Should I pay Alibaba $6,000/year to find oversea buyers? Does it work?

Dear Everybody,

My name is Tien, a 34 woman with 2 children. I live in Dist.7, HCMC, Vietnam. I just want to set up a small business, distributing some natural soaps, coconut oil for a manufacturing company. I chose these products as they are good, natural, healthy and also cheap. I really like them and I do not have to invest a lot of money. I set up the fanpage and will make the website to introduce my products to sell online as the first step. Honestly speaking, I am confused and fluctuated.

It should be better if I can export them to overseas. I think Alibaba may help me find the customers. However, the cost is really high for me. I am not sure if it can work.
Is anybody familiar with Alibaba? could you please give me an advice. Are there any cheaper ways to approach oversea customers?
Are there any special legal restrictions on importing these natural soaps in your countries? I would be grateful if you can give me some ideas.

Many thanks,
Tien Nguyen


You have got your priorities all mixed up. This is certainly not the way to go about your marketing for a start up. No, spending $$$ on AliBaba does not make sense. In fact you should not spend any money initially on online marketing at all.

Think long term marketing, not immediate selling! There are restrictions & tax variations that differ from country to country. You should be able to hand pick your clients & the markets you intend to do business with. It takes comprehensive research, not blind faith. Do not try to shoot in the dark, you'd only end up getting hurt.

What is your production capacity? Are the soaps handmade? Can you supply if there's a bulk demand at a short notice?


Spending that type of money with Alibaba will get you squat, think about what Alibaba means in VN, thief.

Dear Rush,

Thanks for ur advice. I will not pay Alibaba. I will try to find a better way.

Networking is really important. Since you don't have a lot of money to invest, first, make some! Find your customers in Saigon. Post your products on Besides, Europe is a better market for handmade soaps and oils. You should prepare the samples and send them to distributors instead of spending $6k on alibaba.

Can you pls send me the price Coconut oil? One of our foreign buyer is buying that.


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I sent you email already. Could you please check and feedback to me.

got it. Thanks

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