Home eCommerce Blog Catching the Crooks: Is Your Wholesaler Dodgy or Legitimate?

Catching the Crooks: Is Your Wholesaler Dodgy or Legitimate?

Fleeced, ripped-off, cheated, conned. We’re all afraid of losing money to wholesalers who turn out not to be the real deal. The horror stories can certainly be very off putting – especially to those just getting started. The trick is to spot it and stop it before it’s too late!

So what are signs that you’re dealing with a crook?

In our experience, there are 6 particular indications that you may not be dealing with a legitimate wholesaler:

  • The wholesaler doesn’t sound business-like or professional when answering the phone. For example, he will answer with a plain ‘Yes?’ or ‘Hello?’, without identifying himself or the business name.
  • The wholesaler doesn’t request your business license or sales tax ID during the initial contacts. Most true wholesalers will require one of these. While this is not a hugely important deal, if you are looking at dealing in large amounts you will need to get registered and should check that the wholesaler is registered as well.
  • The wholesaler gets shifty when you request a product sample. Most wholesaler are only to happy to offer a sample of their product (usually at a higher price) so if they do not offer this be careful and question their reasons for not offering one.
  • The wholesaler’s claims to take a secure form of payment (credit card, Paypal etc…) but later turns around and says they only accept wire transfer or western union. Not all wholesalers that take western union and wire transfer are scammers, but this is the most common way scammers operate and you should always steer on the side of caution if you are asked to pay be these methods when not having dealt with or knowing the person first.
  • Their website offers no physical address or contact phone for you to get hold of them. Be blunt, ask them for a contact address and phone number and if it is ok if you come in and have a look around their offices. If they are serious this will be no problem at all for them.
  • They claim they don’t currently have stock in and still expect you to pay up front. If this has been happening make sure you get some photographic evidence of their stock with the days newspaper or something (while this doesn’t always work, it means some one must have stock that they know) 

Although these are not hard and fast rules, you should certainly proceed with caution if one or more of the above apply to a new wholesale contact you have made.

If you have any tips to add or past experiences then we’d love to hear from you. Your experience is valuable to the SaleHoo community and I’m sure others would appreciate your comments.

That’s all for now

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6 Comments Add your comment
Very well said! I would also add that it always pays to check out wholesalers with other people (eg, the salehoo forum) to see what their experinces are and if they have had any problems in the past. Thanks Mike Reply
A few other thing they do: 1.) Some are crafty getting your credit card information on a form, and having all the wonderful things like verisign logos, ect. Beware, move your mouse over the logo and click on it. Some scammers just copy and paste the logo picture. There should be something on their site you can click on form a third party like verisign, ect. 2.) The website age is a very good indication of whether or not they are authentic. Go to www.coolwhois.com (they search worldwide), and type in the website. Look for when they registered the site, and when it expires. Most Legit companies will have had their site around for at least a year, and the expiration dates are usually not for a bit. Thye like their company website, so they reserve it for chunks of years at a time. 3.) Some scammers will steal content from other websites, EVEN the company motto, or the about us page! How can you catch them? Try copying some of their about us or motto, then paste it in google. If you see more than one match, more than likely its a scammer. To find out if they are, call all the companies that match up, and ask them about the other matches you've found. If you hit the real company they will most likely want to know the other sites and prosecute them. You might even get a better deal for letting them know about the scammers! -Benjamin Reply
perfect site good information, very nice news! Reply
BUYERS BEWARE My name is Ana Newby. My company’s name is Four Future. PLEASE BE AWARE of these companies: FTA CONSULTING GROUP, TEX & TRADE STOCKLOTS GmbH, MEETZ UND PARTNER. They are a German based FRAUDULENT company. The names of the owners are: SIBBILLE MEETZ & WINFRIED MEETZ. They also have a website: BOUTIQUENHAUS.DE  I wired funds into their account several months ago for designer handbags. I never received my merchandise and have not been able to communicate with them in any way whatsoever. They vanished. They may use other company names as well as the ones listed above. I am an authenticated and verified member of “Exporters.Sg” as well as many others trade organizations. If you are doing business with Mr. And Mrs. Meetz, be very careful. If you are about to do business with them, my advice is DON'T DO IT. I am sorry to name names but I have all the papers proving that these people are very dishonest. Furthermore I feel obligated to expose one of the rotten apples in our tree of legit designer buyers. Good Luck Always! Ana Newby Four Future USA Reply
Useful for wholesale buyers. Thanks. Reply
please beware of apple-reseller.net . They are scammer.They are using apple name.I have already lost to this scammer and I don't want anyone to lose again. Reply
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