Alibaba vs AliExpress – which one should you choose

Alibaba vs AliExpress – which one should you choose

There are more and more internet marketplaces, where you are able to buy and sell an array of different products – from home accessories and clothes, to access points or high tech toys. E-commerce has been developing because of many advantages – merchants have a chance to reach a new group of clients or build their brands and buyers can find hundreds of articles in special prices without even leaving their homes. Surely, in your country, there are some online shopping platforms where you could conduct a transaction. No doubt you have heard about more global marketplaces such as Rakuten, eBay, Alibaba, and AliExpress. Using of its services can lead to conquering international markets and forging commercial links with partners all over the world.

1. Alibaba vs AliExpress – which one you should choose?

In this article, we focus on two great Chinese internet marketplaces which might be behind your company success. The presented text shows the difference between Alibaba and AliExpress and contains necessary information about procedures of selling in these online stores. If you want to start the adventure with international shopping platforms but you are not sure which one you should choose, the information below would resolve your doubts and let you pick the best option.

2. AliExpress vs Alibaba

From the very beginning, we need to explain that AliExpress and Alibaba belong to the same main company – Alibaba Group. It was founded in 1999 and next to the mentioned businesses there are also projects such as Taobao.com, Alimama or Alibaba Cloud. The revenue of this giant is over 9,873 billion USD what makes it one of the biggest companies in the world. Through the agency of Alibaba Group, there is a possibility to sell items by manufacturers, brands, retailers, wholesalers and even resellers. Before we decide which type of platform would be proper for your kind of business, it’s necessary to understand the answer for a question: what is AliExpress and Alibaba from its own perspective?

2.1 How does AliExpress work?

In brief, AliExpress is a huge marketplace which wins over the customer’s hearts because of wide products offers at very attractive prices. That shopping platform is for retailers who want to sell in detail and it is known as B2C (business-to-consumer) marketplace. So if you are oriented to individual customers, aliExpress would be for you.

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2.1.1 Selling on AliExpress

Before you start selling on AliExpress, you need to register an Alipay account, prove your legal entity (making transactions as a private seller without any documents certifying your business is not allowed here), and in case of going under the official brand, you would be obliged to confirm the authenticity of this brand. After all formal processes, you are able to create your website, write essential descriptions and add products for sale. In a case of the order and bank transfer, you are obliged to ship product. China AliExpress service lets you estimate the time of shipping. There is an option called Seller Guarantees which means that in a situation of late shipment, the merchant guarantees the reimbursement for the product. This is why many sellers prefer to determine longer term in their auctions.

Undoubtedly, a good option in AliExpress portal is a possibility to be rated. If a transaction was successful, a customer can share its positive opinion about the service, product, and cooperation. Other users are able to see all marks – if you have many high rates, more clients will be willing to buy an item from you.

2.2 Chinese website Alibaba

Alibaba is the other example of a great international shopping platform. We can find here many of items from wholesalers and manufacturers. It is rather a B2B (business-to-business) service, so selling by wholesale is the main operation provided there. What is more, Alibaba service is also used for networking and looking for new partners from another part of the world. Your business is something more than retail sales? Then check how Alibaba works.

2.2.1 Selling on Alibaba

The first step is the same as in AliExpress case – registration. You can choose between free or paid memberships which are connected with many benefits such as unlimited posting your products or highlighting the chosen one. Next, your account must be approved by Alibaba service so prepare all necessary information about your company. After this part of creating the account, you are able to add products, descriptions, photos, and details like contact data.

Alibaba has a special option which lets you find buyers before they will find you. Customers only have to post a 1-minute Buying Request where would be an information what they are looking for. Then wholesalers can propose their offer and after checking process, buyers can decide for the best one.

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Thinking about Alibaba shipping methods we can choose from carrier services such as FedEx, UPS or DHL. There is also an option to transport ordered goods by air carriage or maritime shipment. You can pick logistic services by using www.shippingma.alibaba.com website, where you are able to select a transport, find out how much is shipping on Alibaba and get in touch with the chosen shipping company.

The successful transaction, making a profit and reaching new segments is not the only one thing which can be done because of Alibaba service. This shopping platform might help you with running your online business because of the special tab in the account – Biz Trend. Right there you are able to check the numbers of your auction visitors and read some tips on how to increase your position and sell more.

3. What is the difference between Alibaba and AliExpress?

We have a basic knowledge of these two Chinese e-commerce leaders so now it would be much easier to spot the differences in Alibaba vs AliExpress.

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3.1 Character of the services

The main difference between AliExpress and Alibaba is the character of these marketplaces. As it was mentioned earlier, AliExpress is rather a B2C platform, where you can provide retail sales with individual customers mainly. On the other hand, Alibaba is an internet store for B2B transactions for a bigger scale. This is a perfect shopping service for manufacturers and entities which would like to deal in wholesale.

Naturally, on AliExpress you are able to sell more items, but in general, for this kind of transactions, Alibaba service is more popular for. Sometimes, on AliExpress platform there is even a special limit of purchases – for example only 3 chosen items for a client. And look at the other side, can you buy single items from Alibaba? As a rule, it is a wholesalers portal, but there are some events where buyers can ask you for a sample – which undoubtedly is a single item.

3.2 Options on the account

Another thing what’s the difference between AliExpress and Alibaba is an account. In fact, the registration process is very similar and in both cases, it lets you list articles and sell them, but we should pay our attention to additional possibilities on Alibaba account. We can observe all trends in the market or see what time customers visit websites of other suppliers who handle products similar to ours. What is more, if we decide for a paid type of the account (Premium Package one), there is an option to use personalized customer service which is a kind of individual assistance.

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3.3 Not only selling and buying

In many cases, Alibaba portal serves as a place for finding new partners and establishing cooperation. It comes from wide ranges of legal entities in this portal. Finding new cooperators from another part of the world gives more possibilities for your business growth and build the brand on a global scale. So you will never know when the client would become your business partner.

4. Summary

Now, when we know that next to Alibaba, AliExpress is Alibaba Group another line of business, which has become one of the e-commerce leaders in the world, it’s time to choose the most proper marketplace for you. So, Alibaba or AliExpress? Which is better? The answer depends on the type of businesses you have been running and the segment of clients you want to reach to. In general, both of shopping platforms give you a chance to sell different types of products, protect customers in case of late delivery or unfair practice and let buyers share their opinions after a finalization of the transaction. Now, ask yourself if you want to handle the goods in wholesale scale or maybe retailing is the best solution for you. No matter what would you decide to choose, AliExpress or Alibaba, the international market is waiting for your step.

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