Archive for September, 2007

If you find offers for cheap cameras on Chinese websites you should be double careful – especially, if the price is only about 1/3 of the normal market price. And – I can not repeat it often enough – a professional looking website does not mean, that the company is reliable – it just means, that it is professional – but also criminals, who want to cheat foreign buyers are more and more professional.

In this case, someone contacted a Chinese company, they had a serious looking website, their address (fake) was in the World Trade Center in Beijing and the contact via skype was fast and professional. The price of the camera was 400 Euro instead of 1200.

After the money was transferred, the company said, they had some problems with Chinese customs, the buyer should transfer another 200 Euro because of tax. Here some standard excuses to get the additional 200 Euro:

  • No – sorry, it was impossible to send any proof, that the camera was held back by Chinese customs or that it had been sent.
  • Tracking number? No, also not possible, it was declared invalid by the Chinese customs.
  • Meeting? No problem – but they apparently even did not ask for a phone number or an exact address for a meeting point

The 400 Euro are gone of course, the company did not exist, the address in the World Trade Center was fake of course, the website has another address in the meanwhile.

I don’t think, the buyer will see his 400 Euro again

I paid the bill in a Chinese restaurant, it was the last day of a colleague in China – and of course the food was cheap. That’s how I told it to my accountant in Chinese. She only translated the first part into English – the part with the cheap food did not appear in the English version.

I found the website of a competitor of a potential client in Beijing. This competitor did not pay his web designer. The result was a very ugly website, “for sale” remark and a direct link to the website of my client. In Germany, I would get a nice letter by a lawyer for this kind of “payment reminder” very quickly.

Okay, I am not sure, if this is really worth a news – but because it is quite annoying, I will mention it in my blog: Wikipedia seems to be censored again. At least not available from Beijing.