What is 1688Direct.com?
1688Direct is a procurement agent for most major Chinese online shops. In other words, we are not just a Taobao agent; we’re also a 1688 agent. Additionally, we are a sourcing agent for other Chinese retail and wholesale websites, too, including JD.COM, Vancl.com, and many others!
Additionally, we can help you with your goods/product procurement, inspection, handling, and ultimately shipment.
1688Direct service also includes drop shipping to any part of the world. Currently, we have many clients in several countries, including the USA, Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, India, just to name a few.
How to buy from 1688.com
Wondering if it is possible to buy from 1688.com? How to buy from 1688 to USA, Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, or India?
There are two ways (options) to go about it, but before you learn how to buy from 1688.com, you need to understand what 1688.com is.
Two ways to shop from 1688.com directly to your country
Travel to or Reside in China
This is the best way of shopping from 1688.com, taobao.com, or any other Chinese online shop!
For that, you’ll most like need a visa, unless your country is among those benefiting from a multiple hours visa-free entrance to china, then all you need to do is buy a plane ticket (around 1000USD) then fly to china and begin your shopping frenzy!
The unfortunate news is that to shop from 1688.com, you must have a Chinese bank account, which must be connected to a Chinese mobile number, and to have a Chinese bank account or a mobile number, you must be either residing in Mainland China or traveling through it. This is most likely unachievable to most people.
This leaves us with the second option.
Which is, by using our service at 1688direct.com for shopping on taobao.com or 1688.com.
Shop Online with 1688Direct.com for Products from China
If you are currently exploring the option of sourcing consumer goods from Chinese suppliers, then a great way to get your business feet wet is to buy from Taobao the two largest online marketplaces for all kinds of products from China. Buying from Taobao prepares you for the pitfalls and challenges but, at the same time, gives you an idea of the opportunities that buying from China offers.
Taobao is China’s answer to Amazon—but more significant, way bigger. The online shopping mall carries well over 1 billion product listings with the potential to fulfill a wide range of inventory requirements from oolong tea to pet fish to thigh-high boots to a full range of electronic gadgetry, vehicle parts.
Taobao, which was founded by the Alibaba Group in 2003, is said to control estimated three-quarters of all online sales activity in China and reportedly has a domestic user base that, at more than 800 million, is larger than the entire populations of the US and Canada combined.
If you’re a wholesaler or supplier in your country, then there is 1688.com. 1688.com is China’s online manufacturers base, offering billions of goods all at factory prices!
Over 80% of Chinese manufacturing companies have an online storefront on 1688.com. Shopping from 1688.com means you have access to bulk purchase prices, which is cheaper than buying from Taobao, since on 1688.com, there are a required MOQ in most shops, usually at least 2 of each kind of product.
1688.com has many manufacturing companies, which means you can purchase wholesale items without having to go from one company to the other, saving loads of cash, time, and energy!
Now that you have an idea of the opportunities which 1688 and Taobao both offer, here are the challenges you face when using the sites as previously said above:
1) Both 1688 and Taobao are designed in the Chinese language, with no option for other languages;
2) You need to open a domestic bank account or register with a China-based online payment service to pay for purchases, and;
3) You need a local address to receive the goods.
Over the past couple of years, individual shoppers elsewhere in Asia, as well as in the USA, Canada, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, New Zealand, South Africa, Zambia, or India are increasingly choosing to buy from 1688 and Taobao as well. Initially, there is usually a friend, a local in China, who is willing to use his or her e-banking or Alipay, wechat pay account to make the overseas shopper’s purchases.
Pleased with the initial shopping experience, many repeat 1688 and Taobao shoppers have braved the daunting process of applying for an online account and payment method—in Chinese.
The apparent attraction, as any shopaholic will tell you, has been the opportunity to buy goods—many of which are of remarkably good quality—at factory prices.
One bride in Melbourne, Australia, for instance, was married last summer in a full-blown princess gown that was bought, packaged, and shipped through Taobao for under AU$80.
Another Client in New York bought and shipped multiple bi-fold doors for a fraction of what they cost in the USA, and he was very pleased he did!
However, if you are planning to buy from 1688 or Taobao on a commercial scale—e.g., with different sizes, colors, or models—getting a purchasing agent like 1688direct.com maybe your best option. As its name suggests, the 1688Direct specializes in assisting non-Chinese speaking buyers in negotiating the selection, payment, packaging, and shipping process, all in all, endeavoring to make the whole experience of buying from 1688.com and Taobao as smooth and problem-free as possible.
In any case, particularly with valuable goods, you’ll want to have a local on the ground to communicate with vendors, inspect the goods, combine items from different vendors. Then apply a courtesy discount from any number of shipping companies before the whole lot makes the long trip to your doorstep.
The site’s support team is ready to intervene if you want to communicate special instructions to the vendor. Our team at 1688direct.com will assist you to 1) buy the items for you on your behalf, and 2) ship the items to you via your chosen carrier.
Using a Taobao shopping agent or 1688 sourcing agent makes even more sense if you are dropshipping or private label shipping the items to your customers. Since 1688direct.com will help you process the purchase of even just one item, you can take things slowly, one slow step at a time, see how it goes—which is really how you build lasting relationships in China, anyway.