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How does Exporta Differ from Alibaba?

How does Exporta Differ from Alibaba

In previous articles, we talked about how to find a manufacturer for your product idea and alternatives to Chinese suppliers for U.S. buyers. We’ve provided detailed descriptions of these alternatives ranging from Mexican suppliers to Colombian and Peruvian manufacturers.

Many options exist, but in this article, we outline the key differences in wholesale supplier platforms between Alibaba and Exporta. These differences go beyond regional disparities in key supply chains and pricing differences hosted on the platforms. 


Shopping on Alibaba

At Alibaba, buyers search for their products within a vast sea of similar products. These “off-the-shelf” options provide minimal support for customizations or products tailored to individual business needs. The commoditized nature of this search means buyers must sample from many suppliers and spend extra money and time in this search in order to narrow down “reliable” suppliers and then subsequently, get pricing. 


Shopping on Exporta

By contrast, Exporta Wholesale is an integrated online marketplace that supports buyer preferences through a comprehensive algorithmic process.


We assist our customers by narrowing down the best option for buyer product requests based on our large and vetted network of trusted and reliable suppliers. This search process saves customers the time and trouble of working out whether specific suppliers are good for their products.


The Buyer Journey & Experience

The second key aspect that differentiates Exporta from Alibaba is the buyer journey from sourcing to procurement and delivery.

  • Alibaba
    When buyers search the undifferentiated supply list of potential manufacturing partners, what they will find once they’ve narrowed down on a specific supplier is that they are now responsible for any damages and problems from the supplier once a business arrangement has been transacted. In many cases, buyers have reported that Chinese suppliers on Alibaba’s network flat out disappeared after receiving payment from. U.S. customers. There are three types of supplier scams customers should be wary of when transacting on Alibaba’s network:

    (i) Payment Frauds: This type of scam has been on the rise in the last few years. The principle is simple. The scammer gains access to the supplier’s email account and determines which orders are about to be paid. This is easy as they can monitor email communication and wait for the next purchase order to come in.1

(ii) Sending the wrong or low-quality products: While quality issues are normally caused by misunderstandings and a genuine lack of attention to detail, some suppliers try to screw their buyer’s over by sending cheaper or defective items instead of what they actually paid for. Instead of making the product according to specification, the factory purchase cheap and substandard materials, hoping that the buyer will not notice. The purpose is to increase their profit margin, while still charging the customer a premium for a higher quality standard.

(iii) Rouge employee subcontracting: You email your supplier to tell them that you are ready to place an order. The sales rep on the other end issues the invoice. However, the payment goes either directly to them, or a completely different factory. The purpose of this scam is to subcontract your orders to a factory that either offers a lower cost, enabling the sales rep to pocket the difference or pays a higher kickback. Either way, you don’t get what you’re paying for.

  • Exporta
    At Exporta, our approach to solving these issues entails high-quality customer services and legal cover that protects buyers from fraud. We vet each individual supplier on our wholesale supply platform to ensure the high quality of materials being purchased remains constant throughout the life of the supplier/buyer relationship. Furthermore, our Product Marketing and Sales teams are available around the clock to assist you in negotiating special terms and conditions relating to fulfillment and delivery so that you can be sure your product specifications are met on a reliable timetable. 


Payment & Trust

The final key difference between Alibaba and Exporta relates to their respective payment mechanisms. Alibaba has a big trust problem on its platform with customers who purchase products online. To solve problems related to third-party sellers swindling U.S. buyers, Alibaba decided to coordinate its own internal payment system with Alipay. Established in 2004, Alipay is a third-party online and mobile payment platform. To address the lack of trust between buyers and sellers, Alipay acts as a third-party escrow system. Buyers pay into an account, the product purchased is verified, and then the seller is credited. One of the issues with this system of record is that Alibaba monitors and tracks transactions and personal information on its platform in order to monetize this data to third-party advertisers. Additionally, Alipay represents a large and growing revenue stream for Alibaba, as they provide expensive financing for U.S. buyers who want to use merchant cash advances in order to finance their inventory and parts.

Exporta’s process for handling payments and inventory is different. We monitor the platform for behavior and transactions that meet our code of conduct and standards of safety. We do not collect and sell personally identifiable information to third-party advertisers for our personal gain. Payments are secured over a trusted independent network that provides no additional revenue for Exporta, thereby eliminating the possibility of providing rogue incentives to the company. 

When it comes to differences between the general search process and tailored options recommended for your product; differences between the buyer journey and responsibility held by the customers for fraud; and differences between payment mechanisms that promote internal profit vs. external customer trust, Exporta Wholesale comes out ahead as the supplier platform of choice for U.S. buyers.


About Exporta Technologies

Exporta Wholesale is the largest marketplace connecting suppliers in Latin America with buyers in North America. Today, we have a network of over 5,000 Latin American suppliers serving a variety of consumer goods and product categories in the United States. 


Exporta’s marketplace offers buyers a full-service experience in the origination, sourcing, and managing of products. The platform was founded on the idea that curation and service are the most important elements in the buyer’s journey. Exporta’s marketplace is building technology that addresses the pains of sourcing products internationally at attractive prices.















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