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Your opinion - Alibaba Trade Assurance case

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
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Hello people,

I tried my best to keep it short. I would really appreciate your viewpoint on this, even if you don't know about Alibaba Trade Assurance. I think nobody knows the exact rules, but maybe some common sense answers from you guys might point in the right direction.

I ordered FCL inventory for 2 different products from the same supplier via Alibaba. In the Purchase Order document I specified minimum of 12 hours working time on a fully charged (built-in rechargeable) battery. Inspection by Topwin showed only 7 hours. Supplier tested it themselves after and they confirmed this 7 hour in our Wechat conversation and even sent a letter of apology later on.

It was urgent to have inventory for Christmas, so I was in a hurry. They did not want to compensate for the bad quality by refunding a part of the order value. I then asked full refund and they can keep their products, they said no. I asked whether they can repair it then, for one product they said no and for the other product they said yes. This would delay shipment by 25 days for both products and I would lose a lot of sales for both products (it was way less expensive to have it shipped together as FCL).

Some questions:

1)I decided to have the products shipped anyway, because if I did trade assurance application before shipment, then the outcome would be either that Alibaba approves it (and I am without inventory) or they decline and I have a late shipment and thus again lost sales. Both options meant losses for me. At least now I could get some sales for sure by shipment being on time.
I now want to apply for Trade Assurance to at least get a compensation for their mistake.
The question is, does Alibaba Trade assurance cover such losses? So losses because of delayed shipment because of repair or having placed trust in a supplier and being left with no inventory in case of full refund?
Edit: Alibaba's Trade Assurance rules does say that Trade Assurance will cover shipment delays (and quality problems ofcourse), but it does not say whether you will get compensation if the shipment delay is caused by repair or if you have decided to ship it regardless of the bad quality.
2) One thing to keep in mind here is that the Trade Assurance contract for this order says post-shipment coverage, meaning that I can inspect it after receiving the products. But still I did inspection pre-shipment in China. Also Alibaba gives the possibility to do pre-shipment inspection (see the Alibaba automatically generated contract for this order below in purple text).
Would Alibaba say that I can not do Trade Assurance at all anymore because we agreed on Wechat on pre-shipment inspection and I still chose to have it shipped? Taking in mind again that if I did Trade Assurance pre-shipment, I would either get refunded and be left without inventory or no refund at all and on top of that a delayed shipment.
edit: I contacted alibaba customer support for this question and they said that I can decide to ship the products and apply for Trade Assurance later. But I don't know how much weight I should give to this answer, since it does not say whether you will actually get compensation for it then.

The Alibaba standard generated contract for this order says this about inspection:

''If Buyer and Seller agreed to arrange for the products go through a product inspection process, the parties may agree on the terms of the inspection, such as method, inspection institution, fees, and etc., by way of a supplemental agreement. If both Parties have agreed “Inspection & Logistics Service Trade Assurance”, Buyer shall also be entitled to have the Products inspected before shipping (and Seller shall provide all necessary assistance to complete the relevant inspection so that the shipping of Products remains unaffected), so that Buyer can benefit from information relating to the inspection and shipping of the Products. "
But I have asked some suppliers and they all say that they can not choose the Trade Assurance type when creating an order. The Trade Assurance gets automatically set to Post-Shipment Coverage. So maybe this makes our agreement on Wechat on pre-shipment inspection the valid rule. But, maybe the word ''also'' in the part ''Buyer shall also be entitled to have the Products inspected'' means that I have both the right to pre-shipment and post-shipment and that the one does not exclude the other...

3) Is the sentence in the Purchase Contract ''battery should last a minimum of 12 hours on a full charge'' worded in a way that is eligible for Trade Assurance? Is it technical enough?
4)Do you think it will put my relationship with the supplier in danger by applying for a refund and they will not want to sell to me anymore? They have admitted themselves that they are wrong. I have been a good customer for them so far and accepted their previous batches.
5)I would like to ask for a refund of half the price of total order, but I am afraid that Alibaba will find it unreasonable and thus reject the whole request for refund. Should I ask for a lower refund and be more on the safe side, or will Alibaba look at the amount and make it lower if they find it more reasonable? Thus no danger in asking for a higher amount?
6) In this case I have done inspection by Topwin, not an inspection company that is appointed by Alibaba (SGS, TUV or BV). Also the manufacturer has sent a letter of apology and have admitted themselves on Wechat that the battery was not as promised. Is it still wise to first have inspection done by SGS, TUV or BV before applying or Trade Assurance or is the current evidence sufficient to start it and I should wait for Alibaba to appoint an inspection company themselves?

Genuine thanks in advance!
 

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Last edited:

Grace Shu

New Contributor
Nov 6, 2019
5
11
13
Hello people,

I tried my best to keep it short. I would really appreciate your viewpoint on this, even if you don't know about Alibaba Trade Assurance. I think nobody knows the exact rules, but maybe some common sense answers from you guys might point in the right direction.

I ordered FCL inventory for 2 different products from the same supplier via Alibaba. In the Purchase Order document I specified minimum of 12 hours working time on a fully charged (built-in rechargeable) battery. Inspection by Topwin showed only 7 hours. Supplier tested it themselves after and they confirmed this 7 hour in our Wechat conversation and even sent a letter of apology later on.

It was urgent to have inventory for Christmas, so I was in a hurry. They did not want to compensate for the bad quality by refunding a part of the order value. I then asked full refund and they can keep their products, they said no. I asked whether they can repair it then, for one product they said no and for the other product they said yes. This would delay shipment by 25 days for both products and I would lose a lot of sales for both products (it was way less expensive to have it shipped together as FCL).

Some questions:

1)I decided to have the products shipped anyway, because if I did trade assurance application before shipment, then the outcome would be either that Alibaba approves it (and I am without inventory) or they decline and I have a late shipment and thus again lost sales. Both options meant losses for me. At least now I could get some sales for sure by shipment being on time.
I now want to apply for Trade Assurance to at least get a compensation for their mistake.
The question is, does Alibaba Trade assurance cover such losses? So losses because of delayed shipment because of repair or having placed trust in a supplier and being left with no inventory in case of full refund?
2) One thing to keep in mind here is that the Trade Assurance contract for this order says post-shipment coverage, meaning that I can inspect it after receiving the products. But still I did inspection pre-shipment in China.
Would Alibaba say that I can not do Trade Assurance at all anymore because we agreed on Wechat on pre-shipment inspection and I still chose to have it shipped? Taking in mind again that if I did Trade Assurance pre-shipment, I would either get refunded and be left without inventory or no refund at all and on top of that a delayed shipment.
3) Is the sentence in the Purchase Contract ''battery should last a minimum of 12 hours on a full charge'' worded in a way that is eligible for Trade Assurance? Is it technical enough?
4)Do you think it will put my relationship with the supplier in danger by applying for a refund and they will not want to sell to me anymore? They have admitted themselves that they are wrong. I have been a good customer for them so far and accepted their previous batches.
5)I would like to ask for a refund of half the price of total order, but I am afraid that Alibaba will find it unreasonable and thus reject the whole request for refund. Should I ask for a lower refund and be more on the safe side, or will Alibaba look at the amount and make it lower if they find it more reasonable? Thus no danger in asking for a higher amount?
6) In this case I have done inspection by Topwin, not an inspection company that is appointed by Alibaba (SGS, TUV or BV). Also the manufacturer has sent a letter of apology and have admitted themselves on Wechat that the battery was not as promised. Is it still wise to first have inspection done by SGS, TUV or BV before applying or Trade Assurance or is the current evidence sufficient to start it and I should wait for Alibaba to appoint an inspection company themselves?

Genuine thanks in advance!
Hi LPPC :
For your case , better please contact or call alibaba directly to get a answer .
now it seems that because of the goods quality problem you will be delayed , i think Alibaba WIlL NOT COVER ANY LOSS for you , they will ask you dicuss and solve with supplier .
if you are hurry , you can discuss with supplier , send some goods in advance not wait all together .
if you have any shipping question ,please contact me at any time
thanks
grace
 
OP
OP
LPPC

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
320
274
129
28
Hi LPPC :
For your case , better please contact or call alibaba directly to get a answer .
now it seems that because of the goods quality problem you will be delayed , i think Alibaba WIlL NOT COVER ANY LOSS for you , they will ask you dicuss and solve with supplier .
if you are hurry , you can discuss with supplier , send some goods in advance not wait all together .
if you have any shipping question ,please contact me at any time
thanks
grace
Thank you for your answer Grace. I contacted Alibaba customer service and I edited the main post with the answers in blue color. The batch is already shipped. If I decided to ship only a part of the batch and have the rest repaired, then still that part of the shipment is of lower quality and on top of that, shipping cost would be way higher if I decide to ship it in 2 parts. So still there is some loss.

Why do you think Alibaba will not cover any loss? Do you have experience with this or you based it on trustworthy sources?
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
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World citizen
Is there any info in @Walter Hay 's thread that may be of help? I may be wrong, but I believe he seems generally skeptical of how much protection the trade assurance actually affords.
I am not merely skeptical about how much protection Trade Assurance actually affords. I believe that relying on Trade Assurance is pointless. It is designed to make buyers feel good, but unless buyers go through the 16 pages of rules with a fine tooth comb, and find the other rules incorporated in Alibaba's "Help":devil: section and comply meticulously with all of those rules, they will not have any protection.

In the years since that scheme was introduced I have not heard from even one importer that Trade Assurance has actually worked for them. On other forums the same problems and frustrations are frequently reported.

Prior to the introduction of Trade Assurance, IM forums were littered with complaints about scams by suppliers on Alibaba. Since its introduction, most of those complaints have been about Trade Assurance.

I'm sorry to say @LPPC , but I agree with Grace Shu that you are unlikely to get any satisfaction.

Walter
 

Grace Shu

New Contributor
Nov 6, 2019
5
11
13
Thank you for your answer Grace. I contacted Alibaba customer service and I edited the main post with the answers in blue color. The batch is already shipped. If I decided to ship only a part of the batch and have the rest repaired, then still that part of the shipment is of lower quality and on top of that, shipping cost would be way higher if I decide to ship it in 2 parts. So still there is some loss.

Why do you think Alibaba will not cover any loss? Do you have experience with this or you based it on trustworthy sources?
Hi LPPC :
Our company was worked with Alibaba many years , for the Ali Trade Assurance , It mains for these case like if the buyer paid via Ali , then they will cover your loss once you booked the order but the supplier disappered . generally speaking , it will be a very long time to solve everything .For these orders that products have the quality problem , they will tell supplier and buyer discuss ,they will not compensate any loss of it .
So for this case ,Finding a solution with your supplier to make your lost minimum is the best way . hope it can help you ,thanks
Regards
Grace
 
OP
OP
LPPC

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
320
274
129
28
Hi LPPC :
Our company was worked with Alibaba many years , for the Ali Trade Assurance , It mains for these case like if the buyer paid via Ali , then they will cover your loss once you booked the order but the supplier disappered . generally speaking , it will be a very long time to solve everything .For these orders that products have the quality problem , they will tell supplier and buyer discuss ,they will not compensate any loss of it .
So for this case ,Finding a solution with your supplier to make your lost minimum is the best way . hope it can help you ,thanks
Regards
Grace
Thanks a lot Grace. It seems that everyone agrees that Alibaba Trade Assurance is worth nothing in most cases. @Walter Hay also has a lot of experience with this and he says the same.
 
OP
OP
LPPC

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
320
274
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The supplier is willing to give a 7.5% discount on all future orders + 1000 USD to be spent over 4 orders. So I can spend/get discounted 250 USD per order. I proposed that I should be able to spend that 1000 USD in 1 time now on a new batch, so to be produced now, because or else I have no guarantee that they will keep their promise after Trade Assurance time is over. They are not willing to do that. I am not happy with this proposal since it is way too less for the loss in quality they have caused.

Now I can do Trade Assurance still, but the chance is very low that it will succeed, as everyone has pointed out. Would you guess that the supplier will still give that discount if I do Trade Assurance and it fails? So would it be worth doing Trade Assurance application?

The supplier of course wants to have my orders in the future, so they might still give that discount if I don't order without it. So far they have given me the best prices and quality (still) of all the 5 manufacturers I got samples from. It would also take a lot of time to find new suppliers etc.

Would appreciate your opinion @Walter Hay , @Grace Shu and all others.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,398
9,698
2,203
World citizen
I would count my blessings and accept their offer, without using Trade Assurance which only gives an illusion of protection anyway.

In fact I think you have actually done very well out of this horrible situation. I suggest you thank them graciously, and refer to the fact that now they have done this, your much improved relationship with them will be long lasting.

If you can put this annoying event behind you and work on your future dealings with them, they will appreciate it. You have fought hard and I don't believe they would take your agreement with their offer as a sign of weakness.

It would be a good idea to change your ordering and shipping process to one that includes pre-shipment inspections with a satisfactory inspection report being required before final payment and shipment. You could specify that an X% fail rate by the inspection service would require a re-make of the order.

Walter
 
OP
OP
LPPC

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
320
274
129
28
I would count my blessings and accept their offer, without using Trade Assurance which only gives an illusion of protection anyway.

In fact I think you have actually done very well out of this horrible situation. I suggest you thank them graciously, and refer to the fact that now they have done this, your much improved relationship with them will be long lasting.

If you can put this annoying event behind you and work on your future dealings with them, they will appreciate it. You have fought hard and I don't believe they would take your agreement with their offer as a sign of weakness.

It would be a good idea to change your ordering and shipping process to one that includes pre-shipment inspections with a satisfactory inspection report being required before final payment and shipment. You could specify that an X% fail rate by the inspection service would require a re-make of the order.

Walter
Thank you for the thoughtful response. You've been of big help again.
 

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