The risk in buying USBs from China

china scamsAfter 20 years of purchasing goods from China, one of the most interesting developments I’ve noticed has been the number of Chinese agents marketing directly to corporates. It has been disturbing to hear from some direct purchase clients who have come back to me with horror stories that have cost their companies money and sometimes the purchaser’s job.

To be honest, it isn’t much safer than the Nigerian or inheritance scams that we see going around. Here are some of the issues that should make you reconsider buying direct from overseas factories:


  • You will be required to pay in advance – you may not here from them again! There is a big increase in the number of Nigerian style scams going on in China despite the websites looking very enticing and real.
  • You may receive B or C grade memory chips substituted for quality long lasting A grade chips.
  • Logo is not printed or engraved properly or rubs off.
  • Memory chips are not conforming to ERAC – Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council and could be recalled. They must display a sticker showing conformity.
  • You have no guarantee of quality.
  • Margins for USBs are quite low, so there is not a big saving by going direct.
  • You will need to have a good understanding of artwork requirements and probably won’t get suitable artwork approvals from the factory/agent.


If you need any further information or advise on USB purchasing, please feel free to call me. USB DIRECT is the first company to complete ERAC compliance and has compliance stickers displayed on each USB. If you don’t have these, you may be subject to a recall from the ERAC.