Buying Online From China
We’re all looking for the best deal we can find on the best products available, but is buying online from China the best approach to picking up a bargain?
There are some well-known places to shop online from eBay to Amazon and many stores in between, but when we are driven by the idea of the quintessential bargain, we may be tempted to wander off the reservation so to speak, and start taking chances.
Some names that spring to mind are AliExpress or Alibaba, LightintheBox, DHGate and Everbuying that offer huge arrays of goods at rock-bottom prices. I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with these online stores I am simply saying they may be some reasons why someone may want to avoid these irresistible bargains and I’ll try to outline some important point to illustrate my thoughts.
The primary reason for anyone shopping on a discount China store is getting the lowest price but this, as we all know in our hearts, is not the best way to make a purchase. Just as a high price doesn’t necessarily equate to high quality, low prices don’t necessarily equate to a bargain.
The dictionary says a bargain is “a thing bought or offered for sale much more cheaply than is usual or expected.”
But it does not specify the quality or source of the product, but if you will bear with me, I would like to add to this.
‘The bargain a thing bought or offered for sale much more cheaply than is usual or expected, while buying from an established and trusted brand, while maintaining your consumer rights, with the promise of the inherent quality of the brand in question.’
Great, so you can buy a Bluetooth connected smartwatch from Alibaba for as little as $10 and it will surely work. I myself tested a similar site and ordered a watch that cost $0:00 and $1:00 for delivery and I have to say I did not expect much or even expect it to arrive.
Arrive it did and it was just as described and worked as promised, so what’s my beef? Well, I have a long list of issues when it comes to buying cheap goods, so let’s take look.
We are all relatively comfortable buying on Amazon, and even eBay but it could be a different story buying from China. I think we’ve all bought cheap rubbish on eBay to find it’s just not worth the $2 we paid for it, but this is down to us taking risks with small amounts of money. Well, maybe that’s just me?
The point is, what rights do we have when buying from China? Do the consumer rights we enjoy in the EU and the US standup when we buy from China? Again, I am not saying these bargain basement sites are out to cheat us, AliExpress for example, promises a full refund if a buyer does not receive an order, or a full or partial refund if the item is not as described. This, however, is not binding in law, so they are not obliged to make refunds, making it your responsibility to claim back money via your credit card or other payment methods should something go wrong.
To take advantage of these low low prices the paying customer will need to take advantage of brands such as Aun, Mi, Gimi and Teclast which are not brands we are too familiar with in the UK, EU, and the US. Although there’s no doubt these are big names in China, we have no way or qualifying or quantifying the quality of these brands in a vacuum.
When items like iPhone covers are selling for less than a dollar, how can we rely on the item fitting or lasting more than a few days?
With the main players online like Amazon which is one of the biggest names, sorry for banging on about them, but they are such a good example of an established brand. You can select a standard delivery or pay more for expedited delivery, but the China-based suppliers demand a little more patience with deliveries taking up to 2 months to arrive.
The reverse situation of returning faulty or poorly described or produced goods could see the consumer (you) paying out a large sum to post an item back to mainland China.
For those of us who pay State tax, you will want to find out what kind of tax bill you will expect to pay on entry to the US, just saying……
What’s The Answer?
Like most things in life, nothing comes easy, and nothing worth having comes to us easily without a struggle or some sacrifice. Certainly buy cheap from China if you can wait for it and you don’t expect top quality. If you want something that’s fun, cheap, and disposable then the China-based online shop is a perfect option for you. If on the other hand, you’d like to own a product because it’s something you want and need to work correctly for a long time, then my advice is simple.
Trusted brands are trusted because they have taken the time to do their research and development to produce products fit for purpose. They have been around for a long time because their products perform as promised and cost more to own because of the brands continuing research and development to produce better and better product lines. This is also the reason there is a thriving fake, copy, and homage market out there selling low quality, look-alike products that don’t bear close examination.
Do yourself a favor, don’t cheat yourself out of buying the real thing. That’s my view.
If you are determined to buy bargains from China I would simply say this. Electronic goods including child’s toys don’t need to meet the same quality standards that we see in the EU, UK, and the USA so bear this in mind when making decisions.
To help in your purchase, always read customer feedback on reviews of the seller and products, just as you would if you were buying on eBay. If in doubt Contact the seller to get full information and pictures, and if any doubt remains, walk away.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect Watch at the perfect price, from a trusted source, you know it can be a stressful experience, with the right help and advice, you too can find your dream timepiece. As I’m considered an expert in my field and I write for other publications like Wrist Review I know you’ll benefit from my experience and avoid the pitfalls.
If you are considering buying online you may be interested in reading the “How to choose a watch for your wrist size” article here.
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