Utilizing Data to Identify the Best Suppliers on Alibaba

5 min readMay 8

Originally published as https://reurl.cc/RvNxan

Finding suppliers has been an ongoing challenge for most eCommerce businesses. If you are one of them, you might get the answer from Alibaba, one of the largest B2B marketplaces made for buyers and sellers.

In this article, you’ll learn how to scrape data from Alibaba and utilize it to find the best supplier. To make it easier to follow, we’ll demonstrate the process using “toy car” as an example and show you how to get an insight into toy car suppliers’ verified years, average product ratings, and total reviews.

Table of Contents

Why scrape data from Alibaba

In the past 20 years, Alibaba has attracted more than 26 million active buyers worldwide, as well as suppliers from more than 190 countries and regions. There are more than 5,900 product categories on Alibaba. Naturally, it has become a massive database of suppliers.

Unlike other retail platforms, Alibaba gives buyers more supplier information. For instance, there is a category of suppliers called Verified Suppliers on Alibaba. Each verified supplier has been verified onsite and has a business license, and all of the products they list on Alibaba include the verified years. With such information, it may be easier to identify suppliers that are more reliable than others.

Use Octoparse for data scraping

We’ll use a web scraper, Octoparse, that is built for non-coders to scrape and extract webpages easily. If you have not used it before, please download it. Once you have it installed on your device, you can sign up for a free account to log in.

Step 1: Enter the target URL to create a new task

Launch Octoparse and log in, paste the target URL into the search bar, and click the “Start” button. The page will be loaded in the Octoparse built-in browser after seconds.

Target URL: https://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&tab=all&SearchText=toy+car&viewtype=


Web scraping at a large scale without coding. Start simple, for free. www.octoparse.com