Breaking News: Online Resellers Beware! Alibaba Strengthens Ties Between Vendio, Auctiva & Aliexpress.
We already knew that Alibaba had bought Vendio and Auctiva, but until now they were just letting them run as they always had been. Following their announcement that they were ‘integrating’ Vendio and Auctiva into Aliexpress we look at why this is good news for Alibaba, but perhaps not so great for online retailers. Read on to see how this affects you…
Did You Know That Vendio And Auctiva Are Part Of Alibaba?
Alibaba has been very busy this year. They are already huge news in China as an online service to help manufacturers find wholesalers and vice versa. They also have a branch called Aliexpress which allows similar trade, but on a smaller scale.
They bought the American companies Vendio and Auctiva in June and August 2010 respectively to enhance their presence online and in the States.
Originally Vendio and Auctiva were relatively unchanged and continued to run as independent brands and this remains mainly the case now, except that Alibaba has just announced that it is integrating them both into Aliexpress.
Is It Safe To Buy From Alibaba Though?
Like any transaction from China, you need to be 100% certain who you’re buying from, or you may find that you’re receiving poor quality goods or being charged too much.
One of the problems that we find with Alibaba is that it is a place where almost any Chinese supplier can start selling any old stuff. If you think about it, it’s in Alibaba’s interest to let as many suppliers as possible sell on its site as it will earn money from their transactions.
If you buy from there, just be careful to triple check who the vendor is, because once you’ve parted with the cash you’ve got an agonisingly long wait until your products arrive and you can check to see if they are really alright!
It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to find horror stories of so-called ‘gold rated’ Alibaba vendors ripping people off. Even on Alibaba’s own forum can you find threads from angry customers who’d been done by vendors that they were led to believe were safe.
In the West you often have ways to recover money, but if you deal directly with a Chinese vendor on Alibaba, just remember that once money has changed hands and gone to China you probably won’t see it again.
As is often the way with press releases this is rather vague, so here at Chinavasion we’ve been combing the Chinese sites and have speculated what this really means to you.
What Will This Mean?
Alibaba are trying to get a larger number of online retailers buying from its wholesale Chinese suppliers. If people buy from the Chinese suppliers selling on Alibaba, then they earn money. Simple.
By integrating Aliexpress with Vendio and Auctiva it gives the resellers using the latter two services a very easy way to source its vendors’ products from China, whereas before Vendio and Auctiva just gave their customers an easy way to sell online and had no connection to sourcing.
Here’s how it should work:
Sounds great for them, right? Maybe. But there still remain about 80% of Vendio and Auctiva’s users who don’t source their products online, so Alibaba will be hoping that by making it easier to source from China online they can swell the 250,000 vendors that they’ve already helped.
Back To The Drawbacks
Sourcing from China through Alibaba sounds great in principle, but when you check you’ll see that it’s a minefield. There are literally hundreds of millions of ‘suppliers’ in China. Some being large factories with proper quality control, some being people reselling low-quality rubbish from their home.
The problem is that there’s very little control on who can sell on Alibaba, so by buying anything there you are taking a risk. Until a shipment arrives you won’t even know if the quality of your products are any good. If you aren’t satisfied which unfortunately can happen when dealing independently with Chinese suppliers, then you will have to go through the long and difficult process of opening a payment dispute which you may or may not win.
To get the best deals in China and be assured of quality it’s imperative for you to build up relationships with the wholesalers or manufacturers. Unlike in the West, business in China is built upon your personal relationship.
Since online resellers using Alibaba can’t have or build up any kind of relationship with Chinese suppliers, they are far from guaranteed good deals or quality.
How Can I Guarantee Myself Good Deals And Quality?
You need to do your homework if you’re going to buy direct from China and we can help. You should check out our Aliexpress review for some further tips, but doing all of this research is awfully hard work!
There is a better way to source from China!
When you deal with Chinavasion you’re already dealing with a long-established company who have built up relationships with all of the big manufacturers in order to get the best deals on the latest gadgets which of course we pass on to our customers!
We also have our own in-house Quality Control department, just to make sure that each item is as it should be before we ship it!
Do you have time to go to China? Can you afford the travel costs? Can you speak Chinese? Do you know who to speak to in China? Are you familiar with what you should look out for in China?
If the answer is no to any of these questions, don’t worry! We’re here on the ground in China to take the strain for you! So sign up with Chinavasion today and start sourcing the coolest, best-value gadgets direct from China with no fuss!