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Has anybody ever bought from here?

http://www.alibaba.com/

T
hey have unbelievable amount of different items, but i have never bought from there.
Have you?

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frollard4 years ago
Yes, I have - there is a good article recently about it.

Read this blog: http://ch00ftech.com/2013/02/17/bigger-brighter-cheaper-whiter/

Fact is, most everything is made in China. If you buy it local, it's probably assembled from asian parts. Elsewhere just can't compete. So - while it is often assumed sending your money across the ocean with no escrow or protection could be a bad idea - its how MOST international commercial transactions take place. About 1/3 the way down 'shopping on alibaba' heading shows his experience. Since you're talking directly with the factory that makes the parts, you have a lot of flexibility - especially if you intend to order a lot of something.
WWC (author)  frollard4 years ago
Yes that is a good article, seems for the most part a good transaction can be had with possibly some trial and error and good inquiries of the seller.
I am only 4 hrs from Hong Kong but the one i requested a quote from wanted $30 for mail delivery. Possibly if i bargained some that could have been reduced.

Would you buy from there again?
bwrussell4 years ago
I have not but a quick browse tells me this is not a consumer store. Click on any item and look for the number after MOQ. That stands for Minimum Order Quantity which means this site is geared towards companies that will be buying in bulk. Unless you're trying to buy or sell in bulk it's probably not a useful site.
WWC (author)  bwrussell4 years ago
I have seen typically most of them offer a 1 piece or 10 piece min, but the cost with shipping makes it prohibitive for a small lot.
Seems they do gear towards the big players. Not so much the hobbies guys.
verence4 years ago
Well, in fact, they don't sell a single item. They are just a platform to get sellers (mostly in Asia) in contact with buyers. Similar to what ebay does, but without the auctions and mainly for professional buyers (businesses).

Some of the sellers may sell in small quantities and with low shipping costs.

But be aware: alibaba is just the platform, your deal will be with some unknown company in a foreign country, possibly far away.

I tried it and bought ten multi format USB card readers. According to the description, they should have XD-Card support. Price: 8.18USD, yep, for all ten of them, including shipping. Well, when they finally arrived (after about 6 weeks) they did not even have an XD-Card slot. The other slots worked, but ridiculously slow. So I complained and after another two weeks, I got the information that another package is on the way. Contents? Who knows?

My recommendation: If you are in a hurry, don't buy at all. If you have to pay upfront, be ready to lose the investment.

And remember: If it does sounds too god to be true, it probably is.
WWC (author)  verence4 years ago
Thanks for the input.
Sorry you order turned out not so well.
Ya i picked up on they are a 3rd party or online display what ever you want to call it for the real suppliers.

I would suspect not all transactions go as per yours, you just happened to be in the unlucky percent that went sour.
I agree tho that to deal with that kind of offshore business could be somewhat of a gamble.

I would say you did good with you shipping costs.
I requested a quote from several places. One that actually had the parts in stock (2N2222,transistors) The price wasn't great but the kicker was they wanted $30 to ship 50 Transistors. So any money that possibly could be saved was would be grossly offset by the shipping.

So how ever you managed the shipping on your order i would say you did good there, albeit the rest was not so great.

If i find something i needed at a price and shipping that would make it a good deal i think i might try it not only for the parts but to see how the transaction turns out, but i know the risks!