Unlock the Secrets to Buying from 1688.com: A Step-by-Step Guide!

Introduction:Are you interested in tapping into the vast selection of products on 1688.com? Whether you’re new or experienced, our comprehensive guide will walk you through every necessary step from registration to final shipping. Dive in to discover how you can buy quality products easily and securely.

What is 1688.com
What is 1688.com

What is 1688.com?

1688.com is a subsidiary of Alibaba and is one of the largest go-to wholesale and sourcing websites in China. It is primarily used for B2B, B2C, wholesale, and manufacturing of products. The website is in Chinese, but don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the language barrier.

  1. Legitimacy: 1688.com is a legitimate and well-established platform in China. It is owned and operated by Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest and most reputable e-commerce companies.
  2. Wholesale Marketplace: It primarily serves as a wholesale marketplace, where businesses, retailers, and individuals can buy products in bulk at competitive prices. This platform caters to both domestic and international buyers.
  3. Chinese Market: While it is possible for international buyers to use 1688.com, the website is predominantly in Chinese, and many of the sellers may only communicate in Chinese. This can present language and cultural barriers for non-Chinese buyers.
  4. Verification: 1688.com has a system for verifying and rating suppliers. Buyers can check supplier profiles, view ratings, read reviews, and assess the legitimacy of sellers before making purchasing decisions. It’s crucial to choose reputable suppliers to ensure a safe transaction.
  5. Payment and Escrow: The platform provides payment options, including Alipay, which offers some level of buyer protection. Additionally, 1688.com uses an escrow system, where payment is held until the buyer confirms receipt and satisfaction with the products.
  6. Challenges for International Buyers: International buyers may face challenges such as language barriers, currency conversion, shipping logistics, and customs regulations. Many international buyers use third-party agents or intermediaries to facilitate transactions.
  7. Research and Due Diligence: It is essential for buyers to conduct thorough research and due diligence when using 1688.com. Verify the legitimacy of suppliers, negotiate terms, and understand shipping and import/export regulations in your country.

What is 1688 app?

The 1688 app is a mobile application that allows users to access the services and features of the 1688.com platform on their smartphones or tablets. This app provides a convenient way for users to browse products, communicate with suppliers, place orders, and manage their wholesale purchasing activities while on the go.

Keep in mind that the availability and features of the 1688 app may change over time, so it’s a good idea to check the official app store on your mobile device or the 1688.com website for the most up-to-date information and download options.

How to Register on 1688.com

  1. Visit the Website:  Go to shop 1688.com.
  2. Language Translation: Use Google Chrome to translate the 1688 website to English.
  3. Sign Up: Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button and fill in your details.
  4. Verification: You’ll receive a verification code via email or phone. Enter it to complete the registration.

Choosing the Right Products

  1. Search Bar: Use the search bar to find products.
  2. Filter Options: Use filters to narrow down your choices based on price, supplier rating, and more.
  3. Check Supplier Information: Always check the supplier’s credentials and reviews.

Payment Methods 

1688.com accepts various payment methods such as:


Understanding Payment Methods of 1688.com primarily uses Alipay for transactions. However, international buyers may find options like PayPal or bank transfers more convenient. Some third-party agents provide transaction services if you find the payment methods overwhelming.

Communicating with Suppliers

  1. Initial Contact: Use the chat feature on the website to contact suppliers.
  2. Language Barrier: Use Google Translate to communicate if the supplier doesn’t speak English.
  3. Negotiation: Discuss terms, prices, and shipping options.

Shipping Options

  1. Domestic Shipping: Most suppliers offer domestic shipping within China.
  2. International Shipping: For international shipping, you may need to use a third-party service.

Hidden Costs and Fees

Be aware of additional costs like:

  • Shipping fees
  • Customs duties
  • Service fees from third-party agents

How to avoid scams while buying from 1688.com

Buying from 1688.com can offer a plethora of opportunities for sourcing products at competitive prices. However, like any other online marketplace, it’s not entirely free from scams or fraudulent sellers. Here are some tips to help you avoid scams and make your buying experience more secure:

Do Your Homework

  1. Research the Seller: Always check the seller’s profile for their ratings, reviews, and transaction history. Look for sellers who have been active for a long time and have a high rating.
  2. Verify Credentials: Some sellers display certifications, licenses, or verified status badges. While these are not foolproof, they can add an extra layer of confidence.

Communication is Key

  1. Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the seller questions about the product, shipping, and payment methods. A legitimate seller will be more than willing to answer your queries.
  2. Use Secure Channels: Always communicate through the platform’s messaging system rather than shifting to external emails or messaging apps.

Be Cautious with Payments

  1. Use Secure Payment Methods: Stick to the payment methods recommended by 1688.com. Avoid wire transfers or other methods that don’t offer buyer protection.
  2. Don’t Pay Outside the Platform: Scammers may ask you to make payments outside the 1688.com platform. Always complete transactions within the site to benefit from any buyer protection services they offer.

Inspect Before You Invest

  1. Request Samples: If possible, request samples of the product before placing a bulk order. This will give you a better idea of the quality you can expect.
  2. Use inspection services: Consider using a third-party inspection service to check the quality of the goods before they are shipped.

Shipping and Delivery

  1. Track Your Order: Always use a shipping method that allows you to track your order. This will help you know where your goods are at all times.
  2. Check for Hidden Fees: Sometimes scammers will offer a low product price but charge exorbitant shipping fees. Always check the total cost before confirming the purchase.

Legal Safeguards

  1. Contracts and Agreements: For larger transactions, consider drafting a formal contract. This can provide legal protection in case something goes wrong.
  2. Check Import Regulations: Make sure the products you are buying comply with the import regulations of your country to avoid legal issues.

Trust Your Instincts

  1. If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is: Extremely low prices can be a red flag. If a deal seems too good to be true, proceed with caution.
  2. Get a Second Opinion: If you’re unsure, consult with someone who has experience in sourcing products from 1688.com or similar platforms.

Recommended reading:

Tips for Buying in Bulk from 1688.com

Considerations before purchasing from 1688.com

Why Consider a China Purchasing Agent


They handle everything from negotiation to shipping.

For buyers outside China, a China purchasing agent can handle payments and shipping. They can consolidate multiple products from different suppliers into one shipment to save costs,Please contact us if you need help.


Is 1688.com reliable?

Yes, but always conduct due diligence.

Can I buy from 1688 from the US?

Yes, you can use a third-party shipping service.

How can I browse 1688.com in English?

Use Google Chrome’s translation feature.

How do I pay on 1688?

You can use Alipay, WeChat Pay, or a bank transfer.

How do I change my 1688 app to English?

Currently, the app is only available in Chinese,no matter iphone IOS or Android mobile. Use Google Translate for assistance.

Can I return products?

It depends on the supplier’s terms.

Is PayPal accepted?

Usually through third-party agents.

What if my order is stuck in customs?

You’ll need to provide the required documents.

How long does shipping take?

It varies depending on the method and destination.

Can I pay 1688.com suppliers in US dollars?

Yes, you can pay 1688.com suppliers in US dollars. Chinese suppliers on 1688.com generally accept payment in various currencies, including US dollars, when exporting products out of China. To ensure a smooth transaction, it’s advisable to communicate with the specific supplier you plan to work with and confirm their preferred currency and payment methods. This flexibility in payment options makes it convenient for international buyers to engage with suppliers on 1688.com.

Sourcing agents have various options for accepting payments. They can receive payments in US dollars (USD) and then facilitate payments to the supplier in Renminbi (RMB) directly. Additionally, sourcing agents often accept payments through methods like bank transfers and PayPal, making it convenient for businesses engaging in international trade. The ability to handle payments in different currencies, including USD, is a common practice in international business transactions. This flexibility allows businesses to streamline their operations and work effectively with suppliers from different parts of the world.

Please contact us if you wish to pay with US Dollars.



1688.com offers a massive range of products at affordable prices. The main challenge is the language barrier, but with this step-by-step guide, you’re well-equipped to navigate the complexities of buying from 1688.com.

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