China Justice Observer


EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchFrenchGermanHindiItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedishHebrewIndonesianVietnameseThaiTurkishMalay

How can I avoid being scammed on Alibaba:Take the seller’s refusal to shipment as an example - CTD 101 Series

Sat, 13 Nov 2021
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌



Be sure to specify the conditions for terminating the contract and refunding the advance payment in the contract.

The seller’s refusal to shipment is a major risk in cross-border e-commerce, as well as the biggest concern of the buyer.

Although the existence of fraudulent sellers is inevitable, honest businessmen and fair trade are still the mainstream. Then why do they refuse to ship the goods sometimes?

Given the outbreak of the COVID-19 has exerted a great impact on the supply chain, many sellers are more or less affected and therefore reluctant to make shipments.

The biggest reason for non-shipment is the gigantic increase in freight and raw material costs:

1. Freight

If the seller and the buyer agree to be bound by CIF, then the freight is borne by the seller. In the past year, international logistics prices have soared. For the seller, once it ships the goods and pays the freight, it is very likely to lose money.

2. Raw material costs

Due to the economic stimulus package of various countries after the epidemic, raw material costs have generally increased several times. This leads to the estimated cost of the seller when receiving the order much lower than the actual cost, so for the seller, once it starts production, it is likely to lose money.

If the seller raises the product price due to the increase of freight and raw material costs, the trust between the buyer and the seller will collapse. The buyer will worry that if it yields this time, would the seller push its “luck” harder next time?

In this case, terminating the contract and refunding the deposit may be the best choice for both parties.

To sum up, we advise that:

First of all, when signing a contract or order, the buyer and the seller must add termination clauses for circumstances where the increase of costs renders the contract performance non-profitable.

Secondly, the buyer and the seller had better speed up the contract performance. The faster the shipment is made after signing the contract, the less likely will the buyer and the seller be affected by cost fluctuation.




The Cross-border Trade Dispute 101 Series (‘CTD 101 Series’) provides an introduction to China-related cross-border trade dispute, and covers the knowledge essential to cross-border trade dispute resolution and debt collection.


* * *

Do you need support in cross-border trade and debt collection?

CJO Global's team can provide you with China-related cross-border trade risk management and debt collection services, including: 
(1) Trade Dispute Resolution
(2) Debt Collection
(3) Judgments and Awards Collection
(4) Anti-Counterfeiting & IP Protection
(5) Company Verification and Due Diligence
(6) Trade Contract Drafting and Review

If you need our services, or if you wish to share your story, you can contact our Client Manager Susan Li (

If you want to know more about CJO Global, please click here.

If you want to know more about CJO Global services, please click here.

If you wish to read more CJO Global posts, please click here.


Photo by Lau keith on Unsplash


Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

Save as PDF

You might also like

China’s Wenzhou Court Recognizes a Singapore Monetary Judgment

In 2022, a local Chinese court in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, ruled to recognize and enforce a monetary judgment made by the Singapore State Courts, as highlighted in one of the typical cases related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) recently released by China’s Supreme People’s Court (Shuang Lin Construction Pte. Ltd. v. Pan (2022) Zhe 03 Xie Wai Ren No.4).

SPC Issues Judicial Interpretation on Ascertainment of Foreign Law

In December 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Court issued a judicial interpretation on the ascertainment of foreign law, providing comprehensive rules and procedures for Chinese courts, aiming to address difficulties faced in foreign-related trials and improve efficiency.