The Alibaba dance

So I opened a new ‘buying request’ on Alibaba. I haven’t bought anything from them but I have used the site to get quotes before. It’s kind of a nightmare to figure out to be honest :p You post details of what you want made and then people send you messages in terrible Engrish trying to get your business. Its up to you to figure out whether they really have a factory or can even make what you’re specifying.

Most replies were for metal factories although one was from a place that creates PCB boards… Only one specifies a price for tooling which dropped the price quite a lot compared to some of the others places. The problem of course is that if you’re not 100% certain of what you want then you could end up with a shipment of scrap metal. However I’m just testing the waters at the moment to see what I can find. I only ‘requested’ 200 hexagonal panels and if I wanted 20,000 you could be sure I would be swamped with replies. This might however generate proper leads from factories that can actually produce the panels…

I set up a twitter and facebook page too, before someone squats on them.