When it comes to online commerce platforms, Alibaba is a sleeping giant. While Ebay, Amazon, Kogan and Catch garner lots of local attention, Alibaba has grown to become a retail powerhouse, with around $40B in revenue annually. Like many other retailers, its having a big sale with lots of great deals. The company's current 11:11 Super Week sale outsold Amazon Prime day in just 10 minutes. Here's how to get started with Alibaba and some of the better deals we've spotted.
What's AliBaba All About?
Once I headed over to Alibaba.com, I created a new account where I had to supply my email address. Once that was verified by clicking a link in an email I created my new, strong password and entered some questions about preferred product groups I'd be most interested in s Alibaba could customise what offers I see when I visit the site.
That entire process took just a few minutes and was very straightforward.
Once you're signed up for Alibaba, you're also able to use the same credentials for AliExpress.
Alibaba is mainly about B2B transactions - larger quantities of products being sold to companies looking to onset them. For example, if you're up for 10 Apple Watch lookalikes for US$5.59 each, or some Beats-inspired bluetooth headphones for US$7.62 then this is the place to go.
AliExpress is more consumer focused. For example, you can change the prices to be in Aussie dollars easily and you can purchase single items rather than batches.
Like many shopping sites, we're in the midst of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals which means there are lots of great deals. Over the last weekend Alibaba pulled off over US$30B of sales as part of the Singles' Day sale - up from $25B last year. tp put that in some context, total online sales in the US for Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the USA last year was about US$11.6B.
In an interview with Business Insider, Alibaba's Presendet Miachel Evans said "Many people ask the question – how can we participate next year? People are very interested, I think partly because they have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and they think that’s quite big. They have heard of Amazon Prime Day. But, we sold as much in five minutes as Amazon sold in an entire Prime Day".
AlibabaExpress is probably the best place to go looking if you're after a decent deal.
There are two main sale areas on the site; their "11.11 SALE" and <a href="https://flashdeals.aliexpress.com/en.htm"Flash Deals which are offers with relatively short expiry times ranging from minutes to hours.
Looking at the 11.11 Deals, here are five of the best ones I've been able to spot.
- Adidas Ultraboost 4.0 Oreo Men's Running Shoes: These are currently on sale for $137.88. However, it's worth noting Adidas Austrlaia retells these for $260 and not the $320.65 that AlibabaExpress is quoting.
- Asus ZenFone 2 ZE551ML : At between $181 and $230 depending on whether you choose the 16GB, 32GB or 64GB version, this is a decent Android phone that's thin and lingo with an edge to edge display. The AlibabaExpress price seems to be around $150 less than the local street price here.
- Zosi 8CH CCTV System 4PCS 1280TVL: A four camera weatherproof and night-vision enabled video surveillance system for well under $200 is a great deal - similar options locally can easily cost double that amount.
- The Big Bang Theory T-shirt Sheldon Cooper T-shirts: If you're planning to dress as Dr Sheldon Copper from The Big Bang Theory, or just have a thing for the t-shirts he wears, then you can score some of his more popular designed, such as the "Bazinga" or Green lantern inspired shirts from less than $10 each.
- English Version Xiaomi Mijia Mini Action Camera : Action cams are a great way to capture fun activities without the risk of using your smartphone an destroying it. Although it's not waterproof, this camera captures 4K footage and has bluetooth and wifi for getting the footage off.
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