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?
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    • Profile picture of the author ZanyZebra
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by ZanyZebra View Post

        Nobody can tell you with any certainty that it is 'safe'. All purchasing is risky to an extent.

        For what it is worth, I own my own branded product company and have been sourcing from alibaba for years. I have also coached hundreds of others (inside ASM) through purchasing abroad too. I can count on one hand the number of 'problems' with this. Even those were resolved fairly quickly.

        There are those on here who will tell you it is very dangerous, they're usually selling a product teaching you how to source.

        I've personally never had any trouble with alibaba, in fact quite the opposite and I earn 6 figures per month having used it to source.

        Good luck with your decisions and ventures.
        Yes I sell a product, now being used successfully by hundreds, teaching people how to source safely. Does that disqualify me from expressing an opinion about Alibaba that I can back up with real information on how many thousands of buyers have been scammed by Gold Suppliers?

        There is no doubt that there are many people who have successfully sourced products through Alibaba and are happy with the results. That does not prove that it is safe for everyone to use Alibaba for sourcing.

        See this thread: China’s Consumer Protection Watchdog Reports On Alibaba where the official Chinese government agency severely criticizes Alibaba in relation to bribery, unregistered businesses, illegal counterfeits, faulty feedback system, inadequate checking of vendors' financial situation, carelessness about protecting buyers etc etc.

        Many people who source from Alibaba think they are getting a great deal, but they don't know what they are missing out on. They believe the fake claims that a supplier is a manufacturer, so they assume that means they will get the best prices. In reality a large % of those fake manufacturers are traders who buy from the manufacturers, add a huge margin, and then sell to their unsuspecting buyers. Here's a post on WF about my book:
        "I have contacted some manufacturers already (from links he supplies) and I am just shocked at the low prices they offer for products I am researching. Forget Alibaba, Global Resource, whatever. The Ebook shows you where to find manufacturers, how to verify their credibility etc."


        "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

        Use an escrow service!
        Originally Posted by TexasSteve View Post

        You have to insist with getting a test unit. Order a few samples and see the quality. Then and only then should you purchase through a secure escrow account.
        I assume you are both referring to Alibaba's escrow service? If so, you are out of date. For legal reasons, prior to their float on the NYSE, they changed the name to Secure Payment.

        It could be one of the safest ways to do business, IF you knew all the rules as well as the suppliers know them. There is a huge loophole that unscrupulous vendors use to prevent buyers from getting their money back. The big drawback is that you must not let a supplier keep you in discussion until the time limit runs out. That is a strategy that has often been reported.

        The Secure Payment rules published by Alibaba are very complex and it is difficult to get the full story on their site.

        I suggest you go to the Alibaba site, click on For Buyers, then under Trade Services, click on Secure Payment. The page will open describing very briefly how it works. Scroll down for more explanation. Take note of what it tells you about "Resolving Disputes."

        Click on "Open Dispute" to see how that can't be done until 5 days after the shipping date. NOTE: they don't tell you but that means the agreed shipping date when you place your order. It does not mean the date the goods were shipped.

        Take special note of the fact that you are expected to negotiate with the supplier, and the old system said that if no resolution after 30 days the matter would automatically go to mediation. That has now been changed to 20 days, and it is no longer automatic. You must escalate the dispute within that time or your claim will be rejected.

        You must complete negotiations within 20 days, but I strongly recommend that you escalate and ask for mediation if you have not been given a firm and positive answer by the supplier within 10 days of opening a dispute. Don't be taken in by a supplier using the strategy of a friendly manner promising to completely satisfy your claim. They are just as likely to be keeping you on a string until the 20 days has passed then you won't hear from them again.

        I have received many sad tales about Alibaba paying the supplier because the dispute had not been escalated within the required time. That required time used to be published on their site, but it is not easy to find. That's why I have stated that for you. - 20 days.

        Some of the recent changes to their site have not been done competently. If you are searching for information and you click on "How Long Does a Dispute Last?" The answer you get is 5 days after the date of shipping. That is incorrect! It lasts 20 days. See if you can find where I found that.

        In summary, Secure Payment gives an illusion of security, but will only be secure if you read and understand all the rules. The suppliers have, and they use them to their advantage.

        "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by ryanmilligan View Post

        A man with a brain. 1. 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.

        2. 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.
        1. I already commented in Post #29 about trade references and due diligence. Might be worth scrolling back.

        2. Calling a supplier on the phone does not necessarily mean you will contact someone running the business, or even someone who knows a lot about the business.

        Many businesses in China are run by people who speak no English. They employ someone who does, usually a young woman. She will have a limited knowledge of the business, although she will know what products they sell. That does not mean she would be able to answer complicated questions.

        The English spoken by many in China is very limited. When I first visited one of my suppliers there in 1987 the owner of the business actually spoke English. He loved the English language so much that he taught it one night a week. The problem was that his own English was so bad that I struggled to understand him! His students no doubt also think they can communicate in English.

        "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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        Safely source from China and other countries and import the easy way http://provenchinasourcing.com

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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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  • Profile picture of the author tofrar
    Ask for sample first. They will send yo one pcs
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    alibaba is a broker of sorts between u and a pool of companies (mostly from asia), THAT IS ALL.

    To say that they are no-good because of a handful of unfortunate experiences is not fair.

    Yes, they should do a better job of policing their site for scammers.

    No, u shouldnt go with the first company u find until you've researched that company thoroughly.
    -----------------------

    just my 64 cents...
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    If your actually serious about sourcing from China and they are a serious company, here is a tip, ask if they will allow you to visit the factory where the product you are considering ordering is made. If they say no, find another manufacturer.

    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author MattStevens
    I have had good experience with purchasing through Alibaba. You have to be smart about how to go about it...Do your due diligence...ask for a sample...and make sure you use escrow.

    Also don't provide final payment without getting certified bill of laden
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  • Profile picture of the author IMMer1975
    I've ordered from Aliexpress (same thing really) without any problems whatsoever. Of course, it's a market place so it's going to depend on the seller.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Originally Posted by pietpatat View Post

    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.
    This newly revived thread contains such an amazing amount of misinformation, bad advice, and obsolete information that it needs updating. I will comment first on the OP's questions and comments. The matters I am dealing with I have shown in blue in the quoted posted

    Contrary to what the OP might think, it is not really safe without taking extreme care. In fact I advise my students to avoid using Alibaba, not only because of the risks involved, but also because of the fact that it lists many thousands of traders who are masquerading as manufacturers.

    Traders can't give you the best prices because they are buying from manufacturers and reselling to you at a profit.

    "it all looks very safe" But it is not. The Alibaba system and the similar systems used by most B2B sites are designed to make buyers feel secure, but it is all an illusion.
    "escrow" Now for legal reasons called Secure Payment, this system has huge loopholes that are regularly exploited by those traders who understand how the system works. The average buyer does not even bother to read how it works, and so they think they are safe but they can and do still lose their money if the supplier is dishonest.
    "legal status checked" This "verification" process simply checks that the business actually exists. Nothing more. They visit the premises that for all they know might be a room rented for the day. Leases are not checked.
    "gold member" Gold Supplier status is bought and not earned. They are ordinary, garden variety verified members who have been willing to pay as little as $299 for a Gold Supplier badge to trick people into believing they are more reliable. (Recently the cost has risen to $699. Still cheap if you want to fool people.)
    "the minimum order for most supplier is 100 units which is ~$2000" Only newbies believe the myth that you have to buy the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ). I have taught hundreds how to ignore MOQs and get manufacturers to supply small orders.
    "you should buy brands" NEVER buy big brands. They will be fakes too, and they will be confiscated by Customs, you can be prosecuted, fined, possibly jailed, sued into bankruptcy by the brand owner, and at the very least have your name and address flagged by Customs so that every shipment onwards will be delayed for thorough inspection.

    I will every day or so post my comments on other important issues raised in this thread, because now that this thread has been revived and will be read by newbies, I don't want them to be led astray by the wrong advice, misinformation and obsolete information that is in some of the posts.

    "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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    • Profile picture of the author henryw1981
      Alibaba is expensive so be careful. Be sure to find a product that are selling well before

      rebranding. You should also be sure to buy from US suppliers. Also be sure to check the

      feedback on these suppliers before ordering
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  • Profile picture of the author Amonmag
    100% recommend buying from there. Its really safe!
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  • Profile picture of the author alambd1963g
    Originally Posted by pietpatat View Post

    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.
    I was searching on ALIBABA & madeinchine.com to get good products, I found there are many suppliers, who are willing to sell their goods below the real price. Then I went CHINA in 2013, I found there are many both Original & fake Suppliers in the both online platform. After reaching CHINA, I called them unfortunately most of the Fake people did not pick their phone. Then I determined the fake people. So you should not buy anything from the online platform without see their status & reviews by the general people. If you paid to the fake suppliers, you will lost everything. Thanks
    Signature

    Best of luck.

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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      These posts show that most people don't bother reading previous posts before they reply. I have dealt with all these points in my post yesterday. If people disagree, I would be happy if they would say so, but to simply post uninformed comments is not helpful to those new to this important subject.
      Originally Posted by henryw1981 View Post

      Alibaba is expensive so be careful. Be sure to find a product that are selling well before rebranding. You should also be sure to buy from US suppliers. Also be sure to check the feedback on these suppliers before ordering
      Feedback can be bought. Some B2B sites, but not Alibaba who have now stopped doing it, publish default feedback, which is always positive. This is how it works: If the buyer does not provide feedback, the B2B site does! Anyway if you can buy good feedback what is feedback worth?
      Originally Posted by zacharybarden View Post

      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.
      It is no longer escrow. It is Secure Payment. Similar rules, but the changes have not eliminated the loopholes that enable scammers to avoid allowing you to get your money back.

      Originally Posted by Amonmag View Post

      100% recommend buying from there. Its really safe!
      I repeat: The Alibaba system and the similar systems used by most B2B sites are designed to make buyers feel secure, but it is all an illusion. A few years ago Alibaba admitted that 2236 Gold Suppliers had scammed buyers. Those scams continue. See alibabascam.com/ So far 683 scams by Gold Suppliers reported, and more are added daily.
      Originally Posted by talfighel View Post

      I have seen their ad in many places and if I am not mistaken, they were featured in the news as being a really good and honest company. So I don't know why people would call them a scam.
      You are no doubt referring to their float on the NYSE. Their shares are probably a great investment, but buying from suppliers listed on their B2B site is more like a lottery than an investment.

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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  • Profile picture of the author brotherZ
    There is never 0% chance that you won't be scammed. Start by buying small quantities to limit your loss and also evaluate the quality of what you are buying. I wouldn't spend $2000 like that to an overseas seller.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradCarroll
    E. Brian Rose has the best advice I've seen so far in this thread.

    If you want to go all-in, consider using a similar vetting process to procure an agent of your own who can inspect your supplier's factory or warehouse, etc. and represent you on your behalf.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by BradCarroll View Post

      E. Brian Rose has the best advice I've seen so far in this thread.

      If you want to go all-in, consider using a similar vetting process to procure an agent of your own who can inspect your supplier's factory or warehouse, etc. and represent you on your behalf.
      The advice from E. Brian Rose was "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."

      Most genuine manufacturers won't provide references from customers in the US. For a start, if they do that, they are revealing your potential competitors' sources. That is not ethical. Second, they don't want buyers colluding to bargain for better prices. Would you be happy if your supplier told your competitors where they buy the product you sell?

      The best due diligence is to start with suppliers who have been thoroughly vetted by trustworthy B2B sites. Please see what I wrote in my post #19. Here is some that is relevant to the issue of due diligence:

      "The Alibaba system and the similar systems used by most B2B sites are designed to make buyers feel secure, but it is all an illusion.
      "legal status checked" This "verification" process simply checks that the business actually exists. Nothing more. They visit the premises that for all they know might be a room rented for the day. Leases are not checked.
      "gold member" Gold Supplier status is bought and not earned. They are ordinary, garden variety verified members who have been willing to pay as little as $299 for a Gold Supplier badge to trick people into believing they are more reliable. (Recently the cost has risen to $699. Still cheap if you want to fool people.)"

      I agree that it is desirable to have an inspection service, but not an agent. Inspecting the factory or warehouse does not guarantee that the business is a genuine manufacturer or that the goods produced and being dispatched to you are of the quality you specified.

      There are well established inspection services, some of whom have been in business for well over 100 years. You don't need to use a vetting process to choose one of them. Their reputation lasting over 100 years speaks for itself. If you want to use one of the countless Chinese opportunist agents - best of luck.

      I would just ask - who polices the policeman? They invariably work on a commission basis. Do they also get a secret commission from the supplier?

      I have vast experience in dealing with China, having visited countless times since 1978, and I can tell you they do.


      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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  • Profile picture of the author Faradayy
    Just remember that gold member on alibaba just means the seller has paid an extra fee for that status.
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  • Profile picture of the author multiplecloud
    Try to contact supplier first and ask for the sample.
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  • Profile picture of the author GregDeTisi
    I have bought with them no probs but being in the UK I have found it much easier to sell in my niche and buy from more local people. Why? 1) Faster and more reliable delivery 2) if something is wrong I go them directly 3) I can buy almost anything here like bankrupt stock etc. be on the lookout for niche based items like you promote. There are tons of people out there who test the water then quit. You can find great suppliers whether drop ship or wholesale. Sure your margins could be affected quite a bit but this is where your haggling comes in. If someone is desperate for money and you take a load off their hands for a good price its win win. get friendly also with people in your niche. There are warehouses out there who buy from Asis so you don't have to. You can buy direct from them!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zaiyan
    You have to do a lot of research for the company from who you are willing to buy. Ask them for some references in the country you live. Decide payment terms beforehand. Check their listing on a reliable company directory. Check for their reviews on google.
    Regards,
    Zaiyan
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Zaiyan View Post

      You have to do a lot of research for the company from who you are willing to buy. Ask them for some references in the country you live. Decide payment terms beforehand. Check their listing on a reliable company directory. Check for their reviews on google.
      Regards,
      Zaiyan
      As I pointed out in my post #29, Chinese suppliers are rightly reluctant to provide references from customers in your home country.

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
      Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author seven4
    I never bought from alibaba, but few of my friends did.

    None of them ever got scammed.
    I think, as long as you're careful about the seller, you have nothing to worry about..
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by seven4 View Post

      I never bought from alibaba, but few of my friends did.
      None of them ever got scammed.
      I think, as long as you're careful about the seller, you have nothing to worry about..
      This is the kind of misguided, simplistic advice that leads inexperienced people to do things that have been proven to be risky.

      The subject of Alibaba and the potential risks in using that site for product sourcing has been extensively dealt with in the eCommerce Sites, Wholesaling and Dropshipping forum. Here are a few of the threads:
      How Trustworthy is Alibaba.com? http://www.alibaba.com/

      How to convince gullible buyers that they can trust you ― for only $699.

      Product Research/Find actual product maker in China or other? Here is a post by Anonymous Affilate from that thread:
      "I've gone through this process in the recent months, and I can tell you this much: Alibaba, Aliexpress and the such will take you down through a world of pain: unprofessional middlemen who only care for their commission, very poor and slow communication, low quality final products that dont resemble what was agreed, etc."

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
      Signature
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      Safely source from China and other countries and import the easy way http://provenchinasourcing.com

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      • Profile picture of the author Shellg
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        This is the kind of misguided, simplistic advice that leads inexperienced people to do things that have been proven to be risky.

        The subject of Alibaba and the potential risks in using that site for product sourcing has been extensively dealt with in the eCommerce Sites, Wholesaling and Dropshipping forum. Here are a few of the threads:
        How Trustworthy is Alibaba.com? http://www.alibaba.com/

        How to convince gullible buyers that they can trust you ― for only $699.

        Product Research/Find actual product maker in China or other? Here is a post by Anonymous Affilate from that thread:
        "I've gone through this process in the recent months, and I can tell you this much: Alibaba, Aliexpress and the such will take you down through a world of pain: unprofessional middlemen who only care for their commission, very poor and slow communication, low quality final products that dont resemble what was agreed, etc."
        Im glad Ive got your book, cos now I know where its safe to buy. Good suppliers, good prices, no hassles.
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        • Profile picture of the author Shellg
          Originally Posted by Shellg View Post

          Im glad Ive got your book, cos now I know where its safe to buy. Good suppliers, good prices, no hassles.
          I meant safe places that arent Alibaba. Ive got great prices and now on my third order with no hassles. I hate to think what might of happened if Id gone to Alibaba though.

          For another thing prices are so high on Alibaba. I got some quotes there and they were heaps more than Im paying.

          Importexport says thats cos they are mostly traders, not factories on Alibaba.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    Is it safe to buy from eBay ? same question goes here, you buying from a seller, you will want to make sure the seller is established and have an outstanding return policy. Alibaba is hell of expensive, so you may as well make sure, u get the most out of it
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  • Profile picture of the author lisacolins
    yes.. it just takes a lot off time till it gets to you.. buy everything is so cheap so it worth waiting
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  • Profile picture of the author AadhyaMehra
    Banned
    Originally Posted by pietpatat View Post

    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.
    It was very difficult for anybody to assure or declare the safety of any ecommerce site, but my experience is, to scroll the page down of any site and read all terms conditions privacy policies etc, then do some kind of research then proceed. But remember do not use credit/Debit cards or neft transfers unless you get confidence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by AadhyaMehra View Post

      It was very difficult for anybody to assure or declare the safety of any ecommerce site, but my experience is, to scroll the page down of any site and read all terms conditions privacy policies etc, then do some kind of research then proceed. But remember do not use credit/Debit cards or neft transfers unless you get confidence.
      You say: "It was very difficult for anybody to assure or declare the safety of any ecommerce site" I stand by my statement that the B2B sites that I recommend are safe sites.

      I have taught hundreds of people in 35 countries how to safely source, and none have ever reported a problem using those safe sites that I recommend.

      AadhyaMehra's seems to think that reading the Terms and conditions and privacy policies on Alibaba's site will protect you, but you also need to know someting about their verification process and how people get be Gold Suppliers.

      The forging of certificates of every kind is endemic in China. This not only refers to such safety issues as those involved with CE and ROH certificates, but even business registration certificates are being forged.

      This brings into question the validity of verification of suppliers on many B2B sites such as Alibaba, DHGate, TradeKey, GlobalSources etc., where the first step in the verification process involves inspection of business registration certificates. This issue highlights why I only recommend using certain safe sites where verification is taken seriously.

      For those who have not read any of my posts on other threads I would add that the second (and final) step in the verification process involves a visit by the B2B site operators to the business premises to confirm that the business is operating at that address. I am familiar enough with China to know that rent for the day offices abound. This means that scammers can rent an office for a few dollars until the visit has taken place, then close the door and operate their "business" from another location where they can't be traced.
      By the way, after passing that rigorous ?? verification process, they can then send a check for as little as $699 and provided the check is paid by the bank, they become much more trustworthy ?? as Gold Suppliers (or premium, or 5 Star etc.) !!!!!

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
      Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author ssenterprse
    Nowadays it is one of the important topics. because today there are many people who buy & sell online. In 2011, I searched some good online. I found some suppliers in CHINA by the MADEIN CHINA.COM & ALIBABA.COM their price was so cheap. I was astonished to see the price. After see the Quotation, I made 4 signup / contract with 4 suppliers. Every suppliers wanted to get the deposit money online. But I did not paid even a single amount of money online. Then I went CHINA after spending a lot of money. Then I did not found any suppliers at the right address. Even they did not receive any LOCAL number phone call. They were cheater.

    So I humble request you, please never make any transaction, before getting security. Very frustrated event. Thanks a lot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shellg
    I just read the thread about Chinas Consumer Protection Agency reporting on Alibaba and that makes me even more certain that I wont use Alibaba ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    2 years ago, we did well with a fitness product.

    I have been burned there once for $900USD so not that bad, but I still learnt 3 things.

    1) Always get someone or pay someone to visit factory. This can be worth gold to you.

    2) Always get a sample first.

    3) Always investigate them, and find out what other customers say first.

    Stuff on there is cheap for a reason. So remember that. too.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobertDonohoe
    There are so many honest vendors on that platform, you just need to do your due diligence..
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  • Profile picture of the author LesterRussell
    Always ask for samples before you make a purchase to ensure that what they promised is what you get. If they are unable to provide you any then approach a different company that is able to cater to your needs.

    Alibaba has such a vast pool of vendors available so you will need to ask around. Not all vendors are on equal levels. Do some research on the background of the company before engaging them will help shed some light on any bad history they might have.

    Last, be as precise as you can be about the specification of your product. Taking the easy way out and being vague just make it easier for them to pass off an inferior product to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Panda girl
    alibaba is very good. in my opinion, there are many honest vendors on the platform, besides, alibaba is the largest electronic commerce in China.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Why are you arguing points made by people 3 years ago in this thread?

      I see someone quoted and disputed - and that someone has not been on this forum in over a year.

      The bumping of old threads is over the top recently. It makes no sense and usually evolves into an argument as people defend themselves rather than say "oops, didn't notice the 2012 date".

      Instead, they say "this deserves updating".

      NO, it doesn't. There are many newer threads on the same topic with more recent information.
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author nicoli
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        Why are you arguing points made by people 3 years ago in this thread?

        I see someone quoted and disputed - and that someone has not been on this forum in over a year.

        The bumping of old threads is over the top recently. It makes no sense and usually evolves into an argument as people defend themselves rather than say "oops, didn't notice the 2012 date".

        Instead, they say "this deserves updating".

        NO, it doesn't. There are many newer threads on the same topic with more recent information.
        That's the problem. Good, generic information and experiences shared, get buried because some twit is too lazy to use the search function and just makes another thread. There are hundreds of threads like this and if people used search instead, and didn't have to worry about trolls complaining that they bumped something, browsing this forum would be a truckload easier. There is nothing wrong with bumping a thread full of useful experiences. Period.

        *bump
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by nicoli View Post

          That's the problem. Good, generic information and experiences shared, get buried because some twit is too lazy to use the search function and just makes another thread. There are hundreds of threads like this and if people used search instead, and didn't have to worry about trolls complaining that they bumped something, browsing this forum would be a truckload easier. There is nothing wrong with bumping a thread full of useful experiences. Period.
          *bump
          Originally Posted by Kay King
          Why are you arguing points made by people 3 years ago in this thread?
          I see someone quoted and disputed - and that someone has not been on this forum in over a year.
          The bumping of old threads is over the top recently. It makes no sense and usually evolves into an argument as people defend themselves rather than say "oops, didn't notice the 2012 date".
          Instead, they say "this deserves updating".
          NO, it doesn't. There are many newer threads on the same topic with more recent information.
          Thanks for your comments nicoli. It would appear that Kay King saw the date but did not read much of the posts after I replied when a couple of people had already revived the old thread. She wrote: "they say "this deserves updating"". but in fact what I posted was "This newly revived thread contains such an amazing amount of misinformation, bad advice, and obsolete information that it needs updating."

          If any made the effort to actually use the search facility and came upon this old post, surely I would be neglecting my duty to any such newbies by leaving such gross misinformation uncorrected.

          If
          Kay King had understood the sentence from which she misquoted she would have had an answer to her question.

          Walter Hay

          P.S. I did see the date of 2012 in the original post. That's what
          my opening words:"This newly revived thread" establish.

          "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
          Signature
          Don't just slap on a label. Build a GREAT BRAND http://powerlabelsforprivatelabelingprofits.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author armaniaryanna
    It is a good idea to use the Alibaba or, made-in-china.com or, some other site like these. But you have to be aware from the Scam. Nowadays the Scam is increasing day by day. If you want to buy a huge quantity of goods, you should visit the supplier factory. I always prefer to visit the suppliers office. If it is more expensive, you can use any friend or, friends friend. Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author vour1995
    aliexpress is better...
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Back in the day (circa 1996-2010) when I was most heavily involved in importing products from China, I found that made-in-china.com to be the best resource and wealth of information for finding reputable suppliers - bar none.
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  • Use an escrow service!
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author TexasSteve
    You have to insist with getting a test unit. Order a few samples and see the quality. Then and only then should you purchase through a secure escrow account.
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  • Profile picture of the author joshkan
    Yes, it is safe to but from alibaba, i use it myself and find it very credible. hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author armaniaryanna
    I have been using the alibaba since 2009. I search supplier on the alibaba. After contracting the product price, I visit the factory & office by myself or, my other friends, if the order is huge quantity. Then I make transaction. I went in CHINA, so I have some friends in there. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Omarkenawy
    Honestly, I have no previous experience on buying something from Alibaba.com. However I can see that there`s two main risk along with the process.

    Products and Goods quality issues and Frauds.

    Alibaba is safe, but only if you are proactive and prevent issues before they happen. When your products are shipped from China it’s already too late.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Omarkenawy View Post

      Honestly, I have no previous experience on buying something from Alibaba.com. However I can see that there`s two main risk along with the process.

      Products and Goods quality issues and Frauds.

      Alibaba is safe, but only if you are proactive and prevent issues before they happen. When your products are shipped from China it’s already too late.
      If you had read a few more posts on this thread you would surely not believe Alibaba is safe. If you disagree with anything I have said in my previous posts I would like to see what you think is wrong about them.

      Alibaba is currently in trouble with the Chinese government's consumer products watchdog. I suggest you view China’s Consumer Protection Watchdog Reports On Alibaba Read that and see if you will still say Alibaba is safe.

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
      Signature
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Omarkenawy View Post

      Honestly, I have no previous experience on buying something from Alibaba.com. However I can see that there`s two main risk along with the process.

      Products and Goods quality issues and Frauds.

      Alibaba is safe, but only if you are proactive and prevent issues before they happen. When your products are shipped from China it’s already too late.
      This is the kind of unhelpful post that I wish we could eradicate from the forum.

      The poster starts off by saying he has no experience in buying from Alibaba, and then goes on to say Alibaba is safe! How would he know?

      I have invited several such posters to say why they think Alibaba is safe despite all the evidence to the contrary, but no replies.

      I hope that newbies will ignore such self-contradictory posts that are probably only in existence to build up post count or display signatures.

      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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      • I use Alibaba all of the time and even sourced a product that became a bestseller on Amazon by using this site. Its a great resource but you have to know how to use it. A lot of scammers who will take your money, or (just as bad) send you crappy quality goods.

        Make sure the supplier you choose:

        (1) Is a Gold Supplier (use filter on site)
        (2) Has been assessed by a third party (use filter on site)
        (3) Sends you emails with a link BACK to their Alibaba storefront
        (4) Accepts PayPal as a form of payment (so that you can use disputes if there are any issues)

        I had to dispute an issue once and PayPal comes through as long as you follow the process.

        Its a great resource that needs to be used with caution. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Its not easy but it is definitely worth it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Wes @ Product Launch View Post

          I use Alibaba all of the time and even sourced a product that became a bestseller on Amazon by using this site. Its a great resource but you have to know how to use it. A lot of scammers who will take your money, or (just as bad) send you crappy quality goods.

          Make sure the supplier you choose:

          (1) Is a Gold Supplier (use filter on site)
          (2) Has been assessed by a third party (use filter on site)
          (3) Sends you emails with a link BACK to their Alibaba storefront
          (4) Accepts PayPal as a form of payment (so that you can use disputes if there are any issues)

          I had to dispute an issue once and PayPal comes through as long as you follow the process.

          Its a great resource that needs to be used with caution. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Its not easy but it is definitely worth it.
          I am pleased to know that it works for you, but there are thousands of people for whom it has not worked. They have been scammed.

          Some of your advice is helpful, but some will only give newbies a false sense of security. Here are my comments on your points:

          1. Gold Suppliers have scammed people by the thousands. The biggest number reported at one time was 2236 Gold Supplier scammers in late 2011. The system's problems were supposed to be corrected, but they have not. See: China’s Consumer Protection Watchdog Reports On Alibaba The scams continue at a high rate. Anyone who thinks a Gold Supplier is more reliable or more trustworthy should read this short thread: How to convince gullible buyers that they can trust you ― for only $699.
          2. Good suggestion. It will greatly reduce the number of possible suppliers but they will at least have been checked out by a reliable inspection service, TUV. You must read the entire inspection report, because that will tell you if they are real manufacturers.
          3. Good idea, but does not tell you more than the fact that they have set up an Alibaba storefront. Make sure you read the thread regarding the Consumer Protection Watchdog.
          4. Very few real manufacturers will accept payment through PayPal. Traders and wholesalers will often do so. Scammers have discovered how to get around the protection offered by PayPal. If interested in how, ask me a question about it on my thread: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing And Importing For Profit. ― Veteran Importer Here.

          There are safe sites where you don't have to continually look over your shoulder for fear of being financial mugged by scammers.

          "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
          Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author colzinfobiz
    I can say from experience, just don't buy anything related to "Genuine" iphone products from these or any other China trading companies.

    I realize this may not be an issue for most, but for every 100 people that bypass these type of offers/scams - there is always 1 that doesn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author christy62
    personally speaking, alibaba is safe, I made several purchase from it
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  • Profile picture of the author robertjones88
    Alibaba isn't bad as long as the person you're buying from wants to use Escrow. If they refuse to use Escrow run the other way.
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  • Profile picture of the author shakeer619
    alibaba is very good! you can product for a very cheap price! but only go into it if you have plans on selling wholesale.
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