Alibaba.com has expanded a free service that offers refunds to disgruntled buyers who use the international wholesale trading platform to purchase goods from overseas suppliers.
Under the B2B website’s upgraded Trade Assurance program, buyers who make purchases from participating Alibaba.com suppliers will be entitled to full refunds of their deposits, or if applicable the total value of their orders, if suppliers ship products late or if product quality does not meet contract specifications.
Launched in May, the program initially included only Chinese suppliers with reliable track records of trading on Alibaba.com who volunteered to participate. Within a month, coverage will be expanded to all suppliers who volunteer and are qualified to participate regardless of home country. About 50,000 suppliers have joined the program, according to Alibaba.com, a subsidiary of Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba Group.
Trade Assurance protects buyers by holding deposits or payments in escrow until they are satisfied that suppliers have lived up to the terms of their sales contracts. The program is designed to reduce risk and foster greater trust and trade among Alibaba.com buyers and suppliers, most of whom conduct business over the Internet and never meet in person. Alibaba.com sells no products itself; the company runs an online marketplace that hosts virtual stores of manufacturers, distributors and other sellers, the majority of them based in China.
“By providing maximum trade protection, Alibaba.com aims to make cross-border trading easier, therefore empowering small-and medium-sized businesses to engage in global trading,” said Alibaba Group Senior Vice President Wu Min Zhi. “By lessening concerns and building trust in international trade, we are committed to introducing more trade opportunities to Alibaba.com members,” Wu said in a statement. “As a result, small businesses will not miss out the benefits of international trading due to trust concerns over product quality or payment security.”
Trade Assurance protection is available to all of Alibaba.com’s millions of global buyers, provided the supplier they want to do business with is approved for the program. To vet suppliers, Alibaba.com uses data analytics to assess past performance and trading histories over six-month periods. The program currently only covers payments made by telegraphic transfer (T/T), but other payment methods will be covered in the future, Alibaba.com said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TRADE ASSURANCE, CLICK HERE.
To help make it easier for small businesses to identify reliable trading partners, Alibaba.com encourages suppliers who qualify for the Trade Assurance program to display a Trade Assurance icon on their Alibaba.com virtual storefronts. To further improve transparency, storefronts also display the total number of transactions and total value of deals the supplier has completed over the previous 12 months. In addition, Alibaba.com will show how often and how quickly qualified suppliers respond to customers.
Meanwhile, Alibaba.com today announced its “e-Credit Line” service, which provides trade financing to small businesses using Alibaba.com, is now available in Australia.
Through a partnership between Alibaba.com and Australian finance company AUSvance, Australia-based small businesses can apply for loans and lines of credit in under five minutes through a streamlined process and obtain a line of credit from AU$5,000 to AU$300,000 to pay suppliers for purchases on Alibaba.com.
A decision based on an automated credit scoring model will be made within 60 seconds, and full approval can be granted within 24 hours after verification of documentation from the applicants, according to Alibaba.com. The interest rate is as low as 1.15% per month for Alibaba.com customers.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ALIBABA.COM’S E-CREDIT LINE, CLICK HERE.