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Buying Wholesale Goods from Overseas
Indonesia, India, etc. - how to make a secure deal?

 8:24 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have several leads for wholesalers in Indonesia & India. However, they all seem to want payment via Western Union PRIOR to shipping the goods. Obviously that is very risky and something we are not willing to do.

They say they can't accept paypal in their country, nor credit card. Therefore my only solution was to use an escrow service like escrow dot com - Yet the wholesalers have never heard of it and seem untrustworthy of it.

They've sent their proof of business license and passports via fax, but those can be altered by a good scammer.

Being apprehensive due to the proliferation of online fraud, what do you do when you're in this sort of a stalement? Any suggestions?



 1:48 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just spoke with Escrow dot com and they said the only countries they won't work with in the world are Indonesia and Romania, due to the high amount of fraud in those countries. Thats too bad, as I'm sure there are a good amount of legit suppliers in those countries but the scammers have ruined it for everyone. Now I'm thinking I probably shouldn't deal with anyone in those countries without a reliable referral.


 8:45 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Reagrding the PayPal issue: We work with a number of contractors out of India (including one that we broughover here). They can accept PayPal, is just takes them more time to get thier money than someone here in the States.


 9:50 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I paypal to India, they don't like it because they say they can only keep the money in their paypal acct and spend it online. They cannot withdraw the money. However, for Indonesia, it looks like there is no way.


 12:22 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

They can say that they cannot withdraw PayPal funds, but that does not make it true.

If you look on the PayPal website, go to the PayPal World Wide link. It says that it is available in India, just that they cannot withdraw directly to their bank accounts. That means they have to ask to ge the money by check.

It has been our experience that it takes about a month and something like a %3 fee for the conversion. This makes it uncomfortable, but not impossible for them to receive the money.


 1:02 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>PRIOR to shipping the goods

you're lucky, i've imported custom goods, which have to be paid for before they are even manufactured let alone shipped - obviously because if i backed out they would be left with a load of (possibly) unsellable goods.

if the order is big enough fly out and check them out ... otherwise i've found that the trade delegations at the appropriate country's embassy are extremely helpful - they have lists of recommended factories and it is their interests to put you onto good reliable sources because they don't like fraud either because it darkens the reputation of their country.


 12:12 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

appropriate country's embassy are extremely helpful

Thanks for that tip. I didn't think about that. I'll give it a try.


 12:50 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't consider any business dealings with Indonesia, especially not by WU wire.
That is not professional business practice.
WU Wire service is for people who know each other.
Once sent they can never be traced.
Most asking for WU are scamsters.

I would only deal with companies who employ standard exporting practices and I would investigate them well before sending anything.

From my experiance yes, you must pay before shipping, but there are international shipping standards such as FOB, that should be followed.

If possible use a Credit card, you may get protection from your C.Card co. in case of fraud or major misrepresentation


Or look for a gov directories for the country of manufacture,
Ie: Canada Gov site Strategis


Good luck, protect your hard earned money from Theives


[edited by: stuntdubl at 1:31 am (utc) on Mar. 21, 2005]
[edit reason] snipped urls [/edit]


 10:08 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whatever happened to "letters of credit" ..surely credit card payments etc are for small orders ..with LC your money is only released upon the presentation of docs that prove the goods to be on board ship or plane ..plus they are bank to bank so much harder to work a scam ..


 11:06 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm sticking to paying either by Escrow.com or PayPal.com - if any "vendors" insist on Western Union then I'll assume they are fraud, and move on. There is no reason a legitimate company would not accept payment via Escrow.com


 12:09 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Becareful with LC's they can still used for fraud I have come across cases where bank staff have been in on it. No joke I can tell you.

But you cant guess which countrys this used to happen in?


 2:13 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmmm...Indonesia, Romania, India?

Aside from that, can anyone think of a legitimate reason that a UK supplier would only accept bank wire or Western Union, but not credit card, paypal, or escrow.com?


 5:17 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

L/C is definitely the way to go. If they are a legitimate wholesaler they will doubtlessly be familiar with them. The issue with banks being in on the scheme is definitely a problem... banks here (Canada) sometimes have problems finding a bank to work with in some countries to issue the letters of credit for precisely that reason. But talk to your bank and see what they can do for you and what their experience has been.


 10:58 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Try site draft it is an extension of an L/C . Payment is made by your bank when goods are sited on your wharf/airport etc. Western union is not the way to go. The other alternative is to get yourself a good buying agent that works out of Indonesia. Indonesians have the same distrust you have for them, cash is king in most Asian economies, credit cards are the exception rather than the rule . Go your government trade center they ay be able to help you.


 12:56 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

A close friend of mine recently went to Bali (Indonesia) to buy some goods at wholesale. He and his partner purchased enough furniture and household goods to fill two 40ft shipping containers.

The part that scared me was that they went there with CASH and paid for it all - and then hired a shipping company to go to all the suppliers and pick it up, package it, and send it to the US. Amazingly to me, everything showed up damage free and complete two months later.

They did say that they had a lot of trouble with old bills - it seems that people in Bali are very cautious about counterfeit money. The Balinese demanded only the latest issue US currency, or their own currency. Other than that they had no problems with fraud, and said that they never had any concern that they would be ripped off.


 7:55 am on Mar 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

That is amazing. I would never imagine going to visit an Indonesian wholesaler while carrying cash. I don't even know if I'd feel comfortable going to Indonesia at all!

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