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When you pay in advance make sure that you will receive your money back if the goods are not shipped.

When you need to make an advance payment to a new supplier, it is always sensible to secure the return of the money in case the goods are not shipped. Below you will find some recommendations of how to protect yourself.

  • Before transferring the money, ask your supplier to arrange a "pre-payment return guarantee" from his bank. If the seller does not perform, his bank will be responsible for the return of your money. We have already described this method in our previous publication. See:

You can download the sample text of the guarantee here: Pre-payment return guarantee.

  • Ask the supplier to provide you with some references FROM YOUR INDUSTRY. When you receive the names, do not call the phone numbers provided but find the official website of the referred company and call the main number. Compare the given details with those officially published on the site. Write to the general mailbox of the company.

  • Check the company with the local Chamber of Commerce.

  • Check the company on the internet. If your supplier has been in business for a certain time, you will be able to find some information about the company and its activities.

  • Check your potential supplier using our "company check" services. You will have to pay a certain fee for this kind of check, but you will obtain the most reliable information about the company.

  • If you have discovered that you are not talking to a phony firm and that the company exists, you can sign a contract. Make sure that you have a clause in the contract that, in case the goods are not supplied, the supplier will return the received payment within 5-10 working days after the latest shipping date. You should enclose the penalty clause and make it clear that in case the money is not repaid, the supplier will bear all collection, legal and other possible costs plus accumulate bank interest for the period he keeps the money.

  • Generally, try to avoid pre-payment to the unknown suppliers. If you can't, try to pre-pay as little as possible, in some cases 10-15% can be enough.

  • You can pre-pay a certain amount and open a L/C for the remaining sum. The best option will be that the seller will be paid after you receive the cargo and control its condition. This will give you some insurance that the papers will be issued properly and you obtain exactly the contracted goods.

  • Find a local inspection and audit company to check your products during the manufacturing process. The inspector should send you the reports about the situation with your order. This type of service generally is not expensive and will show your supplier that you control the situation.

  • If the goods are not supplied in time, start the recovering process immediately and do not wait until the seller goes bankrupt or disappears. In both cases your chances to claim the money back are very small.

BL International Limited provides anti-fraud consulting services for companies involved in international trade. BL International offers a comprehensive anti-fraud protection program for exporters and importers that will help the companies to avoid fraud when dealing with overseas counter parties.

Please visit our website for more information.

Seafood — Fish — Crustacea

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