Alibaba.com's main pricing method works through three different domains, each handled by a different website. Pricing models are:
1) Free product listing and revenue through advertisements
2) Online platform for exporters/importers and revenue through trade commissions
3) Annual subscription fee, commission on each transaction and a deposit
This three-part price model is targeted at different audiences.
Alibaba.com itself operates on pricing method number one and connects the exporters and importers to operate somewhat like eBay.
Its subsidiary, Taobao, the largest e-commerce website of Alibaba, has millions of sellers selling products through free listings. The free-posting platform has attracted vast quantities of small sellers and they pay for advertisements to make their products stand out.
Tmall is the brand-based portal of Alibaba and charges major brands for listing, earning commission on each trade and providing a niche market for niche products.
Thus by tapping the different buyer/seller markets, Alibaba has emerged as a remarkably popular e-commerce firm.