Sites like Alibaba in USA & Europe – 2023 Update

by Tim Blue

If we have a discourse about top eCommerce stores with plethora of suppliers, a wide array of products and ranging prices, there is always a mention of Alibaba. When you think about importing products from China, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Hopping on the next plane to Shanghai? Of course not! You go to Alibaba.  Alibaba has always been on the list of stores which maintains a reputation for quality products at cheap prices. 

But what if you are looking for multiple options to compare products, compare prices, delivery options and payments methods? It’s never a bad option to diversify your choices and explore everything so you can say you have thoroughly researched before buying a desired product. We have got you all set! Here’s a list of all the eCommerce stores that are at par with Alibaba(you get their pros and cons too!) with regard to all the above criteria.

If you are looking for Sites like Alibaba. Here’s a list.

  • Light in the Box
  • Aliexpress
  • Dhgate
  • Global Sources
  • Made in China
  • China Brands

Alibaba Alternatives

Forget Alibaba! Here Are 13 Better Alternatives To Find Wholesale Suppliers

DhgateDHgate

dhgate vs alibaba

There are a lot of factors that make Dhgate a close alternative to Alibaba. DHgate operates for consumers as well as suppliers and businesses. People mainly surf Alibaba for wholesale buying, same goes for DHgate. Another unclaimed advantage of Dhgate is that it has lower MOQs(minimum order quantities)-implying that if you are a retailer, you can purchase as low as one item of a particular product.

DHgate has a gigantic range of products, from self-care products to electrical appliances and what not. Another fascinating fact about DHgate is that it has in-person(or offline stores) where consumers and suppliers can take a visit and view the products and specimens physically, also known as Digital Trend Centers(DTCs). While you might have to use Virtual Private Networks to access the website, it works just fine in countries like the US, Australia, India and Europe.

Pros

  1. A sprawling range of products that concern any sector
  2. Good for retail as well as wholesale buyers, since the question of quantity of products is not a difficulty
  3. Contractual agreement to encourage buyer protection and security through escrow service

Cons

  1. There may be a high probability that the prices are sky-high or more than other eCommerce stores
  2.  DHgate uses the intervention of middlemen and speculators, which ultimately leads to hidden factories, exorbitant prices and risk of damaged or counterfeit products.
  3. The customer care services are yet improving, which states that it would take some time for the site to be completely user-friendly

Global SourcesGlobal Sources

global sources vs alibaba

Global Sources is the closest alternative to Alibaba there is and ever will be. Since the organization is relatively older, and has 45 years of experience in international trade and service, the quality of suppliers and products offered on Global Services are deemed to be likely favoured over Alibaba. Global Services and Alibaba have a rather similar online directory and web interface. It is based in Hong Kong and according to the company’s testaments, they cater 95 of the top 100 retailers.

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Customer reviews prove as evidence that the quality of Global services overpowers Alibaba. And since experience has got a lot to pool into its contribution, they are better ones to understand global needs and make a first-mover advantage. As an astonishing fact, many big-box companies use Global services as their sourcing strategy.

Pros

  1. The platform is designed and operated entirely in English, hence there are no language barriers when it comes to international trade.
  2. Although the company has a superfluidity of middlemen and traders that link the manufacturer and consumer, there is a complete transparency and tend to be quite open about it.
  3. Better user experience for international buyers since the web interactions are consumer-friendly

Cons

  1. There are often cases where the prices are not printed with the product, hence consumers have to call the dealers up for acknowledgement of cost
  2. Although superior, the amount of suppliers is comparatively less when compared to Alibaba
  3. It is often a burden to get quotations, a user verification is important to prove yourself to suppliers

1688

1688 vs alibaba

It might be astonishing to note that one of Alibaba’s best alternatives is actually owned by Alibaba. Yes, 1688 is a subsidiary of Alibaba, however, just as good. The entire web platform of 1688 was created in Chinese and is more inclined to target Asian wholesalers and suppliers. Due to price-sensitivity, you may be able to find cheap alternatives respectively faster. However, this always has an effect on the quality. 1688 has been traditionally used by suppliers to clear off their cheaper inventory, so you are more likely to find items with lower standards.

Pros

  1. There is an abundance of suppliers that look forward to wholesale trading and consumers may also come across suppliers that are not usually listed on Alibaba
  2. The website has well researched products and excellent product descriptions, so users get a succinct overview of the products they buy, hence makes it credible

Cons

  1. The greatest disadvantage is that the website is designed in Chinese, hence the language barrier repels international trade. Even though Google translation can be activated, it still leaves with a lot of cloudy and vague data
  2. Since the subsidiary focuses on economic and cut-rate prices, the quality standards of the product are often neglected.

Chinabrands

chinabrands vs alibaba

Chinabrands is an advanced dropshipping platform, a paradise for wholesalers and a dropshipping friendly supplier in the DSM Tool platform. Originally crafted for dropshipping and connecting sellers to create an efficient B2B platform, it now caters to consumers and retailers as well. It offers diverse products to and from Asia. In recent years, the platform has been made extremely hospitable as clients now can contact the suppliers and negotiate deals.

Pros

  1. Since the company originated as a dropshipping platform, there is a lot of understanding between the manufacturers and consumers, there is no interference from middlemen and other distribution channels, hence no spike in prices.
  2. The platform is very liberal when compared to Alibaba and other companies, since the consumers usually enjoy a lot of freedom for transactions and purchases.
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Cons

  1. There are not a lot of options for products you can lay your hands on, since the website is still in the mode of development and debugging
  2. There may be a torrent of choices for people who deal for a B2B basis but the same does not resonate for B2C and wholesale transactions

EC21

alibaba vs ec21

An excellent alternative for eCommerce stores other than China(also if you are a huge fan of Korean culture) is the South Korea-based company EC21. EC21 has been dealing on heavy duty industrial goods that include agricultural reinforcements, electrical appliances and hardware for twenty years. This market follows a cultural trend and thus does contain some products for consumers, but if you are looking for products like toys and latest games, then you might have no luck on this website. 

Since the company has a reputation in Korea and other countries, its products have been in an all-time high demand in Asia. It is the perfect place for someone who regularly deals with industrial goods.

Pros

  1. The company is renowned for its rarity and authenticity. Multiple products sold on the website are extremely difficult to find anywhere else.
  2. The company has attained suppliers from China and even Western countries like the US.

Cons

  1. The company needs to work on Escrow services and its variety of items
  2. The shipping charges are expensive and delivery takes prolonged days since products are purchased in bulk

AliExpress

aliexpress vs alibaba

I believe you guessed it from the name? Aliexpress is also a subsidiary of Alibaba, allegedly the largest one. Aliexpress’ primary motive was to serve B2C transactions. However, the platform has been a consistent hotspot for sellers to source their products. Although the company buckets expensive products when compared to Alibaba, it possesses the advantage of no MOQs(Minimum Order Quantities), so it is probably the next Alibaba for retailers and even some wholesalers. It is also beneficial for newer businessmen who do not stock a lot of inventory.

Pros

  1. Mirrors Alibaba in most cases, in essence, Aliexpress is exactly like a replica of Alibaba, from the company’s web interface to products offered
  2. Where the suppliers and delivery time are similar to Alibaba, one upper hand of Aliexpress is definitely the lower MOQs
  3. Has some of the finest features regarding buyer protection and the website is user-friendly

Cons

  1. The company faces a lot of issue when it comes to middlemen and hidden factories
  2. Products are often more expensive than Alibaba
  3. It is difficult to maintain consumer and manufacturer transparency

Light in the Box

Lightinthebox is an e-commerce platform that distinguishes itself from Alibaba with its focus on fashion and home goods. While Alibaba offers a broader range of products and services, Lightinthebox caters specifically to customers seeking trendy fashion items and affordable home products.

One of the significant advantages of Lightinthebox is its extensive selection of fashion products. The platform offers a diverse range of clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products, keeping up with the latest trends. This specialization allows customers to find fashionable items at competitive prices, often with customization options available.

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In terms of home goods, Lightinthebox offers a comprehensive array of products, including furniture, decor, kitchen appliances, and gadgets. The platform’s emphasis on affordability makes it an attractive choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

Delivery times on Lightinthebox can vary depending on the location and shipping method chosen. Customers should carefully review the estimated delivery times provided during the checkout process to set accurate expectations. While some customers report timely deliveries, others have experienced longer wait times.

In terms of customer support, Lightinthebox offers assistance through email, live chat, and a support ticket system. The platform’s support team is generally responsive and helpful in addressing customer inquiries and concerns.

Popular products on Lightinthebox include wedding dresses, formal wear, shoes, and home decor items. These items often attract customers due to their competitive pricing and stylish designs. It’s worth noting that customers should pay attention to the size charts and read customer reviews to ensure accurate sizing and quality.

In summary, Lightinthebox distinguishes itself from Alibaba by focusing on fashion and home goods. The platform offers competitive prices, customization options, and a wide variety of trendy products. While delivery times can vary, the platform’s customer support is generally responsive. Lightinthebox caters to customers seeking affordable fashion items and budget-friendly home products, making it a convenient option for those looking for stylish and affordable online shopping experiences.

Pros of Lightinthebox:

  • Wide Selection: Lightinthebox offers a diverse range of fashion items and home goods, allowing customers to find products that suit their preferences and needs.
  • Competitive Prices: The platform provides competitive pricing, often offering products at lower prices compared to traditional retail stores. This affordability attracts budget-conscious shoppers.
  • Customization Options: Lightinthebox offers customization services for certain products, such as clothing, allowing customers to personalize their purchases to fit their specific preferences and measurements.
  • Trendy Fashion: The platform stays up to date with the latest fashion trends, offering customers access to stylish and fashionable clothing, accessories, and beauty products.

Cons of Lightinthebox:

  • Quality Concerns: While Lightinthebox offers affordable prices, some customers have reported variations in product quality. It’s important for customers to carefully review product descriptions and customer feedback to ensure satisfactory purchases.
  • Sizing Issues: Customers have occasionally encountered discrepancies between the stated sizes and the actual fit of the products. Checking the provided size charts and reading customer reviews can help customers make more accurate sizing decisions.
  • Delivery Time: Delivery times can vary depending on the location and shipping method chosen. Some customers have experienced longer wait times for their orders to arrive. Customers should review the estimated delivery times provided during the checkout process to set accurate expectations.
  • Customer Support: While Lightinthebox offers customer support through various channels, some customers have reported mixed experiences with the support team. Some inquiries may require additional follow-up or take longer to resolve.
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