In the next few posts I’ll be posting information about the new The Official Alibaba.com Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the Worlds Largest B2B Marketplace.
Ok, in the first post I got you the basics – the publisher’s description and the Table of Contents.
Let me begin by discussing Jack Ma’s foreward. I won’t steal his thunder, but I will mention one of his examples and what he aims to do through Alibaba.com – to help the Chinese marketplace and, in turn, help American entrepreneurs in the process.
One example he gave was a type of Chinese wine that retailed for $120 but which sold at the wholesale level for a very small percentage of the price. He attributed the massive (and questionable?) price increase to an antiquated distribution system, that, of course, had to add new layers of profit just to survive.
Ma sees his work at Alibaba.com as one of disintermediation. That’s a $3 word for cutting out “middle men”. Using the internet, his idea is for Alibaba.com to become the one “middle man” necessary to connect producers in China with distributors elsewhere in the world, but primarily in the English speaking market who want to distribute the products, add value to them, or use them as marketing tools for their “bread and butter” products and services.
His vision is to see the readers and US users of Alibaba.com use their site to open their own business and find the products they can sell profitably, and in one sense at least, put globalization to work FOR THEM.
What this does of course is diversify the customer base of Chinese firms… that way if one HUGE customer changes providers, they still have the opportunity to keep production going if they have been able to connect with small businesses who may be less likely to switch as long as they can continue to serve their customers effectively.
So it could be a good deal for all concerned.
I’ll talk more about other interesting things I’ve found in the book. I don’t have much time to read, but this is one book I wanted to read.