How do I know if my Alibaba Seller is real or Fake?
We have all heard the stories of people being scammed by sellers on Alibaba. Today, buyers should be wary if a seller is real or fake and if the products that the seller is claiming to sell are real and legitimate. Recently the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said that sellers on Alibaba are selling fake products.
So this blog has been written to provide you with answers to the question “How do I know if my Alibaba Seller is real or Fake”, with some advice on avoiding scammers and buying fake goods from Sellers in China or any other country.
The table of contents is
- How to verify a Manufacturer in China?
- Can I trust an Alibaba Verified Supplier?
- So, How can I avoid scammers on Alibaba?
- How to know if an Alibaba seller is legit?
- Over to you – How do I know if my Alibaba Seller is real or Fake.
Therefore, If you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the team or me at TCI China. We offer discrete services for our clients.
How to verify a Manufacturer in China?
Many people simply don’t trust Alibaba’s grading and vetting system for their suppliers. Many often ask for tips on independently verifying a potential supplier in China. There is a three-step approach that I recommend. The minimum steps you should do is 1 and 2.
1. Ask, “What day can my inspector visit the factory to inspect it?”
This is a cheap and quick way to quickly verify a manufacturer.
If you hear excuses or get replies that the inspector is not allowed to visit, then do not get involved with this manufacturer if they actually are a manufacturer! All manufacturers are proud of their factories and processes and want to show them to potential customers. If they are not prepared to do this, there is something potentially wrong.
Asking this question also demonstrates to any manufacturer that you have experience and have “your” inspectors already on the ground in China.
2. Send in an Inspector to audit the factory
Many firms hire third-party quality control inspection firms such as Goodada Inspections to visit the manufacturer and assess their premises, practices and legitimacy.
To find out more about these services, please visit Goodada’s Factory Audit page.
3. Visit the Factory
After getting a Factory Audit report from an inspection company, going to the factory in person, meeting with the key people and walking through the production facilities will bring the ultimate decision into focus. **TIP** Generally, you will be asked to go for a mean. Use this occasion to speak with the owners and key people to discuss their long-term plans and ideas. It might be a possible warning sign if you hear them talking about other ventures or companies.
To learn more, please visit our Alibaba Seller Verification page.
Can I trust an Alibaba Verified Supplier?
It is advisable to remain cautious of any internally approved sellers on Alibaba. A New York Times report highlights that Alibaba has a legacy of listing sellers who defraud their customs.
The ideal way is to not solely rely on its verification system. You can use it as a guide to identifying some potential suppliers. Then, you should use your own due diligence processes, such as third-party inspection firms, to visit and assess the supplier before you book any orders with them.
As I mentioned in a previous section of this blog, you can use firms such as Goodada Inspections to independently verify any seller on Alibaba for you.
How can I avoid scammers on Alibaba?
The critical thing to avoid scammers on Alibaba is to always assume that they are a scammer until you have conducted proper checks and verifications.
If you see an amazingly low price, you should ask, “What are this seller doing and all the other sellers not doing to make the price so low?”. Often, the price might be for a fake or copied product. It might be for a product that does not meet the advertised specifications. The seller might be a fake and only wants to take your money.
So below is an approach that you could follow to avoid scammers on Alibaba:
- Get prices from five different sellers and get the average of this.
- Ask the lowest priced sellers why their prices are low and others are high.
- As the highest-priced sellers, why are their prices high and others low.
- When you have decided on three potential suppliers, tell them that you want to send an inspector to visit and audit their factory. If you hear any excuses or receive a refusal, walk away.
- Send an independent quality control firm such as TCI China Inspection Services to visit and verify the seller.
- Have a written contract with the seller. Here is a link to a previous blog about Supplier Contracts
How to know if an Alibaba seller is legit
The best way is to have them visited and audited by an independent inspection firm. TCI China provides a range of Inspection Services which helps its clients to know if the Alibaba seller is legit.
An inspector is sent out to visit the seller. They will record all their business licences and any certifications the company claims to have. After the auditor has returned back to the office, they will conduct independent checks on the licences and certificates with the various bodies to confirm if they are genuine and legitimate.
Another part of this service is that the auditor will check if the seller is involved in any court cases and check out other companies the directors of the company are associated with.
How do I know if my Alibaba Seller is real or Fake – Over to you
So, If you need a Seller verified or checked out. Or, if you have a seller and have concerns about them or the products they are supplying you, please visit the following page from Goodda. It provides prices for its Seller Checking Services, so click on its Alibaba Seller Verification Services to learn more.
I’m here to help you explore all your options.
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(Europe/ Rest of the World) +353 1 885 3919
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Or email me Aidan Conaty
tcichina.co.uk | think China, think TCI