I do not buy online from China, it’s too dangerous!

You probably have heard people saying this too….

Over the years I have heard many excuses why somebody should not buy online.

And when it comes to Chinese stores the list of excuses grows.

And sure, there are dangers when you buy online. I can understand why. If you do not know what the dangers of online shopping are, you will stop acting. But if you do know…. You can act upon it!

It’s like crossing the street. You know there is the possible danger of a coming car that can hit you. But you want to cross that street anyway. That’s why you wait and watch carefully before you cross the street. Remember Frogger from the old days?

9 Fears and Dangers for Buying Online in China

Today I like to list 9 common dangers and fears when it comes to online buying in China

  1. They will abuse my credit card …

This danger occur when you use your credit card on a non-secured webpage. Before you give any personal or confidential information be sure you are on a secured webpage. These pages start with https:// Note the ‘s’ after http. It’s the ‘s’ of secured.

  1. The shop might be fake?

This question is the main reason I started my web blog StartBuyingInChina dot com. To filter out fake sites from real sites. At StartBuyingInChina I’ve listed more than 100 legitimate Chinese shops. Check it out.

  1. You can get scammed if you buy online!

Yes you can! This absolutely true. You can be hit by a car too when you cross the street. But does that stop you walking outside?

This is why you must always do your own research.

  1. There is no one to talk to…

More and more online stores understand this. A lot of (Chinese) stores have a chat service, sometimes even 24/7. Make use of it! You will get a much better online shopping experience.

  1. How do I know that the products are real and genuine?

This question seems to be difficult. But is not. Check this blog.

  1. The seller will send me fake product…

I’ve heard the stories too. People who thought to buy a real good product and got a cheap clone. But do you know what they exactly ordered? Do you know where the ordered it? Did they do their own research?

  1. It is impossible to get a refund when the product is broken or badly made…

Most legal shops have a refund policy. And this policy is explained in their terms and conditions. Mostly found at the bottom of the webpage. Read it before you order your products.

Besides PayPal and credit cards have the option to reimburse your money within 45 days if something went wrong with your order.

  1. I cannot send the products back when I don’t want the products

Most legitimate shops do have a return policy. The same with the refund policy. Check the terms and conditions.

Be carefull. These shipping costs for sending the products back can be very high compared to what you have paid to get it.

  1. I don’t know the real costs. I might need to pay again for the same products…

The main problem with not knowing the prices is that your customs can calculate money for duty, sales taxes and declaration. Try to divide you order in multiple smaller packages.

With this I have come to the end of the list with 9 fears and dangers of buying online in China.

What is holding you back to buy products from China. Pls answer the following question in the comment box below:

What is your biggest fear that can happen when you buy online in China?

Wishing you safe purchases!


(This blog is an update and repost. The original was previously posted over a year ago. The post is based on an extract from the Safe Buying in China Secrets eCourse)

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Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    22 replies to "Fears and Dangers for Buying Online in China"

    • Sameyo

      I like buying from Sammydress but my fear is “How real and genuine are their products and the shipping cost to Nigeria is very high on most products thereby making the products as expensive as getting it in my country” If more can be done to streamline that the quality is real and genuine which worth the price and shipping cost is reduced, it will be a greater ideal shopping from china site.
      Thanks guy for your goodwork, you are really saving some ass out of hurdles.

    • amos

      one of my biggest fear is to unknowingly buy and receive an inferior product. probably because of manipulated reviews or pictures. nobody would want to buy an inferior item with his hard earned money.

    • Wach

      I have been buying smartphones from China, and they have arrived well, but with some hurdles:
      1. Difficult to know how much customs will charge. Unlike buying from the US, Chinese sellers do not include copy of invoice inside package so customs officials just estimate cost of the goods based on how much they think they would be worth locally. Most times the item ends up costing almost double.
      2. For smartphones, most come with generic batteries, so getting spares becomes very difficult. Most times the Chinese sellers do not stock spare batteries/chargers/earphones for the phones they sell.
      3. Some small items sometimes just don’t arrive. Luckily most times I have bought through Ebay, so the refund policy is more streamlined
      4. I recently bought a phone which has its specs doctored. It claims to have 4GB internal memory but after installing a few apps I run out of memory. When I use a third party app to check specs it reads only 250MB internal memory. Luckily the android system can still accept applications, so the phone is usable in a limited way. It would be quite a hassle to return it, and I already paid almost double in custom charges.
      If some of these hurdles can be streamlined it is a great experience shopping from Chinese sellers, because most of their items come at a very competitive price

      • Boris

        Thank you Wach for this great addition!
        Cheers Boris

    • Kwaku

      ‘China is a dog-eat-dog environment.You can’t trust a seller simply because u have checked and verify them’
      My fear is that they might take my money and fail to ship the product. Also safe and fast shipping cost become far more than the cost price of the item.Shipping is the greatest treat.Next is quality. Chinese manufacturers don’t focus on quality. They focus on cheap price.That is why I want to run away from them.
      More grease to your elbows, Boris.

      • Boris

        Yes, there is a lot more work before the online shopping on the Internet is sfaer, if it is ever possible. But by educating my followers I hope they know how to handle safely and they will be inspired to help others too. Let’s make the Internet a little safer together.
        Good weekend!

    • Kees Staps

      Thanks Boris
      Biggest fear is getting item after been told it is going to get there in no time at all and still waiting longer wish there was a more honest system when to expect item
      Great to have learnt about the safe sites and will use in the future

      • Boris

        Hi Kees, first question, your name sounds so Dutch but you do not live in the Netherlands do you?
        Shipping time is a strange things. It depends on verifying payments, processing time, actual shipping, customs, local transport. If you pay for express shipping (3-8 days) you have no guarantee it will be there in 8 days. And also free shipping can be as fast a 5-8 days. I’ll come with some tools to make it more understandable soon. good luck, Boris

    • Joseph

      My main concern is “not knowing the money for duty, sales taxes and declaration.
      ” I hate to buy something and find out later here is even MORE money to dish out to the government.

      • Boris

        You are right Joseph, currently there is a media campaign in the Netherlands to discourage buying in China because of htese unpredictable costs.
        In my course the duty/salestax/clearance costs are a important part and also the possibility to reduce or avoid them. Stay tuned. I’ll discuss this in my blogs also soon.
        Cheers, Boris

    • Billy

      well,this is not a big fear for me but some points to think of-first of all,shipping time-not too good for many clients(about a month plus to receive a package),so if you in a dropshipping business-think twice.
      second point-most of all sellers in china do not speaks english,just couple of standard phrases(which is very weird thing for me),so it’s difficult to talk to them,especially if you had a problem with the goods you bought.
      third point-i prefer paypal,so some sites is closed for me(like alibaba.com or amazon.com)
      and of course i would recommend to others to buy from well known e-shops.
      and a BIG THANK YOU goes to Boris!great blog man!

      • Boris

        Hi Billy, it seems you are more experienced. Great! I’ll come back to the aspects of shipping in my course. Do you have personally experience with dropshipping? The unpredictable shipping time is a hurdle to me too. Please let me know. Thanks for the compliments! Boris

    • Joan

      I usually get little gadgets for myself and muy greatest fear is to receive them broken, so it’s difficult to return them and usually the shipping costa are greater than the paid price. You can always minimize card number issues using “hidden” web shopping credit cards or simply use PayPal.

      • Boris

        Hi Joan, Yes shipping back is no option for small products. Did you get much broken products yet, or is it just a ‘fear’?
        Thanks, Boris

    • Rada Anpilova

      After having more than satisfying gadget-shopping experience, I guess I’m now pretty comfortable with buying things like cellphones and tablet PCs in China. However, shopping for fashion items still sends some chills down my spine from time to time. Once I ordered three evening dresses that apparently belonged to the same collection and shared the same exact sizing chart; two of those dresses had really been of the same exact width and length, but the third one had clearly been at least one full size smaller and simultaneously longer to fit a much taller height. All three dresses were of a good quality though, and luckily it was pretty easy to fix the third one in the atelier.

      • Boris

        Hi Rada, it’s good to see you here again and thank you for your contribution.
        I’m curious, where did you buy these products. I know you are willing to test different shops.
        Thanks, Boris

        • Rada Anpilova

          It’s been a while honestly, but I’m pretty sure I had it all ordered from one of those numerous Chinese stores capitalizing on Lolita-style craze, either wholesalelolita.com or lolitashow.com. Don’t get me wrong though, I still maintain I got some great products for my money, even though one of them slightly failed to meet the pre-set sizing chart standards 🙂

          • Bastiaan

            Nice taste of clothing. Lolita style isn’t a style we see a lot in our country. Or it must be at fantasy parties.

            • Rada Anpilova

              Thank you! I don’t think Lolita style is overwhelmingly popular anywhere in the world though, not even in Asia, but at the same time you still have a good chance to see a Lolita lady in pretty much any country – the great versatility of this style just makes it adaptable. I’m glad they get such shops going, it’s usually a very good deal for your money.

    • Corne

      My credit card information was stolen once because the shop owners site was hacked. Since then I try to avoid to use my credit card. I prefer Paypal. My biggest fear is to get bad quality or wrong sizes. Bless you. Corne

      • Billy

        you definitely right about wrong sizes,it’s very important point !

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