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How to Buy from 1688: Your Ultimate Guide to International Sourcing

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In the globalized world of business, the demand for affordable and high-quality products has skyrocketed.

Many entrepreneurs and businesses are turning to 1688, the popular Chinese e-commerce platform, to source products at competitive prices.

However, navigating 1688 can be daunting, especially for those who are new to international sourcing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of buying from 1688, ensuring you make informed decisions and maximize your sourcing efforts.

Introduction About 1688


The world of business has evolved into a global marketplace, allowing entrepreneurs and businesses to access products from all corners of the world. One such platform that has gained immense popularity is 1688.

If you are unfamiliar with 1688, it is a Chinese e-commerce website operated by Alibaba Group. While it may seem similar to Alibaba, there are some key differences you need to be aware of.

Understanding 1688: What You Need to Know

What is 1688?

1688 is a B2B (business-to-business) online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers primarily within China.

It is an excellent platform for international buyers who are looking to source products directly from Chinese manufacturers and wholesalers.

Unlike Alibaba, which mainly caters to international customers, 1688 focuses on the domestic Chinese market.

How does 1688 differ from Alibaba?

The main distinction between 1688 and Alibaba lies in their target audience. As mentioned earlier, 1688 caters to the Chinese market, while Alibaba caters to the international market.

This fundamental difference affects the language used on the platforms, the types of suppliers available, and the pricing of products.

Additionally, 1688 often offers lower prices due to its focus on wholesale and domestic trade.

Setting Up Your Account on 1688

1688 account

Before you start sourcing products on 1688, you need to create an account. The process is relatively straightforward:

  1. Registering on 1688

To register, navigate to the 1688 website and click on the “Register” button. You will be prompted to provide an email address and create a password. Alternatively, you can use your mobile phone number to sign up.

  1. Verifying Your Account

Once you have filled in the necessary details, 1688 will send you a verification code via email or SMS. Enter the code to verify your account.

  1. Choosing a Suitable Membership Plan

1688 offers various membership plans, each with its own set of benefits. Choose a plan that aligns with your sourcing needs and budget.

Researching Products and Suppliers

Researching Products on 1688

Now that you have set up your account, it’s time to research the products and suppliers available on 1688. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Identifying Your Product Niche

Before you start browsing, identify your product niche. What types of products are you interested in sourcing?

Knowing your niche will help you narrow down your search and find the right suppliers.

  1. Evaluating Supplier Credibility

On 1688, there are various suppliers offering similar products. It’s crucial to assess the credibility of each supplier before making a decision. Look for suppliers with a high transaction volume and positive feedback from buyers.

  1. Analyzing Product Reviews and Ratings

Product reviews and ratings provide valuable insights into the quality and reliability of a product. Always read through customer reviews to gauge the overall satisfaction level.

Mastering the Art of Communication on 1688

Communication in 1688

As an international buyer, effective communication with suppliers is essential. Here are some tips to improve your communication:

  1. Overcoming Language Barriers

Most Chinese suppliers may not be fluent in English, so consider using simple language and avoid complex jargon. Additionally, utilize translation tools to enhance understanding.

  1. Asking the Right Questions

When communicating with suppliers, ask specific questions about the product, pricing, and shipping options. Clarify any doubts you may have before proceeding with an order.

  1. Requesting Product Samples

Before placing a bulk order, request product samples to assess their quality. This step ensures that you receive products that meet your expectations.

Comparing Prices and Negotiating Deals on 1688

Negotiating with suppliers

One of the significant advantages of using 1688 is the competitive pricing of products. However, it’s essential to compare prices and negotiate for better deals:

  1. Understanding Pricing Structures

Some products on 1688 are priced differently based on the quantity ordered. Understand the pricing structure to make cost-effective decisions.

  1. Negotiation Tactics for Better Deals

Don’t hesitate to negotiate with suppliers to get the best possible price. Be polite yet firm in your negotiations.

  1. Securing Bulk Order Discounts

If you plan to place a substantial order, inquire about bulk order discounts. Many suppliers offer discounts for large orders.

Handling Shipping and Customs

Packaging and Labeling

Once you have finalized your order, it’s time to arrange shipping and navigate customs procedures:

  1. Choosing the Appropriate Shipping Method

Consider the urgency and weight of your shipment when choosing a shipping method. Options range from express shipping to sea freight.

  1. Dealing with Customs Regulations

Familiarize yourself with the customs regulations of your country to avoid any surprises or delays.

  1. Calculating Shipping Costs and Lead Times

Request shipping quotes from different logistics providers to compare costs and estimated delivery times.

Quality Control and Product Inspections

Manufacturer's Capabilities quality

Maintaining product quality is crucial for the success of your business. Implement these steps to ensure quality control:

  1. The Importance of Product Inspections

Inspecting products before shipping helps identify potential defects and ensures you receive what you ordered.

  1. Hiring Third-Party Inspection Services

Consider hiring third-party inspection services to perform a thorough check of your products.

  1. Addressing Quality Issues

In case of any quality issues, communicate with the supplier immediately to find a resolution.

Making Payments Securely

China fake designerr

Security is paramount when conducting international transactions. Follow these guidelines for secure payments:

  1. Preferred Payment Methods on 1688

Use secure payment methods like Alibaba’s Trade Assurance or Escrow service to protect your funds.

  1. Avoiding Common Payment Scams

Be cautious of fraudulent payment requests and only make payments through the official platform.

  1. Utilizing Secure Online Payment Platforms

Consider using reputable online payment platforms to add an extra layer of security.

Protecting Your Purchase with Contracts and Agreements

Order Confirmation

To protect your interests, formalize your purchasing agreements:

  1. Drafting Purchase Contracts

Create clear and comprehensive purchase contracts that outline all terms and conditions.

  1. Including Essential Terms and Conditions

Cover aspects like product specifications, pricing, delivery date, and quality assurance in the contract.

  1. Working with a Lawyer for Legal Protection

When dealing with substantial orders, it’s wise to seek legal advice from a professional.

Managing Returns and Refunds

Negotiating Deals on 1688 refund

In the unfortunate event of receiving faulty or unsatisfactory products, follow these steps for returns and refunds:

  1. Understanding the Return Policy

Read and understand the supplier’s return policy to know your rights as a buyer.

  1. Initiating a Return or Refund Request

Contact the supplier promptly and follow their procedure for returning products.

  1. Resolving Disputes with Suppliers

If there’s a disagreement, try to resolve the issue amicably through open communication.

Building Long-Term Supplier Relationships

Nurturing long-term relationships with suppliers can lead to better business opportunities:

  1. Providing Feedback and Reviews

Offer constructive feedback and positive reviews to encourage suppliers to improve their services.

  1. Loyalty Programs and Repeat Orders

Consider participating in loyalty programs that offer benefits for repeat orders.

  1. Visiting Suppliers in Person

If possible, visit your suppliers in China to strengthen your business relationship.

Moersourcing: Your Gateway to Successful Sourcing from 1688


If you’re looking to source products from 1688 but find the process overwhelming, Moersourcing is here to simplify your experience and ensure a successful sourcing journey.

Moersourcing offers a range of services designed to assist you at every step of the buying process on 1688. Let’s explore how Moersourcing can help you buy from 1688 with ease and confidence.

  1. Expert Guidance and Support

Moersourcing boasts a team of experienced sourcing professionals who are well-versed in navigating 1688.

They understand the intricacies of the platform, language barriers, and cultural differences, making them your ideal partners for a smooth sourcing experience.

They will guide you through the entire process and address any queries or concerns you may have.

  1. Product Research and Supplier Evaluation

Finding the right products and reliable suppliers is crucial for a successful sourcing endeavor.

Moersourcing conducts thorough product research based on your requirements and identifies reputable suppliers with a proven track record.

This ensures that you get access to high-quality products that meet your business needs.

  1. Seamless Communication and Negotiation

Effective communication with suppliers is vital to secure the best deals and avoid misunderstandings.

Moersourcing bridges the language gap and communicates with suppliers on your behalf, ensuring all your questions are answered, and negotiations are skillfully handled.

This ensures that you obtain favorable pricing and terms for your purchases.

  • Quality Control and Inspection Services

Quality Control and Inspection

Maintaining product quality is a top priority when sourcing from 1688. Moersourcing offers quality control and product inspection services to verify the quality and specifications of the products you intend to purchase.

This reduces the risk of receiving subpar products and gives you peace of mind.

  1. Secure Payments and Legal Protection

Moersourcing provides secure payment channels, protecting you from potential payment scams or fraudulent activities. Additionally, they can assist in drafting purchase contracts and agreements, ensuring your rights and interests are safeguarded throughout the transaction.

  1. Logistics and Shipping Assistance

Navigating the complex world of international shipping and customs can be challenging.

Moersourcing streamlines this process by helping you choose the most suitable shipping method, calculating shipping costs, and guiding you through customs procedures to ensure timely and hassle-free delivery of your goods.

  1. Continuous Support and Relationship Building

With Moersourcing, the support doesn’t end after your first purchase. They are dedicated to building long-term business relationships and providing ongoing support for your future sourcing needs.

Their loyalty programs and repeat order benefits foster a sustainable partnership for your business growth.

In conclusion, Moersourcing is your reliable partner when it comes to sourcing products from 1688. Their expertise, personalized assistance, and dedication to ensuring a smooth sourcing process set them apart.

Whether you’re a seasoned importer or new to international sourcing, Moersourcing can tailor their services to meet your specific requirements and make your buying experience from 1688 a resounding success.

Say goodbye to sourcing challenges and let Moersourcing be your trusted ally in the world of international trade.

FAQs About How to Buy from 1688


  1. Is 1688 safe for international buyers?

    • While 1688 is generally safe, it’s essential to exercise caution and follow best practices for secure transactions.
  2. Can I buy products in small quantities on 1688?

    • Yes, some suppliers on 1688 offer products in small quantities, but others may have minimum order requirements.
  3. What is the difference between 1688 and Taobao?

    • Taobao is a B2C platform for individual consumers, while 1688 is a B2B platform for business buyers.
  4. How do I calculate import duties and taxes?

    • Import duties and taxes depend on your country’s regulations and the value of the imported goods. Research your country’s customs policies or consult with a customs broker.
  5. Can I get product samples for free on 1688?

    • Some suppliers may provide free samples, while others may charge a nominal fee or the cost of shipping.


Sourcing products from 1688 can be an enriching experience for businesses seeking competitive prices and a wide variety of products.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the platform with confidence, avoid potential pitfalls, and establish successful supplier relationships.


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