Is Alibaba Legit-How to Buy from Alibaba Safely? is an online marketplace used by millions of buyers and sellers worldwide. When people shop on Alibaba, they worry about the safety of their money, the quality of the products, and the company’s legitimacy. According to reviews, the website has a rating of over 4.0 from thousands of reviewers. This indicates that although there are several unsatisfied customers, the platform is generally a great marketplace. 

Does Alibaba have any risk? Are they reputable and reliable? Like many B2B, B2C, or other eCommerce websites, there’s always a possibility that people could get scammed.

What is Alibaba how does it work? Here is the detail for checking.

What is the best way for people to purchase from Alibaba and avoid being scammed? This article will cover tips on finding a reliable supplier and making a secure purchase on Alibaba.

Is Alibaba legit?

Is Alibaba legit DFH Logistics China

Yes, Alibaba is very legit. Finding suppliers and sourcing goods to sell on this global platform is very safe, and trading on Alibaba is completely legal. To help build trust, Alibaba has also set up several security measures that let you thoroughly investigate every supplier and an escrow service that prevents fraud. 

However, to guarantee a secure and legal transaction, consumers must utilize these safety nets provided by Alibaba. Carrying out transactions outside of Alibaba can be risky, and many buyers have been defrauded this way. 

There are also many pieces of research a potential buyer must carry out to ensure he finds the right Alibaba suppliers. Alibaba is simply a marketplace to connect buyers and suppliers; hence it’s your responsibility to pay attention to every detail before you order. 

We’ll cover most of these details to watch out for as we progress in this article.

What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?

What is Alibaba Trade Assurance DFH Logistics China

This trade assurance program is a free service offered by Alibaba to foster trust between buyers and suppliers. Trade Assurance is a verification program for chosen suppliers that serves as additional protection in cases of disputes related to product quality or shipping delays. It also helps to safeguard payments made on the platform.

This trade assurance helps to provide simple and easy payment options; know when your suppliers have received your payment by tracking and reconciling your accounts, and provide refunds if necessary, either from delays in shipping products or delivery of low-quality products. Many consumers on Alibaba prefer working with trade assurance suppliers.

Trade Assurance also shields businesses from scams and low-quality or dangerous products from Alibaba. If your preferred supplier is not under trade assurance, then you should do more research to be safe before making orders.

Alibaba will make a refund if the supplier violates any of the agreed rules under the trade assurance agreement.

Is Alibaba trade assurance 100% Guaranteed?

Is Alibaba trade assurance 100% Guaranteed

Orders paid for using Alibaba Trade Assurance are completely safe. However, there are terms and conditions to consider during the agreement to ensure that you’re 100% guaranteed to receive your refund.

Trade assurance was added to the Alibaba platform in 2015 and since then has brought standard protection to consumers worldwide. It has also fostered trust and increased participation on the platform.

Alibaba basically acts as the intermediary party during a transaction to ensure suppliers keep to their end of the bargain.

The trade assurance program also serves as a form of psychological boost because suppliers who have agreed to it would want to deliver quality products since they know there’s a check to be made. When a supplier uses Trade Assurance, they are incentivized to provide high-quality goods because delayed shipments lower their credit score and visibility on Alibaba.

Alibaba will initiate a dispute with your supplier on your behalf if you don’t receive your orders or if the supplier fails to deliver as promised.

Alibaba will help you negotiate with your supplier to agree on solutions that favour both parties. If no standard agreement can be made, you’ll get a refund of your money. 

However, getting an Alibaba refund is not as easy as it sounds. This is because Alibaba may take quite some time to meditate with your suppliers, and you might have your money and time tied up for months waiting for a dispute resolution. A successful refund is based on solid evidence that matches the order’s explicit requirements, and some suppliers might exploit gaps and discrepancies in the agreement. Therefore, when creating a trade assurance order, think of anything that can go wrong in the quality specifications, including size, thickness, colour, and the number of products.

It is important to mention that although the mediation process can be lengthy, it is very effective. If the supplier has defaulted on the agreement, you’ll definitely receive a refund on your orders.

Many consumers on Alibaba prefer to pay for their trade assurance order via PayPal, so they can have the ability to dispute a charge outside of Alibaba. This additional layer of protection could come in handy in difficult situations.

Tips on buying from Alibaba safely.

Tips on buying from Alibaba safely.  DFH China

We know that buying from Alibaba can seem like a difficult task, what with the bad reviews of scamming some consumers have of their experience on the platform. 

If you know which suppliers and manufacturers to trust and which to avoid, Alibaba is a safe online marketplace for finding goods to sell online. So here are important tips to note for a pleasant experience on Alibaba.

Locate specialized suppliers using the Alibaba Supplier Search

Locate specialized suppliers using the Alibaba Supplier Search

Alibaba has introduced a unique feature to help buyers find manufacturers specializing in particular goods. At first, it displayed a list of suppliers with the product in their business name. Now it also looks through the suppliers’ product catalogs and displays how many matching items are available from each supplier!

On the Alibaba website, click on the products tab in the search engine box option. Change the “products” to “suppliers”. You can then search for your products. Now, you’ll be able to see suppliers that offer only the products you require. This helps save time and stress because you no longer need to go through the product catalog.

Also, most suppliers specializing in a particular product line will typically have higher-quality goods than suppliers selling various products. The best quality control comes from reputable suppliers who are highly specialized in a given product. Due to their large-scale purchases of raw materials, equipment, and tools that are only used in producing a product, their prices may also be lower.

Working with a niche supplier specializing in your product category is vital. You can then check through the few suppliers you have selected and select the one that’s best for you.  

Selecting Gold Suppliers

Selecting Gold Suppliers

When trying to get products on Alibaba, you should at the very least check each manufacturer’s profile for the Alibaba gold supplier badge. Gold Supplier is the cheapest membership level available to suppliers on Alibaba.

Gold suppliers generally pay fees to attain this status to prevent scammers from joining in. These users purchase the Gold Supplier status directly from Alibaba. 

A verified gold supplier in China must pass a comprehensive on-site examination and an address and verification examination conducted by external parties to ensure the business’s legality. However, bad suppliers can still pay for the gold supplier badge easily, so this isn’t a guarantee of product quality on Alibaba.

Despite this, the gold supplier badge is a reliable initial method of vetting most trustworthy suppliers

Selecting verified suppliers

Selecting verified suppliers

After verifying your gold supplier status, the next step is to check for the “verified supplier” badge on the supplier’s page. 

A “verified supplier” on Alibaba has undergone a much more thorough review than a “gold supplier,” and each verified supplier has an extensive company profile on the Alibaba website.

You can determine whether a factory is reliable by only working with verified gold suppliers on Alibaba and reviewing the company profile.

Alibaba charges verified suppliers to get qualified for this badge, which is enough to screen out most scam companies on the website.

For every verified supplier, an external party makes certain checks on their company. This check includes the following;

  • Verifying the supplier’s work license and factory information.

  • Confirm if the company is a manufacturer or a supplier of goods, i.e., a trading company. Usually, manufacturers have a higher Minimum Order Quantity and lower prices.

  • Video inspection of the company’s factory will be available on the profile page.

  • Checking the strength of staff, machines available, and the company’s production capacity.

  • Checking the facilities the company has in place for quality assurance and quality control.

The verified supplier badge will also indicate the year the company was established and its delivery history. These checks are certain to remove unserious suppliers.

Finding Company Basic Information

Finding Company Basic Information

You can also carry out your due diligence by checking out the company online. Check the internet for the company location, supplier status, website domain, company name, type of business, and management certifications. You should also confirm the company’s registered address because many trading companies place fake addresses in their profile.

Trading companies on Alibaba might be;

Manufacturers: A manufacturing company produces the products they sell in their factories. They generally sell specialized products rather than a variety of products because of the cost and production capacities.

Trading Company: Trading companies usually serve as middlemen. They obtain products from manufacturers and sell them at additional costs.

Manufacturer and Trading company: These companies produce their products and sell them off themselves. Although this business type indicates that the company is a manufacturer, you cannot be sure whether they are creating your products themselves or outsourcing production. It might therefore be difficult to determine their legitimacy.

You might also hire a freight forwarding company like DFH to perform an external check on your potential suppliers. We charge a little cost to carry out this service for our clients. 

In China, different areas specialize in different resources and industries. Most businesses depend on other auxiliary sectors for support, and companies in business clusters are likely to be standard suppliers.

Negotiating confidently with suppliers

Negotiating confidently with suppliers

Always hold out for the best possible deal when negotiating with Alibaba suppliers. Remember, walking away is normal if the agreement doesn’t suit your business.

When negotiating, agree with the suppliers over samples, MOQs, duration of production, manufacturing costs, and payment terms.

Push them to agree to use Paypal for secure payment when you make orders to enable a refund if disputes arise in the future.

Also, let the particular supplier know you’re willing to do long-term deals with them. They will be inclined to reduce the price when they know they have a long-term partner. You can also play the silence card by ignoring the supplier for some days. They might reduce their prices if they want to do business with you. However, the best-negotiating tactic is always to be prepared to walk away from the deal.

Using live video footage from the factories

Live videos of factory premises are also available for verified suppliers on Alibaba. Watching their live factory video footage is best to get an objective, unfiltered, and realistic impression of the business.  This way, you will be able to get a glimpse of the working atmosphere and conditions without actually visiting the company. Also, these videos are obtained by independent reviews for Alibaba so that they can be trusted.

Checking for Quality Certifications

In most countries, quality assurance and quality control certifications are essential for easy customs clearance. You should therefore check out the profile of Alibaba suppliers to ensure they have the proper certifications in place. It is also vital to prevent losing money due to low-quality products. Usually, suppliers that brag about the quality of their products without offering their certifications are prone to delivering poor-quality products.

Using Alibaba Trade Assurance

A lot has been mentioned about this program already, and it is the most secure way to buy products on Alibaba.

Alibaba will accept and cover all costs associated with your order if you purchase goods through Trade Assurance and are unable to receive them, or you’re not satisfied with the quality of the product received.

Review Suppliers’ Product Catalogue

Always use Alibaba suppliers with full information about their business and products in their profile. You can always check through the product catalog to be sure you get what you need. When checking the product catalog, note whether your product makes up the majority of the supplier’s productions and if the products shown align with what you need.

Check Supplier Reviews And Rating

Check Supplier Reviews And Rating

There are good opportunities to use the internet, Facebook groups, and Alibaba forums to check every supplier’s company you propose to work with. This way, you’ll notice red flags or complaints from other consumers. If you’re still unsure about your potential suppliers, you can also check out an independent website that exposes scams involving Alibaba Gold Suppliers.

Don’t do cheap.

Potential Alibaba suppliers may provide significantly lower prices than the industry standard to encourage buyers to rush their products. However, they have tactics to raise prices after the agreement or reduce product quality.

To avoid this, check out several suppliers in your product niche. You’ll be able to know the average price (market price) this way. Any supplier’s price that varies from this average by 20% or more is not worth pursuing, especially when it’s outrageously low.

Select a Reliable Freight Forwarder for Shipping

Choosing the right freight forwarder from thousands of forwarders can also be difficult. You can avoid many worries and unforeseen follow-up issues by using reputable forwarders like DFH. Apart from helping you inspect your suppliers’ orders before you confirm payment, we can also help you stockpile your goods until you’re ready to ship at no additional charges. Custom clearance, repackaging and relabelling of goods, and organizing your products are huge benefits of choosing DFH as your freight forwarders. Here we talked in detail about how to find a China Freight Forwarder and what benefits you can get from cooperating with a China freight Forwarder.

Communicate Safely with Your Suppliers on Alibaba

Communicate Safely with Your Suppliers on Alibaba

A quick way to distinguish between the legitimate businesses on Alibaba and the fake ones is by getting in touch with them. However, this can prove difficult due to language and understanding barriers from consumers in different countries. Here are things to look out for when chatting with Chinese suppliers.

Requesting a quote

When requesting a quote from Alibaba or your new suppliers, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Minimum order quantities (MOQs). Always double-check with the supplier to ensure accuracy, even if the website has already listed their minimum order quantities. You can also request free extra pieces while at it.

  • Asking for samples- It is always important to request samples beforehand to be sure manufacturers can create the exact product you desire. The price per unit of a sample may be different due to production costs, and you should therefore negotiate this ahead.

  • Duration of production and Production costs: One important thing to negotiate is the time it will take for the manufacturers or suppliers to get your goods ready. You should also discuss the production cost per unit to see if you can ask for a bulk discount on prices. The larger the order, the smaller the production cost tends to be.

  • Payment terms- Always ensure you use a low-risk payment method you’re comfortable with. 

Learn how to reach out to suppliers

Learn how to reach out to suppliers

Often, buyers complain that suppliers hardly reply their messages or emails. This is mostly because they do not know how to reach out to them, or the suppliers do not understand the messages sent.

Your emails to suppliers should always be short, brief, and error-free. By doing this, you’ll improve their opinion of you and be better able to communicate openly with the suppliers. 

When discussing with suppliers, try to observe the following:

  1. List all your messages and number them all to make it easier for the supplier to respond to you.

  2. Let the messages be simple, low-grammar, and easy to understand. Clearly state your request at the end of the message.

  3. Answer all follow-up questions they ask promptly, and give them a specification sheet indicating your product’s requirements.

  4. You can also make Skype or video calls with them to show your seriousness about your orders. 

Most good suppliers only respond to the inquiries they are interested in because they receive too many requests. Reaching out to them rightly increases the chances of being attended to quickly.

The safest way to pay on Alibaba– pay with Alibaba Trade Assurance.

The safest way to pay on Alibaba-- pay with Alibaba Trade Assurance.

The safest way to pay on Alibaba is to pay through the trade assurance service. With this program, you can always get a refund if your products are not to specification. Many buyers now like to use PayPal as a secure payment for an added layer of protection, so they can resolve disputes outside Alibaba without waiting a long time.

Why is Alibaba so cheap?

Why is Alibaba so cheap

Products on Alibaba are less expensive because of China’s low labor and manufacturing costs. 

Also, Alibaba is a B2B platform; therefore, consumers are expected to purchase products in bulk, which reduces the cost of production per unit, and improves economies of scale.

Furthermore, the majority of vendors on Alibaba are factories rather than independent retailers. As a result, they incur fewer overhead expenses concerning marketing, sales, and customer support.

Alibaba Scams To Watch Out For

Alibaba Scams To Watch Out For

The following are some of the best tips you can follow for successful bulk order, reducing the chance of missing a sale with Chinese suppliers. Alibaba is 100% legitimate and safe, but sometimes people can get tricked into paying inflated prices. These might not be outright scamming, but it affects a buyer’s products. Trade assurance and inspections should only cover your trade once your agreements have been signed and not before. Here are common scenarios and tricks suppliers might use on Alibaba.

Suppliers increase prices after you reach an agreement

Suppliers increase prices after you reach an agreement

This occurs very often on Alibaba. Such suppliers suddenly increase the price after you’ve committed with them to buy from Alibaba. The suppliers usually do this when it’s time to place the bulk order. The easiest way to overcome this is to discuss with multiple sellers at a time so you can always back out of any agreement and move to the next supplier.

The difference in quality between samples and the final product

The difference in quality between samples and the final product

Sometimes, an Alibaba supplier may deliver standard samples and then deliver defective or low-quality goods in bulk orders after receiving payment. To avoid this, you should involve an independent inspection company to help review your products before shipping. DFH freight forwarding service can also help you confirm the quality of your products before you pay your supplier.

Trade assurance can be useful in this circumstance if your product specifications are very specific and well-documented.

The supplier sells at lower prices but reduces product quality

The supplier sells at lower prices but reduces product quality

An Alibaba supplier can offer cheap products and then cut corners on quality when it comes to delivery. Outrageously cheap products are red flags on Alibaba and should be avoided. Also, using trade assurance or paying through PayPal can help cover losses through bad quality deliveries.

Supplier promises false certifications.

Always double-check the product certification your Chinese supplier gives to be sure it complies with your country’s regulations. You may ask your customs agent to help check the documents so nothing goes amiss.

Suppliers Try To Sell Fake Branded Products

Generally, any branded product you see on Alibaba is most likely a fake and should be avoided. Original products from known brands like Nike, Adidas, etc., are patented, and standard suppliers wouldn’t violate these terms to sell their products. These products would also be difficult to clear with customs. Be sure not to buy branded products on Alibaba.

Is real or fake?

Alibaba offers the easiest way to buy goods on the web if you can find trusted suppliers and manufacturers. Many people worldwide buy from Alibaba It is a real website.


Finally, you’ve observed that Alibaba is a safe business-to-business (B2B) Platform to trade on. The problem only comes from certain Chinese trading companies that try to defraud innocent buyers. 

You can stay away from Alibaba scammers and only buy products from legitimate sellers by following every tip we’ve explained above.

If you still need more help buying from Alibaba or anything else about the platform, you can contact DFH, and we’ll link you to the perfect suppliers and help deliver your goods safely.

DFH Global Logistics - China

Any Questions?
Talk with Jack Now