Jack Ma, the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes magazine (as the richest man in China), founded online marketplace Alibaba.com in 1999. Today, Alibaba is one on the largest business-to-business online marketplaces in the world.
Aliexpress (aliexpress.com) is a subsidiary of Alibaba. Here, online customers can order wholesale products or individual items and have them express-delivered to any destination in the world.
Aliexpress offers a major advantage: free shipping of many items – a significant saving, as with smaller items one often pays more for the shipping than the product.
Aliexpress uses escrow – funds paid by the purchaser are held until the company receives the appropriate instructions that the buyer has received and is happy with the product. In this way, buyers are protected against unscrupulous sellers or scam artists.
Easy to use and convenient
The website is easy to navigate, with a large assortment of agriculture-related products and digital and electronic items.
Once you have entered your desired item in the search bar at the top of the page you can check tabs such as ‘free shipping’. This enables you to view only those items which meet your criteria.
Recently, my Garmin watch battery stopped working. The manufacturer told me that that specific range had been discontinued, but I was able to order a compatible battery from Aliexpress at a reasonable price and with free shipping.
Many entrepreneurs use Aliexpress to run a drop shipping business. They purchase the item from a third party and ship it directly to the customer.
For drop shipping, all you need is an Internet connection. As long as you can easily communicate with suppliers and customers, you can run and manage your business.
As you don’t have to pre-purchase the items you sell, you can offer an array of products to your potential customers. If suppliers stock an item, you can list if for sale on your website at no additional cost.
If you want to compare prices, use pricecheck.co.za to get an idea of the average price of a product.