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Dropshipping from 1688.com - Complete guide

Discussion in 'Dropshipping & Wholesale Hookups' started by JB China, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. JB China

    JB China Newbie

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    Hi Guys.
    I have been away from the forum a for the lost month or so. Can be a bit like a black hole of knowledge and interesting things, so since I had a busy month ahead of me, I decided to take a break.

    This post is basically just a repost of the completed guide found on page 3 of my old thread. Felt it appropriate to create a new thread for new readers to navigate the guide easier. I have edited a few things based on new info, but it is mostly the same.
    For reference, original thread can be found here: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/dropshipping-from-1688-com-complete-guide-in-progress.1091320/#post-11769803


    How to register.


    Trying to register on 1688.com, it seems that verification codes don't go through. Luckily, taobao.com now share accounts with 1688. Go to Taobao.com


    [​IMG]


    Install google translate extension, and click "translate this page"



    [​IMG]


    Click on "free registration"


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    Click on "english" to change language


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    Enter your phone number for SMS verification


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    Your taobao account is activated! [​IMG]


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    Go to 1688.com. Verify that you have automatically been logged in. Your account is now ready for use.


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    How to find your product on 1688.com


    This works on taobao too btw. If you are unable to find the product on ali 1688, or are unable to get supplier interested in your business, you can find your product on Taobao, and still save a lot compared to Aliexpress.


    Go to Aliexpress page of your product of choice.


    [​IMG]


    If possible, find image without watermark, and take a screenshot as close to original photo proportions as possible. It seems like it's not possible to "save image as", but you could probably use some kind of image grabbing tool. That would be preferable, but haven't done it myself, so up to you.


    [​IMG]


    Check shipping terms. And make a note of package weight


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    Go to xe.com to find the price in CNY. Take note of it. I advise you make a spreadsheet with the info...


    [​IMG]


    Come back to 1688, and click the “search by photo" button as shown


    [​IMG]


    Choose the photo you just grabbed from Aliexpress


    [​IMG]


    Hopefully the product shows up on the image search. (If it doesn't,I have ideas for how to find them regardless. I have not tested them yet however, so will have to wait...) You should do research on all items which seems to match, but for this guide, we will choose one in the middle of the price range


    [​IMG]


    Check product specs, to see if they match the ones on Aliexpress


    [​IMG]


    Total cost comparison


    The published prices for EMS epacket are:

    (To USA. Based on info from Dec 2018)


    Min-max Weight: 50-2000 gram

    Fixed per item: CNY 15

    Price per g (max 2kg): CNY 0.65


    With info noted earlier we can then calculate and compare:

    Aliexpress: CNY 102

    1688 incl e-packet:

    1--9 pcs CNY 61.59
    10-49 CNY 55.89
    0ver 50 CNY 53,04




    There seems to be some potential here. So let's get in touch with the supplier!

    To initiate contact with supplier we need to use the 1688's native messenger app. Google "Aliwangwang", and click on shown link.


    [​IMG]


    Download for your OS


    [​IMG]


    Install and open. Login with your 1688 account.


    [​IMG]


    Go back to the product page, and click the button marked by the yellow circle..


    [​IMG]


    This will open up the chat window. Office hours are mostly 9am-6pm China time. If you want fast answers you should ask your questions, within this time range.


    [​IMG]


    For your first message, go to google translate and write the message/questions you have for the supplier. Use as short and simple sentences as possible, so Google can have the best chance of translating accurately. (I know I didn't exactly follow my advice in the example[​IMG])

    Side note: For the first message, I would actually suggest that you write a template with a short introduction of yourself, and have it manually translated by a freelancer. Will cover that in more detail in a later post.


    [​IMG]


    Copy paste to the chat window


    [​IMG]


    When you have received enough info to confirm that product is identical, or almost, to Aliexpress reference, and you feel like it is worth taking further, then time has come to move to another platform. Wechat! Write something like this in google translate, and copy paste to chat window.


    [​IMG]


    Install app on phone, create account and add the supplier.


    How to pay suppliers. How to verify Alipay account, and introduction of SendWyre


    I want to preface this by saying that the following is meant only to show some potential ways of paying suppliers. I have done some testing, but you will have to do your own due diligence as well. Also, I welcome all questions, but before asking, please take a look on the outline of the posting schedule to see if your question is going to be addressed in a later post! Thank you!


    Download the chinese Alipay App. Newest official releases can be found on Alipay.com



    Iphone users can change their App store location to China, and install. Open App and login. Same account as Taobao and 1688. They are all subsidiaries of Alibaba group and are integrated.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    You have now logged in to your Alipay account. If it is in Chinese, do the following to change language:


    [​IMG]

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    Alipay home page in English.. You can have a look around..


    [​IMG]


    At this stage your wallet is not activated for transfers and payments yet. You'll need to go through a verification process. Unfortunately I forgot to get screenshots of this process.

    We have to use a workaround, as the official method as stated in app, will not let you verify until you have linked a Chinese bank account in your name. Most won't have access to that.


    But luckily I found a work-around, rather by chance, when going through the process myself on the account i registered for the purpose of this guide: You need to have someone make a transfer to you. Amount doesn't matter. 1 CNY is fine.


    I can help a few of you with the first transfer. This way you don't have take any risk by use cc or paypal to top it up, not being verified yet. PM me. This verification method seems to work, but there are no guarantees. Hopefully the members I transfer to will help others out as well.



    The transfer will be visible immediately, in the "transactions" tab. But it will say something like "To receive deposit, you need to verify your identity". Click on the transaction, and the verification process will begin Choose the "Face ID verification"

    You will then be asked to Enter full name, passport number and passport expiry date. Next you will have a photo taken of your face. Last step is taking a photo of your Passport. Your account will then be verified. This is automatic and takes around 10 min.


    [​IMG]


    Next you need to get money into the account. Without a Chinese bank account, you can only use the "balance" function.

    There are several services online who makes this process easy. The english ones more expensive, but easier. v2pay, superbuy and yayaka comes up in every search and they seem trustworthy. Expect to receive 10-20% less than official exchange rate.


    In any case, and no matter the amount you want to add totally, start with the lowest possible. Once you have verified that the service works as promised, you can add more.


    On Chinese sites it's much cheaper. One will send CNY 1000 for a payment of USD 158. Not too bad. But they are in Chinese, and though they seem legit, I think it's better to, at least this stage, stay with with the ones mentioned earlier.


    Actually, since we are not gonna need a lot of funds from the get go, the price difference is negligible. In relation to dropshipping from 1688, we will only use Alipay for test purchases of products (at least until fully verified with bank account), and to establish yourself with a potential supplier as a "real" buyer, before you start discussing bulk fulfillment, e-packets etc.


    Though their products will all leave the country eventually, they might not have dealt directly with foreign customers before. So better ease into it[​IMG]

    .



    [​IMG]





    Until you have linked a bank card(for which you need to travel to China for bank account opening) your account will be limited.


    [​IMG]


    To test the account i went to tmall.com and bought something. Paid with the the 100 CNY sent to my new account, which was now available to spend.


    [​IMG]


    Confirmation of successful payment. Note that bank account has not been linked. Something that many people think is necessary.. Here I show, that it is NOT the case.


    [​IMG]


    Next, I transfered CNY 1 to other Alipay account, confirming that the "transfer" function was active. And then, since I wanted to test purchasing on 1688, i added some more funds to the account


    [​IMG]


    I then went on to test if it would work on 1688. With the new Alipay account (same as the one I registered on taobao for the purpose of this guide), I then successfully used some of the funds in balance to pay for 42(!!) pairs of socks.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Wanting to test Alipay's automatic security measures, I transferred between accounts consecutively in a very short time frame. Doing this a few times, my new account has already been limited, and needs to go through a manual check to be reopened.
    UPDATE: Was able to get it reopened without issues. But received a phone call in Chinese, so it might not be so easy for others. Don't deposit more than you are comfortable with.


    No cause for alarm, It was expected, and this is standard for all payment solutions. Just a reminder to take the precautions you would with other platforms such as paypal etc..


    [​IMG]


    In any case, I just wanted to show you that it is possible to open an Alipay account, and use it for payments on Taobao and 1688.


    If you take care not to use too many different IP's, or do something like I did to alarm their security algorithms, you will most likely be able to use Alipay up until their limits of CNY 10.000 per transaction, and 50.000 per month.


    These limits will be removed when you are able to open a Chinese bank account. But that is a subject for another time!

    For now, Alipay should just be used to test the waters. Make a test order with the supplier.. Stuff like that...


    If you have already made a small order it will be much easier when negotiating the real deal..And if you are able to get a Chinese bank account, Alipay is amazing! But..


    For a long term payment solution for those unable to open Chinese bank account we have to look elsewhere:....Introducing sendwyre.com


    [​IMG]



    I'm not really sure how it works, but they use the blockchain to facilitate transfers to Chinese bank accounts. My clients and I have made hundreds of transfers to Chinese bank accounts.


    All of them, completed and received by beneficiary within 2 hours. I am not using affiliate links, and will not earn anything by you onboarding with them. Their services has been invaluable in the last few years, so I just want to let you know of their existence.


    The onboarding process is a bit slow, they take KYC seriously, but once verified, everything is extremely smooth and easy. Both individuals and companies may apply. Once verified funds can be added to account as shown:



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Once funds are in Wyre account, payments to the suppliers account are made by sending a payment request to Wyre, with a CSV sheet attached as shown. In 100 payments, it has never taken more than 24 hours to reach the bank account of beneficiary.

    Batch payments could be linked to the order fulfillment CSV's, which we will go through in a later post.


    [​IMG]


    Upon completion of transfer you will receive confirmation email. Status will also be available on dashboard..


    [​IMG]


    N.B. I have been informed by member Anatho, that it says on sign up page that Wyre can only verify US users atm. I am from Denmark and had no problems onboarding back in 2017, but things might have changed. I am waiting on reply from my account manager there, to clear it up.

    UPDATE: I have asked my account manager at Wyre, and she has confirmed that for our purporses, registration is NOT limited to US users.


    So.. Hopefully you know have a good grasp on:
    1. Registering account
    2. Finding your product on 1688
    3. Comparing prices accurately
    4. initiating contact with suppliers
    5. How to pay them... We are getting there..[​IMG]


    The guide is nearing its end.

    Before reading the last part, please keep in mind that my goal with this guide is to even the playing field a bit.

    Trying to to let competitive advantages from sourcing on 1688.com, be based on skill, creativity, discipline and the like, and less on "happening to be Chinese" or something like that.

    Well of course, we are many who have made a real effort in figuring out the ins and outs of it all. But to all readers who might feel annoyed that I am saturating their "edge".


    I sort of am. But i'm also sort of not. Not really.

    First of all it's not likely that this guide will push nearly enough people to action, in order to saturate anything.

    Secondly.. even if that DID happen; That 1688 becomes more normal, all that would happen happened is that the "plateau". the bar, or what you might call it, would be raised.
    All of us already in "know" will still hold a huge advantage. We just can't rest on our laurels.
    We will have to be vigilant and innovative, pushing ourselves to improve.


    I really can't see that as anything but positive..


    As stated in the intro, the guide is meant for experienced dropshippers. People with success in the field already, who want to take it to the next level.
    There are tons of guides on dropshipping for beginners, this is not one.
    You don't want to make the learning curve even steeper by adding extra complications from the get go.

    For people with moderate experience, I recommend using the advice in the guide on Taobao. Less of transition, since sellers there are used to Chinese dropshippers, many coming from Aliexpress, buying from them.
    For the intended audience, I believe that after touching on subjects such as communication and order fulfillment, they won't need further instruction.




    Find freelance translator


    Go to your freelancer platform of choice and find a translator with good reviews and reasonable prices. I only have experience with Upwork, and there you can make a job offer which you will receive applications on. Applicants should be Chinese, located in China and be proficient eng-cn/cn/eng translators. Ask for quote per word. Make it a requirement that they are proficient in business language, e-commerce lingo and all abbreviations.


    Once you have found the perfect candidate you could test them by providing something e-commerce related to translate(in both lang. directions) and have it proofread by an accredited translation company. They are expensive, so on a day-to-day basis, freelancers are fine.


    If you need to have official documents translated however, I would recommend you go with the accredited.
    It might be a good idea to mention that the main job will be translation of wechat messages.


    Create message templates and have them translated


    A lot of the messages used in communication, can be re-used with each supplier. Creating templates will save you time. Think about how your first message, in general should to the supplier should be, write it down. Create templates in whatever subjects you think will be repeated with each supplier. Have them translated and placed in a document somewhere.


    Show your knowledge of the product, and do anything you can to seem like a potential customer for bulk orders. Once relationship has been established, I have never experienced anyone who straight out refused a dropshipping(/esque) arrangement.


    There is some good info out there on how to communicate with Chinese suppliers. Leaning what you can, before you start, can help you avoid making some of the mistakes often made. One big one is being too direct, but this subject has been covered extensively, and competently elsewhere. So.. Search and you will find[​IMG]


    Note: There are many things in the process of finding the perfect supplier, which I will not cover here. Such as a comparative analysis of candidates, flow of communication eval and so on..


    They should be in your arsenal already. Being thorough, structured and disciplined in the part, is even more important when on a new platform, dealing in another language and with suppliers not used to dealing with foreigners directly.


    1 tip though: Would be a good idea to have the full 1688 sites of candidates translated manually, so your are sure comparison is done accurately. If you are of meticulous inclination (a favourite group of mine[​IMG]) you should hire a freelancer do the background check of final candidate. But only at last step, when you have used all other metrics to confirm the quality of supplier.


    Using wechat for communication


    If you haven't already, download Wechat and create a user. Add supplier whom you have already contacted via Aliwangwang as mentioned in Part 1.

    Then add translator, but DO NOT create a group with all 3 of you! Kick-backs are common practice here, and until you feel you can trust them you don't want the translator to have direct contact with the supplier. Can't even think up an example of how they could take advantage in this situation. But the horror stories are countless, so be careful!

    For the most basic messages you could use google translate. Anything else, send message to translator and copy paste translation to supplier. And vice versa.


    CSV fulfillment


    This following is written on the assumption that you have experience with this already.
    There might be plugins supporting 1688, if not, I am sure there are ways to automate the process.
    For now just take the order fulfillment CSV template you are normally using, and have it translated and made bilingual.


    Specifics depend on whichever model you agree on with the supplier. Could be that they hold inventory, AKA a trading company like the ones on Aliexpress, just a level up on the supply chain. In that case fulfillment will be similar to what you are used to.


    If you are dealing with the source manufacturer of the product (which should be your target eventually) you might have agreed on a hybrid model where you pay a deposit up front to have products made, quantity based on your current sales volume, and then pay rolling on a sell then buy basis.


    I think this subject is something which we might need to delve deeper into at some point: How to get the best of both worlds.


    For test orders we can use Alipay. Check earlier posts for how to do this. Once we get going, you can use an Alipay account, fully verified with Chinese bank account, but this is not easily accessible to most. With the platform I introduced in part 1, Sendwyre.com, you can send CNY to all chinese bank account, received by supplier within hours.


    Especially for suppliers who have not done dropshipping like business before, seeing the money rolling in fast and consistently, will remove some of the hesitations they might have.

    Besides being accessible to more, another advantage of Sendwyre is that payments can be automatised, and linked with your orders.


    Before i conclude the guide, I will shortly touch on the last subject mentioned the posting schedule:


    Shipping


    if you are only sourcing products from one supplier, I would recommend trying to get them to sign up for e-packet. If they haven't already. From what I've gathered, it is available for all Chinese e-commerce businesses. This includes 1688.


    In all other cases, find a shipping forwarder close to your suppliers, and negotiate a price for receiving, checking, consolidating if needed, repacking and epacket shipments. Cheapest options would, in this case too, be found on 1688. But you might be better of finding one on Alibaba.com. Use the RFQ function, write your requirements, sit back and wait for quotations from companies willing and able to do the job.


    Take care
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 36
  2. guntur9090

    guntur9090 Regular Member

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    Really bro? Your thread are amazing !!!
     
  3. 1lonewolf

    1lonewolf Junior Member

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    what is this topic about ? 1688 is cheaper then aliexpress ?
     
  4. kimstudios

    kimstudios Newbie

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    Really indept guide. I think this is really usefull if you want make bulk orders,but automatising the dropshipping process probably difficult as you can't connect 1688 to your store and 1688 is more for bulk orders.
     
  5. rainsand

    rainsand Newbie

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    Think you can get by with CSV...but possibly an agent on their has their own integration
     
  6. JB China

    JB China Newbie

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    Seriously?

    It's a bit of a mouthful, I know, but is it to much to ask that you at least skim through it, before asking?

    For your questions:

    -" what is this topic about?": Unicorns
    -"1688 is cheaper then aliexpress?": Nope
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  7. JB China

    JB China Newbie

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    Thank you, appreciate it:)

    @kimstudios It can be both. It can not be seen, exactly, as a Chinese version of Alibaba.com... It is its own thing. A hybrid of sorts.. Alibaba.com is 99% bulk... But yes, automatising it through the methods available using aliexpress, won't work here. As rainsand said, you'd be able set up something semi automaic at least, with CSV. And yes, some agents have their own integration, no doubt about that. Using agents for a while s a not a bad idea if you think the step directly from Aliexpress is a bit large.
    @rainsand spot on
     
  8. JB China

    JB China Newbie

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    @kimstudios "Really indept guide"... Just one d away from an insult;):D
     
  9. dreambowls

    dreambowls Newbie

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    amazing... Thank You
     
  10. Ryan Oak

    Ryan Oak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great guide but it's too complicated with all these steps and translating. I would better use agents and pay them a fee.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. upwardaylifes

    upwardaylifes Junior Member

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    any requirement if we want to open a chinese bank account?
     
  12. HustleTong

    HustleTong Senior Member

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    Nice guide. Will follow up later
     
  13. LibroHat

    LibroHat Registered Member

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    Nice guide OP, thanks for sharing
     
  14. TapsT

    TapsT Newbie

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    Great guide! Wow. Love the details
     
  15. LandCruiserMan

    LandCruiserMan Registered Member

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    One of the best threads in dropshipping in BHW. Many thanks!!
     
  16. ShahGee

    ShahGee Junior Member

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    I was actually looking for it. Tons of Thanks. Bookmarked
     
  17. Leowill008

    Leowill008 Registered Member

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    great share but are there any auto website for whole process? like oberlo for 1688?
     
  18. nick vadera

    nick vadera Newbie

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    Hey man, I have been doing business in China for almost a year now. We should get in touch. Am also opening a new company to provide turn key sourcing solutions to all my network back home as i am being bombarded with request and why waste opportunities like that. I cant find a way to message you. can you send across your wechat to me and lets be in touch.
    PS: based in shenzhen
     
  19. Elaine Shan

    Elaine Shan Newbie

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    1688 is where we source for our clients, this guide is good, I can add something: we are a drop shipping fulfillment warehouse, if you source your own products, we can do the packing and shipping for you. One of the reasons that my clients still prefer us to pay for the products after they found the supplier on 1688 is because it's difficult to transfer bigger amount money in Alipay account, so clients can find the products by themselves, and let us to buy and send to our warehouse.
     
  20. Leowill008

    Leowill008 Registered Member

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    which agent could you refer to?