Hi, I am Sam. I am British and currently based in Beijing. I have over 20 years of experience in product sourcing and have helped countless of my clients in obtaining the goods that they wanted. Having worked directly with various suppliers in China, I can say that I have seen everything that has to be seen in this industry; the good and the bad. With the experience I amassed over the years, I can offer some tips to help you not get scammed by Chinese suppliers.
NEVER make payments to a personal bank account. Since you are dealing with a company, there is no reason as to why their bank account would be under the name of an individual rather than that of the company in question. This is a red flag as per the norm, a company’s bank account is separated from a personal account. It might be confusing or unnoticeable especially if it is in the Chinese language. If you are not sure about the latter, one of your solution would be to enlist help from a China product sourcing company. You would be able to sleep better as it can guarantee that you are sending money to the correct organization. But, bear in mind that having a bank account registered under the company’s name does not necessarily refers to its reliability.
Note: NEVER PAY FULL AMOUNT beforehand. Instead pay in several steps, for instance, half upon order placement and the other half before shipment. Or, you can even negotiate better payment terms with your supplier.
In all my years of practice in this industry, I have never ever used Western Union to make a payment. If a supplier is requesting a payment via this method, then bail out as fast as you can. Scammers use Western Union as it is an easy way to receive money quick and fast without much hassle. There are no reasons as to why a legitimate supplier would not have an official bank account for money transfer.
I deeply recommend that you use safer means of money transfer for your payment.
Although it can happen that suppliers might need extra money for legitimate reasons, caution is advised. Scammers will try to extract as much money as they can from their victims. Do not give additional money more than what was initially agreed upon. These scammers will give numerous reasons and excuses as to why more money is required for the deal to happen. Or, if needed, at least be careful about it. Hence, try to get as much proof and information about the situation as you can before proceeding with the additional payment.
China product sourcing is a dream for those who are looking to buy goods at incredibly low prices. The country is the go-to destination for buying merchandise, especially with its lowered prices. But, that does not mean everything is dirt cheap. If a supplier is offering a ‘too good to be true’ deal on branded products then it might just be the case! Branded products have a range of prices that they are normally sold at. If the prices were easily lowered, then more suppliers would be selling them at similarly cheaper prices.
Note: Specify in as much detail as is possible about your specifications in order for the supplier to fully understand what is expected. Also, ask for samples from the supplier.
Always inspect the quality of the products that you are buying beforehand. The products might be at desirable lowered prices but so can the quality. For a very small order, you can simply ask your supplier to send you a sample of the product, pictures and so forth. This is not applicable for a bigger order. Larger orders are more critical as they are concerned with bigger amounts of money. But what if you are from the opposite side of the globe across China? For example, if you’re in Australia and you do not have the time to physically go to China to check the product yourself. I recommend a China sourcing company as they can help tremendously. They will guarantee as well as control the quality of product. So, product sourcing from Australia or any part of the world is made easier as they can avoid you many headaches with assurance of a legitimate deal and better product control.
Be as cautious as walking on eggshells! If you see any of the above red flags or if you feel like something is amiss, end the deal straightaway! It is better to lose a deal rather than hard earned money!