Have you heard of the alibaba scam?
I’m not talking about the guy who used to roll with 40 thieves, I’m talking about the going’s on over at the alibaba.com website. That said, “Alibaba” does create an image of treasure, most likely acquired at the expense of someone else!
OK how about this one: Have you ever heard the word “denunciation”?
I’d certainly never come across the word denunciation (and I love it) until I started a little digging into the experiences of the “not too happy” alibaba site members.
They’ve been reporting that they had been caught up in what seemed to be an ongoing alibaba scam.
What’s encouraged these alibaba.com scam claims?
Alibaba.com has marketed itself as one of the world’s largest online B2B (business to business) marketplace with access to manufacturers, suppliers, and exporters/importers from all over the globe.
That gives it a VERY wide draw to folks looking to trade internationally. People like:
• A supplier in China who wants to export to USA or UK.
• A UK buyer needs a new supplier for his Ebay business.
• Average Joe looking to make a few hundred quick $$.
• Bricks and mortar businesses attempting to stock supply.
As a user of the website you’re able to find quality wholesale products or trade leads from the alibaba.com “International Trade Site”.
However, the verification process “apparently” leaves a lot to be desired! So I decided to check it out for WFHW readers myself…
I was able to register as a bogus supplier and list my products and prices without much more than verifying my email address.
Therein lies the big issue…the door that alibaba and Yahoo (Yahoo own a big chunk of alibaba.com) have left wide open to abuse that has fueled the alibaba scam reputation.
How do alibaba scams work?
All scams will be different but usually the ones that get reported are following the same pattern – money sent and goods not received.
All contact with the seller is futile. And there seems to be no action being taken by alibaba.com to deal with all the alibaba scam comments being woven into their webpages.
The following are ‘Paraphrased for space’ denunciations that hail from users of alibaba.com:
This is my experience with Samtech llc and Horizone (HongKong) Co.,Ltd
I contact with the sales manager of Samtech, called Sunny Wong or Terry Wong or Jason Wong, all 3 are the same person, and asked him to do a sample order to test some of his products, concretely an iPad and a smartphone.
I wanted to pay by PayPal and he told me he only accepts PayPal for the sample order, then I have to pay by Western Union or Bank Transfer. I received the iPad and the smartphone paid by PayPal and the quality was ok, so I did a big order from 1000 USD and paid by bank transfer.
Upon this point, he has not answered any other mail, has deleted me in msn So, be careful with Sunny, Terry or Jason Wong from SAMTECH LLC or HORIZONE (HongKong) Co.,Ltd. He is a CHEATER a SWINDLER a SCAM and a FRAUD!!!
Do not do business with First Allied Cooperation Co. Ltd
After a long chat with them to guaranteed us that they would send us 50 Quality 8GB flash drives without defect. We completed the purchase through PayPal and received our items 7-10 days later. After running H2TestW tests on the drives we found that they were all with defect.
We reported this to the seller and they offered to refund us $100. We paid almost $500 for the drives. We opened a PayPal claim and are still working to resolve the issue. The flash drives were sent back via FedEx per PayPal’s request and the seller has refused the package.
We are still waiting for the claim to be resolved but in the end the moral of the story is DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH FIRST ALLIED COOPERATION! They will take your money given the chance!
Fuel to the fire is the fact that suppliers can have/purchase a gold status which allows them the following;
• Unlimited product display with first-level Priority Listing
• Exclusive Access to buyers before free members
• Real-time statistical reports to understand your online performance
• Product Showcase makes a powerful, visual impact
• Premium Company Website attracts serious buyers
• Verified company status to increase buyer confidence
• Targeted exposure to tradeshow buyers worldwide
• Promotional opportunities with global big buyers
That kind of makes it a lot harder to distinguish a legit company from a bogus one – don’t you think?
So then… After 30mins of digging for what is being touted as the alibaba scam…I have enough information to make up my own mind.
My Alibaba scam summary
The site alibaba.com is certainly NOT a scam site. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t get scammed by entering into a deal with a vendor there.
There are people looking to take advantage of you everywhere you turn online, it’s an honest truth of the matter.
The unfortunate thing is that the lack of security and verification of suppliers leaves alibaba.com a very unsecured infrastructure. This is hardly what you would expect from an international marketplace.
Firstly the payment methods are the first thing that gets my spider senses going… any online B2B marketplace cannot be taken seriously if they have Western Union as a payment option. There is just NO WAY to track where your money goes!
Alibaba surely has some reputable companies on there, BUT, with it not being able to verify who you are buying from, coupled with far too many horror stories about being ripped off at alibaba, I would say there are far better and safer ways to make money working from home these days.
So to answer the question: Is alibaba a scam, NO alibaba is not a scam site.
BUT there are people on there who WILL try to scam you, so you should definitely be aware. I’d say be VERY careful.
Tony – WFHW