Alibaba Reviews 2021 – Is Alibaba a scam website?
“What is Alibaba.com? Is it safe?” This is a question that is likely to be on anyone’s mind upon first visit to the site. And it’s understandable- as the world’s largest B2B/B2C eCommerce platform, just navigating through the site can be overwhelming. Plus there’s also the fact that most of the sellers on Alibaba come from China- a country which unfortunately has a reputation of being fraud-prone.
How safe is Alibaba?
But NO- Alibaba, as a whole, is absolutely not a scam. It’s immense popularity is a huge evidence of that. The question “Is Alibaba a scam website?” is actually kind of incorrect. Do take note that Alibaba is pretty similar to how eBay works, in the sense that it merely acts as a platform for third-party manufacturers and retailers to sell their wares.
The whole platform is not a scam- but the sellers can be. Here are a few methods to avoid transacting with scammy sellers on Alibaba:
#1. Avoid Free Account Members Like the Plague
As much as possible, don’t do business with free members. Limiting your options to people who have a Gold Supplier status pretty much filters out most of the scammy sellers. The reason for this is that being a Gold Supplier means having to shell out money for the designation (a Gold Supplier status costs thousands of dollars) and having Alibaba physically inspect the factory/store site. Scammers usually wouldn’t go these great lengths just to scam people off their money.
#2. Don’t Buy Anything Branded
No, that Samsung phone you saw might be priced cheaper than what you can get in real-life electronics stores, but there’s a huge chance that it’s also a counterfeit unit. There are no big brands that are naïve enough to sell their products on eCommerce platforms like Alibaba, and if they do, the minimum order would be for hundreds or thousands of units.
#3. Look at the Company’s Profile
If you’ll be buying a lot of products in bulk, make sure that you get as much information as you can about the supplier/manufacturer’s background. You can check if the manufacturer has a Quality Management System (ISO9001) in place for quality assurance along with other certifications and standards that are industry-specific to the product you’re ordering. These information can accessed at the Company Profile page (which may or may not be verified by Alibaba).
#4. Check if the Company Has Long Been in Business
As a rule of thumb, the longer a company has been in business, the more that you can trust it. Illegitimate and scammy sellers are often banned as soon as they are identified.
#5. Make Sure that Payment Options are Traceable
If the seller is asking for payment through Western Union or direct bank transfer, then it’s a huge red flag. These payment methods can’t be traced so the scammer can’t be identified; a more acceptable payment option would be Paypal, since the service allows buyers to immediately reverse transactions.
Note: The rules above are not set in stone- there might be long time scammers on the platform who look like legitimate sellers at first glance. Due diligence is required to avoid getting scammed on Alibaba. If you feel that there’s something “not right” about that seller you’re transacting with, then follow your instincts and stop the transaction immediately.