Alibaba is the world’s biggest directory of suppliers including factories, with an amazing range of tools and services available to take your international trade to the next level.
In this post, we are going to focus on how to find the best suppliers on the Alibaba RFQ (Request for Quotation). And explain the RFQ meaning in detail.
What is Alibaba RFQ?
RFQ is the abbreviation of Alibaba’s request for quotation. Alibaba’s capability for posting a buying request is called Alibaba Request for Quotation. It’s a way for buyers to post an inquiry and wait for the sellers to respond. Additionally, every quotation on the Alibaba RFQ platform may be handled by the buyers.
Four different types of Alibaba RFQ are available:
- Invited Bid— The buyer extends invitations to particular vendors to submit bids.
- Open Bid—The buyer permits the sellers to make public bids and view those from competing suppliers.
- Sellers that offer a sealed bid submit a price for the inventory.
- Open and lowest target price bidding sellers win the bid in a reverse auction.
How Does Alibaba RFQ Work?
It is quite simple for the customer to post the RFQ. Simple steps include creating an Alibaba account, completing the RFQ registration form, and clicking “submit RFQ.”
Before posting or making available to the market, Alibaba professionals will examine any RFQs that are given.
It will then be matched with the best vendor.
In accordance with the name and type of the goods, the suppliers will look for comparable RFQ. The vendor will respond with bids via RFQ if they are interested in the RFQ.
After that, you can evaluate, compare, and obtain a quote.
Is It Free to Use the Alibaba RFQ Service?
There are really two different types of Alibaba RFP services:
No-cost RFQ service – Allow for a minimum of 10 quotes from various vendors.
Paid RFQ service – Client can choose value-added services in exchange for a fee.
According to Alibaba, the Paid RFQ is a Quality RFQ in the market.
Therefore, the vendors will communicate more effectively and provide with you more valued quotation.
What Profits can the Alibaba’s RFQ Provide?
Buyers can profit from Alibaba’s RFQ feature in the following ways:
- More rapid and more comparable vendor response.
The RFQ prompts suppliers to contact you and generate 10-15 quotations in a short period of time.
- A practical cost comparison.
To evaluate all the quotations, you may compare and contrast them on a single page.
- Vendor services that are proactive.
The provider follows up and makes an effort to build a solid rapport with you.
Disadvantages of Alibaba RFQ
You won’t be able to choose the kind of vendor before receiving quotes while using the RFQ service. While calculating the charges, you will discover which businesses provide you bids. There will also be some quotes from outside sources.
With an RFQ, you receive several quotes but no supplier vetting. It will be challenging for you to determine whether the bids represent the most reasonable prices.
You must start a new RFQ course if you are dissatisfied. You want to make a transaction till you find the one quotation which makes you feel satisfactory. If you aren’t lucky enough, this will take a long process for you to find the best suitable one. So in most situations, RFQ are used by those who are not in a hurry to place an order.
How Do I Use Alibaba’s RFQ System?
There are 7 steps to use Alibaba RFQ system:
Step 1. Go to Alibaba RFQ Main Page
Visit this website first: Alibaba RFQ Page
Step 2. Complete the RFQ Form
In order to draw in the best vendors, pay attention to these details when filling out the form.
- Describe your product’s name or category, its features, and its number.
Vendors will find it easier to identify your RFQ if you choose a brief product category or name.
Additionally, avoid choosing tiny quantities because reputable vendors won’t be encouraged to submit quotations.
One point needs to be remember: the more detail you describe the product you need, the more accurate the quotation you will get.
- Post product pictures
Vendors will find it simpler to verify that the items shown in the images are indeed theirs. And it helps them to provide precisely the goods you want.
- Request Information
Suppliers want to evaluate your purchasing requirements. Provide each other with important information.
Step 3. Submit RFQ
Select the RFQ type that best satisfies your present compliance needs. To submit your form, just click “Submit RFQ” after that.
Step 4. Check Quotations in the Message Center of the Alibaba RFQ Dashboard
After you submitted your RFQ, the Alibaba will push your requirements to sellers (more than one) who the platform believes to meet your requirements. Then those sellers will provide you with quotations. All of the vendor quotes and phone numbers may be found in your messages. So start by evaluating each one separately.
Step 5. Select among Suppliers and Contact Suppliers
Choose a provider and get in touch with them.
You can select two or three of the providers to contact after evaluating their profiles and bids.
Step 6. Ask for Samples
Request them samples during negotiations so you can evaluate the quality. Now that they have replied your RFQ, usually these vendors will be happy to provide you with samples in order to conclude the deal.
Step 7: Place Your Order
When you locate the provider that best meets your demands, negotiate with them and place your order.
RFQ Template-Practical to Help You Find the Best-match Suppliers
As we introduced above, it is really efficient for someone to get several quotes in a few minutes after submitted a RFQ. However, in most situations, each supplier can only reply to 20 RFQ per month for free. If they want to reply more, they need to pay extra money. This is why the better suppliers are, the pickier they are when selecting RFQs to reply. Therefore, you need to write quality RFQ content to attract quality suppliers. It is the key to a successful RFQ.
As an experienced China sourcing agent, we’d like to share with you the quality RFQ template which the vendors are likely to respond, and help you sourcing your intended products more effectively.
Let’s beginning at the contents included in one RFQ.
– What to Include in Your RFQ
The request for quotation documents vary widely from one industry to the next and can be customized to fit your business’s needs.
1. Buyer Information
· Project name
· Goals and background
· Buyer point of contact information
· Bidder instructions
· RFQ timeline
2. Detailed Specifications
· Product or parts description
· Technical requirements
· Delivery requirements
· Pricing table/form
3. Selection Criteria
· Prequalification questionnaire
· RFQ type (open or closed)
· Scoring criteria
· Selection process timeline
4. Terms and Conditions
· Legal and security requirements
· Terms and conditions
· Standard contract
Now we will share a high-quality RFQ template to help you better understand the above description and using RFQ more neatly.
Hi! This is Arya, selling on Amazon in the USA. (You can describe yourself according to your own situation) I’m looking for Quick-drying man’s T-shirts.
I’d like to place a trial order for the T-shirts within the following requirements:
|size||bust||shirt length||sleeve length|
-Colors: Black, Gray, Green, Khaki
-Features: Quick-drying, Breathable, Light, Wear-resistant
-Materials: 100% Polyster
The initial quantity should be around 500 to 1,000 pcs, (the size can mixed) based on your price. I’d also want my logo to be printed on left sleeve by thermal print. If the quality is good, I’ll double or triple the order quantity after this batch.
I want to customize my own design boxes, so please let me know what’s your condition for custom packaging, and what types of packaging are available.
If you can help me arrange sea shipping, please quote the delivery cost to the following address in the US. I will decide whether to use my freight forwarder or yours.
The above is a very detailed example of how to write RFQ. In practice, if the required product is not specific enough to write such a detailed RFQ, please describe it as specific as possible. Because the more detailed the RFQ, the higher the quality of the reply received.
What Happens after You Submit an RFQ on Alibaba?
1. The Entire RFQ Process:
This is what the entire RFQ process looks like from start to finish:
- Prepare your document by specifying the specifications of the products you need. Include quantity or volume, and details such as delivery requirements and value-added services.
- Once you’ve drawn the document up, send your RFQ out on Alibaba, and await suppliers’ responses.
- In the meantime, Alibaba will screen your quotation.
- When you receive some proposals, go through each one and then check them to make sure you pick the best option.
- Finally, choose your preferred supplier and close the deal.
Then let’s look at the procedure after you submit an RFQ on Alibaba.
2. Receive Alibaba RFQ Responses
After you submit a RFQ, you will soon receive many responses within several days. Those responses will all match your needs more or less.
However, it’s worth noticing that not every supplier will respond to your RFQ. It’s up to the vendor to decide whether they will provide a quote or not.
As such, don’t place too much stock in receiving a quote from a specific supplier, as there’s a chance you may not hear back from them at all. Instead, send out RFQs to 5-10 vendors so that there’s little risk of leaving empty-handed.
3. Review Alibaba RFQ Responses
Once you submit a RFQ and receive the quotations, you should review each one. Here are some criteria to pay attention to when you go through supplier quotes:
- Check whether the quote matches your specification needs
- Assess pricing, but don’t forget to review other important factors such as the quality of the goods on offer and the vendor’s reputation
- Make sure the price is a final price and not a reference price. The reference price is a rough estimate but doesn’t match your exact requirements.
4. Narrow Down Your Alibaba Vendors
After reviewing your RFQs you don’t have to decide on one supplier. You can draw up a shortlist of the best vendors. You may want to contact suppliers and ask for samples from each to assess the quality of the products.
When you choose 2-3 vendors, you can also see if you’re getting a reasonable quote. A low price might indicate a lower quality product, yet you can’t rely on assumptions like this in your decision-making process.
Other factors can come into play too such as communication, response time, and customer service.
5. Close the RFQ Process
Once you have selected your final supplier you should let the others know that they have not been selected. It’s now that you should reach out to your preferred vendor and start negotiating a contract and payment terms. Then the RFQ will not be pushed to other vendors again.
What is The Best Benefit of Using RFQ Service?
we have introduced this part briefly in the above paragraphs, now we will explained the best benefits of RFQ service more detail.
1. Faster Supplier Response.
If you search for suppliers directly on Alibaba, it may take you hours or days to develop a long list of suppliers for inquiries one by one; some of them may even not reply. RFQ is bit like exact matching. Remembering those ads that appear on your facebook or twitter? RFQ is like an advertisement released by consumers, accurately pushed to the homepage of vendors. While a quality RFQ can attract suppliers to come to you and generate 10-15 quotes just within minutes.The response speed of RFQ service is faster than if you search aimlessly in the sea of vendors.
2. More Convenient Price Comparison.
If you inquire 20 suppliers, you’ll probably get 20+ emails flooding in from suppliers, and need to check one by one. However, on the RFQ platform, you can easily check and compare all quotations just on one page to review them all. The quotation information from different sellers is displayed on the same web page, which provides great convenience for you to compare and select.
3. More Proactive Supplier Service.
Suppliers coming from RFQ service are proactive to compete for your orders. They’ll also follow up closely after the quotation, trying to establish good relations with you.
Among those 10 or more suppliers, you can easily select 2-3 suppliers to continue with the conversation and order samples for the next step after comparing all quotes.
Five Guidelines for Spotting the Best RFQ Suppliers
Always keep in mind that a price is meaningless unless the provider can really fulfill your request. So what should one consider while assessing suppliers?
Let’s examine the main ideas listed below-Five guidelines for spotting the best RFQ suppliers.
1. Pay Close Attention to the Suppliers’ Experience and Communication Abilities.
In addition to how long a supplier has been in business, you should consider how they answered the RFQ’s questions. Salespeople with expertise will not only respond to your inquiries in a professional manner, but will also provide recommendations before you even ask. So when communicating with the sellers who respond to your RFQ, you should pay close attention to their communication abilities, this is an important factor to determine whether the seller is professional or not.
2. Understand How Suppliers Feel about Issues and How They Resolve Them.
The ordering and shipping procedure on Alibaba is significantly simpler than the complexity of international trading. Regarding purchases made on Alibaba, you should think about potential problems and hazards, such as faulty rates that are more than what is reasonable, delivery delays, cargo that is damaged during shipment, etc.
When selecting the quotations which have been provided according to your RFQ, you should find reputable suppliers who are accountable and proactive in resolving problems is crucial, particularly when accidents or negligence within their own organization occur. As soon as an issue arises, a responsible provider will get in touch with you right away and attempt to find a solution.
What I propose is that you should pay great attention to the attitude of suppliers, such as whether they immediately respond to you and whether they are understanding when you are unclear and respond appropriately. One useful piece of advice is to follow your instincts while interacting with them.
3. Select Vendors Who Offer “Trade Assurance” Service.
Not all the sellers are reliable. But the vendors who offer trade assurance service are more reliable than others. When you place an order with a supplier through the trade assurance service, you are eligible for payment protection in the event that they fail to meet your contract’s requirements for timely delivery or product quality.
Because of this, most suppliers would treat your purchase seriously enough, especially in terms of the quality of the products and the delivery date. You can file a claim and launch a dispute if providers don’t satisfy the quality requirements outlined in the agreement.
So when select the suppliers who respond to your RFQ, give priority to those with Alibaba trade assurance.
Here, you need to be aware that a successful refund is based on adequate proof against definite order criteria. Alibaba’s return process is more difficult than Amazon’s.
4. Specific Vendors Found in the Product Category Industry Cluster.
For knowledgeable purchasers, they have a mental industry map. As an illustration, the majority of the suppliers for stainless wine tumbler cases are located in the Zhejiang province cities of Yiwu and Yongkang. If the provider falls outside of these parameters, you may at least review their bids and profiles before deciding whether to move forward.
5. Don’t put too much faith in “Verified Supplier.”
Remember that verified suppliers are 100% trustworthy vendors.
Verified Supplier status has nothing to do with the supplier’s quality control and is simply the equivalent of a paid Alibaba membership. Any supplier, including a trading firm with only a few employees, can be verified after paying the charge and undergoing an independent third-party inspection like SGS. It’s not as tough as you would imagine to become a certified supplier.
How To Get More RFQs Outside Of Alibaba?
RFQs were not created by Alibaba. This manual explains how to prepare the RFQ so that it is ready when suppliers from other websites or at a trade fair arrive.
1. Creating an RFQ Template
You must include the following: (which we have mentioned above)
- Technical Requirements
- Standards and regulations that apply
Technical expertise is required to verify conformity with worldwide regulations like RoHS, CPSIA, or REACH.
- Information about suppliers and trade terms
The providers must specify the information below:
- Capital, address, and contact information about the trading company.
- technical documents, test results, and conformity information.
- Social compliance, standard certifications, and audit reports are all provided by the company.
- MOQ, ODM, OEM sample, and manufacturing time are general words.
- Payment options include a bank account, a MOV, and payment plans.
2. List suppliers and send RFQs
Let’s now discuss about choosing a vendor. There is no secret supply network to be found. Like other firms, Chinese producers like being found by potential clients. How do you find them? In this way.
A specialist in the field. Comparatively, it is more potent than Alibaba. Although it is more constrained in many sectors, it has various industries, notably electronics.
HKTDC has a list of well-known and well-known Hong Kong businesses. When compared to their online guide, their trade shows are excellent.
- Trade Shows
The best way to select the main provider is to meet your supplier in person.
When you work with a trustworthy china sourcing agent. You’ll receive a list of well-known and reliable vendors.
Employing a China sourcing agent has various benefits, including the following:
- You will be able to identify the vendors who answer quickly and clearly.
- The only providers that your representative will introduce to you have compliance certifications.
- They will be able to receive a sample of your items through your representative.
- Numerous alternatives will be prepared by your representative for you, even if they won’t be required.
3. Gathering quoted price information
The following is a list of items you absolutely must have in order to proceed:
- Start with a call on the phone or Skyp. Additionally, provide your Alibaba RFQ file and follow up. Make sure you meet a deadline in the end.
- Continue emailing or sending reminders using Skype.
- If the first draft they provide you isn’t ideal, let them know. Request modifications until you are pleased and have every detail in place.
- Put the information in a document.
- Obtain a Chinese translation if you want more help.
Without a question, it is a labor-intensive process that requires much effort. Applying the procedure we have outlined to contact the appropriate provider is the only way to obtain the information.
The FAQs for Alibaba RFQ Procedure
Q1. Do all vendors on Alibaba reply to requests for quotes?
No, it depends on each vendor’s quote if they submit one through Alibaba’s RFQ service. Most vendors don’t. As a result, you must use the Alibaba RFQ template as a second sourcing tactic.
However, don’t use it as your exclusive method of locating vendors and requesting quotes.
Q2. Can Alibaba ensure that the goods I purchase are of a high caliber?
Not at all.
The RFQ page service is a superb arrangement. However, it is up to you to transmit everything to the manufacturer via the vendor.
For instance, you must agree to the sales contract and provide the product specifications.
Afterward, do lab testing and a quality check. Keep verifying things yourself if you want the greatest results rather than depending solely on Alibaba.
Q3. How can I be sure my price was given at market value?
You will receive exact unit prices if you provide all relevant information, including quantity, technical specifications, compliance specifications, and incoterms. However, we advise selecting 2 to 4 vendors for the Alibaba RFQ procedure.
The following indicators will also let you know if the advertised wholesale price and the market price are different.
1. The product is not manufactured using comparable specifications.
2. The seller left the cost out of the compliance specifications.
3. The merchant provides a price based on the large quantity. But the competitors offered less cost.
4. The supplier provides the EXW price.
Q4. What must I do if my RFQ is turned down?
Look into the cause of it first. For that:
1. Find the appropriate RFQ in the Message Center.
2. Click the title to get the full rationale.
Before submitting it once more, modify it now.
1. Verify the buyer profile’s email address.
2. Submit the necessary information for your request, such as the material, images, size, etc. Where you believe there should be information, add it.
3. There may be limitations or prohibitions on the specified product category. Contact the brand’s proprietor or take the brand’s name out of the Alibaba RFQ.
4. Avoid sending out several RFQs at once. Hold off on getting quotations until the first.
5. It’s possible that the order quantity is less than the MOQ. Change it, then submit it once again.
Q5. How do I complete an Alibaba RFQ?
To close the Alibaba RFQ account, simply follow these three easy actions.
1. Sign in to My Alibaba Message Center. Now select RFQ from the drop-down menu to change the page.
2. Pick the RFQ that you want to close.
3. Your chosen RFQ may now be closed. (If you are unable to finish it, it implies that it has expired. Therefore, the supplier won’t notice it as much).
Q6. Which RFQ types are not accepted?
The following RFQs are excluded from consideration:
1. It wasn’t sent from the email address that was confirmed. The order requests are not coming from an email address that has been verified and authenticated. Before submitting the purchase requests, the buyer’s email address must be confirmed.
2. No mention of crucial information. The subject line includes necessary information, such as the product name. Size, origin, kind, color, variety, and any other specifications that apply to the item may also be specified in the body text. The more information you provide, the better your provider will be able to comprehend your requirements.
3. Restricted or prohibited goods (which include trademarked or branded products). Excellent advice is to get in touch with the owner. Or even to buy it from licensed retailers of any product with a trademark or brand name.
4. The purchase requests are clones of the same product.
5. The order quantity is less than MOQ. Everyone is aware that Alibaba.com is a wholesale company, thus orders with a high MOQ are more likely to be selected. Also keep in mind that MOQ will vary depending on the product type.
RFQ service assists enterprises in locating possible suppliers of their goods. Everyone is welcome to use the service, which is absolutely free.