While most potential trading partners are legitimate businesses operated by business-people with a high level of integrity, this is not always the case. There are always individuals who seek to enrich themselves by engaging in scams and other illegal activities. As with all business dealings we urge you to use a little common sense and to perform some basic due diligence prior to engaging in any transaction with a prospective new partner. This basic due diligence can often be performed by you, and could save you a lot of unnecessary headaches! You might also consider engaging the services of a reputable credit agency to help perform some of these checks for you.
In most countries companies are legal entities that must be incorporated and registered at the state/provincial or national level - Records of this registration are then usually made part of the public record, which can be accessed freely by anyone. You should check with the local registering authority in the company’s home state/province to make sure that they exist.
In some instances the registering state/province or country may issue a “certificate to conduct business” or a “certificate of good standing” which is usually revoked when a business fails to meet certain local requirements. You should ask for a copy of this documentation prior to engaging in any transaction. You should also ask for, and make contact with, banking and trade references as part of your inquiry.
You should call the company by telephone to verify that the number given in their profile establishes proper contact with them - make sure that the company’s telephone country code and area code are consistent with the physical address given in the company’s profile [be especially wary of a physical address in one country with a telephone number in another].
After establishing that the company exists and that you are in contact with one of their offices, you should establish that the person you propose dealing with actually works for the company and is authorized to conduct business on behalf of the company. Call the company and obtain this information. You might also have the company fax you a letter of introduction on their company letterhead.
Just because you’ve established that a person works for the company and has authority to conduct business, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re actually dealing with that person in your communications. You need to make sure that you are dealing with the person that you think you are. Try to talk to them by phone at the business telephone number advertised in their profile, and be especially wary of forged email messages which may falsely try to convince you that they were sent from the person you think you’re dealing with.
As a buyer you should ensure that the product / service that you are looking into, meets with your expectations. All buyers should ask for trade references and make sure that other buyers have been happy with the level and quality of service. Buyers of goods (products) should order a sample, and, in most cases, expect to pay a nominal charge for it. If the quality of the sample is satisfactory and a transaction is contemplated, there are various ways to ensure the consistency of quality for larger shipments through the use of an “inspection service” at the port of departure. Payment for such a transaction can, in some cases, be made contingent upon an agreement with respect to the quality of the goods (products).
As the buyer protect your payment to the seller. For all but the smallest transactions (such as for samples under $100.00 etc.), NEVER pay with cash, check (cheque) or T/T (Telegraphic Transfer, or “Wire”, including other forms of funds transfer such as "Western Union" which cannot be recovered in the event of fraud). Use a Letter of Credit (an L/C) [also known as a "Documentary Credit"] or use a reputable Escrow service such as Escrow.com to mediate the transaction. Continue this practice until you are completely comfortable with your new trading partner.
As a seller ensure you get paid by the buyer. For initial transactions, avoid selling on terms (open-account). Ask your buyer to issue a Letter of Credit (L/C) [also known as a "Documentary Credit"] or insist on using a reputable Escrow Service such as Escrow.com to mediate the transaction. Be especially wary of a buyer who "insists" on paying for goods by credit card - often scammers use stolen cards and you will be charged back on the transaction - sometimes this may occur months after you have sent your goods. The same holds true for buyers who attempt to pay by check (cheque) - if a new buyer insists on paying by check (cheque), wait until it clears the bank. It is reasonable to ask for advanced payment for samples - this is often a good test to see how serious your prospective buyer is - a buyer who is willing to pay for samples shows a higher level of commitment than one who is unwilling to pay for them.
At fuzing.com we take pride in our own good name and take a very dim view of those who use our site to perpetrate scams and other illegal activities. If you become aware of any company or individual who engages in this kind of activity through Fuzing.com, we encourage you to contact us immediately, and to contact local law enforcement officials.
Be extremely cautious when asked by anyone for personal information or for your Fuzing.com user name or password - OUR STAFF WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR THIS KIND OF INFORMATION - you should report this kind of activity to us immediately.
Be extremely wary of potential trading partners who are "anxious to close a deal quickly" [perhaps because they "claim" to have a time constraint] - Prudent partners exercise patience and caution.
If a particular transaction seems “too good to be true”, it probably is!
Be wary of any trading partner that wants to start out with a “Large” transaction.
Sellers should look out for buyers who are simply looking for FREE samples.
Beware of common scams: Be wary of contact and shipping addresses in countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Romania, along with several other African and former Eastern-Block countries. These countries are renowned for high levels of ecommerce and trade fraud, so be especially careful when dealing with parties from these countries. Elaborate new scams seem to surface every day. It is important to remain vigilant. For more information on common scams, please visit scambusters.org
To ask questions or comment about these tips, please send us a message by visiting Our Contact Page