Buyers helping buyers! the backbone of CSIC

As a start up company of less than 1 year, we at the China Sourcing Information Center have tried countless ideas to try and get our knowledge and information out to the sourcing community.  While certainly networking on the internet has helped us reach many new buyers, one method always seems to work the best- our visibility at trade shows.  Whether it is because we’re at the front lines of China sourcing (Shenzhen), years of sourcing experience (100+ years shared amongst our sponsors), or perhaps most importantly- buyers are able to put a face with a name at the trade shows.  Meeting CSIC speakers at Global Sources’ trade shows (presenting the New Buyers’ Conferences) helps build trust-something I think all buyers would love to have!

I know that personally I enjoy my time talking to buyers at these trade shows.  Especially with the new buyers, it helps knowing that we’ve been able to potentially help start a person’s business (or keep it from bankruptcy) by sharing our knowledge.  While we certainly always try to show appreciation for our suppliers by mentioning them to our booth visitors, most buyers are amazed that we are truly trying to help the sourcing community and that we offering all kinds of free sourcing information! (most buyers are used to being constantly stopped with “hello, would you like to see our products” etc. etc).  We just need a little bit of time to explain our organization.  Once buyers know what we’re trying to accomplish, most are very appreciative and many are quick to sign up for our free monthly e-magazine the “China Sourcer”

Our message is clear and simple- We’re a group of buyers trying to help buyers (especially new buyers) source more effectively from China.  Which brings me to the ‘meat’ of this post-

I had the opportunity to meet a very nice (and VERY SMART) lady, a buyer from Kenya at our trade show booth at the Global Sources’ Electronics Product show this past week in Hong Kong who brought a fraudulent company to my attention (per her request- personal information is being withheld).  She sent us the following e-mail- {Her e-mail below-edited for the buyer’s confidentiality}

Thank you for the knowledge you have shared in last two days.We are a small company from Kenya and we are trying to source for electronic GSm home alarm systems. We found a very good website www.hkvstar.com we have been communicating with and we almost sent them money for sample then we decided one of us should attend China Sourcing fair. After attending the seminar presentations I have realized the company is FAKE they have used copy and paste to develop their website .e.g check http//hkvstar.com/component/content/article/39-success-stories/73-shopping-mall.html copied from

http://cn.hkvstar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=73:shopping-mall&catid=39:success-stories

and then edited to look real. Help me blow the whistle so that unsuspecting buyers dont get conned their money.  Thank you for the good work you are doing would love to get video from tuesdays presentation.

NOTES about the e-mail-

1. The site listed above (www.hkvstar.com) could not be opened here in Shenzhen, so CSIC could not do a 100% verification of the site or its content

2. Videos from our April conferences will be posted soon!

Unfortunately, we often hear of many buyers falling into the trap of sending money to a company based SOLELY on the look of a website.  You wouldn’t do this back home, DON’T do it here!  Plane tickets cost less than a lost deposit.

AND

Kudos to this buyer for being suspicious of this, buying the plane ticket, and coming to the trade shows (Global Sources’ or others), to verify the existence of this company!

It takes some convincing to change the opinions of some of the buyers we talk to at the shows.  Some come to continue their sourcing, others to try and find that pot of gold.  There are even those just coming to ‘test the China waters’ to see if they can get a product to sell back home.  But many share the same thinking- I’ll just place an order, MAYBE do some QC (quality control) and then move on.  Why come to China if you’re not willing to do the same things you’d do back home?  More than 1 buyer I met at the last trade show complained about the prices and Minimum Order Quantities BOTH rising.  So costs of doing business in China are higher.  There is no reason to not protect yourself with some QC and some proper Due Diligence!

Again it simply is just very important to protect you and your business interests in China.  I’m glad to share this e-mail to our Buyer community. Please note that this is just one example, but even more importantly, don’t keep information like this to yourself!  Remember there are buyers out there that you can help, and that can help you!  Thanks again to our concerned buyer and to all of those that help improve our Buyer’s support network!!

D. Bruns- Executive Director CSIC

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