Is Alibaba Safe?

by pietpatat 72 replies
Hi,
I want to buy large amounts of products from alibaba and I'm looking for some advice from someone who already has alot of experience buying from alibaba because I don't want to get scammed.

From the looks of it it all looks very safe because most of the suppliers offer escrow service, have there legal status checked ( A&V check ) and are a gold member for more than 3 years. So does this mean there is a 0% chance I will get scammed by these supplier, or are there any other things to look for?
Because the minimum order for most supplier is 100 units which is ~$2000 and I don't want to lose that on my first order just because I picked the wrong supplier.

I know the basic stuff that most of the products are fakes and you should buy brands, and that the quality for tech products are bad. And I'm fine with that, I have been buying this product from dealextreme and know that 1 out of 10 products break, and that's ok as long as I can send them back and receive a new one.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #alibaba #buy #safe
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  • Profile picture of the author pietpatat
    For example I found this company: Shenzhen Keda Technology Co., Ltd that I want to buy from, but there are 2 things I'm worried about:
    1. They use a free gmail account ( sales2.keda[at]gmail.com ). Not very profersional and many scammers use free accounts.
    2. In their company info it sais they have established their company in 2012, but they have been a gold seller on alibaba for 4 years??? kedasz.en.alibaba.com/company_profile.html

    Can someone who has experience in buying from alibaba tell me if it's save to buy from this supplier?
  • Profile picture of the author Perrymma
    Stay far away. Lots of my friends have been taken for lots of money on that site. Alibaba does nothing about it.
  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    I have been lucky on Alibaba. Spent thousands and never got burned. I did a lot of due diligence before buying, though. I asked for U.S. based references and called them all before sending a penny.
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
      Banned
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      I have been lucky on Alibaba. Spent thousands and never got burned. I did a lot of due diligence before buying, though. I asked for U.S. based references and called them all before sending a penny.

      A man with a brain. You'd think that people spending thousands from their business capital would do enough background checking to pick up a phone and call their potential supplier.

      Just ask complicated questions over the phone, ones that only someone running/or was part of a business specializing in whatever it is you are buying would actually be able to answer properly.
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Alibaba is good. Use the website escrow to pay for your items. Anybody not willing to do so, i wouldn't mess with them.
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    • Profile picture of the author zacharybarden
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Alibaba is good. Use the website escrow to pay for your items. Anybody not willing to do so, i wouldn't mess with them.
      Use the escrow option, only stick with gold suppliers with 2 years or more with a high response rate and high general rating. Do background checks on the companies themselves (I actually have contacts who get more in depth information on these companies), and ultimately make sure you always request a sample.

      Also, don't forget shipping costs.
  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    I would follow Randall's advice. With so many vendors, there's going to be good and bad. Always cover your @ss.

    Try a sensible order at first to test out the reliability of vendor and get as much personal info as you can on them.
    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      There are a lot of shady traders on Alibaba. I've got my fingers burnt a few times and - as many have said - there's next to no buyer protection.

      I would estimate that as many as nine offers out of ten could be classed as "dodgy", to put it mildly. With that in mind, pay nine times the due diligence when considering a purchase from an Alibaba vendor.

      There are other feasible, overseas wholesale purchasing options about.
  • Profile picture of the author Bill_Lawrence
    I've purchased several items from alibaba/aliexpress. I use paypal to complete most of my transactions there.
  • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
    While I know there are billions of dollars worth of legitimate transactions that have taken place through buyers and sellers who have found each other on Alibaba, that still does not negate the fact that you are not buying from Alibaba nor if you are an exporter are you selling to Alibaba.

    Alibaba is nothing more than an international trade platform to help potential buyers and potential sellers connect with one another. Unless I missed it, Alibaba does not manufacture nor wholesale any products.

    With that said, there is an article at the Wall Street Journal website that you should read about what went on with 36 of their employees in early 2011 - here is the link:

    Police Detain 36 in Alibaba Fraud Probe - WSJ.com

    Once you read that article it may help you in your due diligence efforts to realize that being a "gold supplier" may not be all that you are hoping it will be.

    Granted I am sure they have put much in place to eliminate the type of problems outlined in the WSJ article, however, you have already listed several things that "just don't feel right" about them.

    The Gmail email address for one - I use plenty of gmail addresses myself, however, one question that comes to me is if they are a "gold supplier" and they have been in business for 4 years now, why did they not spend some money on having a website set up so they can display their products and have a valide email address?

    Last time I checked a gold supplier registration cost was raised to be several thousand dollars which would be more than enough to pay for a nice website, especially over a period of 4 years?

    I would also ask you what drew you to this company as a potential supplier? Prices?? If they are far better than other suppliers/manufacturers than I would be extremely careful and would continue to shop around and definitely use Escrow if you do ultimately go with them on a test order.

    GlobalSources.com (GS) is another company that I would suggest you visit and try to find a source through. GS has been around for over 41 years and they perform background checks on all of the companies that advertise in their trade publications, both paid and free.

    Here again, just because GS does background checks, it does not alleviate your due diligence requirements but from having seen the actions of both companies now for quite a few years I would send anyone to GS first before ever sending them to Alibaba.

    By the way, if you cannot find any of GS's free trade directories, PM me and I will send you a link. They have 18 free trade directories for 16 different product groups and also products from India and Korea.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimShi
    In addition with escrow, pay with a credit card on Alibaba. That way, if they decide to rip you off, you can always chargeback and recover your money. When you're dealing with large amounts of money on the internet, it's better to be safer than sorry.
  • Profile picture of the author dc_publius
    Big problem is that you may end up getting what you ordered, but up close it ends up being super-cheap low-quality junk.

    You haven't seen what low-quality is until you've been to China/India. Things can be laughably bad over there and unsellable by our standards.
  • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
    Speaking from personal experience I would take a flame thrower to Ali and his Baba of thieves. I was blatantly ripped off twice by this "company" which has no checks and balances and yeah....u might get the phones u ordered but trust me.......you'll be lucky to give them away.

    Personally I'd go with DHGate.com.....I have made dozens of purchases from them.....and they don't release the funds to the seller until YOU receive your package and are satisfied. For you Pay Pal lovers.....they do take pay pal.

    peace, Vegas Vince

    p.s. if I have to waste time determining if some AliBaba seller is legit......why friggin' bother? It's rampant with fraud. Roll the dice at your own risk.

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