Why Alibaba Shipping is so Expensive and How it Works?

by Shopify API on Jan 30, 2021

Why Alibaba Shipping is so Expensive

Alibaba is a huge online marketplace that is the first choice of businesses and individuals for their varied needs. On Alibaba, you do not have to deal with mediators. Instead, the platform connects you directly to the suppliers and manufacturers. It is an excellent platform for businesses that are into reselling.

What is Alibaba?

On Alibaba, you can get the products at a wholesale rate. It is an excellent option for small businesses and individuals who want to set up their own reselling business. You also get every type of product, no matter what you want. It is because of the huge variety of products, manufacturers, and low cost that Alibaba is a leading name in the eCommerce industry. However, there are always so many questions about this platform. One of the most common queries and questions that people ask is about the expensive shipping cost and the way it works.

So, as someone who has been using Alibaba for a long time, I am here today with this guide. Continue reading and you shall find out why Alibaba shipping is so expensive and how it works.

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Benefits of buying from Alibaba

There are several benefits that you receive when you buy from Alibaba. While many people believe that variety and cost are the only benefits of purchasing from this Chinese giant, that is not all. Here are the benefits that you get when you make your purchases through Alibaba.

  • Firstly, the sheer variety available on Alibaba is truly unmatched. No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it here. There is just so much to choose from.
  • You also do not have to deal with mediators. On Alibaba, you make your contact directly with the suppliers and manufacturers. This also ensures that you get products at the manufacturing cost.
  • You can customize the products as per your brand or store. This lets you add a personal touch to the products.
  • There are different modes of payment available. You can choose the one that suits you the best.
  • You can get the products in bulk at wholesale rates. This increases your chances to get a better profit margin.

Is it safe to buy products from Alibaba?

Alibaba is a very safe platform that ensures safety for its buyers. It runs a verification process to ensure that all suppliers and manufacturers are genuine. However, as buyers, you need to take precautionary steps as well. Before committing to a supplier or manufacturer, it is important to check out the details. Always verify the supplier and check all the details well. Also, ensure that you check the product description well and deep. By taking these necessary precautions, you can avoid frauds and scams.

How to ship the products?

If you have never before ordered from China and it is your first time doing so, the best way is to give your address to the supplier and ask him or her to set up shipping. You can ask for the charges for the same to be added to the invoice.

If you are choosing air travel as the mode of shipping, there really is nothing to it. All you need to do is give the address to the supplier. Your products will then likely be shipped via FedEX, UPS, or DHL. Anything under 200 pounds of weight can travel via this method. If your order has a weight more than this, air freight or sea freight can be used.

How long does Alibaba take to ship the products?

For your products, it can take the manufacturers any time between 15 days to 6 months to get your products ready for shipping. However, if the products you have ordered are of the more complex type, it can take longer for the manufacturers and suppliers to get them ready. The production time, however, is done within 30 days from the day the supplier receives your order payment.

Does your order reach your door directly?

As soon as you find a supplier selling the products that you need, you can place your order. For that, you need to give the delivery address of your choice, which definitely can be your own home too. The delivery then takes place and reaches the address given by you. So yes, the orders from Alibaba reach your door directly.

What is the cheapest mode of shipment from Alibaba?

There are various methods and ways through which you can get your shipment from Alibaba. However, if you are looking for the cheapest option, it definitely is sea freight. The delivery time under this method is definitely too long, but it will definitely save you loads on the shipping cost.

How fast do the products reach you?

The time that your products take to reach you depends on the mode of shipping chosen by you. This time can range from 24 hours to five to seven business days. This time period also depends on the distance between the supplier and the destination where the order has to reach.

Why is Shipping from Alibaba so expensive?

The major reason why the shipping charges for the products you have ordered are high is the distance.

If the product you have ordered is between five and ten pounds, it can be shipped for extremely cheap using a mode called ePacket. Even though this mode is cheap, it does delay delivery as it is very slow.

If your products are heavier than this, you may have to pay a certain shipping charge per pound.

For items that are a few hundred pounds, you can opt for air freight or sea freight.

How to avoid shipping charges?

If you choose the mode of shipping on Alibaba, you definitely have to pay a certain amount for the goods to reach you. However, if you want to avoid all such costs, the best way is to hire your own shipping company. This is an excellent option since you can easily negotiate with the shipping company and lower the cost. This also helps you as you do not have to increase the cost of your products. By doing this, you get to earn a higher profit margin.

How to track the order on Alibaba?

If you wish to track your order on Alibaba, you can do so on the website. All you have to do is, go to the ‘Logistics Services’ section. Here, you need to click on ‘Track Parcels’. When you place your order, you get a tracking number. Enter that number into the corresponding field here. Doing this helps you track your order.

Shipment Terms you must know!

There are a few shipment terms that you need to know to ensure that you never get scammed. Here's what you need to know -

These shipment terms are of extreme importance, especially if you are receiving your items via sea freight.


This is the most expensive mode for you, as this requires you to pay for the sea freight right from the supplier's address to your desired destination address.


This is the most common mode. In this, you have to pay the sea freight, but the fee from the supplier's address to the nearest Chinese port is paid for by the supplier himself.


This is the least expensive method for you. As per CIF, all the charges within the Chinese border and the sea freight is paid for by the supplier.

How to review the shipment for problems?

The time that it takes for your shipment to reach you depends on the mode of shipment chosen by you. If your goods are arriving by air, you can expect them in three to ten business days. The same can take up to 45 business days if your goods are coming via sea freight. Once you receive your products, these are the few things you need to inspect:

  • Quality

This is a no-brainer. The first thing you should check when your goods arrive is the quality. Use it for a while and check if it does what it's supposed to do. If the samples do not pass the test, you can expect the quality of future products to decrease or be the same.

  • Packaging

Was your order packaged well when shipped by the seller? Or was everything crammed into a single box? If so, you can request the seller to properly box the items in the future.

  • Instructions

Did you order products that need specific instructions? If so, did your shipment arrive with instructions for the products? If not, you can always create the instructions and include them with the product when you sell it.

  • Made in China

Does the product that you have ordered have a "Made in China" tag or label? If not, you should always ask the supplier to add that in future orders.

Ready to get the items shipped from Alibaba?

I hope this guide helped you know how shipping on Alibaba works. You can check out all the points and understand the process better. You can now get ordering!

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