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Alibaba Trade Assurance: Your Guide to Secure Shopping in 2022

Comprehensive guide on trade assurance on Alibaba.com

Alibaba.com is an online B2B marketplace that connects buyers with wholesalers and manufacturers from all over the world. The platform is great for sourcing high-quality products and raw materials from sellers located around the world.

But is Alibaba.com safe? The answer is a resounding “YES.” Thanks to Alibaba Trade Assurance, every transaction that is carried out on the platform is guaranteed to be secure.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about Alibaba Trade Assurance. We will cover what it is, how it works, and the benefits to buyers.

Table of Contents
What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?
Is Trade Assurance safe on Alibaba.com?
How can buyers benefit from Alibaba Trade Assurance?
Trade Assurance in the fulfillment service
How to use Trade Assurance on Alibaba.com
How to file a dispute and request a refund
How to apply for Easy Return and get a refund
Conclusion

What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?

Alibaba Trade Assurance is a program that protects online orders that are made through Alibaba.com.

This program was developed to ensure safe transactions, maintain the trade of high-quality products, and give buyers peace of mind. Suppliers are responsible for opting into this program, so it is absolutely free of cost to buyers.

Is Trade Assurance safe on Alibaba.com?

Yes, Trade Assurance is safe on Alibaba.com. 

As long as a seller is a registered member of Alibaba.com and activates the Trade Assurance Service, the buyer has access to the Alibaba Trade Assurance benefits.

How can buyers benefit from Alibaba Trade Assurance?

There are several ways that buyers benefit from Alibaba Trade Assurance, including secure payments, protected transactions, an on-time guarantee, and Easy Return.

Each of these perks comes with unique benefits of its own. Let’s check them out.

Secure payments

One of the most prominent benefits of Alibaba Trade Assurance is that it ensures secure payment. All transactions are protected by privacy and security measures. This is very important because it prevents bank accounts and other sensitive information from being compromised.  

Plus, this payment mechanism is fast, so money transfers can be processed in as little as 2 hours.

Alibaba.com supports 20+ global payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, wire transfers, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Western Union, and more. This provides buyers with the flexibility to choose how to pay, so making payments on Alibaba.com is easy.

Alibaba.com uses an SSL protocol to encrypt all transactions and is PCI DSS compliant to ensure your data is secure. Your personal information is guaranteed to be kept safe and confidential.

The platform currently supports payment in 20+ local currencies. You can pay in your local currency without worrying about paying bank conversion fees on purchases or returns.

Check out the pricing table to learn the currency limits, processing fee, and processing time of each payment method. You can select your country at the top right corner, and it will show eligible payment methods.

Alibaba Trade Assurance: more than 20 global payment methods
Alibaba Trade Assurance: more than 20 global payment methods

Protected transactions with guaranteed refunds 

If a shipment is delayed or the product quality differs from what is specified in the online order, buyers can claim a refund.

Alibaba.com provides Online Arbitration Service, which means that if suppliers fail to resolve buyers’ refund requests, Alibaba.com will get involved to solve the issue. That way, buyers always have someone on their side.

Trade Assurance also has a Quick Refund option. For all Trade Assurance orders completed using the above online payment methods where the order status is still “Pending Shipment,” the buyer can apply for a full refund on Alibaba.com by clicking “Apply for Refund” within two hours after completing payment. 

The system will automatically process the refund and close the order, saving the buyer the trouble of having to negotiate directly with the seller.

Alibaba Trade Assurance: safe B2B transactions
Alibaba Trade Assurance: safe B2B transactions

On-time guarantee

The Trade Assurance Delivery Guarantee is protection that applies to Ready-to-Ship products. There are many guaranteed routes through Alibaba.com Logistics and three major offline commercial express delivery providers, including DHL, UPS, and FedEx, which currently cover shipments to 169 countries. 

Orders made via Logistics with “guaranteed delivery” are guaranteed to arrive on time. If they do not arrive on time, buyers are eligible for compensation of 10% of the total order amount (up to US$ 100).

Alibaba Trade Assurance: on-time delivery
Alibaba Trade Assurance: on-time delivery

Easy Return

Easy Return is a service provided by an insurance company that ensures the quality of products. It is insured by sellers and does not require buyers to pay an extra fee. 

When a buyer files a return, they must return the goods to the insurance company’s local warehouse. Alibaba.com will process the refund once the local warehouse receives the goods.

The conditions for Easy Return include:

  • The products are labeled as Easy Return.
  • The total amount of the product (without tax) and the shipping fee is no more than US$ 1,000
  • The shipping address is in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom, or the United States
  • The reason for the return is due to quality issues
Alibaba Trade Assurance: Easy Return
Alibaba Trade Assurance: Easy Return

Trade Assurance in the fulfillment service

Trade Assurance is connected to Alibaba.com’s fulfillment service. This department offers logistics services and inspections.

Combining these various services helps streamline the buying process on Alibaba.com and ensures safer transactions.

Logistics Service

With Alibaba.com Logistics Service, buyers can choose from multiple cost-effective, efficient, and trackable shipping methods, including by sea, air, or land. With delivery to over 220 countries and regions, Alibaba.com Logistics Service boasts virtually worldwide coverage.

This service is all about making things more cost-effective, efficient, and trackable. Buyers can instantly compare accurate sea, air, and land freight quotes that are cost-effective and fast, which improves communication and certainty between the buyer and supplier.

Plus, the On-time Delivery Guarantee covers 32 routes in 169 countries and regions, and everything can be tracked through Alibaba.com’s comprehensive and transparent tracking system.  

Inspection service

Alibaba.com Inspection Service gives buyers access to third-party inspections to ensure the quality of the products they order are on par with how they were advertised. 

The inspection is independently conducted by professional third-party service providers, including Bureau Veritas, China Certification & Inspection Group, and SGS. The inspection partners visit the manufacturing facilities and randomly check products against order specifications.

There are several inspection pricing plans, so buyers can choose coverage according to their needs.

Alibaba Trade Assurance: Inspection Service
Alibaba Trade Assurance: Inspection Service

How to use Trade Assurance on Alibaba.com

As a buyer, it is easy to use Trade Assurance on Alibaba.com. All you have to do is ensure that your supplier is part of the Alibaba Trade Assurance program, ensure that the terms are clear in your contract, and keep all communication on the Alibaba.com platform.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into how to use Trade Assurance.

1. Search for suppliers with Trade Assurance service

In order to reap the benefits of Trade Assurance, buyers must place their orders with Trade Assurance Suppliers. 

There are several ways to find suppliers that support the Trade Assurance service. The most popular way to go is to refine the search result by selecting “Trade Assurance” when searching for products.

Trade assurance designation on Alibaba.com
Trade assurance designation on Alibaba.com

Buyers can also go to the supplier’s minisite to see if they have the Trade Assurance icon on their page. The icon looks like this:

Alibaba Trade Assurance Icon on Alibaba.com
Trade Assurance Icon

2. Place an order with Trade Assurance Suppliers

Once you have chosen a supplier, it is time to place an order. As you negotiate deals, keep all your conversations with suppliers on the Alibaba.com platform rather than speaking on private third-party apps. That way, Alibaba.com can use the chat history as evidence should there be a dispute.

It is also important to create a Trade Assurance contract on Alibaba.com and make sure to include product quantity, product specifications, and shipping information. You can ask your supplier to do this for you, but make sure the contract has the right terms to keep you safe.

Depending on who is responsible for transportation and insurance, make sure the correct terms are reflected in your contract with the seller. If you are arranging your own transportation, please ensure the shipping fee section is blank, as freight charges will be collected separately. Some transportation options include EXW, FCA, FAS, and FOB.

Upload attachments of your specifications to your Trade Assurance order so Alibaba.com can refer to them in case of a dispute.

Please note that the dispute period depends on the shipment methods laid out in your contract. However, this period cannot go beyond 30 calendar days of the date that you received the products.

3. Pay through Alibaba.com’s secure payment platform

Trade Assurance is only enforced when you pay online via Alibaba.com, so make sure you pay online via Alibaba.com’s secure payment platform. 

If you negotiate a deal on Alibaba.com but pay through a third-party platform, Trade Assurance is void, and Alibaba.com cannot guarantee the safety and security of your transaction.

It is worth pointing out that Trade Assurance is free for buyers, and transactions are automatically eligible as long as buyers follow the proper process.

How to file a dispute and request a refund

Buyers who see a problem with their delivery should immediately file a dispute. If the seller does not cooperate, Alibaba.com will step in after case escalation.

You can follow these steps to file a dispute:

  1. Go to “Orders” in your Alibaba.com dashboard
  2. Click “View More”
  3. Once the order details open, click “Apply for Refund”
Alibaba Trade Assurance: apply for refund
Alibaba Trade Assurance: apply for refund
  1. Fill out all of the fields on the form as prompted
Alibaba Trade Assurance: input refund info
Alibaba Trade Assurance: input refund info
  1. Monitor your refund application status

If you do not hear back from the supplier within three days, you may request mediation from Alibaba.com. After the seller provides the initial response to the refund request, the buyer may request Alibaba.com to mediate, as well. 

If you and your supplier fail to reach an agreement within thirty days, Alibaba.com will automatically step in to handle the refund request.

Again, the allotted time frame for filing a dispute with your supplier may vary depending on the shipment method in your purchase contract, but it shall not exceed 30 calendar days after the date of confirmed receipt of the products.

How to apply for Easy Return and get a refund

When a shipment arrives and the quality does not match your expectations, you can apply for an Easy Return.

Applying for an Easy Return is exactly how it sounds: easy! Here is how you can apply for a return and get a refund in just a couple of simple steps:

  1. Find the “Easy Return” order in your Alibaba.com dashboard
Trade Assurance: easy return option
Trade Assurance: easy return option
  1. Click “Apply for refund” and fill out the required information
Trade Assurance: apply for refund
Trade Assurance: apply for refund
  1. Return products

You have the option of using the shipping method offered by the warehouse or returning the items yourself. You have 15 days from the time your Easy Return is approved to return the product to the warehouse.

First method: shipping method offered by the warehouse

Alibaba Trade Assurance: product return shipping method
Alibaba Trade Assurance: product return shipping method

Step 1: On a piece of paper, write down the Trade Assurance order number and place it inside the package.

Step 2: Print the shipping label provided by the warehouse and stick it on the box.

Alibaba Trade Assurance: return tracking number
Alibaba Trade Assurance: return tracking number
Alibaba Trade Assurance: view shipping label
Alibaba Trade Assurance: view shipping label

Step 3: Drop the package at the post office.

Note: You are not required to pay for shipment; the warehouse will cover the shipping fee. Once the buyer has filed for Easy Return, the buyer must return the items within 15 days.

Second method: returning the package on your own

Alibaba Trade Assurance: change return method
Alibaba Trade Assurance: change return method
Alibaba Trade Assurance: choose a carrier
Alibaba Trade Assurance: choose a carrier

Step 1: On a piece of paper, write down the Trade Assurance order number and place it inside the package.

Step 2: Go to the post office, stick the shipping label on the box and drop it at the post office. You could copy the shipping address after you choose ‘Other logistics carriers’.

Step 3: Fill out the Easy Return application with the package provider and tracking number.

Once your return is processed, you will get your money back. 

Conclusion

Alibaba Trade Assurance is a great program for B2B buyers who want to source products from a new company. It provides the peace of mind that every transaction is secure and every order will arrive on time. 

This program is especially valuable for cross-border trade because it ensures a level playing field for buyers and sellers from any country, so nobody is taken advantage of.

Sign up for Alibaba.com today to connect with reliable sellers and source the products and materials your business needs.

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