Online shopping is cheaper than offline stores has been recognized by all. Taobao and Jingdong are the two shopping platforms that we are most familiar with. However, the strong rise of pinduoduo in recent years has also given us a choice. Pinduoduo, with cheaper commodity prices and more platform subsidies, has become a favorite platform of the “wool party”.

However, this year’s epidemic has made another unknown platform appear in the eyes of consumers and become the new love of the “wool party”. And this platform is Alibaba’s wholesale purchasing platform – 1688.

1688 this platform may not have been heard of by many people, but it should be familiar to those who do Taobao stores or offline physical stores. Also produced by Ali, 1688 was founded in 1999, earlier than Taobao. This is a B2B (business to business) platform with wholesale and purchasing business at its core. Taobao is a C2C (personal to individual) platform, and Jingdong is a B2C (business to individual) platform. Therefore, although 1688 is the supplier of most Taobao stores, it is rarely known by consumers.

but this year’s 1688 exit was mainly due to the outbreak. On the one hand, the epidemic has demoted consumption and consumers have begun to be more economical. On the other hand, the epidemic has also made life difficult for the larger wholesale manufacturers, who have to start to face consumers and look into the future, exchanging losses for traffic.

in addition, the upsurge of stall setting set off some time ago this year. Various online stalling tutorials also made 1688 a wholesale platform quickly known to consumers. Although the ground stall was not set up, it learned to use the wholesale platform 1688 to collect wool.

1688 is a wholesale platform, and the stores above are basically product manufacturers. As we all know, it is generally cheaper to buy things in the wholesale market than in supermarkets and other secondary dealers, because secondary dealers also need to make profits, and we can save some money by skipping the secondary dealers to find manufacturers.

in addition, some of the suppliers on 1688 are OEM for other brands, while others are also operating their own Taobao stores. We know that the price of a commodity includes not only its manufacturing cost, but also the packaging and advertising expenses of various brands. The OEM factories on 1688 or Taobao’s congener stores are mainly faced with other enterprises. They don’t need to spend a lot of money to promote their products, so that more consumers can see it. It is also because of this, we can buy a product at a lower price without the cost of packaging advertising for the product. For the same product, the price difference between Taobao and 1688 ranges from a few yuan to hundreds of yuan.

and this is also the goal that the “wool party” focuses on. By checking the enterprise information in Taobao’s store qualification, and then searching the same enterprise in 1688, we can find the same source shops or OEM factories of Taobao.

indeed, in terms of price alone, 1688 is really cheap, and it’s cheaper to compete with Duoduo. But the price of 1688 has its price.

first of all, the purchase process of 1688 is rather cumbersome. 1688 although many stores support one-on-one delivery, that is to say, only one can be delivered. However, this function is not designed for individual consumers, but for the convenience of enterprises with small volume or just starting a business. The one-piece consignment allows these enterprises to reduce the warehouse cost, increase the chances of product selection and trial and error in the early stage of entrepreneurship, and reduce the risk of entrepreneurship. Therefore, compared with Taobao’s extremely simple shopping process, it is more cumbersome for individual buyers to use this one consignment step, and may encounter the situation that merchants are not willing to pay attention to you.

but the process is complicated. For the senior “wool party”, it is not a problem at all. As long as the price is cheap, everything is easy to say. So let’s talk about the most important thing of online shopping. Search for goods on 1688, the price is all inclusive of postage. This is because 1688 is an enterprise to enterprise platform, and the postage is determined according to the actual number of orders. Therefore, it does look cheaper if you just mark the price of the product instead of the postage. However, when the purchase volume of individual buyers is small, the price of the product plus the postage may come up. In fact, it may not be much cheaper than Taobao, and sometimes it is not as cheap as pinduoduo.

but some products can still be much cheaper because of the big price difference and the freight. Then I would like to talk about one of the most important things online shopping – after sales. Online shopping will inevitably encounter commodity problems, especially clothing and so on, often appear the size is not appropriate, need to return. Taobao’s perfect supervision mechanism makes after-sales very easy, and freight insurance is also used to solve the freight problem of return. However, 1688 is not for individual consumers. In fact, after-sales service for consumers is quite unfriendly. There are often problems with products, but the merchants ignore you. Moreover, many people said that the regulatory arbitration mechanism, which is different from Taobao, is more inclined to consumers, and 1688 is somewhat biased towards stores. Although 1688 also began to have freight insurance and other things, but for individual consumers, the overall after-sales experience is still much worse than Taobao.

and the emergence of 1688 has also allowed some unscrupulous businesses to take advantage of their impression that 1688 is cheap. They focus on copying the popular products on Taobao, claiming that they are OEM factories for the goods, and then sell some fake and inferior products at a low price.

in fact, to sum up, although 1688 is cheap, you must be prepared to take certain risks. For the senior “wool party”, 1688 is indeed a good place to collect wool. For ordinary consumers, Taobao, Jingdong and pinduoduo are more reliable. They spend a few yuan more in exchange for a more convenient shopping experience. Why not?