How To Not Get Cheated By Chinese Suppliers
Finding a reliable supplier or manufacturer in China can be very hard when you are running a small business and don`t have the time or money to use an expensive sourcing agency or visit the suppliers yourselves. Your only options are often sites like Alibaba.com and Made-in-china.com. You can find the perfect supplier on Alibaba.com, but you can also get burned and lose alot of money buy choosing wrongly. Alibaba.com and Made-in-china.com makes money by charging suppliers for being listed as “Gold Suppliers” and “Gold Members”. The only requirement for being golden is paying enough money to the sites. Because of this, alot of scammers and bad suppliers are unfortunately taking advantage of the system.
How do i find reliable chinese suppliers?
We always recommend people to search our database of user-reviews of suppliers and manufacturers. You can not only find suppliers from China here, but from all over the world. If you are lucky, you`ll find a perfect fit with good ratings from our users.
If you can not find anything in our database, you should start looking on a site like Alibaba.com and Made-in-china.com. But when you do, make sure to take caution and use common sense. You should follow the following steps to minimize your risk;
1. Make sure to use suppliers that have been gold-members for a few years. This ensures that the manufacturer has not been kicked out recently due to fraudulent behaviour.
2. If possible, use suppliers that have been certified by the website. Alibaba.com for example, offers “Assessed Suppliers” and “On-site Checked”.
3. Check their website. It might sound naive, but the more professional their website looks, the more professional the supplier usually is. It is also great if they have pictures and videos from their factories and offices, but do not take it as clear evidence.
4. Google them. This one is obvious. Make sure that there are no warning signs online regarding the supplier you are considering using. People who have been scammed when sourcing overseas often writes about it in forums and blogs.
5. Get a feel of the company-representative/sales agent. Remember that the chinese have a different business culture than yours. Sometimes they might feel pushy and a bit over the top. This is just because they really want you as a customer.
6. Call the supplier on the phone. Always do this to make sure that the contact information they have given is correct.
7. Make sure that they want the payment in a legit bank account. If the supplier want to receive your payment in a personal bank account, via western union, or in a dodgy Paypal-account, you should choose another supplier.
8. Check out China Vista Yellow Pages. Visit China Vista and search for the supplier’s name. This is an easy way to make sure that the supplier is a registered company.
9. Do the supplier attend Trade Fairs? Ask the supplier if they attend any trade fairs. Suppliers who are, are usually the more legitimate and serious suppliers.
10. Ask for references. Try to see if you can get a reference from a former/existing customer. Call them up, and ask about their experience with the supplier/manufacturer.
Now you should have a good understanding of how you can avoid fraudulent suppliers from China and you should take a look at our Ultimate Guide To Importing From China.