Every seller’s first concern is where to get a supplier/manufacturer to supply the products they have decided to list on the market. One of the most popular places to find a variety of suppliers/manufacturers for different product categories. However, the market is quite large therefore, you have to be specific with what you want in order to get the perfect supplier/manufacturer.

This article will run you through how to find your suitable supplier/manufacturer on Alibaba for your e-commerce trade. 


For you to reach this stage of searching for a supplier/manufacturer, then you already have an idea of what you are looking for. 

However, there are different kinds of manufacturers and suppliers on Alibaba. You must therefore decide whether you are looking for someone to make something new for you, these are called Original Design Manufacturers (ODM), or maybe  you are looking for someone to make some changes on an already existing product, these are called Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

Even when you decide you just want someone to supply an already existing product, you need to be more specific. For instance, you cannot simply say you need a supplier for brown leather shoes because there could be a number of suppliers selling or manufacturing different brown leather shoes. Thus, know what kind of brown leather shoes, the design, are they for adults or for children. In other words, specificity is what will narrow your search down for you.


 This is the best way to let suppliers come to you. Alibaba has made this possible by providing an option on its homepage called sourcing solutions under which you will find an option that allows you to submit an RFQ.

This enables you to put out your specifications and receive quotations from different suppliers that can meet your specifications. This option also allows you to weigh your options financially and narrow down your search for suppliers based on the quotations you will receive.

Once you settle on your price range from the quotations, you can directly contact each supplier that you have shortlisted before making a final decision on which supplier to settle for.


Another way to get suppliers is simply by typing in keywords of the product that you would like supplied into the search bar. Once you search for the product on Alibaba, you have two tabs that open, one for products and one for suppliers. The one with products will show you a variety of the specific product you searched, the brown leather shoes we earlier mentioned for instance. When you have a look at the different brown leather shoes, you will be able to select the ones that meet your expectations. On the other hand, the tab that says suppliers will bring you a wide variety of options of factories and companies that make these brown leather shoes. This option gives you a wider option but also makes it a little harder if you really do not know what to settle on. You must therefore be specific enough to go through this process much faster and get a supplier in good time.


Whether you are looking for a supplier for your dropping ship business, or someone to manufacture your products for you or someone to supply the raw materials you will need to manufacture your own goods, Alibaba is the right place to go. However, knowing how tricky online transactions are, be sure to go for suppliers who are either trade assured or assessed suppliers in order to secure your orders as well.

With the tips provided, I hope you will pace your way around Alibaba much easily and find your suitable manufacturer/supplier.

All the best!

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