SaleHoo vs. Alibaba

First off, to get it straight, SaleHoo and Alibaba aren’t direct alternatives, because they focus on different key offerings. SaleHoo is a vetted supplier directory and dropshipping tool for business owners who want to start rolling in sales, fast. Their products have been purpose-built to make selling online easier for you. Alibaba is a mega marketplace of suppliers with products which you can purchase as inventory for your store. We wouldn’t specifically consider it a ‘directory’ as it has not been curated and any and all suppliers can list themselves on the site.

  SaleHoo Alibaba
Dropship Tool    
Supplier Directory    
Online Marketplace    
Vetted Suppliers & Products    
24/7 Customer Service    
100% Money Back Guarantee    
TrustPilot Rating


SaleHoo and Alibaba, while often considered alternatives, offer different benefits to their customers, who are developing their winning eCommerce store.

This article has been developed to help you make sense of what exactly each platform is useful for and how it can help you build the business you envision.

We have searched the internet wide to gather some feedback from customers using each platform to better understand their experiences and what each site has been able to help them with. We believe that with this information, we can paint the most accurate picture about which platform may be the best for you.

Ultimately, we aimed to discover, which is going to be better for online entrepreneurs who are set on scaling their stores quickly and with ease, SaleHoo or Alibaba?

General Overview

SaleHoo has two primary tools for online sellers, their Dropship tool, which enables their members to directly import products to dropship into their online store, and their Directory tool which enables members to peruse a huge range of vetted suppliers from around the globe and find ones that are right for their business needs.

Alibaba is an online wholesale marketplace where you can find products to directly purchase in bulk. It can be a good place to find inexpensive products to resell for a profit, but this does come at some costs, which we will look at further in the article.

As an Alibaba customer, be prepared to have a bit of capital upfront, because you will need to meet minimum order quotas in most cases, in order to get wholesale prices. This is the main difference from SaleHoo, where there are a range of different types of suppliers to meet diverse needs and budgets. For example, if you don’t have much upfront capital, then finding dropshippers on SaleHoo may be best for you.

To summarize, we’ve repeated some of these key differences in a more digestible table below:

General Overview SaleHoo Alibaba
Dropship Tool    
Supplier Directory Tool    
Vetted Suppliers & Products    
Extensive Product Search Filters    
One-Click Product Import    
Better Business Bureau Accreditation    
100% Money Back Guarantee    
24/7 Customer Service    

Hint: Not sure where to begin on your dropshipping journey? We’ve come up with a guide to get you started in just five steps!


Directory Tool

First off, we’ll compare SaleHoo’s Directory to the Alibaba supplier marketplace.

With SaleHoo’s supplier directory, it is easier to find reputable products and suppliers for your business needs. There are more than 8,000 suppliers listed in their directory and all have met strict requirements to test for their quality and reliability. Their directory features more than just dropshippers. They have wholesalers, for you to purchase and distribute your own inventory. They also have manufacturers and private labellers who can customize products to your specifications. Additionally, they have liquidators selling brand-name products at steeply discounted prices.

 Among other requirements for SaleHoo suppliers, they must:

  • Be a genuine manufacturer, dropshipper, liquidator, wholesale supplier, or distributor authorized to sell at or below wholesale prices.
  • Have an active website and email (and be able to receive emails from us from time to time to make sure they are still active).
  • Clearly display their contact details on their website.
  • Have had their website up and running for at least two years.

Alibaba, as an online marketplace, is somewhat similar to a directory, where you can use it to find a wide variety of sellers and products, but we would not define it as one. This is because it has not been curated at all, meaning that any and all suppliers can list themselves on it without undergoing a selection process.

Suppliers can easily set up their listings on Alibaba without having to meet specific requirements. Suppliers will, however, set minimum order quantities for various products, so be prepared to buy in bulk to get started.

In summary, SaleHoo makes it easy to find trustworthy suppliers for a range of needs. On Alibaba, you may be able to find the suppliers you need, but the process could be more time consuming as you have more suppliers to sort through and need to determine which ones are going to be reliable. This may use up a lot of your time to quality check each supplier.


Tip: Figuring out what type of dropshipping store you want to build can be tricky. We’ve come up with a guide to give you some bestselling product ideas and useful market research tools to help you out.

Directory Tool Comparison SaleHoo Alibaba
Vetted Suppliers    
Extensive Filters    
100% Satisfaction Guarantee or Your Money Back    
Screenshots of SaleHoo
Screenshots of Alibaba
Dropship Tool

Additionally to their Directory tool, SaleHoo offers a product designed for dropshippers. This dropship tool permits you to find products on AliExpress and easily import them into your online store.

Because SaleHoo only lists high-quality, vetted products, their tool can be a real time-saver making it easy to start selling great products and helping to prevent you from having to write and upload product information manually - their ‘one-click store import’ uploads that all for you. Once you’ve imported the product, you may wish to edit some of the information, such as the images, description, variants, collection, and more.

The SaleHoo Basic monthly plan ($27 USD) allows you to import up to 500 AliExpress products into your store, what customers generally consider a generous amount. This allows your store heaps of room for trial and error when testing how well new products sell. The one-click import can work for filtered, reliable AliExpress products listed through SaleHoo.


Tip: Both of these platforms have millions of products available to dropship. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve come up with a list of low-cost, high-profit margin products to get you started.

Dropship Tool SaleHoo Alibaba
Easy to set up   Does Not Have Feature
Product Information Edit   Does Not Have Feature
Product Variants Edit   Does Not Have Feature
Image Selection   Does Not Have Feature
Vetted Suppliers & Products    
24/7 Customer Service    
100% Satisfaction Guarantee of Your Money Back    
Screenshots of Dropship Tool

Customer Service

SaleHoo and Alibaba both offer 24/7 customer service but what types of experiences have customers had with each?

SaleHoo offers chat, email and telephone support, which can be really useful for time sensitive issues and gives you flexibility to decide which form of support is going to work best for you. SaleHoo often receives positive comments about their customer service, and team members are commonly thanked personally.

“I had a lot of questions before signing up. The chat with John was awesome. He worked really hard for me. I asked a lot of questions and he gave me really thorough and prompt responses. Great customer service!”

“My experience with Karen was really successful. Karen is very attentive, kind, fast and cares for the good of the client with a professional disposition to answer all their doubts and questions.”

“SaleHoo offers sales help and support that far exceeds other e-commerce support companies.”

On the other hand, while many customers have reported having pleasant interactions with sellers using the site, in terms of the actual Alibaba company, customers have voiced some frustrations with the type of support available.

“Customer service is ridiculous, u cant talk to anyone directly at alibaba and getting a refund is a nightmare and almost impossible.”

“I posted a complaint and got a response from a fabricated customer service account so it looks as if they respond to concerns, asking if they could help.”

“They do not support customers at all. Customer service reps are all bots.”

Customer Service SaleHoo Alibaba
24/7 Customer Service    
Chat Support    
Email Support    
Telephone Support    
Personalized Responses    

SaleHoo vs Alibaba Reviews

We have taken a look across a variety of review platforms to find common themes about the experiences people have had using each platform. We have aimed to include recent review excerpts (post 2020) for the most relevant insights.

SaleHoo has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and has a 4.49 rating. They have a 4.7 TrustScore on Trustpilot, where they consistently receive five star reviews (91%). We’ve included some excerpts from customer reviews here:

“I have had several interactions with SaleHoo over the past 6 months and each time my questions have been answered very quickly and to my satisfaction. Their customer service is top-notch and they practice what they preach. It's refreshing to interact with a business who has the best interests of clients in mind.”

“I would highly recommend SaleHoo to anyone in Sales. They provide an excellent choice of Suppliers from many different countries, so whether you are looking for a drop shipper or wholesaler - the choice of previously vetted companies is exceptional. Customer Service is excellent - rapid and responsive!”

“Very responsive, professional, and give you tons of information. The team answered all my questions and supplied a plethora of URL's to read up on all the answers I was searching for. With that said, my decision making is simple and quick.”

Alibaba is not yet BBB accredited, and has a BBB rating of 1.11. On Trustpilot, they have a TrustScore of 4.1 and they receive five star reviews, but less consistently (81%). Some reviews are positive, but there are also mentions of scams and poor customer protections. We have included some review snippets below:

“Alibaba makes it easier to connect directly with manufacturers. fully satisfied.”

“I will never again look for anything on Their system of accepting sellers is to laugh at (supposedly for a sellers to receive gold status his account and business is being screened and evaluated but in this case the seller probably just has someone on the inside).”

“Alibaba lists suppliers that do not deliver products. They scam you out of small amounts of money and I am done with Alibaba… Alibaba has been useless at assisting me. Be warned that Alibaba is not a reliable platform.”

Review Platform SaleHoo Alibaba
BBB Accreditation    
BBB Rating
Trustpilot Rating
Not Available

Top Alternatives

It wouldn’t be fair to directly compare SaleHoo and Alibaba, as SaleHoo is a set of tools for online sellers, whereas AliExpress is a marketplace. Of course, there are other alternatives for both out there, which you may want to look into. We’ve included some further (but optional!) reading for you below.

Q&A Discussion

Have any questions about SaleHoo or Alibaba? Maybe you want to ask something about eCommerce in general? Please send any and all your questions our way and one of our friendly team members will be in touch soon.

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