Should you be shopping on Alibaba?
With so much recent hype about Alibaba, you may be wondering if you are missing out by not shopping there.
However, the current Alibaba sales sites may not work for the average consumer. Only Alibaba.com and AliExpress are English language sites. Alibaba.com may be a good choice for companies seeking wholesale products, but it’s entirely impractical for nonbusiness folks.
AliExpress holds more promise, but it still feels like, well, like a foreign shopping experience. For example, search for tablets, and you’ll find unfamiliar brands like Cube, Chuwi and Onda. Then, there are the hundreds of negative reviews from people who have ended up not getting what they expected.
Personally, I’ll stick with Amazon and eBay for now.
The future of Alibaba in America
While the current Alibaba websites leave a lot to be desired for Western shoppers, you may be buying from Alibaba in the future and not even know it.
Forbes reports that 11 Main is owned by Alibaba. Not listed on the Alibaba Group page, 11Main.com says nothing that would make you think it is affiliated with a Chinese firm. In fact, it looks about as down-home American as baseball and apple pie. That all-American vibe is helped by the fact that 11 Main isn’t plagued by the awkward English phrasing that seems to pepper Alibaba.com and AliExpress.
And 11 Main may hold the key to Alibaba’s success in the United States. Rather than expanding its main brand and going head-to-head with retail juggernauts like Amazon, Alibaba may fly under the radar and open a number of niche sites instead.
Regardless of how it’s done, it seems Alibaba has its eye on American dollars and will be moving into the U.S. market in the years to come. Stay tuned.
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