With internet playing a larger and larger role in sourcing, scammers are bound to try to take advantage of this situation. This could lead to potentially a monetary loss of a few thousand dollars but an equal loss of time of your merchant team and maybe delay or scrapping of a certain seasonal collection. Hence it is impervious to spot a scammer as quickly as possible so that your team's valuable time isn't wasted.
Check their website or other online presence
You should always look at the site and check their web address to be sure that it is a legitimate company.
Make sure the site has HTTPS certificate and works properly
Make sure that the emails they are using to interact with you are from work emails.
@gmail.com or @yahoo.com emails should raise a red flag. Getting personal work emails cost less that $1 per month in countries like India. Not using these usually means the person does not have access to the site and is a scammer pretending to represent the company
Ask for samples
For genuine manufacturers, sampling is already taken in as a cost of acquiring new customers and orders. And many will do so willingly, making sure to meet all of your specifications.
Ask for samples early on to save your time
Sometimes scammers will try to take your money by making you pay exorbitant prices for sampling, they could lead you to a site that looks like the site for the genuine company, but often these sites will be there to collect your information. Make sure to check the URL before entering your data.
High sampling costs should be a red flag too. Competitive pricing is a must. With competition as fierce as it is, manufacturers try to offer the best pricing to lure in new samplings for next seasons.
See if they are registered with Alibaba, Tradeindia or other B2B sites
This will help you verify if they are legitimate and even will give you their contact details. You will know if they are fake or genuine by scanning through their profile and then seeing if they have a real reason to join your site. Such a look will tell you who really works for the brand that you are dealing with and what issues they face on a daily basis. A fake supplier won't have to worry about the problem of having to face a genuine or professional company as they would be busy working on their malicious ventures. If you find that they have a common email address with your brand then this might be an indication that they are legit.
The goal of a scammer is to acquire funds quickly and that's the problem with all their ventures. As these B2B sites have large costs to signup, often in $1000s of dollars. Scammers usually stay off of them.
Ask to see industry specific certifications
Most legitimate companies do have certifications in place and one of them will be designed for identifying whether a product is authentic or not. It is to prove the credentials of the manufacturer. Another way to distinguish a counterfeit product from a real one is that some of these products do have holograms.
You can check these certifications online to see if they're valid. As most companies provide online documentation for the certifications they issues to manufacturers.
And at last, always maintain caution. The ideas mentioned in this article are suggestions that might be helpful. You are requested to remain cautious and protect yourself. Red Roses International is not responsible for any losses incurred by any party due to scamming or scammers.