Unfortunately, we live in a world that is not perfect, and it means that sometimes we may face some negative situations when dealing with suppliers. Certain cases include a simple lack of communication while shipping the wrong product or invoicing additional charges that have not been pre-determined. However, you may also happen to have an unfortunate contact with untrusted suppliers who do not even intend to deliver the product at all after taking the money. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to determine if the provider is authentic and trustworthy.
1. Do a research on the contact details of the supplier
Almost every wholesaler has its own website, and even if not, they have probably provided a phone number and a mailing address on the wholesale platform. So the first thing you can do is to check the authenticity of the provider by searching for its data in the Internet search engine (e.g. Google). You can also check if the company’s headquarters exists in reality. To do this, just type the wholesaler’s postal address in Google Maps.
2. “It’s too good to be true”
Many wholesalers offer products for sale at very attractive prices that may sometimes reach even below 40% of the wholesale price. Unfortunately, such offers are “too good to be true” and it is best to let go of a purchase in a given situation. Most producers (especially of branded products) will not offer such a low price to suppliers, because it would not even cover the production costs of the product being sold. Of course, this only applies to new products. Some people become suspicious whenever they see the words “new” and “original” with prices below 40% of the product’s retail price.
3. Check the buyers’ opinions about the seller
Wholesale trading platforms usually offer a system that allows you to share your opinion on a given company or user. For your own safety, before you decide to deal with a company, it is recommended to review the comments about it left by other users. If there are many positive comments, we can almost be sure that we will not be deceived. However, when negative reviews prevail, it’s worth looking for a different offer.
4. Use a trusted intermediary
Trade related formalities are not the most pleasant ones. To improve it in the long run and avoid unpleasantries (such as situations when someone has not sent the goods at all, or when the products do not match the description in the offer, etc.), it is good to use the intermediary services in form of a trading platform. It is also worth paying more for additional shipping insurance.
5. Order the product’s sample, but…
The vast majority of suppliers are prepared to send a sample or a small batch of the product on request before the buyer submitts the final order in large quantity. It is strongly recommended to order a sample in each case. Thanks to this, we will determine not only that the product is consistent with the description, but also how it is packed and how quickly it can be delivered. Unfortunately, some scammers can be generous and send us a sample of their product, sometimes for free or at an increased unit price. The sample can even be a new Smartphone, whose purpose is to convince us that the supplier has got an entire stock of such goods. To avoid falling victim to a fraudster, simply do not buy brand electronics, or increase the size of your orders gradually, instead of switching from a single order for € 50 to a larger one for € 500.
6. Use PayPal
Pay with PayPal is the best solution when it comes to buying and selling products online. It’s easy, fast and secure, provided you use it the right way. For a higher level of security, give an exact description of the item you want to buy and its invoice status so that the supplier does not escape liability in the case of non-compliant products.
7. Keep documented conversations with the supplier
After you choose the product and its quantity, and verify the wholesaler’s data, you will most likely get in touch with the supplier. There is a chance that you will be able to finalize the transaction by phone. However, it is important that all details are also described via email and sent to the supplier as confirmation. Make sure that you and the supplier have a written copy of exactly what you order, along with the agreed price, terms of sale and any delivery details. In case of any problems with the execution of the order, you have the entire transaction in “black and white”.
8. Collection in person
If there is such an option, go ahead and pick up the products yourself at the place designated by the wholesaler. This point is directed to people who are looking for offers relatively close to the place of residence or the area where they often go to. In case of any doubts you can visit the warehouse. Then the risk of dealing with a fraud significantly decreases. If the product you are looking for is far away, remember about your friends or family that live in that region. They might also help you make the right decision.
9. You are not defenseless
In case of problems with the ordered goods (e.g. the products have not been delivered or they do not agree with the previous description, etc.), try to contact the wholesaler and solve the problem. Remember that some offers contain products in the state of so-called “retourware” (i.e. these are return goods from customers) and we have no influence on their condition. However, in case of an unambiguous fraud on either side, you can report the incident to the police.
In this situation, all information about the transaction should be reported to your local police station. Wholesale trading platforms are usually willing to cooperate with law enforcement and anti-fraud authorities, so when they are required, they will gladly provide them with the necessary data about the user.
10. Think it over and trust yourself
Have you completed all the previous steps yet you are still not sure about the reliability of the wholesaler? Just say “NO!” No matter how many attempts you have made to prove yourself that the supplier is honest, you still feel discomfort associated with the transaction? Trust yourself and let it go. It’s normal and excusable. Remember that the wholesale market does not end with a single offer. You still have access to hundreds of wholesalers who guarantee you a successful and trouble-free order fulfillment.
These are just a few steps that we advise. Please remember that there is no such thing as a perfect analysis, but only longer one. The basic understanding is not always enough. You have to remember that as long as your money is involved, you must do everything in your power to make sure that you are safe.