A Handshake Isn’t Enough

We all like to think we’re a pretty good judge of character. But when thousands of dollars (or more!) are at stake, some reassurance would help – particularly in the international trade of recyclables where there are so many liabilities.

A ‘gut feeling’ can’t be trusted like it once was. And in times like these – when we can’t easily hop on a plane and meet someone in person – it’s even more critical that buyers have some form of recourse when working with new (and existing) suppliers.

Once Bitten…?

It’s not that we should distrust everyone we do business with. But a lot of us (our founder included) have experienced losses for any number of reasons. Agreements can be cancelled, payments and shipments indefinitely ‘delayed’, and material quality can be manipulated.

Even when we carry out due diligence on new business – checking credit reports and import/export history etc. – a lot of vital information can fall through the gaps.

For example, a supplier might pay all of their vendor invoices and bank loans on time – ensuring a flawless credit history. However, that’s no indication of the fact they may be prone to including substandard materials in with the good quality stuff.

Contracts are great for outlining the finer details, but when navigating international trade – especially when the trading partner is located on the other side of the world – the only way to get anything close to a guarantee that a supplier or buyer is completely above board, is a third-party endorsement – from those industry professionals whom they’ve already worked with in the past.

Peer Endorsement

This is exactly why Tradefox works so well. It enables information sharing, independent verification of companies’ trading reputations, and all-round transparency.

Not only that, it can also provide insight into all of our community members giving extra assurances that they can be trusted to do business honestly, as they’re prepared to open themselves to evaluation.

But most importantly, it provides the missing element that no one else does: the reputational information about how a company trades.

Even when you can look a new partner in the eye, shake their hand, and receive assurances that all will go according to plan, if their reputation is a stake they’re a lot less likely to do anything to put it at risk.

While that alone won’t ward off the most unscrupulous of buyers and sellers, it goes a long way in holding everyone else accountable, and ultimately building a trust-based relationship between parties with integrity.

It’s this combination of data, reporting, and endorsement that underpins Tradefox’s approach. We’re due diligence champions, but we know where the limitations lie, and we’re working to change that.

Of course, it would be great if everyone just acted honestly, but until then we’ll ensure that a handshake – albeit a digital one – means something to those who offer it in earnest.

Want to meet trusted buyers and sellers from across the global recycling industry? Sign up for Tradefox’s virtual conference – taking place on the 29th and 30th of September 2020!

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