Alibaba Trade Assurance Explained: A Complete Guide

Posted on 140 Comments

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Planning to pay your supplier via Alibaba Trade Assurance? In this guide, we explain what the Trade Assurance is, and how you can ensure that it works to your benefit. The key to success when using this payment service is understanding its terms and conditions.

This is covered:

  • What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?
  • How does Alibaba Trade Assurance protect buyers?
  • How do I pay through the Alibaba Trade Assurance platform?
  • Can I trust Alibaba Trade Assurance?
  • Which payment methods are available for Trade Assurance?
  • How much are the Trade Assurance fees?
  • Does Trade Assurance enable me to return products I am satisfied with?
  • Can all Alibaba suppliers offer Trade Assurance payments?

What is Alibaba Trade Assurance?

The Alibaba Trade Assurance is a payment and buyer protection service meant to add an extra layer of security when paying suppliers in China. Alibaba acts as a middleman between the buyer and the seller. As such, the buyer transfers the funds upon placing an order to a designated Alibaba bank account with the Singapore City Bank.

Alibaba then releases the funds once the goods have passed a quality check and been shipped on or before the set deadline.

However, the money is refunded to the buyer if the following occurs:

1. The shipment is delayed, beyond the specified shipping date

2. The manufactured items are not compliant with the provided quality requirements

In a way, the process has some similarities with how a letter of credits function, but is at the same time very different.

Alibaba Trade Assurance

How does Alibaba Trade Assurance protect buyers?

There is no ‘refund’ or “chargeback’ mechanism in place when writing money directly to a suppliers bank account. Alibaba is bridging that gap by acting as a middleman between the buyer and seller.

Free Webinar

We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?

  • 1. Product design and material selection
  • 2. Finding suppliers in Asia
  • 3. Product samples and payments
  • 4. Quality control, lab testing & shipping


How do I pay through the Alibaba Trade Assurance platform?

Below follows an overview of the Alibaba Trade Assurance process.

Step 1: Place your order through Trade Assurance

Step 2: Use Alibaba Trade Center (Under My Alibaba) to communicate with the supplier

Step 3: Create Purchase Contract on

This contract is only valid for the products. Trade Assurance doesn’t cover any warranties, replacements or other services agreed upon between the Alibaba supplier and the buyer.

Step 4: Confirm contract

Step 5: Make the payment: Credit Card or Telegraphic Transfer

ONLY pay to the designated bank account in Singapore

Trade Assurance protects you in 2 ways:

A. If the goods are not shipped on time (as specified in the agreement)

B. If the products are not matching the specifications (as stated in the agreement)

Provide clear product specifications and quality requirements

Clearly, Alibaba cannot offer a refund entirely based on the buyer’s request. What if the buyer is at fault, and not the supplier? After all, generates revenue through membership fees, paid by companies listed as Gold Suppliers.

The truth is that very often, quality issues are caused by disorganized buyers, rather than suppliers.

As you enter the Trade Assurance checkout, you will be required to first specify the shipping date, and confirm if the order shall comply with “the quality requirements agreed in the purchase contract”.

After the order is confirmed, the supplier should then upload a contract, still on, which specifies the quality requirements, set for the order. This is also where things get a bit complicated. You cannot claim a refund later on If you fail to properly specify clear quality requirements.

For obvious reasons, Alibaba cannot issue a refund, simply because an item is non-compliant with your imaginary definition of what makes ‘good quality’.

Pre-shipment quality inspections

Alibaba is very clear on how they deal with situations when quality is not detailed in terms of technical specifications:

“What if the agreed quality requirements are not clear?

If your agreed quality requirements are not clear and are not quantifiable and actionable, in case of a dispute we will adopt a third-party inspection company’s recommendation of industry standards as a basis for determination.”

However, it’s up to you as the buyer to book a quality inspection via one of Alibaba’s quality control partners.

How to define your product specification

There is no such thing as ‘good quality’. If you ask me, you should not even use the term ‘good quality’ with suppliers, as this can mean different things depending on who you ask. Instead, it’s critical to define product quality in technical terms.

Example: Children’s Clothing

  • Fabric: Organic cotton, 200 gsm
  • Fabric Color: Pantone 1935 D
  • Design: As specified in design_draft_a.pdf attachment
  • Dimensions: As specified in design_draft_dimensions.pdf
  • Care label: As specified in label_b.pdf attachment
  • Zipper. YKK
  • California Prop 65 Compliant: Yes
  • REACH (EU) Compliant: Yes
  • CPSIA (US) Compliant: Yes

If you leave a “gap” in your specification, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, you are exposed to severe quality issues. Alibaba will certainly not act against a supplier if you fail to provide clear specifications.

Instead, they will request the QC inspector to arbitrarily approve or reject the production run based on ‘general quality standards’.

These are certainly not covering specific material and component quality requirements. Nor are they covering compliance with applicable substance regulations (e.g. REACH and California Prop 65) and labeling requirements, such as CE marking.


What at first may seem like a simple transaction, now require that you confirm the following before you even think about placing an order:

1. How shall we define product specifications for our product/s?

2. Is the supplier able to comply with these product specifications, and how can this be verified?

3. Which product standards and regulations apply to my product/s, in our target market/s?

4. Is the supplier able to ensure compliance, and do they have a verifiable track record of previous compliance?

It’s only when these questions are answered, that you, and the supplier, can draft the contract, which in turn is used by Alibaba as a reference.

As long as you manage to clearly define your quality requirements, using established technical terms and definitions, the Trade Assurance is indeed vastly reducing your risks.

Dispute resolution and refunds

As mentioned, Alibaba appoints a quality inspection company to verify that the products are manufactured according to the specified quality requirements.

If the quality inspector rejects the batch, the buyer is notified, and can then file a dispute on Counting from this date, the supplier has 15 days to resolve the dispute, or Alibaba will get involved.

If it goes to the point where Alibaba is forced to interfere, they first review the contract and then compare it to the quality inspection report to determine if the supplier failed to comply.

Assuming the supplier did fail to match your specifications, Alibaba may now refund the payment.

Why Alibaba may reject a refund

That said, cannot issue a refund in any of the following cases:

1. You failed to provide clear product specifications

2. You did not book a quality inspection when placing the order

3. You discovered quality issues only after the shipment arrived in your country

It should be clear to anyone that Alibaba cannot offer unconditional refunds simply because the buyer says so.

Can I trust Alibaba Trade Assurance?

The Trade Assurance allows overseas buyers to claim a refund from a supplier that either fails to ship on or before the set shipping date or fails to ensure compliance with all specified quality requirements.

Considering that it’s very hard, even impossible, to successfully claim a refund of deposit payment, this program is indeed filling a much-needed gap.  That said, Alibaba Trade Assurance is not offering insurance, warranty or unconditional refunds.

Which payment methods are available for Trade Assurance?

When using the Trade Assurance service, you pay to Alibaba instead of directly to the supplier.

Here is an overview of the different payment options:

  • Telegraphic transfer to Singapore City Bank
  • Credit card
  • Western Union
  • Alibaba Pay Later
  • Alibaba Online Payment
  • Boleto

How much are the Trade Assurance fees?

The Trade Assurance service is free to use. However, the following transaction fees apply depending on the payment method:

  • Credit card: 2.95% of the order value
  • Telegraphic transfer: US$30 – US$50
  • Western Union: US$4.9 – US$45
  • Alibaba Pay Later: Free (US only)

Does Trade Assurance enable me to return products I am satisfied with?

No. Trade Assurance disputes can only be filed if the quality control clearly shows that the supplier has failed to match your defined quality requirements. However, the supplier has already received the funds by the time you receive the products.

By then it’s too late for Alibaba to act. Keep in mind that the Trade Assurance is neither meant as nor meant to be a replacement for proper business insurance.

Can all Alibaba suppliers offer Trade Assurance payments?

The Trade Assurance program is only offered to Alibaba Gold Suppliers that meet certain criteria.

Thus, Trade Assurance is not offered when buying from all suppliers. Currently, the number of suppliers offering this is somewhat limited but almost certain to grow rapidly in the coming months.

The amount, covered by the Trade Assurance, is also limited, and often ranging between US$10,000 to US$30,000. That said, it is often enough to cover the initial deposit order, which is mostly set at 30% of the total, FOB, order value.

Before, there was also a minimum transaction amount, set at US$1,000. However, as of 2015, this is no longer the case, as the minimum order amount has been removed.

Further, the Trade Assurance only covers transactions that are first registered through the Alibaba checkout system, following payment to the bank account specified by Alibaba.

For obvious reasons, Alibaba is not offering any Trade Assurance on payments made outside of the Trade Assurance system. As such, any transaction to a non-Alibaba held account is not covered.


The Trade Assurance is a great feature, empowering buyers to claim compensation if the supplier has evidently failed to comply with the buyers (clearly stated) requirements.

This is certain to make Chinese suppliers think twice, before using cheap and substandard materials and components or using other strategies to improve their profit margins, by reducing quality.

That said, Alibaba cannot act without clearly defined product specifications.

Certainly, they will not issue a refund, simply because a product batch is not matching a buyer envisions quality requirements.

Therefore, the Trade Assurance shall be considered a tool, but not a mechanism capable of reducing all risks involved, when importing from China, and other countries in Asia.

It’s still your job to do the groundwork, and work your way through the product development process, no matter how much time it may take.


This article is provided only for informational purposes only and neither the author nor any companies and/or service providers mentioned in this text make 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.

  • Free Webinar

    We can help you manufacture products in China, Vietnam & India?

    • 1. Product design and material selection
    • 2. Finding suppliers in Asia
    • 3. Product samples and payments
    • 4. Quality control, lab testing & shipping


  • 140 Responses to “Alibaba Trade Assurance Explained: A Complete Guide

    1. Atish Chand at 5:43 pm

      I just bought an engine via Alibaba trade assurance. The Suppliers freight forwarder is telling me to pay the handling fee and PSS fee at the destination when I already paid the freight charges.
      I didnt knew there would be hidden costs.

    2. steve at 4:24 am

      Do you know why my Trade Assurance account is disable?

    3. Jack at 5:19 am

      Helo, mr.Fredrik

      I talk to the seller about a refund and he agreed because the shipment don’t shipped yet. After he agreed to my refund request I got a massage of the same amount from my bank account and it says the amount in my bank account got blocked on. I believe they should blocked the amount from the seller account not me. I talked to the customer service and they did not gave me a clear answer.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:16 pm

        Hi Jack,

        I don’t follow. What message did you receive? Never heard of blocked bank account transactions.

    4. ivona at 10:48 am

      What do you mean “ONLY pay to the designated bank account in Singapore”? If it is a T/T wouldn’t it go to their designated account…?

      1. ivona at 10:59 am

        All orders list citi bank and the company I’m buying from as beneficiary

      2. Fredrik Gronkvist at 2:32 pm

        Hi Ivona,

        Well, they could send an invoice from another Alibaba account. At least in theory.

        You need to make sure you pay the right supplier.

    5. Kb Xiong at 10:24 pm

      Basically I ordered a donut machine from . Before shipping to me the seller did show a video of them testing out the machine. It worked fine in the video but when I received (4-5-22) the machine quality was a little off. It keeps jamming and only worked for a couple of mins then it jammed again. I disclose the issues to seller but seller claimed that their product is good and pressured me to keep the machine. I Am frustrated and demand the refund because I am not satisfied with the machine. Seller then stated that they don’t do refund or returns however that was disclose when I order the machine. I filed a return process in alibaba and they still refused to return me my money. I open the case against don they still refused. What should I do? How can I get alibaba to get in this case???

    6. Jose Carlos Guillen Rincon Gallardo at 6:32 pm

      Hi Fred I bought an E bike trough trade insurance full payment upfront by credit card 22 days ago.

      The E bike suppose to be shipped from Shenzhen to my house in Thailand on DDP right away since they had it on stock, according to there sayings the bike went on board on the 26 of February and estimated ETA is 26 of March for the bike to be unloaded, something i found strange since is at most 20 days sea trip! When I asked for a tracking number they just provided me with a link of Thai parcel Express not working

      When I open MY Alibaba and go into orders I see the order saying>>Waiting for supplier to Ship the supplier has 08days 21hours 59minutes 49seconds left to ship the order.

      My question is at what moment I must apply for a refund? Do I have to do it at exact time when the 8 days 21 hours are due) can I do that later? Shall I just wait and see what happens on the 26 of march ?

      Million thanks

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 1:14 pm

        This could be a scam. I would contact Alibaba immediately.

      2. Tronic seller at 11:50 am

        Alibaba is a SCAM, trade assurance is FAKE. I bought an item worth $10,000 which wasnt delivered. Opened dispute and seller walked away. Alibaba just keeps asking me for evidence.

        Site is just a directory, Fake protection, they just use agents to SCAM the not so intelligent Europeans who dont realise china is a third world scam country

    7. mike at 8:07 pm

      I have an ongoing dispute with Alibaba i have set out brief details below.

      I ordered items in early September on the promise of express dispatch and delivery to me by mid October. Some of the items were Christmas specific and could not be sold here after December 1st. The supplier on three occassions confirmed on the ALibaba messaging platform the delivery date.

      The supplier took over 20 days to dispatch and then the items eventually arrived in late November leaving me with no time to sell them and having to cancel a number of pre-orders i had taken.

      I started to raise disputes in early November which the supplier simply declined saying goods in transit and the dispute team mirrored their comments completly ignoring their earlier promises. After delivery Alibaba have given me just about every excuse imaginable as to why the the suppliers promises re delivery dates should not be used to hold the supplier to account.

      Eventually i was offered a refund of aprox 30% of the order value, i responded requesting a figure closer to 50% and Alibaba simply closed down the dispute. When i complained they are no expecting me to start the process all over again.

      I have wasted many hours of time on this and i have to say the dispute team seem to be deliberately failing to understand the issue and use constant delaying tactics seeming in the hope i will just give up. I have requested multiple times for contact details for more senior staff to whom i can complain and the Customer Service staff when pressured simply refuse to provide the information.

      You article is certainly helpful but it does not really cover the sheer misery of dealing with Alibaba and does need a health warning that it really does not matter what you agree with suppliers on the messaging platform, Alibaba will simply ignore any promises which have been made in writing.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:25 am

        Hi Mike,

        The only instances I know of in which transactions have been canceled and money returned is when the supplier fails to ship any products. I think Alibaba can verify this through OneTouch.

        Trade Assurance is not insurance and certainly nothing you can fall back on if there is a dispute regarding delays or quality issues. That is also clear in this article.

    8. Alibaba stinks at 5:56 pm

      I was sent a $2070 Laser machine with other components and everyone of them showed up defective nonworking they were defective from manufacture not from transportation Alibaba never looked at my evidence whatsoever and only looked at the sellers evidence which was about a $22 box. Once they close the dispute you cannot open it again even though they never looked at my videos or read any of my information in the dispute so do not feel protected from their trade assurance it’s a bunch of malarkey.

      1. PC at 12:15 am

        Recently I have a similar situation … CNC plasma cutter…many missing parts, faulty parts, old parts and a item with an obsolete model!!

        I will be going to China Embassy and China Trade Ministry to complain … wish me luck

        btw…which company you buy from…we need to share rouge sellers information

    9. GW at 1:05 pm

      Has anyone had direct contact from the Alibaba Trade Assurance team and has contact details ? Their mediation process fails on quite a few levels and the 1st one being communication.

    10. Muhammad bilal at 6:35 pm

      First I made payment to ali baba via western union 15 days ago. After that they shipped my order via express courier for which the detail was sent by ali baba agent. Now, the agent is asking for $385 for trade assurance payment (100% refundable after delivery), as said by agent. Is it the normal practice that buyer have to pay for trade assurance payment? Eventhough he has already pay for the order.
      Will t

      Do the buyer pay extra amount for trade assurance?
      Please let me know for further process, because my shipment is pending at Bhutan due to non trade assurance payment.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 9:28 am

        The buyer normally covers the transaction fees, regardless of payment method.

    11. Von at 3:03 am


      Just starting out with Looked for suppliers with trade assurance. Going through my initial transaction, supplier says alibaba has agreement they can use that to draw buyers but they want to use western union or world remit. Is this normal as I know suppliers have to pay a fee to . Would these transactions be safe? Thanks

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:17 am

        Western Union is not for supplier payments

    12. Quality at 12:17 pm

      The article is very impressive and worth reading it . We are expecting more from you. Thanks for sharing information

    13. Krissetia at 6:13 pm

      Good day, Mr. Fredrik,
      I have plan to Import from Wuchuan, Guangdong, China.
      My order is about USD.15,000

      Loading port : Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China.
      Destination port : Surabaya, Indonesia.
      1×20′ FCL. Plastic Sandals.
      HS code 6402.2000.00
      Goods are ready.

      Checked on website, Order with Alibaba Trade Assurance over than Usd. 5000 must use ONE TOUCH as Custom
      clearance Agency.

      Then who is the Party should handle for :

      * Export license (due supplier doesn’t has
      Export licence yet).
      * Export Custom duty.
      * Trucking container & shipping schedule.
      * Issuing Form E (I need form E).

      My questions are :
      1. Will One Touch be the only party who has capacity to handle 4 cases altogether besides Custom clearance ?

      2. As Alibaba Trade Assurance order over than Usd.5000 must be handled by One Touch for Export Custom clearance,

      Then, Can I myself choose a Freight Forwarder to handle Export License, Trucking container, Shipping schedule, and Issuing Form E ?
      While Export Custom clearance/ export duties remain to be handled by One Touch.

      Waiting for your assistance.
      Thank you.

      Best regards.

    14. Pete at 12:43 pm


      do you know if Credit card (2.95%) fee is refunded when you ask for refund? On the request refund it shows it is not included.

    15. peter at 10:36 am

      THIS SELLER did not even ship my goods and i paid them already. She said Sept 11 and until now nothing. The UPS in China did not even receive a box for the UPS to ship. She evades despite repeated demand.
      what should I do now? I already raised a complaint to the Trade Assurance platform but there is no clear time frame when they will respond or resolve. This is a disaster.

    16. JJ at 6:27 pm

      I’ve made the first bigger order of electronic equipment from Alibaba supplier. The order arrived yesterday. How many days I have to check the devices, to be compliant with the Trade Assurance?

      1. Ali Salim at 5:22 pm

        Hello, since this has gone unanswered for some time then I will give a short answer according to what I know.

        the period will depend on the way chosen to ship your goods

        if it’s express then it’s if am not wrong around 7 -15 days
        if it’s land/freight then it’s 30-60

        this is a rough idea about them

    17. Kevin at 8:42 pm

      Hi Fredrik,
      may I ask what‘s your experience with the refund process if the supplier fails to ship on time and additional then ships the wrong amount?

      In the contract we specified that the goods shall be shipped within 15 days since the order was time sensitive. Supplier provided a fake DHL tracking ID and shipped half of the amount 29 days too late.

      We‘ve from DHL all required documents to proof our case (failed to ship on time & was weight of the shipment) that the contract was breached in two points (amount & date of shipment) yet the seller refuses to refund us. We opened today a refund process.

      I‘m just curious what Alibaba does in such a case and if you experienced a similar case?

      1. JJ at 7:35 am

        Any update on your situation? We’re going through the same thing.

        1. Kevin at 10:15 pm

          Alibaba is currently handling the dispute.. but I’ve a bad feeling to be honest.

          DHL itself personally confirmed that the first shipment was never physically handled over. So the point “shipment within 15 days” was breached but seems they don’t care.

          I proved that only half of the order arrived with the help of the weight numbers: if whole order would have been shipped, the weight should have been +40kg but actually it’s only 21kg. DHL provided the dimensions etc and confirmed it again in a separate statement.

          But they don’t really care about it neither.. the two messages I got so far was about to confirm that I only received half which is weird because I provided from the beginning my evidences since that’s the main reason for the dispute. So what’s the point of repeating the same thing.

          The breached shipment date in the contract wasn’t even noticed by them. Today I was asked about the condition of the received products & to show pictures of it. Also they ask for patience cause they’re talking with the seller.

          Overall I feel like Alibaba doesn’t care about the “Trade Assurance Purchase ContracT” at all. I guess if I’m very lucky I at least get half of the money back, if at all.

          Hope you get your money too or at least the products. 1st and last time I purchased something from Alibaba. Either you’ve personal contacts there otherwise risks is way too high.

          1. Sire at 11:50 pm

            Kevin you absolutely right. My supplier delayed to send the goods and up to this day. He is using COVID as an excuse. Trade assurance stood by him. They told me “we do not force supplier to refund customers “. I have to wait until when God know when I will get the goods. Planning to send a message to the resolution team that my next plan.

            1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 9:30 am

              There have been more covid disruptions in recent weeks and months, but it’s true that it’s hard to know what is the real cause of delays…

    18. Zachary Karl at 11:17 am

      Hey Fredrik Gronkvist i am a first time Alibaba buyer and decided to cancel an order after i had already made payment through a secured wire transfer T/T. The status of the order is now closed however i am wondering if i will get my money back because it already left my bank account. I am nervous because the seller blocked me so i couldn’t even ask. Thanks for all your responses you are a huge help.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:28 pm

        Hi Zachary,

        You will need to contact Alibaba directly. It comes down to what their terms say about these situations.

        1. Martin at 3:42 pm

          Hello , Fredrik, I have a question
          What happen when you are okay with the product price and shipping cost and that is on the contract and I made the payment by wire transfer, then the supplier received the payment and after 5 days when she is going to tell me my tracking number says that the shipping cost increased and I have to pay more in order to send my goods. I applied to make a refund , what are my options?

          1. Wilmer at 4:50 am

            Hello I am having the same problem. the supplier in the systems shows as shipped however he did not give a dhl track number and he asked me more shipping costs. what do you recommend me to do

            1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:47 am

              Hi Wilmer,

              That is a typical scam and I doubt you will ever see any products.

    19. Hariyanto Hariyanto at 10:59 am

      hi fredrik may i ask u?

      i buy some product but now in custom china.
      what if custom china confiscated the product due to the goods didnt meet the document standart and the supplier cannot provide the correct documentation what will happen to our order..

      can it refunded to me if i disputed?
      because my shipper said the documentation of goods rejected by custom china..
      and the custom will give my shipper document for proof..

      and the seller lies to me.. they give me different product shape and said the quality better.. and lucky me.. when the product come to my country.. custom china call the custom in my country need to sent back the goods because need to check inspection again. and the custom china reject the documentation my supplier because there’s no product number on the box, no real factories, and the custom said the goods didnt meet up standart for export.
      and my shipper will give me the document from china custom
      can it refunded to me?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:29 pm

        Hi Hariyanto,

        I would not count on Alibaba Trade Assurance to cover such situations. Keep in mind that it’s not an “insurance”.

        1. Hariyanto Ayung at 11:50 pm

          So there is a chance for me to refund my money? Since the china customs reject the goods because fake FDA and doesnt have an export license from my supplier?

    20. sarfraz Khan at 8:55 pm

      Please inform if i pay direct to supplier what is the part of Alibaba if somebody dont send me Merchandise

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:40 pm

        In theory, they should then refund the money

    21. Christine at 2:33 pm

      So the limit that is covered is $30,000. But if a person wants a million dollars worth of products at one time, is there something that is stopping them from just making 33 separate orders of the same thing at once, even though it’s actually one order for all intents and purposes?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:12 pm

        Hi Christine,

        In that case, a Letter of Credit is better.

        You can learn more here:

    22. Mike at 8:41 pm

      I ordered and paid with Trade Assurance. The company is in China, but I was told the warehouses are in the USA and Europe. Shipping agreement was 25 days after payment. Payment was on 2/7 and they printed the shipping label on 2/24. Today is 3/12 and the shipping carrier still hasn’t received/accepted the shipment. The only notification is the label was printed. The vendor isn’t answering me and I’ve message 3 times over 9 days. I simply asked to know the status and wasn’t rude at all. I know the corona virus is happening, but the products were supposed to be shipped from the USA and Europe, 2 weeks before they had a case. Would they approve my claim? If there was some communication I would be fine, but at this point I’ve lost all hope.

    23. Vibol Mok at 6:08 pm

      My name Vibol from Cambodia. This is my first time using Alibaba App. I chat with supplier for Adult Walking Aids Disable Equipment. The product cost is 525$ and Shipping fee is 20$. I agree with the cost. But they tell me I make order by Alibaba platform, I must pay 5% of handling fee (around 11$). They told me, if they don’t charge handling fee, they get only 534$ from Alibaba. It make me confuse between Handling fee and Transaction fee. Why the supplier don’t tell in advance that have Handling fee. Please explain to me that it is Alibaba Policy or not.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:27 pm

        Hi Vibol,

        5% sounds too much. I think it’s 2%.

        That said, suppliers always quote prices excluding transaction fees. This is also the case when paying the supplier via bank transfer.

    24. Kyo-Ae Yu at 8:45 am

      We received a quote from a Chinese company with specific specifications and purchased the product. When I received the product and tested it, I confirmed that it was a different product from the quotation. Is this a refundable case?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:09 pm

        Possibly, If the product is clearly defined in the trade assurance order.

    25. Chris at 7:29 pm

      Hello Fredrick

      I am trying to order portable garages from a Chinese factory (New Strong) in Qingdao, China. I transferred the money via the Alibaba Trade Assurance service using a credit card. The New Strong factory has however rejected my payment saying they cannot accept payments via credit card as it is against the law in China for factories to be paid with a credit card – even though the payment went through an intermediary i.e. Trade Assurance. Is this something you have come across before?

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:44 pm

        Hi Chris,

        It sounds very strange. First of all, they don’t even receive the money directly from your credit card. Alibaba receives the funds and will transfer money to the factory via wire transfer at a later date.

        Second, Alibaba would not enable credit card payments if it was illegal in China.

    26. frank at 11:22 am

      Good post, it make me learn a bit more about Trade assurance.

      I have had a bad seller experience, they send different product.
      in negation we tried to work with the different product, but all 3 seem defective.

      that it is defective is no longer disagree, but now i need to proof what parts still do work?
      (for resell by local agent of the seller “as is”)
      Yes, i can return to the local agent.
      it tool about 70 hours to get to this stage.
      dispute goes on for about a month now.
      Still waiting to receive the confirmed return address.

      Seller broke the Alibaba trade assurance rules many times.
      how can I make sure the seller receive the disciplinary actions it deserves?

      The whole issue could be fixed in a few hours. ..
      sad. (easunpower alibaba)

      I’ve learned to do take that week extra time and pay the 50usd extra to have pre-inspection of the product.
      It will at least confirm I get the product I ordered.
      functionality specifications are clearly written in the purchase contract.

      one tip:
      breach of contract makes the commercial objective becoming unachievable is a good reason to receive proper Trade assurance support.

      In my situation 3 x 4kw inverter working parallel providing together 12kw power.
      One could not work in parallel, fist solution was that i just return one, and get stuck with the other two. (seller did not want to swap defective unit)
      Only after I studied the rules and clearly explained that 2×4= 8kw is not the same as 3×4=12kw, dispute department started talking about returning the whole order.

      that MPPT function was not function and charging my 48v battery array at 75-89 volt apparently a technical reason beyond the technical knowledge of the dispute member.
      Yes, it did damage my + 5000usd array, and possible could make exploding lead acid batteries in long term.
      “not important”..
      Take the battle there where you can win.
      known “commercial objective” is key.

      My new order at different company will have pre-inspection!

    27. supplier125 at 4:21 pm

      Good article with best content which is very useful. Thanks

      1. Jessica at 10:34 pm

        Alibaba Trade Assurance is a SCAM, and designed purely to lure buyers into a false sense of security that they are protected when in fact the Disputes Team automatically side with the supplier REGARDLESS of the evidence you submit. Read all the complaints and you will see. The only people who say you can trust is are the ones who NEVER had to file a dispute against a bad Gold Supplier. What they also don’t tell you is that in order to refund Alibaba says they need the AGREEMENT of the supplier! What a joke! Samples were due in 35 days as stated in contract along with detailed quality requirements but after 6 months the supplier showed photos of incomplete and even broken samples and asked to accept it as their best efforts! Over US$10,000 deposit was lost. It is now over a year since the order was placed and dispute has been ongoing for over 4 months which goes around in circles because the dispute team claim they can’t see the poor quality.Another scam is they will try to further extort US$1000 for useless inspection reports which will also favour the supplier and everyone who has had a bad experience with Trade Assurance knows exactly what I’m talking about.Trade Assurance is a SCAM, do not trust it!

        1. Jose Moreira at 11:10 pm

          100% correct

        2. JJ at 7:34 am

          I wish I had seen this earlier…

    28. supplier125 at 4:10 pm

      Good article with best info and it worth reading it. Thanks

    29. supplier535 at 5:55 pm

      Good article. Thanks for info

    30. Ron at 7:28 pm

      I am trying to initiate a business relationship with different companies offering hi grade metal detectors – for treasure hunting. It seems like many want to whats app….and want you to send funds Western Union – which I know is a scam. * How can I find a company that is a trusted business? I have one that wants me to buy two get one free….that’s quite a sum to risk for me.
      3k? Can you check for a trusted source? Mine Lab GPZ 7000, Nokta models, Puls AR III, DRS etc. I have researched contacted companies and can’t seem to find one that participates in trade assurance purchasing. Please Helppppppppp! (-;

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 8:41 pm

        Hi Ron,

        You cannot import brand name products directly from Chinese manufacturers – even if they are made here. You need to contact an authorized reseller in your country.

        1. Mikel at 7:20 pm

          If I pay let’s say with western union,should I pay even its fee or just alibaba fee transaction?

    31. RJ at 8:19 pm

      Hi Team,

      I have placed with Alibaba Trade Assurance , the problem is that Alibaba has assigned an account of Citibank ,Singapore to a supplier in Zhejiang ,China . Now I want to transfer the Money through Wire Transfer only – So
      1. Should I furnish the details of beneficiary (name and address- Singapore) assigned by Alibaba Trade assurance or the original details – China ?
      and Bank details : now those will be Alibaba Trade assurance – i.e the citibank account

      The problem is
      1. the beneficary account and address and everything will be Singapore
      The actual beneficiary will be in China – hence Chinese address
      And I think the country of Bank where the supplier account is and the supplier country should match – otherwise even the bank and the customs department will not agree that they are same company since – they payment is being made to Singapore and we are getting goods from China
      So help me here , how do people handle this , I have going nuts over this problem : even the Help centre is giving non sense answers on that :

      The proforma Invoice details don’t match

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 6:22 pm

        Hi RJ,

        When you use the Trade Assurance service, I think you must pay to an Alibaba bank account – not directly to the supplier.

        1. RJ at 11:30 pm

          Yes, that is true ,but the payment will happen to Alibaba account in ‘Singapore ‘(I need to furnish the Alibaba trade assurance account in Wire Transfer Form) but the supplier is in Zhejiang ,China . When the product reaches the Customs Department , the ‘Payment Proof (from Bank)’ shows payment made to supplier in Singapore and the product will have an invoice from supplier in China . What is the way of dealing with this ?

          1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 5:06 pm

            Hi RJ,

            I think this is managed internally by Alibaba and their OneTouch platform. That’s how I understand it at least.

    32. Saadat Saadat at 3:31 am

      Assuming we order a laptop but supplier send a piece of stone!!!
      What happen in this case?
      I ask this because there isn’t any evidence that we get stone

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 3:13 pm

        You need to get the cargo inspected before shipment. Otherwise, Alibaba cannot enforce the trade assurance.

    33. Ignacio at 12:28 pm

      Hi Fredrik, I have received today a product and the goods are damaged, they are still in the port, I was notified about the issue and went to the port storage for verification and confirmed the damage.
      The product is still usable but obviously damaged.

      Is this covered by Trade Assurance ? (the term contracts were CIF by the way)

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 3:15 pm

        Hello Ignacio,

        Did you use Alibaba Trade Assurance when paying the supplier?

        1. Jose Moreira at 11:14 pm

          Alibaba Trade Assurance, not not work, ….. or work for the supplier ;)

      2. Jose Moreira at 11:12 pm

        You are covered but you never will be refund ….
        let me know :)

    34. Sheriff Oyewale at 9:03 am

      I ordered a massage bed, paid 680 pounds for the product which broke within 24hr and another 670 pounds as landing cost and clearing from a fraudulent company working with the supplier. To make matter worse, Trade Assurance was not reliable and partial. They support their Chinese supplier after submitting pictures and videos as requested of the broken device. Do not use it or rely on or trust Trade Assurance, its a scam they will frustrate you.

      1. PissOffwithAlibaba at 12:42 am

        wrong…you should not use Alibaba at all as they own Trade Assurance but not honoring the term!

    35. Jan at 5:01 am


      I purchased a machine from from china using alibaba with trade assurance. But what happens is that the supplier forgot to include some part of the machine and it will not work without that part. Now I did not request for refund becuase the supplier ask and promise to fix it. But until now they have not and the trade assurance emailed me and says that orders is already complete because no response from both parties. Since the supplier have not yet fix the machine I request for a refund. Is it still counted even if trade assurance cleared the order? Because it’s kind a late request, because I was waiting for the supplier to fix the machine..

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:27 pm

        Hello Jan,

        Trade assurance can only resolve this matter if :

        a. All included parts are listed in the order terms

        b. The part was found missing before shipment

        Trade Assurance doesn’t offer refunds for goods that are already delivered. It’s based on the principle of clear and written order terms, and pre-shipment inspections.

    36. soni at 6:25 am

      Im planning to buy electronic stuff, Im not sure that if gold membership is trustworty for trade assurance, because they asking for 40% TT, what is the safe payment

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 4:45 am

        Hi Soni,

        Gold supplier means that the supplier is a registered company, but there are many other factors that go into whether you should buy a certain product – especially product compliance.

      2. PissOffwithAlibaba at 12:46 am

        No not necessarily…you better seek more protection…like detail specs, etc, warranty terms, refund n return shipment….
        before sending money

    37. Vicky Woolford at 10:27 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      We have bought through Alibaba Trade Assurance many times and luckily we have not had an issues with the stock we have received until last week. We ordered 5000 x shopping bags black with our brand logo on. We had previously ordered from the same supplier and the goods delivered were of a high standard. However, the standard of the shopping bags we received last week was dreadful.

      Each black bag had scratches, were scuffed, creased and had many white spots on the black bags. Unfortunately the whole shipment is unusable. We tried negotiating with our supplier who said that it is normal to have scratches on the bags and refused any liability.

      We then approached Trade Assurance and and sent extensive video of all 35 boxes of damaged goods showing damaged samples from each box. (It is impossible to video of 5000 separate bags) Alibaba Trade Assurance say that is not enough evidence and we don’t seem to be getting anywhere with them. They have suggested we get a company nominated by them to check the bags. The 3 companies they suggested are in China (US$500.00 a time) and we are in New Zealand. The process seems very difficult and only favours the supplier. The bags we have been delivered are unusable!

      Look forward to any suggestions you may have.

      many thanks
      Vicky Woolford

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 10:11 am

        Hi Vicky,

        Trade Assurance requires that the goods are inspected before shipment. There’s nothing they can do once the products are shipped.

        1. PissOffwithAlibaba at 12:51 am

          Did they specifically stated it is a must condition?

          I don’t think so…
          … Alibaba make tonnes of money escrowed in their account due to TA dispute I suspect plus a 2.95% the Seller charged to us when we buy!!!

          not to mention the annual subscriptions from the sellers….. don’t think we are protected.

          they protect the sellers

      2. Jess at 10:40 pm

        Vicky, post your experience to Alibaba Disputes on facebook, it’s a site to raise buyer awareness that Trade Assurance does not protect buyers!

    38. Curtis at 8:07 am

      I filed a dispute and I am in negotiations with the supplier. I will let you know what happens.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 12:22 pm

        Hi Curtis,

        Keep us updated!

    39. Curtis at 7:54 am

      I have a trade assurance contract, and my product was shipped past the date we agreed on. The manufacturer even lied and said they shipped it, but when I checked the shipping date, it seems that they shipped it after. This delay ended up costing me a very large sale. I’m considering requesting a refund, but I was wondering who pays to return the product?

      1. Ivan Malloci at 11:31 am

        Hello Curtis, if the supplier didn’t deliver within the time that was agreed upon the trade assurance contract, I suggest you to get in touch with Alibaba to see if and how you can get a compensation

    40. Santilla at 11:25 pm

      Trade Assurance failed us miserably. We mistakenly submitted a wire payment to themvwhich belonged to someone else. The momey was deposited into the supplier’s account. We were told it would be refunded and it waa not

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 11:33 am

        Hi Santilla,

        If you don’t wire the money to the Trade Assurance designated account, the transactions is not covered by Trade Assurance.

      2. Jess at 10:42 pm

        Santilla, post your experience to Alibaba Disputes on facebook, it’s a site to raise buyer awareness that Trade Assurance does not protect buyers!

    41. Bisharo Kasim at 5:39 pm

      I’ m new to this. I’m trying to buy a sofa from China’s main land. The seller is telling me that not to do the sale through Alibaba because if the commission fee that the buyer has to pay. I’m assuming buying though Alibaba will offer me protection if something’s were to happen to the shipment. Do I need Alibaba or will I be just fine without them. Also if I have bond do I still near to pay the seller for all the filling fees if so do my custom bond doing or for.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 7:29 am

        The trade assurance only works if you follow the ordering process laid out by

    42. Chris at 3:52 am

      Ali assurance is no assurance. I recently completed an Ali Assurance order for a plastic extrusion line. The total amount of the sale was $45,000 for all the machinery and parts. Within the contract, it clearly stated the manufacturer would provide an engineer to train me and my employees to use the machinery as well as help with final set up at no cost to me (very very clearly stated in contract they pay the airplane ticket, I would provide accommodations). The company was unable to send their engineer due to him being denied a visa. As there were costs with this, they decided they would not send an engineer at all, unless I now paid. I contacted Ali Assurance, provided all evidence to include the contract that was uploaded originally on their platform. They simply told me too bad. So be warned, it does not matter what is clearly written in the contract. They will do whatever they want.

      1. Fredrik Gronkvist at 9:52 am

        Hi Chris,

        I doubt that the Trade Assurance cover services or other arrangements with the supplier (for example the case explained above). They can only offer compensation based on the product value.

      2. Zak at 3:00 am

        While the circumstances explained are inconvenient and costly, I do agree with Fredrik that Ali assurance was not intended to cover and practically cannot cover extraneous services like providing engineers for installation and training. Companies do not provide or are not required to provide these services unless there’s 100s of thousands or millions of dollars involved. A machinery that cost 45k, it’s foolhardy in the first place for the supplier to suggest free engineers to be sent. More than likely the supplier had good intentions but the visa denial was obviously the final straw.

    43. Helgaard Holtzhausen at 8:23 am

      Hi I am trying to arrange for purchasing items from a supplier in Chine. they have Trade Assurance listed on their website as being available to transact through. When i now said I would want to use that option they came back stating that they cannot accept trade assurance order now as order value is over 300USD. Is this correct, why is there then a limit imposed?

      1. ChinaImportal at 9:06 am

        There are upper limits, but 300 USD is an extremely small order.

        The limits are normally set at 10 k USD or above.

    44. Theresa at 9:53 pm

      Can you tell me Alibaba Trade Assurance fee?

      1. ChinaImportal at 5:50 am

        Hi Theresa,

        Honestly I am not sure if there is any. They do not handle the payment as far as I am aware…

    45. victor-economistul at 8:20 am

      Dear Sirs/Madams,

      Can you please tell us if the bellow mentioned company is ‘covered by your ‘Trade assurance’ conditions:


      We have made a payment of 30 % -initial payment, the balance will be due after shipment.
      We have selected a ‘post delivery assurance’ on our ORDER.

      Thank you
      Victor Farkas

      1. ChinaImportal at 3:31 am

        Hi Victor,

        Notice that this website is not part of Alibaba. This is only an informative article.

        If the supplier is covered by Trade Assurance, you can see that on their Alibaba site.

    46. Fabian at 11:29 pm

      This new Alibaba Assurance coverage is a SCAM! We are going through a dispute right now, they don’t even give you the chance to email them documents, you have to upload everything but it doesn’t upload big files, i had to take screen shots and make it smaller, i begged them to let me send it by email and i still have not heard from them! I understand that Alibaba will never side with the buyer, they will always side with the supplier, i can read this between the lines, how do you prove salespersons lies during sale activities or how do you prove 4 months of communications (You can upload up to 5 files of tracking information, proof of customs withholding, notification letters from the Post Office or other information here, Only jpg, jpeg, pdf, png, formats or word, excel, psd (2MB max per upload)?? Explanation not to exceed more than 2000 characters.

      1. ChinaImportal at 1:45 am

        Hi Fabian,

        Based on our understanding, you must have a contract signed with the supplier. Without this, Alibaba cannot decide in your favor.

        What exactly happened in this case?

        1. fabian at 5:34 am

          Yes we have contract, i will post the results of the dispute when they are done.
          shipment returned yesterday by customs, they consider our product medical device and needed to be fda registered by the supplier.

          1. ChinaImportal at 3:30 am

            Hi Fabian,

            Normally it is the Importer that is responsible to ensure that the product is registered and fully compliant with all product regulations.

            1. fabian at 3:55 am

              Customs asked us to get the registration number from the manufacturer The number that is needed to clear the goods is a registration number. The listing number comes from the manufacturer. How can the importer be responsible to provide this number while the Manufacturer is the one who suppose to have it printed on the product, i spoke with customs daily and they said that the manufacturer should have it.

            2. ChinaImportal at 2:27 am

              Because very few overseas manufacturers are aware of these regulations. In theory that might be the case, but the importer is still taking the loss when something goes wrong, and unless this requirement was clearly stated, in writing on a contract, the supplier cannot be held responsible.

    47. sofia at 4:31 am

      alibaba supports only their premium registered suppliers i case of a quality problem we serious got defective products we submitted the invoice /the defective products photos /paypal payments proof
      but still alibaba ruled in their favour they claimed this wasn’t their goods
      thats it the matter was closed once and for all

      this is all bullshit of fair play
      trade assurance its crap please proceed cautiously as after a mont with great difficulty u find a buyer and ship out the products stops working ater a few days — made in china
      very sad today selling online we have to give free replacement warranty no questions asked or else we will disappear with 2-3 bad customer reviews so selling inferior products in the guise of superiour product finish from china may not work

      1. ChinaImportal at 3:46 am

        Hi Sofia,

        Alibaba requires that you sign a contract with the supplier, in order for Trade Assurance to be valid.

        Don’t you have any documentation that proves that the products are manufactured by that supplier?

        What about quality control records?

    48. Onyeka at 11:46 am

      Hello, i have ordered some goods from a company via Alibaba and now its gone to shipment stage. I am using my own shipping agent and what im shipping aint more than 1cbm, the supplier says that they need Vessel number, date and name to be added unto the Alibaba Trade Assurance contract for their money to be released.

      How true is this? also why cant Alibaba accept receipt of delivery issue by the shipping agent as a proof to indicate that all is fine?

      1. ChinaImportal at 9:24 am


        You better email Alibaba directly to find out. However, it doesn’t sound too strange that they could require this sort of information.

    49. VICTOR MOODLEY at 8:59 am

      dear sir / madam

      good day to you

      how do i make direct payment for goods from china via alibaba trade assurance, please send me details

      victor moodley

      1. ChinaImportal at 11:37 am

        Hi Victor,

        As far as we are aware, the payment is not done on, but to the suppliers bank account. However, that could have changed.

    50. David at 5:19 pm

      I’m ordering off alibaba via trade assurance and was originally going to pay the full amount through trade assurance but changed to paying 30% of the amount through trade assurance then 70% before shipping. I’m only covered for 30%, but it feels safer than paying the full amount upfront.

      Is the 30/70 way I just switched to a smart move or is it better to make the full payment under trade assurance upfront?

      1. ChinaImportal at 5:37 am

        Hi David,

        No, you shall avoid making the entire payment upfront. As far as we understand, the transaction is still made directly to the suppliers bank account. Hence, Alibaba is not acting as an intermediary. Assuming something would go wrong, Alibaba will surely intervene, to resolve the situation (and somehow, manage to issue a refund to the buyer). That said, better avoiding a refund to begin with.

    51. Boris at 2:39 pm

      When I tried to go through Trade Assurance transaction I was told by supplier that I will be using my own freight forwarder agent and after speaking with Alibaba support supplier told me that Trade Assurance will not work in such case. When I asked why I was told that transaction must be made for international export which must go through customs under “One Touch” by Alibaba. It seems this is Alibaba’s affiliated company that works as en export agent and issues proper exportation documentation for all Trade Assurance transactions and suppliers participating in it work with this export agent. I was told that I must have my freight forwarder to export through “One Touch” to proceed with Trade Assurance transaction with supplier.

      I don’t know whether there were misunderstandings but maybe it’s because it is related to option for “Post-delivery coverage” which specifies that buyer has 15 days from clearing customs to report quality issues. But then I did not select this option and neither did I start Trade Assurance transaction. Could be specific case to me…

      1. Boris at 2:40 pm

        “One Touch” is mentioned in Trade Assurance terms of service:

        1. ChinaImportal at 5:53 am

          Thanks, we will check it out!

      2. ChinaImportal at 5:52 am

        Hi Boris,

        Very interesting. Hence, Trade Assurance will only work if you ship with a freight company that is affiliated with them?

    52. samson at 6:42 pm

      Hi this is my first tym to do any transaction online, how i know if the supplier are acredited and what is full cycle of transaction step by step
      I have plan to buy from surri company,, from china can u give me feedback
      Should be all transactions from alibaba messenger application are not fake

      1. ChinaImportal at 4:24 am

        Hi Samson,

        I suggest you check out our Buyer’s Guide:

        It provides a step-by-step guide for the entire sourcing and procurement process, including payments.

    53. Doug Vaughan at 8:50 pm

      What is the cost of Trade Assurance – to both the buyer and the supplier?

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 7:20 am

        Hmm, I need to look this up actually. I assume the cost is carried by the buyer though.

        1. Boris at 2:22 pm

          I remember they required minimum transaction of $1000 for Trade Assurance eligibility but as of today it seems this limit is removed as I can’t find it.

          1. ChinaImportal at 5:51 am

            Hi Boris,

            Yes, seems like it’s removed. I found this:

            Kindly note that currently there is no longer a minimum transaction amount for Trade Assurance orders.

    54. Rahamon b. Aweda at 4:15 pm

      Hello alibaba trade assurnce,

      this is full sincere ent co situated in Nigeria we are importer and we want to be using your trade assurance to importying from china, becuse your trade assurance was just intrdoced to us but we do nto way to operte right

      now, please when we ordere from china, are you going to send out the goods to us before payment ??? or atre you going to notify us the airwaybill and flight no before send you payment?? please reply back
      yours faithfully,
      full sincere ent co

    55. Basit at 1:13 pm

      As I am using the trade assurance programme for the first time. I want to pay my supplier using trade assurance programme just want to know if I can transfer the first 3o% deposit into Alibaba’s account using the third party sites like as it costs me less than using my own bank. Can you also tell me How will alibaba know that payment was made by me.

    56. Ebon at 9:16 pm

      Hello im also a first time buyer im looking for Brazilian unprocessed hair.. 7a quality ..I’m very nervous about buying a large order.. How do I wing of the fakes.. Can u please give some advice.. And is talking Ana making deals on Skype and paying through PayPal considered paying without Alibaba.. Email me or respond here please and also I want the hair to be from India and manufactured in China..

    57. SHAKEEL at 7:28 pm

      It deals with only quality and timing. What about infringement? Does it cove that as well?

    58. jim emmerson at 10:00 am

      i am becoming a gold member april 24, 2015 – being verified
      as a manufacturer, is TRADE ASSURANCE included or how do I get it.
      killy hsu is my business agent.

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 4:13 am

        Hello Jim,

        Seemingly, a Gold Supplier membership is not including trade assurance by default. Also, it’s only offered to companies registered in Mainland China.

    59. Bob F. at 2:25 pm

      I am a 1st time importer. I am planning to import Microsoft Xbox gaming consoles to sell in USA. I recently attempted to make a purchase from a seller I found on Alibaba. He asked him to contact him directly to complete transaction. Probably my 1st mistake. He didn’t tell me about the Trade Assurance fee I needed to pay until after I had paid him $900 for the units. I didn’t have an additional $900 for it. I had paid him via Western Union and he wanted me to send an additional $900 for the “Assurance Fee.” I know now to never do this again and instead complete the transaction through Alibaba. But am I responsible for the Trade Assurance fee? I’m still not sure about this.
      Any wisdom you can share about this process would be greatly appreciated. Or, If there is someone else I should talk to please let me know.
      My direct email is:
      Thank you!

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 9:37 am

        Hello Bob,

        Sounds like a scam. Xbox consoles sold in Mainland China are, as of today, imported from Hong Kong and Japan – even though the contract manufacturers are based in Shenzhen. However, those manufacturers would of course not trade consoles on the side.

    60. Renaud at 12:04 pm

      Thanks for looking into this offer in depth.

      The text “we will adopt a third-party inspection company’s recommendation of industry standards as a basis for determination” is not clear:
      – Which inspection company? Will Alibaba pay them? In that case, will they work with a good inspection company?
      – A third-party inspection company may suggest that a batch is “conform” or “not conform”. But it’s really not clear on what basis. There are many “industry standards” and one can guess that Alibaba will try to keep the bar low (as you mentioned, suppliers are Alibaba’s customers). So an importer might buy watches for sale in an upscale distribution channel, and end up with a basic QC inspection based on AQL limits of 2.5% (major) and 4.0% (minor). Not exactly appropriate.

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 7:38 pm

        Hello Renaud,

        Yes, I thought it was relevant, as many suppliers now join this program. Alibaba lists a number of inspection firms. If I remember correctly, Bureau Veritas is on that list. Currently, they also offer US$1 Quality Inspections, and I assume this is paid by the importer, yet subsidized by Alibaba.

        If a buyer fails to provide any specifications, I assume they will refer to general ISO and ASTM standards. However, there’s no way to ensure compliance with highly specific quality requirements and design details. Then again, it’s up to the buyer to specify these details, and Alibaba is very clear on the potential consequences if this is not done.

    61. Boris C. at 10:29 am

      This is a timely article after Trade Assurance was introduced. I have been wondering what it is since.

      Do they cover deposit only or balance payment? For claims you mentioned 3rd party Alibaba assigned quality inspector but here they mention that I must arrange inspector myself?

      “If the supplier don’t ship on time or the quality does not meet your requirements contained in the contract (you need to raise any product quality claims before the products are shipped out, which means you will need to arrange for the products to be inspected before they are shipped out), the balance hasn’t been paid, and your initial payment is covered by the Trade Assurance Amount, the payment will be 100% refunded.”

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 7:35 pm

        Hello Boris,

        Seemingly, it is not restricted to the deposit or balance payment, but instead a fixed sum. That said, assuming that you follow up a 30/70 payment plan, and only wire the balance after the (approved) QC, this shall in reality only concern to deposit payment. That said, I have not used this system myself, nor am I aware of any client of ours that has.

        1. Boris at 2:30 pm

          When I am on Trade Assurance page I am able to proceed by selecting one of the following options:

          Pre-shipment coverage – You will be protected for the covered amount of your initial payment. Please check the quality of your products before shipment.

          Post-delivery coverage – You will be protected for the covered amount of your total payment. Please check your product quality within 15 days of clearing customs.

          The first one protects initial payment which is good against potential scams as buyer later required to send quality inspector to approve and wire the balance. This seems safer than last option.

          The last option covers entire transaction and allows buyer to approve quality within 15 days of clearing customs. Looks like option that does not require quality inspector but I surmise proving quality mismatch would be the hardest part without at least some report from quality inspector.

          1. ChinaImportal at 5:53 am

            Yes, I totally agree that “Pre-Shipment coverage” is the better option!

    Comments are closed.

    Asia Import Platform: Get USD 100 off until Thursday


    Checkout Code: DEC23

    FREE WEBINAR: How to Import Products from

    China & Vietnam in 4 steps

    Finding the Right Supplier on Alibaba, Product Samples, Common Scams, Quality Control & More 


    You can ask questions during the presentation!