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5. How to check your Supplier before ordering 354 replies,357620 views


How do I get help to check a particular Supplier?


First, DO NOT BE LAZY ... please read the Tips further below and also look at this link to see what members say about being lazy ...

Second, DO NOT OPEN A NEW TOPIC. Post your query in this Topic after you read the below Tips.

Third, STATE WHAT CHECKS YOU HAVE DONE. Merely asking if Seller XYZ is okay is an invitation to howls of protest. Tell us what you yourself have done to check out your seller and then ask your question. Members are very generous if you are seen to be trying hard. Otherwise, your post will be deleted or you will receive little response if you show you are lazy.

*Tips to Check out Chinese suppliers by yourself ...

The focus of this topic is to empower you to do an informal check of your potential supplier in China. The stated steps are by no means a "guarantee" that your supplier will be a legitimate business. However, by following the steps here you should be able to eliminate the majority of common techniques used for fraudulent activity. Education and information are your best protection against fraud.

This topic is not a substitute for physical inspection of the manufacturing site. The purpose is to provide buyers with a "first line of defense" against fraud and/or shoddy goods. If you've posted a buying lead you no doubt have received many replies to your inquiry. This discussion is about knowing your potential supplier before you get too deep into negotiations.

100's of frustrated potential buyers can be seen on this link ...

Carefully do your Due Diligence before you get into serius negotiations in order to avoid frustrations and/or fraud and;or shoody goods.

Your initial sales enquiry ...

Every case is different, but broadly say little in your first communication. You don't want to arm potential scammers with too much information to play you like a hooked fish on a line. Stay in control from the very outset with something like this:

Dear Sales Manager,

We are interested in your Widgets, product numbers X, Y and Z plus more information about your good company. 

In the first instance we may look at a small trial shipment to test our home market.

Kindly provide both FOB MOQ price and price for larger volumes at your earliest convenience.   

Concerning your good company, please indicate if References or copy of any recent Factory Audit, or similar, can be provided if we proceed to serious discussions.

Yours sincerely, 

Accordingly from the outset, you reserve enough control to make firm due diligence requests, if necessary, as talks progress.

Alibaba company profile ...

Look at their profile on Alibaba. Remember, many scammers simply sign on as sellers with false profiles. You or I could do the the same in 10 minutes. Ask yourself, does this make sense?

  • Are a manufacturer's products in the same category? (ie does a shoe company sell electronics or vice versa?)
  • Is there a separate phone number for the fax and land line?
  • Is there a separate website listed off Alibaba that you can check?
  • How long have they been a member of Alibaba?
  • Are they a Gold Supplier, Trust Pass or Free Member?
  • Look at the Company profile. Does the paragraph look generic or copied? You can highlight all or part of the paragraph and place it in the google engine around quotes ("xx"). This allows you to search the web to see if it is original or copied?
  • Search the forum to check this supplier. Are there any negative postings? Use both the contact name and the company name.

The initial profile check should give you a general overview of your potential supplier. Decide now if it's appropriate to continue verifying. If the answer is "yes" then it's time to dig a little deeper.

Website & Domain Verification ...

Do a google or yahoo search. Look for any information that looks out of place. First, try the company name and the word "scam" or "fraud" in quotations. For example "shanghai shoes scam". Then search the name alone but always in quotes like "shanghai shoes".

Websites in China are not unlike the ones in the Western part of the world. Don't be distracted by grammar or non-English. Carefully check the website "about us" section and then cross match that information with all other. 

Check their domain information using the following links. Pay close attention to the registration date, Registrar name, phone number, and contact info including email.

Verify the phone listing ...

Remember a free member Alibaba profile stating the supplier is in China is meaningless until you verify it. The person behind it might reside in any country merely using China as a shield.

Check country and geographic codes. A fraudulent western person could even raise a Chinese supplier profile (and use a Chinese based party to collect T/Ts).

Some western scammers use a forwarding number or a VOIP number to disguise their location. Numbers beginning with the prefix +4470 or +4487 are forwarding numbers that are rarely used by legitimate companies and not used by Chinese either.

Some numbers can be checked here ....

Once again the goal should be to find a "geographic number" which means they have a physical land line. Eventually you want to call the number and speak with your contact and at least one other employee of the company.

Receiving product listing and price quotes ...

After you post your buying lead you will undoubtedly receive mass information from many companies. Look at the detail for the products and again ask yourself some questions.

  • Are the prices overly high or low?
  • Do they only accept Western Union or 100% TT?
  • Is there an appropriate amount of contact information?
  • Are they overly pushy for payment?
  • Is there a sensation of being "rushed"?
  • Are the stated lead times reasonable?
  • Is the MOQ too high or too low for the particular circumstance?

Pick up your phone ...

Finally, pick up your phone and ring China. Dial the supplier's number/s.

Sure, Chinese language will answer, but just keep repeating the word "English" ... they will find somebody who can talk in broken English.

These days it costs next to nothing to call China from most Western countries. Buy an applicable $10 phone card from a local shop for use on your land line ... it will give heaps of talking time.

And, dial their fax number too ... did it give a fax ring tone?

Remember you are doing Due Diligence ... avoiding the loss of precious money.

Your TM is a surveillance weapon ...

Add your potential supplier to your "Contacts" list. You know how it "flashes" when a contact comes on or goes off line:

  • Work out Chinese business days / hours against your local time.
  • Is the Chinese party "online" mostly during Chinese business hours, as should be the case?
  • Or, does the party spend too much time online during USA or UK business hours?
  • Does the Chinese party work the TM too much on Chinese Sundays?

Any Questions and/or Further Tips?

Please post in this Topic and do not open a new Topic for enquiries about a particular Supplier company.

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Re: Step 7 - Self-Check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]: I would just add that there are several services you can use to verify businesses including the like of DNB and UKData.

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Me Tech Supply
ME Tech Supply a D. B. A provides sourcing solutions for both small and medium sized businesses. We are members of the GSAA whose Agents have verified more than 2. 5 million companies World WideWe offer low cos... More

Re: How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]:[em15] Your article just might have saved me enormous ammounts of time and aggravation. I have noticed the same photo of one item, alleged to come from several different Indian manufacturers. The concept of performing due dilligence on sellers never even occured to me. This article should be part of sign up procedure for buyers, although most are not as ignorant as I am. Please recommend educational sources. I'm changing career from selling real estate to selling on line, due to ill health. (beware business owner selling due to ill health--Maybe just sick of loosing$$$)[em2] I hope not to do that in this endeavor, so any and all advise will be deeply appreciated.[em13] Thanks Liz, Ghostrider
Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]:I recently almost got in to a scam! a seller name Edward Glass was trying to sell me LG cell phone from UK. we email each other a few time and we got everythings all set up ready to make a deal. he also give me some info about a company call mobile 365 LTD and the way to check it out. we did talk on the phone few time to his mobile. he said he work for the company (mobile 365 LTD) as a sale resp., the final minute I made the last phone call to the mobile 365 LTD to look for him, before I send him the cash, and they never even hear of him.
I got lucky! for all for you out there be very very careful, there are alot of scam out there.[em11]
Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]:Thank you for the informative article and advice. As a 1st time importer, it is not easy to distinguish between the genuine manufacturer, the 'middleman' and the con! I have through correspondence requested pictures of Goods, Production Facilities and Premises only to find that some of the 'Manufacturers' are the same. Sometimes the exact same Pictures of goods. Is there a Chamber of Commerce in China that one could liaise with to verify the existance of a Reputable Manufacturer?
Re: Re: Re: Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [TwoTel]: I recently ordered from "PUTIAN SHOES FACTORY" for 6 pcs of PS3. I sent them the money and they didn't send me the PS3 but instead sent me a cheap pair of replica Gucci Shoes. They are GOLD MEMBER and has been verified. The contact person is Aaron, and their phone number is: 86-594-6288877 . They have been a member since 2005; . I have been purchasing many products from China with GOLD MEMBER and has never been get ripped of so bad. However this time a GOLD MEMBER since 2005 SCAMMED ME and STOLE $2400 from me...and sent me a pair of cheap shoes instead of my PS3. Can anybody help me to get my money back???? THANKS :(
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [othiem12603]:
Othiem12603, I feel sorry for you. Especially since I've been quite seriously considering placing an order for a ps3 from the same supplier - Putian Shoe Factory. Gold member doesn't seem to mean anything anymore.. Have you reported it to alibaba? What was the reaction? But please keep us all informed about your situation and hope for the best. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you ;) Looking forward to some more details.
Take care
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [othiem12603]:Sorry to hear about your loss. I had exactly the same experience with a company in Putian. Was approached by "manufacturer" who was supposedly vetted (although buy different trading platform) and I neglected to do due diligence. You have to ask yourself though, how does a shoe manufacturer go from making shoes to supplying Xbox/PS/Ipod etc? Let me guess, around USD 190 for Xbox/PS3, minimum order 6 units and payment by WU or Moneygram? Did all the things I told myself never to do and fell right into their trap. If you ever find your guy, let me know coz chances are they are one and the same "company". Wish I had seen Rizzob's article on how to self check your supplier sooner. At the end of the day you should forget about trust profiles, gold members, silver keys or whatever people choose to call it and do the checks yourself. It may be a pain in the @$$ but it sure beats flushing a couple thousand dollars down the drain.
How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]:
Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a new user in alibaba base on australia, i found one supplier in alibaba and the company name is call:, it's registration bussiness number is 440301786593783.
Could you help me to check whether is valid company or not ?

THank for your time.

I am looking forward to hear from you soon.

Hong Ti
Re: Re: Re: How to self-check your Chinese supplier
I am too new to alibaba. Looking for supplier of TomTom Go GPS systems and Console games. There seem to be lots and lots of them offering products at less than 1/2 price of what they'd sell in the North American market. Problem is they all want to be paid with Western Union (I wonder why ?), no credit card payment whatsoever accepted, no paypal. That's pretty scary, I'd say. All of them are giving hotmail or yahoo accounts. If they're so legit, why not give your ISP e-mail ? Has anyone actually established a good working relationship with any Asian country supplying the above ? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: 5. How to self-check your Chinese supplier
Replying to [Rizzob]:
Hello Rizzob, I need a little advice on a china company to verify there details. They are as follows:
Company is Shenzhen Uniontech Industries Co,.Ltd from China.
Contact person is Cherry Lui.
They are on alibaba selling about 15 items and have a website as you have knowledge in this field I was wondering if they are real company and can be trusted to import items from. i am in Aust.

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