A current guide to buying alibaba.com products that are ready to ship

Alibaba.com JULY 14, 202115 MIN READ
A current guide to buying alibaba.com products that are ready to ship

As you make your way around the Alibaba.com marketplace, you’ll quickly find that certain products are labeled “Ready to Ship”. If you have specific sourcing requirements around how quickly you need the goods or how you intend to pay, knowing what this label means will be important.

Alibaba.com is the world’s largest international B2B platform because of the sheer number of suppliers and product options available on the platform. That means, on an average product search, you’ll find anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of results – with various shipping options.

How do you cut through the results to find those goods that are Ready to Ship? What makes a product qualify as Ready to Ship, and what will buying from this category mean for you and your business? You’ll learn all this and more in this extensive guide to Ready to Ship products.

What are Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com?

When a product is tagged “Ready to Ship”, it means that the product is currently available in the required specifications and can ship almost immediately. Essentially, it is the equivalent of purchasing goods from a B2C store in terms of how quickly you can receive the goods. As a result, Ready to Ship goods are also referred to as “stock” or “as-is” goods because what you see is available to be purchased immediately.

Due to the size of its platform, buyers are often confronted with tons of choices when sourcing products from Alibaba suppliers. Usually, there are various specifications around these products regarding shipment, product quality, shipping costs, production times, payment methods, and more. Buyers typically need to contact the supplier to address these specifications and identify if those specs meet their sourcing needs.

Alibaba.com provided the Ready to Ship label to help buyers immediately clarify some of these specifications without contacting the seller. Wherever you see this label on a product, it means the product fits specific established criteria:

  • The product is available for immediate purchase with minor or no customization
  • The shipping fees for the product are certain and shown upfront
  • The price of the product is fixed and non-negotiable
  • The product will leave the supplier’s warehouse within 7-15 days after you place your order

Buyers can quickly make sourcing decisions because they can expect these specifications once a product is labeled “Ready to Ship”.

Compared to Ready to Ship products, most other products on Alibaba.com are “customized” products. With customized products, buyers have extensive latitude to discuss the pricing, quality, quantity, shipping options, payments, and many more specifications around the products. Simply put, you can decide to negotiate with a supplier to create a product entirely from scratch when it concerns customized products.

Features of Ready to Ship products

Apart from the fixed criteria you can expect from Ready to Ship products, these goods also have some typical features.

  • Quantity: Generally, Ready to Ship goods have low minimum order quantity (MOQ) requirements – usually lower than customized products. This is because customized products will typically be required to be purchased in bulk since the manufacturers must make the product almost from scratch.
  • Customization: The degree of customization available with Ready to Ship goods depends on the wholesaler. For some, customization only extends to the colors or sizes you can pick from. But other sellers may go further, including allowing you to place your company logo on the products.
  • Price: Ready to Ship products can cost more per piece than customized goods. This is primarily because of the different quantities you’re likely to order with both categories. In addition, prices for Ready to Ship products are fixed and non-negotiable, meaning what you see is what you pay for. But customized products afford extensive latitude for negotiation, and you may even obtain a discount.
  • Negotiation: Although Ready to Ship products can leave the warehouse almost at once, there may be some room for negotiation. However, keep in mind that the space for negotiation will be much more limited than with customized goods.

Overall, the Ready to Ship label makes product sourcing faster and easier for buyers by helping to clarify product specs. Next up is how to find Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com.

Why buy Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com?

There are several unique benefits to buying Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com. Apart from the fact that purchasing Ready to Ship goods streamlines the whole buying process for you, you can also look forward to the following benefits:

  • Consistency: Since these products are usually mass-produced, you can expect them to be of identical quality. This will especially be the case when you are sourcing all of the products directly from one supplier. But first, be sure to read the product description to ensure the applicable specs are to your taste.
  • Secure payment: You must pay for Ready to Ship goods using one of the payment methods provided on Alibaba.com. This helps ensure payment security since you can rest assured that your payment will only be released when you are satisfied with the products. Although Alibaba.com also offers the option of taking payment off the platform for customized goods, this option is not available for Ready to Ship products.
  • Seller verification: All Ready to Ship suppliers must pass the Business Verification process on Alibaba.com before using the label. These sellers have been vetted, and their actual business location confirmed. As a result, you can be confident that you are dealing with a legitimate business, no matter what seller you choose.
  • Speed: Ready to Ship products have an accelerated shipping schedule. This means you get the goods fast, as they are guaranteed to leave the seller’s facility within 15 days. From there, you can expect the goods within the timeline dictated by your shipping method. You can also use Alibaba.com Freight to enjoy a reliable and transparent shipping experience.
  • Trade assurance: All Ready to Ship products come with Alibaba Trade Assurance. This is Alibaba.com’s unique order protection service that guarantees your products ship according to your order. It also protects your payment until the goods arrive at your destination. However, keep in mind that Trade Assurance only applies when you pay through Alibaba.com.
  • Transparency: All products in the Ready to Ship category have their prices fixed and provided upfront. In addition, shipping terms are expressly given in the product description, ensuring that you know what to expect. Since the criteria underlining these products are static in many respects, you have all of the information you need to make sourcing decisions fast.

With the benefits of Ready to Ship products all sorted, let’s turn next to how you can go about finding these products and placing your order.

How to find Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com?

Buying on Alibaba.com presents a slightly different experience from B2C platforms like Amazon, AliExpress, eBay, or Taobao. While the process is designed to be very efficient and streamlined, it also presents plenty of room for buyers to shape their buying experience. Due to this, when you account for chats with the seller about their inventory, delivery times, or escrow options, the process can get lengthier.

Regardless, it is straightforward to find Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com. Follow these four steps to get started:

1. Create an account

While you don’t need to create an account to access Alibaba.com, you must open one before buying any product. If you want to look around first, you can come back to this step later. But it’s often best to get this out of the way early, and here’s how.

On any page within the Alibaba.com platform, look for the “Sign in” or “Join Free” button at the top right corner of the page. Click either button, and you’ll see a prompt to log in or create an account. When you also click the “Start Order” button on any page, you’ll be invited to create an account if you don’t already have one.

You’ll need to provide some basic information to help you get the best out of the platform. This includes your:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Company name
  • Country/region
  • Trade role

You’ll also be asked to create a password. Trade role asks if you intend to operate your account as a “Buyer”, “Seller”, or “Both”. You can pick “Both” if you intend to sell on Alibaba.com at a later stage.

2. Conduct product search

You’ll search for the products you need next. Generally, there are two ways of finding products on Alibaba.com. If you want a broad sampling of products from several buyers, you can post a Request for Quotation (RFQ). The second way is to browse through the general marketplace for the specific product you want. This second method is more relevant here.

You can start a search by visiting the Alibaba.com Ready to Ship page or by using the search field on any page within the platform. The search field works like any search engine. Just type in what you’re looking for – e.g., “ready to ship pants” – and click the “Search” button. You can also use the “Upload Image” button to find products using images you already have.

You can refine the search results in any way you want. Some of the filters you can apply include:

  • Product type and category
  • Price
  • MOQ requirement
  • Supplier type (Alibaba.com has Gold suppliers, Trade Assurance suppliers, and Verified suppliers)
  • Certifications
  • Supplier country/region
  • Past export country/region

You also have the option to remove all search results that are not Ready to Ship by toggling on the “Ready to Ship” button.

3. Select a supplier

All products that are Ready to Ship will be identified with a “Ready to Ship” label. Many products that come under this label will also have “Ready to Ship” in the name and description of the product.

Once you see the tag, you can be sure that the supplier has the goods in stock and can send them to you within days. Suppose you would like to confirm any extra details about the products. In that case, you can contact the supplier using the chat option.

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to do that though since product pages will typically contain all of the information you need to complete a Ready to Ship order. When you scroll down on the product page, you will find extensive information about the product. This includes Quick Details, Packaging & Delivery, Online Customization, Packaging & Shipping, and Ready to Ship details.

4. Place your order

Finally, you’re all set to place an order for the products you want. You can do this by first adding the product to your cart by clicking on the “Add to Cart” button on the right side of the product page. Then click the “Start Order” button on the product page to proceed to checkout.

You have several options for payment, including the following:

  • Credit or debit card
  • Online banking
  • Western Union
  • Wire transfer

5 Tips to buy Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com presents a compelling option for you to find readily available products to help grow your business. While the platform is full of reliable features that will help you find these products, you’ll benefit even more when you know how to use the platform to your advantage. Here are a few tips that can help you with an even better buying experience on Alibaba.com:

1. Sort search results by supplier

Because the platform presents thousands of product choices from the start, you want to quickly find the suppliers or products that make sense for you. An excellent way to do this is to sort your product search results by supplier instead of product.

Search results are usually sorted by product (by default). But suppliers can often have several product results that perform well in the same category, meaning only a few suppliers may dominate the results. To get a broader spread of potential candidates, you can sort the results by supplier.

In addition, applying this tip potentially lets you gain a better perspective of pricing ranges across suppliers. You can then identify what sellers meet your budget right off the bat before delving deeper into the product specs.


2. Fully assess your seller

Once you have decided on a shortlist of sellers with the products you need, you should adequately assess them next. Knowing who you are sourcing from is very important. You want to ensure that your potential seller is trustworthy and reliable, apart from the default assurance that they are legitimate.

A great place to start is to check the supplier’s profile on their storefront. Their profile will provide a lot of information about their company and track record. You can immediately tell what type of company it is, how long they have been selling, where they get their customers from, and other important information.

The supplier’s profile will also indicate the reviews they have received from previous customers. The vast majority of people read online reviews before buying anything?1, and for good reason. User reviews are often the most accurate indication of a supplier’s track record and how their previous transactions have gone. By checking a supplier’s reviews, you can quickly tell if past customers have generally been satisfied with their services.

3. Carefully read the product description

If you’re looking for Ready to Ship products, you likely have urgent sourcing needs. However, your haste should not come at the expense of carefully reading the specifications and descriptions of your chosen products.

Product descriptions contain a lot of vital information about the product, including sizes, prices, shipping, payment, and more. In many cases, once you have read through the product description, you may not need to contact the buyer for any more information. This can potentially save time on your order.

And if you have to ask questions, reading through the product description will help you refine your inquiry.

4. Start with samples

With Ready to Ship products, the buying process can proceed relatively quickly. But if you are not entirely sure that the product you’re considering is the right one for your business, this can put you at a disadvantage. Asking for samples can potentially help avoid this inconvenience, though.

If you intend to make a sizable order, you can start by asking sellers about samples of their products first. While most sellers have MOQ requirements, they also understand that buyers may want to see the product first before ordering hundreds of units. As a result, they are often willing to send a few samples at retail prices.

With the physical product in hand, you can then determine upfront if that option works for you. Although taking the time to order samples will potentially delay your sourcing process, it gives you that extra bit of time to make the best decision for your business.

5. Understand the shipping terms

Finally, pay special attention to the product shipping terms. Since these are expressed clearly from the start, there might be minimal leeway on these terms when you order.

Shipping terms include the shipping methods available (air freight or ocean freight) and the actual shipping arrangement. These may be CIF, EXW, or FOB. CIF presents the least expense as it means the seller pays for land transportation to the port and freight to your destination. EXW is potentially the most expensive for you as it means you will have to pay for the entire shipping process. FOB splits the shipping process between buyer and seller. You can read more about these shipping terms here.

Be certain that you clearly understand what the seller is offering, as any misunderstanding can delay your order or increase your shipping costs. Clarify any details that seem unclear with the seller so your buying process can proceed even smoother.

Buying and selling on Alibaba.com

Buying Ready to Ship products on Alibaba.com is easy and seamless. With the strict criteria that these products must meet, you can be confident that your order will quickly be on its way to you. Thanks to Alibaba.com’s Trade Assurance program, you are also assured that your order will arrive safely and on schedule.

And suppose you are looking to add these products to your manufacturing process for later sale. In that case, Alibaba.com provides the largest buyer market you can find. With your flexible Alibaba.com account, you can operate as both buyer and seller. This allows you to access the readily available buyer-demand on the platform and grow your business sustainably.

Are you looking to start sourcing international buyers for your business? Start selling on Alibaba.com today.


1. https://www.bryancaplan.com/blog-posts/top-30-online-review-statistics-2018