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11 Simple ways to know if a supplier is legit

11 Simple ways to know if a supplier is legit

A wise business owner once said, “The best way to protect your business is by doing proper due diligence.” But how can you make sure that suppliers are legit? Start with these 11 simple ways.

1. Check that the domain name is secure.

A secure website is one where an “s” appears at the end of the web address (the suffix), such as https://www.example.com/.

A website with a certificate indicates it has been verified and trusted by a third party, such as Verisign or Comodo. This means you can be more confident in dealing with them because they have gone to extra effort to prove they’re legitimate companies and not scammers trying to steal your money.

2. Make sure the supplier has a physical address.

You should be able to find a physical address on the supplier’s website. If you can’t, it’s a red flag. If a company has nothing to hide, then why would they be hiding their location?

A legitimate business will likely have multiple addresses they use throughout their operations. While they may not want people knowing where their main warehouse or offices are located, they should still have other addresses that make sense for them to list online (like an office used for sales).

3. Do some digging online.

Search for reviews online. Check to see what other people have to say about the supplier. If there are plenty of positive reviews, you can rest assured that your order will be fulfilled in a timely manner and with no hassle. If there are many negative reviews, however, it may be best to skip this supplier altogether.

Check for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other websites such as scamadvisor.com.

The BBB is an independent organization that monitors companies’ business practices and reports any issues with them so that customers can make informed decisions about their purchases on the internet or elsewhere. The more complaints filed against a company, the less trustworthy it becomes.

Therefore, if you see a lot of complaints listed on BBB’s website against your potential supplier(s), it might be best not to do business with them at all because they may not deliver what they promise or worse yet—they could rip you off outright!

4. Check with consumer protection agencies to make sure the supplier isn’t listed as a bad actor.

Check with consumer protection agencies to make sure the supplier isn’t listed as a bad actor. This is also a great way to ensure that your supplier doesn’t have any hidden fees or charges.

If you don’t have time for this step, at least use a search engine like Google and make sure the supplier isn’t listed on any blacklists. If they are, avoid doing business with them!

While many reputable suppliers won’t be on these lists (and some of them may even be offended if you ask their opinion), there are plenty of bad actors out there who will try to take advantage of small business owners like yourself. So it’s always better safe than sorry when money is involved!

5. Ask for payment terms upfront and ask what those terms are.

This is an easy way to know if a supplier is legit. If the supplier refuses to give you payment terms, or if they offer an unusual method of payment (like sending a check via snail mail), be wary. When it comes down to it, the supplier needs you more than you need them.

If your business depends on their products or services, you should be able to get some sort of discount or reduced price in exchange for paying promptly and in full on time each month.

6. Review and understand any contract before you sign it.

Before you sign any contracts, it’s important to read and understand them thoroughly. If your supplier is not willing to share copies of their contract with you, this could be a red flag. Legitimate suppliers are happy to provide copies of all of their contracts for review by their clients.

You should also ensure that the contract has been drafted by an attorney with expertise in business law. You should never rely on your own lawyer or general counsel for advice about signing a contract—they may lack the specific knowledge needed for this task.

If the terms of a prospective supplier’s agreement don’t make sense or seem unfair, don’t hesitate to ask questions! You can even ask them if they would agree to negotiate certain terms if necessary—you might be surprised at how flexible they become when faced with negotiating power!

7. Research the product you’re buying.

If you’re in the market for a product that you haven’t bought before, research it. Check online reviews from verified buyers. Look up the product’s history and how long it’s been on the market. Search for any complaints or negative press about it. See if there are any reports of counterfeits or knock-offs that look like your product but aren’t exactly what you want to buy.

You can also search for information about the supplier itself, as well as their website and social media presence (if they have one). Did they work with other clients in a similar industry? If so, did these past customers give positive feedback about working with this supplier?

How long has this company been around? Is there anything written on its site that makes them seem shady—like maybe they don’t actually have any products ready yet but just want to take your money anyway?

Lastly, check out their return policy; if something goes wrong with an order after you’ve received it (and especially if it breaks), do they offer refunds quickly or tell customers to deal with manufacturers themselves?

8. Be wary of suppliers who respond quickly and say “yes” to everything.

There’s a reason why the supplier is responding so quickly. They may not be telling you the truth, they may be trying to sell you something that you don’t need, or they may be trying to sell you something that’s not in your budget. You can always ask them questions after they’ve responded with their initial response.

9. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re expecting an offer that seems too good to be true, you’re likely right. If a supplier is offering you a deal that makes your heart skip a beat but doesn’t give you any reason for excitement, it’s likely that they are trying to scam you and dupe your money out of your pocket (or bank account).

10. Figure out who has liability if things go south between you and your supplier.

Before you sign on the dotted line and pay for your product, ask yourself who is responsible for product defects, shipping damage, payment issues, delays in delivery times and non-delivery. A lot of small business owners are surprised to find out that they may be responsible for paying for damaged products during shipping or not receiving their money back from a supplier that doesn’t deliver on time or at all!

Check out this article by Inc Magazine to learn more about getting a contract with your supplier that clearly spells out who has liability in case things go south between you and your supplier: https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/how-to-get-a-satisfactory-suppliershi

11. Due diligence can keep your business from being

You’ve heard it all before: “Trust, but verify.” That’s the first rule of due diligence, and we’re going to keep it simple.

The second rule of due diligence is this: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a supplier, an employee or even a marriage proposal. If someone is offering something that seems too good for you to pass up on, then watch out! The only time anyone offers something for free is when they want something in return.

Whether you’re buying from a new supplier or trying to decide whether or not your current one can be trusted with your company’s money and reputation (because they’ll have both), here are 10 questions every business should ask themselves before entering into any agreement with another party:


We hope this helps you make sure your suppliers are legit. It’s important to know that bad actors exist in every industry, but by doing a little research you can keep yourself from being taken advantage of. If something sounds too good to be true or if you have any doubts about a potential supplier—just walk away!

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