How to Buy from Alibaba and Sell on Amazon

Adam Wilkens


Selling Alibaba products on through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is a strategy that many entrepreneurs and online retailers use to grow their businesses. This comprehensive guide aims to navigate the process from sourcing products on Alibaba to selling them on, incorporating essential strategies for both FBA and FBM models. Learn how to buy from Alibaba and sell on Amazon successfully with our step-by-step guidance.

1. Understanding the Basics:

The journey from Alibaba to Amazon FBA begins with understanding the core concepts of both platforms. Alibaba is a vast wholesale marketplace where businesses can source products directly from manufacturers and suppliers. Amazon's FBA service, on the other hand, allows sellers to store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon takes care of storage, packing, shipping, and customer service for these products. To succeed, sellers must grasp how to buy from Alibaba and sell on Amazon, balancing cost, quality, and demand.

2. Research and Planning:

Before diving into the Alibaba to Amazon FBA process, thorough market research is essential. Identify products that have a high demand on Amazon but face low competition. Utilize Amazon’s tools like the Best Sellers list and Jungle Scout to analyze potential products. Understanding how to sell on Amazon from Alibaba starts with choosing the right product that aligns with your business goals and customer needs.

3. Sourcing Products:

The core of learning how to buy from Alibaba and sell on Amazon lies in finding reliable suppliers. On Alibaba, verify suppliers by checking their certifications, years of operation, and customer reviews. Opt for manufacturers that offer customization options to differentiate your product. Negotiate prices, minimum order quantities, and sample orders to ensure product quality before making a large investment.

4. Calculating Costs and Profits:

An essential step in moving from Alibaba to Amazon FBA is to calculate all associated costs, including manufacturing, shipping, Amazon fees, and any additional charges. Use Amazon’s FBA calculator to estimate potential profits. Understanding these financials upfront can help you price your products competitively while maintaining a healthy profit margin.

5. Creating Your Amazon Seller Account:

To sell on Amazon, create an Amazon Seller Central account. Choose between an Individual or Professional account based on your anticipated sales volume. This account will be your command center for everything from listing products to managing orders and tracking sales.

6. Preparing for FBA:

For sellers choosing the FBA model, preparation involves ensuring that products meet Amazon’s packaging and preparation requirements. This step is crucial in the Alibaba to Amazon FBA journey. Label your products correctly and decide whether to prep them yourself or let Amazon handle it for an additional fee.

7. Shipping to Amazon FBA:

Shipping your products from Alibaba to Amazon’s fulfillment centers requires careful planning. You can ship directly from your supplier to Amazon or first to your location for inspection. Utilize freight forwarders or Amazon-partnered carriers for streamlined logistics. Understanding international shipping regulations and Amazon’s FBA inventory requirements is vital.

8. Creating Product Listings:

A compelling product listing is key to how to sell on Amazon from Alibaba. Use high-quality images and keyword-rich descriptions to highlight your product’s features and benefits. Optimize product listing for Amazon’s search engine to improve visibility and attract potential buyers.

9. Pricing Strategies:

Setting the right price for your products involves considering both competitive pricing and profit margins. Monitor your competition and utilize Amazon’s pricing tools to stay competitive. Remember, a good pricing strategy can significantly impact your sales velocity and ranking on the platform.

10. Launching Your Product:

Launching your product involves a strategic marketing plan. Utilize Amazon’s advertising tools like Sponsored Products to gain visibility. Encourage early customers to leave reviews to build trust and credibility. Social media and email marketing can also drive traffic to your Amazon listings.

11. Managing FBA Inventory:

Effective inventory management is critical in the Alibaba to Amazon FBA model. Use Amazon’s inventory management tools to track stock levels, forecast demand, and avoid stockouts or overstocking. Regularly reviewing your inventory performance can help optimize your stock levels and maintain a healthy sales flow.

12. Opting for FBM as an Alternative:

While FBA offers convenience, Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) might be a viable alternative for some products or situations. In FBM, the seller is responsible for storage, packing, and shipping. This model offers more control over the shipping process and may reduce costs for products with lower turnover rates or higher margins.

13. Navigating Customer Service:

Whether you choose FBA or FBM, excellent customer service is non-negotiable. For FBA sellers, Amazon handles most customer service and returns. FBM sellers, however, must be proactive in addressing customer inquiries, complaints, and returns promptly to maintain positive ratings.

14. Continuous Optimization:

Selling on Amazon is an ongoing process of optimization. Regularly analyze your sales data, customer feedback, and market trends to refine your product offerings, pricing, and marketing strategies. Tools like A/B testing can help optimize product listings and increase conversion.

15. Scaling Your Business:

Once you have established a successful Alibaba to Amazon FBA or FBM business, consider scaling up. Explore expanding your product line, entering new markets, or using additional Amazon services like Amazon Global Selling to reach international customers. Scaling your business requires careful planning and investment but can significantly increase your revenue and market presence. Additionally, consider automating certain aspects of your business, such as restocking and advertising, to improve efficiency and focus on growth strategies. Remember, the key to scaling successfully is maintaining the quality of your products and customer satisfaction. Leveraging Amazon Consulting Services can also provide valuable insights and support as you expand your business.