How To Source From In English

By Sarah
October 18, 2022

If you’re looking for a great way to source products from China, look no further than! This website is a goldmine for finding quality products at wholesale prices.

And the best part is that you can do it all in English!

In this article, we’ll show you how to source from like a pro.


1. Basic guide to source from in English


1)What is is one of China’s most significant B2B and drop shipping websites. Many people know this platform as Alibaba 1688 because it is a subsidiary of Alibaba. And like Alibaba, is also a big help in finding the highest grade of products and legit factories and manufacturers.

If you are a foreign buyer, is also a great platform that you can use. Even though its focus is on the local market, it is still welcoming to global sourcing and importers. It is the reason why this platform uses Chinese as the primary language, but you can also translate it into English.

Alibaba 1688

2)Why buying and importing from 1688 so important?

There are many reasons why 1688 is among the best and leading B2B platforms in China. Especially if you are an overseas or foreign buyer, using serves tremendous importance because, first, you can find original factories of products. These products are direct to the factory and at the lowest price possible. also offers low MOQ. It is essential, especially if you’re a start-up or a first-time buyer. The suppliers also on this platform are very accommodating. They will help you with your needs and respond quickly and nicely.



2. The Pros and Cons of Utilizing 1688 as a Foreign Buyer

When you source from, you can experience the following pros and cons, especially if you’re a foreign buyer.



1)Offers lower prices

Many suppliers in this platform are factories or top manufacturers. For this reason, they will price their products lower since there are no added prices compared to when you buy from a trading company.

2)Has a vast range of product options

One of the best benefits of is its vast range of products and product categories. Some of the top category markets are the following:

  • Machinery and Industrial Equipment
  • Hardware tools
  • Security
  • Package
  • Steel
  • Textile leather
  • Chemical Rubber and plastic
  • Electrician
  • Electronic meter
  • Home improvement building materials
  • Lighting
  • Metallurgical Minerals

3)High-quality suppliers available

On, you can work with trusted and reliable suppliers. There are sign banners that state how many years a supplier has been operating and if they have other badges.

4)Provide a friendly platform for small and overseas users

Although centered in the local market, is still friendly to small and overseas users. The platforms can be translated to English and have responsive sellers and exclusive products.

5)Consistent with product supply

Many suppliers on provide a wide range of products and equipment to make orders easily. If you have a large business and customers, this is a great benefit for keeping stock on hand.

6)Has low MOQ

Many suppliers on have lower MOQs compared to other China wholesale websites. It is because suppliers have their factory that makes the production fast.

7)Original product sources

One of the benefits of using this platform is locating origin sources or factories for specific products in specific areas. For instance, if your product is steel, the best region to look for that is Shanghai.



1)Suppliers only accept RMB payment

One of the disadvantages of sourcing from as a foreign buyer is the payment currencies. Since most suppliers on this platform are Chinese, they only accept payments in RMB or CNY. You need to convert USD to RMB or CNY if you want to pay directly. If not, you can utilize 1688 sourcing agents to make the payment for you.

2)Most of the suppliers don’t speak English

It is a struggle to communicate with your chosen 1688 supplier because they are unfamiliar with English. These suppliers and manufacturers are native Chinese, and because English is not their primary language, they might not understand you.

3)You may have to handle international shipping on your own

One of the disadvantages that you might experience as foreign buyers are handling 1688 shipping yourself. Since does not accept international payment methods or ship internationally, you must plan. You also have an option to hire shipping agents like JustChinait, to do this process for you.

1688 cons


4)Language barrier

We have said that the 1688 China website is focused on the Chinese language, making it hard for international buyers to understand. You can use translation tools to navigate the 1688 website if you do not speak Chinese or work with a China sourcing agent.

5)You may require the services of a China warehouse to consolidate orders from various suppliers

We have mentioned how complex and costly 1688 shipping is. It is why you can avail of consolidating services if you want to save time and money. This service will combine your orders from multiple suppliers, store, pack, and ship them all as one.



3. How To Make Direct Purchase from 1688 in English


The reality is it’s not easy to source from as it may appear, especially if you are sourcing on your own. The first hurdle that you might encounter is the language used in the app, which is in Chinese. One of the options that you can do is to translate the 1688 China wholesale app into English.

There are also more steps that you can take if you have already translated 1688 into English. The following can help you get a more seamless process and easy buying experience.


1) Install the Google Translate Plug-in

To ensure that you can understand the words and labels in the 1688 China platform, you must first translate them. You can directly translate in the 1688 app to your preferred language, which in this case, English. This option will be the most suitable if you don’t have a chrome browser installed.

You should also install Google Translate Chrome Extension. This application would help you directly plug in words, phrases, and sentences from Chinese to English. It would also be handy during your supplier’s conversation and negotiation process.


2)Translate into English

Translating your 1688 China wholesale website to English makes it easy for you to use. So, when you open the Chrome browser on your device, type in first,, and it will lead you to the main page. This process would take you to the homepage of 1688, which has the primary language of Chinese.

Sometimes, a notification will pop up at the upper site and request you if you want to translate the language. If you do not receive the prompt, you can still translate it by clicking right-click and looking for “Translate to English.” You can also use the google translate chrome extension, or you can also use your downloaded translation app.


3)Create a account

If you are new to, the first thing you need to do after opening the website or installing the 1688 app is create an account. Registering your account will help you reap more benefits and vast access. It will keep you in touch with the sourcing process, even if you have a China sourcing agent to help you.

A is required because it will allow you to view more products and contact suppliers. To begin this process, you can click the “Sign Up” button, which will take you to the registration page. You can also direct to this link if you want to sign up.

1688 how

4)Locate your product

The next step is finding your product in 1688. There are different ways wherein you can search your products. The first one is to translate your product name into Chinese. You can utilize the google translate chrome extension or find the Chinese translation of the word. For example, if you want to source a makeup brush, you can translate it through google, and it will give you a result of 化妆刷 or Huàzhuāng shuā.

If you don’t want to go through the hurdles of translating the words, you can also type them using English. However, you can expect that you will get fewer results compared if you translate them into English. Moreover, you also have the option to search for products using a picture.

You can click the camera icon in the search bar to upload the photo. The 1688 China app will generate results based on the picture’s similarity, shape, and design.

5)Examine the listing

Before choosing your products, you must understand first that Alibaba, 1688, and even Amazon are different. Their rules and structure with product listing are not the same. It is why you need to familiarize and equip yourself with proper guidance.

Most of the time, the listing, mainly in price, is not exact. Suppliers choose to lower the products so that they can attract more buyers. They know that it will entice buyers into thinking that their products and services are worth it.

The prices displayed might be valid only if you buy in a large MOQ. So, if you want to avoid any confusion in any 1688 shop, never fully trust a listing value. Instead, always inquire to the supplier or let a 1688 sourcing agent do the double-checking for you.

6)Select product features

A China wholesale website where you can find all the products you need is 1688. You can search on this website for the products you want using various ways. The first is to search using keywords, and the other is to input images.

If you have searched for the products you want, the next step is to examine if they are worth it. You can refer to the product features posted by the supplier, which include size, color, dimension, specification, etc. You can also ask your supplier to give you further details on the product, how they make it, what raw materials they used, and so on.

7)Vet the supplier on

When you source from, you must be sure that the suppliers you partner with are not simply the best in what they do. Before you contact suppliers, you must remember to check their credibility and if they can meet your requirements. To give you a lead on how you can do this checking right, you can refer below:

  • Check the number of years they have been in business – The suppliers must be at least three years in business. It means that they have established their services and company. It will also prevent you from meeting suppliers that are frauds.
  • They have a factory size of at least 200 square meters – We have noted that most suppliers in 1688, whether from Taobao 1688, 1688 app, or 1688 wholesale website, are legit Chinese. They are also often manufacturers or suppliers with factories. So, if you want to work with a legit one, you must check the size of their factory and the machines they use.
  • They have over 500 employees – If they have a high number of employees, most likely they have a large corporation. It indicates that they can sustain your product needs and MOQ.
  • They have a guaranteed 1688 shipping – In the supplier’s profile, you will see that they have a delivery guarantee badge. This badge will protect you from scams of failed delivery. The catch is the supplier will deposit 3,000 RMB into a third-party escrow account, and they will not get it back unless you have confirmed to receive the products.

8)Reach your preferred 1688 supplier

Most of the listings of the products have full details so that you can order directly. However, we have mentioned that you cannot trust the listing, so you also must contact the supplier. You should also contact the supplier for many reasons, like negotiating prices and MOQ and checking their certification. You should also double-check with the supplier if they can meet your product requirements.

9)Order products and confirm shipping details

When you order products from the 1688 shop, you can click the order now, which you can see at the bottom of the product page. It will redirect you to a form you can fill out with details of the shipping location. You have two options for your 1688 shipping arrangements.

The first is to deliver the products to the address you set in your Alipay or Taobao account. You can find the “import the address,” then it will pick the shipping location. On the other hand, if you want to use a different address, you can fill out the “Shipping Info” page. You will still receive a summary of your order so you can double-check.

10)Select a payment method and make a payment

The last and final is to pay your supplier. The majority of 1688 suppliers accept multiple payment methods. However, you must note you need to pay in RMB or CNY.

  • Bank Transfer
  • Alipay
  • Let your China sourcing agent arrange the payment


4. Why Buy In Using 1688 Sourcing Agent


You have many reasons why you need a China sourcing agent when buying from, such as:

1)Can look for the best grade of products

The 1688 agents are experts at what they do, especially in finding the highest quality products. Because the platform’s product details are in Chinese, it isn’t easy to find products. But you will not experience these hurdles because you can tell the agents the product name, and they will give you a list. They can also do background and quality checks for your products and suppliers.

2)Offers a list of trusted suppliers

There are hundreds of thousands of suppliers that you can find in 1688. However, some suppliers have poor service and products like any other Chinese wholesale platform. If you want to work with the best suppliers, sourcing agents can help you. They will give you a list of suppliers, from the most experienced ones with large factories to those with great feedback.

3)Can help in the negotiation

We have mentioned that most 1688 suppliers can’t communicate in English. It is why a China sourcing agent can assist you in communicating with the suppliers and clearly expressing your requirements. They will also be your representative to arrange the best deals for you.

4)Minimize risk

Because you are sourcing from the world, this gives you the most significant risks. One of the risks you might experience is a scam and poor quality of products. However, a 1688 sourcing agent can help minimize these risks because they are experts and professionals.

5)Make payments for you

Suppliers in accept payment in RMB or CNY. You need to convert other currencies to RMB or CNY if you want to pay. However, if you don’t want to go through these steps, you can find an agent that will make payments for you.



5. How to translate the 1688 website from Chinese to English


There are multiple ways that you can do if you want to use the 1688 website, from Chinese to English. We have listed the two main steps that are simple and easy to do.

1)Use the google translate extension

Most chrome browsers or google browsers can translate a website content. And when you use the 1688 website, you can choose the google translate extension—this extension you can find on Chrome Web Store. You can search “Google Translate Extension,” then click Add to Chrome.

2)Download 1688 app for translation

If you don’t want to use the google extension, you can download a translation app. You can input the words you’ll send to your supplier from English (or any language) to Chinese. In the same manner, you can translate the supplier’s message.


6. Common Tools for Communicating With 1688 Suppliers


You can use numerous tools to communicate with your chosen supplier on the 1688 China platform, such as:

1)1688 app

The app already has a messaging platform when you download or use the 1688 app as your primary sourcing tool. You can directly message your supplier on the app; they will likely reply to you in a while.

2)Ali WangWang

Ali Wanwang is a popular messaging Taobao 1688 that most suppliers from also use. You can do messaging on this platform by clicking the small blue icon on the product or supplier’s page. You can also download the Ali wang-wang app on your computer and cellphone if you want to message them anytime, anywhere. If you don’t have the Ali wang-wang, you can download it here.


QQ is another communication app you could use if you wanted to talk to the suppliers in 1688. This app is simple to use, and you can connect to more suppliers. The only hurdle you might face when using the app is the language since most suppliers who use QQ are native Chinese.


WeChat is one of the popular apps that is like WhatsApp. This communication tool will help your message easier since everyone in China uses it. Most1688 suppliers are also adept at using WeChat marketing, so they will be eager to give you new promotions or products on WeChat.

You can install and register a WeChat account. Then you can search for the supplier’s mobile phone number on the 1688 page. After that, you can add your supplier as a friend, especially if you want to develop a long-term relationship with the supplier.


1688 tools

7. The Things to Keep in Mind When Using App in English Mode


The following are some of the things that you can note when you see app:

1)Give importance to the MOQ

MOQ in is flexible and low. You can buy products as low as two pieces. If you purchase in small quantities, you can directly click order, but if you are seeking a higher price, you can double-check with the supplier.

2)Confirm the delivery date and time is the platform responsible for shipping. Your order can take a little before they send them to you. Usually, it takes around 1-5 days but can be longer about 5-7 days. If you see that your products took a week before they ship, you should contact the supplier.

3)Do not rely on the prices shown on

Most suppliers will display lower prices to attract buyers but later increase them in the payment order. You must communicate with your supplier to ensure that what is shown is true and is the actual price.

4)Do not focus on the product images

When you browse the platform, you will notice suppliers using the same pictures. They do this to attract more customers to buy the products. It is also why you must obtain actual photos of the product. You may view any attached pictures or ask the suppliers to give them to you.

5)Find the best China sourcing agent

If this is your first-time sourcing from, it is best to find a China sourcing agent that will work for you. The platform itself may be easy to use, but it is tricky due to language and location differences. These agents can help you more than reducing the risk, such as offering you services of:

  • Product Sourcing
  • Purchase
  • Collect Samples
  • Warehouse Storage
  • Package
  • Shipping
  • Other Exporting Services



8. Top China Sourcing Agent In English


Getting a China sourcing agent is best if you want to source from 1688. These 1688 sourcing agents know the platform more than you do, so they can help you reduce risks. They can even source suppliers and products in the best way possible. The following are some of the best China sourcing agents that you can partner with:




JustChinait is among the best China sourcing agents to help you source in 1688. We have been in this industry for over 11 years, so we are professional and experienced. We also serve hundreds and thousands of foreign buyers wanting to buy products on Taobao 1688, 1688 android, 1688 app store, and 1688 website.

JustChinait has varieties of services that you can choose from. When you work with us, you can get more profit, be more manageable, and be more accessible. We can also help you navigate more of the 1688 China wholesale website and get you the following benefits:

  • Help with 1688 shipping
  • Less expensive sourcing costs
  • Find you the best 1688 suppliers at the best price
  • Source high-quality products
  • Store your products



Supplyia is among the best 1688 China sourcing agent options you can also work with. They have dedicated their work to providing high-quality products since 1688. They will guarantee that from sourcing to negotiation and order fulfillment to 1688 shipping; they will help you.

When you source from using Supplyia, you can expect that they can provide you with purchasing from, quality control, reinforce orders, and 1688 worldwide shipping. They can also walk you through the sourcing steps, such as:

  • Choose your desired product from 1688. com
  • Tell us about your need
  • Pay for your goods
  • Make your purchase
  • Quality inspection
  • Final 1688 shipping of the product


3)Leeline Sourcing

One of the finest 1688 sourcing agents you can work with is Leeline Sourcing. They are a reliable agent that will help you source the best supplier and products. They are also your company when you ship on any 1688 platforms, whether the 1688 app, Taobao 1688 app, 1688 android, or 1688 app store.

Leeline is also a sourcing agent who deals with large corporations and small businesses. They will ensure that all the clients they have worked with will have the highest satisfaction. For this reason, they make sure that they excel in all aspects, such as:

  • Sourcing
  • 1688 shipping
  • Direct factory audit
  • Quality inspection
  • Consolidate orders


4)Minden Sourcing

Minden sourcing is also one of the best agents that help foreign buyers when they source from 1688 shops. Minden makes sourcing and shipping easy and fast for buyers. With their help, you can expect to gain leverage at better deals. They will also offer the following benefits that make them unique from other agents.

  • Search Products
  • Record Products
  • Confirm and Invoice
  • Issue Payment
  • Order and Collect
  • Arrange Shipping
  • Buyer Guarantee
  • Real Prices



Ezsourcify has been a top 1688 agent known for providing excellent service. They are also the best 1688 dropshipping agent to help you arrange products and suppliers. You don’t need to have experience when you work with them since they will do the process on your behalf.


In addition, here are the services that you can check if you are planning to source from

  • Get Best Price Suppliers
  • Sample Confirming
  • Quality Inspection
  • Dropshipping Service
  • Production Follow-up
  • Order Fulfillment



One of the best agents you can work with when you source from is Lovbuy. This agent has a large warehouse and the ability to handle bulk orders. This agent is your best bet if you want to be updated and hands-on with the sourcing process.

This 1688 sourcing agent offers 1688 shipping with various shipping methods, third-party shipping agents, and road and air freight. They also handle a broad range of products like appliances, home decor, clothing, etc.


7)Best Fulfill

Best Fulfill is a 1688 China agent that has been operating for over six years. They have the experience that can provide you with fast and reliable transactions. When you work with them, you can get the following benefits:

  • Efficient communication
  • Purchasing experience
  • Quality check
  • Automated system
  • Quick process
  • Worldwide fulfillment


8)Union Source

Union Source is among your best agent options when you source from China wholesale websites, especially 1688. When you utilize their services, you can get the benefits: a wide variety of factory-direct products, guaranteed security, and simple purchasing importing. You can also get the following services:

  • Purchase products for you
  • Supplier and quality check
  • Design pictures or custom package
  • Global transport of goods



Cnxtrans is a professional 1688 sourcing agent that will help you import products from 1688 shops. Cnxtrans also serve as Taobao 1688 agent, Alibaba agent, Amazon agent, etc. For this reason, they deal with a broad range of services and products.

This China sourcing agent can also do 1688 shipping from over 200 countries. At the same time, they will also free houseware storage and packaging services that you can utilize if you source from multiple suppliers. Moreover, you can also get the following services such as:

  • Package labeling
  • Warehouse storage
  • Packaging service
  • Free package consolidation



9. FAQs If You Want to Source From In English

1)Can foreigners buy directly from the 1688 China website?

Yes, foreign buyers are welcome to buy on the 1688 China website. This platform is the best option for foreign buyers and importers who wants to buy products with large MOQ and from Chinese buyers.


2)Are there any perks for foreign buyers to purchase from 1688?

There are many perks that foreign buyers can gain when they buy from the 1688 wholesale website, such as:

  • is China’s largest online wholesale market that offers accessibility and a vast network.
  • Transparent pricing on makes price comparison easy.
  • Many suppliers on provide consistent supply, making reordering simple.


3)What should you say to 1688 suppliers as a first-time source?

The main goal of the 1688 China website is to provide products in the local market. Most suppliers on this platform are native Chinese manufacturers. For this reason, most of them are fluent in Chinese but not English.

If you are a foreign buyer, contact the supplier, you must keep a translating app or an agent with you. In this way, both of you can understand more, especially if you talk things about:

  • Prices
  • 1688 shipping
  • Product specification and characteristics
  • MOQ and negotiation
  • Order details



One of the best China wholesale platforms that buyers all over the world like to use is no other than 1688 China. is the world’s largest online wholesale marketplace, wherein it provides you with all your sourcing needs. It has a broad range of products, a vast supplier base, and even fair prices.

Despite its benefits, it also comes with drawbacks, mainly for overseas buyers, which is the language. 1688 has been programmed to market through the local market; it is why the primary language used in Chinese. You must translate the website into English if you are a foreign buyer.

If you want to source from in English, JustChinait is a China sourcing agent that can help you. We can eliminate the hurdles of going through the process, communication, and risk. Let us understand your needs; we can guarantee we’ll be here every step.

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