MOST SUPPLIERS PROVIDE NO VERIFIED OR VERIFIABLE PROOFS OR SOURCES
In world oil deals involving the crude oil and petroleum products trading, especially in the so-called international “secondary” market, probably the single most fundamental and most thorny common problem which legitimate buyers frequently confront today, is the issue of the genuineness and authenticity of the supplier of product and the sales offer he presents. The central source of that problem can be summed up in one word – namely, most persons or entities who claim via the Internet to be oil or petroleum products suppliers or “sellers,” or to be suppliers of other similar commodities, either provide NO proofs or evidence at all of that, or provide proofs or evidence that are often absolutely meaningless because they’re unverified and unverifiable. Put very simply, for the serious or credible Internet buyer involved in the world oil deals seeking to find genuine suppliers, there are generally just NO duly VERIFIABLE authentic oil and petroleum products suppliers or trade offers in the so-called “secondary” market.
For the serious oil buyer, the problem is particularly acute and compounded by the fact that almost all “sellers” (or suppliers), or their brokers or intermediaries, that one meets on the Internet, are essentially unknown, unestablished dealers who lack any name, reputation or identity, or any known location on the planet, and lack any record or history of past performance in doing the business. In consequence, the serious buyer is often being asked — and actually being realistically expected — to, in effect, merely take “the word” of some dubious, anonymous, unidentified and apparently unidentifiable, phantom “seller” or “supplier” for it, with no credible supporting evidence provided, and no verification or authentication whatsoever of the Internet seller’s offer or claims. He’s being asked — and actually being expected — to risk, or, rather, to gamble away, his hard-earned mini-fortune of some $200 million merely on such a “word.”! This, it should be added, is being expected of the buyer in a business environment and climate that is patently awash in fraud and a network of notorious scammers worldwide!
THE BASIC CREDO OF THE BUSINESS
Yet, probably the most sacred, inviolable credo of any respected experts or trading practitioners ‘in the know,’ is that no responsible buyer (or seller) may seriously entertain or consider a trade offer UNLESS he has first examined and verified it to be genuine, and first confirmed that the party selling or supplying it is real. In sum, when it comes to the business of world oil deals, finding authentic petroleum products suppliers that can provide some credible tangible proofs or evidence of being one, and which are actually verifiable, is the central, Number #1 need and requirement of any prudent and credible buyer.
As Davide Papa, a respected expert on the proper methodology and procedures of modern trading and the co-author with Lona Elliot of “International Trade & Successful Intermediary,” put it: “The golden rule of trading is this: never offer goods to anyone unless you [as a trader or an intermediary] have verified personally that the goods are genuine. Never!” Elaborating, Papa adds that “you are not allowed to trade on goods offered by another intermediary in undisclosed form – this means if you secure a supplier, or an intermediary gives you an offer, YOU must know who the supplier is, or there is not [a] deal… [This is primarily so, because it is only] once you have the details of the supplier, [that] you can then begin to check the [information concerning the supplier],” drawing on your training and knowledge to do the essential due diligence required and to interpret the information gathered to determine whether you are dealing with an AUTHENTIC supplier in possession of goods, or simply another fake or confused intermediary masquerading as a seller or supplier of goods, or as a seller of another fake or confused intermediary seller.
FIND THE SELLER FIRST, THEN THE BUYER
In deed, knowledgeable experts and successful trading practitioners who have made a huge success of trading in oil and other commodities, go a little bit farther. Namely, they advice that not only must you never seriously entertain or consider a petroleum trade deal or offer UNLESS you have first adequately verified it to be genuine, and first confirmed the end-seller to be real, but that as a competent businessman and trader, you must make that your first priority and get that accomplished FIRST, before you may seek to secure a buyer. That is, the doctrine is that for a good and informed trader (or intermediary), if you are ever to be successful in the business, you must seek an authentic supplier, FIRST, and secure one; and ONLY then, after you’ve first secured such a supplier, should you then turn to search for a credible buyer next — the proper and fruitful order it should always go. That you NEVER should, in short, secure a buyer first, and then search for a supplier.
Why should it follow such chronological order? Because, according to experts and successful traders, in world oil deals and the refined petroleum products industry, the business is often the “seller’s market” where it is often generally harder to find the authentic petroleum products suppliers that actually have the product to sell, than to find buyers needing to buy them — a phenomenon that is even far more true and more acute in respect to finding sellers for products like the Nigerian BLCO, which is the brand of crude viewed in the industry as the “gold standard” having the most coveted and highest quality specifications of crude and is always in great demand.
One expert, for example, with vast practical experience in this, Davide Papa, who has expended several decades of efforts trying to find even one authentic BLCO supplier but without success, pointedly makes the point that first finding oil Suppliers and having an assured verified supply in hand, and then seeking end buyers, is “how it works [and should work] for very good reason – I have never seen ONE real Bonny offer in 25 year – hundreds/thousands of fakes.” Papa adds that, in any case, “This has to be the case because real suppliers are simply very hard to secure for anything – so many ill-informed sellers are also offering fake products – thinking that ‘If they can find a real end buyer, they will get supply’ – nonsense.”
IN OIL TRADING, THE CRITICALITY OF FINDING SUPPLIERS THAT ARE ALREADY VERIFIED & ARE VERIFIABLE
In sum, as a practical matter, finding real suppliers of any product – meaning one that is duly verified and verifiable – is generally more problematic than finding real buyers for it in most industries, and in respect to the oil and petroleum products industry, particularly, that problem is even far more compounded, more acute and primary, for various reasons.
THE IDEAL QUALITIES OF A TRUE OIL SUPPLIER
What kinds of characteristics or qualities will qualify or measure up as legitimate and acceptable VERIFIED OR VERIFIABLE evidences or proofs that a dealer(s) is/are most apparently authentic petroleum products suppliers? The following are some of the major qualities and ideal indications of a verified and/or verifiable authentic oil supplier or seller:
•==Supplier provides details of the supplier company as a real trading entity
•==Supplier provides supplier company’s financial standing and performance information, and past track records
•==Supplier’s financial info is confirmed and confirmable from a reputable international institution or capital equities and credit rating agency (e.g., the Standard and Poors).
•==Supplier is well-established, well-known, reputable dealer that ranks among some of the world’s biggest players in the commodities field, probably having offices all around the world and having turn over volumes in the billions of dollars in annual trading in products like BLCO, SLCO, ARAMCO, REBCO, gasoline, Mazut, Bitumen, LNG, AGO, etc.
•==Supplier is NOT just some unknown, unrecognizable, obscure, self-proclaimed, no-identity Internet “seller” or “supplier.”
•==Supplier’s procedures is a “mutually safe” type of procedures – meaning one that’s structured and designed so that it actually protects BOTH the primary interests of the seller to be paid for product, and of the buyer to get the product paid for and not to get scammed out of his money.
•==Supplier’s procedures are quite workable, buyer-friendly and buyer-favorable, at least for any LEGITIMATE dealer. (For example, acceptance of, say, a Documentary Letter of Credit type of payment instrument by the Supplier, which means, in essence, ‘You the seller, you don’t get paid a dime by the buyer UNLESS you have first delivered the product.’).
•==ON THE PRICES? Having a price structure that seems comparatively very competitive in terms of the prevailing official world prices, and are real and realistic relative to the world market, and NOT simply one that offers some fantasy-based prices that are totally unreal and unrealistic and seem like something that can only “work” in the fantasy world of a scammer and fraudster who really has no product to sell. (Such prices are possible and provided usually from suppliers who handle astronomical quantities of the product each year and valued in the several billions of dollars, as these would be the type who would be able to offer such best prices merely because of their market clout and volume).
•==Supplier that gives verifiable Bills of Lading (verifiable by a reputable third-party international trade agency), as this document would constitute a credible proof and confirmation that the selling company has regularly sold product for the past many months or years
•==Supplier requires or demands NO use of joker broker procedures like LOI, ICPO, FCO, BCL, etc., as this will be a good indication that the offer is apparently NOT from some clueless broker or intermediary, but is directly from the end seller or supplier.
•==Supplier does NOT demand a transferable Letter of Credit (Use of this device has been characterized by one expert to be the chief source for “perpetration of 99% of Internet frauds.”)
•==Supplier requires no so-called “pre-advice” Letter of Credit as a precondition for obtaining the POP (This has been noted to be the principal tool that many unscrupulous players use to do their scamming job today, as they’ll often head right to their bank to discount such instrument, then disappear leaving the buyer with no product or his money!).
•==Supplier does NOT require or demand payment of some upfront fees or charges of any kind or size by buyer (“Registration” fees, “security” fees, “clearance” fees, “government” fees, etc., are the basic ruse that scammers often use especially in the Russian and other oil markets, to scam gullible buyers!)
•==Seller would allow for the buyer to undertake factory or refinery inspection visit and tour to personally do product inspection before the parties may sign the contract.
•==Seller is willing, and also able, to post a 2% Performance Bond (should be a TRUE UPFRONT bond) to buyer to assure its financial commitment and investment to perform the contract – and provides verifiable proof, even BEFORE the contract is signed, of its financial capability to post the PB.
HOW DO YOU FIND SUCH SUPPLIERS?
To be sure, true, in today’s world oil deals, which is largely an Internet-dominated world that is, for the most part, prevalently awash in fake dealers and scammers, finding authentic petroleum products suppliers and verified oil sellers of such caliber that are well-verified and verifiable, is not commonplace. Nor is it an easy task to attain. It is, however, by no means impracticable, nor are such suppliers non-existent. Far, far from it! Quite to the contrary, such suppliers abound. It’s only that you just have to search around for such suppliers more diligently and skillfully and in the right places.