B2USA is focused on facilitating business-to-business contacts, leads and transactions, and making your experience safe and simple. In all transactions, you must make informed business decisions. These B2B Safety Tips are designed to help you take advantage of B2USA to identify business partners as well as resources that can help to make your Internet experience more secure and safe.
Do your due diligence
Conducting sufficient due diligence about your business partner is an important part of making your business decisions. There is little room for error in choosing a trustworthy supplier, relying on a credible buyer or retaining a competent service provider.
Most internet introductions will result in successful relationships that can be mutually beneficial for both parties. However, it is very important that you protect yourself from the unlikely possibility of fraud that may occur, due to the concealment of a partner's true identity and/or intentions.
We provide as much information as possible about our American member-companies. We also verify certain of our member-companies through our B2B Verified service. You can further obtain additional information about member-companies by purchasing a credit and business report from B2USA by contacting us. B2USA endeavors to provide transparency on the identity and legitimacy of your trading partner. However, as a business person you can appreciate that honest disputes happen between legitimate companies and this is a fact of business life, whether you find your trading partner on the internet or not. B2USA cannot guarantee the quality of the products or services provided by each of its member companies. See further details at B2USA Disclaimer¹ (See Below).
There are a number of actions you can take to research your potential business partner whom you have met on the internet, so that you can reduce the risk of being subject to a fraudulent transaction or business misunderstanding. Before you trade, please review our B2B Safety Tips.
If you suspect fraud…
There are several actions you can take if you suspect a B2USA member of fraud or have a serious misunderstanding:
Contact the member and arrange a telephone call or face-to-face meeting. This usually resolves the situation. Most buyers and sellers are honest and dependable and problems may simply be a matter of misunderstanding due to language or cultural differences.
If you suspect your potential partner of fraud, we recommend that you inform the relevant law enforcement authorities.
You should also report to B2USA any suspected abuse of our website by members, so that we may review the status of the member's account and take appropriate action. Simply click Contact Us and describe the situation.
You can take several actions to research your potential business partner whom you have met on the Internet, to avoid or reduce the risk of fraud or misunderstandings. These include:
Due Diligence on your Partner
You should check the credentials of potential partners before engaging in business. We verify all B2B Verified service, which means that B2USA verifies that the member-company is legally registered in Brazil and confirms the contact information and contact person. You can also purchase detailed credit and business information about American companies from B2USA by contacting us.
It is always advisable to contact the potential partner by telephone prior to the exchange of goods, money or contracts. Also, whenever possible, you should meet your business partner in person and visit his company's facilities. While the Internet offers you a wealth of information on your potential partner which enables you to make an initial assessment, there is no substitute for face-to-face contact. If you would like B2USA to arrange a face-to-face meeting with a potential trade partner, please contact us.
Protect Yourself When Ordering or Providing Samples
For Sellers: It is not wise for a seller to agree to accept payment from an overseas buyer after they have received products. Once a buyer has received samples or products without payment, it is very difficult to get them back. If you are a seller and have not been doing business with your buyer for very long, avoid selling your products on open-account (in which case you are extending credit to your buyer). Instead, you should ask your buyer to open a letter of credit, the most preferred payment method in international trade. However, there is some possibility of fraud due to incorrect or forged shipping documents. Minimize the potential for fraud by contacting the L/C issuing bank. Be sure to check the L/C number, opening date, opening place, name and address of the issuing bank, shipping date, valid date, loading and unloading port, applicant, period of presentation, amount, as well as details of trans-shipment, partial shipment, etc. In addition, there are transaction settlement services that act as a secured third party to protect buyers and sellers.
For Buyers: It is not wise for buyers to accept an overseas supplier's request for pre-payment. In most cases, a request for pre-payment involves attempted fraud. However, sometimes a supplier may ask you for a deposit (usually 30%) before he accepts the order. While this is not unusual between long-standing trading partners, if you are doing business with the supplier for the first time, make sure you have done sufficient background checks on the supplier before you agree to the deposit, or ask for a different form of payment, such as a letter of credit. If the seller seems more focused on payment than any other issue, or indicates that cash payment must be made urgently, more caution should be given to the transaction. Be extra cautious when the seller asks you to send money to an account whose real owner cannot be traced; for example, you cannot trace the real name of the person behind an account with a wiring service such as Western Union.
Use Pre-Shipment Inspection Services
If you are a buyer, you can protect yourself against poor quality by ordering a pre-shipment inspection of the products. You can demand the inspection as a condition to payment.
Suspect Shipping or Contact Addresses
Pay close attention to shipping or contact addresses located in regions with high reported incidences of online fraud, such as Eastern Europe, Western Africa and Central America.
Beware of Fake E-mail Addresses
It is possible for anyone with some technical knowledge to send an email with a fake address. When you receive an email from someone you know or whose email address appears legitimate, but the message of the email looks suspicious, you should verify whether the email came from the person whom the sender claims to be.