the platform in English and communicate with suppliers using popular messaging platforms like WeChat.

Q: How do I evaluate product listings on 1688.com? A: Pay attention to factors such as price, minimum order quantity, product photos, and specifications. Look for reputable suppliers and red flags that may indicate potential issues.

Q: What is the process for vetting suppliers on 1688.com? A: Check the supplier's company profile for establishment date, number of employees, and the size of their operations. Ensure they have the necessary accreditations and certifications.

Q: How can I negotiate prices and terms with suppliers on 1688.com? A: Clearly communicate your requirements, be specific with product details, and be open to negotiation. Polite and firm communication is key to securing the best possible deal.

Q: Why is ordering samples and conducting inspections important? A: Samples allow you to test the product's quality and functionality. Professional inspections provide an objective evaluation and assurance of the product's suitability for your needs.

Q: What are the final steps before making payment on 1688.com? A: Request a proforma invoice that outlines the order details and negotiate any changes or discrepancies. Once satisfied, request a commercial invoice for documentation purposes before wiring the final payment.

Q: Can I source products on 1688.com without an account or ID from an Asian country? A: It is possible to source products without an account or ID, but certain features may be restricted. However, using an agent or partner who has access to 1688.com can help navigate these restrictions.