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Chinese shit general
The Chinese stuff general (/csg/) is a general thread of /g/, in which people discuss the no-name or obscurely branded cheap shit you see on Gearbest, AliExpress, eBay and similar sites.
Websites to buy cheap shit
- aliexpress.com - This is the main website /g/ uses. It has the largest selection out of any other site. Customer Support is pretty good, they will side with the buyer if the seller made a mistake, just like Ebay. Uses Alipay for payment, meaning your CC details will not be given to the seller, just like Paypal. The main disadvantage for Americans is that unlike Paypal, it does not accept Discover cards. Or Paypal for that matter too.
- banggood.com - Accepts Paypal and you can checkout without making an account. Warehouses in many countries. This site is especially cool for European /g/entooman, because of their "Netherlands direct shipping" option. It's usually much faster than China Post Air Mail, and should mean getting your goods from China to Europe in a week. The cost is barely any higher than the free shipping option.
- dinodirect.com - Accepts Paypal, Sofort (German payment method). Good customer support. Are apparently scammers, buy with caution.
- fasttech.com - Accepts Bitcoin and Paypal. This is possibly the only site where the customer reviews are trustworthy. Lots of reviews in English. Website is known for a wide selection of e-cig/vape products, but they also sell many other products.
- en.jd.com - They often have good limited time prices on cellphones.
- kaidomain.com - Accepts Paypal, good for bicycle lights and 18650 batteries. (if you're in Europe or even better The Netherlands, I'd rather use nkon.nl, they have VERY cheap Panasonic 18650 cells and they ship all around the world)
- dx.com - Free shipment tracking if order value above $15.
- ebay.com (marketplace) - Oftentimes the same sellers as Aliexpress selling the items for a higher price because of Ebay's popularity and the higher Ebay seller fees. But sometimes it can surprise you and have items at a lower price than Aliexpress or any of the other sites. It is worth comparing the prices between Aliexpress and Ebay just in case if you are a scrooge.
- gearbest.com - Oftentimes has some of the lowest prices for more expensive products like phones, tablets, and action cameras but are known to often take their merry time before sending a package. The free shipping option does not come with tracking, you have to pay extra. Known to pay users for positive reviews, ergo shop with caution. One anon posted an email from GearBest's customer service, detailing how to shill the website on places like productreview, scamadviser, and even the /csg/ thread on 4chan. Godawful customer service too: https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/8e9zfi/never_buy_from_gearbest_ever/
- geekbuying.com - Accepts Paypal. Dropshipping option on all goods. Be warned that they may not have items in stock even if the product page says otherwise. Buy with caution.
- pandawill.com - Accepts Paypal, Skrill. Offers import tax & VAT insurance. For 5% more (10% if in the EU), they will give you a refund on the import tax & VAT cost if you show them the customs slip. This could perhaps be worth it for some expensive products like cell phones.
Each website has their advantages and drawbacks, if there are any notable ones you want to add, please let me know. There is no one-stop shop for everything.
A word on price comparison tools
There are three main direct from China price comparison websites. Pandacheck, Chinaprices, and Chinaprice. It is highly recommend NOT to use Chinaprices. About half of the stores they list are known to be outright scams or to take part in many unethical practices such as refusing to repair DOA products. So if you must, use https://en.pandacheck.com/ However; in general it is recommended to manually price compare or ask the thread. These comparison tools rarely find the correct lowest prices from all the different Chinese stores and use affiliate links. It can perhaps be used to give you a rough idea of the websites who charge the most to weed them out, and then you can manually price compare to find the best prices. Be aware that all links on price comparison websites are affiliate links.
It is recommended to try out several websites, and stick with them if you've had good experiences.
Not recommended for getting individual items. You will need to manually contact sellers and chat with them each time and possibly use wire transfers instead of CCs.
- dhgate.com - Significantly more counterfeit products compared to Alibaba, with the latter actively monitoring for and taking down counterfeit product listings. You may need to disable certain browser addons like HTTPS Everywhere for it to work, or it will just show a blank page.
Chinese national websites
You will probably need an agent to buy anything on there (unless you contact the seller in Chinese and negotiate international shipping with him or Taobao Cargo). The commissions for agents are generally less than 8%. It might be worth it for some more expensive products. Use a translator to read product information or to enter search terms in Chinese.
- taobao.com - The largest Chinese online marketplace. Owned by the Alibaba group (AliExpress). Tons of sellers and a gigantic selection. Anon's Guide to Taobao
- tmall.com - Also owned by the Alibaba Group. The difference with Taobao is that T-mall does not allow small individual sellers. The only sellers on Tmall are the manufacturers themselves, large online retailers etc.. Tmall is used for buying brand name goods because they have the official company's store on there and only sell genuine products (Chinese brands such as Xiaomi, as well as foreign brands such as Nike among others.)
You can sometimes get away with ordering from Taobao directly, especially if you can speak basic Chinese, but that option may not be for everyone. Thankfully, there are many agents out there to choose from and some will go out of their way to make the process as convenient for you as possible. You can have the agent ask the sellers questions for you, if required. Usually, the agents will take a picture of your goods and show them to you before you either choose to go ahead with shipping it out of China or returning it from the agent's warehouse. To save shipping costs, you can also ask the agent to strip the boxes and packaging material to reduce weight.
- Taobaoring (6% commision fee, usually less during holidays) - top customer service and will answer your questions pretty quickly. Bare in mind they will ship your order with EMS by default, which is pretty pricey, but you can ask them to change it to a service of your choice. Singapore Airmail is the cheapest they do, but it's also much slower.
- Basetao (5% commision fee) - people into fashion reps seem to vouch for this one too
|Shipping Method||Typical Time to Arrival (days)||Description|
|Seller's shipping method||Varies||Slowest option on Aliexpress. Up to two months shipping time. If you don't receive your goods after that time period you can get a refund. oftentimes untracked. Sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised and get your product in a week or two. But since the seller doesn't list the method, you'll never know.|
|AliExpress Standard Shipping||Varies||Could be handled by any of the logstics providers that AliExpress uses (http://activities.aliexpress.com/aliexpress_shipping.php) so your mileage may vary with this one.|
|Sinotrans||7-14 days||If you're lucky, this is one of the providers that will be handling your AliExpress Standard Shipping. Generally quite fast, arriving in a week or two, with full China based and domestic tracking. Should arrive around the 9-10 day mark, with some luck.|
|Belgium Post||7-14 days||GearBest likes to use this one if you're Europe based. Presumably, they ship it off to Belgium using another shipping service before reshipping it to your destination country. Takes around 1-2 weeks, but usually closer to one week.|
|Sweden Post, Wishpost, Swisspost, Singapore Post||14-30 days||Generally piss slow and untracked. These are often the default free shipping methods on many websites.|
|China Post Registered Air Mail||7-14 days||Generally 1-2 weeks. Tracking may freeze after the package has left China.|
|China Post Ground||30 days||The method usually used when the seller lists "seller's shipping method". Can take over a month.|
|China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus||7-30 days||Anywhere from a week to a month. Your mileage may vary greatly with this one. Most should arrive within two weeks, however.|
|EMS (Express Mail Service)||7 days||Expensive but should get there within a week.|
|SAL (Surface Air Lifted)||10-14 days||Week and a half to two weeks. Generally a bit cheaper than EMS.|
|DHL and Fedex||2-5 days||Very quick, very expensive. Most likely to sting you for customs charges.|
|ePacket||7-14 days||Started off as US only but has now expanded to Australia, Canada , France, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and the UK. Generally much faster than China Post, and oftentimes free.|
|SunYou Economic Air Mail||30 days||One of the much slower shipping options, which you'll want to avoid unless you're okay with waiting even longer. It's not unsual for items to take a month or more with this. Some anons report their items taking up to three months to arrive or never turning up at all. It may be worth the extra dollar for China Post or Yanwen.|
|Yanwen Economic Air Mail||7-30 days||Reasonably fast in most cases. About the same as China Post Ordinary Small Packet Plus.|
|Yanwen Express||7-14 days||One of the faster shipping methods. Items should arrive in 1-2 weeks, but generally about the 9-10 day mark. Can be tracked at track.yw56.com.cn.|
Use info about these shipping methods to help you decide which seller you want to purchase from. For example if a seller sells a product for 20 cents more and offers China Post Registered Air Mail instead of the unknown "seller's shipping method".
Recommended tracking site:
- 17track.net - Sometimes it will fuck up, but generally it should automatically find the shipping method so you don't have to manually input it.
- Cainiao - Alibaba Group owned. AliExpress uses this for logistics info but sometimes, you can get more detailed tracking by going to the site directly,
Things that are NOT recommended to buy
- Sunglasses without UV coating. While most Chinese sunglasses and prescription glasses are perfectly fine, make sure the glasses come with a polarized test card.
- Western branded headphones. They will be fake.
- Memory cards and USB sticks can be bought with caution, but many don't have their advertised capacity. Run H2testw or a similar program to make sure you get what you're paying for. Speed ratings may be inflated, try to buy from reputable Chinese brands (ask around on the threads for more info)
- Anything that goes in your ass, dick, or vagina. (Actually, properly shaped silicone/pyrex/steel is safe enough, but /g/ doesn't really need to know about yours.)
- "Cool" and "Trendy" Asian fashion clothes e.g. Yesstyle clothes. You'll look like a faggot. Things like socks, ties, T-shirts and panties are generally fine. Some /csg/ posters like to buy replica clothing (aka fakes), so ask around.
- Plant seeds. Not only will customs seize the shipment, but most seeds you see on Aliexpress etc. are not what they claim to be. Unless it's a plant with very obvious shaped seeds, don't bother. You'll end up with seeds for a random weed.
- Food. Sellers will markup Chinese food 10 fold and sell it to dumb Laowais. Also, mouth cancer.
- Batteries that claim ridiculous mAh ratings. Enjoy your Ultra(house)Fire™ and sand filled batteries! Panasonic/LG/brand name 18650 batteries are good though.
- Hiking Boots and equipment. Quality and reliability are the key factors for such things, you just can't be sure enough when ordering equipment that your life could depend on from China.
- Mini cooper condoms or any condoms in general. $1 saved for $1 million in raising a child.
- Eiaosi X6 Earphones. Confirmed shit. Do not believe the shill's lies.
General buying tips
IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, then it very well could be. Ask in the thread for feedback.
- Payment: Use Paypal or Alipay if it's an option, or purchase with a prepaid Visa. Find out when your money back deadline is so you can always request a refund if things go bad. The advantage of Paypal or Alipay is that you won't be sharing your CC details with random Chinese businesses, and they provide you with an added layer of protection in the form of disputes in case a website tries to fuck you over.
- Buying clothes: Chinese clothes sizes are different to US sizes, and are usually smaller. Be cautions if there are no measurements on clothing to judge its true size. Read feedback to try to get an idea on sizing. Compare the measurements on the listing to those of current clothes you own.
- Use H2testw to verify the volume of storage media like memory cards and USB drives.
- - The UI language can be switched between German and English.
Some shopping sites offer referral bonuses for getting people to click on your links for the site and make a purchase. So-called cashback websites can allow you to get a portion of the money made from a purchase back by giving you their own link and sending you a cut of their profit. The exact amount you get back will vary between stores and cashback services, but percentages as high as 10% can be found for AliExpress as an example - you'll likely want to shop around to figure out what cashback service is ideal given how much they pay out and in what currency. More information is available here. One added bonus of using a cashback service is that it prevents shills from getting money from your purchase if you've previously clicked on a referral link.
- Android devices
- Camera accessories
- Cycling goods
- ExpressPort cards
- Borescope cameras
- Fidget cubes
- Anything that's relatively easy to manufacture. The copy/unbranded item will be just as good.