Posted on 82 Comments

Alibaba Supplier Scams – 3 Common Types & How You Avoid Them

Alibaba Scam

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

There are still plenty of stories about buyers being scammed by suppliers listed various online directories. Alibaba does not turn a blind eye to such scams, but there are limitations to what they can do in order to help victims of fraud. In this article we look into 3 common types of Supplier scams and explain how you can prevent the scammer from evading your compensation claim.

Scam #1: Payment Frauds

This type of scam has been on the rise in the last few years. The first time I came across a payment fraud was in late 2011. The principle is simple. The scammer hacks the suppliers email account and determines which orders are about to be paid. From the supplier sent email box, they download recently issued Proforma Invoices and make their own versions. It looks exactly like the “real” Proforma Invoice – the only difference being the beneficiary details.

Getting it now? The Scammer simply replaces the bank account beneficiary and the bank account number. What happens next is that the buyer makes the transaction, to a bank account not owned by the supplier. Often, this is a bank account located in a different province or in Hong Kong.

The supplier doesn’t receive a single dollar, and by the time you realize what happened – the scammer is long gone and almost impossible to track down. If this happens, you can only hope that your insurance got you covered. But that’s rarely the case.

That’s why we always verify the suppliers legal status and bank accounts, when you order a Supplier Screening on Chinaimportal.com. Click here to watch a demonstration video.

Scam #2: Delivery of damaged or defective items

While avoiding a payment fraud is done with relative ease, preventing a supplier from sending damaged or defective items requires a more sophisticated approach. You need to implement a Quality Assurance process.

Before I get started on that, I want to explain how this really works. When a buyer is not providing the supplier with clear product specifications, it creates an excellent opportunity for the supplier to fill in the gaps. Let’s say you forgot to tell your supplier that you need your products to be compliant with a US CPSC regulation. Well, then your products will not be compliant with that CPSC regulation.

The reason is simple. Compliance costs time and money – and Chinese suppliers got razor thin profit margins. A CPSC compliant product shall not contain certain chemicals. That means the materials and components are slightly more expensive. On top of that, the supplier needs to test materials and components purchased from subcontractors. That too, costs money. If you fail to make your supplier understand that:

A. Your product must be compliant with a certain CPSC regulation;
B. You will verify that the product is in fact compliant with that regulation;
C. That the supplier got something to lose if they don’t comply with your requirements;

then you will not get a product that is CPSC compliant. This applies to all quality requirements such as colors, functions and design; not only product safety regulations.

Scam #3: Proxy companies in Hong Kong

Many Chinese suppliers invoice customers using an offshore company in Hong Kong. This practice is very common among small manufacturers in China’s southern Guangdong province. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, this setup makes it easier to hide taxable income from the Mainland Chinese tax authorities. Secondly, it makes it easier for the supplier to evade responsibility in case of a dispute with a foreign customer.

I know of one such cases. The customer paid a proxy company in Hong Kong, while the products were manufactured by another company in Mainland China. When the buyers discovered that the products were not what they expected, the supplier stopped taking their calls. Wouldn’t it still be possible to seize assets held by the proxy company in Hong Kong? Theoretically, yes.

But not so much in the real world. A proxy company is essentially a piece of paper, a bank account and a post box. There’s no office, no local representative and whatever money that’s still in the bank account can be transferred to another account in no time.

A proxy company is rarely owned by the actual supplier. Instead, an employee or relative of the legal representative is the only shareholder. However, I need to clarify that a proxy company doesn’t necessarily say that the supplier is a scammer. But it does increase the risk. In order to offset this risk, you need prevent the supplier from evading responsibility.

Alibaba is working hard (and often succeed) to track down fradulent suppliers

Alibaba.com is a B2B platform allowing Chinese suppliers and international buyers to meet. With millions of listed suppliers (including companies that claim to be a supplier, but are not), it’s impossible for Alibaba.com to monitor them all.

Besides, in many cases things go wrong, even if the supplier has the best intentions. In fact, the importer is to blame more often than one might think. Many importers assume that if they only tell the supplier to offer products of “the best price and the best quality”, everything will be just fine. However, there’s no universal definition of “good quality”. I keep saying that in every second article I write, but people still keep making this mistake over and over again.

If you don’t provide your Chinese supplier with clear and defined quality requirements, your product is most likely not going to be what you expect. Suppliers are not mind readers, and Alibaba.com cannot be expected to monitor every single email and Skype conversation between a buyer and seller – in order to ensure that the products are “good quality”. Whatever that means.

“What can I do if I fall for an (Alibaba listed) Supplier scam?”

That depends on the situation. To begin with, you need to show that the supplier listed on Alibaba.com is the scammer. Sounds simple? I say no. If you paid a proxy company, or a company that is completely unrelated to the supplier listed on Alibaba, you didn’t really do business with the supplier to begin with. That means they’re off the hook.

I’ve dealt with such situations several times. A few years ago, a young owner of a startup called me. He was devastated. The electric bikes he imported where barely good enough to be sold as scrap metal. In the beginning, it sounded like an easy task – he even had a signed and stamped Sales Agreement. I told him to send over the agreement, plus email conversations and quotation files.

It only took me a few minutes to realize that this case was a dead end. In fact, they couldn’t prove that the supplier they thought they did business with, had anything to do with the quality issues. Sounds confusing? Let me explain. The Sales Agreement was signed by another company in a different province, and the payment was wired to a company in Hong Kong! There was no way we could prove that the actual supplier had anything to do with the Supplier

scam. Their company name was not even mentioned on the shipping document.

Still, the client insisted that we do our best, and since they paid us for it, we jumped on the next train to Jinhua city and had a little chat with the supplier. Guess what? They didn’t take any responsibility whatsoever. They claimed that the client was scammed by a rogue sales assistant – who, they claimed, was already fired and nowhere to be found. It was a dead end. It was time to go back to Shanghai.

Rule number one: make sure that you can show that the supplier listed on Alibaba.com, is the perpetrator of the scam. If not, you got nothing on them – and if you don’t, Alibaba can’t act. Assuming that you did your homework and can tie down the supplier to the fraud, then you got a case that can be reported to Alibaba.com. Before you send them anything, you should prepare yourself with the following:

  • Email history
  • Proforma Invoice
  • Sales Agreement (if any)
  • Photos and video showing the defective products
  • Transaction records

If you can show that the supplier deliberately cheated you, Alibaba will act. It’s in their interest to ensure that buyers are not scammed by suppliers. However, Alibaba.com is a private enterprise and not a government authority. There are limitations to what they can do. If the supplier refuses to cooperate, they may remove them for their supplier listing. That’s basically how far their power reaches.

In some cases, the threat of being kicked out of Alibaba, is enough to make a supplier compensate a customer. But not always. Suppliers that are going down the drain are much more likely to scam a customer, and these suppliers couldn’t care less about either their reputation or Alibaba listing. That being said, you might end up on the losing end, even if you manage to produce a strong case and make Alibaba take action.

Still, China is not a country without law enforcement. Contrary to common belief, China ranks quite well in this aspect. However, suing a Chinese company, in China, is time consuming and expensive. After all, lawyers (especially the good ones) don’t work for free. In the end, suing a Chinese supplier is not a realistic option for small businesses lacking both the time and money.

Disclaimer

This article is provided only for informational purposes only and neither the author nor any companies and/or service providers mentioned in this text makes any representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article. This article only represents the views of the author and is not endorsed by any company and/or service provider mentioned in this text.

Do you want to launch your own private label or custom designed product?

It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package:

a. Private Label & OEM Product Manufacturer Lists

b. Product Specification Templates

c. Product Label Samples

d. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire process

In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform. Click here to learn more.

  • 82 thoughts on “Alibaba Supplier Scams – 3 Common Types & How You Avoid Them

    1. Using a proxy company in Hong Kong makes scams easier (or, rather, makes it harder to follow the trail and sue the guilty party), but I am not sure it can be qualified as a scam in itself. Most of the time, it is a scam to the PRC’s government ;-)

      1. Hello Renaud,

        Yes, you are right on that. It’s not a scam by default. But in this article, I refer to it in the context of suppliers using proxy companies / accounts to evade responsibility. In that sense, it is a scam and shall be considered as one.

    2. Hi, thanks for the article, it’s very helpful since I’m new to importing. But I have a question as to payment scams. I’m placing a small trial order, about $1000, but they requested T/T to an account in Hong Kong. The beneficiary name is different from the company name listed on Global Sources and their email, but from what little I’ve seen, companies operate under different names (this is true in the US, too, even my own company has several different names, depending on the product line). Is there a legitimate reason they factory would have you T/T to a HK bank, or should they be able to accept T/T to a mainland bank. I have checked the factory out pretty thoroughly, even paid an independent 3rd party individual to visit the factory, who confirmed that it’s a reputable business. I’m just worried that it could be the individual sales rep trying to scam me, not the company itself. Thanks

      1. Hello Tony,

        That depends. Is the HK company name similiar to the company name of the supplier? That would weed out most scammers.

        If not, you need to verify the name of the Legal Representative of the HK company. That’s the only solution I see. Do you have any other contact person working for the supplier?

        1. Thanks Fredrik, I’m doing some extra checking right now and there is definitely something fishy going on. From what I can tell so far, the salesman I was working with is no longer with the company.

          Your post was very timely for me. I guess you can never let your guard down!

      2. Hi Tony
        When dealing with Alibaba request to pay via PayPal or Escrow. That way any funny business you can file a chargeback and get your dough back bro!

        1. PayPal no longer protects deals that involve multiple transactions. Attempt to chargeback if something goes wrong and have your PayPal account suspended. You will get your money but is it worth the risk of losing PayPal account?

          The only way I see to use PayPal is for samples but I am not sure it covers customized samples if you decide to refund sample not made to your specifications. From now on Escrow, Trade Assurance and T/T and the last one would serve as a good way when paying for sample only to ensure that money is wired to company’s bank account before wiring for bulk order after you approve sample. The risk is only losing money paid for sample.

        2. Escrow only works pre-delivery. If what you receive is rubbish, too bad. Alibaba introduced me to a chinese company (oriemac) that dealt with waste paper recycling for my business in Sydney NSW. Once the company sent me a shoddy replica in pieces unable to work, Alibaba decided that the seller was in the right. I have lost over $19500 and cannot do a thing about it. Trade assurance means nothing. Alibaba are responsible for my loss all the way to Jack Ma.

    3. Hi there,
      This article is very interesting, as a matter of fact even if it is an Alibaba supplier, the buyer should careful and do his homework. There are some goods resources complementary to your suggestions Fredrik that I would recommend:
      – the China Sourcing Information center has always great case studies and vidéos very useful for all buyers : chinasourcinginfo.org/
      – few articles from the Quality Control Blog
      How to avoid scammers )
      Free resources to select China suppliers )

    4. Hi thanks for such an informative article! I was about to agree to importing some sports products when I asked for a proforma invoice and the bank account details are based in Hong Kong. I heard alarm bells instantly, started googling and found this article !

      The company I am intetested in is a Manufacturing and trading company in Guangzhou. Theyve been a gold supplier for 1 year on alibaba. The sales rep and I have shared many emails regarding price and shipping and all her emails cc the manager in china, which I matched in the alibaba business page. Ive even tried the phone line n number to Guangzhou n it worked. Theyre also accepting payment by paypal. everything seemed legit til i received the proforma invoice. The proforma invoice has a slightly different company name to the alibaba company name and they use bank HSBC (Bank of Hong Kong and Shanghai? 1 queens road hong kong). the paypal address is solely in the sales reps name @foxmail.com not the managers name or company paypal email address ?

      is paypal still safe with these guys or am I right to be worried?

      1. Hello Vivian,

        I need a lot more information about the supplier and their legal status before I can say if PayPal is safe or not. This could be a scam, I’ll send you an email with more information.

      2. Hi Vivian did you ever figure anything out on this? we are looking to buy sports products from a “manufacturer” in Guangzhou and I feel like the prices are too good to be true. I need info to convince my business partner this may not be a good idea

    5. “A proxy company is rarely owned by the actual supplier. Instead, an employee or relative of the legal representative is the only shareholder. However, I need to clarify that a proxy company doesn’t necessarily say that the supplier is a scammer. But it does increase the risk. In order to offset this risk, you need prevent the supplier from evading responsibility.”

      This seems to hit red flag of transferring to personal account. But you said that this risk can be offset by preventing supplier from evading responsibility. Can you explain this one Fredrik?

      1. Hi Boris,

        The best way to do so is by letting both the Hong Kong company (receiving the payment) and the actual manufacturer (in Mainland China) to sign and stamp the Sales Agreement, Proforma Invoice and Product Documentation. But, stamps and signatures can be faked.

        I also advice you to verify that the Hong Kong company and the Mainland China company has the same legal representative.

        1. Thanks Fredrik

          But there is another “right off the bat” problem – how do I know if supplier I am about to contact already has his email compromised without knowing it? How do I establish connection with legitimate company individual to verify if that is the case?

          Technically I don’t understand how emails are hacked (excluding inside jobs) because hackers operate within range of supplier which means they use wireless connections. I doubt suppliers do not take extra care to encrypt their organization wireless access point. Actually I doubt organization would use wireless technology for communications.

          1. Hello Boris,

            You don’t know. However, what really matters is that you verify the supplier and its bank account details, thus ensuring that you pay the right company – and not a scammer.

            I can assure you that web security is an alien concept among most Chinese manufacturers. It did in fact happen to a Chinese friend of mine, running a factory in Shanghai. They got a hold of his email account and sent fake payment details to a client in Greece. They paid the scammer, and my friend didn’t receive a single dollar. The bad part, for my friend, was that the cargo was already in the Suez canal – a bit late to order a recall!

            Hacking an email account is not science fiction these days. Most factory owners, especially the older ones, use simple passwords like “mrchen123” and it takes only minutes to brute force such a password, using password generating software.

            1. Hi Fredrik.

              Can supplier’s Alibaba account be compromised i.e. chat and listing? If all supplier’s channels (email, Alibaba and Skype) are compromised, the only way to get a hold of someone from factory is by phone calling?

            2. Hello Boris,

              Yes, and I know of case where an employee, managing the chat, requested payment to a company owned by him/her. Thus, the Alibaba supplier received no money. No items where shipped. In the end, what really matters is that you do pay the right company. It is not possible to verify who is operating the suppliers chat, email or Skype account. Never assume that their employees are not potential scammers.

    6. There was a comment I just read on Renaud’s blog from someone who does sourcing and QC inspection in China. He told that in Guangdong there are more factories invested by HK and Taiwan and that factories place emphasis on quality and are more authentic as they are led by HK and Taiwanese. But in Zhejiang/Shanghai/Jiangsu area factories are more focused on quantity. How true do you find this to be Fredrik?

      Also I heard that in south and east parts of China quality is better. But on the other hand it’s been 2 or more years since China manufacturing (textiles, toys, shoes and furniture) started to evolve due to financial stress on low-tech, labor intensive factories being pushed out by developed factories with better technology.

      1. Hello Boris,

        Yes, Hong Kong and Taiwan are decades ahead of Mainland China. However, I wouldn’t say that they are less focused on quantity. They like to get big orders too!

        However, Hong Kong and Taiwanese owned companies tend to be more reliable, in terms of product quality, compliance and management.

        China will remain a developing country for a very very long time to come, and the central government in Beijing still need low value added manufacturing to keep people employed.

        However, It’s true that the manufacturing landscape in China is changing. Low end suppliers are finding it increasingly hard to remain profitable and compete with suppliers in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thus, the market is consolidating, slowly.

        Also, keep in mind that most Taiwanese owned factories are located in Mainland China, including Zhejiang and Jiangsu, but also Guangdong and Fujian.

    7. Anyone have info on this supplier:

      Company Name: MJ TEXTILE INC
      Operational Address: 110 E.g. 9th street B798_796, Los Angeles, California, United States
      Website on alibaba.com:

      Also, any advice on whether or not to trust them. They want me to pay for an order I made via Wester Union. They are a 2 yr gold member, Alibaba certified, and I found the owner on linkedin. The only suspect thing is that the company is a textile company and I’m purchasing electronics. That do you think?

      1. Hello,

        We don’t have any data on this company, but it is rarely a good thing to buy any other product than the category of which the supplier is focused on. However, this seems to be a trading company based in the United States, and as we don’t know anything about the company, it’s not possible to come up with a judgement.

        1. Dear JK,
          Maybay you know something about MJ textile inc company?
          if you know something pls write to my email grzegorz.grzech1@gmail.com

    8. Have you been a lot in China Fredrik? Maybe you can help me understand geographical concern I have when it comes to matching phone area codes and ZIP codes with province and city where manufacturer claims to be?

      I have stumbled upon what feels like legit supplier on Alibaba. His profile and onsite report claim his location to be: Pujiang County, Pujiang, Zhejiang, China (Mainland)

      I have checked and found that Pujiang county is in Jinhua prefecture of Zhejiang province for which I have validated ZIP code and phone number but there’s Pujiang which is a town and it’s in Shanghai. The distance between both is almost 300Km. Do you know why supplier and onsite report would specify both locations?

      1. Hi Boris,

        Yes, been living in Shanghai since 2009 so I am pretty familiar with the geography. So, if I get you right, there are two places named Pujiang?

        1. Yes. Supplier’s onsite report has registered address and operational address stating “Pujiang County” which is county of Zhejiang and thats okay because according to ZIP and area phone codes everything clicks into place. I use this resource for matching:

          However on Alibaba’s contact information page of supplier, it says CIty: Pujiang but Pujiang is a town in Shanghai, thus discrepancy.

          I am going to assume that Alibaba does not allow field on supplier’s contact page for specifying county, thus that’s what supplier written. Or it’s just supplier’s mistake.

          About resource I posted link for above, I think I don’t quite understand how ZIP codes are supposed to be. There is a supplier in Dongguan that on his contact information page has 523883 as his ZIP code, however the resource states that Dongguan has 511700 as ZIP code.

          Am I getting ZIP codes incorrectly Fredrik?

          1. Hi Boris,

            If so, I assume they refer to Pujiang in Zhejiang, as they would never label a district (I don’t think it is even a district, never heard of this place actually) in Shanghai as a city. I also assume that they list Zhejiang as the province? If so, there shall be no conflict of information.

            Regarding Zip codes: In all honesty we have never attached much weight to this. That said, Dongguan must certainly have more than one zip code, as around 8 million people live there. It’s quite a big place.

    9. You can also use AlibabaScam.com scammers list to check, this before sending any money! :)

      http://alibabascam.com

      1. Hello Michael,

        True, but that will only protect you if the company is a known scammer. Businesses set up to commit frauds are usually closed down after going on a “scam spree”, only to reappear a few weeks or months later under another entity.

    10. Just to keep you guys updated here is a scammer was successful in cheating me –

      Umine Technolgy Company (HK) Ltd
      Contact Person – ADA
      Skype: zhang.xiaoxuan
      Email: ada@usb-flashdrives.com
      Web: http://www.usb-flashdrives.com
      Address: Huaqiang Road Metro Station beside ,Futian District, Shenzhen PRC
      Phone: :0086-15627456393, 0086-33136393

      Well they are smart enough to communicate professionally to make you believe that you finally found a reliable vendor with a lucrative price offer. But tricks are very common and I was new in the market when fall in their trap and finally received piece of plastics instead of microSD cards.

    11. Hello all, very nice article. Id just like to give some input from the other end – my wife and I started a kid’s clothing company and are a real supplier on Alibaba, we have received constant attempts at scams. Im not sure what they are hoping to get from us as we don’t buy anything this way…there is no chance at getting cash from us – there has been a few people posing as a buyer and then try to get us to log our email details into some fake trade application – obviously trying to hack our email account. Possibly they are wanting to pose as me or my wife in an identity theft incident or act as a middle man and resell our products at a mark up. Its so bad that any enquiries we receive have to be assumed to be a scam – if any ‘buyer’ is from a central African country it almost certainly is not genuine. Im beginning to think we wont be continuing our membership next year.

      1. Hello Mike,

        We are actually receiving very similar emails from scammers posing as buyers. These are probably bots targeting any company that may be a trader or manufacturer.

    12. Hello Fredrik,
      I have learnt important things from your blog. I am looking to buy goods from Alibaba supplier with OEM. I have talked with one who seems reliable, but is requesting 30 % now and 70 % BEFORE shipping. The problem is that tells me to pay throught Pay Pal on a person name, not a company name. It is trustwothy to pay a person, not a company name? Proforma does not have any bank account for this supplier, just it s name…
      I know that Pay Pal open a dispute only for one-time payment if you don t receive goods or are quality issues. That means that Pay Pal is not involving if I pay 2 payments?
      Please forgive me my bad english…

      1. Hello Nico,

        No, that sounds quite sketchy. Keep in mind that PayPal can only issue a refund if there is still money to collect from their account.

        1. thats not true iv had a paypal dispute against me and i had no funds in my paypal account
          it went into a negative balance and days after they forcefully took the money from my bank account
          its more safe to use paypal as a buyer then a seller

          1. Hi Tom,

            Interesting. Then I stand corrected!

    13. Qingdao Tianfule Plastic Co.,LTD.

      CHEATER, QUALITY PROBLEMS, DO NOT PAY BACK MONEY, BUT STILL IN ALIBABA AS GOLD MEMBER!!!!!

      1) Date of first Order problem: 24/6/2014 also our first order to them.
      2) Value of order: 11,930 usd 1 fully container 20 feet
      3) First step is send claim with the problem, one material 4mm sheets was rejected in my customer as the material have a quality problem.
      4) Supplier recognize the problem, but as Miss grace had some personal issues and we don’t get any reply I send somebody there from our shanghai office to have a meeting in his factory and find a good way to solve the problem, in this meeting they told me no problem , we are responsible of this problem and we will replace, I ask if they want the goods back, they told me NO. ( NO as no Need )
      5)weeks pass and no action from supplier side, then I fly myself as my customer is very disappointed with this issue, then I meet the Owner of the company, he told me apologize, they are guilty and they will give me the replacement, then he ask me please help him to get new order to fill the container and even was not best option considering that first shipment was all rejected but in order to show our support and looking forward good cooperation I order and pay 30% advance extra material.
      6)then when I paid they request me pay 100% all the new order, I was disappointed but again with good intention to show I want to do good business I paid 100% new shipment. Then also they want I pay transport, and to avoid more problems, even ridiculous as they send wrong goods and I fully paid I accepted and pay double normal cost to them.
      7) then once I send them more than 4K usd more, they told me now his Boss want I return reject products, then for us is not a problem but in peza zones this have a process almost 30 days, since 2 month ago I ask them if they want it, but they REPEAT NO, then now they told me once you send me back or buy me 50% price I send you new goods. This is unacceptable, I paid and I get bad product, then now I need goods urgent, even I told them come to my place is cheap and you see the bad products you deliver to us.
      11) After wait 2 month, make many many emails , skypes and visit them 2 times to his factory, trust them and send more money they treat like that, then how come one supplier ISO and Gold member for 4 year cheat companies?
      12) I ask my money back, my customer is not going to wait 25 days his reject material go back, then I REQUEST ALIBABA CLEAR THEM, IF I RETURN HIS MATERIAL they need to pay me back my money, or you need to remove them from Gold member otherwise Alibaba keep manufacture non according with industrial and commercial regulations.
      13) We lose our image almost our best customer and we really try to help the supplier, but is impossible to follow all his obligations since they even know what they send is bad.
      14) Even I am the one risk more than supplier sending more money again, they are asking me a warranty I will return the bad product or money per 50% of the value before 30 days, and I told him no problem, they can find a lawyer and we can sigh a contract, even give check from my company, if 30 days pass they can get the goods.
      15)Finally I got just my new order money back, but any replacement was done.

      Personally aside the money they cheat us and lose our customer credibility I got sick of depression due this case , then I will not stop in all network up they give me what is ours.

      Hope people can be careful with this company, due our experience.

      1) Supplier name: Qingdao Tianfule Plastic Co.,LTD.
      2) Alibaba member:
      3) My contact trought Alibaba: Grace Yang
      Sales Director
      GB/T19001-2008/ISO9001:2008 (No.:015812Q)
      -Qingdao Tianfule Plastic Co.,LTD.
      Beiguan Industrial Park, Jiaozhou, Qingdao City, China 266300
      Tel.: +86-532-8228 6699
      Fax.: +86-532-8228 7839
      Mob: +86-150 9200 1972

    14. I was also scammed some time back. The company changed bank adress or got hacked. No body knows. In case your supplier sent you a mail about a new bank account you must act very carefully. I made a blogpost about this scam wth a Ningbo garden furniture supplier.
      It cost me arround USD 8000,=
      Beware not to fall for this trap!

    15. You cannot import brand name items directly from a contract manufacturer. It doesn’t exist.

    16. Maybe u guys can help me. I found trade manager on alibaba..he gave me his companies bank account which is in UK..he also emailed his companies certication r which is registed in new York city state business database which I double checked. I still think something is fishy. The company is called Annex inc in new Albany new York. Address is 80 state street new Albany NY…Does anybody know anything about this company??

      1. Sounds very strange. Almost certainly a scam.

    17. I will pay $1000. For the person that finds me a manafractura for old spice pure sport deodorant. ASAP..
      My email. Addisgessese@gmail.com..

      Maybe u guys can help me. I found trade manager on alibaba..he gave me his companies bank account which is in UK..he also emailed his companies certication r which is registed in new York city state business database which I double checked. I still think something is fishy. The company is called Annex inc in new Albany new York. Address is 80 state street new Albany NY…Does anybody know anything about this company??

    18. Hi, I thought I did my homework well but now feels little bit that all it’s not ok.

      Company is listed in Alibaba with gold member 5 years in guangdong, on site check, trade
      assurance and all good things on their site. Had long email discussion for products, and the person seemed to understand a lot about production specifics and finally I got proforma invoice.

      Company is not to be found from any scam or fraud google searches, nor the contact person. Beneficiary bank account is similar named hongkong company. This contact person was active in answering emails, until I send proof of payment from bank. After this, already over a week, not a single reply for my many emails and tried to contact also from their alibaba contact chat but nothing after sending money!

    19. ok sorry, actually today I got reply finally, she was just out of office, and even a sample photo of one part and information that all is ok. I guess I got worried too easily! For moderator, please don’t publish the company name and my last message, because I don’t want negative publicity for them if all actually is ok.

      1. Good to hear that it worked out. We will not publish the company name.

    20. @Fredrik I ordered the goods in aliexpress for $ 260, after payment seller to send the goods to the wrong address and I do dispute , the seller apologized and gave compensation $ 20 and provide a new item to be sent again , then I agree , suddenly two days later came an email from aliexpress stating that the seller suspended , all the links and shops disappear . While the process is still running my order and I have not received a new item , it becomes clear all hands off . May I ask for solution on this issue and what i must to do ? thanks

    21. Hi
      I submitted a complaint like below in alibaba
      I want to complian from [Hidden company name]
      I buy the crystals according to PI is attached from this company 17 July . their agent Ashely Wang buy the crystal.
      i want her to shipped it with TNT and i paid the TNT shipment fee according her PI. but she send crystal with chirlinexpress. after 11 days the product is in china.
      we trust their company but they have not good manner. we pay TNT fee because we need our crystal immediately.We had lost and our damages must be paid.
      please help us to give crystals immediately and Redress our damages.

      Please help me
      1- how can i do anything else???

    22. Hello Frederik!

      I have been marketing bio-fertilizers for many years, mostly in West Africa. It’s easy to do business there nowadays. Things have changed a lot there for the good. You pay commission after a sale. It’s agreed in advance. It’s clear and simple. The scammers nowadays are the silly people who send out email scam mails, thinking that their scam mails are original. You know, the “I have access to a secret bank account” mails.

      But I refuse outright to have anything to do with business in China. When anyone contacts me from China, I decline to do business with them. Somehow business people don’t have a conscience, and there’s far too much corruption. The system of corruption is amazing! It makes West Africa in the “bad old days” look like a Kingdom of Angels.

      I won’t even buy an item in a shop if it’s made in China as it will only break quickly. China will take a generation at least to sort itself out.

      But I wish Alibaba members good luck! I prefer Africa though.

      My warmest regards,
      Peter

    23. Make sure that the best design. We aare sure to come. Let me tell you how to
      make your Christmas shopping iss online. We got it, cause you know, mine is
      just an ordinary electronic gadget, from silver strips and yet
      it’s never too early. If you choose gifts for the pazt year and the
      boston oui lawyer pofential to be put to good use. Ro: Whhat do you gett tired of looking for a lifetime.
      The all-time favorite of your boston oui lawyer true guide.

    24. If you’ve ever wanted to design a ‘dear dad’ personalized
      photo jewelry mosaics are usual photographs that are purely functional.

    25. Make sure tthe company has their own carpets in offices, nettoyage de talis montreal retail stores,
      big carpet cleaning solutions. Another great do it in, attaching too their service aand upolstery to determine
      on what you did nott say that you need. The bottom ine is,
      of course you can send them an email with future articles by Anne
      Seccombe click on the carpeting. Although some wholesalers are loyal tto their task.
      No, yoou just leave it foor ten years.

    26. This will be my first time shopping on Alibaba, and the company who is based in china sent me an email saying that they dont want to complete the transaction on alibaba and asked for my paypal account. Is this normal? seems like a scam to me why cant we just finish the process thru alibaba?

      1. I am also the first timer and I’ve experienced the same with my contacted supplier. That sets me back and I’m holding my transaction now. Looking forward to get the post reply by Fredrik .

        1. Hi,

          Normally, payments are not made through Alibaba.com. This is, as far as I know, not even the case when using their Trade Assurance program. Alibaba is mainly a supplier directory, like the yellow pages, rather than a payment processor. However, they do have their own payment gateway, Alipay, but as said, it’s up to the supplier.

          That said, you are still wise to assess the supplier before making a payment. I suggest you read this article: https://www.chinaimportal.com/blog/payment-methods-importing-china/

          1. Frederick – Thanks so much for a great website and great information. You’ve really helped me double check my concerns and doubts in relation to trading with China, and I’ve enjoyed reading your clear and informative articles, and your willingness to engage with commentors on your site.

            I’ve now completed my first alibaba transaction that I was very vigilant about due to all the unknowns, and some of the stories you and others have shared. I thought I would share my experience in relation to the OP here.

            In relation to the OP in this instance, It’s not ‘normal’ to ask for paypal from alibaba’s point of view, and you can report them within alibaba (it shows the link in the bottom left of the screen in your ‘my alibaba’). However, Paypal offers its own buyer protection, so depending on your order value and whatnot, its likely less risk doing paypal than paying direct to their bank account with no escrow/third party.

            I’ve only just complete my own first transaction on alibaba and cant thank you and other informed parties like you who I’ve researched for all their information in helping me make an informed decision. I paid using the alibaba escrow for the protection it can offer, and have taken what measures I can to ensure that even within that I haven’t been scammed or ripped off – even still I can’t know until goods arrive without a third party on the ground like you Frederick, or folks who offer services like yours.

            The other thing that may justify their reasoning is that paypal will send them the money straight away, while alibaba will wait until the goods are shipped before releasing money. If your agent needs to buy or produce your item(s) with the money your paying, they may need it in hand up front.

            I am not suggesting you accept or deny their offer, nor am I claiming to be an expert at all on such things. As I say, I’ve just done my first deal on there and researched a LOT before committing, including company details, ability to provide, checked their alibaba credentials etc.

            If I ever needed to trade again with other suppliers, I think you, Frederick, would be my first choice for a ‘real flesh’ third party rather than a behemoth third party like alibaba, since Frederick and his crew are obviously a third party on-the-ground themselves.

            I’ll be honest though, I dont think I would even have known where to begin looking for suppliers without alibaba, and this is where folks like you come in Frederick – great work and thanks for a great site

            1. Hello Chris,

              Thank you very much for such a well written comment!

    27. I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers however this paragraph is in fact
      a nice post, keep it up.

    28. Thankyou for all your information, as a small business starter I am very nervous of being scammed of my hard earned dollars! I will be using Alibabas payment option but what would be your other most important tips for me?? My supplier is currently making up a PI for me and we have been communicating through Alibaba and WhatsApp
      Thanks :)

    29. ‘Good quality. Whatever that means.’ It means it doesn’t fall apart right out of the box or a month after you buy it. It means it’s not engineered specifically to fail.

      1. Hi Pat,

        Indeed, but then you need to define that in terms of technical specifications.

    30. Guys, when you order on Aliexpress you receive the product and then you approve the payment. If anything wrong with the product buyer can open a dispute and solve any issues before money are lost. So, what are you talking about, have you at least used Aliexpress before writing this “article”?

      1. Hello Andrei,

        This article has nothing to do with Aliexpress.

    31. It is very important to check the supplier’s honesty before you pay.

      Here are two ways to check a supplier’s honesty:
      1) Google their export records
      2) Ask for Customer references
      3) Ask as more professional questions as possible

    32. Just to keep everybody well informed we have are victims of a shipping scam as we speak:
      1) Supplier name: [CONTENT REMOVED]

      All the information of their website is fake. They are a new company established in April this year (2016).They give themselves different names all the time.

      They use 2 to 3 different booking agents that you cannot track them down easily. They are trying to extort money out of us for the Bill of Lading.

      Our shipment arrive in Namibia on Saturday the 6th of August. We can do nothing because everybody pull up their shoulders.

      We still do not have the original Bill of Lading only an email copy. We are stuck and stand to loose N$ 500 000.00 of shoes and hair in that container.

    33. I used Aliexpress bought 5 items online since early Feb this year 2016 and received nothing so far and I am convinced that this site is a scam. They got my money upfront and deliver nothing, they have no real to speak with only robots they will drive you crazy and make to believe that they will solve the problem, but then nothing happen, no refund and no goods. I recommend everyone to avoid these chinese scammers. I never had anything similar when shopping at Amazon.ca

      1. Hi Adam,

        Aliexpress is certainly not a scam. However, Aliexpress is a marketplace, not a seller. You must report this seller right away to Aliexpress, and send all the evidence you have (email records, transaction records etc). They shut down fraudulent accounts, and it may be possible for them to recover some of the money.

    34. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Alibaba is the hive of scam gold suppliers. and Alibaba dont care buyers.
      so better dont go to Aliexpress or Alibaba.com

      the support is very bad. and process dispute is a joking

      many scam company same shenzhen jumbo power saver ,
      i buy power saver and i try test with meter 1 room with 2 airs conditioner
      3 hours meters without power saver 4.5 kw/h
      3 hours meters with power saver 5.6kw/h

      total i make 5 test 5 different s places

      So easy understand with power saver jumbo you don’t save you eat more kw/h when you use
      power saver jumbo.

      we not recommanded buy product to Alibaba , Aliexpress and nevers buy product for jumbo also i ask jumbo him product is not save so is are scam product , him reply me Fuck you.

      i contact is seller and transfer data.

      and is produce is for save electric , power saver , after 5 days testing differents place.
      i understand jumbo power saver is are scam product. 1 him not save, and when you test with the power saver you meter inscrease the kw/h

      the best solution
      dont use alibaba or aliexpress and never buy product for scammer jumbo power saver.

    35. Had a run in with [EDITED] . Scammed me and Alibaba wont do anything.
      I ordered shirts and other things, all wrong colors and sizes and printing is poor.
      [EDITED] scammer wont refund or anytihng and Alibaba wont punish him.
      Abusive emails calling me a dog and many other things.
      Stay away from [EDITED] scammers

    36. Bought a new Tractor from Oriemac in China. It was second hand and delivered in pieces. $14000 lost thanks to Alibaba who did not listen or honour their Trade Assurance or Quality Guarantee. They sided with the seller.

      Lesson learned. Do NOT accept delivery without examining the goods!

      1. Hi Paul,

        Do you have any sort of written agreement that states how the tractor was to be delivered?

        1. Nothing was in place. Alibaba has now closed the case siding with the seller. There’s no more I can do.

          1. Case number was 76581790984601

            1. Case number was 76581790984601. Even now I can see that the tractor is not a ZL10 but a cheap copy.

          2. Hi Paul,

            I understand. The issue here is that Alibaba cannot act unless they have contract between the buyer and the seller. This is also explained on the Trade Assurance page on Alibaba.com.

            It is important to understand that Trade Assurance is not a quality guarantee (as there is no universal definition of “good quality”), but an escrow service that provides protection to the buyer – assuming it can be proven that the seller violated the terms.

            I can totally see your point of view, but it’s words against words – and Alibaba cannot act on that. Legally.

    37. Alibaba dealt with a company that not only sent a second hand piece of equipment but it was not complete. I am now $13000 in debt without any way of getting the money back. Company name is [COMPANY NAME REMOVED]

    38. Now when you complain to Alibaba it seems that a robot named “zoe” respond to you.
      Indeed just a week ago I submitted a complaint and in response I have receive “standard” sentence like you must show the 1st record communication with the supplier when I have provided ; communications, proforma invoice, proof of payment, link of this scammer registered in Alibaba as supplier represented by Mr xiaoyao WEI with a photo of a famous actor Jackie Chan instead his !?

    39. Alibaba / Aliexpress / Global source
      Investigation 6 monts 4 investigators.
      Supplier inspections.
      # 58% of quotations do not respect the price of negotiations for the same quantity
      # 71% Are companys trading
      # 23% s products do not match the products ordered.
      # 96% Born in compliance with the 1 year warranty they promise.
      # 33% in case of frauds changes company name.
      # 11% are actually verified when subscribing GOLD member
      # 82% of the disputes are not resolved, lack of seriousness of the structure Alibaba
      # 14% increase in scam over the last 6 months.
      # 61% of products are of poor quality.

      Alibaba / Aliexpress / Global source

      Privacy policy not respected
      When you make mass quotes your personal data first name / firstname address phone / email are disclosed to all members who paid a subscription on Alibaba / Aliexpress / Global source, you will notice when you request an RFQ the box to agree To share My business card is already checked in the form. While legally this box must be checked only by the buyer.
      The system RFQ request strong quotation is a deception and exposes you to products of poor quality, scam and spam on a large scale.
      Why?
      Because when you do call the RFQ mass quotes. The application is sent to all suppliers, trading company, without any selection by contribution to the product request. That is to say that companys who have never sold this product will also receive your request and so you access your data: company name. First name, phone, email. This increases fraud and spam.

      TRAD INSURANCE: trad insurance does not guarantee the buyer, the quality of the product, the accuracy of the products ordered by the buyer.

      Deception in the details of Alibaba / Aliexpress / GlobalSource articles

      Finally it is important to know that these websites the B2b and B2C traent. That is, you can negotiate prices, also note that 56% of sellers do not adhere to the price range for the same quantity.
      For example, you see
      US $ 2.99-9.99 / Piece
      Minimum order 100pcs
      When you enter into communication with the seller the prices are above the maximum promised.
      This is a technique to attract you, but especially that indicates that this seller is not honest.
      if the price quotation is over the price when applying for listing for the same minimum order do not do business with that seller who is not honest.

      It is necessary to look at the descriptive of the articles sold more than
      72% of the articles use false descriptive, for example TV LED and in reality it is of the LCD type. False images that are usually taken on branded brand products like Samsung LG etc.
      Alibaba / Aliexpress / Global source accepts this deception; support indicated that it is to attract buyers.
      So it’s a total complicity with Alibaba / Aliexpress / Global source

    40. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

      [COMPANY NAME]

      Do not order from this company. They are fraudsters and will take your money and lie about it. They are dishonest, and will act professional until the very end, when they say they haven’t received your money, put up the price, say the dye factory is closed… all LIES!.

      BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN DEALING WITH [COMPANY NAME].

      1. Notice that we cannot publish company names here, as we cannot verify the claims.

    41. I’d like have more informations about this Company: Shenzhen honestda Eletronichs from global sources. I bought 8 consoles with moneygram because he promised he would not withdraw the money without transfer number. He sent 10 more consoles and now my parcels are locked in Malta sent by this courier h2h courier and I have to pay $ 540 to the company for them to arrive. What can I do?

      1. This sounds like a scam. Probably nothing you can do now.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    * Checkbox GDPR is required

    *

    I agree