Who is Alibaba?
If you’re in need of construction parts you’ve likely been on the internet searching possible suppliers. Depending on what part you need, be it for a main pump for Komatsu excavator, axle parts for a Volvo wheel loader, a final drive for a Deere bulldozer, pins and bushings for a Case backhoe loader, or anything else in between, you know the internet provides options. One of them may be a company named Alibaba.
There’s a good chance you see on the Alibaba website a photo of the part you need, in all its glory, looking so heavenly, at a price so low it’s sinful. But the next thing you do is ask the common question many people ask when they come across this company.
“Who in Allah’s name is Alibaba?”
Alibaba is a Chinese-American e-commerce company that coordinates a marketplace for everything from cosmetics to coffee makers, Furby toys to final drives. It’s a $220 billion company operating in more than 190 countries. The company’s corporate offices are in the People’s Republic of China.
Alibaba generates more revenue than Amazon.com, and eBay combined. It makes Walmart look like Small-Mart.
So, your question remains, is it safe to buy my construction parts from this company? It all depends on your expectations when it comes to quality, timeliness, and customer service.
As you know doubt already know, there is little room for error when it comes to your construction equipment.
Alibaba is in a sense a broker without borders. There’s nothing wrong with brokers, instead, they provide a valuable service. We have them for virtually everything from selling stocks to buying homes. For instance, ConEquip Parts operates primarily as a broker service in the construction parts industry. The problem brokers run into is when they don’t scrutinize and manage proper relationships.
This is one area Alibaba has been accused of falling short on.
Alibaba.com offers a paid Gold Supplier membership to try to ensure its customers each seller it works with is a genuine company. Unfortunately for millions of customers, that wasn’t always the case.
According to Wikipedia, in February 2011, Alibaba admitted the company granted Gold status to more than 2,000 dealers that had subsequently defrauded buyers.
Ever since, Alibaba has been working to earn back trust in the eCommerce community.
If you haven’t stopped reading yet with the decision to steer clear of Alibaba, we have more information about the company you should consider before entering your credit card information on their website.
If you think getting a warranty claim or refund through a company here in America is a hassle, image how much more difficult it would be to get that process complete with a company operating out of Asia - that’s if you get any resolution at all.
The company claims to have buyer protection but according to Monty Henry of DPL-Surveillance-Equipment.com LLC., Alibaba frequently refuses to cough up refunds when delivered product is defective, wrong, or doesn’t show up at all. As a result, hundreds of class action lawsuits have been filed in the US.
So, is Alibaba a scam? No.
“Yes, you may get scammed on Alibaba if you don’t use common sense but it’s just like on any other online marketplace,” says E-Commerce expert Andrew Minalto.
From here we can get into various discussions on how Alibaba works and what to do to help reduce the risk of getting burned by one of the scammers using the platform as a legitimate supplier.
That’s only important if you actually decide you want to take a chance on Alibaba to buy construction parts.
First, when it comes to timeframe, ordering anything from overseas can take an extended period of time before it is delivered.
Secondly, when it comes to reliability, you just cannot be certain when the part you ordered from Alibaba finally arrives, it will perform as needed.
Finally, if the part you receive is wrong, is damaged, or fails, going through the warranty process and actually getting resolution with Alibaba may or may not happen.
If any or all of those considerations are important to you, it is best for you to spend more for the security of buying your parts from a reputable parts company.
Peace of mind is priceless. If you decide you want to go ahead and give Alibaba your business, the advice here is to buy at your own risk.
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