So many of you must have asked where the best places are to get crafting supplies.  Well, I have some something to share with you.

alibabaIf you enjoy working on craft projects, you may be interested in more resources for purchasing craft supplies. If you don’t happen to have a craft store in your area or are having trouble finding the items you need, you may be interested in ordering craft supplies online like in Artbeads, Joann, Hobby Lobby, Oriental Trading, Amazon and Etsy.

Crafters in Asia may also consider this as a problem because other online craft stores are based in the U.S and sometimes shipment time gets in the way.

Heard About Alibaba?

Also known as Chinese “ebay”, Alibaba is a public company traded on the Hong-Kong stock exchange and is a legitimate sourcing platform aiming at facilitating relationships between buyers and sellers mainly from Asia, exactly like any legit auction site.

Manufacturers can create their company profile and list up to 50 products and buyers can submit their request for proposals (RFP) or request for quote (RFQ) or merely shop for items they want to get.

See what Alibaba offers in their craft supply section here.

If you want to sell your craft supplies, see these steps on how to sell in Alibaba.

Just like other auctions sites, you need to be careful with your transactions. Remember that an auction site like Alibaba is not the seller. “If a transaction goes wrong, the auction site will not refund your money.”

Tips On How To Shop For Your Craft Materials On Alibaba

  1. Compare Prices – This may take most of your online shopping time, but it’s worth it in the end as you can save more.  But keep in mind that just because an item costs less on one site than another does NOT necessarily mean it’s the best deal. You should compare shipping costs and what kind of savings you can get through coupon codes. You can use Google Shopping to compare prices and shipping.
  2. Shipping – Make sure to check the shipping costs first. The low price of the products may not end up being a good deal, if you end up having to pay a lot for shipping and handling. So find the best shipping deal. If an item cost $10 on one site with $5 shipping, but $12 on another site with free shipping, buy the $12 item.
  3. Patience Is A Virtue – If you can wait to buy something, then wait, and bundle as many purchases as you can into one order to save on shipping.
  4. Bulk Shopping – If you know you’re going to use a lot of one item, stock up! Some shops in Alibaba give you a discount on higher quantities.

These are just some basic tips that are useful when shopping in Alibaba. There are lots of other ways to save money and sell your crafts online. These will give you a good start!

How about you? Do you have any experiences in Alibaba? Please share it with us.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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