Shipping container scams are constantly on the rise, especially through unverified sellers online. If you want to avoid being ripped off, buying poor quality or purchasing containers that never arrive, keep reading. Plus, find out how to buy and lease containers safely from vetted partners today.
Container scams come in many shapes and forms including fraudsters using fake Facebook pages, sending phishing emails and impersonating established businesses. In order to stay one step ahead of scam artists, you need to be equipped with all of the facts. So that you can protect both your sensitive information and your pocket.
If you’re tired of spending hours on the web researching suppliers, we’ve got a solution that will put your mind at ease. Container xChange is an online container marketplace for trading and leasing shipping containers of all types and sizes.
We’ve got 1,500+ vetted and pre-approved partners offering containers in 2,500+ cities around the world. Plus, all transactions can be done directly on the platform through our 100% secure payment wallet.
Try out our marketplace right now to get a sneak peek and see the containers we have available. Simply type in your location and the container type you’re looking for. Then press ‘search’ to browse containers worry-free today.
What are shipping container scams?
Shipping container scams usually involve ‘businesses’, groups or individuals claiming to be container suppliers or leasing companies.
In such scams, ‘special offers’, discounts or high returns on investment are promised for purchasing shipping containers. In most cases, customers pay for shipping containers and never receive them.
Shipping container scams are prevalent online especially on social media platforms like Facebook, so it’s important to be aware of what to look out for. Keep reading to find out about the different types of scams around, and how to avoid them.
Types of shipping container scams
Unfortunately, there isn’t just one type of shipping container scam out there. Instead, there are a whole host of different approaches. To make matters worse, scam artists continue to find new ways to deceive customers.
To help you stay one step ahead, let’s go over some of the main types of shipping container scams:
Fake Facebook pages and websites: Scammers often use fake Facebook pages or websites to attract customers. These may look real at first glance, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll be able to work out whether they’re fake or not.
These ‘businesses’ may entice potential leads with cheap prices or ‘special deals’. Often, they’ll put up fake business information and use stock images of containers or other products to make their business look legitimate.
Stealing existing company names: In some cases, scam artists will use an established business name and pass it off as their own. This may confuse customers into thinking the business is real, especially if they’ve heard the name before.
Phishing emails: Phishing emails are another popular way to trick customers into giving out sensitive information online. In such emails, scammers usually offer discounts or special deals on shipping containers and may ask you for sensitive information upfront. This is always a red flag.
Alternatively, you may be asked to click on a link, which could be used to hack into your computer and steal information.
If reading about scams gives you gray hairs, there’s one way to avoid them altogether. On Container xChange, we do all of the ‘scam-proofing’ for you, so that you can focus on what matters most: getting the containers you need at budget-friendly prices. So click below to start finding the containers you need stress-free today.
How to spot shipping container scams
There are various ways to spot scams online. Here are some top tips to help you identify fraudulent businesses:
Check out their website: If you’re having doubts, call the number on the website to check if it’s real. If you get through reasonably fast, this is a good sign. Also take a look at the area code of the phone number. If it doesn’t match that of the company address, this should be seen as a red flag.
Lastly, check for fake email addresses. These often have random numbers or characters in them. An official business will usually have their company domain as the name, for example containerbusiness.com, whereas a scammer may use an address like containerbusiness23.com.
Visit their social media pages: Visit their Facebook page, and make sure the company has been operating for at least a few years. Also check that the information is consistent on all platforms.
Check that their website appears in organic search results: Make sure that the company website comes up in search results and not only in paid ads or pop-ups. Only appearing in a paid ad may indicate that there is no actual webpage and therefore the business could be fake.
How to avoid shipping container scams
Now that you know how to spot potential scams, let’s dive a little deeper into how to avoid them altogether:
Compare prices from different vendors
Compare the prices of various vendors to get an idea of what the containers you’re after are going for. This way, a price that’s much higher or lower than average will be an immediate red flag. If prices seem too good to be true, it’s probably because they are!
Luckily, with our Insights platform, complete price transparency is finally possible. If you don’t know what Insights is, don’t worry – we’ll get into this later on in the blog.
Plus, on xChange, all prices and leasing rates are stated up-front, so you know exactly what you’ll need to shell out before finalizing a deal. What’s more, it’s easy to compare the prices of multiple offers on one dashboard.
Want to compare container prices safely all in one place? Get 100% price transparency and compare data to get the best deal for your budget today.
Research suppliers beforehand
If this number is nowhere to be found, take this as a potential warning sign. Also check for reviews and ratings on Google.
We know that researching suppliers can be a lot of extra work, which is why we do it for you on xChange. That’s right, we vet all container suppliers before they join the platform.
This includes a full background check and the submission of important documents to verify their authenticity. You can also read up about any partner on xChange and check their ratings and reviews before deciding to work with them.
Ask to view shipping containers on-site
Unsure about potential offers you’ve found online? Ask to view the containers on-site. If the company refuses or makes excuses, it’s best to walk away. This could very likely be a scam.
This is also important because unverified companies may claim that a container is in a much better condition than it is. For example, they could add fake photographs to their website and claim a container is in excellent condition when in fact it is not. Worse than this, buyers may receive containers that are old or extremely damaged, and cost a fortune to repair.
On the xChange platform, it’s always possible to arrange to view containers before closing a deal. You can also organize a container surveyor to check and approve the containers before you move forward with an offer.
Never share your banking information
Be suspicious of any company asking you to share personal details and banking information, especially early on in the process. This shows a lack of professionalism, and should raise alarm bells. You should only ever make payments using secure payment portals online.
On Container xChange, we provide you with a completely safe payment handling experience. Plus, we’ve put certain assurances in place to give you peace of mind. This includes payment protection. With our payment protection policy, you’ve got 7 days to inspect the container you’ve purchased to make sure you’re happy before your money goes through.
Watch out for additional fees
If additional fees are added onto your bill, be wary of moving forward with a deal. All costs should be discussed upfront, and nothing should be added without your consent.
On xChange, you can finalize the price and all details of the deal upfront. No brokerage fees, no unexpected surprises – we promise!
Want to trade and lease containers without worrying about added fees piling up? Join xChange for a completely transparent user experience and avoid hidden fees altogether.
Keep up-to-date with container prices & leasing rates to avoid overpaying
As we mentioned earlier, it’s also important to make sure that a company is offering a fair price for containers. Prices that are too high or too low should immediately make you suspicious.
It goes without saying then that being in the know about the latest container prices in the market is essential for anyone looking to buy or lease shipping containers.
If you’ve struggled to find accurate and up-to-date prices from your usual sources, we’ve got a solution you’ll love. Welcome to xChange Insights, where you can access the latest container prices and leasing rates, anytime, from anywhere.
On Insights, keep track of container prices and rates in 180+ global locations. Simply log in to check out the most up-to-date figures for the containers you’re after.
This way, you’re fully equipped with the data you need to make informed buying and leasing decisions. You’ll also be able to spot good deals when they come along and avoid being overcharged for equipment.
The best part? You can sign up completely free – no strings attached! Check out our Insights platform today and get complete price transparency in real-time.
How to buy & lease shipping containers from 1,500+ vetted suppliers
Now that you know how to find up-to-date container prices, you might be curious about how to go about getting containers on our platform. So let’s go over the four steps to buying and leasing containers from reliable suppliers now.
Define your criteria
First off, make sure you know which container type and size you need. Also, figure out the condition that best suits your requirements and budget, as well as the price you’re willing to shell out. You can use xChange Insights to figure out the best price for the containers you’re after.
Browse 100,000+ container offers
When you know what you’re looking for, type your criteria into the search bar to start browsing offers that suit you. You’ll be able to compare prices for multiple options at the same time. So that you can find the offer that best fits your budget.
Finalize a deal with the supplier
When you’ve decided on an offer, connect with the supplier directly to negotiate the price and discuss all of the finer details.
If you’re leasing, this is also your chance to agree on the number of free days and per diem charges you’re both happy with. The best part? There are no middlemen, just you and the partner finalizing the deal together.
Make secure payments on the platform
Last but not least, you’ll need to make the payment. This is the part that might make you the most nervous, but don’t worry. We offer 100% safe payments through our xChange Wallet.
Finally, have just one payment partner, approve invoices online, and track all of your transactions in one place. Plus, if you have any doubts or concerns, our support team is always happy to help you out.
Buy and lease shipping containers safely on Container xChange
Now you’ve got the full lowdown on how to spot and avoid shipping container scams. Plus, how to buy and lease shipping containers safely from vetted partners.
All that’s left to do is sign up as a member on xChange, and you can say goodbye to worrying about scams and fraud for good.
Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy as a member:
- 100% safe and secure payments with the xChange Wallet
- Work with 1,500+ vetted partners with full background checks
- Reviews and ratings available for all partners
- Talk directly to suppliers to negotiate prices, leasing rates, per diem charges and free days
- 50,000+ containers available to lease and buy in over 2,500 cities globally
The first step? Signing up for a free demo of the platform. Here you’ll get a sneak peek, and a chance to learn all about our safe and secure marketplace and payment system. Click below to find out more today. You’ll be buying and leasing shipping containers from vetted partners and avoiding container scams once and for all.
Shipping container scams: Common FAQs
What is a shipping container scam?
Shipping container scams occur when customers are tricked into paying for containers that never get delivered, or sharing sensitive information. In this way, money is often stolen from customers.
How do shipping container scams happen?
Shipping container scams happen in a number of ways. Companies may use fake websites to promote their ‘products’, use already existing business names or send phishing emails asking for sensitive information or encouraging customers to click on links.
How do you avoid shipping container scams?
The main way to ensure you avoid container scams is by knowing exactly what to look out for. This includes identifying fake Facebook pages/websites, suspicious email addresses and businesses without legitimate phone numbers or physical addresses.