Alibaba vѕ. AliExрrеѕѕ

Alibaba vѕ. AliExрrеѕѕ

This is a common concern among those curious in the dropshipping business model. People also frequently wonder whether or not Aliexpress and Alibaba are one and the same.

To begin, two well-known online marketplaces connecting buyers and sellers are Alibaba and AliExpress. There is a common parent corporation between the two, called the Alibaba Group. For online shopping in China, the Alibaba Group is colossal, controlling over half of the market.

That’s about all they have in common because their operations and business approaches couldn’t be more unlike. In this article, we’ll compare Alibaba vѕ. AliExрrеѕѕ side by side to help you pick the one that’s right for your company.

Comparison of Alibaba vѕ. AliExрrеѕѕ

Okay, let’s begin with Alibaba.

Alibaba is geared toward business-to-business trades that need to make big purchases at low cost. There is often a threshold that your purchase size must exceed before you are offered wholesale pricing. Alibaba refers to this cap as the MOQ.

On the other hand, Aliexpress is a business-to-consumer marketplace open to anybody. There is no minimum order size requirement. This makes it a great option for first-time dropshippers and thrifty buyers.

Now that you know what to expect from each platform, let’s take a closer look at them to see how they vary.

Exactly what does Alibaba entail?

Alibaba, not to be confused with the Alibaba Group, is an online marketplace that brings together manufacturers and wholesalers with consumers. Currently, Alibaba has a seller base of over 150,000 and a presence in over 190 countries.

Alibaba website screenshot

Alibaba is a great place for manufacturers to find the components and raw materials they need. Alibaba also provides an affordable option for purchasing semi-finished products.

Alibaba also sells a wide variety of industrial chemicals, plastics, rubber, office supplies, electronics of all kinds, automobiles, trucks, and car and truck components, among many other things. Alibaba is a one-stop shop where you may acquire everything.

Additionally, Alibaba facilitates communication with vendors. You may search for these vendors either geographically, by the goods they sell, or by the name of the vendor.

In order to ensure the safety of your purchases, Alibaba provides order protection. The timely arrival of high-quality goods is guaranteed. More information about this is coming soon.

Alibaba offers a secure payment option in addition to its order protection features. Credit cards, wire transfers, Western Union, etc., are all acceptable methods of payment for placed orders.

Differentiating Factors of Alibaba

Alibaba is loaded with tools that make it easy to purchase and sell in bulk online. Some examples are as follows:

  • RFQ = Request for Quotation. You have put in a request for an order. The vendors would submit bids in the form of price quotes, and then you could pick the one you wanted to deal with.
  • An order-coordinating CRM tool
  • Ability to monitor purchases in real time
  • Background check feature
  • A hub for sending and receiving messages
  • Tracking of Logistics and transactions

You may open a seller account on Alibaba from the same hub as your buyer account, and you’re free to move between the two at any time.

If you want to sell on the marketplace, you’ll need to become a Supplier Member.

Exactly how does Alibaba function?

You’ll need an account with Alibaba before you can start selling or shopping there. Creating an account is quick and easy, taking only a few moments.

After signing up, the next step is to choose a reliable vendor to whom you may outsource your business.

There are a few approaches to taking care of this. In order to get a price quote, one submits an RFQ. You’ll need to specify the name of the product(s) you want to acquire. Suppliers can better meet your needs if you provide them as much information as possible about what you need from them, including the sort of sourcing you prefer, the desired quantity, and so on.

If you’d rather not send out requests for quotations, you may instead look for potential vendors by nation. Suppliers on Alibaba come from more than 100 different countries.

If none of those solutions seem to work, you can always Google up the product you want to buy and locate a list of retailers who carry it. When you do this, the search results page will include a “Contact Supplier” option.

In What Circumstances Should One Make Use of Alibaba?

If you’re looking to make bulk purchases at competitive pricing, look no further than Alibaba.

What is Aliexpress?

In terms of customer base, Aliexpress is primarily comprised of individual consumers. This makes it easy to shop for a single item, like a pair of shoes, on AliExpress without having to get in touch with many vendors. AliExpress does not impose any minimal order requirements.

ali express screenshot

However, this does not preclude you from taking advantage of AliExpress’s wholesale rates by making a large purchase. You may negotiate Wholesale prices with AliExpress merchants by contacting them directly through the website. There’s only the little matter of the costs maybe being more than average compared to platforms like Alibaba.

Automobiles, men’s and women’s clothing, electronics, and office supplies are just a handful of the many categories covered by Aliexpress’s vast consumer goods inventory.

Aliexpress’s Main Attributes

  • Control panel for keeping tabs on all of your orders, both pending and fulfilled.
  • Resolution of differences.
  • A coupon center.
  • One central location to store and monitor all of your vendor and supplier communications.
  • Buyer safety.
  • Detailed documentation.

Methodology of AliExpress

You may compare Aliexpress to Alibaba, and they both function in the same way. Creating a free account is the first step and takes less than a minute.

The next step after signing up is to look for the item you wish to buy. You may simply use the search box or browse the available categories to locate the item you’re looking for.

Establishing a seller account on AliExpress is a prerequisite to selling on the platform. To confirm the legitimacy of your enterprise, you’ll likely be required to present financial and legal records.

There is no fee to list items for sale on Aliexpress; instead, a commission of 5–10% of the sale price is deducted from your total earnings.

Reasons to Shop on AliExpress

If you’re looking to make some little purchases, AliExpress is a great option. Or perhaps you want to try something out first before committing to a larger order.

An In-Depth Comparison of Alibaba and AliExpress

Now that you know what Alibaba and Aliexpress are, let’s explore which one is the superior and more affordable marketplace. On the following criteria, we shall evaluate them:

Price Comparison

To begin, it doesn’t cost anything to shop or sell on either Alibaba or AliExpress.

Each system provides a comprehensive set of features and functions designed to streamline the sales process.

Alibaba is the best place to go if you want to save money on your purchases. The best aspect is that the prices listed on Alibaba may be negotiated down to very reasonable levels. What’s more, you may shop about and compare prices to find the best deal.

You can get better deals on Alibaba if you buy in bulk, though. Obtaining wholesale pricing from some vendors may need providing documentation of your legal status as a business.

In contrast to Alibaba, prices on Aliexpress tend to be higher. The benefit of this is that you may avoid making bulk purchases.

Where to Dropship: Alibaba or AliExpress

If you’re looking for a reliable dropshipping platform, both Alibaba and AliExpress will do the trick. Which one you choose to pursue depends on how far along you are in the dropshipping process.

AliExpress is the superior choice initially. The reason for this is that on Aliexpress, you are not required to make large purchases. Plus, AliExpress provides a plethora of advertising solutions tailored to the needs of dropshippers.

The best thing is that the Oberlo Chrome Extension makes it simple to import items from Aliexpress directly into your Shopify store.

Alibaba is a better alternative for seasoned dropshippers due to the site’s reduced rates. However, there is a catch: Alibaba’s dropshipping tools are severely lacking.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you continue with AliExpress.


The quality of your shipping services may make or break your online store. In what ways do AliExpress and Alibaba manage shipping?

Alibaba is the first online marketplace to provide both air and sea shipping options for customer convenience. It provides a centralized location for locating and establishing contact with shipping service providers such freight forwarders and messenger services.

You may search for logistics service providers on this site according to your product’s category, the nation from which they ship, the day of departure, the kind of shipment, the minimum and maximum order quantities, and the suppliers’ preferred payment method.

In contrast, Alibaba Freight is a digital freight platform that allows you to compare shipping prices, track your package, and obtain bids from shipping firms.

In case you’re interested, Alibaba supports direct shipping to Amazon FBA.

Pricey shipping is a common complaint from Alibaba customers. The cost of sending 1 kilogram of merchandise from China to the United States can easily exceed $1,000.

Shipping times on Alibaba might be lengthy (up to 60 days) if you choose sea transport. When making large purchases, it is more cost-effective to use Alibaba’s shipping options.

Can you get free delivery from Alibaba? In some cases, yes; in others, no; it all depends on the manufacturer or provider.

Let’s move on from Alibaba and talk about AliExpress instead.

The vast majority of AliExpress vendors provide free delivery. Free shipping usually takes around a month to arrive. Rush delivery options like DHL and UPS are available if you simply can’t wait. The average turnaround time is between two weeks.

The total amount you pay for shipping on AliExpress is based mostly on two variables: the location of the recipient and the location of the seller. Rarely does it get corrected.


If you’re looking for a reliable online marketplace to buy or sell goods, go no further than Alibaba or Aliexpress. There are, however, significant distinctions between the two; perhaps, you can now perceive these distinctions. Aliexpress is the greatest option whether you want to start a dropshipping business or already have one up and running.

Save Time, Money, & Resources

Categories: eCommerce

Get Started

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Fill out this form!

Contact HMS

Ready for the ultimate credit card processing experience? Ask us your questions here.