Alibaba‘s global B2B sourcing platform essentially has two seller categories: Free, and Gold Supplier in Alibaba. Usually, free sellers pay no fees and do not undergo any tests until they officially can use the website. So no one in their right mind would buy from them.
Gold suppliers pay a relatively large annual membership fee and undergo a verification process called ‘Onsite Check by Alibaba. This generates a sense of trustworthiness but in reality, how reliable is the system? Read on to know more about Why Trust a Gold Supplier in Alibaba?
What is a Gold Supplier?
Before jumping into seeing if we can trust a Gold Supplier in Alibaba, we must know what it is. According to the explanation shown on the Alibaba website:
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Gold Supplier is a premium member on Alibaba.com as a supplier. Members will be given detailed ways to market their products, optimize product visibility, and improve return on investment.
In other words, in terms of ethical conduct and the standard of quality, this does not mean much. A supplier that pays Alibaba gets that status and better visibility on alibaba.com and a nicer presentation.
Can I Trust Such a Supplier?
It would be incorrect to assume that for the Alibaba Gold Supplier status there is no screening or verification. Gold status requires an on-site verification service. This involves someone going to the production location of the manufacturer and verifying if it really works. That is the full extent of the Onsite Test and Alibaba is upfront on this: The company premises of the supplier are tested by Alibaba.com workers to ensure there are on-site operations.
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Despite this, there were clients who falsely assumed that the Onsite Test would guarantee the quality of the contract, products, or business in any way. In reality, Onsite Test shows that at the location the manufacturer says, there exists a minimum of anything slightly resembling a manufacturing site. It says nothing about how the supplier works or how he communicates with clients.
Alibaba also outsources confirmation of business registration record details for Alibaba Gold Supplier as well as verifying that there is the location of the supplier, and then shows the detail on their profile. However, very little detail about who is in charge of the analysis, using what technique, and when they published it at all. Plus, you can also find that the displayed information has since become out of date. Furthermore, there have been significant problems in the past with these checks against fraud being the target of fraud itself.
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