Anyone ever buy from Alibaba? Any tips to prevent getting scammed?

by ninjaafk 61 replies
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.
#offline marketing #alibaba #buy #prevent #scammed #tips
  • Profile picture of the author rizy
    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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  • Profile picture of the author wongkog
    Good experience for Alibaba. Find Gold members.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bear Trader
      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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  • Profile picture of the author LynnM
    If you have a search here Building eCommerce Sites - Wholesale, Drop Shipping, Alibaba's mentioned in a number of threads.
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  • Profile picture of the author ninjaafk
    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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    • Profile picture of the author ivanela33
      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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      • Profile picture of the author ninjaafk
        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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        • Profile picture of the author ivanela33
          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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        • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
          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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  • Profile picture of the author AJMontoya
    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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  • Profile picture of the author rizy
    Only use Escrow
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  • Profile picture of the author tristatemedia
    only use escrow. i found most of their stuff is knock offs. atleast the stuff i bought.
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  • Profile picture of the author frostsolutions
    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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  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    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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  • 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

    I love it, I have always been happy and would recommend it to anyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author jking1
    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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  • Profile picture of the author ninjaafk
    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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    • Profile picture of the author Ray Jonnes
      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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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    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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    • Profile picture of the author gtownfunk
      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.

      gtownfunk
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  • Profile picture of the author Tristan Gemus
    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!

    Tristan
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  • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
    Escrow, PayPal never direct payment by Credit Card or Western Union



    fastreplies
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    • Profile picture of the author Mariam83x
      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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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        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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  • Profile picture of the author sj1234
    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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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    Golly....amazing you found this old thread haha

    I did see a sad but funny website where hopeful brides posted the horrible knock off insane dresses they got from China etc...

    I googled the story haha

    Angry brides share their bridal gown horror stories | Daily Mail Online
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      This newly revived thread contains such an amazing amount of misinformation, bad advice, and obsolete information that it needs updating. I will quote some of the points that I want to comment on. Except for the OP, I won't take the space to name all the members quoted.

      The OP wrote: " ..and I thought it would be ice to get some advice on how to avoid getting scammed."
      A good first step. Scammers abound on Alibaba, as well as on most of the big B2B sites. See
      How Trustworthy is Alibaba.com?

      "If you are looking to import small amounts go with Aliexpress instead of Alibaba."
      Aliexpress is even more notorious than Alibaba as a site favored by scammers. Search for them on ripoffreport.com.
      Aliexpress is a retail site and while they will sell single items with free delivery, you will pay retail, so it is not a place for resellers to buy. Free delivery takes up to 3 weeks.

      "Good experience for Alibaba. Find Gold members"
      Gold Supplier status is bought, 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.)

      "If you're going to buy on AliExpress, don't buy from anyone who doesn't have positive feedback left on their product pages." ...... "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."
      Feed back is not reliable. There is a thriving business in paid feedback.
      There are safe sourcing sites where what you see is what you get. Trustworthy suppliers, genuine manufacturers.

      "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 purchasin." ...... "Only use Escrow"
      For legal reasons Escrow is now called Buyer Protection on Aliexpress and Secure Payment on Alibaba. NEVER use Western Union. See also the thread
      Alibaba Escrow? . These schemes are full of loopholes and the scammers make full use of those ways to avoid letting you get your money back.

      "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"
      Escrow can't possibly be used with Western Union!!!

      "Understand that if people get caught scamming you over there they can get executed."
      In very rare case where the amounts run into millions and there is an international uproar. Most scammers are never caught. My Chinese lawyer associate practicing in Beijing can occasionally recover money but he says chances of success are very small.

      "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!"
      If Customs catch you, maybe in a random check, the consequences can be serious including; Confiscation of the goods, prosecution leading to fines and sometimes jail, and the flagging of your name and address, so that every shipment thereafter will be delayed for careful inspection.

      "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?"
      @Mariam83x See my thread: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing And Importing For Profit. ― Veteran Importer Here. where you can ask such questions and get answers from someone who knows the real facts.

      "I made a total of 31 orders so far this year. All have been with a credit card and there has been no issues."
      That almost certainly means you are throwing lots of money away by dealing with a trader. It is rare for genuine manufacturers to accept payment via Credit Card. Buying direct from manufacturers is the key to maximizing profits.

      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
      That is a sign that like the one above, you are probably buying from a trader. It is rare for genuine manufacturers to accept payment via PayPal. If you are interested, ask me why PayPal protection for such purchases does not always protect you. Alibaba has many thousands of traders listed who are masquerading as manufacturers.

      If anyone has questions, I will be pleased to answer. I have taught hundreds of people in 35 countries how to safely source small and large quantities direct from genuine manufacturers and import without having to learn all the rules and regulations.


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      • Profile picture of the author Kiwigal
        Alibaba is a good place to buy, I have had no problems then again I don't shell out on big ticket items.
        More scams going on in WSO's then Alibaba. ooops
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Kiwigal View Post

          Alibaba is a good place to buy, I have had no problems then again I don't shell out on big ticket items.
          More scams going on in WSO's then Alibaba. ooops
          Alibaba is undoubtedly one of the worst places to buy. You won't find thousands of scams in WSO's but you can on Alibaba.

          A few years ago Alibaba publicly admitted that 2336 Gold Suppliers had scammed buyers. They supposedly cleaned up their act, but the scams continue every day. See AlibabaScam.com - Gold Supplier Scammers on Alibaba.com - Stop scammers right here! (Alibaba Bogus Manufacturer Directory - Fake Suppliers, Unknown Manufacturers, Crook Exporters & Importers) Currently there are 641 scams by Gold Suppliers listed there, and every day I go to that site there are more added.

          Please read my comments in the post immediately above yours, and see if you should be so blithely recommending that Alibaba is a good place to buy.

          Do you know what checking is done for a supplier to be verified?

          Do you know what extra checking is done for a supplier to be granted a Gold Supplier badge?
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          • Profile picture of the author Kiwigal
            Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

            Alibaba is undoubtedly one of the worst places to buy. You won't find thousands of scams in WSO's but you can on Alibaba.

            A few years ago Alibaba publicly admitted that 2336 Gold Suppliers had scammed buyers. They supposedly cleaned up their act, but the scams continue every day. See AlibabaScam.com - Gold Supplier Scammers on Alibaba.com - Stop scammers right here! (Alibaba Bogus Manufacturer Directory - Fake Suppliers, Unknown Manufacturers, Crook Exporters & Importers) Currently there are 641 scams by Gold Suppliers listed there, and every day I go to that site there are more added.

            Please read my comments in the post immediately above yours, and see if you should be so blithely recommending that Alibaba is a good place to buy.

            Do you know what checking is done for a supplier to be verified?

            Do you know what extra checking is done for a supplier to be granted a Gold Supplier badge?
            I understand what you are saying but can I ask you how many WSO have you paid for? and if this post is self promotion for your ebook.
            Saying that I did purchased your book on this forum and would have to say I learnt a lot, one of the few WSO's I feel was of high quality, but please don't trash the facts for self promotion, (lets hope I'm wrong, I think your book is valuable to anyone considering buying products from Asia etc)
            All I am saying is that I have never had a problem purchasing products through Alibaba, the service is good (a bit slow but I got some real bargains) but like any other online shop it is a case of buyer beware. I would apply the BUYER BEWARE rule more to WSO's then Alibaba. My opinion only;-)
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            • Profile picture of the author Importexport
              Originally Posted by Kiwigal View Post

              I understand what you are saying but can I ask you how many WSO have you paid for? and if this post is self promotion for your ebook.
              Saying that I did purchased your book on this forum and would have to say I learnt a lot, one of the few WSO's I feel was of high quality, but please don't trash the facts for self promotion, (lets hope I'm wrong, I think your book is valuable to anyone considering buying products from Asia etc)
              All I am saying is that I have never had a problem purchasing products through Alibaba, the service is good (a bit slow but I got some real bargains) but like any other online shop it is a case of buyer beware. I would apply the BUYER BEWARE rule more to WSO's then Alibaba. My opinion only;-)
              I have never paid for a WSO, because what I see in so many of them is hype, fluff, and an opportunity to upsell without which the content of most of the WSOs that I have reviewed is not worth bothering with. So you see, I agree with you there.

              I did not say anything about my book in either of my posts on this thread, so it could hardly be called self promotion for my book. In fact my first post contained a lot of helpful information, not self-promotion.

              I must correct you about how you got my book. It was not, never has been, and never will be a WSO. It is a factual, no-nonsense guide written from my own very extensive experience. There is no fluff in it, no hype, and no upsells. I have hundreds of emails of thanks from people who have bought it and there are many posts on WF expressing thanks for my book.

              All of the testimonials I publish are supported by documents on file and can be examined by fair trading authorities if they ever demand it.

              If I have "trashed the facts" please tell me which of my facts are wrong. I have often said that many people have done well buying through Alibaba. I have never said that is not possible.

              Here are some facts that you might like to dispute if you think I am trashing the facts:
              • A large percentage of suppliers listed on Alibaba are traders masquerading as manufacturers. This fact has been stated on WF by Chinese people who have either worked for Alibaba, or for traders who advertise of Alibaba. Example: Look for the post by Rookikan "As some post have been showed to you that many manufacturer on Alibaba.com are not real manufacturers,there are just traders,To be honest,I ever worked in a trade company but always shows the customers that I worked in a manufacturers that I can give you the lowest price."
              • A few years ago Alibaba admitted publicly that 2236 Gold Suppliers had scammed buyers. They have supposedly cleaned up their act but...
              • The verification process is unchanged. They check that the business is registered. They visit the business premises to see if the business actually exists. It might only exist in an office rented by the day, because they don't make repeat visits.
              • The Gold Supplier badge is awarded without any further investigation of the business. As long as the business can pay the fee they get Gold status. For almost a year that fee was only $299. It has now gone up to $699. I know because I am a registered vendor on Alibaba, although I never sell anything there. I just maintain registration so that I get to know all the changes as they happen.
              • Scams by Gold Suppliers continue at a high rate. See http://alibabascams.com
              • To see a huge number of scam complaints go to Alibaba's own community forum.
              There are safe sites as you would know from reading my book, where you don't have to look over your shoulder all the time to make sure you are not being robbed. Those safe sites also show you who is a real manufacturer and who is not.

              Yes, you can get some bargains on Alibaba as you have, but I am teaching newbies and I won't send them into the lion's den when there are safe alternatives. I hope your good luck continues.
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  • Profile picture of the author SPO
    Using PAypal for payment i think more secure..
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by SPO View Post

      Using PAypal for payment i think more secure..
      On JUNE 2 I posted this:
      'It is rare for genuine manufacturers to accept payment via PayPal. If you are interested, ask me why PayPal protection for such purchases does not always protect you.
      Alibaba has many thousands of traders listed who are masquerading as manufacturers."

      Well, nobody has asked but in view of the post by SPO, I think it's a good idea for me to explain.

      If a supplier accepts PayPal, it is almost certain that you are dealing with a trader. Not only do traders not give you the low prices you can get by buying direct from real manufacturers, but there is more risk involved in dealing with traders.

      Many cases have been reported of buyers receiving packages containing empty boxes, stones, sawdust, empty plastic boxes or the really clever ones send worthless plastic toys etc.

      When they contact PayPal, they tick "Goods not as described." BUT... Because the buyer has signed for the goods. PayPal won't refund. If this ever happens to you, contact PayPal support and say you want to report fraud. Not easy to prove, but it gives you some chance of getting a refund.

      Sometimes the seller will ask the buyer to return the goods in order to get a refund. At considerable cost, the buyer sends it requiring a signature, but the seller says it has never been delivered. (They refuse to accept it.) They can now tell PayPal you agreed to return the goods but failed to do so. No refund and you are now even further out of pocket.

      This scam is not limited to Alibaba. It infests most of the major B2B sites. There are safe sites but I don't publish them online because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than simply using a site where
      where you don't have to look over your shoulder all the time to make sure you are not being robbed.

      For helpful information, and more reasons why I don't make those sites public, see: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?
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  • Profile picture of the author sttbs
    I understand that there are scams going on at Alibaba but they are probably the minority. There are so many more reliable vendors at Alibaba. As mentioned by the few people at the top, Alibaba is a gold mine, if you know how to use it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by sttbs View Post

      I understand that there are scams going on at Alibaba but they are probably the minority. There are so many more reliable vendors at Alibaba. As mentioned by the few people at the top, Alibaba is a gold mine, if you know how to use it.
      Of course they are a minority, but there are thousands of them. Why gamble with your money when there are safe places to source without the huge risks?

      I know that very few people understand Alibaba's verification system. They think verified means safe to deal with. They think Gold Suppliers are even safer.

      Have you looked at the Alibabscams.com site? Have you looked up Alibaba on ripoffreport.com? Have you looked at the official Alibaba community forums site?

      On that official forum they have a thread: "THREE SIMPLE SIGNS OF B2B SCAMS" in the Forum section: “SAFE TRADING BASICS” The thread begins with a much too basic introduction by admin and includes this: "Just because a company has a professional-looking website or has set up shop in an online marketplace like Alibaba.com doesn't automatically make them legitimate."

      Then a potential buyer new to Alibaba posted in reply to that point: “And Alibaba claims these suppliers have been verified. How do you reconcile this contradiction?”

      Like almost all critical comments posted on the Alibaba forums, this one went unanswered. The reason must be that it is unanswerable. The verification process is clearly intended to make buyers believe that the verified supplier is legitimate.

      I am not just knocking Alibaba. Other sites such as DHGate, Tradekey, EC21 and others are just as risky to use.

      You said "Alibaba is a gold mine, if you know how to use it", but very few people do know, and that is why I try to save them from their own ignorance. Let The Buyer Beware!
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  • Profile picture of the author MarcParkinson
    If you are doing your own due diligence, then you can safely make the purchase from alibaba, I know lots of guys running their businesses just by sourcing from alibaba
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by MarcParkinson View Post

      If you are doing your own due diligence, then you can safely make the purchase from alibaba, I know lots of guys running their businesses just by sourcing from alibaba
      I have consistently said that many people are happy buying through Alibaba.

      The point that so many are missing is that many "happy" people are buying from traders at inflated prices, thinking that they are buying from manufacturers and therefore getting the best possible prices. They might be getting good prices, but they could be getting much better prices. They are throwing money down the drain by letting the traders bank their big profits.

      I would also point out that I see numerous reports of people who think they have done their due diligence but they still get scammed.

      Why persist in using B2B sites where you have to work hard to be sure you are dealing with reliable, genuine manufacturers when you can use safe sites where you don't have to continually look over your shoulder?

      I would be very interested to know what you, or other warriors consider to be criteria for due diligence.

      It might help others to know.
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  • Profile picture of the author PennyBurgess
    It's one of the biggest sites used for sourcing products, you need to do research on your part though..
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by PennyBurgess View Post

      It's one of the biggest sites used for sourcing products, you need to do research on your part though..
      Biggest is not necessarily best. Other sites, including safe sites, have hundreds of thousands of suppliers and those safe sites carry far less risk to newbies.

      What research would you recommend in order to avoid being scammed?
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  • Profile picture of the author bounceback
    If there are safe sites to use that give real manufacturers where are the sites? I see you keep bringing up what we need to do but you are not giving the solution.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by bounceback View Post

      If there are safe sites to use that give real manufacturers where are the sites? I see you keep bringing up what we need to do but you are not giving the solution.
      There are two solutions. One will cost you nothing but your time. The other will cost you a few dollars.

      For the free solution, search all the multitude of B2B platforms, read all of the Terms, Conditions and rules. Also be sure to understand what all of their status symbols really mean, in order to determine whether they are giving you any degree of security

      For example be sure to learn what is involved in "verification". Also check out what extra inspection or investigation takes place for a supplier to be awarded Gold, 5 Star, Premium etc. status.

      Some B2B sites, such as Alibaba, DHGate, Tradekey etc. have community forums. These can be very revealing regarding the high number of scams being complained about. Go through a few hundred of those posts to get some idea of what is really happening.

      You might also like to check out some genuine review sites such as Alibabascam.com, and ripoffreport.com. Note that many review sites are affiliate sites in disguise.

      Don't forget to read the Terms and Conditions plus all of the rules for any secure payment options offered. Mind boggling, but necessary to discover whether a lot of the so-called security is illusory.

      The second solution that I can only mention in the briefest statement is to find a guide written by a person with real - life experience, who can tell you how to source safely.

      P.S. You will find that most importing experts and gurus will tell you go to Alibaba, but they don't tell you how to avoid being scammed except "Only buy from Gold Suppliers". They don't seem to know that Gold Suppliers are plain old verified suppliers who have spent as little as $299 to buy a Gold Supplier badge. (This year it has gone up to $699. Not much if you want to scam thousands of dollars off gullible buyers.)

      In case you did not know, a verified supplier is one who has a registered business, and at least on the day they were visited by Alibaba they had an office. It might have been rented for the day, but that is enough for you to be told they are verified.

      I don't publish online my safe B2B sites because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than using a safe site. You will find a lot of helpful information in my thread If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? and more reasons why I don't just publish those sites.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shellg
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        There are two solutions. One will cost you nothing but your time. The other will cost you a few dollars.

        For the free solution, search all the multitude of B2B platforms, read all of the Terms, Conditions and rules. Also be sure to understand what all of their status symbols really mean, in order to determine whether they are giving you any degree of security

        For example be sure to learn what is involved in "verification". Also check out what extra inspection or investigation takes place for a supplier to be awarded Gold, 5 Star, Premium etc. status.

        Some B2B sites, such as Alibaba, DHGate, Tradekey etc. have community forums. These can be very revealing regarding the high number of scams being complained about. Go through a few hundred of those posts to get some idea of what is really happening.

        You might also like to check out some genuine review sites such as Alibabascam.com, and ripoffreport.com. Note that many review sites are affiliate sites in disguise.

        Don't forget to read the Terms and Conditions plus all of the rules for any secure payment options offered. Mind boggling, but necessary to discover whether a lot of the so-called security is illusory.

        The second solution that I can only mention in the briefest statement is to find a guide written by a person with real - life experience, who can tell you how to source safely.

        P.S. You will find that most importing experts and gurus will tell you go to Alibaba, but they don't tell you how to avoid being scammed except "Only buy from Gold Suppliers". They don't seem to know that Gold Suppliers are plain old verified suppliers who have spent as little as $299 to buy a Gold Supplier badge. (This year it has gone up to $699. Not much if you want to scam thousands of dollars off gullible buyers.)

        In case you did not know, a verified supplier is one who has a registered business, and at least on the day they were visited by Alibaba they had an office. It might have been rented for the day, but that is enough for you to be told they are verified.

        I don't publish online my safe B2B sites because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than using a safe site. You will find a lot of helpful information in my thread If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? and more reasons why I don't just publish those sites.
        You are right. I looked at lots of blogs and posts by experts and every single one said go straight to Alibaba. So I did.

        I was nervous cos I also started checking out Alibaba reviews and there were hundreds of people that lost money on Alibaba. I was still gonna buy some stuff there cos they had good feedback and then I started searching Warrior Forum. I asked on warrior reviews about Importexports book and decided to buy it and its the best money Ive ever spent.

        Keep away from Alibaba.
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  • Profile picture of the author alias2002
    No idea about this Alibaba because I always prefer Amazon to buy anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author mentat47
    I've heard of Alibaba. I've never used them personally, but I've heard some horror stories. It seems that whenever you buy stuff from a place like China you're taking a chance. You might get what you paid for, and you might not.
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  • Profile picture of the author RTSteam
    I don't know whether this advice would be useful or not but I advice that you stay away from alibaba... unless you have no where else to turn to. Alibaba is so sketchy. Better choose a more trustworthy place. You know. Amazon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by RTSteam View Post

      I don't know whether this advice would be useful or not but I advice that you stay away from alibaba... unless you have no where else to turn to. Alibaba is so sketchy. Better choose a more trustworthy place. You know. Amazon.
      Amazon is not a place to look for products to sell at a big profit. For that you need to look at B2B sites that are safe. Alibaba is definitely to be avoided.

      I don't publish my safe sites online because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than just using a safe site. For more helpful information, and reasons why I don't publish those sites publicly see: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?
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      • Profile picture of the author RTSteam
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        Amazon is not a place to look for products to sell at a big profit. For that you need to look at B2B sites that are safe. Alibaba is definitely to be avoided.

        I don't publish my safe sites online because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than just using a safe site. For more helpful information, and reasons why I don't publish those sites publicly see: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?
        Well, I wasn't thinking about B2B. hehe. But I do agree with you. Amazon is not the best place if you are looking huge profits.
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      • Profile picture of the author Smoothgraphics00
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        Amazon is not a place to look for products to sell at a big profit. For that you need to look at B2B sites that are safe. Alibaba is definitely to be avoided.

        I don't publish my safe sites online because there is a lot more to safe sourcing than just using a safe site. For more helpful information, and reasons why I don't publish those sites publicly see: If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share?

        Alibaba is very save and cheap
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

          Alibaba is very save and cheap
          Sorry, but the Chinese government's consumer protection watchdog would certainly disagree with you.

          In a report issued earlier this year, The Chinese Government’s SAIC accused Alibaba of allowing merchants to operate without required business licenses, to run stores selling famous brands without authorization, and selling fake products. The Chinese State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is a government watchdog for consumer protection, trademark protection and business practices.

          The report also said that Alibaba employees took bribes, and the e-commerce giant had not fixed flaws in customer feedback or internal credit-scoring systems. The government watchdog said “For a long time, Alibaba hasn’t paid enough attention to the illegal operations on its platforms, and hasn’t effectively addressed the issues.” The report went on to say “Alibaba not only faces the biggest credibility crisis since its establishment, it also casts a bad influence for other Internet operators trying to operate legally.”

          SAIC said Alibaba was still allowing sales of contraband including fake cigarettes and alcohol, as well as items “that threaten public safety” such as knives and phone-tapping devices.

          The watchdog says: “A huge number of merchants” haven’t registered for operating licenses and are engaging in illegal behavior including bribing Alibaba employees.

          The report also accuses Alibaba of allowing merchants to mislead customers during sales promotions on Nov. 11 and Dec. 12.

          “Some operators on the platform have created fake transactions and deleted negative comments to improve their own and others’ reputations,” SAIC said.

          In summary, what the SAIC report reveals is this:

          • Little confidence can be placed in Alibaba’s verification system or Gold Supplier rating.
          • Although 90 million fake product listings were deleted prior to Alibaba’s float on the NYSE, the fakes are back.
          • Feedback scores can’t be trusted.
          • Sellers listed on Alibaba continue to mislead buyers.
          • Alibaba has failed to deal with illegal activities on its sourcing platform.
          • Bribing of Alibaba employees is still taking place even after it was supposed to have been cleaned up after the “Alibaba and the 2236 thieves” scandal.
          Those are the SAIC's conclusions, not mine. After reading that report who is still going to risk their hard earned cash? There are safe alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoothgraphics00
    I will be Posting Tips on how to buy 4rm Alibaba and Aliexpress without been scam.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoothgraphics00
    @importexport there are ways you can get things done without falling into the hand of scammers.

    Watch out for the tips i will be posting here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      Alibaba is very save and cheap
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      I will be Posting Tips on how to buy 4rm Alibaba and Aliexpress without been scam.
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      @importexport there are ways you can get things done without falling into the hand of scammers.
      Watch out for the tips i will be posting here.
      STILL WAITING! Meanwhile I would remind readers that I wrote above: There are safe alternatives.

      By that I mean why walk into the lion's den to do your sourcing when you can go to safe sites where genuine and effective screening and verification processes are used. The verification system used by Alibaba is a farce, and as the SAIC report I quoted above shows, it is not genuine.

      That is a major reason why so many users of Alibaba are scammed, even by Gold Suppliers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      Alibaba is very save and cheap
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      I will be Posting Tips on how to buy 4rm Alibaba and Aliexpress without been scam.
      Originally Posted by Smoothgraphics00 View Post

      @importexport there are ways you can get things done without falling into the hand of scammers.
      Watch out for the tips i will be posting here.
      It is months now since this warrior promised to post something that would have been a great help to many if his ideas really worked

      The facts are that there are thousands of people scammed every year by suppliers they have found on Alibaba and Aliexpress.

      If anyone can step in and take the place of Smoothgraphics00 and offer tips on how to avoid being scammed when buying through Alibaba and Aliexpress I would be very interested to read them.

      Walter Hay
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      • Profile picture of the author Grahamj
        I don't think I can provide any tips. I have never been scammed before, but have purchased many times on alibaba. I Always make sure to connect with multiple suppliers and just end up trusting one that I feel comfortable with.

        I never buy from suppliers that refuse to use paypal or escrow. That throws up a red flag for me.
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          Originally Posted by Grahamj View Post

          I don't think I can provide any tips. I have never been scammed before, but have purchased many times on alibaba. I Always make sure to connect with multiple suppliers and just end up trusting one that I feel comfortable with.

          I never buy from suppliers that refuse to use paypal or escrow. That throws up a red flag for me.
          I have worked for many years in international shipping, then exported my own products from 1978 to 1987, then running my own importing business in 4 countries since 1987. Here are a few tips from me:

          1. Make sure you learn what the different supplier gradings mean.
          • What is a "Verified Supplier"?
          • What makes a supplier a "Gold Supplier"?
          • Can you trust a Gold Supplier more than you can trust a Verified Supplier?
          • What do Alibaba themselves say about the safety of their system?
          • Find out if you can really rely on suppliers' feedback. (No you can't.)
          2. Also do some serious searches to see what people say about Alibaba.
          • Just like DHGate and Tradekey, Alibaba has a community forum. Search those and you will find many hundreds of people complaining about being scammed.
          • Check out some genuine review sites such as Alibabascam.com, and ripoffreport.com. Note that many review sites are affiliate sites in disguise. If they have links to direct you to the websites being reviewed, you can be sure they are affiliate links.
          3. Maybe you should also study the terms and conditions (T & C) of their payment systems.
          • Secure Payment (the new name replacing escrow) is chock full of ambiguous statements, and complicated conditions.
          • Secure Payment has as many loopholes as the old Escrow system. Suppliers have read the T & C, so they know how to avoid refunding your money. That's why you need to read them too.
          Also consider whether there are any loopholes that allow suppliers to avoid refunds if you complain to PayPal. There are, and they are often used by unscrupulous suppliers.

          If you want to know how to beat the scammers when you use PayPal, ask me the question in my thread: Ask Me Anything About Product Sourcing And Importing For Profit. ― Veteran Importer Here.

          One thing you won't find there is a list of the safe sourcing sites that I recommend instead of Alibaba, DHGate, TradeKey, EC21, etc.

          I teach how to safely source overseas, and part of that is to use safe sites. I don't publish them online because there is so much more to safe sourcing than simply using a safe site. To publish them would only encourage newbies to assume safety and neglect the other vital aspects to safe sourcing.

          You will find a lot of helpful information in my thread If your secret B2B portals are so safe why don't you share? and more reasons why I don't just publish those sites.

          Walter Hay.
          "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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  • Profile picture of the author bojan92
    i don't have any experience with alibaba the online thing i know is that the shipping is too expensive. I am using aliexpress
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by bojan92 View Post

      i don't have any experience with alibaba the online thing i know is that the shipping is too expensive. I am using aliexpress
      Aliexpress is a retail site, so you will be paying heaps more for any product you buy there. Free postage may seem attractive, but you are paying for it with higher prices.

      Aliexpress is at least as risky to use as Alibaba.

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

      Are you sure that Alibaba is a better option than Aliexpress? I know, that everybody started to speak about it a lot... But I'm not really sure about it. What are advantages of Alibaba? Alibaba is definitley no better than Aliexpress. I'm actually curious, because I want to know what is better. Everybody is so obsessed with it, so I'm interested....
      Alibaba is definitely no better than Aliexpress.Just look back over the last few posts. Read them and you will see why you should avoid both Alibaba and Aliexpress.

      Walter Hay.
      "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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  • Profile picture of the author Arsha
    you mean that alibaba!!! when you want to watch a pirated movie and couple of windows popup with alibaba and all the shopping carts ? no i won't buy anything from that infact I really try to close that window so that it doesn't load up alibaba!
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