Exploring the Advantages and Challenges of Using 1688.com for Dropshipping

Why Opt for 1688.com Instead of Alibaba?

1688.com is a platform for Chinese wholesale suppliers, similar to Alibaba.com, but it mainly serves Chinese businesses. The entire site is in Chinese, so using Google Translate or finding someone fluent in Chinese is necessary. One key reason to use 1688.com is that local suppliers often offer lower prices to Chinese businesses than to international buyers on Alibaba.

To get the best price, always compare quotes from Alibaba with those from the same suppliers on 1688.com using a different email address. Investigate any significant price differences.

Is 1688 Cheaper than AliExpress?

Yes, 1688 often provides lower prices than AliExpress as it deals directly with manufacturers and wholesalers, bypassing middlemen. AliExpress prices are typically higher due to advertising costs and intermediary fees.

What is 1688 Dropshipping?

1688 dropshipping involves sourcing products from 1688.com instead of AliExpress. While 1688 offers a wider range of products at lower prices, it requires navigating a Chinese-only platform and managing more complex payment and shipping logistics.

Is 1688 Good for Dropshipping?

Both AliExpress and 1688 have their pros and cons for dropshipping. AliExpress supports multiple languages and international payment methods, making it easier for global dropshippers. In contrast, 1688 requires communication in Chinese and payments via China-based methods, which can be challenging without a local agent.

Advantages and Disadvantages of 1688


  • Wide range of product categories
  • Direct access to manufacturers
  • Lower prices for the same products


  • Language barrier
  • Payment security issues
  • Complicated return process

Choosing a Reliable 1688 Supplier

When selecting a supplier on 1688, consider their communication skills, response time, longevity, pricing, sales performance, customer feedback, return rate, and product descriptions.

Finding the Best 1688 Dropshipping Agent

A 1688 dropshipping agent, such as OpenTopCart, can handle product sourcing, quality inspections, and order fulfillment on your behalf. Look for agents who communicate well, find quality products at lower prices, and work smoothly with Chinese suppliers.

Communicating with 1688 Suppliers

Use simple, direct language when communicating with 1688 suppliers. Google Translate can help, but hiring a sourcing agent or freelancer fluent in Chinese is often more effective.

Paying for Dropshipping on 1688

1688 accepts payments via Alipay, bank transfers, and 1688 purchase funds. You can also use WeChat for payments once you establish trust with a supplier.

Effectively leveraging 1688.com can provide access to a broader range of products at lower prices, though it requires overcoming language and logistical barriers. By utilizing the services of a reliable dropshipping agent like OpenTopCart, you can navigate these challenges more efficiently and enhance your dropshipping business.

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