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How to make your Alibaba RFQ attract good suppliers? ( Complete guide)
Do you know Alibaba? If you have been importing and purchasing from China for many years, then Alibaba is like an old friend. It enables foreign buyers to search for suppliers online and then click to contact overseas suppliers. The emergence of Alibaba has made importing from overseas countries as easy as shopping online.
If you are not familiar with the import business and do not know how to purchase safely and efficiently through Alibaba? Don’t worry, here’s a guide just for you. It can help you step by step understand how to find and select reliable suppliers, how to arrange quality inspection and shipping, how Alibaba works and whether it is a good fit for your business.
When you find that your local supplier cannot meet your cost-effectiveness needs, you will start to consider buying overseas. With its extensive global reputation and influence, Alibaba has become the first choice for many international business people.
To use Alibaba.com, you must first register for an account. This is so simple that you can do it in only two minutes.
1. Enter Alibaba
2. Click on My Alibaba
3. Click to sign up for free or sign up with your Google or Facebook account.
4. Enter all the information
Choose your country.
Select the corresponding international code of the phone number according to your country.
While creating a website account: I agree to abide by the Alibaba.com membership agreement. Otherwise, you cannot register successfully.
Now you have become one member of Alibaba. You can start to find quality suppliers!
There are many products on Alibaba, and the level of suppliers varies. It does take a lot of effort to select satisfactory products. So we share 2 small skills to help you quickly find satisfactory products.
Direct search is a more active way to find vendors, but it usually takes a lot of time to browse through the filters. There are millions of suppliers on Alibaba. With direct search, you can view the price range of each product, product information, supplier qualification, deal information and other information for your reference. The specific steps are as follows:
Step 1: Go to https://www.alibaba.com/ and enter the product keywords you want to search for. Note that the first thing you should do is narrow your supplier base by finding product keywords that better match your needs.
For example, replace the liquid silicone case and cartoon phone case with a phone case.
In short, the more accurate the keywords, the better, otherwise the number of suppliers that will be found will be staggering. At this point, you have narrowed your product selection by about 20 times.
Step 2: Click on the product you are interested in, or select a top supplier to learn more about the product by browsing the product details page. You can refer to this blog How to select Alibaba suppliers？(7 Key Points) to filter to the supplier, this will simplify your purchase work, let you can find the best supplier more quickly.
Step 3: Click the button on Alibaba.com to contact the supplier. You can easily contact vendors and send inquiries to them by clicking the Contact Vendor button.
When the supplier receives your inquiry, there will be a dedicated salesperson to contact you.
Before sending a quote, make sure you have prepared all the information the supplier needs, otherwise, it may take 3 days or more before you get an accurate quote from the supplier. To speed up your chances of getting an accurate quote, we have some tips and templates for you How to quickly get detailed quotation from Chinese supplier? (3 Inquiry Templates)
Step 4: Collect and compare quotations from different suppliers. This one is simple. But please be careful not to check the price without paying attention to other terms, such as time of delivery, trade terms, terms of payment, etc. Please make sure to compare prices on a uniform basis. Otherwise your assessment is meaningless.
Step 5: Select 2-3 good suppliers for further communication. After evaluating the price, it is better for you to select 2-3 suppliers to test samples rather than place an order directly.
Although you may have to pay for the sample, this is to avoid greater losses after you place an order. In fact, the sample charge is usually not expensive, but each supplier to send samples to you separately may cause high shipping costs. This is your best solution is to have all suppliers send samples to the same location, and then centralized delivery, so that you can save half of the shipping cost.
In addition to active search, you can also obtain supplier quotations through RFQ. A Request for Quotation (RFQ) is a buying request submitted by a buyer and open to suppliers for bidding.
How does RFQ works?
You only need to spend about 10 minutes filling in and Posting your purchase requirements in Alibaba. Once an RFQ is submitted, Firstly it will be reviewed by Alibaba industry experts before it is being posted and released to the RFQ Marketplace.
The supplier can search keywords on the RFQ page to find your purchase demand or Alibaba will push your demand to the supplier with corresponding supply ability according to the product keywords you fill in. If the supplier is interested in your purchasing requirements, he will fill in the corresponding quotation to you. At this time, you can communicate freely on Alibaba.
Does Alibaba RFQ free?
There are two types of RFQ services. One is a free inquiry service, which allows at least 10 quotes from 10 different suppliers. The other is a paid RFQ service, where buyers can choose a value-added service, paying an additional $9.99 for emergency requests and $2.99 for additional quotes to get 10 times or more from suppliers faster. Alibaba will also rate paid RFQs as quality or priority RFQs in the RFQ market, which is more likely to attract the attention of suppliers.
What is the biggest advantage of Alibaba RFQ service?
Save a lot of browsing time
You don’t need to spend hours or even days actively searching for product suppliers and browsing a lot of product and supplier information. You only need a few minutes to fill out your requirements and publish them.
Suppliers are more responsive
RFQ attracts suppliers to contact you and create 10-15 quotes within minutes. We tried to release an RFQ for a Liquid Silicone Phone case, and I got one quote in one minute, and then 10 minutes later I had four quotes from vendors. This is a surprising speed, and I just filled in the purchase requirements casually. If you fill in the purchase requirements carefully, you may receive the quotation more quickly.
Convenient cost comparison
You can enter “My Alibaba” and click “Buying Leads” to enter “My RFQ”. All the quotation information you have received is in one form. Very easy to review and compare quotations to evaluate all quotations.
Proactive vendor service
The inquiry supplier will actively seek your order. The supplier will follow up and try to establish a good relationship with you. In the case of a supplier contacting you, you may be able to obtain a more favorable quotation or other terms.
How to make your RFQ attract high-quality suppliers?
When you post a purchase request through the RFQ, it will be posted to the RFQ Marketplace once it is approved by Alibaba’s industry experts. How to stand out from the millions of inquiries and attract high-quality suppliers is the key to successfully use the inquiry service to find the best matching suppliers. We have posted an inquiry form on Alibaba to obtain a quote as follows.
Step 1: Go to Alibaba’s RFQ page https://rfq.alibaba.com/ and click to submit the inquiry.
Step 2: Fill out the RFQ form
Be aware of some tricks you can use to make your queries more attractive to vendors
1. Specify your product name or category, specification and quantity.
Accurate product names or categories make it easier for vendors to find your purchase needs in the marketplace. Alibaba’s suppliers also have different MOQ, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. If the quantity is too low, then the supplier will have no incentive to send a quote.
2. Upload a photo of the product you are looking for.
With product photos, suppliers can more easily check if they have or produce the same products they need.
3. Main content: This is the most important part for the supplier to analyze your purchase requirements and evaluate this RFQ.
You can follow the following template, which is made up of 5 paragraphs, each of which points out a key point.
① Introduce yourself in the first paragraph and specify the product to buy in the clearest way possible. You can also mention your company name here.
② Specify the quantity to be purchased. If it is a trial order, you can also state that the quantity will increase in the future.
③ Point out the package methods. By discussing custom packaging, you can also eliminate vendors that cannot provide customized packaging.
④ Ask about shipping costs. If you prove to the supplier that you have your own freight forwarder and that you are a professional buyer, the supplier may not cheat you out of shipping costs.
⑤ Specify the address in detail.
If you want the supplier to help ship the product to a specific location in your country/region, the supplier’s freight forwarder will need the detailed address to calculate the exact shipping cost.
In short, quantity, packaging and transportation costs are all important aspects, so suppliers can provide you with reliable quotations. In addition to this information, you may ask additional questions before submitting your RFQ. In this way, you can also easily find professional vendors by checking the answers to your questions.
Step 3: Click the Submit button to submit the inquiry
There are free and paid RFQ services, and you can choose the type that best suits your current purchase needs.
Step 4: Check and compare offers in the RFQ Information Center’s Message Center
Step 5: Select 2-3 good suppliers for further communication
After reviewing quotation and supplier information, if you are satisfied with 2-3 suppliers, you can contact them directly for further price negotiation, or you can start collecting samples to check quality.
As mentioned above, if unfortunately, these prices are not acceptable, you can start another round of RFQ, or you can try to send the inquiry directly on Alibaba.
It should be noted that unless the supplier can deliver what you want, price doesn’t mean anything.
4 best principles to evaluate the suppliers
Then, after receiving the quotation of the inquiry supplier, how to choose? We have summarized the following points.
Choose a manufacturer over a trading company
You can identify vendors by studying their information and product catalogs. Factories usually specialize in producing certain types of products, while trading companies tend to sell many types of products at prices that are usually 30% higher than factory prices.
If you don’t know how to identify trading companies and suppliers, please refer to this blog How to verify Chinese manufacturers and trading companies? ( 2021 Update)
Select suppliers that are located in the product industry cluster
Each product has its own industry cluster in China. This industrial cluster brings together all the advantages of producing such products, such as abundant raw materials, skilled workers, cheap parts and so on. China’s toy industry, for example, is most concentrated in Chenghai, Guangdong province. China’s mask industry is the fastest growing in Xiantao, Hubei province. The wig industry in China is most concentrated in Xuchang, Henan province.
If you find a supplier selling electronics on Alibaba, and the supplier is based in Shanghai, it is almost certain to be a trading company.
They bought a certain product from somewhere else to complete the catalog (95% in all cases) because the most developed area for electronic products was Shenzhen in Guangdong province. Of course, there are some actual manufacturers, but even so, Shanghai suppliers are not recommended.
There is no price advantage in buying electronics from Shanghai because the cost of manufacturing electronics must be higher in Shanghai than in Shenzhen.
For experienced buyers, they keep the industry map in mind. If you don’t know much about where certain products are made, do a Google search or leave a comment below.
Choose experienced suppliers and sales personnel with good communication skills
Experienced sales staff will not only answer your questions in a professional manner but will also offer you advice and various solutions before you ask for them.
A complete quotation will show whether the salesman is professional or not. Which of the following two quotation forms would you like to see? A good quotation will help you to be clear at a glance, and you will not feel confused or have any questions after reading. The professional level and attitude of the supplier salesman can be clearly seen through the quotation. Of course, good factories also have bad salespeople, and we can’t reject suppliers completely just for that reason. Refer to more tips.
Balance price and quality
If you are satisfied with 2-3 quotations, you can contact the supplier and ask for samples to compare quality. You can then think more fully about which vendor to work with. Please be careful not to check the price without paying attention to other terms such as time of delivery, trade terms, terms of payment, etc. Please make sure to compare prices on a uniform basis. Otherwise your assessment is meaningless.
But everything has drawbacks, and RFQ has some drawbacks as well as benefits for you.
What are the disadvantages of Alibaba RFQ?
With the RFQ service, you will not be able to select the vendor type before the quote. As I said before, trading companies often understand marketing better than manufacturers. So trading companies are more likely to find your purchasing needs faster. With RFQ services, the ball is in the vendor’s court, not you. So you have no way to choose your preferred supplier type, you may receive more quotations from trading companies.
When you search directly, you can clearly see all the information about each supplier, including address, product category, factory video, the company’s manufacturing operations, and so on. Before you contact the supplier, you are fully aware of the type of supplier and can choose to continue or not. You have more choices.
Usually you can only get 10 quotes at a time. Although, you have a lot of inquiries, but no selection of suppliers. It will be difficult for you to identify if the quoted price is the best cost. Buyers always want to find the lowest price on the product, so just 10 quotes is usually not enough to satisfy the demand of buyers.
While using the RFQ service, you still need to use it in conjunction with direct search, so that you can find the cheapest supplier for the lowest price of the product.
If you want to get more than ten quotes, this is a trick that many buyers use. That is, when filling out the RFQ form, including your email address. When your RFQ is no longer acceptable, the supplier can still see your purchase requirements. They can then contact you at the email address in your purchase request.
Using both methods, the results are clear. Under direct search, it may take several hours to check vendor information first, send queries one after another, and then wait a day or two for a response. Using the RFQ service, we immediately get 10 quotes from multiple vendors within 20 minutes after we send an RFQ.
Given the pros and cons of RFQ services, you need to analyze whether you want to apply for an RFQ service before clicking the “Submit” button. Our suggestion is that if you value supplier quality over price, you can try an RFQ service to quickly contact multiple suppliers, and then select 2-3 good suppliers for further evaluation. However, if you want to get the most competitive price at the beginning, it is recommended that you search for suppliers directly on Alibaba.
I hope it will help you to have a clearer understanding of looking for suppliers through Alibaba RFQ, and I hope it will be helpful for your next RFQ!