Chinese Supplier got my Deposit, now Ignores me. What to do?

Supplier didn’t ship the order and kept our deposit. What to do?

Rajvansh in Dubai asks:

We have placed an order to a Chinese supplier for Paper Bags. The supplier is located near Qingdao.

We have made the advance payment to them as per the agreed terms. We even paid the balance for the first shipment they sent us. But, they had forged the documents and shipped less quantity.

To explain in brief – we placed an order worth about USD34,000. We paid the 20% advance of around USD6,800.

Then when they made the first shipment, we paid them around USD16,000. (But, they had shipped much less goods and we shouldn’t have paid this amount). They have in total USD22,000 from us and now they are demanding us to pay the balance USD12,000 to finish the production.

I visited their factory in first week of April 2015 to check the goods, as they had promised that they will finish the production of goods by March 30. But, they had not finished the goods and demand us to pay the balance.

What’s the guarantee that we will get our goods if we pay the balance. We don’t trust the supplier and would like to recover our money.


I paid for it. But they didn't ship it!  Guess what..your order is not on this boat...

“I paid for it. But they didn’t ship it!” Guess what..your order is not on this boat…

Thanks for contacting me. I have a couple of options for you.

If you wish to get the order shipped with this supplier, but reduce your risk, you could consider linking the supplier’s performance to you payment. For example, pay the supplier AFTER the goods have been inspected (by a 3rd party) but BEFORE the goods ship out of China.  This inspection could take place at the factory if a random inspection is sufficient, or 100% inspection could take place at a 3rd party (like my warehouse in China for example) if you wanted a very close inspection.  It would also be wise if you had a team representing you on the ground in China to help mediate and explain to the Chinese supplier how the above solutions benefits both parties.

If you have already given up on the supplier due to their poor performance, then here are two ideas:

List them at and expose them to the world and help other buyers avoid this bad supplier.

Consider issuing a demand letter from a Chinese lawyer to show them you are series about getting your money back as they messed up the order and caused you substantial financial loss.  I’m happy to recommend the lawyers at as they did a good job for me and I joined their board of directors.


Glad to help.

Question answered by Mike Bellamy

Founder of the PassageMaker Group of companies & business lecturer at the China Sourcing Academy


  1. Mike on December 30, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for reading my blog. You may want to check out I’m on the board of advisors at AsiaBridge and happy to let you know they have helped buyers like you recover funds from bad suppliers. Speaking of bad suppliers, you may want to expose the factory by making a listing at

    Glad to help,

  2. Fiona Chong on December 28, 2018 at 1:27 am

    I gave cash deposits USD 10000. But supplier did not send me cargo.
    Ignore my calls now.
    He signed and acknowledged he received my deposits on the PO.
    Can I get back my money?
    What’s the chance for recovering my money back and what’s your charges like?
    Please help

  3. Mike on November 22, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Sorry to hear you had problems in China. Check out the FAQ section at as the issued you have raised are covered in detail.

    Glad to help.

  4. alhilli on November 21, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I went to China at the end September and stayed two weeks. I agreed to make a deal with the company. I have always dealt with them in the past and before travelled to China I transferred 3000 pounds sterling to the account manager of the company in Shenzhen and before leaving China I gave him all his dues and the total amount was delivered by 40465 RMB in the hope of sending my shipment to London by sea within a week. After I left Shenzhen on 6 October. The shipment was not yet sent and the amount of money i have transferred hasn’t been used. Every week the company promises and fails to report back to me. Therefore I do not know how to act now I need my money back at least.
    Please help me and advise me on the solution. I have a set of audio and chat written conversations.
    If I went to Shenzhen what are the parties that would support me and recover my entitlements?
    And how do I sue this company and hold them responsible for delaying shipments.
    What is the legal nature of the return of money or legal documentation for not evading?

    I appreciate your help


  5. Mike on May 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm can help you with loss recovery. Minimum fees are around 500- 1000 USD if i remember correctly.

  6. Deepak pawar on May 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I have visited China in August and I have meet 1 vendor to make watch in my brand name then came back to India and after 2 month I have deposited payment of 15000 rmb for stock of 60000 rmb advance payment done 15000 rmb so now the party is switch off his mobile so I could not connect him. Actually 1 party introduce us to that vendor v called to this vendor that your friend is done cheated us so please help me v requested but that vendor is not responding good to us so please help me out from this solution thank you waiting for your reply

Leave a Comment