5 Reasons Sourcing on Alibaba Can Be Risky

Do you know the risks associated with sourcing products through Alibaba? Here are the top 5 reasons you should avoid sourcing on your own.

  1. Communication

When you are dealing with an overseas supplier through Alibaba, you are going to run into a variety of communication barriers. Language misunderstandings, time differences, cultural understanding, etc. can all play a part in potential order issues.

2. Quality Assurance

Many products on Alibaba seem great at first glance, but upon closer inspection turn out to have a series of quality issues. Even if you are able to get a sample directly from the overseas supplier, you can never be assured that your final production quality will be the same. Without someone you trust to oversee the production, you risk receiving an end product that does not meet quality standards.

Suppliers will promise the world in order to get your business, but you really have no control over your end product. And that, is a recipe for disaster.

3. Logistics

Your timeline is important when launching a new product. Supplier lead times may initially sound appealing, but they are often not accurate due to a variety of variables that might delay the process.

You must also make sure you have all the necessary documents to clear customs and ensure your shipment makes it to the correct destination. Then you have to consider where you will store your products. Logistics can be a nightmare when not handled by someone with the correct experience.


4. Fraud & Scams

Scary words, yet cases of fraud run rampant on Alibaba. One common technique that scammers on Alibaba use is the bait and switch scheme. Essentially, a supplier will attract buyers with advertisements for one type of product, but when a buyer places an order, he’ll be sent an obviously inferior product instead. Other types of fraud include  things like broken or shoddy merchandise, counterfeit products, and fake goods.  Or when no products are shipped at all!


5. Experience

We have talked about how sourcing through Alibaba can carry significant risks. Without someone to rely on to review production for quality assurance, you could risk receiving defective units and a whole host of issues that ensue.

All of these potential issues can mean a lot of headaches for you. You may get a product in the end, but the stress of doing it all on your own might not be worth the trouble.

Need Help Getting Started?

Avoid the risks of sourcing overseas by working with a trusted supplier. With offices in the US and China, GLS has you covered.

Contact Us