Is Alibaba Legit? And Should You Use It?

is alibaba legit

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With multiple mixed reviews online, you probably have these questions about Alibaba.

  • Is Alibaba legit

  • Is Alibaba a legitimate site for sourcing products for your business?

  • How do I know if Alibaba supplier is legit?”

The simplest answer is: Alibaba is legitimate, but exercise caution when dealing with individual suppliers.

Verify a supplier’s credentials, use secure payment methods, and comoqnduct thorough research to avoid scams and counterfeit products.

You’ve come to the right place for answers.

I wrote this article to discuss Alibaba’s legitimacy, share tips to avoid scams, and help you make well-informed decisions.

Alibaba Review: Is Alibaba Legit and Safe?

Is Alibaba reputable?

If you want to source products safely from Alibaba, follow the tips and advice in my guide.

What Is Alibaba?

is alibaba legit

The Alibaba website is a Chinese supplier and legitimate online marketplace connecting buyers with suppliers, primarily wholesale.

Jack Ma founded Alibaba in 1999. It has since become one of the largest ecommerce platforms worldwide.

It connects buyers and suppliers worldwide, facilitating trade in various products and services, from consumer electronics to raw materials.

Tons of e-com brand owners use Alibaba to sell on Amazon or other major retail platforms.

How Does Alibaba Work?

How Does Alibaba Work?

Alibaba is a platform that connects suppliers (primarily from China) to buyers worldwide.

Suppliers can list their products on the website, and buyers can search for and order products directly from suppliers.

Alibaba earns revenue through advertising, commissions, and various services offered to suppliers and buyers.

Can Anyone Buy From Alibaba?

Yes. Anyone can buy from Alibaba, including small businesses and individuals.

However, Alibaba is primarily for B2B transactions. The platform is ideal for sellers who want to source products in bulk at wholesale prices.

Alibaba Safety: Is Alibaba Legit and Safe?

How Safe Is Alibaba?

Alibaba is a legitimate and safe platform for buying and selling products.

However, exercising caution when dealing with suppliers is crucial, like in any online marketplace.

Buyers should carefully vet suppliers, use secure payment methods, and follow Alibaba’s guidelines to avoid scams and fraudulent activities.

5 Tips To Avoid Alibaba Scams and Fraud

5 Tips To Avoid Alibaba Scams and Fraud

Is Alibaba a scam? No, but like any ecommerce platform, there are scam sellers

Here are five crucial to help you avoid potential scams and fraudulent activities on Alibaba.

  1. Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true.

    Exercise caution when encountering meager prices, which may indicate counterfeit or low-quality products.

  2. Deal with only Verified Gold Suppliers as much as possible.

    Alibaba has vetted these suppliers, meaning they’re reputable and trustworthy. Thus, choose them over other suppliers as much as possible.

  3. Conduct thorough research if unsure about a supplier or gold supplier status.

    When in doubt, take the time to gather more information about a supplier’s history and customer reviews.

  4. Always use secure payment methods.

    Protect your information by prioritizing secure payment methods, like Alibaba Trade Assurance.

  5. Never deal with a supplier outside of Alibaba.

    Avoid dealings with suppliers outside Alibaba because it can expose you to scams and frauds.

Watch Out for These Alibaba Scams.

Is Alibaba legit?

I’ll discuss common Alibaba scams and teach you to recognize and avoid them while doing business on the platform.

  1. An Alibaba supplier increases the price after you’ve already agreed. 

    Avoid suppliers who raise prices unexpectedly after deciding on a specific amount. It’s a deceptive tactic.

  2. A supplier tries to sell you popular branded products. 

    Steer clear of suppliers attempting to sell you popular branded items. They may be counterfeit or unauthorized merchandise.

  3. Your samples and final products differ significantly in quality.

    A considerable quality disparity between samples and the final products may indicate inconsistency in the manufacturing process and a sign of an unreliable supplier.

  4. Suppliers promise certifications they don’t have.

    Beware of suppliers claiming to possess certifications they may not have, or you can’t verify online. It could be a red flag for fraudulent activities.

  5. A supplier agrees to a lower price, then cuts corners on quality.

    Be wary of suppliers who agree to a lower price but compromise on quality because it lowers the value of your investment.

How To Safely Buy and Sell on Alibaba

How To Safely Buy and Sell on Alibaba

Here are tips and strategies to ensure a safe and secure buying and selling experience on Alibaba.

How To Know if Alibaba Seller Is Legit: Seven Tips for Buying Safely on Alibaba

Here are seven tips for finding reliable suppliers and buying on Alibaba.

  1. Thoroughly assess suppliers’ badges.

    Look for Gold Supplier and other badges to ensure you deal with a reputable company.

  2. Check prices.

    Compare prices from multiple suppliers and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

  3. Pay through secure and verified methods.

    Use Alibaba’s secure payment options to protect your funds. These options include Trade Assurance and Secure Payment.

  4. Check for ratings and reviews.

    Look at a supplier’s or Gold Supplier feedback score and read customer reviews to gain insight into their reliability and product quality.

  5. Avoid brand-name products.

    Many branded products on Alibaba may be counterfeit. Focusing on non-branded items is safer.

  6. Check out the trading company history and transaction level.

    A Gold Supplier with a long history and a higher number of transactions has more experience and is more trustworthy.

  7. Confirm a product’s quality or request samples before buying.

    Ask for detailed product information, certifications, and samples to ensure the products meet your expectations and quality standards.

Seven Tips for Selling Safely On Alibaba

Consider these tips before you start selling online on Alibaba.

  1. Communicate through Alibaba.

    Always use the platform’s messaging system for communication with buyers to maintain a record of conversations and prevent potential fraud.

  2. Protect your personal information. 

    Be cautious about sharing sensitive information like bank account and credit card company details. Use Alibaba’s secure payment options to protect your information.

  3. Use a reliable delivery company and ensure the package is received.

    Choose a trusted shipping provider, and provide tracking information to the buyer and Alibaba to confirm delivery.

  4. Use Alibaba’s payment methods. 

    Stick to the platform’s recommended payment options, like Trade Assurance or Secure Payment, to safeguard your funds and avoid disputes.

  5. Wait for payment confirmation before mailing goods.

    Ensure you’ve received the payment before shipping products to the buyer.

  6. Review buyers’ profiles and report suspicious buyers.

    Check the buyer’s feedback and history on Alibaba and report any unusual activity to the platform’s support team.

  7. Invest in Trade Assurance verification.

    By participating in Alibaba’s Trade Assurance program, you can build trust with potential buyers, protect your transactions, and ensure a safer selling experience.

Start Buying and Selling on Alibaba

Start Buying and Selling on Alibaba

To begin buying or selling on Alibaba, you must create an account and provide the necessary information.

Then, you can start browsing products or listing your own for sale.

Understanding Alibaba Suppliers

Understanding Alibaba Suppliers

Here are various Alibaba suppliers that will give you helpful tips on choosing the suitable factory capacity for your needs.

How To Choose a Suitable Factory Capacity From Alibaba Manufacturers

When selecting a supplier on Alibaba, it’s essential to consider their factory capacity.

You can find this information on the supplier’s profile page. Look for suppliers with sufficient capacity to meet your production requirements and ensure timely delivery.

How To Find Legit Alibaba Suppliers

A legitimate Alibaba supplier search is crucial to ensuring a successful business transaction. Here’s how to identify trustworthy suppliers.

  1. Search and filter suppliers.

    Search Alibaba using relevant keywords to find potential suppliers.

    Narrow the list using filters, including location, product type, and supplier types (ex., Gold Suppliers, Trade Assurance participants, etc.).

  2. Evaluate supplier profiles.

    Review each supplier’s profile thoroughly, including their information, certifications, transaction history, and customer feedback.

    Look for suppliers with a long history of successful transactions and positive reviews.

  3. Contact suppliers.

    Contact potential suppliers through Alibaba’s messaging system to ask questions about their products, manufacturing processes, and quality control measures.

    Assess their professionalism and responsiveness. Good communication is crucial for a successful business relationship.

  4. Request samples and verify certifications.

    Before placing a bulk order, request product samples to assess the quality and ensure it meets your expectations.

    Ask for relevant certificates or compliance documents to confirm that the supplier’s products adhere to industry standards and regulations.

  5. Keep transactions on-platform.

    Avoid dealing with suppliers outside Alibaba to minimize the risk of fraud.

  6. Use safe payment methods.

    Choose secure options like Trade Assurance, which offers buyer protection in disputes.

  7. Verify production capacity and certifications.

    Confirm that the supplier has the capacity and credentials to produce your products at your desired quantity.

  8. Ensure product quality consistency.

    Ensure the quality of product samples matches the quality of the bulk order to avoid unpleasant surprises.

  9. Hire third-party inspection.

    Enlist a third-party inspection company to verify product quality before shipping, ensuring your order meets your expectations.

  10. Keep communication within Alibaba.

    Maintain all contact through the Alibaba messaging system for added security and accessible dispute resolution.

Alibaba Dropshipping Guide

Alibaba Dropshipping Guide

Here’s how to use Alibaba as a source for dropshipping products.

How To Dropship With Alibaba

Dropshipping with Alibaba involves sourcing products from suppliers on the platform and selling them directly to customers without holding any inventory.

What is dropshipping, and how does it work?

Once a customer orders, you’ll forward the order details to the supplier, who will ship the product to the customer on your behalf.

Search for Products.

Start browsing product categories or using the search bar to find products that match your niche.

Look for suppliers with a track record of reliable shipping and quality products.

Examine the Product Listing Pages.

Are Alibaba products legit? Is Alibaba real? Carefully review the product listings to understand the specifications, pricing, and other relevant details.

Pay attention to the supplier’s ratings, reviews, and transaction history.

Payment Options and Security

Payment Options and Security

Here are the various payment options available on Alibaba and the security measures you can take to protect your transactions.

Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ)

MOQ refers to the minimum number of units a supplier is willing to sell per order.

When purchasing from legit suppliers on Alibaba, understand and negotiate the minimum order quantities to meet your business needs and budget constraints.

Secure Payment Methods

Using safe payment methods on Alibaba, such as Trade Assurance, PayPal, or Escrow, helps protect your transactions and minimize the risk of fraud.

Trade Assurance

Alibaba provides this free service to protect buyers and ensure timely shipments and product quality.

By using Trade Assurance, buyers ensure Alibaba only releases their funds to the supplier after they’ve received the product as expected.

Trade Assurance compensates the buyer if the supplier does not meet the agreed-upon terms.


PayPal is a popular online payment system that allows buyers to send payments to suppliers securely.

It offers buyer protection, allowing buyers to open a dispute and request a refund if the product received differs significantly from the product described by the supplier.


Escrow is a safe payment method that holds the buyer’s funds in a third-party account until they receive and accept the product.

Once the buyer has received and accepted the product, Alibaba releases the funds to the supplier.

Alibaba doesn’t release the buyer’s funds to the seller until the buyer has obtained and verified the product, minimizing the risk of fraud.

Using Alibaba Trade Assurance

Using Alibaba Trade Assurance

Ensure the supplier’s company accepts Trade Assurance and always uses it for transactions.

How Does Trade Assurance Work?

Trade Assurance is a free service from Alibaba that protects online business buyers by ensuring on-time shipments and product quality.

When using Trade Assurance, the buyer sends the payment to Alibaba instead of the supplier. The supplier will only receive the payment once the buyer confirms the receipt of the products and their satisfaction with the quality.

If any issues arise, the buyer can file a claim with Alibaba. Trade Assurance will mediate the dispute and compensate the buyer if necessary.

How To Use Alibaba Trade Assurance

To use Trade Assurance, ensure the supplier you are dealing with accepts the service. You can filter your search results to show only suppliers taking Trade Assurance.

Select Trade Assurance as the payment method when making a transaction. Alibaba will handle the payment process and protect the transaction.

What Are the Benefits of Using Trade Assurance?

Using Trade Assurance provides a level of financial security and reduces the risk of fraud.

If there are any issues with the product or delivery, Trade Assurance will mediate the dispute and compensate the buyer when necessary.

Trade Assurance helps protect both buyers and suppliers and ensures a fair and secure transaction process.

Shipping and Fulfillment

Here’s how to choose suitable shipping methods and understand Alibaba Incoterms.

How To Choose the Correct Shipping Methods

Consider shipping time, cost, and reliability when selecting a shipping method.

Please communicate with the suppliers or trading companies to understand their preferred shipping methods and choose which best suits your business needs.

Popular options include ePacket, China Post, EMS, DHL, and FedEx.

Alibaba Incoterms and Shipping Methods

Incoterms are international trade terms defining the buyer’s and sellers’ responsibilities in shipping.

Familiarize yourself with common Incoterms like FOB (Free on Board), CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight), and DAP (Delivered At Place) to ensure clear communication with suppliers and avoid misunderstandings.

Communication and Inspection

Communication and Inspection

Clear communication and thorough inspection ensure a safe and successful transaction when buying and selling on Alibaba.

Communicate With Your Suppliers on Alibaba To Stay Safe.

Communication with suppliers or trading companies is crucial for a successful business relationship.

Use the Alibaba messaging system to discuss product specifications, negotiate terms, and address concerns.

Keep records of all conversations to protect yourself in case of disputes.

Hire an Inspection Company.

To ensure product quality from the online store, consider hiring a third-party inspection company to inspect your goods before shipping.

These companies will check for defects, inconsistencies, and compliance with your specifications, providing you with a detailed report to make informed decisions.

Understand Alibaba Quality Control Inspection Services

Alibaba offers inspection services to help buyers ensure product quality from a reliable supplier.

Alibaba can provide on-site inspections, lab testing, and certification services at competitive prices through partnerships with certified inspection companies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Do I Know if an Alibaba Supplier Is Trustworthy and Legit?

Is Alibaba a legit website? Is Alibaba trustworthy?

Yes, provided you practice due diligence.

Look for Verified Suppliers, Gold Suppliers, Trade Assurance acceptance, and positive reviews and ratings.

Conduct further research on the supplier’s business history, certifications, and product catalog.

What Is the Risk of Alibaba?

Is Alibaba reliable? Yes, but you should still consider these risks.

  • Encountering fraudulent suppliers

  • Receiving poor-quality products

  • Shipment issues

  • Dealing with intellectual property violations

Conduct thorough research, verify supplier credentials, and use safe payment methods like Alibaba Trade Assurance to mitigate these risks.

How Is Alibaba So Cheap?

Alibaba can offer low prices by connecting buyers directly with manufacturers and wholesalers, eliminating go-betweens and their associated costs.

Many suppliers on Alibaba are from China and other countries with lower production costs, which reduces product prices.

How Long Does It Take for Alibaba To Deliver?

Delivery times on Alibaba vary depending on the supplier, shipping method, and destination.

Shipping can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Communicate with the supplier to get an accurate estimate of shipping times and choose the most suitable shipping method for your needs.

Can Anyone Order From Alibaba?

Yes. Anyone can order from Alibaba.

While it is primarily for businesses and wholesalers, individuals can also purchase on the platform.

However, some products have a minimum order quantity (MOQ).

How Much Is Shipping on Alibaba?

Shipping costs on Alibaba vary depending on the product’s size and weight, shipping method, and destination country.

To get an accurate shipping cost, contact the supplier directly and provide the necessary information, including location and desired shipping method.

Does Alibaba Sell Original Products? Are Alibaba Products Fake?

Alibaba is a marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers. It doesn’t sell products directly.

While some suppliers may sell original products, others may sell replicas or counterfeit items.

To ensure you purchase original products, verify the supplier’s credibility, ask for certifications, and avoid suspiciously low prices.

Who Pays for Shipping on Alibaba?

The buyer typically pays for shipping on Alibaba.

You can negotiate shipping costs with suppliers, who may include it in the product price or bill it separately.

Discuss shipping terms and fees with the supplier before ordering to avoid misunderstandings and additional costs.

How Do I Communicate With Alibaba Suppliers Safely?

Is Alibaba safe to order from? It depends on the supplier.

To communicate safely with Alibaba suppliers, use the platform’s messaging system that offers translation services and records all conversations.

Avoid sharing personal information or conducting business outside of Alibaba.

Is Alibaba’s Payment Method Secure?

Alibaba offers safe payment methods like Trade Assurance, which protects buyers by ensuring on-time shipments and product quality.

Other payment options include PayPal and Escrow.

Can I Trust Alibaba Suppliers?

While many suppliers on Alibaba are trustworthy, exercise caution and follow the advice in this article to minimize risk and ensure a successful transaction.

There are lots of Alibaba wholesale reviews you can check online to gauge the trustworthiness of the suppliers. These Alibaba reviews can help you decide if the platform suits your needs.

The Bottom Line

I hope my guide answered, “Can you trust Alibaba?” and “Is Alibaba safe to buy from?”

Take precautions and research suppliers to avoid scams and fraud when buying from Alibaba.

Always use safe payment methods, communicate through the Alibaba platform, and verify suppliers’ credentials and production capacity.

If you want to sell without holding inventory, consider the best dropshipping companies for your business.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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