Saturday, 9 November 2013

Making Money using Alibaba and Aliexpress

One definitive way of making extra cash online is through running your own online retail store. The existence and profitability of businesses such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon and Overstock proves this. There are millions of internet stores, but using tried and proven platforms like Ebay and Amazon can increase the potential of reaching your target market and generating online sales. To this extent, sourcing reliable and price-competitive suppliers has become ever-important.

As manufacturing industries have increasingly been outsourced to China and India, we have seen the emergence of super websites like Alibaba and Aliexpress. These enormous websites are fine examples of businesses that got in early when the opportunity presented itself. As more and more manufacturing businesses started up in China and India, Alibaba and Aliexpress came to prominence as the means by which westerners could source cheap product and inventory without needing a Madarin-to-English interpreter!

However, like most things on the internet - as they became more popular they also became saturated with duplicates, copy-cats, fakes and scammers who were keen to take advantage of unwitting overseas buyers who would have little if any recourse once ripped off. If you do a search for almost any product on either of these and similar sites, you will often get hundreds or even thousands of results. The prices range wildly and frankly, you would not want to stake your new business's reputation on relying upon dodgy suppliers.

The sad fact is that many of the so-called 'suppliers' are not manufacturers or wholesalers as they state. At best they are painting themselves as such and offering goods at retail prices and at worst, dearer than retail prices in your own country!!! My advice if you are going to make money online: avoid them like the plague. Having said that, I have managed to find two or three good wholesale suppliers in the past. But that is two or three in probably over one hundred extensive searches on these websites that often lasts more than an hour! Not real good statistics for ROI in terms of time!

If you cannot find a good deal reasonably quickly or get swamped with thousands of search results, do not invest too much of your time at these websites. If it is super-important, either book a flight to China or India or find a smaller independent or boutique operator to act as a buyer or buyer's advocate. Time is money and you cannot buy your time back! We will look into online business ideas later in the blog.

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