Dropshipping is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Have you heard of 1688.com?
It’s easier to find direct Chinese factories and suppliers on 1688 than on Alibaba and other dropshipping sites.
However, 1688 dropshipping is not easy, and you may need to hire a 1688 dropshipping agent to guide you because this site is only available in one language (Chinese).
If you want to increase your sales through 1688 dropshipping, we recommend you read this article to the end. You will know how to build 1688 dropshipping in this complete guide.
What Is 1688?
1688.com is a well-known website, one of the official services of Alibaba Group, and currently, it is the largest and most popular wholesale website in China.
1688 was created to help Chinese business people wholesale their products in China. So, it only targets the Chinese domestic market, mainly B2B, B2C, wholesale, and manufacturing products.
Due to the relatively low prices, people buy products from there and resell them on other platforms at higher prices for higher profits. Many Chinese business people use 1688.com to find manufacturers and products.
You may learn more on our blog for 1688 for details below:
What is 1688.com? How to Buy from 1688?
The Difference Between 1688 and Alibaba
1688 and Alibaba are both platforms of Alibaba Group, founded by Jack Ma’s team.
Alibaba is an international platform that can be read globally in many different languages, while 1688 is a domestic trade platform only available in Chinese.
Therefore, we can see that the main difference between 1688 and Alibaba is that Alibaba provides services to global customers, while 1688 focuses mainly on the local Chinese market.
VISA, Mastercard, Western Union, and bank transfer are the foreign payment methods on Alibaba, while 1688 only supports domestic card payments.
Prices on 1688.com are lower because 1688 sellers offer local Chinese prices, while Alibaba’s prices are higher for global consumers.
Why Do I Need to Buy from 1688?
1688.com is one of the largest wholesale websites in China, with many large and small factories. Currently, 1688 has about 50,000 legitimate sellers, where you can find what you want at lower prices.
1688.com can offer:
1. Lower Prices
1688’s products are cheaper because these sellers are factories, not trading companies. You can order directly from the factory, and they supply their products to you, saving the middle man’s profit.
2. Lower MOQ
Many sellers on 1688.com offer very small order quantities, even starting with 1 or 2 pieces.
For small business owners who don’t know how their products will sell in the marketplace, ordering small quantities to test the market is the key.
3. Fast Response
1688 mobile app is a fantastic responsive software far superior to other international counterparts, and you can expect a fast response if you plan to buy from 1688.
Because if the seller does not respond for a long time, the software will contact the seller for you and ask him to contact you. Usually, most sellers will respond within seconds.
How to Translate 1688.com from Chinese to English?
On your PC
Step 1: Download and install Chrome browser
- Visit google.com/chrome/.
- Click on the blue box that shows “Download Chrome”.
- Find the .exe file you just downloaded and open it.
- Wait for Chrome to download and install.
Step 2: Add Google Translate to Chrome
Find the Google Translate Chrome extension in the chrome web store. Search for “Google Translate Chrome extension” in Google search. Click Add to Chrome.
Step 3: Visit 1688.com.
Type www.1688.com in the Chrome address bar and press enter, which will take you to the 1688 homepage.
At this moment, you should get an automatic prompt asking if you want to translate the site into the English version.
Step 4: Translate 1688.com into English
You can still translate the page manually if you don’t get this tip. You can do this by clicking on the “Google Translate” extension icon in the top right corner of your browser.
Or, you can right-click anywhere on the page. In the context menu that appears, select “Translate to English”. This process will translate the whole page into English, except for the images.
On your phone
Step 1: Install the 1688 and Google Translate apps on your mobile device.
Step 2: Open the 1688 app, and search for the item you want (you can still search in English). You can scroll down to see the seller’s information.
Step 3: Take a screenshot of the part of the page you want to translate.
Step 4: Open Google Translate, click on the camera option, and import the screenshot. Google Translate will scan the photo.
You can highlight a Chinese character to translate or select the whole image. Click the right arrow icon to view the translated content.
What Is 1688 Dropshipping?
The 1688 dropshipping means dropshipping your products from 1688.com. At 1688, many suppliers, factory owners, and wholesalers can meet your dropshipping needs.
Just like you dropshipping from AliExpress, You can dropship your products from 1688 instead, which is the whole concept of 1688 dropshipping.
If you know AliExpress dropshipping, then the dropshipping process at 1688 is almost the same.
Due to competition in the dropshipping space becoming more intense and margins being increasingly squeezed, there is an urgent need to explore dropshipping products from other than traditional sites such as AliExpress, eBay, and Amazon.
1688 dropshipping allows you to outperform your competitors in many ways.
1688 Dropshipping Pros and Cons
1688.com has many advantages below to become a better choice for dropshippers:
- Direct access to factories and wholesalers
- Less competition in 1688 due to low popularity
- Lower prices
- Higher profit margin and revenue
- Lower your costs
1688 allows users to combine multiple orders into one with the help of an agent, unlike Aliexpress, which does not allow multiple orders to be shipped as one. That’s why choosing 1688 for dropshipping can greatly reduce your costs.
However, 1688.com also has the following cons:
The biggest disadvantage is the language barrier and communication problems. We mentioned above that the site is for the China domestic market, so it is in Chinese.
Many foreign customers think about translating through their browser, but most content is not fully translated even if your browser provides translation.
1688’s payment methods can be a trouble for small businesses entering the industry. Unlike Alibaba, it does not offer multiple payment methods.
1688 does not offer such privileges to outsiders, from credit cards to WebMoney and PayPal, so you need a Chinese agent to help you pay and get the goods.
Since 1688 is for domestic customers, they usually offer EXW prices, which require you to pay for domestic shipping costs. And these fees are increasing your costs.
How to Start 1688 Dropshipping?
Dropshipping has become some of the biggest growing businesses in the world, but 1688 dropshipping is not easy. Here we will guide you step by step.
Step 1. Create an account on 1688.com
To start 1688 dropshipping, you must register your account on this site, just like you did with AliExpress. Don’t be afraid of the Chinese.
You can follow the steps mentioned above to translate and then find out what this site requires of you. Of course, if you have an agent, it will save you a lot of trouble.
When creating an account on 1688, you must provide the following details:
- Login password
- Password confirmation
- Your phone number
After providing the above details, simply check the checkbox below, then slide the security confirmation slider to the right, and finally click the box.
Step 2. Perform product research on 1688
- Visit 1688.com and search for the products you want to purchase.
- You can do this by using Google Translate and writing down the keywords in English.
- Use the services of an agent familiar with Chinese to do product research for you.
- Use image search to find products you’ve already seen elsewhere.
Or maybe you already have target products and are just searching for them on 1688 to find lower prices to increase your profit margin.
Step 3. Place an order on 1688
Like other e-commerce sites, there is an option to place orders directly for products.
If you have finished the product research and supplier selection, you can easily communicate with your suppliers and manage your orders.
In 1688, the following practices for placing orders were acceptable:
- Place orders directly
- CSV files
- Excel sheet
Tips: You must discuss shipping methods and cross-border destinations with your 1688 supplier before placing an order.
How to Negotiate with 1688 Dropshipping Suppliers?
Before you start negotiating with 1688 suppliers, be sure to set ground rules.
An actual negotiation should create a win-win relationship and avoid ensuring quality assurance because negotiation determines good quality and better prices.
Consider the following 7 tips when negotiating with 1688 dropshipping suppliers:
1. Show your respect for suppliers
If you want to be successful in negotiating with 1688 dropshipping suppliers, you must research how they do business.
This will save you a lot of trouble and time when you start dealing with them. Remember, suppliers are like your friends.
So, cultural communication and a friendly tone will help you build a trusting and mutually beneficial working relationship.
2. Choose the best target price to negotiate
Make sure you set the target price before you engage in price negotiations. As we mentioned, this is very important for a successful partnership. To do this, you can try contacting 1688 suppliers to get a quote.
But if you choose a target price that is too low, you could lose money because there may be low-quality products, canceled orders, and delayed shipments.
3. Negotiate beyond the prices
When 1688 dropshipping suppliers are unwilling to negotiate on price, you can negotiate on other things that affect your cash flow.
For example, you can negotiate on the deposit amount or how long it will take to pay for a purchase order fully.
You can negotiate on other things without affecting price, including faster shipping, responsive e-commerce fulfillment, warranty improvements, and better packaging.
4. Set product quality standards
Always negotiate product quality standards with your 1688 dropshipping supplier. You can agree on a high-quality standard with them.
Also, you can ask different suppliers to recommend one to you. A low-quality product can ruin your good customer reputation. So, set the highest quality standards with your 1688 dropshipping supplier.
5. Negotiate minimum order quantity (MOQ)
When launching a product, try to get the lowest possible minimum order quantity (MOQ).
Every 1688 supplier will have an MOQ, a minimum order quantity. It is usually around $2500 to $5000. In the first order, the MOQ is quite flexible if you negotiate.
For the first order, most buyers like to order $500 to $1,000 and try it out on Amazon before doing a larger order. Again, most 1688 dropshipping suppliers will be willing to ship a small quantity for your first order.
6. Ask for a sample
Asking for a sample can give the impression that you are a serious buyer who intends to place an order. In addition, you will not waste your time with a supplier who provides poor-quality products.
When you have the sample, 1688 dropshipping suppliers can no longer claim that their prices are high because their products are of good quality, as you already know exactly how the quality compares to their competitors.
7. Be an ideal customer
Suppliers don’t want to lose you when you are a perfect customer.
Did you pay on time? Did you give all your business to a 1688 supplier? Did you maintain open lines of communication? Or did you ask for endless samples without making a purchase?
If you are a problem customer, the 1688 dropshipping supplier may not be willing to negotiate prices with you.
While as an ideal customer, the supplier may offer discounts and other incentives to retain your business.
How to Work with 1688 Dropshipping Agent?
Dropshipping products from 1688 is not easy, but getting yourself into trouble is easy. If you insist on buying products from 1688, I highly recommend finding a reliable 1688 dropshipping agent.
A dropshipping agent is the same as a dropshipping supplier, but there are some differences.
The key difference between a dropshipping agent and a dropshipping supplier is that a dropshipping agent is a middleman and usually offers more services.
Here’s how to work with a 1688 dropshipping agent:
First, contact your 1688 dropshipping agent and provide them with information about the products you are looking for. Then, they will find the best supplier for your product and negotiate the price.
Once your agent has found a dropshipping supplier, they will buy the products from the supplier, store them in their warehouse, and ship them to your customers.
Their service fee is usually calculated in one of two ways:
- A fee based on per link of the product
- A fee based on a percentage of the value of the goods
A fee based on per link of the product
Let’s say you buy ten products and have ten corresponding links. If the 1688 dropshipping agent charges $3 for each link, the total service fee is $30.
They will buy all the products and send them to you in one package. Your total cost is as follows:
product cost + service fee + freight from agent’s warehouse to your customer
A fee based on a percentage of the value of the goods
If your product is valued at $500, the dropshipping agent will charge you a service fee of 5%-10% of the product’s value, which would be $25-$50.
In short, a reliable 1688 dropshipping agent can help you with the complete purchasing process.
It includes communicating with your 1688 supplier, paying the supplier, collecting the order and checking the items, consolidating and repackaging, and shipping to your customer’s doorstep.
1688 Dropshipping FAQ
1. Is it reliable to dropship from 1688?
1688.com is an Alibaba Group subsidiary and one of China’s most trusted e-commerce sites. So, you can dropship from 1688 with complete assurance.
However, it is recommended that you hire a 1688 dropshipping agent to help you with your purchase.
As explained earlier, the site features the Chinese language, making it difficult for foreigners to use the site for their needs.
2. How to dropship from 1688 when I am outside of China?
Most of the dropshipping in China is done by oversea buyers, while 1688 is a Chinese e-commerce site for domestic. That’s why it is entirely in Chinese, and the prices of the products are quite low.
With the help of a translator, you can talk to the 1688 supplier and make it clear that you want the product delivered outside of China. They will be happy to ship the product internationally for a fee.
3. How to secure money and goods when dropshipping from 1688?
Alibaba Group aims to take over the international market for online shopping to beat e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay.
So, they very care for customers and have clear procedures to secure payments and ensure delivery to buyers.
Since you are abroad, it is recommended that you hire a 1688 dropshipping agent to help you check and ship your goods to ensure they are in good condition before they leave China.
4. How to find a Best 1688 Dropshipping Agent?
Yansourcing is your best 1688 dropshipping agent in China, and we have over ten years of experience in this industry as an agent.
We source products in China and do USD currency conversion to RMB, pre-shipment goods inspection, and shipping to your address, making us your best China partner in China.
Working with us will save you time and cost. The value of the service we provide will be 2~3 times the value of your product.
5. Are the suppliers on 1688 real or scams?
All the suppliers on 1688.com must obtain a government business license to become a 1688 supplier. It means that all the businesses and product sellers on 1688 are genuine.
You can check the company’s registration information in the seller’s store.
Details like company establishment date, registered capital, company address, and business scope have been displayed on the website, which also helps you check the seller’s strength.
6. How can I find hot products on 1688.com?
Like other e-commerce sites, 1688 displays its hot products with hovering photos at the site’s banner. These photos change over time to show the trending items that are selling.
You can also view the products that sell the most in each category, which means they are popularly hot-selling products.
1688 Dropshipping Conclusion
Many factors determine the success or failure of a 1688 dropshipping business. You need to find reliable suppliers, know which products sell the most and have the greatest profit potential.
Here’s a shortcut solution. You can hire Yansourcing and bypass all the difficulties of 1688 dropshipping.
I am Yan, the founder of Yansourcing, the best dropshipping agent in China, who can quickly and safely help you buy and import from China. If you have any questions about importing from China, don’t hesitate to contact us.