By Rieva Lesonsky


March Expo starts tomorrow (Monday, March 5th) on Alibaba.com and the Alibaba.com mobile app. The month-long sale is a great time for SMEs to discover new products, meet new partners and suppliers (over 58,000 have already registered to participate) and explore opportunities to grow their businesses. To further encourage and empower businesses to trade globally, Alibaba.com is offering promotions, deals and discounts on several services to participating SMEs.

In addition to introducing SMEs to some of the best-established Chinese brands, the “Malaysian Pavilion” will debut during March Expo. There will be a regional section on Alibaba.com featuring “a wide range of food, rubber and household products” from Malaysia. Plus, the Malaysian Pavilion is offering a 5% discount on your first order, with a down payment of at least $500.

Alibaba.com is also introducing new services during March Expo. These include:

  • Free inspection services for businesses that place an order of more than $3,000, and make an initial payment of $1,000 or more during the Expo
  • Discounts on transaction fees for businesses using a credit card or Alibaba.com’s E-checking for payment
  • A new logistics service “Less than Container Load (LCL) Service” which is ideal for U.S.-based SMEs that may not be able to fill a full container load of products.

Check out the details below.

More on LCL

During March Expo, you can receive 15% off the LCL shipping price for a Trade Assurance order, as long as your supplier completes the LCL order information before July 31. LCL is a sea freight shipping service covering orders from certain Chinese ports to more than 30,000 U.S. zip codes in cities, such as Atlanta, Charleston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Miami, New York/Newark, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle.

To take advantage of the new logistics service you  must place a Trade Assurance order and make your payments through Alibaba.com.

Inspection services

SMEs can also get free inspection services during March Expo. The inspection service is offered on Trade Assurance orders during the check-out process. Once you start the order, you’ll see an option to add inspection to your order. Normally, inspection by the China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC), which includes checks on up to 500 products, costs $150. But, if you make a Trade Assurance purchase of more than $3,000, and make an initial payment of $1,000 during March Expo, the inspection from CCIC is free. And, there’s no limit to the number of times you can take advantage of these free inspections, as long as you’re placing separate Trade Assurance orders over $3,000 between March 5 and March 21.

The free inspections are only valid from orders placed from Chinese-based Gold Suppliers.

Transaction services

Alibaba.com is also introducing a new T/T transaction service during March Expo. This service allows buyers making Trade Assurance orders to make initial payments into a U.S.-based Citibank account. Previously Trade Assurance orders were processed through a Hong Kong-based Citibank account. This will speed up processing time to 2 to 3 days from 3 to 7 days. It will also reduce fees, on average, by $15.

As a special March Expo promotion, processing time will be 1 day, and transaction fees will be as low as $0.1.

The action starts tomorrow—Monday. Hopefully, you’ve created a plan and are prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities March Expo is bringing your way.

You can also keep up with the action on social media by following @AlibabaTalk and the #DiscoverNewMarch hashtag.