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    1. SEONewbie is offline

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      #1

      How to spot fake resources and web sites?

      I recently bought a batch of “genuine” Gucci handbags from a “top rated” dealer and all of them turned out to be fake! Imagine the loss… worse still I am scared to invest in products online again. In fact, the website that called itself the “best wholesale resource for beginners” is just a scam; all the sellers listed there seem to have shady street addresses in Guam and Guatemala and places I never even heard of before, and I feel bitter about not having discovered it before. I don’t know if I should be closing down my drop shipping business.
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    2. MafiaDave is offline

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      #2
      You are dealing with one of two kinds of scammers. The first are those that put up fraudulent wholesale directories, knowing well that the people who advertise there are not shining examples of business ethics. These website creators only want to make a few fast bucks or they want your email ID.

      The second type of scammer is the one who advertises on this site, offering fake or low-quality products, inflating prices, making false promises, and so on. Sometimes, these drop shippers even sneak into real, bona fide directories using fraudulent tactics. Your first task is to analyze which type of scammer got you. If the directory was not genuine, then look for one that is.

      I use http://www.wholesale.co.uk, which is a paid resource to help resellers find genuine products, and I have never once been scammed by any of the dropshippers listed. I would recommend Wholesale Suppliers & UK Wholesale Products Trade Directory - eSources.co.uk too; this site has a list of verified drop shippers, so you don’t have to worry about doing background searches. However, the internet is a big place and if you want to find more *genuine* resources, here are a few tips:

      1. Customer service: Good websites offer quality customer service. If you have a problem with a supplier listed on a directory, the admin should be able to help. Look at eBay — they have so many checks and balances in place to make sure fraud is minimized; customer feedback is of primary importance, and there is a process of arbitration for disputes.

      When I was new to dropshipping, I would first drop an email to the admin introducing myself and asking questions about the site. The sites that responded promptly were the ones I registered with and I have never regretted it. Some directories go that extra mile for users; I once asked the admin to look up wholesalers of glassware for me because I could not find any and they complied. Fake sources on the other hand, never respond to emails. Try their phone number (most of them don’t list any) and see if anyone picks up at the other end. Street addresses are not really useful unless it is located within your country – you cannot travel to the Bahamas or China or Andorra to verify addresses.

      2. User testimonials: Testimonials are helpful in judging the credentials of an online resource but don’t put too much faith in them. Testimonials are easy to fake, unless it’s a proven and tested site like eBay.

      3. Fees: Most genuine directories charge a one-time registration fee. Free directories are hard to find and they may not be legit – one free directory I registered with was a false website created to get hold of active email IDs, and my inbox was inundated with spam the next day. However, watch out for sites that only want your money; use PayPal for online transactions, or a credit card. If a site offers *only* wire transfer, it could get you into trouble and I could list half a dozen such “problem” sites. And here is a tip — wholesalers do not charge fees to supply products and if they do, they are not genuine.

      4. No agents: Learn to distinguish between a go-between and a wholesaler. A wholesaler supplies products at lower prices than retail value. A go-between puts resellers in touch with wholesalers, and in return they get a commission. This reduces the reseller profit margin. Usually, price is the best indicator of genuineness. If the wholesale price seems suspiciously high, you are probably dealing with an agent. However, some people like the comfort and safety of using this route.

      5. Wholesale directory vs. search engine: Please note, a search engine for wholesale deals is *not* the same as a wholesale directory. A wholesale directory contains verified details of genuine wholesalers. A search engine picks up leads from the internet for the keyword you type in and these leads are not always genuine.

      6. Beware the review sites: These are websites about other wholesale websites. They claim to offer insights into particular wholesale sites and their effectiveness. Most of them are really promoting their own products or affiliates by giving them the top score.

      7. Outrageous claims: They are so rampant that I probably needn’t mention them. “Make $1 million in three days using our latest ABC system” or “genuine drop ship business – find millions of products”. No one makes that much money in three days, and even large wholesalers do not offer millions of products. If someone does offer “millions” of products, in all probability they are agents and not wholesalers.

      8. Blame the directory, not the wholesaler: Many directories are not updated regularly and they do not offer genuine information. Some wholesalers that a directory lists are often not aware that they are on a directory. Some are listed under a wrong product category. Their contact information is rarely updated. You really cannot blame the supplier for this kind of shoddy work.

      9. Avoid affiliate programs: Don’t do business with websites affiliated to this or that supplier — they take a cut from your profit. Don’t become an unwary affiliate by signing up for a free ecommerce website run by a supplier or an agent. Again, you lose profit. And you are in most cases asked to pay a membership fee to join the program so the website is not really free.

      I am not going into the details of how to spot fake products or dishonest suppliers; I think there are other posts on this forum that discuss them.
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    3. SEONewbie is offline

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      #3
      Thank you! I never know these types of websites and directories were fake and I have come across almost all of them.

    4. SEOSuperMom is offline

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      #4
      It’s like SEONewbie says; I read somewhere that the easier the resource is to find on Google, the more likely it is a scam…I don’t know how true this is but I was scammed many times by my Google finds before I got a genuine supplier through a real database. SEONewbie, this is another tip — most genuine wholesalers or list of wholesalers are not to be found online, except for rare exceptions. It helps to go out and search within your city; you might find small stores and businesses that offer quality products at low cost. They will be happy to work with you if they see how it can profit them. Even your local farmer might be offering fresh farm products that can form a great supply line.

    5. MafiaDave is offline

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      If you are keen to build a solid business reputation, starting with people within your city is a less painful method, because you can meet them, assess their products and reliability, and gain customer input. When you have more customers and good feedback, you can go the online route to find more suppliers.

    6. Scooter75 is offline

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      #6
      Are money-back guarantees useful? Should I register for databases or resource lists that offer these guarantees?

    7. MafiaDave is offline

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      A money-back is one indicator of genuineness. The problem is, *how* to get the money back if you are not happy with the database or directory. Suppose the site has listed a fake address, who returns your money? Many sites have rigid terms and conditions before you can get your money back and these conditions are almost impossible to fulfill. Read the fine print.

    8. SEOSuperMom is offline

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      #8
      One could use the old search engine technique to spot a fraud. Type the name of the company, wholesaler, website, database seller, or other resources in the search engine along with the words fraud or scam and see what the results say. This will pull out answers from forums where users discuss any scam related to the site.

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