By Rieva Lesonsky
Alibaba.com’s Trade Assurance program takes the fear out of global trade. For many small business owners, fear of the unknown is one of the biggest hurdles preventing them from exploring global trade. Placing an order with a company on the other side of the world—especially one you’ve never business with—can leave you tossing and turning at night. Until that shipment arrives, your head will swim with worries:
- Will those millennial pink sweatshirts you ordered turn out to be lavender instead?
- Did the manufacturer accidentally send you 25,000 widgets instead of 2,500 (or vice versa)?
- Will the heart-shaped necklaces you plan to sell for Valentine’s Day arrive on February 15?
Fortunately, there’s a way you can source products internationally and still enjoy a good night’s sleep. Alibaba.com’s Trade Assurance program can help prevent your international sourcing nightmares from coming true.
Here’s a closer look at how the Trade Assurance program works and what it can do for your business.
Trade Assurance is free
Alibaba.com provides Trade Assurance free to buyers to protect them from shipping-related or quality-related disputes. Trade Assurance coverage ensures that your supplier will fulfill their end of the contract, or Alibaba.com will refund you for the covered amount.
As you start your search for a supplier, be sure to click the Trade Assurance filter for your search results. Participating suppliers’ profiles will display the Trade Assurance icon.
Once you’ve found a Trade Assurance supplier whose products you’re interested in, contact them to negotiate an agreement. Make sure you fully understand all details of the agreement before confirming it. You can then place the order just as you normally would.
What if you want to be assured of product quality before your order is even shipped? Trade Assurance offers a pre-shipment Product Inspection Service as an option when you place your order. A random sample of the product will be inspected to make sure it meets your standards before it ever leaves the manufacturer. That saves a lot of time.
Trade Assurance offers three secure ways to pay for your purchase online: e-Checking, credit card (MasterCard or Visa) or telegraphic transfer (TT). You’ll make an initial payment to secure the order, and can negotiate with the supplier to pay the balance upon receipt of the shipment. Once you actually receive the shipment, you let the supplier know and full payment is made. You can even leave feedback for the supplier so other buyers can make a smart choice.
If the quality of the product doesn’t meet the terms of your Trade Assurance agreement, or if the shipment does not arrive on time, handling the problem is simple. Just apply for a refund on Alibaba.com. You can apply for a refund as soon as you’ve made your initial payment, which is good news if a product doesn’t arrive on time. Alibaba.com will refund you for the covered amount.
Sourcing overseas shouldn’t be stressful. With Trade Assurance, you not only have access to a world of suppliers, but also a world of assurance that your transaction will meet your standards.
You can learn more about Trade Assurance in this complete guide.