Disputes can always arise between suppliers and buyers for many reasons and can be anything from a simple miscommunication to an outright theft or fraud. We encourage all buyers to carry out their own due diligence before entering into a relationship with a third party supplier like you would with any business relationship that you enter.
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of fraud or theft of your goods or money. These include:
- Check that the company is a legitimately registered in their trading country and if possible purchase copies of their trading accounts.
- Write a contract that both parties agree to. Ensure that the contract covers all costs for the transit of the goods from destination to arrival. This is useful in case any party disagrees about a service. It can also be called upon if a legal dispute arrises.
- Where possible, avoid instant cash transfers via companies like Western Union / Moneygram. Always leave a paper trail and make payments direct from your bank or credit card. Online payment providers like PayPal are also useful as they can help with fraudulent transactions.
- Search the internet for reviews or possible blacklisting. If they have done it before you will generally find out online with some simple searching around.
- Check to see if they are members of any trade associations or freight networks and contact them to check their validity.
- Check their trading address to make sure it is not run from a home. Check street maps to see if they have a business premises.
What should I do if I suspect fraud?
If you have exhausted every method to contact the supplier and feel that you are the victim of fraud please contact us first and we will contact the supplier to try to establish communication with you. Unfortunately we are unable to get involved in the detail of the dispute as the contract is between you and the supplier.
We would then advise that you contact the law enforcement agency in that state or country. You could also contact a legal professional in that country to see what rights you have in pursuing the supplier.
Alternatively there are debt recovery agencies that will work on your behalf normally for a percentage of the recovered funds.
Whilst the above list is not definitive we do advise that you carry out your own due diligence before entering into a contract with any third party.