How to Avoid Scams on 1688: A Guide for Online Buyers

Jan 01, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

In recent times, many individuals have fallen victim to scams on the popular online marketplace, 1688. It’s disheartening to imagine someone working hard to raise a substantial amount, only to lose it when attempting to purchase goods on 1688. The emotional toll of such scams can even lead to depression, considering the effort and sacrifice involved in acquiring the capital.


The prevalence of scams on 1688 is a serious issue that needs attention. Individuals are being scammed out of their hard-earned money, and I felt compelled to address this matter in a video to raise awareness and help others avoid falling into the same trap.


Several weeks ago, a subscriber reached out to me on WhatsApp, seeking help after being scammed by a supplier on 1688. The subscriber had paid the supplier offline, and the goods were never shipped. This prompted me to investigate and share insights on how to prevent such incidents.


One crucial aspect is the method of payment. While I, personally, often pay suppliers offline using methods like direct bank transfer, it’s essential to exercise caution. The subscriber’s unfortunate experience led me to contact the supplier, attempting to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the supplier never responded, highlighting the challenges of resolving offline payment scams.



Types of 1688 Scammers

Here are some common scams to be aware of on 1688:

1. Fake Sellers:

  • Identity theft: Scammers create fake storefronts using stolen information from legitimate businesses.
  • Listing fake products: They offer products at unrealistic prices or with features that don’t exist.
  • Vanishing after payment: They disappear once payment is made, leaving buyers with no products and no way to get a refund.

2. Bait and Switch:

  • Advertising high-quality products: They lure buyers with attractive images and descriptions.
  • Shipping inferior products: They send products that are different, defective, or of poor quality.
  • Refusing refunds or returns: They make it difficult or impossible for buyers to get their money back.

3. Payment Scams:

  • Demanding payment outside 1688’s platform: They ask for payment through wire transfers, Western Union, or other untraceable methods.
  • Sending fake payment links: They create fake payment pages that mimic 1688’s official website to steal payment information.

4. Shipping Scams:

  • Charging excessive shipping fees: They inflate shipping costs to take advantage of buyers.
  • Providing fake tracking numbers: They provide invalid tracking numbers to make it appear as if the product has been shipped.
  • Not shipping the product at all: They simply keep the payment without sending anything.

5. Agent Scams:

  • Posing as legitimate agents: They claim to offer sourcing and shipping services, but they are actually scammers.
  • Asking for upfront payment: They demand a large payment before providing any services.
  • Charging hidden fees: They add unexpected fees after the transaction is complete.
  • Disappearing with the money: They vanish without fulfilling their promises.




To minimize the risk of scams, it’s advisable to pay directly on the 1688 platform using a verified Alipay account.

This method provides a level of security, allowing for refunds within 24 to 48 hours if issues arise.

However, for those without a verified Alipay account, paying offline is an option, but it requires careful consideration and scrutiny.

Before making an offline payment, buyers should thoroughly examine the supplier’s store and look for specific indicators of reliability.


Key Factors Include:

Transaction History: Choose suppliers with a substantial number of transactions, indicating a level of trustworthiness.

Reviews: Look for suppliers with positive reviews and a minimum star rating of 3.5.

Return Rate: Check the return rate of the supplier, aiming for a lower percentage.


During the video, I demonstrated a practical search for a product on 1688, emphasizing the importance of analyzing transaction history, reviews, and return rates. Additionally, I highlighted the significance of checking for written reviews and scrutinizing any negative comments, as they could be red flags.





Learn how to reclaim your funds from unreliable suppliers by understanding the refund and return process on 1688. Not all suppliers prioritize your interests, even if you disregard advice to use a freight forwarder or shipping agent for pre-shipment product verification.

If you discover discrepancies after your order has left China, there’s still a chance to rectify the situation on 1688. Let me guide you through potential scenarios based on your circumstances and the order processing time.

  1. Product Not Shipped Yet:

    • Log into 1688 and go to your orders.
    • Identify products that haven’t been shipped.
    • Apply for a refund by selecting the items and clicking the “Apply for a refund” button.
  2. Product Already Shipped:

    • Apply for a refund after the product has been shipped.
    • Choose to return the product for a refund.
    • Options include returning the product personally or using the platform’s service for pickup (with an additional charge).
    • Alternatively, request a product exchange or a straightforward refund.
  3. Passed Automatic Receipt Time:

    • If the automatic receipt time has passed, but you still face issues, go to after-sales support.
    • Select the relevant products and explain your situation, providing details and uploading evidence.
  4. Supplier Unresponsive:

    • In case the supplier is uncooperative, even after the automatic receipt time, make an application for after-sales support.
    • Describe your situation and choose appropriate reasons for after-sales support.
  5. Elevating the Case to 1688:

    • If all else fails and the supplier is unresponsive, file a complaint.
    • Provide detailed information in Chinese, stating the reason for the complaint and supporting evidence.
    • Include your contact information for follow-up.
  6. Engaging 1688 Staff:

    • For unresolved cases, contact 1688 directly through the complaint process.
    • Higher-level accounts may receive more attention.
    • State your case in Chinese, emphasizing evidence and detailing the supplier’s misconduct.
    • Be prepared to communicate in Chinese if you provide a local phone number.
  7. Leveraging Deposit Protection:

    • Note that sellers on 1688 often require a deposit.
    • Even if the supplier has received payment, the deposit remains until they close their store.
    • If 1688 finds the supplier guilty, you may recover your funds from the deposit.




In conclusion, while scams on 1688 are a serious concern, buyers can minimize the risk by adopting safer payment methods, conducting thorough research, and paying attention to warning signs from suppliers. It’s crucial to prioritize security and diligence when engaging in online transactions to protect hard-earned funds.

I hope this video serves as a guide for online buyers, helping them navigate the challenges of purchasing goods on platforms like 1688.

If you’ve experienced scams or have insights to share, please feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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