𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗦𝗰𝗮𝗺𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗔𝗹𝗶𝗯𝗮𝗯𝗮!!
I have experienced the harsh business world for a year now. This voyage took me through multiple launches, jobs, projects and learnings. Considering launch management and sourcing and other tasks especially. Here I am presenting you what you need to know to be successful in the league.
About this Series:
From deciding on the suppliers up to the point of your inventory inspection ( what is it?) and freight, moving on to landing in Dallas, Daventry or any other warehouse, This series is going to be your supreme guide.
From illustrating to you numerous preferences or corridors that you are going to experience anxiety in concluding the right one to counselling you to go with the right one, In short, "it's a guaranteed & inevitable thing that if you follow this correctly you are going to be the Sourcing Specialist" and will be able to predict what's coming before others
Why I am so confident? The answer is simple "experience". Whatever you're gonna hear in the series, I have likely been through this and I committed this blunder & what you should not commit. Trust me, it takes all your reputation and credibility on the stack to have experience with someone's cash
Let's learn about the Scams you are going to face while sourcing from Alibaba. These are the most widespread ones and it is more likely that you will encounter any of these for your first time if the supplier has not been chosen correctly. These may happen at the time of payment, supplier verification (how to do?) or even during your reporters. Get your seat belts Fasten for a bumpy ride.
Scam 1: Selling Brand Name Products at a Very Low Price.
If you watch someone selling Intel's 9th gen processor or Asus's best gaming phone. Dear, it's a scam. Buyers suppose that branded electronic products are only cheap because they are made in China. Unfortunately, all these products are frauds even if they claim to be an OEM manufacturer of those products.
All leading brands employ only official sales or distribution channels to wholesale their products. No genuine major brands are being sold through Alibaba.
Scam 2: Supplier Increases the Quote After You Place an Order
The pricing on Alibaba is in a manner that attracts the customer but guys, it's only a bull trap, if someone is selling relatively cheaper than others this is going to be the case. Suppliers will give you a very competitive quote so you will place an order. After you verify all the details for packaging, samples and whatnot they will give you a higher quote.
This is rather common, as the suppliers anticipate you are not going to spend too much time on sourcing other alternatives and repeat the sampling process. So if you are going to go ahead with the order, you end up paying more than you were first quoted.
That's why here we select at least 5 suppliers and have samples from them.
Scam 3: Premium Quality Sample Poor Quality Order (Most Common)
Sending out a high-quality sample but low-quality order is just like quoting a competitive price without any intention to back it up. Some suppliers, when their price is not competitive will use this as a lure. This happens more often with everyday products such as clothing and shoes.
The solution is to use Alibaba trade assurance and put all the colours in them. Give them the exact HTML codes of colours from your competitor and in case if the supplier does this you can open a case and write an appeal to Alibaba with trade assurance saying that the colours don't match or quality is not on merit.
Scam 4: Fake Product Compliance Certificates.
First, check if the supplier has a compliance certificate. There are two types of scams concerning this. The first one is that suppliers will claim they have such certificates but they are forged through Photoshop by changing the company name.
The second is the promise to provide those certificates after you place an order. Then they will give you excuses and never show you a certificate or show you an expired one.
If either of these cases happens, the order will be stuck at customs or you will have to pay thousands of dollars to own the certificates for your items
Scam 5: Changing Products Without Notice at the Time of Dispatch (Riskiest)
In the Abusiness world. We don't even see our inventory that is going to be sold in America or Germany or the UK. If your inventory reaches the warehouse and your launch is happening. One faulty product sent and a negative review will pop up very soon. Initially, one negative review can decrease your rating to 4 stars easily and boom. Your sales will drop and everything will become hell.
About the scam, it is sad to say that this is quite common among Chinese suppliers. They may send you a similar product the first time or during a repeat order. For example, you may receive a cotton/poly mix shirt (80% cotton 20% polyester) instead of 100% cotton shirts like you ordered. When you talk to your supplier they will say that the products looked similar and the difference in the fabric wouldn’t affect the normal usage of the shirt so they went ahead and sent a similar item without notifying you. If you require a reproduction or refund, they will not do that.
To prevent this from happening, do the pre-shipment inspection to verify the goods before payment and ensure that they meet your standards
Scam 6: A Gold Supplier Selling Poor Quality Products.
Any supplier can become an Alibaba Gold Supplier by paying an annual fee of $4,000. New suppliers can buy a 3-5 year gold supplier badge upfront to make it look like they’ve been great suppliers for that length of time. Sounds scary han? Yeah, mate it is.
How to avoid this? Have an expert with you who can do the audit, talk or meet the manager, examine the facilities, production capacity, compliance certificates and so on. This will minimise your importing risks.
Scam 7: New Suppliers Taking Your Money and Running.
Usually, new suppliers that have been doing business for less than a year will do this. Anyone can be a supplier on Alibaba if they pay an annual membership fee.
Some suppliers find it difficult to continue doing business after a year so they will scam as many clients as they can in a short amount of time than disappear.
Always use Trade Assurance with new suppliers or choose verified suppliers with several years of a good record.