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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default Safe to buy from alibaba?

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.
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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 06:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 06:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

I've purchased several items from alibaba/aliexpress. I use paypal to complete most of my transactions there.

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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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.

GlobalTrader
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Unread 24th Aug 2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 12:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 12:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 12:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

Ask for sample first. They will send yo one pcs

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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 12:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 01:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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Unread 26th Aug 2012, 02:10 AM   #16
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Default Re: Safe to buy from alibaba?

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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