The first thing to watch for is the company that requires an up-front fee. This is a very common ploy, and requests can range up to US$300,000. They claim it is to register the contract or organize title transfer. Don’t fall into the trap. A reputable supplier will pay this fee themselves, having factored it into the price. A real supplier will not ask for anything up-front.
To further confuse the issue. companies such as Rosneft and Gazprom do not sell direct. They use subsidiaries and this gives the fraudsters the opportunity to claim they are backed by these large companies. Be careful and read the procedures they issue carefully. Make sure the POP is done bank to bank. Don’t trust emails and faxes. Make sure the contract matches the FCO. Watch for hidden traps.
While saying how hard it is for buyers one must say a word about the other side. Sellers get very annoyed at people who fish far and wide for prices. Others will go through the deal only to back out when it comes time to pay.
So if you are looking to buy petroleum check every piece of paper and don’t enter into a deal unless you intend to follow though.
Written by Haydn Leseberg, Trade Manager, Sutlet Group Co., Ltd.
The Sutlet Group is a leading provider of business services in Thailand, but also provide professional trading services via our worldwide network of reputable partners and suppliers. Contact us for the latest prices on key commodities.