Author Topic: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?  (Read 1017 times)

Beach_Stache

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Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« on: December 15, 2020, 06:21:18 PM »
Wondering if anyone has ever ordered anything from Alibaba?  Certainly not a mustacian purchase, but I've always wanted a Surrey Bike for DW and our 3 boys to ride around the neighborhood, and even a used one locally would be between $2-3k which I certainly would never do.  It looks like some things require you to order in bulk but others don't, and you can get a great deal for like under $400, which just seems too good to be true, so I assume it is.  Just wondering if it's legit, or if you spend $400 on something and you get a tire instead of the whole bike or something?

shuffler

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2020, 07:02:38 PM »
I've always wanted a Surrey Bike ... and you can get a great deal for like under $400, which just seems too good to be true, so I assume it is.  Just wondering if it's legit, or if you spend $400 on something and you get a tire instead of the whole bike or something?
I would assume it's a "Bicycle Shaped Object", meaning inferior parts, quality, and assembly.

Ladychips

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2020, 04:28:15 AM »
I don't know anything about Alibaba but @SwordGuy bought a Surrey bike and may have some input on that.

Malcat

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2020, 04:51:21 AM »
Well, whenever you find something for a much cheaper price than the norm, you have to identify the factor that makes it expensive normally, and how that factor might be mitigated to lower the price.

I know nothing about Surrey Bikes, but they're obviously expensive for a reason. What is that reason? Could an online vendor get around it and still provide a reasonable quality item?

Now, what's most concerning is that I did a quick search for Surrey bikes and found a $400 option on AliExpress, but then found a nearly identical option for nearly $2000.

What this tells me is that the price in the thousands is still the norm, even through Ali, but that one option is abnormally low, even for that site. So there's still no explaining why it's so ridiculously low.

That's most concerning, because unless you can identify an acceptable reason for a lower than normal cost, then chances are the reason is not acceptable.

Example: it's actually a mini version for toddlers, or the pieces are made of extremely flimsy material that will break and launch your children into traffic, or you'll actually receive a shower curtain with a picture of a Surrey bike on it, etc.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2020, 05:01:51 AM »
Well, whenever you find something for a much cheaper price than the norm, you have to identify the factor that makes it expensive normally, and how that factor might be mitigated to lower the price.

I know nothing about Surrey Bikes, but they're obviously expensive for a reason. What is that reason? Could an online vendor get around it and still provide a reasonable quality item?

Now, what's most concerning is that I did a quick search for Surrey bikes and found a $400 option on AliExpress, but then found a nearly identical option for nearly $2000.

What this tells me is that the price in the thousands is still the norm, even through Ali, but that one option is abnormally low, even for that site. So there's still no explaining why it's so ridiculously low.

That's most concerning, because unless you can identify an acceptable reason for a lower than normal cost, then chances are the reason is not acceptable.

Example: it's actually a mini version for toddlers, or the pieces are made of extremely flimsy material that will break and launch your children into traffic, or you'll actually receive a shower curtain with a picture of a Surrey bike on it, etc.

Yeah, that's what I was fearing.  I could drop a few bucks on a risk, but nothing over $100, so it's probably worth waiting for something local to pop up, and honestly, probably best to not get it at all :)

Malcat

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2020, 06:20:26 AM »
Yeah, that's what I was fearing.  I could drop a few bucks on a risk, but nothing over $100, so it's probably worth waiting for something local to pop up, and honestly, probably best to not get it at all :)

To be fair, my first thought when I googled what the hell a Surrey bike was was "why the hell would anyone want that?"

Lol, I'm just teasing. I mean, none of my siblings or I would have gone near one of those as kids, but I'm sure the people who own them find them lovely.

Spicolli

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2020, 06:41:08 AM »
I haven't but recently went to a new house of my wife's friend and they outfitted their $1.5-2.0M home with Alibaba purchases. I can't say anything about the enduring quality of the products but most things seemed nice. Doors, windows, anti-fog bathroom mirrors, bidet/toilets, and specialty items like the grand staircase railing. The friend's husband said he'd save about 75% on the price of these. He also said it was less expensive on shipping costs if you're on the west coast.

SwordGuy

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2020, 01:55:22 PM »
Yeah, that's what I was fearing.  I could drop a few bucks on a risk, but nothing over $100, so it's probably worth waiting for something local to pop up, and honestly, probably best to not get it at all :)

To be fair, my first thought when I googled what the hell a Surrey bike was was "why the hell would anyone want that?"

Lol, I'm just teasing. I mean, none of my siblings or I would have gone near one of those as kids, but I'm sure the people who own them find them lovely.

My wife has osteoporosis (sp?) so what would be a minor fall for the rest of us could be life-changing (for the worse) for her.    My daughter has Down syndrome and reaction speeds that would have her flatter than a pancake from a car even given 60 seconds to get out of the way.

So a quad surrey was a solution for it.    If one lived in a smallish town that was relatively flat, it could be a car replacement also.

My two grandsons had a blast with it.

I bought mine from https://www.beachsurreybikes.com/.    They are located in Virginia Beach, VA and about 4 hours from us, so we drove up to give it a test drive.    It's sturdy and well made.  Heavy, too, so I recommend the electric assist option unless you'll have lots of pedaling help.   

It's made in China and I'm sure equivalent bikes to it could be found on Ali Baba for less.   I was willing to pay a bit more to test drive it.

SwordGuy

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2020, 01:59:23 PM »
I bought mine from https://www.beachsurreybikes.com/.    They are located in Virginia Beach, VA and about 4 hours from us, so we drove up to give it a test drive.    It's sturdy and well made.  Heavy, too, so I recommend the electric assist option unless you'll have lots of pedaling help.   

PS -- great service from them, too.   Forgot to mention that.

Ecky

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2020, 08:21:43 AM »
I've ordered some things from there - mainly capacitors and other electrical components. It seemed really sketchy, but everything turned up faster than expected, in the condition described, and for around half the price.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2020, 08:33:28 AM »
I've ordered some things from there - mainly capacitors and other electrical components. It seemed really sketchy, but everything turned up faster than expected, in the condition described, and for around half the price.

How did you pay for it?  From what I read, you really have to make sure you're not getting scammed, and some prefer direct wire, but paypal seems like there is more security, I don't know.  I see some stuff at 25% of the cost as a US product, but the quality, time frame and how to pay for it make me uneasy.  Basically I'm looking for home/fun stuff that I would never purchase via Amazon b/c it's too expensive, but seems very cheap via Alibaba.  Maybe it's a bad habit to get into in the first place, buying things that I don't need.

CptCool

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2020, 09:15:31 AM »
alibaba is just the business-to-business way of buying directly from chinese (and a few other countries) manufacturers. Sometimes they'll sell in smaller quantities, but it is generally geared toward business that are reselling the items.

Aliexpress is the business-to-consumer site that sells the same things, but is for smaller quantities and slightly higher prices. It is more similar to ebay or amazon.

I've bought tons of things from both and have never had any issues. Be aware that you'll want to factor in shipping and customs when looking at the quotes from alibaba as sometimes the order page doesn't have that built in and you have to pay the customs fees once it arrives. Just confirm with the seller beforehand while you're negotiating the price

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Anyone ever order anything from Alibaba?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2020, 03:05:11 PM »
alibaba is just the business-to-business way of buying directly from chinese (and a few other countries) manufacturers. Sometimes they'll sell in smaller quantities, but it is generally geared toward business that are reselling the items.

Aliexpress is the business-to-consumer site that sells the same things, but is for smaller quantities and slightly higher prices. It is more similar to ebay or amazon.

I've bought tons of things from both and have never had any issues. Be aware that you'll want to factor in shipping and customs when looking at the quotes from alibaba as sometimes the order page doesn't have that built in and you have to pay the customs fees once it arrives. Just confirm with the seller beforehand while you're negotiating the price
^^^Everything here is true.  My business sources some of our components via alibaba. For us, it's more often a way to start an RFQ with a potential vendor than it is an online storefront.  Something like "Hi, we're looking for a motor with specifications X, Y, and Z, and it looks like you have something similar. Can you customize it for us?"