How to Buy on Alibaba

We've introduced Alibaba to you, given you a review of it, and laid out some safety tips for you.  Now, it's time to start using it!  This tutorial will show you how to buy from Alibaba's wholesale department, from setting up an account to finding your item to paying and getting it shipped.  Shopping on Alibaba is quite similar to how it works on other online marketplaces, such as AliExpress, eBay, and Amazon.

To buy on Alibaba:

1. Register for an Alibaba buyer (or hybrid) account.

(NOTE: If you have an account on Alibaba's sister website, AliExpress, you can skip this step.)

Go to www.alibaba.com in your web browser and click on Join Free in the menu across the top of the screen.

On the next screen, click in the box labelled "Email" and type in your email address.  Then, where it says "Verification", click and hold on the white arrow box and slide it all the way to the right.  This should open a new box; click in the text box beside the distorted characters and type in the message that you see, and then click Submit.  If you do it right, the box beside "Verification" should turn green and say "verified".  Then all you have to do is click Next to continue.

A screen will appear telling you that you need to check your email for a confirmation of your account.  Go to your email client, log in, and look for the email from Alibaba.com labelled "Please Verify Your Email Address to Finish Your Account Registration."  Click it to open it, and then click the Complete button inside the email.

You must now set up your account information.  Click in each of the boxes highlighted in the screenshot below and type in or select:

  • a password for your account
  • a copy of the password that you picked
  • your role on Alibaba (be sure to select either Buyer or Both)
  • your first name
  • your last name
  • your company's name
  • your telephone number

Once you've entered all of your information, click Confirm.

2. Sign into the Alibaba account that you just created.

If you need to get back into Alibaba after leaving it, go to www.alibaba.com in your web browser, and click Sign In in the menu across the top.

Click in the box labelled "Email" and type in the email address that you used to sign up for Alibaba.  Then, click in the box labelled "Password" and type in the password that you picked to protect your Alibaba account with.  Then click Sign In.

3. Browse or search for item(s) that you want to purchase.

To start the buying process, move your mouse cursor over the For Buyers menu and click Wholesaler in the drop-down menu that appears.

Once you're in the Wholesaler section, move your mouse cursor over one of the options in the Categories menu and select a sub-category to narrow down your search.  You can also type something into the search box if you want to look by keywords.

When you find an item that you wish to purchase, click on it for more details.  (HINT: pay attention to the "MOQ" section at the bottom of the item's details... it shows you how many of this item you have to order at a time!)

Once you're on an item's details page, have a look at the details of both the item and the seller.  If everything looks okay to you, use the "+" and "-" buttons beside "Quantity" to select how many of this item you wish to order (remember that some items will have a minimum quantity requirement), and then click Buy Now.

4. Enter or select your shipping details, and review your order.

If you have not purchased something from AliExpress before, you will have to enter a shipping address.  Click in each of the boxes in the window that pops up and enter or select:

  • your name (or the name of the person who will be receiving the item or items)
  • the country in which you live
  • the street address to which you want the item(s) delivered
  • the unit address to which you want the item(s) delivered (optional)
  • the city where the shipping address is located
  • the state, province, or territory where the shipping address is located
  • the mailing code of the shipping address
  • your personal telephone number, separated by country code, area code, and main number (optional)
  • a mobile or work telephone number that you can be reached at

When you've entered your information, click Ship to This Address.

You can then review what you're ordering, and change or edit your shipping address as needed (click on a shipping address to select it, click Edit or Delete below a shipping address to change or erase it, or click Add a New Address to create a new shipping address as described above).  When you're ready to move on, click Place Order.

5. Pay for your order by entering or selecting your billing details.

You will now have to choose how you wish to pay for your order.  We'll assume that you want to pay by credit card, since that's the safest option.

Click on each of the options or boxes highlighted in the screenshot below and select or type in:

  • the brand of credit card that you're using
  • your credit card number
  • the month and year that your credit card expires
  • your credit card's security code (move your mouse cursor over What is This? for help finding it)
  • your first and last name, as it appears on your credit card
  • the address at which you wish to receive your bill (only if it's different from the shipping address)

When you're done entering your information, click Buy Now.

 

Those are all of the steps that you need to take in order to buy something on Alibaba!  Next, we'll cover how to sell on Alibaba!

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