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AliExpress is an online marketplace created by Alibaba.com. On AliExpress, buyers from more than 200 countries and regions order items in bulk or one at a time — all at low wholesale prices. They now feature more than One hundred million products supplied by more than 200,000 Chinese exporters and manufacturers.
Gone are the days when you needed to import something for your business, you had to visit the overseas nation. These days with B2B marketplaces like AliExpress, right from viewing product samples to getting shipped at your location, and everything in between including clarifications about the product intended to be imported, you do it online on the portal.
Coming specifically to AliExpress, this is a vast marketplace featuring products from tens and thousands of small and big manufacturers from China. You get an opportunity to customize the product through the portal by interacting with the supplier.
Irrespective of your current business profile, there is an opportunity to import something that matches your niche by investing a small sum (say Rs.20,000), buying a product, and then selling after doing due diligence on the margin intended. For instance if you are operating a clothe store, consider ordering a bedsheet of 100 pc to start with. The prices reduce dramatically as you increase the quantity (which is the hallmark of wholesale pricing anyway). However, to begin with, it is advisable to order limited quantity even if you end up paying higher price. As you will be importing something that should be unique to your local market, you should be able to makeup with higher retail pricing. You can always scaleup the operation once you learn the nitty-gritty and have good rapport with chosen suppliers going forward.
Those already involved in wholesale/retail of items in apparel, jewelry, home & garden, electronics & accessories and other consumer niches, getting associated with AliExpress may help add/avail new products at better terms to the existing inventory.
While importing for the first time, make sure you adhere to the local legal guidelines like having a trade license or UAM (as in India).