Launching ANY Business or Side Hustle

Launching a product business or simple side hustle has become increasingly easy to do with sites like Alibaba.com & Aliexpress.com.

Both sites are international marketplaces for bulk and wholesale products for pretty much anything. Clothing, Hair, Shoes, Car Parts, Computers, Kitchen Products, Toilet Paper---I mean I can go on and on.

Let's go over a few essential pointers and recommendations when using both sites.

 

Ask Questions. Get Clarity.

Keep in mind, that you are usually speaking with Associates in China or other international locations outside the USA. So you want to be sure to get a lot of understanding before purchasing in bulks. Ask about time frames, processes, manufacturing processes and etc.

One thing I have learned is that sometimes they pronounce or say things a bit differently, or just maybe their message translator may translate words differently on their end, so send photos, point things out and be sure that you fully understand each other to prevent errors. A mistake I've made a few times.

 

Order Samples. Compare Manufacturers.

This one is important. Ordering samples are the best way to ensure quality. But ordering from 1 manufacturer is not recommended.

Find 3-5 manufacturers and order the exact same product. There will be many of them selling the exact same thing, so your options will be limitless.

Once you receive the product, its time to make comparisons, but not just on the quality of the product, also look at:

  1. Shipping Speed
  2. Communication
  3. Customization Options
  4. Prices

From there, pick the one you want to start ordering from and keep the others to the side just in case you need another option to fall on.

 

Things to expect:

  • Items are coming from overseas...shipping rates may be considerably high. But lower shipping rates could mean longer wait times. I recommend getting your samples within 1-2 weeks.
  • Because items are coming from overseas, the cost for samples is usually much higher per piece than getting the product in bulk.
  • Expect 2-4 weeks of shipping transit. Once the item is in motion to be delivered to you, remember that there are steps in receiving items from places like China. Items have to be shipped, picked up by forwarders, and inspected by US customs. Now, this is usually when you are receiving MANY boxes. Single items don't usually require forwarding depending on how that manufacturer ships.
  • When you are getting 10, 20, 30, or 100 boxes like myself, keep an eye on your emails and phone calls. At any time, US Customs may require some additional information about what's in your packages. They may ask you for some information like Business name, EIN, Business address, shipment descriptions and etc if your manufacturer/shipper did not provide all these details. I have only seen this when my manufacturer shipped with UPS.

 

Keep Communication/Payments on the platform in the beginning.

Now, if you are reading this and you're already ordering with these platforms, you may know the first thing the associate will ask you: Message me on WhatsApp or WeChat for better communication.

While this is OK, you still want to be careful because Alibaba and AliExpress do not offer much protection when you are handling the transaction and communicating outside the app/website.

In other words, if something goes wrong, they do not accept much outside communication/payment proof because they handle everything based on your account.

Now, the payment situation is 50/50. Personally, a lot of my transactions were too large to place on Alibaba and I was forced to do Wire Transfers when it was time to buy my merchandise. But now that I have a long standing relationship with my manufacturer of 3 years, I no longer use the platform, I go to them directly to design, build and launch new and custom products and pay them directly. I also have documented agreements in place between us.

And this will be important for you also. Being able to just go to the manufacturer directly will make your process smooth and much easier than having to browse the platforms.

So in the beginning, build up your manufacturer relationships, keep the communication on Alibaba or AliExpress if you can, build trust, and then make adjustments.

 

Start Simple if Needed.

You don't have to start off with getting custom products. You can simply buy their products as is and resell them at the market rate. This is what 80% of Amazon sellers are doing with things like Phone Cases, Wallets, Electronics, Accessories, and other gadgets that fills amazon.

So start where you can afford it because when customization comes into play, you must buy higher quantities.

 

From Small to Expansive:

Here are a few Manufacturers/Vendors in various industries.

evacuation digging machine

Alibaba Cookware

Luxury Purse Alibaba

Alibaba Vending machines

Alibaba Wholesale Candles

Note the Logo & Packaging Customization. The possibilities for launching a brand in any industry is endless.

The difference in AliExpress:

AliExpress is a direct marketplace and it's much harder to find manufacturers for customization. With AliExpress, you must buy as-is. With Alibaba, you can buy as is, get your products custom or submit your own designs and have them made.

For quick products to buy in bulks only, AliExpress is your place.

For Customization and personalized specifications, Alibaba is your place.

 

Website: https://www.alibaba.com

Website: https://www.aliexpress.com

 

Start Selling the products online:

  • Shopify
  • Wix
  • Payhip
  • WooCommerce
  • Ecwid

Marketplaces:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Ebay
  • Amazon
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