Do You Know The Difference Between Alibaba vs. AliExpress?

If you’re a certified online junkie, you might have probably visited tons of e-commerce platforms. Two of these are Alibaba and AliExpress both owned by the Chinese business magnate Jack Ma. Basically, these websites are portals to millions of products that you can easily purchase online. But do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress? For those who had just heard of these two online services, it’s quite difficult to discern.

Alibaba is the first one to be conceived between the two. It’s a wholesale platform serving traders companies all over the world with bulk orders. Many manufacturers and large quantity resellers benefit from this platform across the world.

On the other hand, AliExpress is the retailing version. It’s a retail online service that allows a reseller or even wholesalers to purchase goods in a small quantity of at least one piece. They can pay for it with the use of the platform’s Buyer Protection service.

Those facts alone are quick determiners of the two platform’s difference. But which do you actually have to use? On this post, we will compare the two sites in terms of service, business model, order placement, risk, and more factors.

do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress?


Do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress? If you’re looking for a supplier that can customize your products for a private label, Alibaba is the way to go. You have the freedom here to send your ideas to the manufacturer and have it delivered upon creation. In AliExpress, meanwhile, the goods are already made and you have no chance of getting it customized for your business.

Of course, there are other differences here that will play a big role in your decision. Both of them can deliver in many countries depending on the supplier of your choice. If you’re in Asia, it might be easier and faster.

Minimum orders

Here’s what I’m talking about earlier. If you want custom-made goods in small quantities, you may not have the chance to avail the service of Alibaba. The items here are sold in relatively higher quantities with minimum orders set by the supplier. It might be the only downside here if you have a small private label to top up with the latest inventory.

Anyway, you can still make use of AliExpress but you will have to ditch the custom-made aspect. The upside here is that the goods are already made and readily available for delivery. No minimum orders and you have the same payment security as Alibaba. So do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress?

Order Placement

In Alibaba, you can submit a quote request with the quantity that you’re planning to buy. You can then select from their list of suppliers or retailers with whom you want the products to be made. After selecting the product and the supplier, you can start contacting the supplier either online or offline. You can use the chat plugin on the Alibaba website or call the supplier through their number.

AliExpress is also easy to use. It’s almost the same with how you’ll order on a shopping site where you can browse for products and potential discounted sales. You can order a piece or a few dozens.

Risk level

Somehow, there are varying risk levels for these two platforms. In Alibaba, you get to secure your goods based on what you ask for. You even have the chance to inspect the goods before delivery. But in the case of AliExpress, you only get the what supplier has to sell. It’s a bargain between getting a smaller quantity of ready-made goods.

Do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress? The good thing here is that both Alibaba and AliExpress are equipped with a secure payment method powered by AliPay, a part of the Alibaba Group. You can have a refund guarantee in case you received a product different from what you initially ordered.

do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress?


Since the number of goods varies in the two platforms, the pricing will also be directly affected. In AliExpress, you place an order and you see the final cost of the product and the shipping fee. You get to pay for it immediately and wait for the goods to arrive. Another thing is that you can get the products at factory prices (check out their $5 deals).  When it comes to pricing in Alibaba, you would have to contact the manufacturers first and bargain for your bulk purchases.

Once the amount and weight of the goods are settled, that’s only when you’ll have the price you’ll need to pay. That’s the only hassle here as you can acquire the goods straight from the manufacturer.

Delivery of goods

Of course, custom-made goods would take time to produce. This means that your products make take months to arrive. Your supplier would have to create samples, send it to you, and wait for your confirmation before producing it in bulk. The type of product would also affect the delivery time as assembly should also be factored in.

If you want an instant delivery (will take only days) AliExpress is the good option. The products are already in the inventory of the supplier and ready to be delivered upon the placement of orders.


Buying online has its own share of quality issues. In Alibaba, you get to inspect your requested product before the manufacturer produce it in hefty amounts, thus a higher promise of quality. However, you need to have deep knowledge of the product you’re requesting to avoid getting duped.

In the case of AliExpress, ensuring quality could be a tricky game. You have to order and pay before you actually check out the product. In the end, it’s still in your ability to discern quality and dud pieces that will save your money from the wringer.

So do you know the difference between Alibaba vs. AliExpress? These two platforms are golden for retailers and wholesalers alike looking to top up their inventory. It’s also a helpful platform for manufacturers selling their products and services.

Leave a Reply

Do You Know The Difference Between Alibaba vs. AliExpress?

by Ampta time to read: 4 min