How To Avoid Being Trapped in a Chinese Factory Scam Order, with Mike Bellamy

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Manufacturing, Podcast12 Comments

Mike bellamy globalfromasia Podcast2-v3

Buying online from a Chinese factory, or looking into it, then today’s show is for you, episode 71

Cheerios is my favorite cereal brand, I don’t have it often but my buddy Dave Ho brought a jumbo 2 box pack from USA after his Christmas holiday there so I have been enjoying them every day. What he didn’t bring is milk, but we get it delivered from the internet – yes I order milk online in China, crazy. Well my wife Wendy wanted to save money or try some new deal and got me full cream condense milk – a 10 case bulk pack…. this morning I had my cheerios and went for the milk….let’s just say it didn’t turn out to my normal morning – anyway, sorry for that rant, just one of those things you miss about back home….the food!

So today’s show we have a friend and famous China business expert Mike Bellamy – I met him during my first trade show at the Global Sources show in fall of 2007 and he gave me some advice that helped get me started on the right track. Today he is going to talk to the entrepreneurs out there who may not have the funds to come out to China but are trying to buy online from Global Sources and alibaba, and how to avoid some pitfalls. Also don’t forget that the show notes are, as always on the blog at – now Listen up and take notes, now let’s do this!


About Mike Bellamy

Mike moved to Asia in 1993 and has served as a China business advisor to both fortune 500 companies and small businesses.

Recognized as an expert on China sourcing, Mike has been interview by the Financial Times,  Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC and CNN.  He is a featured presenter on China business issues at various seminars, trade shows and corporate events across the globe.  Mike is the author of the essential reference guide to China sourcing and blogs at

In 2002, Mike founded a boutique sourcing agency, PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (, which provides sourcing and supply chain management services to international clients who wish to outsource some or all of their import/export departments.  He also volunteers at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center and China Sourcing Service Center.

Mike received his double degrees in Diplomacy and Economics in Washington DC at American University and later went on to gain an International MBA from the University of South Carolina which included a year of full-time graduate level courses in China.

Before building a career in China, Mike spent 2 years as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar studying Japanese factory management in Tokyo and Osaka. Later he studied the Chinese language in Manchuria and Beijing. Mike reads, writes and speaks Chinese.  Originally from Western NY near Buffalo, Mike is currently based in Shenzhen with his wife and daughters.

Contact Details:

MikeB @

LinkedIn Profile:

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduction of Mike Bellamy
  • I remember meeting you at a Global Sources trade show in 2007 where you were presenting, thanks for always sharing and you gave me some great tips and introductions when I first got here.
  • What brought you out to China in the beginning?
  • Today’s topic – China Sourcing Due Diligence Tactics, Can’t think of anyone with more experience than you
  • Can you share with us various types of China sourcing – wholesale/ off the shelf, tweaked versions of pre-existing products, and fully customized
  • Let’s focus on fully customized today – What are some MOQ amounts normally required to do these?
  • What are the other costs many also don’t factor in that are essential
  • I remember you mentioning you have worked with some Kickstarter projects and other crowdfunding projects – what is the normal process for these guys – should they start to source from China before they list on kickstarter, or when funded, prototype? any tips?
  • Process of narrowing down the overwhelming list of suppliers in your hunt for the right Chinese factory and supplier relationship?
  • Ways to show you are serious buyer to a Chinese manufacturer
  • Some “buzzwords” or keywords you should know when talking to a factory- FOB, EXW, etc
  • Last tips or things I missed for buyers venturing into China for their procurement
  • I know your book has tons of templates and resources people should check that out – where can they go
  • Ways people can reach out to you and your business

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 40:28

Thanks Mike for coming on the show – I’m always asked this question so will continually promote people to listen to this amazing episode!

So I wonder if people listening have had any bad experiences buying from a Chinese factory? If you leave a comment I’ll discuss with Mike and see if we can give you some of his expert advice, but at the very least others on the site can reply and I’ll also give you my tips.

I have had my experience of bad experiences with Chinese factories, but then again, like Mike mentions it is also the buyers responsibility to be clear with the specifications and not just negotiate on price – there is a ton more involved than pricing alone…so don’t use that as the main indicator – as honestly in the past I did and it burned me…

Also I have been keeping up with a weekly newsletter that is sent out – it isn’t just this podcast but news about Hong Kong and China – just a few lines of news and some personal and business updates on my side to end – its free to signup just go to

cheers! or should I say – cheerio -s!

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Mike bellamy globalfromasia Podcast1-v2

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Tags: china, import export

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