As for reaching Toy Manufacturers, Alibaba.com should be the most convenient and reliable wholesale website in China. With the super wide products selection and professional services, it becomes very famous in the international trade business world. To say the least, 80% of overseas merchants know and source on Alibaba.
However, if you are a business newbie, you may not know how to find the most suitable toy manufacturers and how to safely buy on Alibaba. In this article, I’m gonna show you how to Wholesale China Toys From Alibaba step by step. Continue reading and use the links below to jump to a specific section.
1. What is Alibaba?
Alibaba is a large B2B wholesale website supplying multiple commodities with huge product categories selection, and it serves like an online fair platform linking overseas buyers and Chinese suppliers. (Now Alibaba has suppliers from other countries.)
Different from Amazon, a B2C e-commerce site, Alibaba aims to help buyers to seek desirable suppliers in a quick and trusted way. Meanwhile, it provides a good channel for small-to-medium toy manufacturers to sell abroad.
2. How to Find Right Toy Manufacturers on Alibaba?
2.1 How to Search for Toys on Alibaba?
Before contacting suppliers, firstly you need to find out the toys you want. Mainly, there are 3 ways to source,
2.1.1 Keyword Search
Prior to searching, kindly prepare 2-3 keywords for each toy in case there are not enough results pop up with only one keyword. Put your keyword into the search box, then thousands of results would show up.
2.1.2 Image Search
There are various kinds of toys in one category. Usually, it’s not easy to tell the exact toy name. So I would strongly recommend image search if you already have the pictures. Use the camera icon on the right of search box and upload the picture, then lots of similar toys would emerge.
2.1.3 Search From Categories
I would suggest you to start from looking at toy categories if you don’t have any ideas in mind. Alibaba has a wide selection of toys with complete categories displayed. You could directly explore the “Toys & Hobbies” category and decide what to buy.
2.2 Types of Toy Suppliers on Alibaba.
When seeing an interested toy, you could click the picture and enter into the product page. In this page, it’s easy to find product details, company profile and transactions, ect information. According to different annual membership fee, Alibaba divides the suppliers into Gold Supplier and Verified Supplier.
2.2.1 Gold Supplier
Gold suppliers are paid members on Alibaba with an annual fee at RMB 29,800. Any eligible companies with Chinese business license, no matter how their size and annual values, are able to become a gold supplier on Alibaba as long as they pay the membership fee.
It doesn’t mean that all gold suppliers have small company size and lower annual export value. For instance, some big companies tend to use Alibaba as a displaying platform instead of obtaining customers. In this case, they will choose Gold Supplier plan to reduce cost.
2.2.2 Verified Supplier
Compared to Gold Supplier, there are much more restrictions to be a member of Verified Supplier. First of all, a verified supplier should be verified onsite by world-leading inspection company, such as Tuv Rheinland. Secondly, they need to provide company videos and factory inspection reports by SGS.
Moreover, only the company whose annual value over 500 thousand dollars can apply to be a member of Verified Supplier. Lastly, the membership fee is more expensive, at a rate of RMB 80,000 per year.
Therefore, we could esteem Verified Suppliers as powerful companies. They are capable to pay high promotional ads fee on Alibaba. So it’s not hard to find the majority of suppliers on Alibaba first search page are verified suppliers.
2.3 How to Distinguish Toy Manufacturers
From “company overview” section, we can check the business type info. Normally, you would see 3 types info, Trading Company, Manufacturer and Trading Company & Manufacturer. The former 2 types are understandable, but the last one may confuse you.
Generally, Trading Company & Manufacturer means this company has its own trading company and factory both. It could be a truth. However, you can also understand in this way, this is a trading company that has very close cooperative relationship with factories.
Now that we cannot confirm whether it’s a manufacturer or trading company based on its business type info, how can we distinguish? The easiest way to identify a toy manufacturer is to check its categories.
Take this company as an example, in normal, a factory cannot manufacture plush toys and plastic toys at the same time due to the limit of production lines. So this should be a trading company who is cooperating with factories.
Actually, a large part of Alibaba suppliers are trading companies. Hence there is no point to get hung up with the business types. Kindly focus more on services and goods quality especially if you are new in toy business.
2.4 Create Alibaba RFQ to Connect Toy Manufacturers
RFQ means “Request for Quotation”, a very useful tool when you feel difficult or lost to find out suitable suppliers. With its help, you only need to sit and wait the supplier quotations. Here are 3 steps to submit a RFQ,
Step #1: Go to Alibaba RFQ Page
Step #2: Fill Out the Required Info With Red Marks (*).
Step #3: Submit the RFQ and Wait Quotations.
Normally, you would receive quotations within one hour. Make complete comparison between the offers and select 3 suppliers for further communication.
3. How to Negotiate with Toy Suppliers on Alibaba?
3.1 Contact Suppliers
Mainly, there are 4 ways to make contact with the supplier,
- Send Message. Scroll down to the bottom of product page or click Contact Supplier button, then you will see the message box. For the purpose of saving time to make effective communication, I would suggest you send detailed message with specific requirements. Here is a template for your reference,
Hi (Toy Manufacturers Name),
I’m Maggie (Your Name), a senior buyer at Maple Eye Toys (Your Company Name). We’re interested in the toys you are offering.
Could you please advise MOQ, prices, leading time and packing information of following items?
List the items No…..
Moreover, if I want to customize the package with our own logo, how can I proceed?
Appreciate for your quick reply.
Maggie (Your Name)
Note that for the first contact, the message should not be too long or too short. Write your points in a concise and professional way.
- Use “Chat Now”. Above the company name, you could see the “Chat Now” icon. It acts like a live chat which can quickly and directly communicate with the toy manufacturers.
- Use social apps, WeChat/WhatsApp/Skype. Almost every Chinese has a WeChat account and every foreign trade sale has a WhatsApp account. You could connect the toy manufacturers with these apps to make easier communication.
3.2 Negotiate Price With Toy Manufacturers
Before negotiating, make sure that you have made full comparison of all the quotes got from suppliers. After that, then choose the most satisfying toy manufacturers for further negotiation.
Normally, there is no much room for price bargain if you only buy a few cartons. The price negotiation is usually based on big quantity, for a normal size toy, at least 500pcs. When the prices are much higher than your expectation, ask the supplier why expensive.
After knowing the reasons, you could ask the supplier if possible to lower a bit quality, use cheaper material or cheaper color box, etc. There are many tactics that your supplier can help to lower the price.
However, do remember not to lower much quality or use harmful material in order to reach your target prices. The goods quality is the foundation to expand your market. Do not destroy it. Keep the quality at a reasonable level.
3.3 Negotiate MOQ With Toy Manufacturers
Good news is that currently Alibaba is encouraging their suppliers to support lower MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). In the past, Alibaba suppliers were asking MOQ at $10000. Nowadays, with the rise of B2C platforms, like Amazon & eBay, Alibaba begins to change its way to support small quantity wholesale.
Therefore, do not hesitate to switch to another supplier if the supplier you are contacting doesn’t support low MOQ. There are great number of suppliers available on Alibaba so don’t worry you can’t find a suitable one.
4. How to Buy Toys Wholesale From Alibaba?
4.1 Can I Buy From Alibaba Without a Company?
Yes, you don’t have to set up a company to buy from Alibaba if only purchasing small quantity and shipping them by air. However, in some countries, if you plan to buy bulk toys and use ocean shipping, you must have the import business license. Therefore, learn the policy of your country first before toys import.
4.2 Can I Buy From Alibaba and Sell on Amazon?
Yes, it’s common seen that overseas importers buy toys from Alibaba suppliers and sell them through Alibaba FBA. But if you are doing drop shipping, I would recommend AliExpress instead of Alibaba since Alibaba is a bulk wholesale platform whose MOQ is at least 1 carton.
4.3 Can I Buy a Single Toy From Alibaba?
Yes, but it depends on the negotiation with your supplier. You are able to buy a single toy if the supplier agrees to send. If you are asking a sample, the suppliers would even be glad to give it away cause they expect the later bulk production. However, for just one piece toy, in a normal situation, the supplier would choose not to reply your message or refuse straightforwardly.
Alibaba is a wholesale platform whose suppliers support bulk quantity. So I would suggest you to buy a single toy from AliExpress.com, a cheap and convenient B2C website.
4.4 Buy Wholesale From Alibaba Toys Manufacturers
4.4.1 Ask Samples Before Bulk Orders
Asking samples is an important step cause it can prevent you from scam. Usually, we cannot identify whether the toys are good or not only based on the pictures and supplier words. Because pictures can be beautiful through Photoshop modification and the supplier will always tell their products are good enough to buy.
The sample shipping fee can be big cost if you use air freight, which hinders buyers from sample request. In general, some suppliers would provide free samples and you bear the shipping cost. To a certain degree, this can help lower your costs.
4.4.2 Confirm and Place Orders
Once all product details confirmed, then it’s the time to confirm your orders. Ahead of placing orders, do not forget to double confirm with the supplier that the bulk goods should be exactly same with the samples. If don’t verify, you may receive goods with lower quality than they should be. In the meantime, confirm the delivery time again in order not to delay your schedule.
4.4.3 Pay For Alibaba Toy Manufacturers
Mainly, there are 5 ways to make payment,
- Alibaba Trade Assurance. A great payment method features protecting buyers’ benefits to the most extent, especially for new comers. It serves as a third party who can help deal with the issues between suppliers and buyers. You are able to ask a refund if there is any goods quality or delivery problem.
- Wire Transfer. Usually, for China toy manufacturers, they like to use T/T in advance. That is, 30% payment deposit and 70% payment against bulk production or the B/L. You could consider this kind of payment from the second cooperation with your supplier.
- PayPal. The high commission fee of PayPal is always a headache for toy manufacturers in China. But no one can deny its convenience and safety. This payment method can only apply to small orders below $1000. So it can be a good choice if you are going to place a small order.
- L/C. Letter of credit is issued by your bank who guarantees payment to your supplier’s bank. It is regard as the most trouble payment method in foreign trade business. The overseas bank can always find supplier mistakes based on the agreement and deduct the violation fee from the balance payment. Many suppliers complain about this. So if you are not placing a big order, over $50000, it’s not worth the trouble.
- Western Union. This is a convenient payment method welcomed by suppliers. But do not use it if it’s your first order. It’s easy for you to get scammed cause you cannot ask refund if any problem occurs. Use it with the toy manufacturers who already have close cooperation relationship with you.
5. How Do I Ship Toys From Alibaba?
5.1 Why Is Shipping From Alibaba So Expensive?
On AliExpress.com, you could buy a single toy with very cheap shipping fee. However, notice that the shipping time is usually around 25-30 days cause AliExpress sellers are using e-packet, a very cheap shipping method with very slow transit time. Meanwhile, a single toy doesn’t weight too much, for a normal size toy, below 1KG.
Unlike AliExpress, Alibaba is a B2B wholesale website whose MOQ is at least 1 carton, for normal size toys, weight over 10 KGS. And the e-packet is not available on Alibaba. So the suppliers would send out goods by international express, such as UPS, DHL, FEDEX, which have very expensive shipping fee.
5.2 How Do I Get Cheap Shipping on Alibaba?
Since air shipping fee is not affordable, we could turn to ocean shipping. Note that the minimum goods volume to use ocean shipping is 1 CBM, which means even if the total volume is less than 1 CBM, you’ll still need to pay shipping fee of 1 CBM. And the transit time is about 2-3 times as long as air shipping.
Finding out a good freight forwarder is a critical part during your buying process. With a reliable forwarder help, you could greatly save both time and costs. So how to reach a trusted forwarder?
- Search Online. You could search keywords like, “Shipping Toys From China to (Your Country)”, “Best Freight Forwarder (Your Country)”, etc. Lots of forwarders would spring up and you could check their websites to make contact. Ask prices and make comparisons, I believe you are able to find the right one through hard work.
- Ask Your Supplier to Recommend. Normally, an experienced exporter has its long-term cooperative forwarders, who are offering more competitive prices and better services. Therefore, asking your supplier to help find or recommend would be a good option, especially when you are new in the toy business.
6. Is Alibaba Safe? How Can I Avoid Being Scammed on Alibaba?
Buying from Alibaba toys manufacturers is very safe if you use Alibaba Trade Assurance. The problem is that how to avoid being scammed if you are not using Alibaba Trade Assurance. Here are some tips you could follow,
6.1 Place Big Orders to Verified Supplier
As I mentioned above, behind a verified symbol, it is usually a powerful company. There is very little likelihood of a scam if you order from Verified Supplier. Normally, the supplier would treat you as an honored guest and attach much importance on your order if it’s big. During the whole import process, there is no need to worry cause they would try best to help solve your problems.
6.2 Confirm Samples Before Bulk Order
Likewise, I already mentioned this above. The sample fees can be refunded when you place the bulk order. So do not save the sample fees if you want to import successfully. Besides pre-order samples, it is also necessary for you to request production samples for quality checking especially you are placing customization order.
6.3 Entrust Third Party QC to Inspect Goods
If it’s a custom made order, this could be an essential step cause no one expects receiving goods with defects. Though it would increase your import costs, imagine that you may face great loss with bad quality goods. Search keywords online, like “Best Third Party Inspection Agencies”, it’s easy for you to find out right one.
Thanks for coming with me here. Hope this article can help you find best toy manufacturers from Alibaba. Buying toys wholesale from China could never be easy, which takes lots of time and needs hard work. Anyway, Alibaba is a great platform that can help you save trip costs and easily find good toy suppliers.
Kindly check free toy catalogs in this post and learn how to buy from 1688 in this blog. Also, check this article if you want to know more about China toy factories. Now it’s your turn. Do not hesitate to contact us if there is any question. Kindly leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.