How to buy from China Suppliers.
This pertains to US buyers buying from China suppliers and also could pertain to buyers in other countries buying from China suppliers.
I write this because I have been screwed by China suppliers/sellers. Not all China suppliers are bad, there are a lot of them that are honest and good business people. You have to find the right ones and hoplyfuly my following opinion and advice will help you. I am not offering legal advice. Every day, I purchase product supplies from China suppliers and sell them on Etsy and eBay.
Look at the Sellers reviews. Do a Google search: "CompanyName Reviews"
Check these sites for reviews:
Look at their refund policy. You are looking for: If the return is as a result of an error on their part then they will also refund the delivery costs back to them.
Know the amount of time you have to file a claim with your credit card company. It is 60 day from date of purchase with most card service companies and Banks. Call your bank and ask. PayPal's 45 days is irrelevant.
Now, if you are ready to do business, start a conversation with the China supplier.
IE: I'm interested in your 10x9 widgets, do you have it in stock.
When you get a answer, get their email address and then start communication through your email server (Eudora, Gmail, Windows Mail, Etc) and not Alibaba.com cgi form. You want to be able to keep track of the converastion and have a record of it without someone deleting it.
Ask the following questions that apply (Do not ask all the questions at once; spread the questions out over three or four emails.
1. Are you the manufacture or distributor?
2. Do you have the product in stock? If not, how many business days to get it? Or: how many business days to manufacture it?
3. Is there going to be a customs charge to me and how much would it be?
4. Can you assure me that I will receive a new and top quality product without factory defects, scratches, dents, color differences, etc.?
5. Do you offer tracking for the package? I will need a tracking number.
6. Once the order is placed, how many business days before shipping?
7. Once the order is shipped, how many business days before I get the product?
8. How do you package the product to prevent grading or damage?
9. If I don't receive the product within 45 days of placing the order and paying for the order, will you refund my money? The only answer you want is: YES
10. If the product arrives damaged due to improper packaging or the wrong size has been sent or not as described or the product has manufacture defects, do you pay for the
shipping back to you for replacement or refund? (This is the most important question and should be the last question you ask, because it cost four times the amount to ship form the US to China than it cost to ship from China to the US.) The only answer to this question is YES. Believe me; you will eat the shipping cost back to China if the answer is anything other than yes.
Remember, you want specific answers and not run around the bush answers. If you don't get a specific answer, ask it again. Remember there is a language barrier.
If you are going to be taken or scammed by the Seller, the Seller will dump you half way through the questions and you know you just saved yourself a lot of money.
Note: You are the buyer and the one with the money. Put yourself in control.
Once you get all the answers you want you are ready to order the product.
ONLY pay with your credit card. ONLY PAY WITH YOUR CREDIT CARD.
Do not pay any other way (Period).
95% of these companies have PayPal accounts (Good). Some have their own credit card processing (Good).
***** Do not pay through Alibaba with your credit card (Bad).
IMPORTANT: If you use PayPal, do not, do not, DO NOT, use your PayPal money. Clean out your PayPal account so you have $0.00 balance and pay through PayPal with your credit card. Your credit card company will only protect the amount you put on your credit card.
If your Seller has a shop at Aliexpress or Alibaba or any others, simply just ask your seller to send a detailed bill to your PayPal account.
(I am only comfortable paying through PayPal; please send a detailed invoice to my PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org) Remember you are in control. If your seller does not have a PayPal account and really wants to make this sale according to your terms, the seller will open a PayPal account.
Now you have everything in place, "The Purchase Agreement" which is the email corenspondnace between you and the Seller with the right answers to the questions you asked.
Now make the purchase with your credit card and wait the number of days the Seller told you it would take to ship. You should get an email from the Seller saying they have shipped along with a tracking number. If not, send the seller an email and ask them if they have shipped.
If they did ship and give you the tracking number, fine. Wait a day or two and then look up the tracking number and see where the package is and if the tracking number is for real. If they have not shipped and you do not like the reason why, kindly remind them that you are expecting the package with 45 days and leave it at that.
Hopefully you get your package and everything is fine.
If everything is not as per The Purchase Agreement, then let the Seller know what the problem is and try to work out a resolution. Remember to keep all email correspondence between you and the Seller. If your seller does not want to live up to The Purchase Agreement, let the Seller know that you are going to file a complaint with your credit card company on a specific date, and do so on that date. Do not file a complaint with PayPal; just go straight to your credit card company.
Remember the time frame with the credit card company or Bank for filing a complaint. Do not go over that time limit in filing a complaint with your credit card company.
File the clam with your credit card company or Bank and not PayPal or anyone else. In my opinion, Aliexpress buyer protection and Paypal buyer protection will not protect you, I've been there, you have to protect yourself.
A perfect sharing
Well done, thanks for sharing !
Woow thank you for sharing. great tips..
Did you buy something from http://yongzhigao.en.alibaba.com/ already? If you did, please let me know your experience with this seller..
I have been writing with the seller about an item that i am interesting in buying.. so until now everything looks good.
thx for sharing.
what about Escrow? Is this as good as Paypal?
I read that escrow will still not give you 100% protection on another post but solidrockhard mentioned to skip paypal dispute and go directly to your credit card company. search the forum i read it earlier.