If you’re new to importing products from China, wiring money to a supplier you’ve never met face-to-face can be a scary prospect. Well, you can rest easy because the likelihood of you being scammed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars is low.

But, resting easy doesn’t mean you can be totally lax or just partially involved. Scams might be rare in China but they do exist and in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about some of them.

To get you warmed up for the actual podcast, here are the highlights.

  • Two of the most well-known scams in China is a phishing scheme where you end up wiring money to a different entity altogether and receiving a low-quality version of the product you ordered.
  • Safeguard yourself and your business by getting to know your supplier. If it’s not possible to meet them in person, set up a video chat. By establishing a relationship with your supplier, you’re also building trust. Over time, you will eventually be more comfortable in doing business and reach a point where you can fully rely on each other.
  • If you receive an email from your supplier informing you that their bank information has changed, don’t wire the money out immediately. Call the supplier to confirm that the email is legit.
  • Communicate your expectations from the get-go. Tell the supplier that you intend to have an inspection for each shipment or order. Let them know what your tolerances are for manufacturing mistakes (e.g. 100 minor, 50 major, 2 defective). Make sure they understand that if they don’t meet these criteria, they won’t get paid in full.  
  • Another way to avoid receiving defective products is to provide your supplier with an actual sample. That way, they’ll know what materials a product should be made of and what it should actually look like.
  • Don’t leave any room for interpretation. The provisions of the contract with your supplier should be clear and both parties should have a good understanding of the conditions within it. It’s also good to have a paper trail of your communications with your supplier so you have something to go back to should problems arise.

Don’t be afraid to assert yourself when the situation calls for it. Being clear about your product and shipping expectations will save you a lot of grief in the end. For a detailed guide of avoiding scams, check out Dave’s blog post that’s linked in the Resources section below.

Other Useful Resources:

Free Course Videos

The Ultimate Guide to Avoid Being Scammed On Alibaba And When Importing

Asian Inspection

Thanks for listening to this episode! If you enjoyed listening and think this episode has been useful to you, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy selling!


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Michael started his first business when he was 18 and is a serial entrepreneur. He got his start in the online world way back in 2004 as an affiliate marketer. From there he grew as an SEO expert and has transitioned into ecommerce, running several sites that bring in a total of 7-figures of revenue each year.