Was looking around alibaba today (with much caution as I have seen the numerous horror stories on here!) and came across what seems to be a new part of their site company - AliExpress (http://wholesale.alibaba.com)
I've searched on here but not really been able to find any details. Has anyone used this service? Basically it lets you buy products direct from the supplier instantly online. It seems to have several benefits over the normal alibaba process as payment is via Alibaba, you can use a credit card for every transaction and payment is held from the supplier until you have confirmed delivery!!
Seems like a lot safer than the normal process as alibaba hold on to the money and you can claim a refund if not happy. Although whether alibaba can be trusted is another matter!!