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Unread 9th July 2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Hey warriors ... I just stumbled upon Alibaba for the very first time and ... let's just say it really got my creative juices going.

I am interested in picking up a bulk quantity of a specific item I found on there, however I have never dealt with this site before (even though it seems to be legit) ..and I thought it would be ice to get some advice on how to avoid getting scammed.
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Unread 9th July 2013, 01:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

I have bought from Alibaba all the time. I made a living on importing last year. Some things you got to watch out for is shipping man, do not ever order fake items or look alike items, problems will happen at customs. Safest route to import is via courier shipping, a bit more expensive but works better but in this case make sure your boxes are not too big or you will be charged for taxes.

If you are looking to import small amounts go with Aliexpress instead of Alibaba. BTW welcome to the wonderful world of Alibaba, I know exactly how it feels, its like discovering something special lol, I was lost in that site for about 2 years.

Also make sure seller is at least 1 year old and is gold seller, never buy from a seller that doesnt have full premium membership, never give money via western union, always use escrow, so you have buyer protection
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Unread 9th July 2013, 01:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Good experience for Alibaba. Find Gold members.
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Unread 9th July 2013, 06:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

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Originally Posted by wongkog View Post
Good experience for Alibaba. Find Gold members.

Gold members means nothing! You can pay to be a gold member. Most of the stuff there are scams.
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Unread 9th July 2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

If you have a search here Building eCommerce Sites - Wholesale, Drop Shipping, Alibaba's mentioned in a number of threads.
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Unread 9th July 2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Is paying with PayPal on Alibaba sketchy? Should I only do deals with people who are willing to accept Escrow payments?

Would PayPal have me covered if something went wrong in the transaction?

I have had past experiences with PayPal before and they weren't too helpful in resolving anything for me.
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Unread 9th July 2013, 11:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

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Originally Posted by ninjaafk View Post
Is paying with PayPal on Alibaba sketchy? Should I only do deals with people who are willing to accept Escrow payments?

Would PayPal have me covered if something went wrong in the transaction?

I have had past experiences with PayPal before and they weren't too helpful in resolving anything for me.
You can not use paypal to make transactions on such sites anymore. This also includes dhgate and other reputable sites like these. You pay using a credit card, western union, or bank transfer. If it's a legit site, your money will not be given directly to the seller instead it will go to escrow. Once you receive your items, you will have to confirm that your items were received and only then will the monies be released to the seller. I'm currently a Platinum member at a couple of these sites and this has been my experience over the past 2 years. It's been about a year since paypal has not been an option for payment.
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Unread 10th July 2013, 12:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Advice : NEVER pay using Western Union. In case you run into a scammy seller, they will take your money and there's nothing you can do about it. ALWAYS pay with a credit card. Because if the seller tries to take your money, you can always file a dispute with your bank, and you'll get your money back within 30 days. Credit card companies know how many fraudulent transactions go through Alibaba and AliExpress, so they will side with the buyer in the event of a dispute.

Another way to spot someone who is likely a scammer is to look at their list of the items they are selling. Most legitimate sellers on Alibaba are manufacturers, not resellers. Which means they will focus their store on a specific niche of items. If you see a seller offering everything under the sun (clothing, furniture, car parts, electronics, housewares, sporting equipment...) 9 times out of 10 they are not legitimate sellers. Think of it this way: a company manufacturing tablets is not going to be sewing underwear too.

Another tip : just because a seller has a "Gold Member" star on their account, that doesn't mean they are legitimate. Sellers on Alibaba can pay to get that Gold Member status to make them look more official, when they still scam people out of money.

If you're going to buy on AliExpress, don't buy from anyone who doesn't have positive feedback left on their product pages. If they have no feedback, that either means they are brand new sellers with no reputation, or they don't deliver products and cancel transactions before buyers can leave feedback.

This all seems scary, but once you figure out how to spot the fake sellers from the legitimate ones, Alibaba and AliExpress are both gold mines for the import/resell business. A bulk of my ecommerce business is reselling items I import, so you can be very successful if you use these websites wisely!

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Unread 10th July 2013, 12:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

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Originally Posted by ivanela33 View Post
You can not use paypal to make transactions on such sites anymore. This also includes dhgate and other reputable sites like these. You pay using a credit card, western union, or bank transfer. If it's a legit site, your money will not be given directly to the seller instead it will go to escrow. Once you receive your items, you will have to confirm that your items were received and only then will the monies be released to the seller. I'm currently a Platinum member at a couple of these sites and this has been my experience over the past 2 years. It's been about a year since paypal has not been an option for payment.
So basically if someone asked me to pay them through a PayPal transaction ...I can safely assume that it is a scam?

Are you guys saying that I should only do transactions on Alibaba that have Escrow payment as a method?
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Unread 10th July 2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

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Originally Posted by ninjaafk View Post
So basically if someone asked me to pay them through a PayPal transaction ...I can safely assume that it is a scam?

Are you guys saying that I should only do transactions on Alibaba that have Escrow payment as a method?
I think if someone asks you to pay using Western Union ONLY, it is probably a scam. With a paypal transaction, there's alway recourse you can take if something doesn't work out in the transaction. I strongly suggest you make your first transaction using an escrow service so that you can get to know the seller and the the items you will be purchasing
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Unread 10th July 2013, 12:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjaafk View Post
So basically if someone asked me to pay them through a PayPal transaction ...I can safely assume that it is a scam?

Are you guys saying that I should only do transactions on Alibaba that have Escrow payment as a method?
Hi there,

That's not necessarily true.

Any transaction whether conducted via Alibaba or not has an element of risk. If you buy an item on eBay there's a risk you'll pay and not get your item.

This risk is a function of every transaction but you can limit your risk with Alibaba by following the advice above and only dealing with legitimate sellers. Legitimate sellers are those with positive feedback.

When you send money via Western Union to China, you put a lot of faith in the seller and the transaction.

Last year we sent a considerable amount to China via Western Union for bulk items we found on Alibaba to include in a direct mail piece as grabbers.

The only way the merchant would accept payment was via Western Union for the amount we had negotiated. We felt comfortable enough with sending the money as our interactions with the seller up to that point had been quite good. They were responsive, and not pushy.

So we sent the money via (Moneygram actuall, same thing as Western Union) and crossed our fingers.

The items arrived as promised.

The cost of shipping was astronomical due to the weight of the items, but even with this added cost the entire order as about 1/3 of the lowest price we could get the same items anywhere else in the world.

We've only done about 6/7 transactions on Alibaba and all have been positive. We fully expect a bad transaction one day, but are hopeful it won't happen.

Try a minimum trial run with the supplier. If they deliver on that, they're probably ok.

All the best,

Sasha.
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Unread 10th July 2013, 06:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Only use Escrow
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Unread 10th July 2013, 02:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

only use escrow. i found most of their stuff is knock offs. atleast the stuff i bought.
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Unread 11th July 2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Also ask yourself if what they're selling makes sense. My friend attempted to buy brand new Bauer hockey sticks from Iran. You can guess what happened.
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Unread 11th July 2013, 10:47 AM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Quote:
Hey warriors ... I just stumbled upon Alibaba for the very first time and ... let's just say it really got my creative juices going.

I am interested in picking up a bulk quantity of a specific item I found on there, however I have never dealt with this site before (even though it seems to be legit) ..and I thought it would be ice to get some advice on how to avoid getting scammed.
I'd seek a supplier directly i.e phone or visit them if possible. You're better of working directly with suppliers than wholesalers through Alibaba and other third party marketplaces. And if possible, work with more than one supplier.

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Unread 12th July 2013, 04:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

As people have said:
-Never use Westin Union
-If it sounds too good, it probably is!
-Don't buy the cheapest item and expect quality

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Unread 12th July 2013, 09:55 AM   #17
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Using escrow is indeed the best way to avoid being scammed. even if the seller wants to be paid via western union, still insist escrow. If the seller wont' go for it then most probably that seller has a plan of scamming around.

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Unread 12th July 2013, 05:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Thank you for all of the wonderful advice everyone.

I just did my first transaction last night and am hopeful that I will be receiving my items within 10 days as the seller said I would.

I payed using PayPal ... the first guy I hit up didn't even send me an invoice and instead sent me some weird receipt and I had to actually tell him that the proper way is to send an invoice so PayPal knows exactly what the transaction is for... but that whole idea made me switch to a different seller who seemed a lot more legit... so this time this seller actually asked for my PayPal info + address and sent the invoice ... so I am much more hopeful with this seller than I would have been with the other guy.
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Unread 17th December 2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjaafk View Post
Thank you for all of the wonderful advice everyone.

I just did my first transaction last night and am hopeful that I will be receiving my items within 10 days as the seller said I would.

I payed using PayPal ... the first guy I hit up didn't even send me an invoice and instead sent me some weird receipt and I had to actually tell him that the proper way is to send an invoice so PayPal knows exactly what the transaction is for... but that whole idea made me switch to a different seller who seemed a lot more legit... so this time this seller actually asked for my PayPal info + address and sent the invoice ... so I am much more hopeful with this seller than I would have been with the other guy.
Please tell us how it is going on with you shippment? Does PP worked ?

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Unread 17th December 2013, 12:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Aliexpress part of alibaba has it's own escrow service built in. You pay the money is held in escrow until you recieve goods and confirm the transaction is good.
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Unread 20th December 2013, 12:40 AM   #21
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

I've bought from companies on Alibaba lots of times and never had a problem. We used to have to wire money because they don't even know what credit cards are in China. Eventually, we (the consumers) convinced them to start taking Paypal and such and they have started to transition.. but this is all new to them.

The way it seems to work in China is this. There are companies in each province that produce almost the same exact product and they all think their engineers designed it.. like they're totally oblivious to the fact that 10 other companies offer the exact same thing, in the exact same form factor. Talk to them on the TradeManager (IM) app for a little while, then get their Skype. Understand that if people get caught scamming you over there they can get executed. Stay away from Nigeria, anywhere you've received an email about a rich uncle who left you 50 million dollars..... lol

So, I've only done business with China and South America. 90% of Alibaba is China.

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Unread 20th December 2013, 08:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Same as eBay, look at their feedback. And, look at the reviews for specific items you are looking at. People will give it a quality score and etc. I buy jerseys from there and sell them locally. Yes, I do tell people they are replicas, but I can't message it in the ad or else it will be deleted. Most people do not care if they are fake or not as long as quality is good!

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Unread 20th December 2013, 01:26 PM   #23
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Here's an extensive post about how to deal with Alibaba

How You Can Make Big Money Importing From China – The Rise and Fall of My Empire…
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Unread 22nd December 2013, 12:04 AM   #24
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Escrow, PayPal never direct payment by Credit Card or Western Union



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Unread 23rd August 2014, 04:20 AM   #25
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

Hi... Ca someone please help me with information about importing... the fees and tax? I would like to order some clothes, starting small... but I don't own or have a business... What info do i need to be aware of?
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Unread 23rd August 2014, 12:33 PM   #26
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

I made a total of 31 orders so far this year. All have been with a credit card and there has been no issues.
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Unread 25th August 2014, 08:59 PM   #27
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Default Re: Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

i'd recommend contacting the sellers via email first and see if you can build up a bit of rapport and possibly a basic relationship

Also - if they accept paypal - then that should be a positive sign that they're not too bad - not to mention that you're protected with Paypal
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