Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Really need help sourcing from china

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 11th, 2019 2:04 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2013
1748 posts
437 upvotes
Toronto

Really need help sourcing from china

Need some help with ordering some outdoor channel letters from china, is alibaba a fairly reliable source? I’m kinda scared to order but retail prices are 2k and the supplier quotes me 305$ Plus 200 for shipping what do you guys think? Help?
12 replies
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14252 posts
4156 upvotes
Here 'n There
Heavenleigh85 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 11:57 pm
Need some help with ordering some outdoor channel letters from china, is alibaba a fairly reliable source? I’m kinda scared to order but retail prices are 2k and the supplier quotes me 305$ Plus 200 for shipping what do you guys think? Help?
There are a tens of millions of vendors on Alibaba. Yes every single one of them is perfectly reliable! :rolleyes:
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2013
1748 posts
437 upvotes
Toronto
eonibm wrote:
Aug 20th, 2019 7:48 am
There are a tens of millions of vendors on Alibaba. Yes every single one of them is perfectly reliable! :rolleyes:
I know they aren’t but how can I find out who’s legit. Also is it a red flag if they request whAts app right away or is that standard
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14252 posts
4156 upvotes
Here 'n There
Heavenleigh85 wrote:
Aug 20th, 2019 9:35 am
I know they aren’t but how can I find out who’s legit. Also is it a red flag if they request whAts app right away or is that standard
There is no way. Proof is in the pudding. I know smart seasoned business people who have been scammed on Alibaba.
Sr. Member
Nov 10, 2003
727 posts
118 upvotes
Concord
Heavenleigh85 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 11:57 pm
Need some help with ordering some outdoor channel letters from china, is alibaba a fairly reliable source? I’m kinda scared to order but retail prices are 2k and the supplier quotes me 305$ Plus 200 for shipping what do you guys think? Help?
You can always order small qty samples to check the quality. That said, my experience has been a coin toss. Sometimes you will be amazed with the quality and other times not.
Deal Addict
Jun 20, 2010
1409 posts
670 upvotes
Never had an issue with customized volume orders on Alibaba - orders are always produced on time as quoted and arrived as expected. There are verified vendors and a rating system in place. I typically communicate through their msg center and via email.
Deal Addict
Sep 23, 2007
4733 posts
942 upvotes
That's the risk of buying from an overseas vendor. There's no magic solution. Some import/export businesses in Canada work because the owner(s) have connections in China so that they know they aren't being screwed. This is why so many import/export businesses in Canada are run by Chinese people. Because they have connections, speak the language, and China happens to be the world's factory. If you have to ask this question, then I guess you don't have such connections. You can build it but have to start somewhere. Maybe buy in small quantities first and express interest in larger quantities in the future if things go well?

Relationship building is part of running a business. Word of mouth trumps online reviews.
Jr. Member
Nov 13, 2016
164 posts
106 upvotes
There is no concept of relationship in business with 80% of Chinese vendors. Each new enquiry is a new start. Past experience usually doesn't garantee future experience - but there can be exceptions. Also a lot of trade is controlled by govt directly or indirectly - so incase of any issues you are SOL. Your best bet is to have your own local sourcing office in China with someone who you already trust. Otherwise deal with established importers in your local country. At least you have recourse options if the goods don't measure up. Obviously you will not get the cheap pricing as in China but at least you will have less issues to worry about. With a lot of supplier/importers from China your best bet is to negotiate locally here.


Good luck.

CD
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
14252 posts
4156 upvotes
Here 'n There
Canadadesi wrote:
Sep 1st, 2019 8:45 am
There is no concept of relationship in business with 80% of Chinese vendors. Each new enquiry is a new start. Past experience usually doesn't garantee future experience - but there can be exceptions. Also a lot of trade is controlled by govt directly or indirectly - so incase of any issues you are SOL. Your best bet is to have your own local sourcing office in China with someone who you already trust. Otherwise deal with established importers in your local country. At least you have recourse options if the goods don't measure up. Obviously you will not get the cheap pricing as in China but at least you will have less issues to worry about. With a lot of supplier/importers from China your best bet is to negotiate locally here.


Good luck.

CD
Totally agree. I wouldn't trust 'em as far as I could throw 'em and that is from experience.
Newbie
User avatar
Jul 4, 2019
46 posts
9 upvotes
Heavenleigh85 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 11:57 pm
Need some help with ordering some outdoor channel letters from china, is alibaba a fairly reliable source? I’m kinda scared to order but retail prices are 2k and the supplier quotes me 305$ Plus 200 for shipping what do you guys think? Help?
alibaba needs big volume. u can google for aliexpress. or like someone here suggest, go for upwork to look for sourcing agent to help you.
Newbie
Sep 19, 2009
17 posts
2 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
I think you are way to0 risk averse, so pull the trigger, or start on aliexpress. $500 is small potatoes in this business and if it's not to you, don't move ahead with the order.

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