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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 8th Aug 16, 4:54 PM
    • 1,235Posts
    • 3,568Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    0 WOW
    New Buying From China (incl AliExpress) guide discussion
    • #1
    • 8th Aug 16, 4:54 PM
    0 WOW
    New Buying From China (incl AliExpress) guide discussion 8th Aug 16 at 4:54 PM


    Hi all,

    We've written a new Buying From China guide and would love your feedback.

    How did you find the info? Was it useful? Do you have any other tips you'd add?

    Thanks for your help!

    MSE Jenny
Page 3
    • celticshaman
    • By celticshaman 8th Nov 16, 12:00 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    celticshaman
    Fasttech
    I've been buying from Fasttech for a number of years. I mostly buy vaping items - but not ejuice. Postage is free. I've only ever had one problem and that was dealt with to my satisfaction.

    In a nutshell, I had problems with a battery. I had to send it back. Because it was a genuine problem they refunded the postage costs. I was able to exchange the battery for a slightly more expensive one, ( I had lost confidence in the original one) I had to pay the difference, which was more than covered by the postage refund.

    I would most definately recommend fasttech. When it comes vaping items, I have far more choice than I would have in the uk. I also have the choice of buying originals or "styled" RTA's

    It's important to read reviews and item forums, and also ask questions in the forum about anything you're unsure about.
    • jogu
    • By jogu 8th Nov 16, 2:00 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    jogu
    I've been buying from Fasttech for a number of years. I mostly buy vaping items - but not ejuice. Postage is free. I've only ever had one problem and that was dealt with to my satisfaction.
    Originally posted by celticshaman
    Just be wary that e-cigs are a problem area; you need a properly designed and high quality combination of battery, main body and charger to be relatively sure of being safe, and even then you need to be careful not to abuse the unit (bending/dropping is a no-no). The majority use Lithium-Ion batteries which are troublesome at the best of times, more so in a compact unit in close proximity to heating elements.

    You'll find many horror stories on line about e-cigs exploding. Here's some info from some plastic surgeons in the NHS:

    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/863/news/42867

    This is probably one of those cases where if the price sounds really good, the likelihood is you are not dealing with a genuine well designed well made product.
    If you buy from a reputable UK dealer, then if you do lose a few fingers, you'll get a nice payout from their product liability insurance. It seems highly likely that fasttech don't have such insurance.

    (That said, fasttech is still likely a better option than aliexpress or eBay - but I wouldn't buy from there.)
    • georgiac
    • By georgiac 26th May 17, 4:37 PM
    • 1,116 Posts
    • 503 Thanks
    georgiac
    Hi, I am looking to import three large and heavy statues from China.

    I have been given a price for the shipping to Felixstowe dock.

    This is where thngs get sticky as I am not sure what happens when they arrive there.

    I will presumably have to pay import duty and arrange a courier to collect them from the docks.

    I just wondered if anyone has done this and if it is a. straightforward or b. what the pifalls are?

    Thanks in advance
    • Speedfreek27
    • By Speedfreek27 16th Aug 17, 7:09 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Speedfreek27
    I have bought several items from China in the last year but please be a aware what you see is NOT always what you get. My bad experiences have been with dress lily and bang good, luckily both items were under 5. My item from dress lily didn't arrive after 2 months of messaging them and getting feeble replies like "it may be delayed please wait another 4 weeks"?! The item from bang good looked nothing like the item I ordered and when I contacted them they wanted me to provide proof of postage and a picture of the goods before they would agree to a replacement after I returned the wrong item which would have cost twice as much as the item was worth. Please be wary.
    • Dolliver
    • By Dolliver 16th Aug 17, 7:50 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Dolliver
    Ive bought from china via amazon in error, I reordered an item from a uk seller on amazon and it hadnt arrived so I went to email the company and it came up with a china address!!! I contacted amazon and was told that as the item I ordered was out of stock the order went on to another stockist who had the item I wanted!!!! I was not impressed. I recently ordered from china via amazon and 2 months on the goods still havent arrived, I did get a refund from amazon. With ebay you can choose not to buy from china and uk sellers lists come up but on amazon theres no option to choose uk only, you have to keep checking where the seller is from! Its ridiculous how cheap the items are from china compared with sellers from the uk for the exact same item.
    I am from another planet but its ok they know me there
    • fenny
    • By fenny 16th Aug 17, 9:31 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    fenny
    'slight damage, genuine article' =fake.
    • fenny
    • By fenny 16th Aug 17, 9:40 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    fenny
    I use a site called 'deal extreme'. Have used it for years and been happy.I bought my phone from them too. It's the best phone I've ever owned. It's a Chinese brand called Doogee.Total cost was 55 inc P&P. I think that if you are hung up on brand names, or are naive, or not used to buying from China, you should stick to buying from the UK at 4 times the price.
    You won't even have the option of buying without paying import duty from Europe soon either. Once we leave the EU trade co-operative, it'll become just another place we have to pay duty from.
    Still, it's what the people voted for so I'm sure everyone will be content to pay more.
    • PeterGB
    • By PeterGB 16th Aug 17, 11:08 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    PeterGB
    I recommend it!
    I buy frequently from the Banggood site (no laughing, please!) Service is excellent, goods usually arrive in 10 days to two weeks, never a problem with refunds and pay with Paypal avoiding the currency issues. We have bought across the range including a lot of "Arduino" kits and addons. (Arduino is open source, so these are genuine copies, not to be confused with fakes and are a fraction of the price, but exactly the same.) (I have also bought genuine parts in the UK, so have done my bit to support the project, before anyone complains!)
    We have had goods up to the value of 30, but never had to pay extras for importing.
    So plan ahead, choose with care, ALWAYS compare prices with Amazon, eBay, UK/EU producers etc and just accept that the Chinese business ethos can have different values to those in the west.
    • Quaint1
    • By Quaint1 16th Aug 17, 11:25 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    Quaint1
    I've used two sites in the past - EachBuyer and, most recently Geek (it's an ios app)
    Both allow you to pay in whatever currency you want and I have only ever had one problem - a watch bought via Geek never arrived. This was quickly resolved by Geek and my payment was refunded.
    I'd say that, as long as you read the description and feedback carefully, and are happy to wait for delivery (and are mindful of the political and ethical issues) then take advantage of the deals! Many of the sellers on Geek are also sellers on the Amazon Marketplace...
    • Marypoppins72
    • By Marypoppins72 16th Aug 17, 4:00 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Marypoppins72
    Buying from China
    I have brought a few things from China via Facebook and play pennies website, including a watch recently which looks great was 1.99 free delivery. But the strap was plastic, so I had to buy a new strap and now every other day the time is a few hours out!! So off to buy new watch!! Willow be more careful!!!
    • elephantrosie
    • By elephantrosie 16th Aug 17, 8:28 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    elephantrosie
    Taobao
    Owned by the billionaire Jack Ma, taobao is like the brother of aliexpress.

    Does anyone know how to buy directly on taobao, rather than using an agent? Agent fees costing too much!
    Another night of thankfulness.
    • batvink
    • By batvink 17th Aug 17, 10:19 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    batvink
    Mixed results, mainly positive:

    VR headset (the kind you put your phone in) - 7.00, excellent quality
    4K Action camera (Go-pro like). 22, reasonable physical quality, video quality very good, lots of functionality (e.g 120 FPS). Plastic casings are a lower quality, but this is a second camera to complement my Go-pro, and for 10% of the price is excellent value.
    Rubik Cubes advertised as Professional quality, turned out to be extremely bad quality. Emailed them, they refunded me within a couple of days
    ND +10 Camera lens filter, 11, unusable. Sent me an alternative product when I complained which is reasonable

    The best part about buying from China is getting that excited feeling of anticipation while you wait for your goods. Anyone remember that from the eighties and before? The new generation should try it, on-demand isn't all it's cracked up to be!
    Thanks in advance,

    Steve V
    • Mohli
    • By Mohli 18th Aug 17, 8:01 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Mohli
    Poorly paid workers
    I have bought several things through Ebay and have not had many problens except a couple of items that didn't arrive. I was given a full refund and apology straight away.
    They have to make a living too and most don't earn a lot.

    I was quite disgusted that someone left feedback for a 99p item post free and said it looked cheap !!
    • MagikGimp
    • By MagikGimp 18th Aug 17, 4:05 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    MagikGimp
    Don't buy from China on eBay
    As for Hong Kong, probably the same situation applies.

    I've hardly ever had a good experience when shopping from Chinese eBayers unless it was for very simple items, basically stuff that you can't get wrong. Shipping takes a lifetime and while the costs for this are very low they use the long time period to their advantage. Once you go over that 30 day grace period you can't claim back for any problems you may [will inevitably] have. Whether it's poor product quality or simply that the wrong product was sent, you're stuck with dealing with liars and cheats on your own.
    There certainly are reputable businesses in China but they're large by their own success from healthy relationships with suppliers and the public. Stick with UK eBay stores instead that sell your typical China stuff if that's what you're after; you'll know the ones I mean when you see them. Lots of unrelated products, hundreds upon hundreds of odds and ends with seemingly no relationship to each other! The guys running these shops are often of South East Asian decent and have families back there or just have the experience of the ups and downs of dealing with Chinese producers so let them take the strain of dealing with their crap and get on with your lives. It is their job to buy in bulk (and send half of the stuff back!) after all.
    Last edited by MagikGimp; 18-08-2017 at 4:08 PM.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 20th Aug 17, 10:04 PM
    • 24,270 Posts
    • 12,703 Thanks
    lisyloo
    Cosmetics in china have to be tested on animals by law.
    I don't buy from any company that sells in china - that's an awful lot of cosmetic/toiletry firms including Avon and a lot of big names.
    I respect everyone's right to chose but my desire for cosmetics does not warrant cruelty to animals.
    • pinkladyvenus
    • By pinkladyvenus 21st Aug 17, 8:32 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 883 Thanks
    pinkladyvenus
    I have bought a few items from china via Amazon a kitchen timer that was very good considering it was only a pound including postage, some sewing clips for under 2 my local shop wanted 15 for the same thing and various other low value items.

    I have had one item that did not arrive Amazon refunded, I would not risk buying electrical goods and always check out buyer reviews before I purchase.
    Sealed pot challenge member 437
    • SueU
    • By SueU 21st Aug 17, 10:01 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    SueU
    Buy from UK or Europe!
    I know this site is about saving money but I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that MSE promotes buying from China at all let alone direct which has obvious quality/safety/ethical issues.
    It's false economy to think you will save buying from any country that does not have similar quality standards as the EU as often items will not last five minutes and you'll buy twice. In some cases as other posts have said you will actually be putting yourself in danger.
    If that's not enough to convince people then what about the UK and EU jobs that are lost when we spend our cash in China? Often the jobs of the very people trying to save a few quid buying overseas anyway. And then there's the ethical issue around working ages and employment conditions.

    Like several others here I ALWAYS try to buy British or european goods and only buy Chinese made items when it cannot be avoided (difficult to find household electricals made elsewhere) and then from a reputable retailer who I feel confident will have QC throughout the supply chain. It doesn't cost much more initially and I know if there are any issues they will be resolved easily.

    With Brexit looming everyone should be thinking about how best they can support the UK economy - we are going to need it!
    • Doc N
    • By Doc N 21st Aug 17, 3:59 PM
    • 6,945 Posts
    • 19,806 Thanks
    Doc N

    With Brexit looming everyone should be thinking about how best they can support the UK economy - we are going to need it!
    Originally posted by SueU
    Too right we're going to need it! And did the PM really need to go abroad for her holiday? Shouldn't she be setting an example and supporting Britain?

    Useless woman following an equally useless male PM.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 21st Aug 17, 4:42 PM
    • 18,766 Posts
    • 11,586 Thanks
    motorguy
    I know this site is about saving money but I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that MSE promotes buying from China at all let alone direct which has obvious quality/safety/ethical issues.
    It's false economy to think you will save buying from any country that does not have similar quality standards as the EU as often items will not last five minutes and you'll buy twice. In some cases as other posts have said you will actually be putting yourself in danger.
    If that's not enough to convince people then what about the UK and EU jobs that are lost when we spend our cash in China? Often the jobs of the very people trying to save a few quid buying overseas anyway. And then there's the ethical issue around working ages and employment conditions.

    Like several others here I ALWAYS try to buy British or european goods and only buy Chinese made items when it cannot be avoided (difficult to find household electricals made elsewhere) and then from a reputable retailer who I feel confident will have QC throughout the supply chain. It doesn't cost much more initially and I know if there are any issues they will be resolved easily.

    With Brexit looming everyone should be thinking about how best they can support the UK economy - we are going to need it!
    Originally posted by SueU


    Well said!
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • grahamm
    • By grahamm 22nd Aug 17, 9:54 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    grahamm
    Be VERY careful if buying electrical goods from China, because they do not have the same standards of electrical safety.

    Not only this, but they also put a "CE" mark on it which looks like the EU's safety approval, but which is actually a slightly modified copy (which they will claim stands for "Chinese Export" if questioned).

    A friend who is very experienced in dealing with electrical goods has taken some of the cheap products (transformers, chargers etc) apart and found that they lack basic safety measures or proper insulation and, in the worst cases, can have components that could render the entire product electrically live with potentially lethal consequences!
    if i had known then what i know now
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