Easy ways to avoid scams and verify potential suppliers in China

Sadly, most visitors to our site don’t find us until after they have encountered problems with their suppliers. If you have already lost money and need help recovering it, read this page for help.

But in today’s blog post, we want to offer a list of the most common complaints and explain how to stay out of trouble.  Congratulations if you are reading this article before you send money to a supplier!  We hope it helps.


Typical Case Type 1:  Scams

“I sent money to a seller that doesn’t exist” or “they disappeared with my money”.


Typical Case Type 2: Bad Suppliers

“I sent money to a real supplier but that supplier didn’t deliver on their promises to ship the agreed product at the agreed quality and lead time. So I want my money back.”


Luckily, both types of cases can be easily avoided by following 4 simple and affordable guidelines.

Tip #1: Only deal with legitimate sellers.

How to know if the seller is a real business and not a scam?

Free tools:

  • Do a search on
  • Ask for references and follow up on those references.

Affordable tools:

  • The Corporate Assessment (CA) report provided by (for example) provides viability into the stability, assets & reputation of a target company. Visit hereto review a sample CA report.
  • Their Red Flag Assessment (RFA) looks at the Risk, Scams & Fraud exposure on a given transaction/deal when buying from a Chinese company.  Visit here to review a sample RFA report.


Tip #2:  Use a bilingual contract or purchase order (PO).

If a seller refuses to use such documentation, run away. It’s just too dangerous for you. Professional suppliers will warmly welcome a written contract or PO.


Tip #3: The name on the bank account, business license and contract should all be the same.

If they are not the same, then the seller can easily break the agreement without much buyer recourse.   Here is a great video that explains why in detail.


Bad Suppliers causing Chest Pain and Heart Burn
You will feel chest pains when you realize you sent the money to a private account.


Tip #4:  Don’t release final payment until 3rd party QC has been completed!

Quality complaints make up a large percentage of the listings at Supplier Blacklist. We don’t offer inspection services, but they are very important and you can find reputable agents at

When you follow tip #2, don’t forget to state that the seller should pay the costs of the inspection (& re-inspections!) if the product fails pre-shipment inspection.


Bonus Tip:  Be VERY CAREFUL if you are thinking about buying the following types of products as there are a lot of scam artists and bad suppliers in these industries:

  • Used machinery. Especially construction equipment.
  • Raw minerals and chemicals.
  • Famous brands. Especially clothing and electronics.
  • Vehicles
  • SD cards & USB drives
  • Office Paper/ Toner

5 comments on “Easy ways to avoid scams and verify potential suppliers in China

  1. very helpful , just know SBL recently, for example, i knew OTHER COMPANY NAME REMOVED from the trade fair, i visit their office in shenzhen, but their factory is in another place with different company name, they said they are the branch company from the factory, i suspected but i was attracted by the sales professional skills, trial order quakity was good, then have many serious problems from the chip and batteries, i called the manger and boss, they said it’s the sales person’s personal action , the sale had left company. i contacted the sales person personaly, she said sale person only do well on communication and details to customer, the manager/boss control the chip/battery core parts, the sales did not know what exactly the manager/boss did on the quality to squess basic cost, if problems complaints occured, the manager/boss let sales to solve and take responsibilty and cut salary from the sales. the boss only want the profit cut quality and ignore sales’ hard working, very scam and scum of the boss manager of OTHER COMPANY NAME REMOVED . we need to choose good reliable suppliers

  2. Hello, I really hope someone will see my comment and help me out.
    I am having trouble with using this platform. Even though I am able to login the home page and access my account, whenever I try searching a supplier on the black list (by accessing the link “search page” from the tab “Blacklist”), a new tab opens with the login request. I enter my credentials again, and without any explanation, the login page reloads again. And again, and again. I simply cannot get to the search page and check some suppliers out. What should I do?

    1. sorry to learn you are having an issue. I just tested the system, checked w some other users, and it appears to be working fine. But we may be using different browsers or settings. So that i can help you solve the issue: 1. Kindly clear your cache then try again. 2. If that doesn’t work, please set up a new user by linking a new email. 3. If that doesn’t work or if you don’t have an extra email, let me know and I’ll get a more experienced volunteer to look deeper into things for you. I am sorry for this trouble and thanks for your feedback.

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