Real World Experience buying from Asia

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planes
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15 May 09 09:33:41 pm
I remember reading this and then forgetting where I read it. Now I found it again. This was written by a member of another forum I belong to. Credit goes to Orion.

This is written by a person who has extensive experience buying from Asia which I hope helps people here when wondering if they are getting the best deal or are going to be ripped-off.

If I were buying in a large purchase platform, this would be my bible.


DEALING WITH THE CHINESE

There is a popular misconception that a majority of Chinese sellers are scammers. I am going to try and expel this myth with my experience and my little knowledge. I do not claim to be an expert on international trade but I can share my experiences and hope some of this information will of help to someone out there!

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

This makes me sound old! I am probably not much older or younger than most users here. Now in these good old days there was no internet as such, that came a few years later. You would do all your business by phone, a fax machine and a (borrowed in my case) Global Sources publication which back then really was a bible. Some people really do not know how lucky they are now, you have everything at the end of your broadband connection!

With a little bit of courage I started importing at a young age from my bedroom in my parent house. My very first product was a mobile phone battery. Not an ordinary one though. It was a NiCad battery (all batteries were NiCad 12 years ago). NiCad batteries suffered from

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fudjj
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15 May 09 10:05:48 pm
Enjoyable read, nothing makes more sense than experience!


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raiderjake
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16 May 09 07:14:26 am
thanx for that info, i have learned so much since joining salehoo a month ago and still really don't know anything. i have always been put off on chinese suppliers, b/c of all the horror stories. glad to see another perspective on chinese suppliers. is there any tell tale signs of a bad chinese supplier, or good supplier you could share w/ me and the rest of the newbs? i really appreciate all the knowledge and experience the salehoo staff and members share w/ everyone, its priceless, best $67 i ever spent

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planes
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17 May 09 02:49:46 am
thanx for that info, i have learned so much since joining salehoo a month ago and still really don't know anything. i have always been put off on chinese suppliers, b/c of all the horror stories. glad to see another perspective on chinese suppliers. is there any tell tale signs of a bad chinese supplier, or good supplier you could share w/ me and the rest of the newbs? i really appreciate all the knowledge and experience the salehoo staff and members share w/ everyone, its priceless, best $67 i ever spent


Well I think the the above article points one in the right direction. From what I gleaned from it is, a serious business person who is looking for a long term business relationship should consider visiting Asia.

This isn't an outright rule but would prove very helpful.

There are some basics which when added up help eliminate losses.

1. Age of website
2. Popularity of website
3. Email directed to website and not a third party like Gmail.
4. Others non-biased opinions.
5. Dealing with the business and not individuals. Meaning not just some guy you contacted but the business and then the individuals from that business.
6. Reputations
7. Credit card and Paypal payment methods.
8. Reviews by Salehoo members who have been around for awhile. Not based on a review by someone who just turned member.
9. Do not buy Vero items from Asia.

Try to always give yourself an out or way out of a deal or backup plan.
For example, your using a supplier for the first time. They except Paypal.
Use your credit card and if you have an American Express use that. That way, if you are conned you can file a dispute with your credit card issuer.

AE is instant ,other CC issuers need for you to file forms. Each way you are very likely to get your money back and Paypal has to use its funds to do so.

Set up steps for each supplier you come in contact with. And if they can't meet those steps then drop them. Its always better to not order product than to lose money.

Start setting aside loss funds. Meaning funds you can use to buy from a risky seller. 200$ would be a good amount to run test orders. Sell them and take those profits and purchase again. That way you never lose funds you need and a loss would be just a lesson learned.

When I say risky seller I don't mean buy from a seller that has red flags raised all over hell but one that is meeting a lot of your criteria but you still have concerns about.

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lololol
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17 May 09 02:19:14 pm
here is an inspection company i would like to recomended to all who wants to import from China. Link hidden: Login to view

they do pre shipment inspection and supplier verification and it works well for me.

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raiderjake
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17 May 09 02:19:57 pm
thanx again, it will be a little while till i can start buying from china or any 1 really, i buy broken ps3's on ebay then part em out and sell them on ebay. i've gotten burned on the last couple batches, they were all stripped for parts, 1 thing i've learned is not to search for those 'great deals', you'll get burned everytime. be thankful for the good suppliers you have. so its gonna take some time to get back on top. but i'm trying to learn as much as i can in the mean time, thanx again.

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planes
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17 May 09 04:55:39 pm


they do pre shipment inspection and supplier verification and it works well for me.



MAybe give us some more info about this site.
I notice most of this sites page views come from Asia and through Baido which is Asias equivalent to google.

But I dont like its page rank of over 1.3 million and I don't like it hiding its inception date.

Also, it seems funny their page visits are bigger in Asia but its servers are in the US.

Where do you live that you need to use them and for what services.

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raiderjake
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17 May 09 05:27:29 pm
i'm looking at something on dh gate right now, his feedback is 100% w/ 62 positive fb. and im i can pay w/ paypal, so thats assuring, what kind of import fees am i going to have to pay for a purchase just under $200?

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planes
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17 May 09 08:45:38 pm
i'm looking at something on dh gate right now, his feedback is 100% w/ 62 positive fb. and im i can pay w/ paypal, so thats assuring, what kind of import fees am i going to have to pay for a purchase just under $200?



Good on the Paypal thing. When you get to the payment screen there should be a link to pay with a credit card. Make sure to use that link and pay with a CC. Don't take the funds from your Paypal balance or backup funding source. Paypal would most likely not cover you in the event you get conned.

There may or may not be customs, depending on how the package is shipped and what country you are in. You may want to ask the seller what you might expect.

Oh yea. Final note. Have you had any contact with this company? Make sure you exchange some type of correspondence and not buy blindly. If they send you a gmail email, ask why. If that is the case the little bumps on the back of your neck should start to stand up. If they give you a business email, you just eliminated about 10 to 15 percent of the risk factor.

Just because you pay through Paypal with a credit card doesn't mean you can be foolhardy. After so many bad purchases, your credit card company may start to wonder why.

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planes
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17 May 09 08:48:21 pm
Also, take a look at this link : Link hidden: Login to view

If you haven't already, read it. Member voodootwothree gives a very good accounting of his experiences on DH Gate.

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raiderjake
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17 May 09 09:36:19 pm
thanx planes, i have read that thoroughly. paypal wouldn't protect me in that situation? i have no cc, and no credit card company in their right mind would give me 1. why wouldn't paypal protect me?

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userexists
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19 May 09 04:35:26 am
Link hidden: Login to view You can purchase smaller minimum quantities from this site and most of the traders take Paypal and some even offer free shipping. I've used two suppliers from here and both supplied and delivered to Australia within ten days. Due diligence, as always is advised. Easier to deal with than DHgate or Alibaba.


Difficult I can do right away. Impossible takes a little longer
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customersplanet
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19 May 09 02:07:32 pm
Link hidden: Login to view You can purchase smaller minimum quantities from this site and most of the traders take Paypal and some even offer free shipping. I've used two suppliers from here and both supplied and delivered to Australia within ten days. Due diligence, as always is advised. Easier to deal with than DHgate or Alibaba.



Do you mind sharing the names of those two suppliers since they are so reliable?

Regards

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voodootwothree
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19 May 09 04:51:53 pm
i'm looking at something on dh gate right now, his feedback is 100% w/ 62 positive fb. and im i can pay w/ paypal, so thats assuring, what kind of import fees am i going to have to pay for a purchase just under $200?


more than likely nothing... i cant remember the exact figures but $200USD is way under what customs usually even looks at. Also, invoices on anything that low are marked 'gift' and also miss the customs. it may sound crooked but it is US policy, not China's so take advantage of it.

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userexists
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20 May 09 01:06:34 am
Hi customersplanet ..... I would prefer not to mention the names of the two suppliers I have used, suffice to say they supply health and beauty items! There are thousands of suppliers on that site and if you wish to try them out, please exercise the contact options available to you on the site. I have found I received fast responses from any supplier I contacted before making small purchases. I have now received larger orders and a larger discount - larger than mentioned on the supplier listing, just by asking nicely!!!

Be aware though that there are, as with all China B2B sites, many fake branded products advertised there. If you stay away from well known brands and just look for popular products that don't come with brand names, you should be okay. Some will also manufacture products with your own brand if you want it.


Difficult I can do right away. Impossible takes a little longer
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fudjj
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20 May 09 01:34:07 am
Have you ever considered starting your own sourcing directory Maureen, seriously.....no one can find supplier information quite like you!


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planes
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20 May 09 02:40:52 am
thanx planes, i have read that thoroughly. paypal wouldn't protect me in that situation? i have no cc, and no credit card company in their right mind would give me 1. why wouldn't paypal protect me?



Paypal protects eBay customers in the majority of cases. SO much so that they have created a new group of eBay fraudsters. That being the buyer.

Outside of eBay their history of protecting buyers is very poor. Several member here have not been protected. I don't remember which threads but you could find them through search.

From my readings on other forums I have found this to be the case as well.


I am not saying not to but don't say I didn't warn you.

See they have to take the money out of their own pockets when someone is scammed. On eBay, they have to because, well, they are eBay and do so to make a safe buying environment. But outside of eBay-buyer beware.

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raiderjake
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20 May 09 02:48:53 am
thanx for the info, since i have bad credit, its gonna be paypal for now, i'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. the seller im im looking at seems legit, i'll update when i go ahead w/ my purchase, have to wait for some stuff to sell 1st

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planes
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20 May 09 03:14:03 am
thanx for the info, since i have bad credit, its gonna be paypal for now, i'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. the seller im im looking at seems legit, i'll update when i go ahead w/ my purchase, have to wait for some stuff to sell 1st


You might want to chime in with Paypal and ask specifically how you are protected.

Really, this isn't a deal breaker. Your just eliminating 99% protection of you assets.

I will warn you though. If you are buying from an individual and not a business I am scared for you. Especially in Asia. And if you are buying from an individual, I hope its money you can do without.

But do let us know how your transaction goes.

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planes
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20 May 09 03:18:28 am
Further, if your buying from a place like DHGate or ALIBABA, I hope you were referred to a website. And then checked the website for when it was made and exchanged emails and saw an email hosted on the domain.

I hate to harp on this but I have seen my share of scam reports on this forum from similar buys if that is how you are doing it.

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customersplanet
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20 May 09 09:54:35 am
Hi customersplanet ..... I would prefer not to mention the names of the two suppliers I have used, suffice to say they supply health and beauty items! There are thousands of suppliers on that site and if you wish to try them out, please exercise the contact options available to you on the site. I have found I received fast responses from any supplier I contacted before making small purchases. I have now received larger orders and a larger discount - larger than mentioned on the supplier listing, just by asking nicely!!!


Thanks. I would err on the side of caution.

Regards

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voodootwothree
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20 May 09 05:54:56 pm
im finding a bunch of stuff on alibaba from indonesia that i would love to get my hands on but they only take western union (which i have gambled on 1 and waiting for delivery) and the others only take wired bank transfers. i know most of the risks associated but are there any other tips on dealing this way, or a shortcut to checking legitimacy other than everything over there is a minefield?

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raiderjake
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20 May 09 06:25:27 pm
i am being as cautious as i can w/ dh gate. i have been asking numerous q's and bugging the hell out of them. i wouldnt say its money i can do w/o but there is always some risk in this business and if it doesnt go my way, lesson learned, i will keep every1 informed on how this goes for me. appreciate the concern and advice thanx

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21 May 09 02:35:26 am


MAybe give us some more info about this site.
I notice most of this sites page views come from Asia and through Baido which is Asias equivalent to google.

But I dont like its page rank of over 1.3 million and I don't like it hiding its inception date.

Also, it seems funny their page visits are bigger in Asia but its servers are in the US.

Where do you live that you need to use them and for what services.



not sure about that, as far as i know most Chinese don't take care their website and i personally did not use their service, but the company i worked for last year with them for about 2 years, i think some western buying offices and sourcing company are located in China and they outsourced QC job to third party inspection company, that may explain why the website has more visits in local rather than overseas.

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planes
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21 May 09 03:08:14 am
[/quote:5450e295]


not sure about that, as far as i know most Chinese don't take care their website and i personally did not use their service, but the company i worked for last year with them for about 2 years, i think some western buying offices and sourcing company are located in China and they outsourced QC job to third party inspection company, that may explain why the website has more visits in local rather than overseas.[/quote:5450e295]


Thanks for the follow-up. Just want to make sure if we are going to get a third party inspector on here that its legit. Would be a bumber to get ripped off by the third party inspector before we even get rolling. I think I might start a thread about this. If you have any other data about this company put it in my knew thread.

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planes
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21 May 09 04:03:24 am
im finding a bunch of stuff on alibaba from indonesia that i would love to get my hands on but they only take western union (which i have gambled on 1 and waiting for delivery) and the others only take wired bank transfers. i know most of the risks associated but are there any other tips on dealing this way, or a shortcut to checking legitimacy other than everything over there is a minefield?


Here is an analogy.

Let's say your in South Carolina visiting-you live in Arizona. You go to a flea market and there is a guy preselling the one item you know will make you money. Its at the exact price you want and the pictures the guy has shows a very high quality item.

He says, give me 500 dollars for a lot of 10 and I will ship it out to you as soon as it comes in. He says its due in about a week.

You say sure here is cash. The seller writes you out a receipt. Thats it. You don't ask for identification or get a license plate number. But you do write down his tent location in the flea market.

You go home and wait 2 weeks. Nothing. You call him from the number on the receipt. You get a voicemail but no one ever calls you back. You write him. Nothing.

So you call the police department in the city you were in and explain your situation to him. The officer starts audibly laughing and calls you a fool.

Thats what its like buying from an individual on the internet.

I know your a lot savior than that Voodoo. I'm just making a point.

If you read the first post in this thread. Orion gives a good description.

You gambled on one. And from your posts, you probably have some coin to lose. Not that you want to but could and it wouldn't break you. I don't have any other advice for buying from Alibaba.

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voodootwothree
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21 May 09 02:33:58 pm
good point... ill let you know how this deal turns out. i should have mentioned it it is actually my second alibaba gamble and the first one paid off so sweet i swap birthday cards with the guy that supplies me. but that one was with a paypal transaction and i didnt know if the western union thing was a tip off. i had another deal in the making but they want a straight up bank transfer and they dont have a website. i think i am going to let that one slide.

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voodootwothree
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22 May 09 05:34:26 am
here's a good one for real world experience and a little comic relief from the normal posts. the guy that supplies our uniforms imports his blank tshirts from vietnam. he subsequently won the bid to print a huge order of shirts for a group of foreign war veterans. it took almost a week to single handedly remove the portion of the tag from the shirts that identified where they were made!

one more comic relief. i got my first negative ebay feedback from a woman who (i say it was 'feedback extortion', ebay disagreed) wanted a couple of bucks because the corners of her boxes were dented and although she had already used some claimed the rest were for gifts. anyway... she declined the offer of a FULL refund for sending them back because she was afaid she would catch swine flu at the post office!!!

last one... promise... everybody at work and where i play paintball (with my own imports) have started a really bad habit of making regular words sound chinese when they talk to me. i may have broken it somewhat from the last comment by a guys son when i told him he had 30 minutes to bring me back 5 items from his house or car that wasnt made in china. ill have to give him some credit, he did try.

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planes
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22 May 09 05:39:02 am
good point... ill let you know how this deal turns out. i should have mentioned it it is actually my second alibaba gamble and the first one paid off so sweet i swap birthday cards with the guy that supplies me. but that one was with a paypal transaction and i didnt know if the western union thing was a tip off. i had another deal in the making but they want a straight up bank transfer and they dont have a website. i think i am going to let that one slide.


Wow! Your definitely doing something right. Do let us know how it turns out.

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voodootwothree
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27 May 09 04:43:42 pm
alibaba update:

well i havent got what i ordered in yet with the gamble that i made using western union to purchase something, but I did just receive a fedex tracking number and ive got something coming!! looking back it was pretty boneheaded not knowing enough about the process and after our last post on here i started researching a little more. alibaba has a great section on their website with tutorials, how tos and tips about avoiding fraud on their site. its kinda small tucked down in the right hand corner but its there. while i was waiting to see if i might get stiffed on this deal i researched the company better (i know, after the fact is not good). turns out they at least met all the criteria for a legitimate business (even for alibaba standards) except for the whole western union thing. since then, i have also posted a buying lead for not only what i want BUT the conditions in which i wish to buy them... (i.e. quantities, paypal and fedex or dhl shipping) and am already negotiating another trading partner that was willing to work with me on every aspect. It also turns out that they are a supplier that doesnt normally put everything out on alibaba and 'surf' for selling leads like people 'surf' to buy stuff, so good resource there. Another thing ive noticed new on alibaba is businesses with 'trust pass' memberships that seem to be pretty costly on the businesses side to join that adds a little more credibility to the process. Of course now ive got to wait and check quality and ill let you know how that goes but, thats part of the process too.

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ttheemy88
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28 May 09 07:22:36 am
Hi friends,I am from Asia not China.I am quite new to online business.I have viewed alibaba.com many many times.But I havent ordered anything from through alibaba yet.This is because my capital very small.Any one of you can advice me,which supplier that can suplly small quantities,may be around USD500 for a start.actually I am looking for mens boxer of nice design that I can market for university students .Advice me please.

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voodootwothree
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28 May 09 01:29:59 pm
thats one of the drawbacks of using alibaba over dhgate is they usually supply in minimum order quantities of 100 but quite a few (at least where I have found), some will work with you buying 'samples' which is usually just what they refer to anything under their MOQ if you ask. I generally start all transactions with a manufacturer this way even if I have more capital just to establish a trade route and minimize risk. Everyones bottom line is about cash flow and more often than not, money is money regardless of quantity, especially in the current market. Try out asking about samples to establish trade, CHECK OUT THE BUSINESS THOROUGHLY BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ANYTHING, and work from there. You can also try a post with your terms of purchase and let them come to you. DHGate has a pretty extensive line of clothing if you wanted to check with them first for smaller orders and lower risk. Hope this helps.

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voodootwothree
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3 Jun 09 01:17:50 pm
update on the last alibaba trade is 3 for 3 successful with 1 in the works. thought they might have been messing around with me saying they were sending my order to production but turns out they were.

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aznvcboi
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3 Jun 09 04:00:52 pm
Talking about Chinese scammers! I've experienced quite a few. Mainly buying stuff online amaturely without research the username. Recently, I've been working with a chinese suppliers which we (I & my wife) are quite impressed - great customer service and fast shipping from china (around 7 days).

Reading this post give me a thoughy of having my own name brand product - design my own logo and have them put it on my products I order :) You know the chinese, they'd be able to do anything. If they could copy the apple ipod design thing, i think they could help me put my own logo on any products :) Just a thought!

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voodootwothree
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3 Jun 09 07:36:51 pm
yep, they can do it to just about anything. may be a few bucks extra.

I just started negotiations with a couple of different manufacturers over production of a part for a paintball gun. if you are going this route, apply for a patent through the us patent office ($110)... and another $50 if you are not sure it exists. it wont keep what you are doing from getting knocked off but its a start at claiming your fame and at least some security in the States. And you dont have to receive a full patent number (i.e. 'pat. pending' products) to start manufacturing, just keep your time stamped receipt with the description on it.

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voodootwothree
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5 Jun 09 04:34:25 pm
back to alibaba... now i am 4 for 4. 3 suppliers have taken paypal and the 1 western union transaction that i mentioned earlier that i got nervous about. from the original supplier i found (the christmas card guy) i just completed 2 more transactions for $1500 and they are super cool on shipping except when a hot dog bun festival or dragon boat party shuts them down for a week. resupply has become easy too with their shipping. unless they have to produce something im getting orders in 3 days via fedex which is WAY faster than dhgate. im still leary of the bank transfer supplier (which would be #5) but it is only $300 to test the waters and find out (and let everyone here know) how it goes. alibaba is getting more user friendly too... they have either added in the last couple of weeks (or i have just noticed but i dont think it was there before) a special section for featured products with lower MOQ and a page that lets you search regions (of the WORLD) for products, not just asia. i have also comparison shopped alibaba vs. dhgate and a lot of the prices i have found are running neck and neck. im keeping my dhgate contacts open because i still think the escrow account and customer service gives a lot more security than anyone else i have bought from but I am really starting to dig the alibaba thing.

btw... STILL A MINEFIELD OUT THERE, I have yet to turn a corner where there was not a chance of getting bit.

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raiderjake
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6 Jun 09 12:21:57 pm
glad to know everything is going great for you voodoo. me personaly, if i found a few good suppliers like you have, i would stick with those. and not be 'testing the waters' so to speak. 1 thing i've learned in my short time in this business, a sure deal is far better than any semi-risky GREAT deal. thanx for the updates, im sure im not the only 1 here that appreciates it.

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voodootwothree
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7 Jun 09 02:02:35 am
i appreciate that... i would like to point out i have considered every deal a semi-risky deal and semi-risky importing doesnt seem as semi-risky as ppwdg does now. to date i have lost about $300 all together overseas and $60 on a bad craigslist deal here. i'll also go ahead and point out the fact that I thought joining salehoo was pretty risky, but i was desperate, so here we all are I guess. I really figure now the benefits of paying to join a site like this is at least the common bond that we are all serious enough about it to join a site like this.
one valuable lesson i am learning is once you get your products picked, trade routes established and sources pinned down, the next MOST VALUABLE thing you can invest in is stock. of course I could have never anticipated what would sale and what wouldnt but once you get something figured out, get a few weeks supply in stock, that way you are never sitting there wondering if you could have sold while you are waiting for the new stuff to get in. i had been tinkering with 200 deals here and 300 there but when i would run out, id wait a week and wonder what i could have done so ive finally gotten far enough to stock my products and now i reorder when i get low.
second valuable lesson, and you can take this from the chinese is automatically reinvest at least 50 cents of every dollar of profit back into your business and you can not lose.

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voodootwothree
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7 Jun 09 02:05:44 am
while you are waiting, try these books i make my students read...

leadership secrets of the rogue warrior by richard marcinko
strategies for success by richard marcinko
kiss and make up by gene simmons (yep, gene simmons)
winning through intimidation by robert ringer
the autobiography of lee iacocca

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voodootwothree
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8 Jun 09 05:10:14 pm
alibaba is now 5 for 5.
also wanted to go back and comment on the few good suppliers comment. the things i have set up to sale for good so far consist of 4 categories of items of which 3 are things I have found on my way to my main goal (the fourth one). so while im looking for my main commodity and see something of interest, of course i might as well take a small chance and see if it flies. now, if i had found what i was looking for first, would i venture on out and be satisfied with my suppliers and products? probably so. but the lesson i have learned myself is now that I sell 3 other things i found on the way to my main commodity, why stop and be satisfied? i have not spent a ton of time since i found all of my sources looking for new items but i am on the lookout. i personally want 5, 6, 7, 8 different things even if they are wildly arrayed.

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voodootwothree
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Karma: 
28 Jun 09 01:17:56 pm
well, im fresh back off of vacation and the 2 weeks ive been off I decided to hit alibaba up again and the site is changing for the better every day. More and more suppliers are accepting paypal without asking them for it, there is a new lower MOQ section for suppliers, and if you are surfing alibaba and have a general area you know you want to sell in post buying leads. The buying leads I am getting are probably 1 in 5 spot on and starting to get crazy with prospects. This is also saving tons of time with the search thing since china doesnt have google! Im still using dhgate for my electronic items because I think they have a little better recourse for damaged stuff with the whole escrow thing. Everybody on alibaba so far has been totally great with customer service and the trade manager feature that lets you talk to the supplier is awesome (pull up google and learn some chinese conversation phrases... really gets their goat!). I really think they have cleaned up their site a good bit from when i originally started shopping and definitely improved it in the last couple of months.

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