January 26, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 74 Comments

BRAND NEW – Alibaba.com Trade Assurance!

alibaba-new-trade-assuranceToday I want to talk to you about a NEW FEATURE that has been introduced by Alibaba.com that you may not be aware of.

And it’s actually something that I am very excited about!

It’s called Trade Assurance and it’s a terrific new service that basically protects your order from a supplier up to a certain amount (which is based on their selling history).

trade-assuranceHow Does it Work?

The process itself is actually very simple and easy.

You search for a supplier as normal, but now there is a new filter – Trade Assurance, which has been added to Gold Supplier, Onsite Check and Assessed Supplier:

alibaba-trade-assuranceSo if you select this filter, you will only get results from suppliers who have agreed to trade under the Trade Assurance program.

Under the company’s name and contact details link, there will be a small Trade Assurance icon, and if you hover over that you can find out the exact amount that this company is covered up to.

Now this is where I thought there would be a problem, as I imagined Alibaba being very cautious here and only putting minimal amounts for each supplier, but I have actually been pleasantly surprised! The vast majority of suppliers that I’ve checked have at least $3,000-$4,000+ and many have $15,000-$20,000 and above which is more than enough for most first time importers!

Then after searching for suppliers like this, you continue as normal and contact them to discuss the price and other order details.

IMPORTANT – this is the critical part:

You need to be very specific in all the details that you agree with your supplier!

The Trade Assurance amount and coverage is based on the details that you agree and specify in your purchase order.

You can’t claim for late delivery if you don’t specify an exact date… and you can’t claim that your order is not of the required quality unless you’ve detailed some specific and measurable requirements…

I hope you understand what I mean here as this really is the most important aspect of Trade Assurance working as intended.

And actually, this is just good practice anyway and what I always recommend to all my importing students – you have to be very detailed and specific with your supplier about your requirements.

That way, they know what you expect and can deliver on that – it’s just 100% better for all parties and is something that you should be doing anyway, regardless of Alibaba’s new service.

Okay, so after you’ve finalised all the details with your supplier, you submit a purchase order request to them (via Alibaba). After they create the purchase order, you both have to confirm it – this is basically akin to signing a contract and means that both the buyer and supplier have agreed to all the terms specified in the purchase order.

And just to recap – the three most important points of the purchase order (in regards to Trade Assurance) are:

  • The required shipping date
  • Product quality requirements
  • The agreed Trade Assurance amount

Please remember that it is not the supplier who sets the Trade Assurance amount, but Alibaba itself – so you can only be covered up to the maximum set and there is no way to alter this (it’s based on the supplier’s trade history).

But as mentioned above, this shouldn’t be a problem as the amounts are actually quite generous and should be more than enough to cover small-medium import orders.

Then after this point, everything just proceeds as normal:

1) You pay for your order under the terms stated in the PO (and this has to be to your supplier’s bank account via Alibaba.com) and your supplier then starts to fulfil that order.

2) Then, before your order is shipped, you arrange for an inspection of your goods to ensure the quality is up to par and as agreed upon.

I’ve talked about this a few times before and basically the easiest way is to just use one of Alibaba’s many inspection agents, which you can find here.

Arranging a pre-shipment inspection is something you should always do as the cost is minimal and it’s one of the best ways to ensure you receive your order exactly as expected.

And for Trade Assurance, you HAVE to have an inspection done pre-shipment. This isn’t eBay/PayPal where you can say the order wasn’t as described after receiving it, no – it just doesn’t work like that and for a good reason – these are large quantity, wholesale orders!

3) If the inspection finds that the quality doesn’t match the agreed upon requirements, or if your order is not shipped on time, then you can submit a claim for online negotiation.

This is basically the point where you and your supplier will try to reach a resolution that is acceptable to you, without any 3rd party influence.

4) If that’s not possible, you can progress your claim and Alibaba.com will make a final determination. If they find that the supplier didn’t fulfil the purchase order, then you will receive a full refund for your transaction under Trade Assurance.

Submitting a Claim

submitting-claimA couple of points about submitting a claim so that you understand the process and exactly how it works:

  • For claims to do with the product quality not being as described, if you cannot reach a solution with your supplier directly and ask Alibaba to arbitrate, they will send one of three third-party companies to perform an inspection of the goods (the three companies are SGS, TUV Rheinland and Bureau Veritas) and you will have to pay for this inspection yourself.

If the supplier is found to be responsible, you will be refunded the inspection fee in full (as well as the Trade Assurance refund for the actual order).

  • Secondly, please remember that Alibaba will not get involved right after you submit a claim, but will leave it for you and your supplier to try and reach an amicable resolution first.

This online negotiation period lasts for 15 business days so please also bear that in mind.

Conclusion

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this new feature that Alibaba have introduced.

It’s another great filter and tool to help us ensure all orders go smoothly and it adds a degree of built-in protection.

Of course, this isn’t eBay/PayPal and there are some specific terms and conditions that have to be fulfilled for Trade Assurance to cover your order but really, that’s to be expected.

These are international, bulk orders between two businesses so you simply cannot expect the same level of protection as with local, retail orders.

All things considered, I think this is a great new program feature that will make product sourcing even easier.

And anyway, many of the requirements to qualify for Trade Assurance are things that you should be doing already, such as detailed product and shipping requirements, production and pre-shipment inspections etc.

So if anything, it’s worth it simply to make sure you always follow these best-practices and protect yourself as much as possible when ordering from Alibaba (or any other Chinese supplier for that matter).

Use this in conjunction with my other articles on importing from China (links below) and you will reduce the chance of you being scammed/not receiving the order as you expected to an absolute minimum.

Alright, that’s it for today, but if you have any questions at all (about Trade Assurance or importing in general) then post below in the comments section and I’ll answer you personally.

Until next time!

All the best,
Andrew

74 Comments
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  1. Hi Andrew I have a supplier that has given us a lot of issues, I am going to do a preshipment inspection, they are refusing to provide post shipment coverage, Whats to prevent the company from shipping a different product? even after the inspection.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Nothing really.

      The idea is to stay away from suppliers who are giving us a lot of issues.

      But if you are already in the order process, have paid the money etc., then you can get an inspection company to do inspection AND also to be at factory when goods are dispatched so you know you’ll get exactly same products as inspection was done on.

      You’ll need to contact inspection company to arrange such service.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew,
    I am currently having a dispute in trade assurance.
    What can I do about the products they have sent me do not work properly and are very badly made. I have contacted them and they said I haven’t assembled them properly. The products are Cyprus Grills. We have definitely assembled them properly and there are parts missing and the grills are not very well made. Everytime we move them pieces break and fall off. The supplier is still insisting that we haven’t assembled them properly. Trade assurance are doing negotiations now and have told me to contact the supplier and they are willing to do a reinstall. I have contacted the supplier but have heard nothing back. The supplier is still insisting that we haven’t installed them correctly and is willing to help us reinstall! These grills are not usable and definitely not sellable
    Trade assurance I’m not very hopeful they will look properly into it. As they seem to listen to the supplier but not me.
    What can I do?
    Thank you for your help.
    Paula

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Paula,

      You can’t do nothing apart from communicating with supplier, with TA team and try to sort this out.

      There are no 3rd party place where you can go to sort these issues out.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  3. Hi;
    I am in a dispute with a supplier from China as they sent me a product which doesnt work properly and is not exactly the same as the one I ordered.
    I also have a dispute about the charges I had to pay on arrival.
    I had an arrangement with my supplier that the delivery cost which I paid them was to be delivered to my door.
    Are these following costs really my responsibility if the supplier agreed to deliver to my door.?
    LCL arrival fees
    Origin import service fee

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Paula,

      No, if it’s Door to Door delivery, you shouldn’t pay anything extra apart from import duty & VAT.

      It’s very strange that they did offer this to you as Chinese suppliers don’t have infrastructure on place usually to provide Door to Door delivery. You want to use a local freight forwarder for such service.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,
        Thanks.
        Yeah that’s what I thought, they obviously just said it to get my business. What can I do about the products they have sent me do not work properly and are very badly made. I have contacted them and they said I haven’t assembled them properly. The products are Cyprus Grills. We have definitely assembled them properly and there are parts missing and the grills are not very well made. I have contacted Trade assurance but I’m not very hopeful they will look properly into it.
        With the arrival fees, and the origin import service fee. The arrival fee is made up of -Handling, -LCL arrival charges, -delivery order fee and a part of the shipping company cost from china. What is CFS arrival fee? My contract was FOB
        Under what circumstances should somebody pay them?
        All in all the charges I received at the port of arrival are the same as what I paid to the chinese company. I paid 240$ for delivery so should I have to pay again this end?
        I guess a lot of first timers make these mistakes.
        Thank you for any light you can shed on this for me.
        Paula

  4. Nhung (samantha)

    Im buying a product from Alibaba.com csn you please help me to get started with the Trade Assurance so i know that i will get my goods thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Please check this post about how Trade Assurance works:

      https://andrewminalto.com/trade-assurance/

  5. Hi Andrew,

    How if i just plan to buy 1 unit food processing machine for example. Which option is better to choose, pre-shipment or post delivery coverage. I’m quite confuse with these two. Secondly, how do i check if the supplier bank account is the one registered at Alibaba.

    Appreciate your feedback.
    Fendy

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Fendy,

      I wouldn’t do it at all.

      Buying machinery from Alibaba, in quantity of just 1 item is VERY, VERY risky. Internet is full of horror stories of people receiving wrong, broken, used machinery and you can’t do nothing about it.

      If it’s just 1 item you’re after, pay extra and buy it locally, with full support and warranty.

      Andrew

  6. can you please explain what is the Citibank ? who owns the account. when i make payment to the citibank does it go direct to the suppliers bank or to alibaba and they send it to the supplier ? how does it work ?
    as my supplier offers trade assurance but said that they don’t have a citibank account.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Joseph,

      It’s supplier’s bank account.

      Next week on my blog I will have a new, detailed post about Trade Assurance, how it works etc., so stay tuned for that.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. thank you Andrew, your posts are amazing , i love the clear instruction and images you always put in the the posts, there is a lot of work in it and you should know that we all appreciate it.

        the supplier claims that there isn’t an HS code for the gift set so he cannot except trade assurance on my order, does it makes scene ? or is he trying to scam me or does he just try to avoid taxes ?
        he agrees that i pay with paypal but i will have to pay the fees.
        what would you suggest ?

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hard to say – most likely they just want to avoid using Trade Assurance…

          PayPal is fine too though, I often use it when dealing with trustworthy suppliers in China.

          Andrew

  7. Hi Andrew

    Do paypal cover purchases from China if im purchasing from the UK via Alibaba?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, they do.

  8. Just a quick note. Alibaba will only approve 3 companies for Trade Assurance Inspection and they prefer SCG or TUV. My deposit on an order was $1500. I hired an inspector with $170 and found out the quality was poor. I submitted to Alibaba Trade Assurance and they asked for SCG or TUV inspection. Their prices for another preshipment inspection is $750-$1000. And you are right about the details on the order including materials composition, manufacturing process etc. Also I think it’s a very good idea to order samples first.

  9. hi
    would you recommend Trade assurance vs paypal?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Joseph,

      I would actually prefer PayPal, if that’s available.

      As with PayPal, you get better protection plus if you fund the transaction with your credit card, you can get your money back via charge-back case (if everything else goes wrong).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  10. Hi Andrew,

    Congrats on your amazing blog. I would really appreciate your help with one piece of information. As I read from various sources paying factories is done in 2 steps: pre and after production. I am a bit unsecure regarding the 2nd one. Do I have to pay after production and BEFORE shipping? If that is the case then what are my guarantees that the product will be shipped as per contract (I want to ship to US FBA warehouses)

    Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Robert,

      Yes, that’s correct.

      There are no guarantees but that is a common business practice when dealing with suppliers in China.

      To protect yourself further, make payment via PayPal or Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program that covers you in case supplier does not deliver your goods.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Appreciate your help Andrew.
        Have a great afternoon.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You’re welcome Robert! 🙂

  11. Hi Andrew,

    I am trying to start my business online. I am considering Alibaba as a trading option, i just don’t seem to understand how it really works. I was asked to ask for samples. But suppliers are saying that after i am satisfied with price, they will send me samples.. (???).. Could you please elaborate for me?.. As i am extremely puzzled.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Marlene,

      Please check out this post which covers samples in detail:

      https://andrewminalto.com/product-samples/

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  12. Hi Andy,

    Im just going through one of those trade assurance agreements now, when you mention “you submit a purchase order request to them (via Alibaba)” how do i submit a purchase order request?
    Is there a button to do this? or do you mean i just ask them for a trade assurance purchase order?

    Many thanks,
    Mark

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mark,

      You can ask supplier to put order together for you OR you can do it on your own – click on START ORDER button on product page.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  13. Hi Andy,

    I was wondering do you open a trade assurance contract for each of your large value supplies orders with a regular supplier each time?
    Or do you issue your own contracts for suppliers you use again and again?

    I wasn’t sure if this trade assurance is more for seeing that the first trade goes well and then nolonger use for subsequent supplier orders for the same manufacturer

    Thanks
    Mark

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mark,

      No, you should use Trade Assurance every time you place an order with supplier, IF they agree on that.

      It does give you extra protection if things go wrong so why don’t use it!

      Andrew

  14. Hi Andrew,

    Will Trade Assurance cover an EXW purchase from a suppllier or does it have to be FOB terms?

    I have a supplier who is saying that they can offer Trade Assurance because they have quoted me an EXW price. Im hesitant to order as I dont want to get scammed.

    Any advice?

    Alan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Alan,

      Trade assurance supports EXW too.

      But why do you want to use EXW instead of FOB?

      Andrew

  15. Aeonius West

    Hello Andrew! Thank you for your informative site. I am purchasing a large piece of equipment – a canine hydrotherapy treadmill (AKA doggie underwater treadmill). Even with inspection before shipping, I’m not sure how to ensure the quality of the motorized parts. Would it be reasonable to ask the manufacturer for some sort of warranty for manufacturing defects?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      It would be very reasonable to ask for that, yes.

      Question of course is whatever they will actually stick with it? Usually though they don’t have problems replacing parts, if they’re true manufacturer and established in this industry for many years.

  16. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for your outstanding blog and for taking the time to answer questions. Most appreciated.

    I have been chatting with Alibaba about my supplier wanting final payment post-inspection in their factory, before cargo reaching the point of supplier delivery under FOB. I am concerned about cargo going missing during this transit phase from factory to loading on air vessel.

    They have suggested we use Post-Delivery to cover the goods up to reaching UK customs. This has the added bonus of saving on insurance costs during transit (still to check with FF about insurance between landing and buyer delivery point). Both Pre-Shipment and Post-Delivery are free services and the only difference appears to be that the supplier begins filling out the Contract on Alibaba, however, the buyer can view, modify and attach their agreed detailed Manufacturing Contract to it.

    Are there any other issues you are aware of that made you suggest Pre-Shipment over Post-Delivery?

    Thanks in advance

    Martin

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Sorry Martin, I have no further suggestions on this as it already sounds over-complicated to me, lol.

      I have never done it in such a complicated way so you better ask Alibaba for further advice on this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Thanks kindly for your response.

        The underlying issue here is what document the supplier should provide us as proof of delivery under FOB incoterms before we make full payment. Original BofL would mean they’re surrendering ownership before payment (too much risk on them). Maybe a copy of the BofL would meet them halfway. “Payment on receipt of BofL” seems a bit vague in the contract.

        I’d love to know your thoughts?

        Best regards
        Martin

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Martin,

          You have to put some trust in supplier you’re working. If you don’t trust them, maybe it’s not the right supplier to work with.

          Payment against BOL is the normal procedure, used in most cases. For further protection, do transaction via Trade Assurance.

          Andrew

  17. Hi Andrew,
    I just wanted to reconfirm the importance of being precise and outlining every detail. We recently did an order with Trade assurance for a display tent. When it arrived, the front entrance was less than 150cm high meaning that people had to bend over to walk in. Also, on the first day it rained, the tent leaked all over. When we contacted trade assurance they found for the seller as we did not say that the door had to be high enough for people to walk through and nor did we specify that the tent should not leak. Left us with a very bad feeling as common sense should prevail but it does not with those orders. The last issue was delayed shipping. Although we had agreed on 4-5 days once final payment was received, because an exact date was not given, they did not need to honour this either. People just need to realize that dealing with them is like dealing with children… You can’t leave anything up for interpretation and have to be extremely detailed in your requirements!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks for sharing this with us Alex!

  18. Julie Futoran-Ulsted

    Hi Andrew,

    I also have a shipping insurance question:

    I plan on using DHL air express to import my product from China to the US. I just learned via my DHL agent that if I am to use my own DHL business account I can purchase “Shipment Value Protection” for the entire value of shipment for $1 for every $100 value (a pretty affordable cost). This insurance covers the entire value of purchase if products were to arrive damaged during shipment. I have a shipment including DHL air express fees of over 4K, so it makes a lot of sense to have some kind of insurance. I plan to pay via TA or Escrow via Alibaba with my VISA. Do you know if any of these methods (TA, Escrow, VISA) already provide any type of this sort of coverage?
    I also have a Customs Clearance Question:

    I was just reminded that any imports from China that exceed a value of $2500 will automatically be held for formal clearance. I just confirmed with my DHL rep that there is no way around this and that my shipment will be held for several days, depending on what is being imported. So this is my question – Knowing that this will be the case with my shipment, what should I be doing now to make sure that my shipment will clear customs? Are there anythings that I need to be checking to make sure my supplier has in place before confirming my order with them and making any payment? Specific advice or tips to good resources regarding this topic would be much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Julie

  19. Julie Futoran-Ulsted

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you so much for this article covering Trade Assurance (TA), this is the second time I’ve read it and now that I’m that much closer to making my first purchase with my supplier I have some questions I was hoping you could answer:

    1. I had initially confirmed my supplier would take Escrow via Alibaba’s Secure Pay. Now that I’ve ordered a sample and am ready to purchase 500 units, they are asking me if it’s OK to pay via TA and they want 100% down. Do you see any red flags here? It had assumed that they would be willing to take some percentage down so was surprised by this. I have yet to respond since this is my first time ordering with my supplier and don’t want to burn any bridges, but I need to be safe with my business investment. Do you feel that I should try to negotiate other terms with them, or is this a reasonable request on their part? I do plan to hire a third party inspection pre-shipment and my supplier is aware of this and plan to follow all the rules you’ve outlined in order to minimize the risks using TA including paying via VISA and creating my own Purchase Order.

    2. After doing a little research also understand that they will be charged a 5% fee via Alibaba for using Escrow instead of Trade Assurance, so that is understandable and even more understandable given the costs are so high with my chosen/preferred method of shipment – DHL air express. They’re going to have to pay around $200 USD for this.
    3. Also, I didn’t see this posted anywhere on Alibaba’s site re. Trade Assurance, but came across two people now in another forum that have agreed that only the initial deposit is covered under TA. Can you confirm whether this is true or not?

    4. Also, do you know how long it takes for Alibaba to reimburse funds owed to you once they’ve approved your TA claim?

    Thank you in advance for answering all my questions!

    Julie

  20. Hello im trying to fill out a trade assurance acc on alibaba, but it wont let me put in my post code and state can you help please

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Matthew,

      I’m sorry but with questions/problems like these you should be contacting Alibaba instead.

      Andrew

  21. Hi Andrew,

    I am dealing with a manufacturer from china and as it turned out there were huge import tariffs. Then they suggested I can pick up my items from their “US Stock” which is a building with a different company name FCCH mailing services in Los Angeles. This seems like a scam, but are offering Trade Assurance. Any thoughts?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tarek,

      It does sound dodgy to me, yes.

      I don’t know the company etc. but scammers often use tactics like this.

      But I could be wrong, each situation is different and needs much deeper analysis.

      Andrew

  22. Hi Andrew

    Many thanks for this post. I have seen on the Alibaba website that with trade assurance orders we should be able to choose between pre-shipment and post-delivery coverage. I don’t think I have been given the choice in the two trade assurance orders I have placed so far. Do you know anything about this and if there is a choice which would you recommend?

    Many thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kim,

      Sorry, not sure I understand what you mean?

      1. There are apparently two types of cover offered – pre shipment and post delivery. I am assuming I should always select the latter?

  23. Hello,
    I am interested in buying from Alibaba. I read all your articles about alibaba, but still I have a questions:
    *before buying a large quantity of production, I will ask for product samples, so questions:
    1. Or samples always are paid or not?
    2. Is there a shipping cost for samples?
    3.Or ordering samples there are no hidden fees? or any fees?
    4.Previously I purchased products from aliexpress, for example LED strips, often that LED parameters were different than indicated by the seller (How do you I know? I have the equipment to measure the same parameters) So I open dispute, I took pictures of the measure equipment with that LED and often received money for poor quality products. Question: if I order sample from alibaba supplier using trade assurance, in contract I wrote that parameters must be: XXXX, I get the product, I myself measure parameters and and if the parameters do not meet the parameters laid down in contract, I get back the money or not? You wrote: “For claims to do with the product quality not being as described, if you cannot reach a solution with your supplier directly and ask Alibaba to arbitrate, they will send one of three third-party companies to perform an inspection of the goods (the three companies are SGS, TUV Rheinland and Bureau Veritas) and you will have to pay for this inspection yourself.” So for example, if the LED power consumption should be 72w, but in reality it is just 25w I need pay for inspection and so on? Is not enough my pictures with a multimeter readings?
    5.If I’m planning to do a large order. I get product samples, and they are not satisfied with me, I will not do orders from that supplier, there is no such thing as a liability on the samples? for example we decide that ordered production of 10 000 USD, but it seems the bad examples and they are not satisfied with me, I will not do the order from the supplier. nothing is wrong with that?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      1. Depends on product/sample cost. If it’s a cheap product, it’s usually free. If more expensive, you’ll have to pay for it.
      2. Yes, almost in all cases YOU pay the shipping for samples.
      3. Usually no, as this is low value shipment.
      4. I don’t know to be honest as I have never had to do this.
      5. Yes, of course that’s fine. That’s why you order samples first – to test supplier/product and only then decide to place bigger order or not.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  24. Kyle Kilgore

    Alibaba Trade Assurance is a complete Scam. Got screwed out of an $8,000 machine. See the details here: http://youtu.be/XrZWTOXUApE I would be VERY CAUTIOUS using tradeassurance.Alibaba.com services.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for sharing this with us.

      Did you did inspection before machine was shipped out?

      Was it damaged during shipping? Did you have insurance with your freight forwarder?

      Andrew

  25. Hi Andrew,

    Great article.
    As a buyer, what transaction costs are there for using the Assurance program?
    I also couldn’t find any limits on suppliers when browsing the site.

    Thanks for your help

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Benjamin,

      There are no additional costs for you, as a buyer to use Trade Assurance. Obviously Alibaba charges a fee for this service but supplier pays it, not you.

      There are no limits on this anymore – if supplier qualifies for Trade Assurance, your whole order will be covered, no matter how big or small it is.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  26. […] you keep looking for more suppliers until you find someone who takes PayPal. Or alternatively, use Alibaba’s Trade Assurance platform to place your order directly on Alibaba and get payment […]

  27. Hi Andrew,

    Great article as always.

    I’m in the process of using Trade Assurance right now and I’ve got to the point of payment but I’ve hit a problem. It gives me the option to pay by credit card but it costs around $40, the other option is to pay by T/T.

    However, when I choose the T/T option the ‘Make payment’ button is greyed out. If I hover over it, it says something like, “Because the T/T payment method can only be paid offline you cannot checkout online. If you have finished the T/T payment, just wait for the supplier to receive it and then the order will go to the next step automatically”.

    How does this work? I know I have to use the supplier’s bank details given on Alibaba, but if I pay it straight to the supplier as it’s telling me to do, I don’t see how it can ‘automatically’ move on to the next step unless the supplier lets Alibaba know they have received the payment.

    Also, for Alibaba to recognise the payment under the Trade Assurance terms does the payment have to come straight out of my account or can it go via transfer company and if so can you recommend a transfer company. It’s only for about $1500.

    Chris

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, that’s how Trade Assurance works – you send money to supplier’s bank account and then they confirm that they have received it. In case supplier doesn’t follow through, you’re guaranteed by Trade assurance to get your money back, that’s why there is this system in place.

      I don’t personally any transfer company to China right now as my fav., Transferwise doesn’t support China (yet). So don’t know whatever it would be fine for Trade Assurance.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks for your quick reply Andrew.

        I think I’ll just use my bank for the first time and see how it goes. I would have liked to use Transferwise, but you’re right, they don’t support China yet. I registered with them some time ago ready for they do. Lets hope it’s not too much longer.

        I know you’re a busy man, so I like the fact that you still take time to personally reply to your blog posts. I first bought your EAB several years ago and with so many online scams it was refreshing to find someone who was genuine and honest. Keep up the good work mate.

        All the best,

        Chris

        1. Andrew Minalto

          No worries, you’re welcome Chris! 🙂

          Andrew

  28. […] I am getting ready to place an order worth £1000 from my supplier. I have ordered a small quantity from them before with no problems, paying with PayPal, and I wanted to know if it would a good idea to use PayPal again for an order like this or should I use Trade Assurance? […]

  29. Trade assurance will only cover the amount that you use through the program. Meaning if your total order is $50k and you put 30% down, $15k. Which is the initial payment through alibaba trade assurance, only the 30% will be covered.

    What can I do if their trade assurance is at a high level that would totally cover my whole transaction amount?
    Must I put the whole payment of $50k through trade assurance?

    Their is also a pre shipment option or post shipment check. Pre is where you check the goods prior. Post is where the product arrives at your port of destination and then you are allowed to check the goods for quality for 7days. Would it be possible to select the post shippment check to clear in the trade assurance program. But also hire a third party to inspect and check prior to shipment. Meaning I would pay to have a proffessonal check the goods prior to shipping as itd be easier to change things if something were not right. But should the product arrive and it isn’t the right amount etc, trade asssruance would protect me and allow to open up a dispute.

    Also as you mentioned in above, the quality has to be clearly stated. How do you go about describing the quality of the goods to protect from low qulaity? I am planning to bring in insulated bottles similar to Hydro Flask. They are insulated, 301 ss, do not sweat or condensate. Powder coated? I want it evenly painted….

    how can I describe the product quality in a way to give me maximum protection?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dennis,

      Yes, you have to pay whole amount for order via Trade Assurance to be covered. And yes, you can do your own pre-shippment inspection, it’s perfectly fine to do and even advisable on large orders.

      As for describing goods quality – be as specific as possible!!! Write down item specs, materials, colour etc. etc. as much detail as possible.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  30. […] The problem is that I found the new factory off a website called GlobalSources.com and there is no trade assurance like Alibaba. […]

  31. Hi Andrew,I ordered some goods from china I want to be sure of the quality before I make payment.pls do u know where I can get a pre shipment inspector?whose not quite costly

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jil,

      I will have a guide on this topic published on my blog tomorrow.

      So stay tuned! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  32. Hi Andrew,

    I was just reading through a few of your posts and especially the one “How to Reach #1 Spot on eBay’s Search Results!”

    I have followed your steps and have been going very well for the past month with consistant sales , positive feedback and 5 star dsr .. how ever i have come across hick-up , my stock levels are very low and i have taken the approach of raising the price so buyers do not buy until i receive my new stock as you recommended and to also reduce the risk of my GTC ending.

    it is going to take 14 days to 20 days till my stock arrives again , as you said this will impact search results and best match sales how ever i just wonder on average or from your own experience maybe, how long did it take you after receiving your stock to reach that level you was before ? .i just worry with this big time gap that my search results ranks will lower, resulting into less sales. Possibly you may have some enlightening approach to solve this.

    i started selling this January 2015 and have sold 82 items so far and i am also 20 sales away from being accepted as top rated seller and premium service. so its pretty sad timing the way this has happened, i have definitely learned from this experience and to assess when the right time will be to top stock up again.

    I just worry about my positioning now and how long this may last till things become better again.

    thanks in advance sir.

    Youssef

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Youssef,

      Yes, keeping your stock levels up is crucial if you want to maintain your GTC listing search positions. 2-3 weeks is a lot and if you do raise your price, chances are your listing’s search positions will suffer greatly.

      Luckily there’s a new Out Of Stock feature eBay offers so you don’t really need to use raise the price strategy anymore:

      http://www2.ebay.com/aw/uk/201410240920452.html

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        thank you for the prompt reply i really do appreciate, before you replied i literally put my prices higher and have just reduced them back hopefully this 7 hour revision doesn’t effect my search history.

        so from my understanding this out of stock feature lets you keep your search spot and history on eBay until you gain your stock again so its a win win situation in theory.

        how ever what if you enable this features and your gtc runs out in 2 days time and then once it renews via the automatic option will my hidden out of stock items be active again so that only i can see them and restock ? in other words my out of stock listing wont end will it ? during the automatic renew for GTC after 30 days.

        thank you once again for replying so promptly

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Yes, it should renew as usual.

          Andrew

  33. James Nicholls

    Hi Andrew

    Have just signed up to Alibaba so will read with interest.

    Do you have any experience using DHGate.com?

    Cheers

    James

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi James,

      In my experience DH Gate is very similar to Ali Express, only with DH Gate prices are often higher. Plus in DH Gate you’ll find way more fake products compared to Ali Express.

      But they both are quite similar.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  34. Peter Mason

    Hi Andrew,

    I live in Hong Kong and have access to factories, as well as using Alibaba, Panjiva and Terrapeak to research and find reputable factories.

    My question is how can I leverage this and to sell direct to consumers around the world without incurring expensive shipping costs an remain competitive to those who are importing and selling within their own country.

    Thank you in advance for your reply and advice

    Peter

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your comment.

      There are few ways you can probably make this work:

      1) Work as a sourcing agent and find goods for other sellers (make commission on each deal).

      2) Use fulfilement houses in UK/USA and sell to public directly via eBay, Amazon and your own online shops.

      3) Find re-sellers, people who could sell products on your behalf, in specific countries.

      4) Start a wholesale business and sell in bulk to businesses in UK/USA and other countries.

      These are just few ideas that come to my mind! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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