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How to check a supplier in China

Published: 22 Mar 2009 21:54:30 PST

The tips below are written by Alibaba members and do not represent Alibaba's views on this topic. Buyers who want to import from China can refer to these member's tips when dealing with suppliers from China.

1. Check their contact information

In order to avoid being traced by law enforcement authorities, most scammers will not offer genuine registration information online. They will provide a false company address, telephone number and fax number or persuade buyers to contact them by mobile phone only. Check their company registration information by search engine to see if it is a real company.

2. Check their company registration number

Legal companies in China have to register with the Chinese government authorities and obtain a unique company registration number. If your business partner cannot offer you a unique company registration number, it is risky to deal with them. To check the registration number your supplier provided, you need to visit their local administrative government website with the number they provided. However, you should be aware that most government websites in China are in written Chinese. You can also contact their local Bureau of Industry&Commerce, which is the only government organisation responsible for the registration of legitimate companies or enterprises in China. You can ask friends in China to help you verify this company. You can also use a third-party authentication service company in China to help you verify information.

3. Incredibly low prices

Most Chinese scammers will lure buyers with very low prices. If the prices they offer are too good to be true, you should investigate why their prices are so low. Most scammers in China make a profit by selling replicas or fakes of branded goods to overseas buyers. This is very risky because the goods will be confiscated or detained by Chinese customs if they are considered illegal in China.

4. Payment and shipment terms

The scammers never accept L/C as a term of payment. They prefer Western Union, and T/T etc. They also never deliver goods through formal channels; preferring instead to deliver samples Express by Fedex, TNT, EMS to avoid examinations from Chinese customs.

5. Warranty and after sale services

Scammers never guarantee their quality and after-sales services after your payment. However, they may promise you a lot before payment.

Additionally, manufacturers don't have the right to sell or buy unless they have obtained a legitimate unique company number from their local BIC in China. In China, all enterprises with the right to import and export have to apply and obtain a certificate called the "Certificate of Import&Export" from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. This certificate may also be authorized by local organisations in China after a company's registration at their local BIC. A formal trade company has to register with the Chinese Customs House and its branches before formally trading with foreign counterparts in China. They also have to register themselves with their local Bureau of Inspection&Quarantine in case their products are in need of quality control. Without the registration from the above local government authorities, no company can deal with you through formal channels in China. Contact me for details if you need information about verification and other business services in China.

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