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Top 10 Scams on Alibaba.com in 2021

July 1, 2021 by Andrew Minalto - 378 Comments
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I Got Scammed on Alibaba! – I Hear This in Every Other Email

You won’t believe the amount of emails I used to get that started with this horror sentence! Thankfully it’s getting less and less now, both because Alibaba are much better at spotting and removing scams, and more importantly because people know what to look out for and how to avoid Alibaba scams. 

But still even today, every third email I receive from my blog readers is about Alibaba scams! It is that serious, yes. I already debunked the myth that Alibaba itself is a scam in my Alibaba Scams EXPOSED article but today I want to talk specifically about the most common Alibaba scammer tricks and schemes you can run into when searching for a supplier on Alibaba.com.

Remember, these don’t apply solely to Alibaba but to all popular B2B platforms that involve a large number of wholesale suppliers from China. But as Alibaba is the most popular platform, I will use examples from there. So let’s get started!

The number 1 most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #1 – Sending FAKE branded goods!

This is without a doubt the most popular scam taking place on Alibaba! The saddest thing is that most people who get fake goods from a Chinese supplier don’t even realise it until eBay takes down their listing a while later.

How does this scam work?

Basically the supplier will sell you “branded goods” which are actually just copies of real products. This usually involves products like:

  • Clothing (designer clothing)
  • Footwear (especially Yeezys, Nike products, Timberland)
  • Electronics (mobile phone replicas, specialised electronics like Shure microphones, airpods)
  • Disney character items (bedding sets, mugs, kid’s clothing, toys)
  • Mobile phone cases with Apple, Samsung logos
  • Sports jerseys with team logos (Manchester United, Real Madrid, NBA/NFL teams etc.)
  • Blu-rays, software (Photoshop etc) Fitness training programs (P90X etc.)
  • Cosmetics, fragrances (Max factor, MAC, Dior etc.)
  • And many others!

This can basically be ANY product with a well known Western brand name/logo/registered trademark on it.

How to avoid this scam?

SIMPLE – DO NOT BUY ANY BRANDED GOODS from Alibaba suppliers! Or ANY Chinese supplier for that matter!

What is a branded product? It’s a product with a well known name on it, like:

  • Apple
  • Nike
  • Sony
  • Dsquared
  • Gucci

This also includes ANY kind of band, movie character or kids’ character like:

  • Batman
  • Spiderman
  • Frozen
  • Hulk
  • One Direction
  • U2

All these are also classed as branded goods in the sense that to manufacture such goods, you have to buy a LICENCE from the Intellectual Property (IP) holder and pay royalty fees. Chinese manufacturers selling such products on Alibaba HAVEN’T paid licensing fees and simply use any popular images they can find and put them on these products. These are not genuine, licensed items and you can get into serious trouble selling them online.

While it’s true that most products these days are manufactured in China, it DOESN’T mean that Chinese factories sell them directly to everyone via Alibaba and similar platforms. Far from it! Brand owners monitor the entire manufacturing process very strictly and they do not allow any of their products to be sold outside their own distribution channels.

Genuine branded goods in China are actually more expensive than they are here in the Western world due to the high taxes the Chinese government has put in place (to support local business). So contrary to popular belief, an iPhone actually costs a lot more in China than in the UK or US.

Just to clarify, by China I mean Mainland China and I am not referring to Hong Kong based suppliers here. Yes, in HK you can get genuine branded goods BUT you still have to be extremely careful as there are also many types of Alibaba scams associated with HK based suppliers, which we’ll cover later on in this post.

So if you’re looking for ANY KIND of branded goods, Alibaba is NOT the place to go! You want to look for US, UK or EU based official distributors/wholesalers for such goods, NOT China. If you order such items from Alibaba suppliers in China, it’s a SCAM.

The only exception to this rule is IF the brand itself is a Chinese brand. There are some groups of products where Chinese brands actually lead the market, for example electronic cigarettes. In niches like these, yes, you can get genuine CHINESE BRAND products from Alibaba.

But even then be very careful as guess what? YES! Chinese scammers do also copy even the Chinese brands!! So you always want to get in touch with the brand owner first and ask whether the company you’re dealing with is an authorised re-seller of their goods.

alibaba-scam-2
Second most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #2 – Selling BRANDED goods but delivering nothing!

How does this scam work?

This is a very similar scam operation to the first one we covered but with one major difference; in this case once you send your money to the supplier, you never hear from them again. Yep, that’s right – you receive NOTHING in return for your money.

How to avoid this scam?

By following the same, simple rule – DO NOT buy branded goods from suppliers listed on Alibaba.com or from any supplier based in Mainland China!

Scammers are very smart and are always on the lookout for the newest hot product coming out, so they can build an entire website ‘selling’ that product. Even when the iPhone 12 was not yet released, there were already dozens of Chinese wholesale iPhone 12 websites up and running selling it for $300-$400. Or even better – buy 5 and get one free, plus free shipping! What an amazing deal to miss out on!

On Alibaba itself it is very easy – just stick with the rule of NOT buying branded goods and you have protected yourself from the 2 most common Alibaba scams in China. But what if you have found a website selling branded products? Here are a few simple rules to follow:

1. If it looks too good to be true, it is. iPhones for $300, MacBooks for $600 – these are typical scammer prices. They’re UNREAL! They want people to believe that they have found a superb deal while in reality it’s a very cheap scam.

2. Check the domain name in the WHO IS database. If registration shows China, you know for sure it’s a scammer’s operation.

3. Check payment methods – if credit card or PayPal is not an option AND only Western Union or Money Gram is accepted, it’s a scam.

4. Check shipping methods – if they say shipping is via EMS, it’s a scam! (As EMS is a Chinese courier company).

5. Product variety – very often scammers sell a huge number of unrelated items, all on one website. With experience you can easily spot such scammers by taking a quick look at the product categories offered. If you see products like these selling on one website with too good to be true prices, it’s a 100% definite SCAM:

  • iPhones
  • Pioneer DJ Decks
  • Designer Handbags
  • Yeezy Shoes
  • MacBooks

Usually genuine wholesalers selling designer handbags won’t also deal with iPhones, so this is a clear sign that you have found a scam.

To sum it up – branded goods and China just don’t go together. Just stay away from Alibaba and Chinese suppliers altogether if you’re looking for branded goods as you have an extremely high chance of getting scammed and receiving fake goods (or none at all).

alibaba-scam-3
Third most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #3- Unverified Alibaba profile for a UK or US company!

How does this scam work?

Chinese scammers open a FREE Alibaba profile using the details of a legitimate UK/US/EU based company. They pretend to be that legit company to sell branded goods (any goods for that matter, even unbranded) and basically just take your money and never send you anything. These free accounts are NOT verified so there’s no guarantee that you’re dealing with the company whose name is on that particular profile.

How to avoid this scam?

NEVER deal with FREE/unverified suppliers on Alibaba! Simple!

I have said this many times before, you only want to deal with Gold Suppliers on Alibaba and the more established they are, the better. I personally try to stick with 3rd year + Gold suppliers and if you manage to find a 7th or 8th year supplier then the chances of you being scammed are incredibly small, provided you follow the other rules of course.

This isn’t as common but another trick scammers try is to clone the website of a genuine company, but change the contact details and try to scam people this way. The easiest way to spot these scammers is by doing a Google search for that company’s name as usually the genuine website will show up first and not the scam page.

Secondly, they will usually use Gmail or another free email service. Thirdly, when it comes to paying for goods, they will only accept payment via bank transfer to some weird bank account or the same old Western Union or Money Gram only.

alibaba-scam-4
Fourth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #4 – Sending money to the boss’ bank account

How does this scam work?

When it’s time to make payment for your order, your supplier informs you that there’s a problem with their bank account and asks you to send money to the boss’ account, which is of course a personal account. You may get lucky and receive your order but in most cases they will simply scam you and send nothing.

How to avoid this scam?

This scam can happen even with legit suppliers sometimes when they try to avoid taxes by funnelling money to personal bank accounts. Either way, you DON’T WANT TO DO THIS so simply never send money to a personal account!

And even if there was a slight chance they are still legitimate, if any supplier offered this to me I would instantly stop communicating with them as the likelihood of it being an Alibaba ripoff attempt is just too high.

alibaba-scam-5
Fifth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #5 – Asking for additional payment for customs clearance

How does this scam work?

A few days after you have paid for your order, your supplier will contact you and ask for additional payment to cover customs fees. If you don’t agree to pay, they say that they can’t get the goods out of China. Quite often they may also provide you with fake courier tracking numbers that have fake information about your goods being held in customs.

How to avoid this scam?

There are no such customs fees to pay when exporting goods from China so if you receive an email like this from your supplier, you have already been scammed and can say goodbye to the money you have already paid. Just accept the loss and move on. DO NOT pay anything extra as it won’t make any difference.

Very often these scammers go even further – once you pay that first additional payment, a few days later they will come up with another excuse that requires yet more money from you. They know that you’ve been played twice by them and they’ll try to milk you for everything they can!

As I said, as sad as it is, if you get emails like these, you have already been scammed and there’s nothing you can do about it apart from accept the loss and move on, and just try to learn from what happened.

alibaba-scam-6
Sixth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #6 – Asking for payment via cryptocurrencies

How does this scam work?

This scam is becoming more and more popular recently, coinciding with the rise of Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies into the mainstream. It’s very simple, suppliers will ask you to send payment via crypto to their wallet.

How to avoid this scam?

DO NOT under any circumstances pay your suppliers through ANY cryptocurrency. There’s no way to retrieve your money once it’s sent like this. And in fact you can’t even find out who you sent it to (after all that’s one of the selling points of crytpcurrencies) so it really is an Alibaba scammers dream come true.

alibaba-scam-7
Seventh most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #7 – Refusing to send samples

How does this scam work?

When you contact a supplier to ask for sample availability and they say that they don’t do samples and only deal with bulk orders.

How to avoid this scam?

While this may not be a 100% sure sign it’s a scam, I would personally stay away from any such company that doesn’t offer samples.

Getting a sample is the first thing you want to do when you have found a new supplier – just to test the quality of the product and in general verify that this supplier is the real deal and can provide you with products you’re interested in. If they don’t provide samples, something dodgy is going on and it’s really not worth taking any extra risk in situations like these!

With most legit suppliers, they will happily send you a sample of their product if you cover the shipping fee. If the product is very cheap, they often won’t even charge for the product. If the product is more expensive, they may charge a premium price on the sample + shipping, which is understandable as they don’t want retail customers to simply purchase ONE item from them at the wholesale price.

Either way, a genuine supplier will have no problem sending samples over to you and if they don’t want to, for whatever reason, look for another supplier!

alibaba-scam-8
Eighth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #8 – Only accepting payment via Western Union!

How does this scam work?

When you receive the Proforma Invoice, it says Western Union under payment terms, with information on who to send money to. This is a CLEAR sign that something dodgy is going on!

How to avoid this scam?

Do not send money via Western Union to a Chinese supplier!!! Period.

When you send money via Western Union, you send money to an individual, NOT a company, so you don’t really know where your money is going to end up. It could even be that a sales person working in a legit company is trying to scam you or simply that the supplier is a scam altogether.

Either way, the only payment methods you should be using when dealing with Alibaba suppliers are:

  • PayPal (ideal)
  • Alibaba Escrow
  • Bank transfer (wire transfer) to a company bank account (not a personal one).

The only exception to this rule is when you pay for samples. For samples, if the company looks totally legit to you and you’re not dealing with high risk items, you can use WU, yes, as it’s cheaper and quicker than bank transfer.

alibaba-scam-9
Ninth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #9 – Selling FAKE memory products!

How does this scam work?

A supplier sells storage products (SSDs, USB sticks and similar) for great prices but when you receive them, you find the capacity is actually much smaller than advertised. For example, you buy 64GB USB drives and receive 8GB ones instead.

How to avoid this scam?

You have to be extremely careful when buying memory products from China as this scam is very, very popular. Everyone knows that the more GBs you get in the product, the higher the price is. But not everyone checks the REAL size of these products! Often, with this scam, the first people realise what has happened is when they get negative feedback from their customers on eBay!

To minimise the risk of getting scammed in this way, here are a few rules to follow:

1) Deal only with established, 5 year + Gold Suppliers.
2) Order samples and check the memory size for each product.
3) Make your first order as small as possible, check the size for all products and only if everything is fine, increase your orders gradually.

As for testing the actual capacity/memory size – it’s not enough that you put the card/USB in your computer and see that it shows 64GB. Scammers are smarter than that – they modify the electronic chips within the product so that it shows the inflated/fake memory size when it’s plugged into your computer!

What you need to do is use specialised software to check the actual memory size OR simply attempt to transfer the maximum capacity to see if it fits or not. So for example if you have 64GB USB sticks, transfer a 63GB file to it – and yes, this would take a LOT of time so if you’re serious about buying and reselling such products, I strongly suggest you invest in some decent diagnostics software.

Lastly – the same NO BRANDED GOODS rule still applies here! Don’t buy SanDisk, Sony and similar branded memory products from China, they will all be fakes! You can only buy unbranded memory products or your own brand memory products from China.

alibaba-scam-10
Tenth most common Alibaba scam

Alibaba Scam #10 – Invoice made to a personal bank account

How does this scam work?

Very similar to the boss’ bank account scam – on the proforma invoice you’ll find that the bank account you need to send money to is a personal one and not the company’s account.

How to avoid this scam?

NEVER send money to a personal bank account!

If wire transfer is the only payment method available, make sure that it’s the company’s bank account ONLY and ensure that the company’s details matches what you see on their Alibaba profile.

Sometimes it can be different though – when a manufacturer uses a sister company, registered as a Trading Company, to deal with all export orders. In such cases, you should still be able to verify this information on their Alibaba profile or company website.

Conclusions & Summary about Top 10 Alibaba Scams

Well there you go – The 10 Most Popular Alibaba Scams! There are of course many more, smaller scams going on, but if you learn these 10 and stick with the rules published in this guide, you’ll reduce your chances of getting scammed to an absolute minimum.

A lot of people ask me where they can find a confirmed Alibaba scammer list online, but unfortunately there is no such resource. Think about it – scammers don’t use the same name or website for long – they scam as many people as possible and then move on, so creating a scammer list like this won’t be of any help and it won’t save you from being ripped off by shady Alibaba suppliers.

Here are some final, general guidelines to follow when dealing with suppliers on Alibaba:

1) Do your homework. Follow my Alibaba SCAMS Exposed guide to filter out only the BEST suppliers. Cross check your supplier with all 10 scams listed in this post. Communicate with them, ask as many questions as you need to, order samples first and only when you’re 100% sure that this is the real deal and a genuine company; place your first real order.

2) If it looks too good to be true, it IS! I wish more people would follow this simple rule. Too often people get distracted by these impossibly low prices and the thought of the amazing profit they’ll make clouds their judgement… and the result is they’re easy pickings for the scammers out there.

As a general rule of thumb – you WON’T see miracle low prices on Alibaba unless you’re working with massive buying power (like ordering 10,000 units of the same product). In most cases you’re looking at an ROI of 20%-50% when re-selling these imported items. Sure, there are always exceptions but IF the price offered to you is ten times lower than what that item is selling for on eBay, then that’s a clear sign that something dodgy is going on.

3) If you don’t know what you’re doing, just don’t do it, seriously. I know that we all want to be successful and we all want to make good profits BUT some people forget that it takes some time and education to make the right decisions in business. If you’re totally new to this, don’t rush things by placing orders in your first few days. Take your time and gain some experience, even if it’s just via communication with your suppliers.

4) Any business comes with some sort of risk and importing is not an exception. You can follow all the guides in the world and still get scammed. That’s the sad reality and it’s something you have to accept when doing business of any kind. So please don’t use money that you can’t afford to lose (I’m talking about loans, credit cards etc. here).

5) Make informed decisions. Do not let your emotions rule any decision! I know how tempting it may be sometimes to just go ahead with the order, even if some things don’t quite add up. Don’t do it! Stick with my guides and do not make exceptions on your own! It’s better to let a potentially good deal go, than to be sorry later on when you get scammed.

Alright, that’s it for today! I really hope this post will be valuable for many people starting an importing business. And I really hope it means I won’t get any more emails starting with “I got scammed on Alibaba!”.

As always if you have any questions or want to share your personal experience when dealing with Alibaba suppliers, please leave your thoughts in the comment box below this post.

Good luck with your importing deals!

Stay alert.

Best Regards,
Andrew


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378 Comments
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  1. What a poorly written article…pretty pathetic. I have received some unbelievable deals from China…to say if something seems “too good to be true” then it is a scam is ridiculous. China is legit with quality that can meet or exceed that in the US. Yes, there are a lot of scammers that give them a bad reputation but if you just use some common sense (which is outlined in this poor article) then you will be okay most of the time.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      LOL, isn’t “too good to be true” – a common sense scenario?

      I use this phrase, “too good to be true” to explain how branded item scams work – e.g. Apple iPhone 6 for $200.

      That is a 100% SCAM and falls into “too good to be true” category.

      Andrew

  2. buh,,,will I say,m just lucky,,av been dealing with aliexpress now for the past 2 years,and av not had any course to complain or get scammed.i get all my orders in very good conditions…

  3. Hi Andrew! I’m planning to purchase a big quantity and I’m wondering what is the best payment option? Should I stick with Trade Assurance? If I won’t use that, alibaba escrow or paypal?

    Is being verified the same as on-site check?

    One more thing. I’ve talked to tons of suppliers and 2 of them stopped responding as soon as I asked for a paypal invoice for my sample order. They seemed willing to let me purchase a sample (we’ve been talking about the styles of the samples of the order for quite some time so I don’t think they don’t want to send me samples) so I’m wondering if you’ve encountered something similar to this and if it is a scam.

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jam,

      Yes, you should stick with Trade Assurance if it’s a big order.

      If that’s not available, then PayPal is your 2nd best choice.

      Andrew

      1. Is trade assurance fool-proof?

        And why is paypal better than escrow? Isn’t escrow better because they hold the money until you acknowledge that you’ve received it.

        My only problem with trade assurance is that you have to declare the exact prixe which leads to a big tax..

      2. Andrew Minalto

        Hi Jam,

        Nothing is fool-proof when you’re dealing with Chinese suppliers… I haven’t had any experience with it IF things go really bad, so can’t comment on how effective it is when problems occur. But in general it is safe and suppliers KNOW that when Trade Assurance is involved, they simply MUST follow the rules.

        PayPal is good as IF you fund the transaction with your credit card, IF things go wrong, you can always do a charge back with your credit card company and get your money back.

        Thanks,
        Andrew

    2. I’m sorry I meant I think they’re alright with me purchasing a sample but they haven’t replied ever since

  4. hi Andrew

    thanks for sharing this

    today I made a deal to buy some a product from one of the company in alibaba which has 4 year gold suplier and itrade assurance. i did ask her to show me her photograph in the office with the product and she did send me that.
    and then when i decided to order, she told me that i can order directly from her not via alibaba, because it’s more complicated. but i insist to order from alibaba and i ask her for the form. but then later i change my mind and agree with her sugestion. she made a n ivoice and she still send it to my email in alibaba.

    but then i’ve got suspicious when she gave me the paypal acount number, because it;s not under thename of the company.. ex. her company is heihei.com but her paypal account is under 21323@lala.com
    so i told her i postpone the order. and then icheck the account number in paypal. and it said that this account number has been amember since 2013

    now i’m confuse, should i continued or not

    btw my order only for 134 dollar because before i contact them I already read your article here, and i only order small just for sample first

    could you give advice

    thanks in advance

    best regards

    1. I know this is an old question but what you are stating is very common. We purchase electronics all the time through Alibaba and very few want to use the Alibaba payment system because the money can be tied up for long periods of time.
      I wouldnt advise one way or the other on your ordering like this but I can say every single order we have done has always been through paypal payments (most charge a fee) using email addresses full of numbers. The only time we have ever been denied paypal was on a large order the supplier demanded western union and we refused, after a few days they made a purchase link on Aliexpress to purchase from but all along also refused payments through the Alibaba site itself.

      If the supplier is rated good on Alibaba and the paypal email address is verified we have never had issue.

      1. Andrew Minalto

        Thanks for sharing your experience with us Larry!

        Andrew

    2. Andrew Minalto

      Do they have an Ali Express shop?

      If they do, for such small orders it would be best to place them via Ali Express as then you get secure payment/escrow service.

      Andrew

  5. Dj Pak Assa

    Hi Andrew.

    Thanks for the post, very helpful. And very strange for me because I’ve never bought from alibaba, I’m trying to do it now, but the conversation that I’m having with suppliers are like the one you listed above. I’m looking for Dj gears, pionner, I could find very good deals, but very very good, for ex, pioneer CDJ 2000 nexus is $1000, and Djm 2000 nexus is $760!!! Really!!! The CDJ is more expensive than Djm mixer??? And you buy 5 get 2 free shipping and so on… But before I created an account I read couple of articles on the web about how to deal with alibaba, like supplier profile, I’m just talking with verified gold suppliers, and based in the USA, UK, and Egypt. But the prices are very very differents from eBay or Amazon, or in the pioneer website. Another thing Is the payment method, only money gran and WU, even for supplier based in the U.S., I don’t know if it’s me, but I didn’t find supplier that accept other payment way. Do you think there’s no way to be true, because I’m not getting that much difference from the supplier, only one of the asked me to talk via gmail, let me tell you that I’m really aprehensive, I’m divided although it seems to be scam, there are really very good deal. Now I’m wondering, how could jack ma getting rich with such fake deals in his platform???!!!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      They are ALL 100% SCAMS!!!

      Don’t even think about it!

      For Pioneer products you need to find official distributors in your country and nothing else.

      Andrew

  6. Hi. Sorry I did not read this before I was scammed for $250.00 for 7KG of live Helix Pomiata snails. I am usually very careful, but this time I was so excited about finding a suppler who would sell me a small amount , that I let caution go out the window. I thought dealing with Alibaba was safe seeing has they referred.the supplier.. There is nothing that I could do about it now. Thank God I did not send additional Insurance Money of $1,666.00. Sometimes it pays to have a shoe string business. I tired getting in touch with Alibaba’s complaint department. That became an impossible task. I placed a call to Western Union, notified the police department and FCC, even though I knew they could do nothing see as the supplier was from British Columbia. and the Western Union went to Camroon Africa.. However there cell phone numbers are registered in the United States and I did give that information to Western Union. Hopefully some day this will all stop. I guess it is just wishful thinking on my part. In my last e-mail to the supplier, I let him know that I was aware of what had happened. I told him I forgave him, and now he was in Gods hands.. Thank you

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Roseann,

      Thanks for sharing this with us.

      I really wish I could show this guide and my blog to EVERYONE who starts importing from China but unfortunately it’s out of my reach….

      Andrew

  7. I got scammed with fake customs paperwork. The company literally forged government documents. First the product allegedly got stuck in the Dominican Republic and we paid after the paperwork looked legitimate and a few days later we received another email saying the package was stuck in Mexico, even the Mexican consulate said the paperwork looked like govt paperwork. I refused to pay the fake mexican customs but was still out over 3k. The worst part was it was out of Moldova and no one to report it to. Both my business partner are pretty online savvy and it proves the scams are just getting more elaborate. I would have had better luck buying that puppy on Craigslist from Nigeria

    1. Andrew Minalto

      So bad that you didn’t saw my post before this happened..

      As this is one of the most popular scams and covered in this guide.

      Andrew

  8. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been tampering with the idea of buying goods on Alibaba and reselling them for profit on eBay and Amazon. However, my scam-o-meter is running REALLY high.

    First, I started communicating with a few suppliers (all unverified) and got the creeps, so I walked. Deals were so sweet that I kept looking back, but stuck with the rule: If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

    Second, I started to get smart and narrow my search to verified gold suppliers with trade assurance and onsite checks. That’s when I ran into a company with 7-year Gold Supplier status, A&V check, and solid communication. HOWEVER, once the communication started rolling I noticed some scam potential. For example, I’m looking at a Nvidia Quadro K6000 graphics card (aka – branded item) that sells for ~$2500 on ebay, but only $500/unit on Alibaba with this supplier. Scam-o-meter started dinging! Then, all communication was forced over to Gmail where the company name shifted from what was on Alibaba. DING, DING, DING! Running hot now… then, the kicker, Western Union, T/T or MoneyGram payment.

    I figured I’d better run from this one, but wanted to touch base with you. How is it that a verified 7-year supplier on Alibaba have this good of a deal?? I’m assuming their account was hacked because they primarily sell seeds (corn, cumin, vegetable, etc.), but now list electronics, baby strollers, iPhones, etc. What the hell??

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ron,

      Yes, it usually happens when:

      a) an Alibaba account gets hacked;

      b) someone buys/over-takes Alibaba account/company;

      c) employee plays out their own “game”.

      Anyway, you should know that you can’t get BRANDED goods from Mainland China, so you shouldn’t even think about getting PC graphics cards from there.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  9. thanks for this! Was looking at a pioneer ddj-sz and they have it listed $400 a piece, and if you buy (2) units, the 3rd is free! hahah cheapest pioneer ddj-sz on ebay is going for $1695 a piece. like what they say, if its too good to be true, then it usually isnt.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      It’s a 100% scam Calvin, of course.

      Branded goods + such buy one, get one free deals are very popular amongst scammers.

      Andrew

  10. […] The Top 10 Scams on Alibaba […]

  11. Gian Marco

    Hello Andrew,

    Thanks a lot for all your help, your blog is very useful.
    I have a question for you: we’are about to make an order in alibaba with a firm that match all you points. Now they’ve told us something wrong: the CIF price is cheaper than the FOB price. We asked how could be it possible and they reply this:

    “That’s very common.

    FOB cost is higher is customer’s forwarder usually ask us for very high forwarder cost.
    But if by ship by our forwarder, we only have sea freight, no forwarder cost.

    Hope you can kindly understand.”

    What do you think? We have to worry about it?

    Looking forward t hearing from you.

    Thanks again.

    Best regards.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      That doesn’t really make sense to me – CIF price should be higher than FOB.

      1. I really have nothing to say. Just I would like to deeply thank you for your valuable info that you introduced.

        Sincerely,
        Saleh

      2. Andrew Minalto

        You’re welcome Saleh! 🙂

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