When you buy in China to resell in the UK, there are many different ways in which you can pay your supplier – but which should you choose?
It probably seems like a weird question to ask. Typically, when you purchase your goods online you’re given a set few ways in which you can pay for them and you’re required to decide between these. There isn’t much difference between them and usually it’s just a case of which is most convenient.
When buying from Alibaba, however – or any supplier from China – this is not the case; there are many methods that you can use to purchase goods through your Chinese suppliers. So the question then becomes . . . which payment portal should you use?
Well, that’s a question for another post. What we’re covering today is the portal that first time importers definitely shouldn’t use: Western Union.
Western Union is essentially just handing someone your money and saying “Happy Birthday!”. It’s not a business transaction; it’s a gift.
What is Western Union?
Western Union is a financial service that specialises in easily transferring money from one country to another. However Western Union is usually used for personal transfers and offers essentially no protection. The money and its recipient is untraceable, so if you’re scammed . . . your money is gone.
If my supplier asks me to pay using Western Union, is it a scam?
If your supplier is asking you to pay using Western Union, it could be a sign that they’re running a scam – but there are sometimes genuine reasons that they may want to be paid via Western Union. Often this is just to avoid paying the higher fees that the other payment methods incur. An example of this being: paying via PayPal means that PayPal will charge your supplier an extra 3.5%. If your order is a significant amount of money, that extra 3.5% can be quite a sum!
Trustworthy suppliers that you’ve worked with before asking you to use Western Union isn’t an immediate cause for alarm; however, using Western Union with suppliers that you’ve never bought with before is always a big no.
So why is Western Union known as a scam?
Western Union is known as a scam because it is commonly the method that scammers use. Due to the nature of the payment and the lack of protection, when you make payments with Western Union it’s easy for scam artists to literally disappear with no repercussions. There’s no way for you to get your money back, either.
Can I ever pay via Western Union?
If you trust your supplier, paying with Western Union is an easy (and sometimes cheaper) way of paying for your goods. However, paying via Western Union will still carry the same risks; you’ll be conducting business in a risky way.
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