All that I do all day is work on brand strategy, positioning, and product development and sourcing for companies in a number of spaces. I recently made the switch to a relatively new sourcing platform, and today I review my experience of sourcing products from Alibaba vs Pietra Studios.
Watch my TikTok short on the pros and cons of Alibaba vs Pietra below, or scroll to read the expanded version now:
Why Switch to Another Platform?
If you’re frustrated or confused with Alibaba – which makes complete sense because it’s a hard platform to sink your teeth into and learn – then I’ve got just the platform for you!
Switching to another sourcing platform will save you a ton of time when making your own product, whether it’s cosmetics, fashion, shoes, jewelry, or accessories. It may also save you money because locally-based suppliers will cost you much less in shipping.
In addition to this, having access to a wide and varied vendor base means your products can be just as varied.
Let’s break it down.
How Alibaba Works
Alibaba Group Holding Limited (also known as Alibaba) is a Chinese company founded in 1999 in Hangzhou, China. The multinational technology giant specializes in e-commerce, internet, retail, and technology through its vendor platform.
Pros of Using the Alibaba Platform
A wholesale marketplace for buyers who purchase in bulk at discounted prices, the Alibaba system enables two-way communication between buyers and sellers to:
- negotiate pricing and quantities
- and create customized products
Alibaba is not your usual business-to-consumer brand. The platform is set up in such a way as to encourage suppliers to sell their products in bulk at wholesale prices. The end goal is that small or medium-sized businesses worldwide are able to buy from Alibaba and resell at a significant profit in their brand’s domestic markets.
Cons of Using the Alibaba Platform
While you can find tons of good products and factories on Alibaba, it takes some hunting. It also takes a bunch of communication back and forth across different language barriers, etc.
At the end of the day, a lot of what you’re doing is just going to be vetting multiple factories to get to the one that works for you. Unless you have quite a few days to do this, consider switching to another platform if you can find the same quality and range of products.
Alibaba Dropshipping: How To Safely Buy From Alibaba (2023)
How Pietra Works
Pietra has a ton of factories on their platform – more than you’ll ever need – inside all these different categories. They’ve added factories and suppliers to categories because they’ve clearly already had a conversation with the vendors inside these categories and know what brands these vendors have worked with.
Co-founded by Jaden Levitt, Pan Pan, and Ronak Trivedi (ex-CEO of Uber) in 2019, the platform’s goals are to lower the entry barriers for creators and entrepreneurs, while offering a dynamic marketplace for exciting new vendors and brands. The fact that listed factories and suppliers have agreed to communicate well and engage on the platform is huge news for creators, firmly establishing Pietra Studios as a trusted source.
Pros of Using the Pietra Platform
Unlike Alibaba, Pietra Studios has already vetted and verified suppliers. Going back and forth to the factories just to find ones that are decent is a time-consuming activity on Alibaba. Instead, go to Pietra and find decent ones that are already there.
Pietra also offers a premium tier, which I definitely take advantage of. You’ll pay a little more per month, but then you’ll also get actual, hands-on, dedicated help from specialists. This is super-useful when you’re just starting out, but also if you have a bunch of projects going on at the same time.
The other huge benefit is that Pietra also does fulfillment. They’ll hold your product – and ship it out for you – directly from your e-commerce store, which links to your Shopify. As a startup creator, this offers you a distinct advantage because you no longer have to deal with those logistics.
Most importantly, it’s also a sane, modern user experience where:
- things look good and the site is aesthetically pleasing
- menus are easy to navigate
- it’s easy to communicate with the vetted suppliers
- and you’re not having to deal with all the cultural differences compared to working with Alibaba.
Cons of Using the Pietra Platform
Ironically, I couldn’t find any as at the time of writing this! Check back in another day for an update to this section. 😁
So, if you’ve found yourself feeling fed up or stagnated on Alibaba, consider a switch. Starting a product – whether you’re a creator or an entrepreneur? I would definitely recommend using Pietra Studios!
The platforms going to really save you time, solve some of those steps for you, and cut out the frustration of going and hunting things down the more complicated way on Alibaba.
Pietra Studios: Buy (or sell) your products on Pietra’s Creator Marketplace now
Catch the Builders.Build podcast with my best friends, Colin and James, to discover more about our individual TikTok perspectives and entrepreneurial journeys across brands, products, websites, and more.
Thank you for reading about sourcing your products from Alibaba vs Pietra Studios!
If you found this content insightful and helpful, please be sure to like and share this article with your circle. Also, make sure to subscribe to the newsletter for more product development tips!
There’s never been a better time to start your own brand than right now. Browse the Product World library for more guides, expert tips, resources, factory links, and brand insight now.
FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Be sure to share your thoughts and ideas with me everywhere you see my personal brand displayed: @OrenMeetsWorld. You’ll find references to over a million links to my creator content on:
- and Twitter…
- all in a simple Google search.
NEWSLETTERS YOU SHOULD BE READING
NanoFlips – Learn the art of buying, growing, and selling websites with James Camp:
Free Smoke – A Cannabis business newsletter by Colin Landforce:
Join thousands of happy readers already on my Product People newsletter when you subscribe. I’d be excited to have you in the community!