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On the popular Alibaba wholesale supplies website, you can find everything from fashion and electronics to tools, homewares and much more. It’s a cost-effective option for business supplies, especially when you order in bulk.
But is Alibaba safe? In this handy guide, we’ll look at the Alibaba Trade Assurance service and how it works to protect buyers and sellers. This includes payment protection and customer support, just in case anything does go wrong with a transaction.
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Trade Assurance is a service offered by Alibaba to offer buyers peace of mind and protection when making purchases on its global platform. It’s free, and you don’t need any kind of premium plan to access it as a buyer.
Here’s how Alibaba Trade Assurance works. Provided you buy from a seller who is signed up to the Alibaba Trade Assurance service, you’ll have support from the platform if anything goes wrong with your order.
|For example, if it arrives later than you and the supplier agreed (or not at all), or the quality of the products ordered doesn’t meet your expectations. This protection lasts for up to 30 days¹ after receiving your order.
You must also make sure you pay for your order using the Alibaba secure payment platform. If you pay suppliers through a third party or offline, your payment won’t be protected by Trade Assurance.
It’s important to remember that Trade Assurance protection only kicks in if the shipping date or quality of an order varies from the contract with your supplier. This makes it especially important to check the details of your contract and order very carefully before going ahead.
If you pay for your order through the Alibaba Secure Payment platform², your money will be protected by the Trade Assurance service. The Secure Payment service is powered by Alipay, one of the largest online payment service providers in China.
When you pay your initial deposit or balance for your order, the money is held by Alibaba - which acts as a middleman between buyer and seller. This is known as an escrow system.
Only when both the buyer and the seller verify that the transaction is complete - and the buyer is happy with the delivery and quality of the order - will the funds be released to the supplier. This means that if you’re not happy, Alibaba can reimburse you quickly and without having to chase up the seller for your refund.
Trade Assurance protection isn’t automatic at Alibaba. Whether or not you’re covered all depends on who you buy from and how you pay for your order.
To make sure you’re protected, follow these steps:
1. Search for Alibaba wholesale sellers offering the Trade Assurance service - look for the Trade Assurance icon on the seller’s product listing pages, or simply ask the seller if they’re signed up to the service. Always double-check a seller offers Trade Assurance before confirming the order or sending over any payment.
2. Place your order and pay using the Alibaba Secure Payment platform - you’ll have a choice of payment methods, including credit or debit card and bank transfer. Take a look at our guide to the best ways to pay Alibaba suppliers. Remember, you can’t pay in any other way and still be covered by Trade Assurance.
3. Keep all your communications with the supplier within the Alibaba Message Centre - otherwise, you may not qualify for Trade Assurance protection.
If you have any issues with your order, raise a dispute with Alibaba as soon as possible. Remember that Trade Assurance protection only lasts for 30 days after receiving your order. The platform will investigate your claim, mediate between you and the supplier and find a resolution to your claim. If appropriate, they’ll give you a refund.
Use Wise for a cheaper way to pay Alibaba suppliers - and you’ll still get Trade Assurance protection
Alibaba is a global marketplace, with suppliers all over the world. This means it’s likely that at some point, you’ll need to pay a seller in another country.
While there are a lot of payment solutions out there, Wise International payment is one of the cheapest and most global that is tailored to paying vendors and suppliers abroad.
With a Wise account, you can pay for orders in any currency using your linked Wise debit Mastercard, or an international bank transfer. You can still go through the Alibaba Secure Payment platform and qualify for Trade Assurance protection, as the system accepts debit/credit cards and bank transfers.
But the main advantage of using Wise is the cheap payment cost - up to 19x cheaper than PayPal. Even better, you’ll get the real, mid-market exchange rate on all transactions, with no expensive mark-up on top.
So, that’s the Alibaba Trade Assurance service in a nutshell. We’ve covered how it works, what’s covered, and how to raise a dispute if you need to.
You’ll need to make sure you choose the right seller and pay using Alibaba’s online platform to qualify for Trade Assurance, but meet the conditions and you’ll benefit from complete peace of mind.
It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter any problems when ordering from Alibaba, but it’s really good to know there’s a safety net just in case.
Sources used for this article:
Sources checked on 18-May-2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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