International online marketplace guides

Selling on the Alibaba online marketplace

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Selling on the Alibaba online marketplace

Getting started on Alibaba

The Alibaba group are a large Chinese conglomerate with many subsidiaries and sister companies. is a global wholesale marketplace based in China. Sellers and buyers can be based anywhere in the world to trade on have 2 selling options, a free membership and their premium Gold membership. A free membership allows sellers to list up to 50 items for free and they pay no commission. Gold membership brings more benefits such as first to get buyers alerts and it gets verification as a trusted supplier. It's thought buyers tend to look for trusted suppliers and the free membership does not get this verification.

Furthermore, Alibaba is simply a marketplace that connects wholesale sellers and buyers. Transactions are not done through Alibaba but the buyers and sellers contact each other directly to discuss order and payment terms.


Alibaba is a business-to-business (B2B) market place, selling to customers in China and globally.


You can sell on Alibaba if your business is in one or more of the following sectors:

  • Textiles
  • Technology
  • Food and drink
  • Sports
  • Electronics
  • Health and Beauty – all categories

Subscriptions and fees

There are 2 membership options:

  • A free membership allows you to list up to 50 items for free and pay no commission.
  • Gold membership costs 2,999 USD per year. You'll also be charged a percentage commission on your sales. Gold membership also brings benefits such as being the first to get buyer alerts. You'll also get verification as a trusted supplier.

Contact us

Get in touch with our trade advisers who can help you sell on international online marketplaces.


All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page. Scottish Enterprise has compiled these guides using secondary sources and all information was correct at the time or writing.