How To Use Alibaba To Sell On Amazon in 2023

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Imagine sourcing unique and high-demand products at unbeatable wholesale prices and then seamlessly selling them on the world’s largest and most trusted online marketplace.

That’s where Alibaba and Amazon come into play. By diving into the worlds of Alibaba and Amazon, you’ll discover a treasure trove of opportunities waiting for you to explore.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of how to use Alibaba to sell on Amazon, equipping you with the tools, strategies, and insights you need to diversify your product listings and create a profitable online business.

Quick Takeaways:

  1. Create an Alibaba Account:
    • Sign up for free and complete your profile to start searching for products and suppliers.
  2. Research Products:
    • Identify profitable niches and use tools like Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank and other product research tools to analyze market trends.
  3. Find Reliable Suppliers:
    • Use Alibaba’s search features, evaluate supplier profiles, and communicate with potential suppliers to ensure they are trustworthy.
  4. Verify Supplier Information:
    • Check for necessary shipping licenses, trade insurance, and their ability to meet Amazon FBA requirements.
  5. Look for Verified Suppliers:
    • Opt for suppliers with Gold Supplier status, Verified Supplier badge, and positive customer reviews to ensure reliability.

What Is Alibaba?

screenshot of alibaba ecommerce main landing page

Alibaba is a Chinese-based online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace that connects businesses worldwide with manufacturers and suppliers. It offers a wide range of products at wholesale prices, making it an ideal source for sellers looking to import goods.

Amazon handles many aspects of the selling process, such as order fulfillment, shipping, and customer service. When it is coupled with Alibaba as a retail platform for sellers and reaches millions of customers, these two eCommerce powerhouses are very attractive options for online entrepreneurs.

By sourcing products from Alibaba and selling them on Amazon, you can capitalize on the strengths of both platforms and build your eCommerce business.

How To Use Alibaba To Sell On Amazon – Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Sign up for an Alibaba account

screenshot of the alibaba signup page

Just like Amazon, you need to sign-up for an Alibaba account to get started, and you don’t have to spend anything because it’s free.

  • Visit the Alibaba website: Go to their website using your web browser.
  • Locate the “Sign In/Join Free” button: In the top right corner of the homepage, you’ll find the “Sign In/Join Free” button. Click on it.
  • Click “Join Free”: On the sign-in page, you’ll see an option to “Join Free” below the sign-in form. Click on it to begin the registration process.
  • Enter your email address: You’ll be prompted to enter your email address. Make sure to use a valid email address, as Alibaba will send a verification email to complete the registration process.
  • Create a password: Choose a strong password for your Alibaba account. It should be a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Read and accept the terms: Before proceeding, review Alibaba’s Membership Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Product Listing Policy. Once you have read and understood these terms, check the box to indicate your acceptance.
  • Click “Agree and Register”: After agreeing to the terms, click the “Agree and Register” button to proceed.
  • Verify your email address: Alibaba will send you a verification email. Check your email inbox for the message from Alibaba and click the verification link provided in the email. This will confirm your email address and activate your Alibaba account.
  • Complete your profile: After verifying your email address, you’ll be redirected to the Alibaba website, where you can complete your account profile. This includes providing your name, company name (if applicable), phone number, and address. Providing accurate and complete information will help improve your credibility with suppliers on the platform.

Once you have completed these steps, your Alibaba account will be set up and ready to use. You can now start searching for products and wholesale suppliers, communicating with potential partners, and placing orders on the platform.

Step 2: Product Research

screenshot of an alibaba product listing

After your account is created, login to the platform and use the search bar to locate the item you want to sell. Alibaba will display search results featuring related product categories and manufacturers.

First, you need to find the right products to sell on Amazon, and it all begins with product research.

You can also review additional product information, such as certifications, images of the manufacturing process, and the supplier’s terms, on Alibaba.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Explore profitable niches: Look for product categories with high demand and low competition. Tools like Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank (BSR) can help you identify popular items in various categories.
  • Use product research tools: Several online tools can help you analyze market trends, competition, and profitability for specific products. Some popular options include Jungle Scout, Helium 10, and Viral Launch.
  • Search for a product and its manufacturer: Search for the products on Alibaba. Alternatively, you can also search for suppliers or manufacturers rather than products.
  • Narrow down your supplier list: Evaluate several suppliers by comparing their pros and cons. You can also find reviews and other key business information so you can make a list of potential candidates.
  • Monitor product trends: Stay updated on current product trends by following industry news, social media, and Google Trends. This can help you spot emerging niches and capitalize on new opportunities.

Step 3: Searching For Reliable Suppliers On Alibaba

screenshot of samples of verified suppliers and manufacturers in the alibaba ecommerce platform

Once you’ve identified the products you want to sell, the next step is to find a trustworthy supplier on Alibaba, which is also often labeled as Alibaba Verified Suppliers.

Here are some tips for your search:

  • Use Alibaba’s search features: Use keywords and filters to narrow your search. For example, you can filter results by supplier type, location, and minimum order quantity.
  • Evaluate supplier profiles: Look for suppliers with a high response rate, verified status, and positive customer reviews. These indicators suggest that the supplier is reliable and trustworthy.
  • Communicate with suppliers: Reach out to potential suppliers and ask questions about their products, pricing, and lead times. You can directly ask the manufacturer questions using the ‘Contact Supplier‘ button or the ‘Chat Now‘ link. Good communication is key to building a strong relationship with your supplier.
screenshot of supplier inquiry online form in the alibaba platform
  • Verify the supplier’s information: When choosing a supplier, ensure they possess the necessary shipping licenses, Alibaba trade insurance, and other required permits. Review return policies and warranties. Confirm their ability to meet Amazon FBA requirements. Inquire about estimated express shipping costs.

How To Determine Reliable Suppliers in Alibaba

screenshot of a reliable supplier in Alibaba with gold supplier badge and verified supplier badge

Determining reliable and verified suppliers on Alibaba is crucial for a successful sourcing experience. Here are some tips to help you identify trustworthy suppliers on the platform:

  • Gold Supplier status: Look for suppliers with a Gold Supplier badge, indicating they have paid a premium to be a part of Alibaba’s Gold Supplier program. This status suggests that the supplier is more likely to be legitimate and committed to their business.
  • Verified Supplier: Choose suppliers with a “Verified Supplier” badge, meaning Alibaba has verified their business through an on-site inspection or a third-party service. This provides an additional level of assurance as you are dealing with Alibaba verified suppliers.
  • Years in business: Check how long the supplier has been in business on Alibaba. Suppliers with several years of experience are generally more reliable and stable.
  • Ratings and reviews: Read customer reviews and check supplier ratings. Positive feedback and high ratings indicate satisfied customers and reliable business practices.

Opt for suppliers participating in Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program. This service offers financial protection for buyers in the event of non-delivery or substandard product quality.

  • Response rate and time: Evaluate the supplier’s communication by checking their response rate and response time on Alibaba. Prompt and professional communication is a good sign of a reliable supplier.
  • Certifications: Check for relevant certifications, such as ISO, CE, or RoHS, indicating that the supplier meets international quality and safety standards.
  • Product and factory photos: Reliable suppliers usually provide detailed product photos and images of their manufacturing facilities. This can give you a better understanding of their production capabilities.
  • Transaction history: Examine the supplier’s transaction history on Alibaba to see the volume and frequency of completed orders. A consistent transaction history indicates a more experienced and reliable supplier.

By considering these factors, you can increase the likelihood of finding reliable and verified suppliers on Alibaba, ensuring a smoother sourcing experience and a more successful Amazon business.

Step 4. Ensuring Product Quality And Compliance

To sell successfully on Amazon, your products must meet their quality and compliance standards. Here’s how to ensure your products meet these requirements:

  • Understand Amazon’s requirements: Familiarize yourself with Amazon’s rules and restrictions for selling products. These may include product safety standards, labeling requirements, and packaging guidelines.
  • Work with suppliers: Communicate your requirements to your supplier and ensure they can meet them. Request samples to verify the product’s quality before placing a large order.
screenshot on how to request for product samples when offered by suppliers
  • Obtain a price quote: Secure a quote from the Alibaba supplier because it provides a clear understanding of the costs involved in sourcing products, including unit prices, minimum order quantities, and shipping fees. This information is crucial for accurately calculating profit margins and negotiating favorable terms to ensure a successful and profitable Amazon business.
screenshot of request for quotation for the supplier on the product selected
  • Negotiate for pricing: Negotiating order prices and the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) is crucial, as the cost of goods affects profitability. Aim to lower prices while maintaining high quality.
  • Implement quality control measures: Consider hiring a third-party inspection company to inspect your products before they’re shipped. This can help you catch any quality issues and prevent customer complaints.

Step 5. Purchasing Products and Payment Methods

screenshot of alibaba search page, ticking trade assurance in the search filter

Once you have decided on your supplier, you can start placing your order. As you wait for delivery, you can begin listing the product on Amazon and prepare to begin selling.

When sourcing products from Alibaba to sell on Amazon, it’s essential to use secure and reliable Alibaba payment methods. The most common and secure payment modes on Alibaba include:

Alibaba Trade Assurance:

Trade Assurance is Alibaba’s secure payment platform that provides protection for buyers and suppliers. It covers quality issues and shipment delays, ensuring you get the products you ordered within the agreed timeframe.

  1. Find a supplier with the Trade Assurance logo on their profile.
  2. Negotiate terms, prices, and product specifications with the supplier.
  3. Place your order through Alibaba and select “Trade Assurance” as the payment method.
  4. Make the payment using your preferred method (credit/debit card or bank transfer).
  5. Alibaba holds the payment until you confirm the product’s receipt and satisfaction.
  6. If there are any disputes, Alibaba provides mediation between you and the supplier.


PayPal is a widely accepted and secure online payment method. It’s popular among international buyers and suppliers, as it provides an extra layer of protection for transactions.

  1. Set up a PayPal account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Negotiate terms, prices, and product specifications with the supplier.
  3. Request the supplier’s PayPal email address or payment link.
  4. Log in to your PayPal account and send the payment to the supplier’s email address or use the payment link provided.
  5. PayPal holds the payment until the transaction is complete, and you can file a dispute in case of any issues.

Secure Payment (Escrow):

Escrow is another secure payment method available on Alibaba. It involves a third party holding the payment until both the buyer and supplier are satisfied with the transaction.

  1. Negotiate terms, prices, and product specifications with the supplier.
  2. Place your order and select “Escrow” as the payment method.
  3. Transfer the funds to the escrow account.
  4. The supplier ships the products, and you confirm their receipt and satisfaction.
  5. The escrow service releases the funds to the supplier once the transaction is complete.

Bank Transfer (T/T):

A bank transfer, also known as Telegraphic Transfer (T/T), is a common method for paying suppliers on Alibaba. It involves transferring money directly from your bank account to the supplier’s bank account.

  1. Negotiate terms, prices, and product specifications with the supplier.
  2. Request the supplier’s bank account details, including account number, bank name, and SWIFT code.
  3. Visit your bank or use online banking to initiate the transfer using the supplier’s bank account details.
  4. Keep a record of the transaction and share it with the supplier for confirmation.
  5. The supplier ships the products after receiving the payment.

Letter of Credit (LC)

A more secure payment method used when sourcing products from Alibaba to sell on Amazon. It is particularly suitable for large orders and international transactions. A Letter of Credit is a document issued by a bank guaranteeing the seller will receive payment as long as the specified terms and conditions are met.

  1. Negotiate terms, prices, and product specifications with the supplier.
  2. Agree with the supplier to use a Letter of Credit as the payment method.
  3. Contact your bank and request to open a Letter of Credit in favor of the supplier. You will need to provide the supplier’s bank details and agreed terms and conditions.
  4. Your bank will issue the Letter of Credit, which will be sent to the supplier’s bank for verification and confirmation.
  5. The supplier will ship the products according to the agreed terms and conditions (e.g., shipping method, delivery timeframe, and product specifications).
  6. Once the products are shipped, the supplier will present the required shipping documents (e.g., Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, and Packing List) to their bank.
  7. The supplier’s bank will verify the documents and, if they meet the terms and conditions of the Letter of Credit, forward them to your bank.
  8. Your bank will review the documents, and if they comply with the Letter of Credit’s terms and conditions, they will transfer the payment to the supplier’s bank account.
  9. The supplier’s bank will release the payment to the supplier upon receiving the funds.

Each of these payment methods offers different levels of protection and convenience. It’s essential to discuss the preferred payment method with your supplier and choose one that works best for both parties.

Always exercise caution and perform due diligence when making payments to suppliers on Alibaba.

Step 6. Shipping and Logistics

image for the subheading shipping and logistics

Once you’ve sourced your products and ensured they meet Amazon’s requirements, it’s time to ship them to your customers. Here are some tips for managing shipping and logistics:

  • Choose the best shipping method: Select a shipping method that balances cost, speed, and reliability. Common options include air freight, sea freight, and courier services like DHL, UPS, or FedEx. Keep in mind that faster shipping methods will generally be more expensive.
  • Understand customs and import regulations: Familiarize yourself with the customs regulations and import duties in your target market. This will help you avoid any unexpected costs or delays during the shipping process.
  • Navigate shipping and customs fees: Work with your supplier and shipping provider to estimate shipping costs, customs fees, and any applicable taxes. Incorporate these expenses into your product pricing to maintain profitability.

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

What Are The Risks Of Sourcing From Alibaba?

image for the subheading risks of sourcing from alibaba

Sourcing products from Alibaba to sell on Amazon can be a profitable venture, but it also comes with certain risks. Some of these risks include:

  • Quality issues: Suppliers on Alibaba may have varying levels of product quality. You may receive items that are different from what you expected or of inferior quality, which could negatively impact your Amazon business.
  • Intellectual property infringement: When sourcing products from Alibaba, there’s a risk of accidentally infringing on intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, copyrights, or patents. Selling counterfeit or knock-off products on Amazon can lead to account suspension or legal issues.
  • Communication barriers: Communication with suppliers on Alibaba can be challenging due to language barriers and time zone differences, leading to misunderstandings or delays in receiving important information.
  • Unreliable suppliers: There are instances where suppliers on Alibaba may not be reliable, failing to deliver products on time, disappearing after receiving payment, or providing subpar customer support.
  • Shipping and logistics issues: Managing international shipping, customs clearance, and import regulations can be complex and time-consuming. Delays or issues in shipping can affect your inventory levels on Amazon and your ability to fulfill orders promptly.
  • Amazon FBA requirements: Ensuring that your sourced products and their packaging meet Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) requirements is crucial. Failure to comply with these guidelines can lead to additional costs, delays, or even the rejection of your inventory by Amazon.
  • Currency exchange risk: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can affect your product costs, making it challenging to maintain consistent pricing and profit margins.
  • Fraudulent suppliers: Although Alibaba has implemented measures to protect buyers, there is still a risk of encountering fraudulent suppliers who may not deliver the promised goods or services.

To mitigate these risks, it’s essential to conduct thorough product research and due diligence when selecting suppliers on Alibaba.

Always remember to request samples, check supplier reviews and ratings, verify their business licenses, and use secure payment methods like Alibaba Trade Assurance.

Also, consider working with a freight forwarder or third-party logistics provider to manage shipping and customs clearance and ensure your products and packaging comply with Amazon FBA requirements.

How To Use Alibaba To Sell On Amazon: Seller’s Checklist

Here’s a checklist to help you navigate the process of using Alibaba to sell on Amazon in 2023.

  1. Set Up Your Amazon Seller Account: Before you begin your Amazon seller journey, make sure you have an Amazon Seller Central account. This is your dashboard for managing your business on the platform. The Amazon account set up process is straightforward, and it will allow you to access the tools and resources you need to succeed.
  2. Understand Amazon FBA Fees: If you’re considering using Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, it’s crucial to understand the associated FBA fees. This will help you price your products accordingly and ensure you’re still making a profit after all costs are considered.
  3. Do Your Amazon Product Research: Finding the right products to sell is a critical step. Use Amazon’s product research tools to identify high-demand, low-competition products that align with your business goals.
  4. Finding Suppliers on Alibaba: Once you’ve identified a product, it’s time to find suppliers on Alibaba. Look for suppliers with a high response rate and positive customer reviews to minimize the risk of encountering problems.
  5. Arbitrage: Consider using the arbitrage model, where you buy products from Alibaba and sell them on Amazon at a higher price. This can be a profitable strategy if done correctly.
  6. Buying Products from Alibaba: When buying products from Alibaba and other sourcing markets, make sure to communicate your requirements clearly, request product samples to verify quality, and consider using Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program for added protection.
  7. Can I Ship Directly from Alibaba?: In some cases, you may be able to ship directly from Alibaba to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Check with your supplier and freight forwarding company to understand your options.
  8. Use a Freight Forwarding Company: If you’re importing products from Alibaba, consider working with a freight forwarding company. They can help you navigate the complexities of international shipping and customs clearance.
  9. Understanding E-commerce Logistics: Selling on Amazon requires a solid understanding of e-commerce logistics. Make sure you’re familiar with the ins and outs of online selling, including shipping, customer service, and returns.

How To Use Alibaba To Sell On Amazon; Summary

By learning how to use Alibaba to sell on Amazon, you can take advantage of the benefits offered by both platforms and create a successful online business.

As you embark on this exciting journey, don’t forget to continually learn and adapt to the ever-changing eCommerce landscape.

With hard work and perseverance, you can turn your Alibaba and Amazon partnership into a thriving and profitable business. Remember to stay updated on industry news, leverage customer feedback for improvement, and explore additional resources and tools for further learning and support.

Using Alibaba to source products and sell them on Amazon is a powerful combination that can unlock the potential of your online business. By following the steps outlined in this article and committing to ongoing learning and growth, you’ll be well on your way to achieving eCommerce success.

So, take action today and start building the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable online business.

Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business

Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.

Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.

How To Use Alibaba To Sell On Amazon- FAQs

Why do Amazon sellers use Alibaba?

Amazon sellers use Alibaba primarily for its extensive range of products, competitive pricing, and accessibility to manufacturers and suppliers.

Alibaba allows sellers to source products at lower costs, which translates to higher profit margins when selling on Amazon. Furthermore, Alibaba’s platform makes it easy to find and communicate with suppliers, making the process of sourcing products for Amazon more efficient.

Can I sell stuff I buy from Alibaba?

Alibaba is suitable for sourcing a wide variety of products across numerous categories, including electronics, clothing, home goods, beauty products, and more.

The platform offers both ready-made and customizable products, catering to different business needs and target markets. When selecting products to sell on Amazon, it’s essential to research the demand, competition, and profitability potential to ensure success.

How can I protect myself from scams or low-quality products when dealing with suppliers on Alibaba?

Choose suppliers with a high response rate, verified status, and positive customer reviews. Request product samples to verify quality, communicate your requirements clearly, and consider using Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program to protect your transactions.

It is also recommended that you work with a third-party inspection company to have your purchased products inspected before shipping.

Can you purchase from Alibaba in the USA?

Yes, you can buy from Alibaba in the USA.

Alibaba is a global platform that connects buyers with suppliers and manufacturers worldwide. As a buyer in the USA, you can source products from Alibaba by searching for the desired items, communicating with suppliers, negotiating prices, and arranging shipping to the USA.

Yes, it is generally legal and safe to source products from Alibaba for Amazon FBA Private Label, provided that you take the necessary precautions.

To minimize risks, choose suppliers with a high response rate, verified status, and positive customer reviews. Request product samples to verify quality, communicate your requirements clearly, and consider using Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program to protect your transactions.

Additionally, it’s advisable to work with a third-party inspection company to inspect your products before shipping.

Does Amazon FBA accept Alibaba?

Yes, you can source products from Alibaba and use Amazon FBA to handle storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service.

Just ensure the products meet Amazon’s FBA requirements and coordinate with your supplier and freight forwarder to ship products directly to Amazon fulfillment centers.

Is it possible to purchase from Alibaba without a business?

Yes, you can buy from Alibaba without a business.

Although Alibaba primarily caters to businesses for bulk orders, many suppliers also offer smaller quantities suitable for individual buyers. When searching for products, you can filter the results by MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) to find suppliers willing to sell from Alibaba to Amazon FBA in smaller quantities. However, keep in mind that purchasing in smaller quantities may result in higher per-unit costs.

Can I send directly from Alibaba to Amazon?

Yes, you can ship products from Alibaba directly to Amazon. This process involves sourcing products from Alibaba, working with a supplier who is familiar with Amazon’s FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) requirements, and arranging shipping to an Amazon fulfillment center.

Many suppliers on Alibaba have experience working with Amazon FBA sellers and can help with packaging, labeling, and shipping products according to Amazon’s guidelines. It is essential to ensure that your supplier complies with Amazon’s requirements to avoid issues with your inventory.

Additionally, consider using a freight forwarder or third-party logistics company to help navigate customs and import regulations.

How can I price my products competitively on Amazon with Alibaba-sourced products?

To price your Alibaba products on Amazon competitively, conduct market research to understand the pricing strategies of your competitors, and consider your costs, including product sourcing, shipping, customs fees, Amazon fees, and marketing expenses.

Utilize repricing tools like RepricerExpress, BQool, or SellerEngine to automatically adjust your prices based on the competition and your desired profit margins.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊