Thank you for the warning. We are sorry to hear of your misfortune, but I'm sure this information will come in handy, especially for our members who are scouting the Chinese market.
There are actually Chinese suppliers that you can trust, in fact you'll find a number of suppliers from China here in SaleHoo. But we have always stood by the fact that you cannot buy anything branded from China, but if you are looking for no brand items, then the Chinese suppliers are quite ideal. Also you must never forget to use safe payment methods, these allow you to do charge backs from your end in case the transaction goes sour.
Also keep in mind: A LOT of research is one of the key factors in finding a reliable supplier. Here are some simple things you can do to protect yourself when dealing with any supplier (especially those found outside of SaleHoo).
1. Run a whois check on the supplier's website to verify when it was created (it is safest to deal with suppliers who have been online at least a year), who owns the domain, and where the domain was registered (the country should match the contact details on the supplier's website). We recommend using Link hidden: Login to view (replace salehoo.com with the url of the supplier).
2. Search the SaleHoo forum for the supplier's website/company name and see what other members have to say.
3. Call the supplier's telephone numbers to ensure they are genuine.
4. Purchase a sample before bulk ordering to ensure that the item meets your expectations.
5. Watch out for sellers asking you to 'safeguard' your purchase by sending your money transfer in the name of a friend or loved one, or by establishing a 'test question'. These actions will not protect you from a fraudulent seller.
6. Low prices do not necessarily mean fraud, but radically low prices should warrant a closer look. If a price seems to good to be true, it probably is. Ask the seller as many questions about the item's authenticity as you can before you go any further.
7. Always use a credit card or Paypal to purchase goods. These forms of payment are safe because they give you a comeback if something goes wrong. With these payment methods, you can usually have the transaction reversed fairly easily if necessary.
By the way what products are you interested? Maybe we can help you locate suitable suppliers.