1688

5.001

1688.com is a wholesale website owned by Alibaba group, targeting China domestic market only.

It’s a platform that’s more often used by China sourcing agents and not people outside of China.

And you can think of it as the Chinese version of Aliexpress.

If you speak Chinese, you can also source from 1688.com.

Buyer Safety

7-day no reason refund is reliable. You can refund within 7 days after receiving the goods for no reason and 1688 will refund the fund after the sellers confirms receipt of the returned goods.

Tips: not every supplier supports it and you have to check carefully if your supplier supports it or not.

Quality Assurance

1688 is a marketplace like aliexpress and it doesn’t sell products directly, and thus they can’t control quality sold by the sellers on the platform.

However, they have measures to verify suppliers, which helps guarantee product quality in a certain way.

You can also check product reviews (but reviews don’t mean everything and there can be fake reviews just like any platforms, including giant Amazon, Taobao etc.)

Types of Suppliers

Suppliers on 1688.com vary from directories, trading companies, wholesalers.

MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)

MOQ on 1688 is low, usually 1 or 2 for most products.

But for customized products, suppliers will have a bigger MOQ, which varies depending on the products. This is something you’ll need to inquire the suppliers.

Pricing

Prices on 1688 is good in general since some factories sell on here directly.

But you will often get confused about who is a better option since sellers may use the same product description and same or similar prices.

Communication Methods

1688 has a built in chatting feature, known as “阿里旺旺” and you can talk with sellers through the app.

If a supplier displays their contact information on the contact page, you can also contact them directly using phone calls, wechat etc. But it’s not recommended. Because if there is a dispute, chat records from “阿里旺旺” is the only proof that 1688 accepts.

Payment Methods
  • Online payment via Alipay and debit cards (China Unionpay only. VISA is not supported)
Shipping Time & Modes

1688 orders are shipped to China mainland only and the speed is usually 1-3 days to reach everywhere in China mainland.

Shipping companies include Cainiao (Alibaba’s logistics service), SF Express etc.

Pros
  • Large supplier database
  • Good prices
  • Buyer protection is reliable
Cons
  • For China domestic orders only.
  • Quality varies a lot and chances of buying poor quality products are considerable (Unless you know how to verify the best suppliers)
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