1688 Dropshipping The Ultimate Guide

As we know, 1688 is China’s most popular B2B and dropshipping website. It is very
similar to Alibaba, AliExpress, and other online marketplaces. Since the number
of online stores has steadily increased, 1688 has focused on improving the
online wholesaling sector.

Finding Chinese suppliers has never been easier than with 1688. Thus, making your first
purchase on 1688 will be an enjoyable and easy process.

1688 is no doubt the most extensive sourcing platform overall. Your specific
requirements and situation will determine the value of purchasing from 1688.
But before you start shopping at 1688, remember a few things. You won’t find
many guides or tutorials created exclusively for 1688 users.

So, how can you use this platform for your benefit? Is it easy to source products
from 1688?

What Is 1688?

1688 began in 1999 as a primary online marketplace. It is China’s most significant domestic wholesale platform regarding net sales after Alibaba.

Alibaba is a relatively well-known Chinese company. Almost all foreign buyers are
familiar with it. But the Alibaba Group—owners of Alibaba and AliExpress—owns
1688 as well.

Before suppliers can sell their items in 1688, they must receive a business license.
Besides, all suppliers need to pay a yearly membership fee. In this case,
members need to pay 6,888 CNY to show their dedication and reliability in the

Through its online sourcing, 1688 links Chinese wholesale buyers and sellers. Here, you can buy various goods, including clothing, accessories, computers, and electronics.

Why Is 1688 So Famous In China?

Not only is 1688 famous, but it is also the most prominent wholesale site in China.

For shoppers seeking an advantage over their competitors, 1688 is the way to
go. This platform is doing so well in China because it offers more items from
better vendors.

1) Offers A Wide Range of Products From Better Suppliers

Due to its unique focus on Chinese clients, 1688 has access to almost all local
suppliers. Many Chinese producers prefer local sales more than the hassle of
dealing with overseas shipping.

2) Provides Lower Costs Compared to Competing Marketplaces

The suppliers you deal with are the ones who make and produce the goods, as
previously stated. 1688 has drawn many businesses to its platform, leading to
intense competition and inexpensive costs.

3) Provides an Extensive Range of Products

1688 offers a much more comprehensive selection of items than Alibaba. If you’re
looking for specific vendors with characteristics you won’t find anywhere else,
1688 is the place for you. So, there is no shortage of vendors willing to work
within your financial plans.

4) Excellent Services for Buyer Security

1688 provides a buyer protection service that lets buyers purchase with peace of mind. To prevent fraudsters and ensure consumer safety, 1688 has implemented many systems. Vendors that disobey the regulations may face consequences and
maybe suspension.

How Is 1688 Different From Alibaba?

While both Alibaba and 1688 attract many online shoppers, they are distinct. 1688 is primarily concerned with the domestic Chinese market. Likewise, Alibaba caters to clients all over the globe. When settling on the best purchasing platform
between the two, keep the following in mind:

1) Target Audience

The majority of Alibaba’s customers live outside China. It aims to appeal to
various demographics and geographic regions worldwide. Alibaba is a good option
for foreign buyers who want to import or purchase items from China.

Conversely, the 1688 platform is only available in the Chinese language. It mainly caters
to Chinese customers and vendors. It is the biggest e-commerce platform and
wholesaler in China for local consumers.

2) Required Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

The majority of Alibaba’s customers are companies that purchase goods in bulk. Most
Alibaba vendors need a $500 minimum order amount or above. Thus, many Alibaba
suppliers have (MOQs) which could be too high. It is especially hard for
individual customers or smaller companies to meet.

For this reason, most drop shippers will not find Alibaba to be a suitable fit. In this case, you can use AliExpress or 1688, two of Alibaba’s sibling sites.

Yet, as 1688 is for local customers, many suppliers deal in lesser volumes. A single
or double unit may be the smallest possible order quantity for some items.

3) Accepted Methods of Payment

It is simpler for buyers from other countries to buy from Alibaba. It’s because of
the many payment choices available. The available options include Alipay and
other international payment methods.

You can pay for anything on Alibaba using VISA, Mastercard, T/T, debit/credit card,
PayPal, Apple Pay, and online bank payment.

For overseas customers without an Alipay account, settling 1688 payments can be complex. The fact that 1688 primarily utilizes Alipay for transactions can be a problem. Its payment options include WeChat and credit cards issued by Chinese banks. Such payment options reflect the business’s focus on the local market.Therefore, if you need to purchase products on 1688, you must have a purchasing agent.they can help you payment to supplier .

4) Language Help

International buyers can communicate with Alibaba suppliers in English. The site is available
in different languages. So far, this platform uses machine translation for
desktop and mobile versions. It can automatically recognize and translate
between Chinese and other languages, including English.

1688 is mainly in Chinese. Thus, it may pose a problem for foreign customers who
don’t understand this language. You may use internet translation programs like
Google Translate to get some help.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using 1688 ?

Let’s weigh crucial factors like the benefits and challenges of buying from this platform. Everyone knows that 1688 is the best option for drop shippers while purchasing. However, we know the adage – a coin holds two sides. Thus, 1688 has some negative aspects too.

You should consider the possible downsides to working with 1688. It can be language difficulties, lesser quality standards, etc.


1) Reasonable Costs

Unlike sites like AliExpress or Alibaba, drop shippers may get cheaper pricing on
1688. Besides, it has a wide selection of items at affordable costs. Customers
searching for a product on 1688 will get hundreds of results. All credit goes
to various manufacturers and factories offering many possibilities.

Directly purchasing items online gives drop shippers more control over pricing and quality. In this way, buyers can expect higher margins.

2) Efficient and Prompt Replies

Responsive customer service is one of 1688’s notable features. You can contact their customer support department to resolve disputes or address any concerns you may
have with your account. This way, you’ll be prepared to handle any problems
that crop up when drop-shipping with ease.

3) Requirements for Minimum Orders Are Low

The minimum order quantity restrictions on 1688 are reduced or non-existent. It is
a benefit compared to Alibaba, where several merchants impose such limitations.
That works well for small-scale online vendors who aren’t flush with cash. They
can see whether their product has potential before committing to buying it.

Thus, drop shippers can buy what they need, whether a small sample or a big batch.
Those with less cash to start a company will find it very helpful.
Additionally, it also helps you check for quality before investing much.

4) Diverse Range of Products

1688 provides a wide variety of goods for different markets and sectors. New
arrivals, top suppliers, and top items are a few categories buyers may peruse.

It helps them locate products that fit their specific market or marketing strategy. It allows drop shippers to test new product categories. They can respond to shifting consumer tastes quickly.

5) Quick and Simple Cost Assessment

You can easily compare rates on 1688 because of its straightforward pricing method. Customers should explore 1688 to understand the product’s actual pricing. The quantity you buy determines the pricing of the product.


1) Constrained Payment Methods

1688 does not currently work with PayPal or most international card payment systems.

International drop shippers may find the available payment options unfamiliar
and inconvenient.

Theoretically, the currency for 1688 is the RMB, or Chinese Yuan. Thus, buyers who don’t have Chinese bank accounts find it difficult to pay on this platform. They may have
to use intermediaries like sourcing agents, trading businesses, etc.

2) Language Issues

There is a linguistic barrier, which is one of the main problems with 1688. Mandar in Chinese was the default language of business for many vendors in 1688. That makes it more challenging to choose the appropriate search phrases. Also, communicating with vendors has become much more complex.

Customers who aren’t fluent in the language must use translation apps. However, exact translations are not always possible. Thus, it might be hard to grasp some
product features and specs.
you can use Google Translate to browse this website

google translate
google translate

3) Shipping Issues

Using 1688 for shipping might be difficult. Buyers may have to hire a shipping agent. Conversely, they can hire a freight forwarder to make international shipment easier. Using a third-party shipping provider may incur extra expenses and lengthen delivery times.

4) Delivery time

It usually takes 1-3 days from the supplier to the 1688 agent‘s warehouse, and then the agent sends your order, so the order processing time usually takes 2-5 days, so for faster delivery, I suggest purchasing some stock at the 1688 agent’s warehouse.

5) Product quality issue

When purchasing goods on 1688, you are likely to encounter quality problems or issues with suppliers sending the wrong goods. At this point, you will need your agent to help solve these problems.

How Does 1688 Dropshipping Work?

You need a 1688 agent to help you complete the purchasing and shipping process; otherwise, it’s impossible for overseas users to do dropshipping business via 1688.

All you need to do is send the product link you found on 1688 to your 1688 agent. They can calculate all the costs. If you think the cost is acceptable, you can start your dropshipping business, and the 1688 agent will send the order to your buyers.

Step 1: Register for a 1688 Account

How to Sign Up for 1688 Account?

1688 page
1688 page

Even though it is hard for foreigners to create a 1688 account, we will help you get started. You can install a Google Translate plugin to simplify the signup process.
First, visit this signup page in 1688. Here is how the web page looks after translating it using the extension:
As you can see, 1688 gives you two choices by default when you’re utilizing multiple devices. For PC users, the registration process will take you to the 1688 computer version. Accessing 1688 from a mobile device will require you to sign up with Taobao. Taobao and 1688 work together since the same company (Alibaba) owns both of them.
There is a personal account option for individuals and a business account option for businesses. You, as a buyer, can select the personal account option. Likewise, businesses and other organizations can go for business accounts.
Now, follow the steps shown in the picture below to register as a member of 1688

Here are the procedures to make your 1688 account:

1) Go to the 1688 website and find the “Create Account” button in the top-right corner of any page.

2) Get your name and telephone number filled out, then create a password and hit the submit button.

How to Sign Up for 1688 Account?
How to Sign Up for 1688 Account?

You shouldn’t be worried if the registration form seems complicated.


登录密码It is the login password.
会员名The username, which is the member's surname, must not have spaces.
密码确认It is the password confirmation field.
手机号码Here you need to enter the phone number after selecting the correct country code.
验证码This field indicates the verification. So, drag the arrow to the right.
创建网站账号的同时,我同意遵守This field says " I agree to abide by the rules when creating a website account."
同意并注册This field says agree and register.

Step 2: Next, Go to 1688 and Look for a Dropshipping Product

1688 offers many items like AliExpress but with more affordable rates. Searching for certain things on 1688 is not too difficult if you have Google Translate. In 1688, you may locate certain items using a variety of methods:

1) Image Search:

Use the 1688 camera icon in the search box to submit your picture. The website will try to find goods that match your image based on size, shape, and design. But you must have an active 1688 account to employ this technique.

2) Use Keywords to Find What You Need:

Type in your search terms and hit the “Go” button. But remember that the only language you may use to search for keywords is Chinese. For those who are not fluent in Chinese, a translation is available. Scroll down until you see a sub-category, then scroll down to explore their offerings.

Step 3 : Send link to your agent

send the link to your agent , let they begin work

How to Order Products from 1688?

As mentioned before, 1688 mainly targets domestic users in China, so it’s challenging for overseas users to place orders. You need a purchasing agent to help you with everything, from payment, receiving goods, to sending the goods to you.

Please put the products you need into an Excel document and send it to us, and we can start working. The document needs to include the product name, SKU, quantity, and link.

how to order 1688
how to order 1688

Need to order from 1688? 

How Can I Find Reliable Suppliers On 1688?

Well, choosing a single provider from several comparable ones may be challenging.
Thankfully, 1688 has search filtering features you may use to avoid confusion.
You need to pay attention to these items from the supplier, it can help you judge the service level of this supplier.
• Business operation time
• Service ratingIs
• it a strong supplier
• Whether or not a deep factory inspection has been conducted

1688 supplier page
1688 supplier page

1) Identify Vendors Who Are “Trustpass Members”

First,1688 has the most straightforward kind of filtering. A 1688 registered seller
with a valid business license can become a Trustpass member. This status
directly relates to the store’s reliability level.

2) Choose Reputable Vendors

Strong merchants often pay much more for membership. They have the “trust pass” symbol. Moreover, their company’s registered capital is at least
500,000 RMB.

In short, it is the next level of trust pass. Suppliers meeting this criteria are
often of high quality, but that’s not always the case!

3) Know the Difference Between an In-Depth Factory Inspection and an In-Depth Quotient

The supplier may request an “In-depth factory inspection” if they are a
manufacturer. Otherwise, they can only ask for an in-depth quotient.

In-depth factory inspection is the best choice. It’s because the manufacturer can ensure the quality of its goods, and the source price is lower than the supplier’s.

4) Pick Your Merchants Based on In-Depth Factory Inspection

Click “Factory Archives” in any “In-depth factory inspection”
merchant to see the company’s size and number of employees. It is ideal if the factory has fifty or more employees. Having additional people is always a plus. Scalability and quality assurance are both enhanced if more people are working.

5) Check Product Images

Suppose the goods are apparel, and the model is constantly changing. Then, you may be concerned that the vendor is stealing the photo, which is untrustworthy.

The more consistent the model, the more trustworthy the supplier.

6) Check the supplier’s service capacity.

The more stars, the better. Each item is scored out of five, the higher the score, the better.

supplier's service capacity
supplier’s service capacity

What Are the Accepted Methods of Payment in 1688?

The payment process is straightforward when using an agent to buy from 1688.
Remember, most 1688 vendors don’t take US dollars, PayPal, bitcoin, or foreign credit cards. At 1688, you have a few options on how to pay.

1) Use Alipay to Pay

The most hassle-free and inexpensive option is Alipay, but you’ll need a bank account in China to use it. Unfortunately, creating a remote or online account with a Chinese bank account is impossible.

2) Make a Payment by Online Transfer

Most vendors will take bank transfers; however, they will only take RMB. Wise can help you transfer RMB to the supplier’s Alipay account. It’s challenging for overseas users to make payments to 1688 sellers in RMB. Even though there are some online methods teaching you how to make payments in RMB, many times they fail.

The best solution is for you to pay the 1688 agent and let them place the order for you.

Why Do You Need Sourcing Agents to Make Purchases at 1688?

A 1688 sourcing agent is an expert who helps companies buy items from this
platform. 1688 agents provide various services to help customers.

Besides ensuring high-quality items from trustworthy vendors, working with an agent may help you save time and money. The following advantages are beneficial while using 1688 sourcing agents:

1) The Agents Are Well-Versed in the Chinese Market

1688 sourcing agents are well-versed in the Chinese industry. They can negotiate
helpful terms with suppliers on your behalf. Sourcing agents can help you
overcome cultural and linguistic obstacles. These issues often arise while
conducting business in China.

2) Logistics Management

Another perk of working with 1688 agents for sourcing is their logistics support. They
can assist with any local or international logistics. In such instances, they
may take care of shipping arrangements, address any concerns that may develop
during shipment, and even manage customs clearance.

3) Assists Buyers in Sidestepping Mistakes

The next benefit of working with an agent is they show you the direction when
importing goods from China. Importing items includes rules and restrictions,
but they can help you understand everything.

4)Save Your Time

You just need to tell the 1688 agent what products you need, and they will communicate with the suppliers to resolve various issues, saving your time.

What Is the Main Role of a 1688 Agent?

While it may be simple to dropship items from 1688, getting into trouble is easy. You should probably team up with a dropshipping agent to get your hands on items from 1688. The agent often mediates between the buyer and seller and provides a broader range of services.

You must find a reliable sourcing agent first. It is the initial step in working
with one. The agent’s job is to locate the best supplier and negotiate the best

When the agents find a reliable vendor, they will buy the quality goods and send them to you. In most circumstances, the amount of the agent’s fee might vary.

During this stage, it is vital to maintain prompt communication. The agent’s fee you need to pay should be transparent. The agent service charge may be expressed as a percentage based on the items’ worth. It can also be described as a flat rate per product.

How to Find Reliable 1688 Sourcing Agents?

Buyers can take many measures to guarantee they work with a trustworthy person while searching for a 1688 sourcing agent. Here are some things to check when looking for a reliable sourcing agent.

1) Ask Around: If you know anybody in your professional or commercial network who has previously worked with 1688 sourcing agents, ask them for a recommendation.

They may know reliable experts in the field and be able to suggest them.
2) Find Them Online: Use search engines to locate 1688 sourcing agents who have received good feedback from previous clients. Also, look at the agent’s history
and website on Made-in-China, Global Sources, or Alibaba.

3) Check Testimonies: You should check the agent’s credentials to ensure they are real and have a valid operating license.

4) Seek Expertise: When searching for a good sourcing agent, you should prioritize finding one with expertise and experience in your business or the items you want to source.

5) Think About the Services Offered: Not all 1688 agents provide just sourcing services. Some may also help with logistics, quality control, and factory

6) Get Samples: Buyers should get samples from the 1688 agent to evaluate the
product’s quality. It will also help you check the agent’s expertise in handling the sourcing process.

How To Dropship From 1688 Via Shopify?

Contact 1688 agent to purchase the product you are selling
1688 agent helps you to check product quality
Send order to your customer

Is 1688 Aliexpress?

no. 1688 is different with aliexpress . aliexpress targets the whole world, while 1688 only targets Chinese domestic buyers.

What is the difference between Alibaba and 1688?

1688 and Alibaba both belong to the Alibaba Group, but they target different markets. Alibaba provides multi-language support for users around the world, while 1688 is a wholesale website in China.mainly serving users in China.


1688 can be a reliable dropship partner. But you’ll have to figure out a method to overcome the fact that 1688 is only available in Chinese and only ships to China. Apart from this, it is a solid choice for drop shippers.

Not only that but dropshipping at 1688 has several advantages, too. It includes inexpensive costs, a low minimum order quantity, and customer support.

Unfortunately, no! 1688 doesn’t provide worldwide delivery options. Thus, it’s not always an easy task. It is essential to contact a 1688 agent who can help you with everything from product purchase to shipment.

1688 provides practically everything that you may discover online. As 1688 mainly acts as a supplier or wholesale site, you may find a range of items at pretty inexpensive costs. If you’re looking for the newest electronics, stop by 1688.

In the same way that AliExpress makes it easy to browse items, this website makes it easy to browse categories by placing them on the far left of the page. So,
whether it’s a piece of industrial equipment or an accessory for fashion, you won’t miss your pick.

The price is even lower than AliExpress, which is the main reason.And the minimum order quantity is not high.

The minimum order quantity (MOQ) on 1688 is often smaller than on other platforms.
That’s mainly because local purchases typically do not entail as much shipping.

The main reason is that international order operations are complex and it is difficult to collect payments.

1688 caters primarily to wholesale and bulk purchasers of various items. When
compared to other sites, 1688 offers things at ridiculously cheap costs.

You can let 1688 agent help you purchase products on 1688 then send to your buyer . There are many benefits to doing this, such as cost reduction, quality checks for you, and fast delivery.

You can use fulfillbot and they can purchase it for you and ship it to the United States

Final Thoughts!

As you can see, 1688 lists various items at affordable rates for local Chinese
buyers. This platform offers opportunities for business owners seeking to enter
the dropshipping field.

Its product collection, low prices, and potential for profit margins can attract
you. Yet, success in 1688 dropshipping needs some serious work. You need to
have an understanding of the market and strong supplier relationships.

Remember, you may face quality control issues, language barriers, and other challenges.

You can overcome them by dealing with a 1688 agent to help with your online
purchases. The agents simplify the dropshipping of 1688 items to customers in
other countries.

Are you looking to start a 1688 dropshipping business but don’t know where to
start? Our easy product-sourcing service lets you discover a vast array of items.

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