1688.com is one of the popular Chinese online wholesale marketplaces owned by Alibaba Group. Unlike Alibaba.com, which primarily targets international buyers, 1688.com focuses on domestic Chinese businesses.
It serves as a comprehensive platform for business transactions, (unlike AliExpress which focuses on business to customers) allowing businesses to source products in bulk directly from Chinese manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers.
The 1688 platform, both the iOS app, Android app, and website is primarily in Chinese, catering to domestic businesses only. This can present a language barrier for international users not proficient in Mandarin.
Even though international buyers can access the platform with the help of a translator, its primary focus is on serving businesses within China.
In this article, we will talk about the following
- How to use 1688
- Types of products sold on the platform, 1688.
- Key features that distinguish it from other B2B platforms.
- Benefits of sourcing products specifically from 1688 suppliers.
How to use 1688
Firstly, 1688.com can be accessed as a website, 1688.com, as an Android app or iOS app. Typically, you can use the platform in their ways.
At the time of writing this article, the 1688 app is only available on the Apple App Store. You cannot find it on the Play Store. But you can download the app directly from the website with Android.
Both the website and the app are entirely in Chinese. It means that there is no English version of 1688. You are left to walk around the platform in Chinese.
But the Language barrier should not be a problem, we already have an article to walk you through.
When you have downloaded the 1688 app, it is optional for you to register an account. Click here to learn how to register on 1688, you can now have access to the millions of products sold on the 1688 platform.
Types of products sold on the platform, 1688
1688 sells millions of products if that figure is not exaggerated. The products sold in 1688 ranges from
- Bags, women’s bags
- Children’s Clothing
- Men’s Clothing
- Women Clothing
- Food & Drinks
- Consumer electronics
- Makeup etc.
Key features that distinguish 1688 from other B2B platforms
The other Chinese shopping B2B platforms are Alibaba, made-in-china, Global sources. The few key differences between 1688 and others are below
- Full and product descriptions
- Discounts for new buyers
- Minimum orders are accepted from 1piece.
- 1688 offers a direct bond between the seller and the buyer. Constantly buying from 1688 develops a certain confidence that you already know whom you’re dealing with.
- Payment is fast as long as you have Alipay or a procurement agent. Need a 1688 procurement agent? Send us a message on WhatsApp via this number +2347082111555.
- The user interface of the 1688 app is easy to use.
- Unlike Alibaba, 1688 has a direct checkout process. You don’t need to send a message to the supplier or seller before you can complete your order.
- The response rate is not bad. It all depends on the seller. But the overall response rate is good.
Benefits of sourcing products specifically from 1688 suppliers
Conventionally, buying from China means getting a business visa to China, booking a return flight ticket from your country, booking a hotel reservation which is at an average of $15 per night, and food.
Transportation is not a big deal if you know your way around the Chinese Metro station or bus. But transportation becomes a problem when you have no idea about metro or buses. You will pay an average of $2 per interstate trip (trips within the same city).
Now, with the 1688 online platform, you have no business spending so much on visas, and the rest aforementioned. What you need is to surf around thousands of suppliers on 1688 and click Checkout.
There is no basic special skill, you just know what you want.
But you have to still remember that 1688.com is exclusively for Chinese businesses. This implies that communication is entirely in the Chinese language, payment is in the Chinese language, and delivery is within China.
You only need to be informed of how these work.
Want to learn how to make payments on 1688 suppliers? Click here
Want to know how delivery works in China 1688? click here