Safety Tips For Doing Business On B2B Marketplaces


Globalization has strongly increased trade between countries. With the internet, doing business online has become more important than ever. Unfortunately, fraud has also increased.

These tips and advice could save your company thousands of dollars.

1. Confirm Contact details

Always confirm if the address, phone number and email address given to you by your trading partner belongs to the same company. If a trader provides inconsistent contact details, for example an address in the USA and phone number from another country, we recommend you look up the address in the local phone directory and call this number to confirm that the person you are in touch with actually works for the company.

2. Do a company background check

In many countries the existence of a company and its legal status is a matter of public record. If you cannot get access to that information, you can gain further knowledge about your potential partner by ordering a credit report online.

3. Test the seriousness of the buyer or seller

Test the knowledge of the buyer or seller. Ask questions such as country of origin, quality certification, warranty and other technical questions that are specific to your products. If the potential partner is serious, they will be able to answer you quickly.

4. Research the market value

Search what the market price of your product and be suspicious of any deal that is too good to be true.

5. Meet your potential business partner in person

After thoroughly investigating, it is time to meet face to face. Even though internet offers you a wealth of information, it will never replace meeting an individual and making your own assessment about the person and company.

6. Protect yourself when ordering or giving samples

Before purchasing products, you need to request a sample to make sure that it is up to your standards. If you are a seller, make sure to request payment for samples. This especially applies to products with a high resale value.

7. Use Pre-shipment services

If you are a buyer, you can protect yourself against poor quality by ordering a pre-shipment inspection of the products. You can demand the inspection as a condition to payment.

8. Protect Yourself Against advanced Payment Risk

If you are a buyer, sometimes a supplier may ask you for a deposit (usually 30-50%) before he accepts the order. While this is not unusual between long-standing trading partners, if you are doing business with the supplier for the first time, make sure you have done sufficient background checks on the supplier before you agree to the deposit, or ask for a different form of payment, such as a letter of credit which is much safer payment option. Be extremely cautious when the seller asks you to send money to an account with services such as Western Union.

9. Be aware of high risk countries

Be especially careful when you are dealing with regions with high fraud incident such as Eastern Europe and Africa.

Joshua Adekane is an expert in assisting businesses successfully import and export with Latin America. To access to his valuable resources, tips and links, click here Trade Latin America

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