Will Alibaba getting caught out stop you all from trusting the site? Probably not!
http://paterson-associates.co.uk/about I can’t recall how many seminars I have presented at in the past, warning people about the perils of believing everything they read on the Internet, especially when sourcing ‘possible’ Chinese suppliers. The internet has made sourcing from China look easy, and sites like www.alibaba.com, have gone so far as to make it look safe!
enter So you can imagine my delight when the latest news article came to my attention –‘Alibaba staff have been involved in fraudulent online activities’. Its seems that their sales team have been taking illegal cash payments to provide con merchants a ‘Gold Supplier’ shop front on their site. For those of you not familiar with Alibaba, a Gold Supplier is supposed to undergo rigorous due diligence and have a high volume trading history, before they can be accordingly ranked. So all of you would-be importers who thought it was safe to import from a ‘Gold Supplier’ on this site (and other similar sites) need to think twice!
Of course we can’t hold Alibaba entirely responsible for fraudulent supplier deals. Anyone engaging a third party to manufacturer and supply their goods should undertake their own due diligence on top of any third party promises to ensure they are reputable. Simply sourcing them from the internet is not sufficient. Standard checks depending on the size and cost of the project should include at the very least;
1. A factory visit
2. Company document verification
3. Sampling tests
If you are contemplating an import project and don’t know how to source or verify your supplier, then speak to someone who does. There is no easy or cheap alternative to doing this work, so I suggest you budget for it. Proper due diligence will cost you less in the long run than a container full of faulty goods.