Find The Best Suppliers Fast On Alibaba.Com With This Sourcing Hack

Finding the right supplier or product takes time and energy. But there is a way to get the best results on Alibaba.com, and there is a simple strategy to make it happen as fast as possible. 

Combine RFQ with search to maximize results.

In this post, we’ll cover what an RFQ is as well as when and how to send one. We’ll also take a look at how to use RFQ to compare suppliers so you can quickly find the right business partner.

What is RFQ?

RFQ Request for Quotation) lets you get a product, supplier, or service request intelligently matched on the market with relevant suppliers who compete for your business. You can receive and compare up to 10 supplier responses in as little as 24 hours.

How should you use it? 

There are two simple strategies.

  1. Search then send an RFQ

Find what you are looking for, contact the supplier, and then use RFQ to see if there are more suitable suppliers or products available.

  1. Send an RFQ then search

First describe the product, supplier, or service needed to the supplier market. Check the RFQ results, and then search for supplementation as needed.

Search then send an RFQ (step by step)

  1. Find a product you are interested in, then click the orange “Contact Supplier” button.
  1. Send an inquiry to the supplier using the provided form.
  1. On the inquiry success page, an RFQ form will auto-populate with the name and details of the product you inquired about. Just input your estimated quantity needed and the RFQ is ready to submit.

    Pro Tip: Edit the auto-populated product name and details to include only information you deem important. Add details relevant to your purchasing needs so suppliers have a clear picture of your business requirements.
  1. After the RFQ posts, you will receive an email when supplier responses are available, usually within 24 hours. Responses can be viewed and compared in your My Alibaba. Keep reading to see how the RFQ comparison page works.

Send an RFQ then search (step by step)

  1. Go to the Alibaba.com homepage, hover over “Buyer Central”, then select “Submit RFQ” or click here.
  1. Complete the RFQ form and submit.

Pro Tip #1: Take 15 minutes to prepare an RFQ, it will save you hours downstream. Use this form to describe the product, supplier, or service you are looking for.

Pro Tip #2: Provide clear requirements. Include a spec sheet or pictures when possible. You want suppliers to be able to easily understand what you’re looking for without having to sift through irrelevant information.

  1. After the RFQ posts, you will receive an email when supplier responses are available, usually within 24 hours. Responses can be viewed and compared in your My Alibaba. Keep reading to see how the RFQ comparison page works.

Why use RFQ and search combined?

When you combine RFQ with search, you can maximize your outreach to prospective suppliers to see what your available product, supplier, or service options are. This is because search and RFQ match buyers with products and suppliers differently and each one has its advantages. In other words, sometimes search will provide better results, and sometimes RFQ will provide better results, but there is no hard rule. The good news is RFQ is easy to use and can save buyers a lot of time sourcing too. A clearly written RFQ for something with strong market supply can get up to 10 supplier responses in 24 hours.


RFQ can help maximize results regardless of your sourcing style. For buyers that prefer to browse for products first, an RFQ can be easily sent after a product inquiry to see if there is more competitive pricing or similar alternatives available on the market. For buyers that can describe their needed product, supplier, or service, it is recommended RFQ is used first. Since RFQs can receive up to 10 responses in 24 hours, most buyers can find a suitable supplier with one clearly written RFQ. Search can then be used as backup if you weren’t able to compare enough options.

How can buyers compare RFQ responses?

When an RFQ is responded to by a supplier, buyers will receive an email notification with a link to the RFQ results page in their My Alibaba.

  1. On the RFQ results page, view each supplier’s personalized response to your RFQ by clicking “View product details”
  2. Compare each supplier’s business information highlights. Go to the supplier’s profile page to review full details. 
  3. Look for the check mark next to the company’s business type. Only suppliers with a check mark are Verified Suppliers that have had their business information verified by a 3rd party.
  4. After reviewing each supplier’s response and company information, click “chat now” to contact suppliers you are interested in. Confirm they understand your requirements by discussing details and answering questions.

Pro Tip: Do your due diligence to confirm things such as but not limited to product & order specifications, trade terms, importing requirements & restrictions, HS code for duty/tariff, sample & proofing needs, inspection & testing needs, labeling & packaging needs, shipping arrangement, etc. Make sure documentation reflects your order accurately.

A quick recap

  • Finding the right supplier or product is a process, but combining RFQ and search is the best way to maximize results.
  • Send an RFQ after your inquiry with a supplier to see if there are other competitive suppliers or products on the market.
  • If you can describe your needed product, supplier, or service, then send an RFQ first and use search if more options are needed.
  • Use the RFQ results page to review supplier responses, compare business profiles, and contact suppliers to confirm details.

Send an RFQ on Alibaba.com using the link below.

https://rfq.alibaba.com/rfq.html?spm=a2700.8293689.rfq.dbanner.2dc867afKJCKzB&tracelog=80_20_sourcing

Author: Gary

I work with many Amazon sellers to help them source from China. I’ve managed multimillion dollar sourcing campaigns and have been sourcing from China since 2008. I also am an Amazon Private Label seller myself so I know what you’re going through. My goal is to teach you how to source from China quickly and easily so you can own a 7-figure online business.

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