This time, I am taking the time to introduce a slightly controversial topic. That is, the world of Chinese manufacture and e-commerce for art & construction. I know not everyone is a fan of stuff that is ‘made in China’, but this kind of thinking can turn out rather narrow minded. While supporting local is something well worth supporting, it is not a realistic objective at all times. And when it comes to look for international suppliers, it’s better to make your choices wisely. Finding manufacturers that you can really trust and get connected with has become increasingly easy with well designed e-commerce shopping platforms. One that has definitely caught our attention for the Chinese market has been AliExpress! That’s why we are taking this time to introduce to you something that is dear in our hearts, even though most of the sellers are not suitable for our mindful purposes. But it’s always a quest to find the very seeds, that bring about great things in the construction of life.
Important notice for readers! – See AliExpress in English to get to grabs with the shopping site in your own language!
AliExpress or Aliexpress.com is a worldwide retail marketplace that serves customers across the globe, especially in countries like the US, Russia, and Brazil. Aliexpress.com allows consumers from all over the planet to directly purchase a wide variety of items, including but not excluding construction and art related products. They are from manufacturers and wholesalers, mostly based in China, at reasonable and discounted prices. The company is a global leader in the wholesale business-to-consumer marketplace and is managed and operated by the Alibaba Group.
The Alibaba Group
The Alibaba Group Holding Limited is one of the biggest group companies in China with a network that is spread across 240 nations. The e-commerce giant offers C2C, B2C, and B2B sales services through web or internet portals. Other additional services include data-based cloud computing, search engine for shopping, and e-payment. In 1999, Jack Ma launched the B2B website Alibaba.com for connecting Chinese manufacturers and international buyers; this was the beginning of the group.
Alibaba offered its IPO in September 2014 and raised $25 billion, thereby making it the biggest IPO ever. After the IPO, market value of Alibaba was estimated to be $231 billion.
The Story of Aliexpress.com
Aliexpress.com was started by the Alibaba Group in 2010 after it realized the potential and importance of wholesale business-to-consumer marketplaces. It is currently a dependable online shopping community where customers can easily buy high-quality Chinese products at competitive wholesale prices.
From the time it was launched, nearly 4 million suppliers and buyers from across the globe have registered at Aliexpress.com; it is ample proof of the satisfaction levels of the elite customer and the trustworthy online services provided by the company. The website is now available in English.
AliExpress has been one of the most rapidly growing businesses in the Alibaba Group. And not just in the art & construction category, but in total the sales of the company have recorded an average growth of 300 percent every year. In the 12 months before June 2014, it generated cross-border sales of $4.5 billion. Also, since inception, Aliexpress.com has traded a total of $81.6 billion worth of goods till June 2014.
AliExpress earns by charging sellers on the portal for marketing services as well as by taking a 5 percent commission on all sales. This has resulted in huge earnings over the years. The revenue nearly doubled from $29 million to $58 million by June 2014.
Some of the salient features of Aliexpress.com are listed below:
- Customers can order products of any number and purchase even one product at wholesale prices.
AliExpress has put more emphasis on medium and small entrepreneurs. It is a huge employer and has about 24,000 workers in different cities of China, UK, Japan, India, US, and Korea.
- The ‘Buyer Protection’ feature along with express delivery ensures that sellers only get paid after customers have received the products in a timely fashion and are fully satisfied with it.
- Aliexpress.com offers nearly 6000 types of different products in 44 varied categories, including home, apparel, computers, shoes, electronics, toys, automotive, bags & luggage, jewelry, and lights, etc. Each product comes with specifications, overview, pictures, and other detailed information that helps customers make the correct choice before placing an order.
- AliExpress bought a 25 percent stake in One97-owned Paytm and thus entered the e-commerce marketplace in India.
- Aliexpress.com offers shipping to 220 overseas nations as well as translation into eighty languages, including English, French, German, Spanish & Italian.