Even though there are many eBay scams and knock off wholesale sites specifically designed to scam eBay sellers, there are also many legitimate wholesale sources that can be found on the Internet.

So then, how do you know whether or not you’re dealing with a real, true legitimate wholesaler and not a knock off wholesale supplier?

Here are the top warning signs that you may be dealing with a knock off wholesale supplier:

* No contact information appearing on the website.
* Fake address – either because it exists in a poor or residential area, or it doesn’t exist at all.
* When you call, the phone is answered by someone who doesn’t identify him or herself when answering.
* You’re not asked for a business or tax ID number.
* Many parts of text or images on their website are copies from other sites.
* When you place your order, the company claims they don’t have any stock, but want you to send the money before they order any.
* The contact person becomes nervous when you ask for a product sample.
* The company stops replying to your email inquiries.

Here are some steps to protecting yourself from a potential knock off wholesale supplier:

* Check to see if their website gives a full business name and registration number.
* Use secure-payment methods such as Paypal Verified, Escrow, Cod when possible.
* Call them to verify that their phone number is good; however, don’t accept a mobile phone number, all legitimate companies should have a land line phone.
* Copy and paste some text into Google. If it’s copied from another site, you’ll see it in the search results.
* As for an image of the stock with the company logo in the background… Go to coolwhois.com and search for the name of their website. A legitimate company will have been in business for over a year at least, and their domain name expiration date will be for a few years into the future. Many legitimate companies reserve their domain names for 3 to 5 years or more.
* Ask other eBay sellers what their experiences have been with that company on eBay forums.

A couple of notes to point out regarding real, true legitimate wholesalers and knock off wholesale suppliers:

* A legitimate supplier might be selling fakes of big name-brands, but this doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is a knock off wholesale supplier. There are tons of suppliers in China, and other countries for that matter, selling fakes. But, as long as you realize what you’re purchasing, that’s not a problem in itself.
* A legitimate supplier might say they can only accept Western union and wire transfers as a payment. Unfortunately, these are insecure payment methods. But, for Chinese suppliers, these are really the only two options available because credit-cards and Paypal are nearly impossible to get.
* You should always take the necessary precaution of ordering just a small amount when dealing with a supplier who only accepts Western Union and wire transfer for the first time. Remember though, quite a number of legitimate wholesalers and manufacturers use these methods out of necessity rather than because they’re illegitimate.

Again, many great wholesale sources can be found on the Web, but there are also a lot of knock off wholesale websites designed just for the purpose of scamming eBay sellers who are looking for great deals. Protect yourself by knowing who you’re dealing with!

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