From: Andrew Minalto – eBay PowerSeller
Registered TWF Seller
CEO of SpicyAuctionTemplates.com Contact Me | FAQ
Hello & Welcome to the Easy Auction Business weekly video newsletter!
Last week I showed you 5 different ideas on how to make money on eBay by selling cheap, every day items with a TWIST!“The Inventor's Mindset” video received a lot of positive comments as well as questions, like: “How do I source products from China without getting scammed?”. Today, I'll show you my very own way of checking suppliers from China to make sure you're getting the real deal.
As this is a huge topic, I'll split it into 2 parts. Today we'll cover 5 different criteria you can apply to instantly avoid scammers. Next week we'll cover additional 5 touchstones and look at how to use them. On top of that I’ll give you a step by step plan on how to get your first order done – SAFELY!
Before we can move on to the key elements you should be aware of when dealing with suppliers from China, I want to clarify some commonly used myths & traps people get into when buying wholesale products from China. Now STOP for a second and THINK! What I'll tell you right now, is VERY IMPORTANT! Take it as Bible and you'll save yourself a lot of time, money and headaches.
1. You can't Buy Branded Electronics
from China! Period!
Do you know why scammers are so successful? Because they can read your mind. OK, maybe not exactly BUT they know what the majority of people are looking for, hence so many scammer websites are filled with the top most wanted items. Chinese scammers know that you want Apple iPhones, Sony Play Stations, xBox video consoles, Nokia mobile phones, Gucci handbags and similar products.
The thing is – you can't buy any of these products from China! Forget about it! The Asian scammers just take the advantage of the fact that these products are INDEED being manufactured in China. They'll tell you that everything these days comes from China, hence they can offer you lowest possible price.
While it's true that most of the stuff these days is manufactured in China & other Asian countries, it doesn't mean YOU can get those products directly from those countries. Companies who have factories in China have very strict contracts; they won't allow a single phone to be sold locally without their acknowledgement. While the manufacturing is taking place locally, distribution is handled in a totally different way.
So forget about buying branded electronics from China! Yes, you can get branded electronics from Hong Kong – but that's a totally different story.
2. You can't Buy Designer Clothing,
Handbags & Shoes from China! Period!
Another commonly used trap – designer clothing, handbags & shoes. What can I say – there's no such a thing. End of the story. You can't buy Gucci handbags from China for $40 a piece. You can't buy Nike sports shoes from China for $30 a pair. You can't buy Lacoste polo shirts from China for $10 a piece. You simply can't, and there's no such a thing!
Ohh, sorry – yes, you can buy all those products, with shiny labels but they’ll all be FAKE! Fake! Fake! Fake! And selling counterfeit goods means – possible legal actions against the seller. I'm sure you wouldn’t want to be jailed or pay a huge fine for embarking on such a venture.
Designer clothing, handbags & shoes can only be sourced from official distributors, wholesalers or directly from the brand’s owner.
3. You Can't By DVD Box Sets from Asia! Period!
There are dozens of websites and hundreds if not thousands of individual sellers on Alibaba and similar sites offering DVD Box Sets dirt cheap. They say – it's an official Asian release, that's why the price tag is so low. Let me tell you this – there's no such a thing as so called “Asian Imports” in the DVD box set market.
Yes, there are DVDs produced only for China but you won't find any English writing on the box, neither and English audio track inside the movie. And they are available only in China, only for the local market. So called “Asian Imports” are counterfeit DVD copies, illegal to buy and sell anywhere in western World.
Just forget about buying DVD Box Sets from China and you'll save yourself a lot of troubles!
10 Ways Of Instantly Spotting Potential Scammers!
Now you know that you can't buy branded electronics, designer clothing, handbags, shoes and DVD Box Sets from China. Sure – there are many more products I could talk about, like Shure microphones, Pioneer DJ earphones etc. – very popular between scammers. Ohh yeah – almost forget – GHD hair straighteners, very popular indeed 🙂 Just forget about these products!
So what can you buy from China? There are thousands of products YOU CAN and YOU SHOULD buy directly from China, avoiding the local wholesale markup. Products you may consider:
Clothing (obviously not the designer ones)
Mobile Phone accessories
Fitness equipment & accessories
Bags, pouches and covers
All those products can be bought from China for a very attractive price. Of course, if you know how to find a legitimate supplier!
I have seen so many scams on the web that for me it usually takes just few seconds to spot the signs of a scam operation. However, there are some pointers which could help you to determine whether the supplier is legit or not. Here goes my easy 10 filter system:
1.Products for sale
Just wanted to remind you – if there are branded electronics, designer clothing, shoes & handbags, DVD Box Sets for sale on the Chinese website, it's a clear scam – stay away!
2. Alexa Rank & Page Rank
I know that there aren't many people who use these two parameters to judge whether a supplier is scam or not but for me it works very well. In fact, I can't remember a single case when this has let me down.
What is Alexa rank? To cut a long story short, it shows how many visitors visit the particular website. The figure shown by Alexa isn’t the number of visitors but the website's place in Alexa's rank, 1 being the Most visited site in the World. So if a website has Alexa rank of 100 000 – it's the 100 000th most visited site in the World.
These numbers ARE NOT very accurate but generally can be used as a good guideline. If Alexa rank is below 1000 000, website is consider to be fairly active. I always use Alexa rank in conjunction with Google Page Rank.
Some websites can have Alexa rank of only 2 or 3 million and still be legit suppliers, though. Especially in tight niche markets where the demand is much lower. That's why you want to look at the Google Page Rank as well. If a website has Alexa rank of 2 million and its Google Page Rank is 3, there's a great chance that it's a totally legit supplier.
What is the Google Page Rank? To put it simply – it shows how many other websites have mentioned the particular website. On the Internet it counts as a link pointed to the website. You can view these links as votes the websites give to each other. The Page Rank varies from 0 to 10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 – highest. So for example, if a website's Page Rank stands at 7 it's very popular in terms of how many other websites link to it. If a website's Page Rank is 0, it basically means there are no links pointing to it.
One thing though – Google doesn't update Page Rank on a daily basis so all new websites will show Page Rank 0. S, it doesn't automatically mean that it's a scam – it may be just a new website, created in the last six months or so.
Why I'm telling you all this? Because in general the scam websites won't have neither high Alexa Rank nor Google Page Rank.
As I said – this is just one of the filters you can use but in many cases, this will be the only one you need.
This is a small one. If you see a popular brand name in the websites domain name, it's almost a guarantee that it's a scam. Scammers widely use domain names containing Brand names to build trust. Domains like Nike666.com or iPhone333.com and similar ones are clear signs that a website is a scam and won't be online for a long time.
Also, try to avoid cheap domains like .info, because they could be used to build a large network of sites to save money on domain registration.
4. Company Information
What kind of company's information can be found on the website? Is there a full address with the company's registration number, phone number and fax number? Sure, this all information may be made up, BUT if the website doesn’t have any information apart from a weird contact e-mail, it's most likely a scam.
The sad fact is that we can't really check Chinese companies’ registration numbers online. There are websites where you can check them, but they are in Chinese, so it's not an option really. However, you could use specialized company that offers such services for a small fee. If you're serious about making a business by importing products from China, I'm sure that $50 is a good investment to check whether a company you want to deal with is officially registered.
If they accept Western Union or Money Gram – it's most likely a scam. But keep in mind that when dealing with suppliers from China, in most cases you won't be able to pay by credit card. This is especially true when dealing with manufacturers directly.
Wire transfer, although totally un-safe, is commonly used payment option. Some companies accept PayPal for regular customers.
If the wire transfer is the only option, make sure that it's on a company's ACCOUNT – not a personal one! This is a commonly admitted mistake that can be easily avoided. Don't believe stories, like: “Our company's account is experiencing some technical problems, here's our boss’s account – bla bla bla!” It's a total bullshit! If you send money via Wire Transfer, send it ONLY to the company's account.
Ok, that's it for today. Next week we'll cover the remaining 5 criteria and I'll show you how to implement them with real life examples and how to place your first order with a supplier from China SAFELY!
Andrew Minalto is founder and CEO of the Web's largest auction templates company SpicyAuctionTemplates.com. Andrew runs successful information publishing business as well as an eBay store and an online retail store.
At the age of just 23 he has achieved a phenomenal success in selling both physical and information products online. Hard work and belief in his dreams enabled him to leave a dusty Dublin warehouse in winter 2006 to go full-time online.
The recently launched EasyAuctionBusiness.com website is dedicated for all people trying to achieve financial freedom or just to make some extra money by selling on eBay.co.uk