Buyer's Guide: Trade Safely

At Ekowarehouse, we have done a lot of the homework for buyers to be able to trade safely:

  • Ekowarehouse screens suppliers in-house: we do not use third parties.
  • We only accept suppliers with whom we have communicated directly.
  • We verify national government-issued business registration/license documents for every supplier.
  • We require every product uploaded to have an attached internationally recognized organic or ecolabel certification. For a list of the certifications we accept, check here.
  • Business registration/license documents and organic/ecolabel certificate documents are reviewed periodically and must be up to date at all times.

We do want to share some helpful advice as you navigate the organic sourcing world on Ekowarehouse. Happy Sourcing!

General Information

  • Call the supplier directly to evaluate their professionalism.
  • Ask the supplier for client references, from your geography is possible.
  • Make sure the company has international exporting experience (if relevant).
  • Leave no room for interpretation in documentation such as emails, contracts, trade documentations or product specifications.
  • Enquire about product labeling: make sure the labels are in a language appropriate for your end customers and that the packaging follows your country’s regulatory requirements.
  • Engage professional language interpreter services if required- most Ekowarehouse suppliers should be able to conduct business in English but just in case, it's worth doing considering.
  • Run a formal background check if necessary.

Quality Control & Product Specification

  • Request a sample from the supplier if available. This will give you a chance to test how they do business.
  • Ask to see as many photos as possible.
  • Ask for detailed product documentation: technical specifications, materials and/or ingredients list, quality control procedures, product safety standards, lab testing documentation and proof of certification. Leave no room for interpretation.
  • Enquire about whether the supplier subcontracts its production- it is harder to monitor quality when the supplier is not directly in control of production. 
  • Enquire about product labeling and make sure they are in a language appropriate for your customers and that they follow your country’s regulatory requirements.

Payment

  • Pay the supplier by irrevocable Letter of Credit so you are protected.
  • Enquire about all shipping and logistics fees in advance.
  • Agree on payment method in advance, negotiate terms that include a deposit and hold payment until you have received the goods and checked their quality.
  • Don’t pay for the entire order in advance.
  • Use an escrow service for safety.

Basic Don’ts

  • Don’t do business without first communicating directly and clearly with the other party.
  • Don’t make a deal without a contract.
  • Don’t wire money online via Western Union-type providers as they have no data trail.
  • Don’t go ahead if you have a bad feeling.
  • Don’t pay for the entire order in advance.
  • Don’t forget to ask for references.
  • Don’t do business with suppliers whom you cannot communicate with.

 Remember, trust your instincts above all else. If something doesn’t feel right, do not proceed with any transaction.

 Disclaimer: Ekowarehouse Limited accepts no liability for any transactions and results thereof arising from the usage of Ekowarehouse.com.