Difference between Alibaba and Aliexpress

Key difference: Alibaba is a giant B2B commerce portal platform for global wholesale trade for bulk buying whereas Aliexpress is a B2C platform- a retail marketplace that offers products in small quantities.

Difference between alibaba and aliexpress Alibaba.com was established by the group of people in 1999, Jack Ma the Chinese business magnate one of them, as a China-based B2B marketplace. Most members of Alibaba are manufacturers, trading companies and resellers who trade goods in large quantities across countries. Aliexpress is more of an e-commerce website that sells goods in small orders, even one single item and is meant for B2C business (See B2B Vs B2C). Aliexpress was established by the Alibaba group in 2010 with the aim of providing a platform for different vendors - factories, wholesalers or distributors who can offer their products from a unit to a virtual buyer for their personal use who is outside of China. Difference between Alibaba and Aliexpress lies in their business models. Alibaba has a large number of products ranging from fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) to electronics and household goods. It also deals with industrial hardware that has varied and multiple uses and large demands in markets across the world. Alibaba does not only export goods from China but also from different countries. Over the years it has grown as an online platform for international global trade. Being a giant wholesale market for cheap products Alibaba is the most favored place for Dropshipping. Aliexpress is similar to Snapdeal and Amazon in many aspects (See Snapdeal Vs. Amazon). It has a global reach and it is meant to buy goods in small quantities or even single items that are shipped globally. 

One major difference between Alibaba and Aliexpress is that they can have the same products at a different price. The reason for the price discrepancy is the volume of orders that they handle. Alibaba is meant to deliver orders in bulk and hence it is possible to obtain products at comparatively cheap price. The same products often cost high on Aliexpress.

Difference between alibaba and aliexpressAlibaba has multiple manufacturers and goods producers for similar items. The products are listed on the marketplace depending upon the preference and the orders they have completed. Buyers can choose the best options they think are reliable and order products from them. The prices can be attractive depending on the quantity. Higher the bulk size lower the cost per product. Aliexpress also provides items at lower cost if purchased in quantity but more its prices aren’t as low as Alibaba for bulk order since it Aliexpress is a retail marketplace while Alibaba is a wholesale marketplace. On black Fridays and cyber Mondays, Aliexpress might be of help to you at shopping. (See Black Fridays Vs. Cyber Mondays).

Another major difference between Alibaba and Aliexpress is you can find nearly everything on Alibaba ranging from food grains to machinery and electronic parts to country-specific delicacies to traditional clothing and scarcely found premium material items. Aliexpress focuses more on new tendencies, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), ready-made clothing, cosmetics, toys, decoration items, lifestyle accessories, etc. distributed across thirteen categories and is similar to Amazon, Snapdeal, and Flipkart. (See Snapdeal Vs. Flipkart) ( See Flipkart Vs. Amazon)

The difference between Alibaba and AliExpress



Minimum order quantity (MOQ)

Suppliers tend to have high MOQs.

Most suppliers suggest an MOQ of only 10 units.


There are no fixed prices. After you provide the supplier with
the product specifications, the delivery terms, and required
quantities, the supplier will get back to you with a price, which
can be negotiated.

The supplier lists the products and prices for different
quantities and they are not up for negotiation.

Custom-designed products

Custom products and private-label merchandise can be

Products are already manufactured, so there is no possibility of either custom or private-labeled products.


The buyer requires more product knowledge to minimize quality

You get what the supplier offers.

Scheduling/lead times

Receiving the products can take months because you have to
select the supplier, confirm the samples, and negotiate the

The products are already manufactured, so you do not have
to worry about any time-consuming order processing or production
lead times.

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