Archive for the ‘Crooky deals’ Category

Everybody has most probably had a good laugh at the scam letters coming out of Nigeria, promising millions of dollars in case you’d provide the writer assistance in retrieving the treasures of a lost or dead relative.

Similar scam(s) operate(s) in China but….. is/are more sophisticated in a way that it tries to suck only a couple of thousand of dollars or euros from you.


How does it go:

It starts like a legitimate business deal where a potential Chinese buyer is interested to buy your goods.

The following scenario(s) will unfold and should raise the alarmbells:

– A potential order that is much larger than any other order you’ve ever received. Because of the size of the order you’re requested to fly to China to negotiate the deal. Most often the contract negotation will take place in a small town or city far from Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou’s bright lights. You’ll be wined and dined. Maybe you’ll even get the honor of a ‘police’ car with blaring sirens opening the road for you from the airport or train station to the hotel.

You’ll be meeting a wide range of so-called officials who are  either assisting the buying party or will be the end user of your products but…… to get them to pay contract value, a small  money will first have to be paid by your company to the Chinese party…. basically to grease the deal. they might press you to make this payment (e.g. USD5000 – 10,000) while still in China…… Guess what: once this payment is made & you’ve been promised that the L/C or the contractual down payment will reach your company’s bank account on your return home, you’ll never hear from them again.

For those buying parties who’re not really interested in wasting time wining and dining you, will try to do the following:

– they’ll ask you to pay notary fees for making the contract official. Cost price in the range of USD 3000-5000. It goes without saying that once this money is paid all parties won’t any longer be reachable. They’ll maybe try to make the contract look legit with Tax numbers & Chamber of Commerce numbers. Which in China don’t really exist.

Another way to get your blood boiling is by offering you goods through eBay that are attractively priced.

Those can be laptop computers, Carbon Fiber racing bikes, Antique Chinese furniture, etc……. To make it look serious you’ll often have to buy 5 to 10 sets in one go.

Once the payment is made and the box of “goods” arrive at your doorsteps there’s a chance that the laptop computer is from the ninetees, the bikes, rusted Flying Pigeon bicycles and the Antique furniture….. a used IKEA cabinet.

Even worse : E.g. you order a container of garlic, peanuts or …. but you don’t make the effort to check at the shipping end what really goes in the container. You think you’re safe ’cause you made  a 30% down payment & will pay the rest upon arrival of the shipment. ……Surprise….. when you check the goods at destination you’ll find a container full of rotten apples and pears. Often this type of shipment occurs from smaller harbours where it’s easier to forge shipping documents, etc…

On several occasions have we been asked to go after those “bad” guys. Unfortunately the cost to follow up will often be a multiple of the money lost…….. because it’ll take so much time and effort to identify those parties involved.

Please don’t be naive & do your home work. Don’t jump on any opportunity that seems to be too good to be true. We can only urge anyone who wants to sell or buy goods in China to make sure you’re dealing with an honest party who’s really interested in buying your goods or selling a quality product.

Meanwhile enjoy your time doing business in China because there are real opportunities! Just watch out for the bad guys.

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