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Contacting Manufacturers On Alibaba

Alibaba logoSo now thats I’ve come up with a product to sell, lets call it Product X for now, it’s time to start hitting up some manufacturers on Alibaba to have some samples sent over to check out.   Head over to and start looking around for people who produce the product you want to sell.   I’d recommend contacting about 3 different ones, this way you can get samples from all of them and in case you ever need more volume or a backup manufacturer you’ll be ready to go.   Make sure to look for different keywords that meet your product too, like if you were selling rollerblades you’d want to look up roller skates too since someone might have them listed under that.

Go ahead and pick 3 people and shoot them an email.  Here’s basically the email I shot out to them:

Hi There,

I’m looking for manufacturers for “Product X” and the ones you product look similar to what we’d like to sell.   Just a couple questions:

–  What price break is there at different volumes?
–  Do these prices include shipping?  If not how much shipping to zip code 90210 in the US?  And the prices for Air vs. Cargo?
– Whats the turn around time for getting this product made.
–  Do you allow the ability for our company name to be printed on the product; if so how much extra is it?
–  I’d like to have some samples sent via air, how much would it be to get samples mailed over?

Thanks & looking forward to working with you,


I shot this over to 3 people so no we wait and see what they come back with.   Since almost all the manufacturers are in China you can expect a reply sometime in the middle of the night.

On a side note here are a couple terms you’ll see on Aliababa quite a lot & what the definition of each is:

Minumum Order Quantity – Basically the minimum number of items you’ll need to order to make a purchase.  This is usually flexible depending on the person.

Plastic Bag (polypropylene) – Usually these are clear plastic bags that the products are packaged in.  A lot of the time you can get your logo slapped onto these.

Freight On Board – Means that you’ll pay for the shipping.  Try to ask for the per item price including FOB, this way you’ll get a true per item cost.  (remember there is air/cargo shipping & price varies greatly between the two)

Air Shipping
Air shipping is sent via a plane, the pros are it’s alot faster to get to you.  Usually within a week of being sent.  Cons are that it’s very expensive when you start buying large volumes of products.

Cargo Shipping
Cargo Shipping is sent via the sea in a shipping container.  This is alot cheaper, especially when buying bulk.  The major con is that you’re looking at sometimes a month or so of delivery time.

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