China supplier import nightmares – Readers share their experiences when things go wrong with Chinese suppliers.

easterncurio China supplier import nightmares - Readers share their experiences when things go wrong with Chinese suppliers.

As any experienced importer can tell you, the logistics of transporting large quantities of product internationally across oceans, local borders and even more so through national customs, involves quite a lot effort. Things can go wrong. In fact, things frequently do go wrong. Customs can hold up your order, freight damage can occur due to excess handling, mold on the product – you name it – it can happen. Importing from Asia (and particularly China) seems to add an additional layer of challenges being that most manufacturing environments also tend to be located in third world countries. Yet one thing which always baffles me is when first time importers ask “what can go wrong?” So, I thought it might be of use to share some of the horror stories we have come across mostly from customers prior experiences or people who have come across us on the web.

Here are a few examples:

From “Arthur”

You have a company called advertising (in the links section) on your website. I bought a wooden table from them, paying almost AUD$400 for door to door shipping not including the cost of the item.

When the table arrived at my local port they refused to deliver it, there was insufficient documentation, I had to pay a further AUD $1320.00 for fumigation, quarantine inspections, customs clearance, shipping, etc, etc. You should remove their advertising from your website, as they are only giving chinese furniture exporters a bad name. Customers will only be very disappointed if they buy anything from this company which is also called:

  • Beijing Dragon Rising Antiques Sales company

From “Robert”

AD-026-COMPARATION China supplier import nightmares - Readers share their experiences when things go wrong with Chinese suppliers.
WD-030-COMPARATION-1024x769 China supplier import nightmares - Readers share their experiences when things go wrong with Chinese suppliers.

Dear Sir.

I have protest against quality of the products and against your associate Mr. Alex Hu. Since we legally worked with you we are free to inform you as follows.We have found company Ningbo Bogu Tibetan Furniture advertising production of Tibetan furniture as a branch of Ningbo Bogu Antique Furniture.

By the end of Jun of 2007 we agreed on production of approximately 70 cubic meter or one 40HC container, 45 days production and disposal time.We paid requested deposit in amount of 4558.50 USD to Ningbo Bogu Antique Furniture, please see attachment.Mr. Alex Hu started production and approximately 35 days later hi asked for additional production time. Since we like to start trading Tibetan furniture we agreed on 1 week more.Mr. Alex Hu asked for more and more time and we become suspicious about company. He also removed advertising of Ningbo Bogu Tibetan Furniture from Alibaba.We asked him about it and he told us, now he advertises his product trough Ningbo Bogu Antique Furniture.

After finished production we received photos of products mostly totally different from samples photos we received before we made order.

We are sending you few photos and if you would need more we can send you later. Please see attachment.

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We asked Mr. Alex Hu to send us deposit back because he failed in production time and quality of finished products.

He refused our claim and he practically forced us to search for good products and to buy one 20container or approximately 30 cubic meter of furniture.

We had no other way out and we agreed and paid balance in amount of 1686.00 USD.

Then another disappointment started. We received email from respectable cargo company named CARGO PARTNER.

They told us:

Supplier hope we can help them to BUY some documents of customs clearance, especial for the HExiao dan which need during customs clearance,

Obviously it is illegal and forbidden by Customs. As a legal company, we, CP can not do such work and we MUST not be involved in such jurally problem. Obviously we have to reject.

CP told us Mr. Alex Hu is asking for illegal operation. We contacted him and he told us this was solution A and he has solution B too.

Finally, he made papers with you, Ningbo Bogu Antique Furniture, and with Ningbo Jinlong imp and exp as far as we know.

Mr. Alex Hu disposed goods last days of September, after 45 days of extra production time or 100% in production time failure. We agreed on 45 days and finally it was 90 days.

Tree days ago we finally received furniture and we faced new problems with it.

Croatian custom find out difference between declared and delivered weight and quantity. Sealed container has less weight then declared and after they open container, it was 5 pieces of furniture less then declared on packing list.

We received 77 pcs only. 1 long table is missing TC-007 as well as 4 pcs of biggest and most expensive items from WD collection. Value of missing goods is around 861 USD.

Next day we sent mail to Mr. Alex Hu and he never answered to us, he practically ignores our protest.

From someone named Mylan

Zhanjin Furniture Co., Ltd. is scam/fraud business

I paid $1,094 US$ for supposedly a real marble dining table from Zhanjin Furniture Co., Ltd back in 9/2007 and they shipped the table to me using DHL carrier but table arrived broken pieces in the box which wasn’t wrapped very good at all consider is a marble table. I find out the table wasn’t made of real marble but made out of a compressed white crystal rocks. I sent numerous emails to my contact person, Josh Liang who worked for Zhanjin Furniture Co., Ltd and requested for my refund for the past three months and he avoided my emails. I have a strong feelings that the company took took my money and the reimbursement they got from their claim with DHL carrier. Alibaba rep informed that they have terminated their relationship with Zhanjin Furniture Co., Ltd. and the company is no longer posting their web site on Alibaba but I just find out that Zhanjin Furniture Co have their products on another web site:

I have already filed the complaint with International Better Business Bureau and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). I’m hoping this will stop them from doing anymore exporting business on line with US and international consumers.

Michelle Says:

15 May 2008 at 1:42 pm.

Horror stories? Everyone has had at least a few. I once got in an entire container of moldy furniture from Indonesia. Just a few months ago I got in a container that was confiscated by the office of cultural relics before it left china. When they finally got it released they neglected to wrap the pieces properly, every third piece was damaged. Such a pity because the antiques were gorgeous.

Susan Says:

3 June 2008 at 12:28 pm.

We just had a bad experience with a 20′ container from China as things were not packaged well and there was a lot of damage. The container arrived and most of the items inside could be considered firewood.

warren Says:

3 June 2008 at 12:30 pm.

I am still dealing with a couple of suppliers directly from Ningbo but I am having a major problem with one. I’m not sure if you know of them… Ningbo Art International Furniture Trading Co. Ltd.

I sent them a deposit of $4000 USD months ago and they still do not have any goods ready to leave. The General manager had promised to send me back my deposit a month ago. After many emails and countless ignored phone calls I am not sure how to proceed. Any ideas?? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

originally posted on our old blog at:

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