1. Be careful while Buying brand Electronics
The $500 Apple iPad they are selling at $100 is a cheap knock off. And the $20 iPod they are selling is nothing more than a cheap mp3 player. In most countries, the consignment will not even pass the custom clearing due to copyright infringement laws. Not only you will lose your money, but there is a high chance of you have to spend few years proving your innocence in courts… in some cases. Generally do not buy electronics from China. Even if they do work… they are cheaply built and will break down in a few months.
2. Beware Going for Payment by Western union [Specially you don’t know about the supplier well]
DO NOT USE WESTERN UNION!!! Scammers can easily steal your money using Western Union. Always use Paypal and Aliexpress Escrow.
Most of the alibaba suppliers will ask you to send money through western union. What ever the reason they give, you should be careful. Once you send money through western union to untrusted supplier you have no control over it. It is very easy to scam people using western union. I do not want you to lose your hard earned money. When you see western union as the only payment method listed, do your self a favor and ask them for other safe payment option from that supplier.
3. Never fall for the fake sample image
The scam sellers in alibaba will send you images of stock to prove that they have the goods in hand.
For example if you are looking to buy a nokia N95 they will send you images of 100’s of Finland made Nokia N95’s.
But I have experienced,same images are circulated through dozen different suppliers. Either they all are a part of one scam ring or they all have obtained the image from the same source.
When you ask for a sample image always ask to write your name in a piece a paper and take the photos with it.
The sample images can reveal a big story. but Don’t trust the supplier just from looking at the sample image. He may have few quality collections of stocks. But that does not mean he will send it your way.
4.Don’t; trust EMS tracking number .
Most of the suppliers in alibaba tend to do shipments through EMS. They will send you a tracking number saying that they have done their part of the deal. It is very easy to create a fake EMS tracking number. So be careful until you receive the goods.
5. Avoid sending money to any personal account whom you are not sure about.
Most of the sellers will ask you to send money to their personal bank accounts. When they send you the bank details, look for the bank name. If it is a personal name, avoid sending a cent. If they are a established entity, they must be using a business account and should use them in their business transactions.
6. If you feel price is too good to be true ,it almost ALWAYS IS!! It’s too easy to get scammed
Remind yourself of this fact when making a decision. There is no way that a supplier can offer you a $700 product at $200. You will be surprised how many suppliers have these types of prices. So do your due diligence when the supplier sends you the quote
7. Don’t fall for samples
The supplier may have sent you a real sample. (Paid / Free). That does not mean you can trust him with a $10,000 deal. There are suppliers who send you real samples for quality products. But when you place the big order you will either get scammed or will receive a big consignment of crap. So if the supplier cannot meet other credentials and criteria, do not trust him just because he sent you a sample.
8. Their company name might not be real one
Scammers know most people are intelligent enough to do a Google search about the company before doing any transaction with them. So some scammers use reputed company names to scam you. Most of mid level and small scale buyers do not go beyond the level of online contacts when making correspondence. Once we search about their company, we will see only good things about them. That’s why we must always send money to business accounts. If the account name is different from the company name they are pretending, Red flag; Run away.
9. Do not hesitate to make trip to china…
if you can, many people have successful businesses and once you get up and running it will be a huge benefit of going to chine and check out the factories first hand and talking with the suppliers to make sure they can offer you what you need.
Alibaba is not consisting of only Chinese suppliers, but most of the suppliers and the most profitable one’s are from china. If your order level value is over $5000 try to visit the supplier at least once. There are cheap trips available to china if you are bit tight on your budget. Once you verify the supplier you do not have to make repetitive visits.
10. Just because they are a Gold Member does not mean they are legit, because sellers pay enough money to alibaba, they are easy get a so called “Gold Member” title. Check their ratings for the last 6 months. Make sure they don’t only have default ratings. Aliexpress will give them a good default rating if the buyer did not bother to give a rating. Double check to make sure the buyers that left the rating are not all coming from the same person… it could be someone working for the supplier to boost his ratings.
The truth about cheap Chinese goods you should know:
If you have done enough research, you will find the goods on Aliexpress and Dhgate are not cheap. These two websites’ sellers are mostly individuals or very small companies; they are second or third level middleman wholesalers. If you want to make money, you need to buy products from manufactories, distributors, or first level wholesalers. However, there is a minimum purchase of over one thousand of quantity. It is impossible for people who just start their business to take a big risk and order thousands of a single product.
Since Chinese people have difficultly applying for credit cards and signing up for a PayPal account, Alibaba built another website: Aliexpress. It is open to individuals and small businesses to sell small quantity of goods. Aliexpress even set up a PayPal account to collect payments for all sellers. Chinese distributors and first level wholesalers will not sell on this kind of website, since it will take a long time getting money out of Aliexpress Escrow. It is also why Chinese companies will not accept PayPal. They will want you to pay through Western Union or Telegraphic Transfer, a insecure way of payment; so that they can get money quickly and avoid sending money fees. If you don’t know the seller, don’t pay by these methods.
Many people don’t know that 90% of “Made in China” products sell in other countries are not own by Chinese. In stead, they are own by those countries’ distributors or wholesalers. They went to China and contacted China’s international trade company, or they went directly to the manufactory, signed contracts, and placed orders. Chinese manufactory take the orders then start to produce. Because they ordered products in large containers, they can get very low prices. You may buy merchandises at real cheap wholesale prices from them than from Aliexpress and Dhgate.
I personally like to deal with U.S and Hong Kong wholesale suppliers. Many Hong Kong trade companies have their own manufactories locate in Shen Zhen, China. They have their own wholesale website and accept PayPal. Even though Hong Kong is belong to China, they have a completely different social and economical environment. Hong Kong people can apply for a business account and credit card freely, so Hong Kong businesses will use PayPal as a payment method. But searching for their website maybe hard, most of the time you will find a selling platform just like Aliexpress and Dhgate. This is why you need to join SaleHoo. SaleHoo is a wholesale sources and eBay Directory. It contains over 8,000 of Dropshippers, manufacturers, wholesalers and liquidators. Many of them in SaleHoo came from Hong Kong and U.S. Remember, many Chinese living in America import goods from Chinese manufactories in freights, which means you can buy cheap products from U.S wholesalers. This is much safer than buying small quantity of merchandises from Chinese website.
You can search Hong Kong and U.S wholesalers at SaleHoo.