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10 Tips for safe trading

Verify the Identity of Supplier/Buyer
Always confirm if the address, phone number and email address given to you by your trading partner belongs to the same company. If a trader provides inconsistent contact details, for example an address in the India and phone number from another country, we recommend you look up the address in the local phone directory and obtain the local phone number, and call this number to confirm that the person you are in touch with actually works for the company. Similarly, if a partner\'s email heading states that they work for a certain company, you should verify this. Be aware that some scam artists could alter their return email address heading to make it look like they work for a company that they dont.

Check the Partners Background
Background checks from independent third-party sources include a search for legal registration and credit reports. In many countries the existence of a company and its legal status is a matter of public record. Check with the companies registry in the partner\'s country to ensure that the company exists with a valid registration. If you cannot have independent access to your partner\'s registration information, ask your partner to provide you with a Certificate of Good Standing issued by the companies registry of his country or state/province. You can also gain further knowledge about your partner by ordering a credit history report from a local credit agency. Credit history reports contain information about the partner\'s business history in their relationships with banks and other trading partners. Go to contact credit agencies which can provide credit history reports.

A personal meeting
Whenever possible, meet your business partner in person and visit his company\'s facilities. While the internet offers you a wealth of information on your potential partner which enables you to make an initial assessment, there is no substitute for face-to-face contact.

Protect Yourself When Ordering or Providing Samples
As a buyer, order a sample before committing to a purchase order to be sure that the product meets your expectations. As a seller, request payment for a sample and/or payment for shipping costs before you send out the sample, especially if your product has a high resale value.

Pre-Shipment Inspection Services
If you are a buyer, you can protect yourself against poor quality by ordering a pre-shipment inspection of the products. You can demand the inspection as a condition to payment.

Protect Yourself Against Payment Risk-You Are the Buyer
If you are a buyer, sometimes a supplier may ask you for a deposit before he accepts the order. While this is not unusual between long-standing trading partners, if you are doing business with the supplier for the first time, make sure you have done sufficient background checks on the supplier before you agree to the deposit, or ask for a different form of payment, such as a letter of credit. If the seller seems more focused on payment than any other issue, or indicates that cash payment must be made urgently, more caution should be given to the transaction. Be extra cautious when the seller asks you to send money to an account whose real owner cannot be traced; for example, you cannot trace the real name of the person behind an account with a wiring service such as Western Union.

Tips When Receiving Payment as a Seller
If you are a seller and have not been doing business with your partner for very long, avoid selling your products on open-account (in which case you are extending credit to your buyer). Instead ask your buyer to open a letter of credit (L/C).

Tips When Make Payment As a Buyer
If you are a buyer, sometimes a supplier may ask you for a deposit (generally 30%) before he accepts the order. While this is not unusual between long-standing trading partners, if you are doing business with the supplier for the first time, make sure you have done enough background checks on the supplier before you agree to the deposit, or ask for a different form of payment, such as a letter of credit. If the seller seems more focused on payment than any other issue, or indicates that cash payment must be made urgently, more caution should be given to the transaction. Be extra cautious when the seller asks you to send money to an account whose real owner cannot be traced; for example, you cannot trace the real name of the person behind an account with a wiring service such as Western Union.

Fake E-mail Addresses
It is possible for anyone with some technical knowledge to send an email with a fake address. When you receive an email from someone you know or whose email address appears legitimate, but the message of the email looks suspicious, you can verify whether the email came from the person whom the sender claims to be by using a simple procedure to check the email address.

 
 
 
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