Quick Tips: Using Alibaba for Your Boutique Fashion Store

Hey guys/gals!

I’m new to clothing and starting a line but I have 11 years experience with importing (mostly from China, India, and Italy to the US). When I first started I did use Alibaba and sites like it (trust me guys the site has come a lonnnngggg way). I’d like to lend my expertise in using Alibaba to your advantage and avoiding scams.

  1. Use Alibaba GOLD suppliers only symbolized with a yellow goldish circle by the year they’ve been on Alibaba

  2. Only use Alibaba suppliers with 3+ years on the site, by then if they were doing something wrong the likelihood they would be caught is substantial.

  3. Use Alibaba suppliers that are manufactures vs trader (see company profile details>company type) and if unsure simply ask…if they are both that is fine, you’ll want to ask if hey manufacture your specific good.

  4. Make sure your supplier is true to their niche. Don’t go with someone who sells glasses, socks, and mp3 players, you want to go for someone who specializes in packaging, or a certain type of material. Basically don’t work with those who are trying to please everyone instead of perfecting what the supply.

  5. NEVER EVER (LIKE EVER) pay using Western Union or the like.

  6. Buy/Request samples before getting bulk orders. And no it’s not sketchy for them to ask you to pay shipping.

  7. Allow 24-48 hours, remember a lot of suppliers are abroad in a wild time zone. Don’t be afraid to use skype or email and not just Alibaba’s messaging center.

  8. For your bulk order if your supplier accepts PayPal use your credit card. If anything goes belly up you can dispute via PayPal, if they don’t side in your favor, hit up MasterCard, Visa, Etc

This post first appeared on Reddit at Properly Using Alibaba for Hangtags, Clothing, Packaging, Etc (self.streetwearstartup)

submitted by shabit87