A Guide to Shop on 1688: Tips for Navigating China’s Largest B2B Platform

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With the advent of online shopping, the procurement of different products and services by consumers has taken a new turn. 


The ease and accessibility of getting these products have given online shopping an edge over the physical form of shopping. 


It is possible to be in the comfort of your room and order a bag of the desired color, size, and shape while also getting it at a good price.


Out of all the numerous platforms that exist for online shopping, 1688.com stands out for its wide array of products available at competitive prices, and through reliable suppliers. 


This platform basically caters to individuals and businesses interested in sourcing products from China. This article will provide you with all the necessary information needed to engage the platform.


What Is 1688?


What Is 1688


In 2010, the 1688 platform was established. 1688 is a well-crafted subsidiary of the famous Alibaba company located in China. Being the biggest wholesale website, it is a good place to get products in bulk, in various categories, and at affordable prices. 


The primary reason behind its establishment is to serve domestic trade within China, unlike Alibaba that’s meant for international trade. This means the website and mode of trade only allow for the Chinese language. 


Despite this barrier in language, 1688 has become a viable platform to support international trade due to the number of available suppliers ready to turn in adequate supplies for demands made.


Over the years, there’s been an increase in the number of foreigners who use the platform for their businesses. 1688 is an online shopping platform that makes a collection of various products available to customers, taking their different specifications and preferences into consideration. 


You can rely on it to get your supplies, both as a business owner and for personal use. The 1688 website has the right tools and configuration to help you access Chinese suppliers. 


It offers a verified list of sellers with a history of valid customer feedback as evidence to put customers’ minds at rest while they make purchases on the platform. 


The website and mobile app interfaces are carefully designed to help customers search for products using appropriate keywords and categories.


What To Consider Before Buying From 1688


Whether you are making purchases through the website or you’re using the 1688 app from your device’s app store, you must take note of a number of things since you’re buying from China.


1688 is a platform with a plethora of advantages but you must follow some important steps to optimize your customer experience. Here they are:


1. Confirm the stock data


You must be careful while ordering to ensure the stocks displayed are accurate. It’s possible that stock data does not get updated on time especially when a large quantity has been recently ordered. Do well to confirm the stock data with your preferred supplier.


2. Don’t go for big-sized products


Getting large and heavy products from 1688 may not be very easy. They usually attract very high shipping costs and may sometimes get damaged while in transit. 


If you however intend to get large products, make sure to make inquiries and confirm the quality and durability of the products before going ahead.


3. Never rely on product images


Trying to distinguish whether the product’s image and what is physically obtainable is the same can be quite a hassle. 


While there may be no intention to mislead customers, it’s important for you as a customer to check the review section and confirm your doubts about the authenticity of the products with the displayed images.


4. Be aware of possible invalid orders


Be aware that there can be failures with purchases. Invalid orders can occur, it will definitely affect your checkout and you may be required to contact another supplier for your products.


5. Be aware of possible shipping delays


It’s important to note as a customer, that there may be delays with processing your orders or getting them shipped down. Most shipping takes between 1-7 days on average. 


Knowing this makes you get ahead of logistics issues and can help you make orders well ahead of the time you’ll need the products. Shipment delays can however be minimized using the right methods.


6. Check the refund/return policy


It’s important for online stores to have a refund or return policies in case they are unable to meet demands or have logistics issues. One of the advantages of 1688.com is its refund policy. You may have to confirm these policies with each supplier to ensure it’s in place.


7. Check proofs from the supplier


There are certain things that point out the authenticity of suppliers; they include blue check marks and authenticity badges. These must be checked before final orders are made. This should be done to confirm the legitimacy of suppliers.


8. Be careful while making transfers for payment


One thing you should look out for when making payment transfers for your products is the account name of the supplier. 


Ideally, the account details provided by your supplier must reflect the company name of the supplier and not his or her personal name. If otherwise, extreme care should be taken to avoid making transfers to scammers.


How to Buy From 1688


Shopping from 1688 can be a little demanding but by following the following steps, you are in for a good experience. Here are the stepwise processes for buying from 1688.com:


1. Open 1688.com and reset your preferred language


How to Buy From 1688


Customers intending to buy from this platform should click on 1688.com using the Chrome browser as it has the best features to help you navigate the website. 


Once the page loads on your Chrome browser, right-click on your mouse and select the option “Translate to English”. All texts change to English while pictures remain in Chinese. This helps you navigate the website with ease.


Create an account


2. Create an account 


Now that you have English as the language displayed on the website, go ahead to sign up and create an account for yourself. You will only be able to access the purchase features on the website when you sign up for an account.


3. Select your desired products


I assume you already have an idea of the products you intend to order. All you need to do after concluding on the kind of products you want is make use of the keyword search section to look for your desired products. 


Type in the name and then you will have a number of displayed results to choose from.


4. Select a supplier


Having made a choice of your products, it’s time to pick a supplier that will serve your needs. 


The 1688 website has about 50,000 suppliers and wholesalers to choose from. You are provided with a great number of suppliers and so, making a good choice is possible.


5. Leverage on sample products


Just to be on the safe side, it is advisable to get sample products. Sample products are a good way to be sure you’ll be getting authentic products. It can also help you avoid scam transactions.


6. Make negotiations


Having confirmed that the products you’ll be getting from your supplier are authentic; the next step is to make negotiations on the total expense for the order so that you have it as low as possible. You can refer to this guide to make good negotiations.


7. Place your order


You must have chosen your desired products for purchase including the units, descriptions, quality, and prices. Having done this, it’s time to place your order.


8. Make payments


At this stage, your supplier sums up all expenses needed to make a successful order. After you have made due negotiations and ascertained the authenticity of suppliers alongside their supplies, you can then go ahead to make payment.


9. Do a quality inspection


You need to be aware of the fact that errors could come up with product descriptions and preferences. 


It’s therefore important to have freight agents that can help you carry out a quality inspection to ensure you’ll be getting the products you rightly ordered.


10. Shipment


This is the last step to successfully buying from 1688. This will require the transportation of your products from China through different routes.


It could be by air, sea, road, or rail depending on the nature (fragility), destination, and size of your products.


How To Avoid Scams While Buying From 1688


Aside from possible scamming when you make payments to your suppliers, it’s essential to be aware of potential scamming with poor-quality products. 


It’s possible to encounter suppliers who scam their customers with low-quality products after having made payments meant for “good quality products”. The following are vital steps to take to ensure you’re not scammed:


1. Request sample products


Since you cannot be present in person to check the quality of the products you ordered and the fact that good judgments concerning quality cannot be made via the product image, it’s advisable to request sample products. 


By requesting samples of the products you ordered, you can easily examine the samples for what you desire and the things you don’t like, and then give the supplier your feedback.


2. Stay clear of buying cheap products 


Buying cheap products can be a trap as it usually comes at a price lower than is meant for it. It’s a double loss when you order cheap products and still spend so much shipping it down. 


There are chances that the cheap products are of the least available quality. This can greatly affect customer satisfaction when they buy such products from you.


3. Don’t make payments to personal accounts


While processing your order through transfer payments, it’s safe to not make transfers to personal accounts. The account details given out by suppliers should reflect their company name and not personal names. If not, the so-called suppliers may be potential scammers.


4. Verify the Supplier


It’s paramount to verify the authenticity of the supplier you’re ordering from. Make sure he or she is identified with blue verification check marks and authentic badges. 


Also, stay clear of suppliers who refuse to send samples of the products you’ve ordered. If they’re authentic suppliers, they won’t hesitate to send samples.


5. Employ a capable freight agent


One of the best things you would be doing for yourself is to hire the services of a freight agent. Globallyfulfill is a trusted agent to do this for you. 


You can rest assured that the company will help you conduct quality inspections on the products you’ve ordered and ensure they get to your doorstep without any issues. Engage their services today to have the best shipment experience.




1688.com can be the best platform to have an excellent online shopping experience if the right steps and processes are taken. 1688 is big and can handle all of your wholesale demand. All you need do is take the steps highlighted above and engage Globallyfulfill to assist you. 


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