Be Safe on Alibaba: Easily Avoid Scams
E-commerce can be brutal at times, all that needs to happen is fall in the wrongs hands and boom your confidence can be crushed, and not only that your pocket can be crushed as well. Scams are a plague that threatens wholesale sites like Alibaba and despite the strong effort on the part of the website to clean up its directory of scammers, you will always find them there. Customers have laid many complaints of been scammed on Alibaba wholesale reviews website like sitejabber.
Some of the common ways customers have been scammed include receiving fake branded products, receiving the wrong/damaged products, receiving lesser quality products to what is specified and agreed upon between the reseller and the Alibaba wholesale suppliers. One customer, for example, wrote a review about Alibaba on “sitejabber” about receiving damaged and cheap quality furniture different to what was agreed upon with the wholesale suppliers on Alibaba, and worst still even with trade assurance he couldn’t recover his loss
Another customer also complains of receiving the wrong product different to what was ordered, after ordering for OLED screens he got LCD screens instead. After disputing the order, he was still unable to resolve the issue, worst still he returned the wrong products to the suppliers and he got no refund or right products in return.
How to avoid scams on Alibaba
Here are some tips on how to avoid scams on wholesale sites like Alibaba, these tips together with common sense can help you avoid been scammed.
The basic rule to avoid falling for Alibaba scams is avoiding any branded or licensed product on Alibaba; what is a branded product? These are products which are produced by popular brands or companies or such as:
Although most of these branded products are manufactured in China, it is impossible to buy them on sites like DHgate or other wholesale sites like Alibaba. These companies have stringent distribution guidelines, the products are moved in tight secured official channels as such if you find these products advertised on Alibaba, the probability that it is a scam is 99.9%. For licensed products, they are products that have any kind of intellectual property on them like:
- Characters from Popular cartoon series like Nickelodeon
- Celebrity pictures
- Characters from video games
- Company trademarks
In general, avoid these type of products to avoid falling for Alibaba scams which can be detrimental to your business.
- Go for the Gold supplier; gold suppliers have to pay several thousand dollars to maintain their status as gold suppliers annually. It is usually tough for scammers to cough up that amount of money, and even if they do, they rarely last 2 years before they are caught which is advisable to go for gold suppliers in their third year of operation. Don’t carry out business with the free member as that is where most Alibaba scams are found.
- Another thing to look for is supplier assessment or onsite check; the onsite check is carried out by Alibaba to check the suppliers’ premises and confirm that business activities are going on there. Alibaba will also perform a company verification so as to verify the legality of that supplier.
Supplier Assessment is carried out by a third party company such as SGS, they will perform an in-depth authentication which includes a more comprehensive assessment report.
- Trade Assurance is a type of Escrow payment introduced by Alibaba to protect you in case anything goes wrong with your order such as product low quality, delayed delivery or no delivery, and so on). However, this is unlike the usual escrow system which the money is held up until it’s released, with trade assurance you are going to pay to the supplier’s bank but you are protected on your order. Although, trade assurance is a good pointer that you can avoid getting scammed by the supplier but it is no guarantee that your orders will go on without any hitch.
- The history of the supplier transaction is a good indicator that you are dealing with a legit company, this indicator shows the history and level of trade by making use of the Trade assurance system. The bigger the number of sales the better, as this shows that it is a confirmed company with regular sales.
- A lot of suppliers show off their products along with scanned certificates for the products, this is another good indicator that you are dealing with a real company. However, care must be taken, as suppliers may show off fake certificates so always confirm the certificates. You can verify online at testing facilities like SGSfor free or you can contact the company and demand verification for the certificate in question.