I get more and more questions about fake Chinese shopping sites. Is this Chinese shop legitimate or not. After searching the internet I find a lot of fake shops and many based in China. Time for a black list. [Updated October 2014]
Setting up a real online shop is a lot of work. Imagine a legitimate shop needs to create an online catalogue of their products, with images, descriptions etc. Handling the orders, shipping the products and have a customers support. All sites listed at StartBuyingInChina are real legitimate shops. They make mistakes, send wrong or broken products and sometimes their customers support sucks. But they all are real.
Setting up fake shop is pretty simple. Just buy a simple template and steal all your products from other sites. Then, when people buy, you say you shipped the product. If they complain, tell them their product is stuck at their customs. Or just don’t reply.
Too Good to be True.
If you buy online always be aware. If it is too good to be true IT IS too good to be true. Don’t fall for extreme cheap prices. If you only have to pay 20% of the real price, you bet you’ll never get the product.
Let me ask you a question:
Why would an USA company like Nike or Apple sell their products through a Chinese store for a very low price if they have their own very efficient network?
If you find USA, Canadian, UK, Australian products in Chinese stores for a lower price than in your country, it is probably fake or counterfeit, as it is called.
Doesn’t mean these fake products are bad. I always buy my Apple accessoiries in China. It saves me a lot of money! But I would never buy an MacBook from any Chinese shops.
6 Simple tests to check for fake Chinese shopping sites:
- Check the URL. Does it look real?
- Prices are too good to be true
- Products not from China in store
- You can only pay by money transfer
- No real contact information
- No secure payment system (https://)
The guys from Scamfreeinternet did a very good job. They create a blacklist of fraudulent online retailers. Not specially for Chinese shops, all shops are allow. Without copying the whole list, I like to mention the following Chinese shops. If you come across a new shop you do not see listed. Write a note in the comments.
- 99ssx.com (=rm44.com)
- rm44.com (see this blog)
- dhgatebuy.com (DHgate.com is real!)
- chinacheapwholesale.net (cheap is a word you’ll find often in the url)
- chinasprint.com (China is a word you’ll find often in the url)
- chuweixin-trading.com (trading is a word you’ll find often in the url)
- hk-electronic.com (hk = Hong Kong)
- mart-free.com (martofchina.com is real!)
- wholesale-applestore.com (Apple doesn’t have a wholesale store in China!)
- wholesale-watchess.com (wholesale is a word you’ll find often)
And the list goes on!
Just be sure to buy only at real shops. And beware of scam sites. Don’t complain you’ll never got your product if you have read this article and still bought from a fraudulent site. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you are looking for real legitimate shops, start at my Top 40 list, click here.
Please leave a reply in the comments below if you have any question or want to list another fake shop.
Happy and safe shopping!