Buying on MerchantAd.com is a little different than buying from an online B2C store, like Amazon or AliExpress. The process is designed to be both efficient and customizable.
Buying on MerchantAd.com is very straightforward and streamlined, but some steps have alternative approaches that give users a little leeway to shape their buying experiences.
Let’s take a look at the 6 steps for buying from MerchantAd.com.
1. Create an account
First up, is creating a free MerchantAd.com account. You’ll be prompted to add some information which usually includes:
At this stage, you’ll also be prompted to create a password.
As for the trade role, you will either select “Buyer” or “Both.” Only select “Both” if you plan on buying and selling on MerchantAd.com.
2. Search and find products
Next, it is time to search for products. There are two ways that buyers can find items to order on MerchantAd.com: search and browse the general marketplace or post a Request for Quotation (RFQ).
Browsing the marketplace is easy because it works just like any other search engine. You input a search inquiry and browse the results. You can also “Upload Image” to more effectively perform searches with product images that you are looking for.
Results can be filtered and sorted by a variety of different criteria, including:
This helps buyers narrow down products to meet their needs. If you cannot find the perfect product with the right buying conditions, you can post a Request for Quotation in the RFQ market and suppliers can actually reach out to you if they can fulfill your desired order.
3. Compare sellers
There are millions of sellers on MerchantAd.com, but some sellers have certain qualifications or certifications that set them apart from the rest. These three main identifiers are “Gold supplier,” “Verified supplier” and “Trade Assurance supplier.”
It is a good idea to take a look at each supplier’s verified reviews to see what sort of experiences past clients have had with them. If you have any questions for the suppliers about their operations or other information that you cannot find on their profile, you can message them privately to ask.
4. Negotiate deals or buy right away
Once you choose a supplier and a product, you can either negotiate the deal or buy right away. In order to buy right away, the product must be labeled as “Ready to Ship” and shows a “Start Order” button on the product detail page.
If you want to get samples of the product, place an order lower than the requested MOQ, lower the price of the goods, or make any kind of customizations to the order, you’ll need to “Contact Supplier” and use the “Chat Now ” instant messaging tool to negotiate with the seller.
Again, to do this, you will message the seller privately. Professionally address them and clearly state what you have to propose. There may be some back and forth, but with the right approach, you should be able to work out a deal that makes sense for all parties involved.
5. Place your order
Once you’ve worked out the details of your deal, it is time to place an order. Although you can take the transaction off of MerchantAd.com, we suggest not doing so. Once the transaction leaves our platform, it is no longer eligible for Trade Assurance, which protects both the buyer and the seller.
If you place the order on MerchantAd.com, you will keep communication on the platform and you’ll pay through our secure payment portal. The accepted payment methods include:
Alternatively, you can use “Pay Later,” which gives buyers 6 months to pay for their order with a 3.5% minimum interest rate.
6. Receive your goods
The final step of the buying process is to receive your goods. When it comes to cross-border shipping and logistics, buyers can use MerchantAd.Com Freight for a reliable and transparent experience. It provides ocean freight, air freight, and air express & air parcels from mainly India & China to worldwide.
If you pay through MerchantAd.com, our Trade Assurance program will see this process through. Shipping times vary by seller, so this will be worked out on a case-by-case basis.
Once you receive your order, you can leave your seller a review and decide whether or not you’ll use them to source your products again in the future.
Practices for safe buying on MerchantAd.Com and avoiding scammers
As a buyer, it is common to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on inventory. Naturally, you want to make sure that you don’t get ripped off or scammed.
Our number one tip for safe buying is to keep the transaction on MerchantAd.com. This includes all communications and payments.
When you keep the transaction on our platform, you are covered by Trade Assurance, which means that we will handle any disputes and make sure that you are refunded if your order is not delivered as promised.
There are so many scammers in the world, so it only makes sense to take advantage of our Trade Assurance program since it is free to you as a buyer.
6 Tips for buyers on MerchantAd
We’ve mentioned that MerchantAd.com is full of useful features and resources. However, all of these are much more useful when you know how to use them to your advantage.
Here are a few tips that will help you optimize your buying experience on MerchantAd.com.
1. Complete your profile
Sellers do not have to accept every order or even entertain every offer. They want to know that they are working with a legitimate and serious buyer who will hold up their side of the deal.
In order to show suppliers that you’re representing a real business and you’re not trying to scam anybody, we suggest adding as much information to your profile as possible.
Add a profile picture and all of the appropriate contact information. Use a professional email address for your business rather than a free generic address like Gmail. Fill in as much as you can about your business, when it was founded, how many employees you have, and any figures you have related to sourcing.
The more accurate information you provide, the better your profile appears to suppliers. To edit your profile, you simply log into your MerchantAd.com account and go to My Profile workbench and click on “My profile”.
2. Search more efficiently
The marketplace on MerchantAd.com is a search engine, so how you frame your search inquiries will determine what sort of results you’re shown.
Let’s go back to the example of t-shirts. If you’re looking for a specific color and style, specific those in your search inquiry. A search for “t shirt” will yield different results than “gray men’s t shirt.”
As you explore the options, you may want to use some more specific search inquiries and some that are less specific, and also try image search. Some sellers do not totally optimize their listings, so your results will vary.
Another way to narrow down your search results is with the filters along the left-hand side of the page. This lets you narrow down your options by criteria specific to the seller, the product, or both.
3. Assess sellers
One of the most important parts of sourcing on MerchantAd.com is knowing who you’re buying from. You want to make sure that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Checking for the Gold Supplier, Verified Supplier, and Trade Assurance Supplier qualifications is a good place to start. From there, check out the supplier’s profile on a supplier’s storefront. Their profile lets you know what type of company it is, where they sell to primarily, whether they offer, whether dropshipping is provided, how long they’ve been selling, their total annual revenue and accepted currencies.
Many profiles also feature user reviews. Reviews are one of the most important aspects on a supplier’s profile because it shows you past transactions have gone and whether or not past users have had positive experiences with them.
Have conversations with sellers to learn more about their products and their production processes. Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with buying from them.
4. Write effective inquiries
Now you’ve collected a shortlist of suppliers that you want to reach out to negotiate a deal or a customization needs. It is important for you to write effective, clear, and detailed inquiries to make sure you get what you need.
We recommend including the following information about what you want to source:
The more information you include, the more likely you are to attract a seller that can meet your needs.
Also, ask the right questions to help you determine if the supplier is a good fit for you:
5. Negotiate with confidence
As we mentioned, you can negotiate with sellers. In order to be successful in negotiations and work out a deal that works with your business’s needs, you must go in with professionalism, confidence, and reasonable asks.
If units are listed at 10 apiece, don’t go in with an offer of 2, or the seller will dismiss you as a non-serious buyer. An offer of 7 or 8 may be more reasonable, especially if you’re ordering 1000 units.
Keep in mind that a seller may not accept your first offer, so there may be a bit of back and forth. At the end of the day, you need to make sure that the price you settle on makes sense for your business.
6. Order samples
Many suppliers have minimum order quantities (MOQs) set in place so that buyers don’t try to take advantage of wholesale rates on small quantity orders.
However, suppliers understand that you may want to see the product for yourself before you buy thousands of units. Ask sellers about samples. Oftentimes, they will sell you a sample of the product you want to buy at the retail price.
It is especially important to order samples if the supplier is doing any customizations or private labeling on your products, like adding your logo or other special designs.
Having the physical product in hand can help you determine if it is the right option for your business and whether or not you want to invest in a wholesale quantity of units.
Buying and selling on MerchantAd
Many MerchantAd.com users are both buyers and sellers. It is common for sellers to buy raw materials from other sellers in order to produce their goods. By start selling on MerchantAd.com and becoming a Gold Supplier, you can easily tap into the existing buyer demand on this e-marketplace and grow your business and sales in a cost-effective way.
Using MerchantAd.com for both buying and selling is both easy and helpful, as a buyer, since it keeps these major business operations in one place in your My MerchantAd.com workbench.