Lesson 6, Topic 1
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Equipment sourcing

Nick August 2, 2022
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You can source local supplies

or go straight to the source


Is Alibaba safe? 

Since its launch in 1999, Alibaba has become one of the largest marketplaces in the world. Like many modern ecommerce marketplaces, a majority of merchants on Alibaba are reputable and trustworthy, making the marketplace reasonably safe and legit. The company offers Trade Assurance, a verification program for select suppliers, to protect your payments through the Alibaba.com payment platform.

The benefits of Trade Assurance include:

  • Convenient payment options. Alibaba offers multiple payment methods, including credit card, PayPal, and financing options for qualified US buyers.
  • Payment security. Track and reconcile funds with suppliers and know when they receive your payment. 
  • Better support. When working with Trade Assurance suppliers, refunds are available if you’re not satisfied with the product’s quality.

1. Verify suppliers. Alibaba has its own verification program. Verification is based on third-party on-site inspections, as well as feedback from previous customers. If a supplier is verified, you’ll see a widget on the left-side of any product page that looks something like this: 

Looking for these verification badges is a good first step to assessing whether a supplier is ready to ship for you. Here, you’re able to see how long a supplier has been verified, the number of in-person inspections, response times, and customer satisfaction rates. 

In addition, Alibaba includes supplier specialty tags applied to suppliers based on their performance. In the example above, you can see two tags; Supplier Assessment Procedures (indicating the supplier has been assessed for quality control) and Minor Customization (indicating the supplier offers custom packaging for some products). 

Additional specialty tags may be added for environmental compliance, a high number of repeat customers, fast shipping times, and more.