One of the biggest problems many people face when searching for products and suppliers on Alibaba is the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). Alibaba MOQ is usually very high and unaffordable for newbie buyers.
How to find Alibaba suppliers with a lower MOQ? In this article, we will cover how to negotiate with Alibaba suppliers to have them accept your quantity.
What Is MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)?
MOQ means minimum order quantity. MOQ is the minimum requirement to purchase units at one time. If you have an e-commerce business, you should be familiar with MOQ because manufacturers, suppliers, and wholesalers often use MOQ to maintain profits.
For example, if a supplier has a MOQ of 100 units, a buyer must purchase a minimum of 100 units for an order.
Each supplier’s MOQ, or minimum order quantity, will vary based on its cost. The goal is to attract a small number of buyers who want to buy a large amount of stock rather than many buyers purchasing a small inventory.
You may learn more on our blog about MOQ for details below:
MOQ Meaning: What is MOQ? The Only Guide You Need
Why Does Alibaba Have a MOQ?
Alibaba sellers are wholesalers and not retailers. For wholesale business, there is always a minimum order quantity.
This is because it costs money and time to produce a product according to your specifications. And they want to make a profit, which can only be achieved by producing large quantities.
When an Alibaba supplier sets the MOQ for a product, he has done all the accounting of the production costs and how many units he needs to sell to start making a profit. Without the MOQ, the supplier cannot make a profit, and selling fewer units could result in a loss.
AliExpress, DHgate, and Taobao may be of better help if you are looking for small quantities. The sellers on these marketplaces are specialized in retail or small business services.
In short, you should not expect that you can get low prices from Alibaba for small orders because wholesale sellers are not good at doing small business.
5 Tips for Alibaba MOQ Negotiation
Don’t negotiate a MOQ at the beginning. Instead, you should let the Alibaba supplier know you are interested in doing business with them.
You can start by introducing yourself and asking frequent questions about sample availability, pricing, lead times, payment and shipping methods, etc.
When you start negotiating, show your confidence and strength, so don’t say things like “I don’t have a lot of money, or I’m not sure if the product will sell well”.
Here are 5 tips to help you gain the upper hand in the Alibaba MOQ negotiation:
1. Communicate honestly with suppliers
Communicate openly and honestly with Alibaba suppliers. Tell them what you need and what you are looking for.
For example, you can use the idea that you are trying to test the market and ask for a minimum order quantity of 30-40% of the total quantity.
Yes, the final offer will be higher than the previous offer. However, this is workable because it will benefit the long run.
2. Consider the supplier’s position
Business is always done based on mutual understanding. Whether it is your employees or suppliers, it is crucial to understand their side of the story. You should put yourself in the position of a supplier.
For example, you can tell your Alibaba suppliers that you understand their problems. Or you can promise and tell them they will not lose money by doing business with you.
3. Don’t be in a hurry when ordering
When negotiating quantities with an Alibaba supplier is important to remain calm and patient in your conversation.
If you’re in a hurry to do this, the supplier may think you’re just playing with their time. Therefore, the key is to be patient with the process.
For example, you can ask the supplier to consider lowering the MOQ and give you an answer within 2-3 days. During this period, you must be patient and wait for the supplier to contact you.
4. Put some pressure on the supplier
This is a risky practice, so you should be prepared for it. When talking to Alibaba suppliers, you can tell them that “even though they are your best supplier, you can choose other suppliers”.
If they can’t lower the MOQ you’re asking for, you’ll pass them up and contact other suppliers.
5. Combine your order with other buyers
Combine your orders with other buyers’ orders. This way, the Alibaba supplier will get the minimum quantity needed to cover the production costs and will be able to finish the work.
How to Find Low MOQ Alibaba Suppliers?
If you are looking for low MOQ suppliers on Alibaba.com, Alibaba’s “Ready to ship” section will help you.
Here are the actual steps on how to find low MOQ Alibaba suppliers:
Step 1: Go to “Ready to Ship Channel” at Alibaba.com/bulk.
Step 2: Enter the product you are looking for in the search bar.
Step 3: Specify the quantity you want in the “Minimum Order” field.
Step 4: Browse the options and select the one you like.
Generally, if you check the “Ship Anytime” option, you will find many products with very low MOQ that can be shipped within 15 days.
If you can’t find the product you want through these search filters, raise your “minimum order” standard until you find the right product.
Otherwise, you can message the supplier directly to see if there is any flexibility in this number.
Another option is to post an open RFQ on the RFQ marketplace and ask for the exact quantity you wish to order. This way, the Alibaba supplier will know the quantity you want from the start and can choose whether or not to fulfill the order.
You may learn more on our blog about Alibaba RFQ for details below:
Complete Guide 2022: Alibaba RFQ (Request for Quotation)
Alibaba MOQ FAQ
1. Why is MOQ important?
MOQ is very important to every manufacturer. It not only ensures that production costs are met but also that profits are earned. Therefore, they focus on mass production to meet the time, cost, and energy utilized in the production process.
2. How to set a MOQ?
The supplier sets the MOQ depending on various factors. It all points to the demand for that product, the profitability of each product, and most importantly, the product customized. If you understand these, it is easy to set MOQ.
3. Which MOQ is lower, Alibaba or factory?
Since most factories handle bulk purchases, getting a low MOQ from them can be quite challenging. While at Alibaba, you will find MOQ is ranging from as low as 10-20 pieces.
Alibaba MOQ Conclusion
You should compare different suppliers, usually 2-4, at least 2 suppliers. This helps you better understand price, quality, service, and industry knowledge, and you can get the best results after the comparison.
Remember that negotiation is a process of compromise. Sometimes you have to compromise to get more concessions from the supplier.
If you need to find low MOQ Alibaba suppliers, please leave a comment and let us know.
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